Sadly, Leora Levy helps Trump sink Connecticut Republicans

·3 min read

Aug. 13—I am not enjoying the growing Trumpization of Connecticut Republicans the way I suspect most good Connecticut Democrats are.

Surely, the decisive win by Trump-backed Leora Levy against the establishment candidate in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate was cause for popping champagne corks at the reelection campaign headquarters for Democratic incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Instead of facing a moderate, electable Republican with a clear record of supporting abortion rights and voting against Donald Trump for president, Blumenthal gets a reelection cakewalk against an abortion-denying candidate who owes her political allegiance to an insurrectionist former president who is fast being lowered into a boiling cauldron of criminal charges.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is a shrewd lawyer, and I am quite sure that he didn't authorize a search of the former president's home without great certainty that his decision will stand the test of disclosure in the unfolding criminal case.

With news reports already percolating that Trump was hoarding at his Florida estate some of the country's nuclear secrets, it may be that the document-related criminal case overshadows other deadly serious investigations of the former president, about a campaign to overturn election results and stopping the peaceful transfer of power with a violent insurrection at the Capitol.

The very possible reality, of Trump in handcuffs, maybe even before the fall elections, has apparently not penetrated the unthinking, Trump-drunk base of the Republican party in Connecticut.

But it will be front and center in the minds of Connecticut's liberal and moderate voters, Independents, Republicans and Democrats, the ones who decide elections here, and Trump-loving candidates like Levy will certainly go down in flames in the fall.

I'll be glad to see her go of course.

It's the rest of the Connecticut Republican party that she is taking down with her that I feel a little sorry for. I say that as a Democrat who believes Connecticut needs two healthy political parties, and one is on the skids.

I hear, for instance, that state Sen. Heather Somers of Groton had a lawn sign promoting Levy's opponent in the primary, Themis Klarides.

Pity poor Somers for now having to support the party's Trumpist candidate for Senate, to appease those in the northern part of her district who enthusiastically voted for Levy, while explaining her apparent Trumpism in the more moderate reaches of her district.

And what of poor Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski, whose campaign contributions to Levy have already been wrapped around his neck by opponent Gov. Ned Lamont. Expect Lamont to pull harder on that knot.

I would have welcomed a straightforward debate of policy issues in Connecticut between the gubernatorial candidates. Traditional Republicans have a lot to contribute to the governance of the state, and we should all welcome a hearty discussion of disagreements about governing.

But I don't think I am alone among Connecticut voters who will gladly reject candidates who owe their allegiance and won't denounce the crazed, election-denying, anti-Democratic zealots of a political cult.

For now, and maybe for some time ahead, until the Trump fog clears, it looks like it's goodbye to the Connecticut Republican party as we knew it.

I have long planed to vote for Sen. Blumenthal, whom I respect for his dedicated service to Connecticut, both as a dogged, consumer-protecting attorney general and a U.S. senator dedicated to helping Americans live better lives, with good health care and protected civil rights.

I want him to win.

I'm just sorry that one of the reasons he will is because Donald Trump has poisoned the only other potent political party in Connecticut.

This is the opinion of David Collins

d.collins@theday.com