For the past few months we’ve seen an eye popping trend take hold. Various House Republicans have abruptly given up on their careers. They’ve either announced they’re not seeking reelection, or simply quit on the spot. We all know why this is happening – and it just got even worse for Donald Trump.
We’ve seen a number of House Republicans in swing districts announce that they’re not seeking reelection. This is fairly easy to parse. If Donald Trump loses badly in 2020, it’ll be very difficult for the GOP to hold onto any seats that are in moderate districts. But Republican Congressman John Shimkus represents a district that leans twenty points in his party’s direction – and even he just announced that he’s not seeking reelection. There’s no hint of scandal surrounding Shimkus, so it’s not as if he’s bailing because we’re all about to find out that he secretly robbed a 7-Eleven or something. He’s just quitting, and he’s not even bothering to explain why.
Various pundits have floated the notion that because Illinois could soon face redistricting, Shimkus might find himself facing reelection in a newly formed district that’s not quite as Republican-leaning. But still, that doesn’t explain why he’d be bailing already, before even waiting to see how things play out.
The bottom line is that John Shimkus appears to be the latest in an increasingly long line of House Republicans who have taken a look at where things are headed with Donald Trump at the helm, from the inevitable House impeachment vote, to the GOP’s worsening 2020 prospects, and are deciding to simply walk away while they still can. When people like Shimkus are walking away from “safe” Republican seats, it means the GOP thinks things are about to get really ugly for Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report