If the states are America's laboratories of democracy, then Republicans running for state offices in the Age of Trump are their most entertaining lab rats. For example, here in Illinois, the owner and CEO of the Illinois Republican Party -- Bruce " Governor Hedgefund" Rauner -- is running a Loud and Quiet gambit, which you will see spreading through blue-state/purple-state GOP election playbooks like pinkeye in a McDonald's ball pit
First, you run up and down the state proudly showing off your David Brooks/Ron Fournier/Matthew Dowd "Hell's Centrists" tats and loudly denouncing the Extremes on Both Sides! (from the State Journal-Register):
Gov. Rauner says he’s a centrist while Republican, Democratic parties dominated by extremes
Even as he struggles to unite his Republican Party, Gov. Bruce Rauner says the state’s political parties are becoming dominated by its “extreme elements,” and offered as proof the primary challenges he has faced, including one motivated by an angry GOP base constituency of social conservatives.
In a largely overlooked speech to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce last week before the first televised debate of the fall gubernatorial campaign, Rauner dubbed himself a centrist seeking “moderation” as he blamed the partisan drawing of political boundaries for helping fuel political divisions in the state and country with a “devastating” result...
Then, when someone gets around to asking you how you actually voted in the last election, you get very quiet, stare dead-eyed into the middle distance and repeat what the consultants told you to say. Over and over again. (see video above)
So will we see the Hedgefund Administration go down in flames in November?
It is quite probable.
But from it, will we see -- emerging from the ashes like a No Labels phoenix -- a ready-made plank of 2020 presidential timber? A prairie plutocrat fresh from his crucifixion by the Extremes on Both Sides that will give every Beltway pundit a simultaneous Centrist boner so mighty that the Earth will be knocked out of its orbit?
I would not bet against it.
Because who better to defeat the K'rupt Duopoly than a man who just up and bought himself the entire Illinois Republican Party?