Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The GOP Would Have No Chance To Hold Their House Majority Against A Competent DCCC... But Today They Have No Chance To Lose It


A gaggle of silly Beltway pundit types decided to raise the specter of a Trump candidacy putting the Republican House majority in jeopardy. I wonder who they're trying to fool. A competent DCCC-- which would take at least a year to build, possibly longer-- could win back the majority in two cycles without Trump, one cycle with Trump (or Cruz). The current cast of corrupt clowns, meticulously put together, nurtured and groomed by losers Rahm Emanuel, Chris Van Hollen and Steve Israel (+ Israel's absurd sock puppet)-- thank you, Nancy Pelosi-- will be lucky if they don't actually experience another net loss of seats even in the most propitious of years. They have grown so accustomed to losing that's it the only thing they know how to do-- and they keep playing the same hand over and over and over-- Republican-lite candidates vs Republican candidates... real inspiring.

One of the dumbest columns I've ever seen in the Washington Post-- and that's saying a lot-- was penned by a politically-backward associate professor at poor Fordham University, Charles Camosy. He has a plan for the Democrats to lose even more seats. Although he correctly points out that "the liberal coalition put together by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s is also in its final stages of collapse. Three-quarters of state legislatures are now in GOP hands, as are two-thirds of governorships" and the party "is now dominated by special interests of big donors of the Northeast and West Coast," instead of exercising the kind of critical thinking Thomas Frank did to figure out how the Democrats could win, he made the lame suggestion of turning off women and young voters by going for the anti-Choice vote. Watch the DCCC lap this one up... it's right up their ally. I can't believe even a school like Fordham has to stoop this low for personnel! [Update: I see Charles Pierce agreed with my assessment: "And, just to show you that bad ideas are not limited to one side of the big sack of crazy that is the presidential campaign this year, there is a guy writing in the Washington Post about the great political advantages the Democratic party could gain if only it tossed the privacy rights of 51 percent of the population overboard and alienated the part of the nation's demographic that pretty much guarantees a Democratic victory in any national election. If you're quoting nutbag Patrick Mahoney, the scourge of the Terri Schiavo hospice, then you've lost the argument. Genius! Just no, OK?"]

Thanks to the Republican-lite strategy of Emanuel, Van Hollen and Israel, the Republicans have a 58 seat majority in the House, more seats than at any time since their policies-- basically the same conservative clap trap that serve as their policies today-- crashed the economy and caused the Great Depression. In many of the districts that a competent DCCC would be well on the way to winning back, the DCCC has done no work of any kind, has no candidates and has added to the alienation of local Democrats to the hated Beltway party. In New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida... just the states where voters are likely to be most offended by Trump's and Cruz's extremism, the DCCC has no candidates or candidates too weak to win or, in some cases, Democrats they are actively sabotaging.

Anyway, back to the wrong-headed, divorced-from-reality assertions in Politico of the Democrats' opportunity to capitalize on Trump to win back the House. "Trump’s remarkable rise in the GOP presidential race and the backlash he has already provoked among the broader electorate," write Theodoric Meyer and Elena Schneider, "has suddenly raised the prospect of a large November wave against Trump and the Republicans who would share the ballot with him." Is that so? Show me.

Evidence #1: Bob Dold and Carlos Curbelo are sounding the alarm. OMG! Dold is in a D+8 Chicagoland district-- the bluest district occupied by a Republican anywhere in America-- and the only reason he has the seat is because the Democrats forced a Republican-lite fake Dem into it in 2012 (Brad Schneider, who they just manipulated into the nomination again). Obama won the district 63-36% against McCain and 58-41% against Romney. Curbelo is in a South Florida blue district that Obama won both times (53-46% in 2012) and Curbelo only won because the Democratic incumbent, Joe Garcia, voted with the Republicans and proven to be as corrupt as a typical Republican to boot. (He's trying to run again too.) If the DCCC needs Trump to win back these seats, they might as well all commit mass suicide; actually they should anyway.

Israel, Hoyer, Wasserman Schultz-- the root of the problem

Evidence #2: Israel's sock puppet guy, Ben Ray Luján is pushing CA-25 (Steve Knight's district) and FL-07 (John Mica's district), which would actually make a lot of sense except for the fact that Luján and Zoe Lofgren have sabotaged the California Democratic Party's nominee in CA-25, Lou Vince for a lawyer from Orange County who's a crony of Lofgren's-- a classic case that illustrates Thomas Frank's point about how the Democratic Party has kicked union members to the curb in favor of rich professionals. CA-25 is newly blue with a Democratic registration advantage but Luján's and Lofgren's ineptness and interference could well deliver this easy win back to the Republicans. The whole Orlando area is a mess because of Luján (without any help from Lofgren; but Florida Democrats don't need her to screw up the party; with Wasserman Schultz in the driver's seat, they're long time experts). FL-07 should be a good get this cycle but the DCCC picked an idiot banker, Bill Phillips, to run against seasoned pro, John Mica, and Phillips, a Blue Dog, couldn't win an election if he was running against the bubonic plague.

