The shrill shill, also known as Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Luján, continues to vouch for Republican President Donald Trump’s powers of persuasion.
Trump says he can win New Mexico in 2020. This would be quite an upset, as the president’s approval ratings have dropped in New Mexico since he lost the state by 8 percentage points in 2016.
Trump also calls himself “a stable genius” who happens to be “great looking.” Just about everyone knows he brags almost as often as he breathes.
Luján is an exception. He believes Trump’s claim that New Mexico is a state Trump is targeting, or at least Luján claims to believe it. This approach suits Luján’s purposes as he collects more money for his U.S. Senate campaign.
This was Luján’s latest pitch, which he cleverly titled, “my heart just dropped.” The writing that follows, if you can call it writing, is by the congressman.
“Confirmed: Trump deploying dozens of staff to flip New Mexico red — threatening that ‘the cavalry’ is coming. I will not allow Trump to flip this state and sabotage our shot to win the Senate — even if it’s the last thing I do. I need 501 gifts before midnight to launch an immediate defense.”
Barring scandal, wordsmith Luján will win the Senate election by a wide margin. He has already dispatched his only Democratic opponent. She couldn’t compete with him in fundraising.
Disorganized state Republicans have three no-hope candidates from which to choose. All that remains to be decided is which of them will absorb the beating in the general election.
Luján spent much of 2019 composing solicitations about how a devious Republican machine led by Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was working to defeat him. All of it was self-serving hype, a strategy Luján shares with Trump.
Twisting truth to suit himself, Luján even claimed, “Mitch McConnell announced he raised $2.1 MILLION to defeat me and hold the Senate.”
Luján’s statements are similar to the screaming headlines in supermarket tabloids. Claims that are wild and unsubstantiated can be explained away. All Luján has to do is say that what he wrote was ambiguous enough so as not to be false.
McConnell never intimated, much less announced, that he had raised millions to help a Republican defeat Luján. But Luján, sliding for cover of darkness, can claim McConnell could one day divert his own campaign funds for the New Mexico Senate election.
If there’s one thing Luján excels at, it’s fundraising. He bagged a bit more than $1 million in the last quarter.
Now, unopposed for the Democratic Senate nomination, Luján wants even more money. He will always play it that way. Some shadowy, evil force is forever conspiring to stop this onetime blackjack dealer from beating the odds by climbing higher in politics.
Many of Luján’s solicitations are sappy notes of despair followed by giddy optimism.
“This has been one of the most humbling weeks of my life,” he wrote in an email last weekend. “For the first time in my entire campaign, I was worried we’d fail to meet tonight’s monumental goal. But after generous donors stepped up to MATCH gifts in these final 6 hours — I’m now inches from closing my fundraising gap!”
What if he fell short of some unannounced goal? Suppose Luján didn’t stuff more money into his campaign account for an election that will be a blowout? Would your life be any harder if he couldn’t buy 10 more television ads that say nothing of importance?
Because the inept Republicans have ceded the Senate election to Luján, there’s no point in sending him donations.
Better to help a needy acquaintance or friend with a utility bill or rent payment than to continue the insanity.
As for Luján, he won’t change his ways. His pleadings and meanderings will go on as long as he is in politics.
He is only 47. He could be a senator for 30 years.
No doubt all of them would be filled with unforgiving deadlines to keep the cash flowing.
Ringside Seat is an opinion column about people, politics and news. Contact Milan Simonich at email@example.com or 505-490-1048.