In recognition of the beginning of fantasy football season on Thursday (Chicago vs. Green Bay, 8:20 Eastern), it feels appropriate to recognize some of the Republican Party’s best and worst “fantasy” draft picks as we head into the 2020 political season.
STUD: President Donald J. Trump
At this point, we know who Trump is. He gives you incredible weeks where he scores two touchdowns on forty-nine tweets, and he gives you not-so-great weeks where he puts up three typos and a “covfefe” — you take the good with the bad. That being said, this guy is a total gamer, and we all know he’s bringing it in an election year. He should go in the 1st round of every fantasy draft, but if he somehow drops to the 2nd round because people once again make the mistake of doubting him, you should scoop him up faster than you can say “tremendous.”
DUD: Sen. Mitt Romney
The 2012 GOP nominee for president might have made sense in 2012, but this is 2020 — is he really worth his overly inflated average draft position? Mitt Romney simply isn’t the future of this party. Conservatives have grown tired of his hypocritical moralizing and his constant virtue signaling to the fake news media.
Yes, he put up some fantasy points in the past, and a few well-connected people seem to believe he has one more throwback season in him, but deep down we all know the truth. Fade Mitt in the fifth round of your fantasy drafts and avoid dealing with his inevitable mid-season designation to the Irrelevant Reserve.
SLEEPER: Sen. Josh Hawley
In fantasy football parlance, a sleeper is a late-round draft pick that returns a great deal of value. Does Josh Hawley qualify here? Absolutely. Hawley generated a lot of buzz in his rookie season by taking on Big Tech and articulating a populist conservative vision for the future. He also put up some insane numbers on the field by sponsoring 35 bills and amendments and cosponsoring 90 more. That torrid pace of 15.6 sponsorships per month is simply incredible for any senator, let alone a rookie, and he only got better as the season progressed.
Not many senators become household names in year one, but Hawley is flirting with history — expect a breakout in year two. His ninth round average draft position is a total steal, even if it means passing up on some of his more seasoned rivals.
BUST: Joe Walsh
Here’s something I don’t understand: people are actually drafting this guy in the eighth round. Why? What planet do they live on? The King of Grift had one miracle game way back in 2010, but he’s been disappointing fantasy owners for years with his frequent gaffes and racist tweets. It would be truly shocking if he grabbed a single delegate in 2020. Pass on Walsh — he’s easily the biggest bust in this year’s draft.
STUD: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
They don’t call him “Cocaine Mitch” for nothing. McConnell continues to put up incredible fantasy value each and every season, happy to cede the headlines to more bombastic politicians while he blocks the Democrats’ radical agenda and confirms conservative judge after conservative judge. Trump and McConnell have provided the perfect one-two punch for the GOP, and while both are up for re-election in 2020, there’s no reason to think either is headed for retirement any time soon. McConnell’s draft stock has risen all the way into the 2nd round, which may seem like a high price to pay, but his consistency and dependability make him a very smart pick.
DUD: Bill Kristol
Bill Kristol is intelligent, witty, and often very insightful. Unfortunately, Trump Derangement Syndrome has done him no favors. Kristol’s fantasy value took a permanent dive in 2016 when he spent all his political capital recruiting a literal Egg McMuffin to run for president. Now he’s hoping to throw passes to Joe Walsh — a solid plan if he had gotten the right Joe Walsh. Unfortunately, he whiffed on the rock star and got the n-word aficionado instead. Needless to say, it’s not likely to work out for Kristol in 2020, as he’s now dropped all the way to the 12th round. It’s probably best at this point to just let him fall to the waiver wire.
SLEEPER: The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)
Most pundits are writing off the Republican Party’s chances to win the House in 2020. That’s a mistake. The mainstream visibility of radical leftists like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar — not to mention the ridiculous Democratic presidential field — provides the NRCC with a remarkable opportunity to win big in middle America.
The GOP needs to flip just 18 seats to win back control of the House. Meanwhile, the Democrats are currently holding 31 seats that Trump won in 2016. While victory is certainly not a sure thing, the folks over at the NRCC are flush with cash and hungry — a deadly combination. Don’t ask questions, just grab the NRCC in the seventh round of your draft and get the popcorn ready.
BUST: The Fake News Media
Oh, come on. None of you were drafting the fake news media.
Jon Schweppe (@JonSchweppe) is the director of policy and government affairs at the American Principles Project, a nonprofit think tank and political advocacy organization committed to defending the fundamental American principle of human dignity.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.