Deep in the story was the key to why it's nonsense: "One major question mark for Democrats is whether they have the candidates to ride a wave, if Trump generates one in their favor. With the filing deadline approaching in Colorado, Democrats still don’t have a candidate in GOP Rep. Scott Tipton’s district, which the party targeted as recently as 2012 and which has a substantial Latino population. Bill Phillips, the Democratic candidate in Mica’s Florida district-- one of the seats Luján mentioned last week-- had less than $20,000 in his campaign account to start the year. In key California districts, Democrats face primaries and feuding between local activists and the national party." That's scratching the surface on the DCCC's and the affiliated House Majority PAC's troubles.
A potential path toward 30 seats, once thought to be outside the realm of possibility, has become clearer for Democrats in recent days. Luján ducked when asked whether Democrats could win back the House at a news conference last week, but his committee is actively preparing to compete in districts that weren’t on the radar months ago. Democrats are targeting seats with “high numbers of independent voters, socially moderate voters, millennials and minority voters,” Luján said.

“We are going to keep recruiting through filing day because of this momentum that has been created by Donald Trump,” Luján added.

Luján specifically mentioned upstate New York's 22nd District, a battleground seat where moderate GOP Rep. Richard Hanna is retiring, and the fast-changing districts currently held by Mica in Florida and Knight in California. He also cited freshman Rep. Mia Love, who represents a conservative Utah district, as a target.

National Democrats say they’re also looking closely at a collection of socially moderate suburban districts. Many of them haven’t elected Democrats in years, but they have high proportions of the college-educated voters who have been least keen on Trump in the GOP presidential primary so far. Democrats figure that lack of enthusiasm could weigh down Republican House members in November.

Those off-the-beaten-path GOP seats getting a new look include Rep. Erik Paulsen’s district in the Minneapolis suburbs, freshman Rep. Dave Trott’s seat outside Detroit, veteran Rep. Dave Reichert’s district outside Seattle, and Rep. Kevin Yoder’s district in Kansas City suburbs.

In Knight’s California seat, a Simi Valley district north of Los Angeles that President Barack Obama carried in 2012, Democratic candidate Bryan Caforio [not the candidate of anyone but the DCCC and puppet establishment media types at Politico-- thoroughly rejected by Democrats in the district but still in a position to prevent the actual Democratic candidate, Lou Vince, from emerging from the jungle primary] says he wants voters to think of Trump and Knight as “two peas in a pod.”

“Knight is the Donald Trump of Southern California. He’s the man who, shortly after taking office, threatened to beat up a constituent,” Caforio said, citing an incident in which Knight, baited by an anti-immigration protester, threatened to “drop [his] ass.” “[Knight] has extreme immigration views, extreme family planning views, so I’m not surprised he hasn’t condemned [Trump] because of those extreme positions he’s taken.”

Knight, like most other House Republicans, has stayed silent on Trump in recent weeks. But he told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal in January that he didn’t think the billionaire “could win the general [election] in a million years.”

“The hard part is that a lot of people are making absolute statements about what Trump is going to do for the electorate, but it’s shown to be an incredibly unpredictable impact so far,” said Matt Rexroad, a Republican consultant who’s advising Knight.

GOP state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, who’s running for the open upstate New York seat Democrats are eyeing, said she doesn’t think Trump hurts her chances at all.

“I don’t think Trump is going to be as negative as everyone thinks in this particular district,” she said, adding that Trump’s fierce criticism of trade deals resonates in a district that has lost manufacturing jobs. “Honestly, I meet a lot of Democrats who like him,” she added.

Democrats believe they will gain more voters than they lose.

Asked on Wednesday whether the House is in play Luján said: “Look, I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know what’s going to happen in November. But I’m optimistic about the environment that’s being created today."

The L.A. Times noted that because of Latino hyper-engagement the Trump Effect may well be to make weak Democratic incumbents safer (think of pathetic cases like Peter Aguilar, Raul Ruiz, Scott Peters and Jim Costa, 4 right-of-center slugs with nothing to offer working families) and weak Republican incumbents like Jeff Denham, David Valadao and Steve Knight even more vulnerable. They don't take the incompetence of the DCCC into account, but the theory is correct.

Byron York, a right-wing blogger, looks at the plight of these Republican incumbents from a sympathetic perspective and explains why they're too scared to break with the Trumpist menace. For one thing, Trump is more popular in their districts than they are! "Each member of the House represents a district, average size about 700,000 people. According to my calculations from a breakdown of voting provided by 538's Nate Silver, 115 congressional districts voted in the race from Iowa through the first Super Tuesday. Trump won the majority of them." He won all 6 of the GOP districts in Alabama, 3 of the 4 GOP districts in Arkansas, all the Republican districts in Georgia, all 3 Republican districts in Nevada, all 5 Republican districts in Kentucky, the 4 Republican districts in Louisiana, all 6 Republican districts in South Carolina... You get the picture?

"[I]f you are a Republican member from a district Trump won," speculates York, "what value is it to you to publicly dump on the candidate who won your district? Shouldn't you assume that, even with the inclusion of nontraditional Republican voters, most of the voters who elected you also voted for Trump? It's not hard to see why elected representatives would choose not to go on the warpath against the choice of their own voters. Trump critics might call that cowardice. More neutral observers might call it the way democracy works."

If you'd like to help defeat Trump, his candidates and the DCCC, there's a page for that... and you'll find it by tapping the thermometer:
Goal Thermometer

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