This is a problem. Freedom Caucus House Member Warren Davidson of Ohio, when prodded about the upcoming mid-terms, said this:

The Freedom Caucus is strong, and we’re going to keep getting stronger. The organization doesn’t exist to use tactics, the organization exists to effectively be the Republican wing of the Republican Party. I think that will continue to be the case if we’re not in the majority.

So, some Freedom Caucus members are willing to say that a GOP majority might not exist come the 2nd week of November. And that possibility, aside from all the Trump-centric speculation about possible mid-term results, means that a Freedom Caucus as part of a House minority GOP party would be a very different political animal than what is has been since 2010. Not nearly as much leverage from their block of disciplined conservative representatives, when Democrats hold the Speaker’s gavel.

And it’s an interesting question, but it’s not just what the Freedom Caucus does if the GOP loses the House. It’s what does the GOP, specifically the House GOP, does if they lose the House? Because there seem to be several possibilities:

  • Blame Trump and lean the Koch’s way?
  • Blame the Establishment (meaning most of GOP members themselves) and lean Trump’s way?
  • Blame the media and hope Trump leans their way?
  • Wait to see what Trump says and then duck?

There’s been a sub-plot lately about how President Trump has been batting over 300 in the GOP primaries, aside from the strike-out in Alabama of course, (or should that have been an equestrian metaphor?). But the primaries are about the base, and elections are about independents and especially women voters.

It’s tricky not to fall into ridiculous labelling that does not capture the diversity of over one-half of voters in America, so college-educated suburban women might not be the key to the GOP holding onto the House. And it’s a regional and district-by-district thing as well. But it’s hard to argue that this is a demographic that the President is not offending and alienating.

So how does an almost entirely male Freedom Caucus (Arizona’s Debbie Lesko notwithstanding) appeal to college-educated suburban women and help ensure the GOP retains the House?

Talk about the economy. Talk about jobs. Talk about school vouchers. Talk about local issues. And avoid talking directly about gender diversity. Avoid the identity-politics circus that is waiting like a tattered lion in a cage, hoping to take their heads off. They will lose that battle every time, especially once the media amps it up. And that way the House GOP will find out what independent and women voters are looking for in this election. They may not like what voters tell them in November but trying to clap like a seal surrounded by clowns and still end up getting hooked off the stage is not the best way to stand your ground. Avoid the circus and talk about main street.

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