Saturday, January 28, 2017

Has There Ever Been A New President So Widely Despised So Quickly By Americans?


Politico's Gabriel Debenedetti reported Thurdsday that national Democrats have largely "settled on a scorched-earth, not-now-not-ever model of opposition" to Señor Trumpanzee." I don't believe most of them are even capable of carrying it out or that most of them have the guts to try it but he claims that "[i]n legislative proposals, campaign promises, donor pitches and even in some Senate hearings, Democrats have opted for a hard-line, give-no-quarter posture, a reflection of a seething party base that will have it no other way." Really? Only 17 Senate Democrats opposed granting Mad Dog Mattis an exemption from a law that makes it illegal for a recent non-civilian to serve as Defense Secretary. And the only vote against confirming him was from a self-serving corporate shill who wants to run for president by recalling an uninformed Democratic base with her "progressivism" and courage. Only 11 Senate Democrats voted against confirming General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security. Only 8 Senate Democrats were serious in their opposition to torture enthuseiast Mike Pompeo as head of the CIA. And only 4 Senate Dems voted against confirming Nikki Haley as the Ambassador to the UN. Doesn't sound very scorched earth/no-quarter to me. You?
According to interviews with roughly two dozen party leaders and elected officeholders, the internal debate over whether to take the conciliatory path-- to pursue a high-road approach as a contrast to Trump’s deeply polarizing and norm-violating style-- is largely settled, cemented in place by a transition and first week in office that has confirmed the left’s worst fears about Trump’s temperament.

“They were entitled to a grace period, but it was midnight the night of the inauguration to 8 o'clock the next morning, when the administration sent out people to lie about numerous significant things. And the damage to the credibility of the presidency has already been profound,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “They were entitled to a grace period and they blew it. It’s been worse than I could have imagined, the first few days."

That conclusion comes after two months of intra-party debates about how to outwardly treat the Trump White House, a process which played out not only in public but in private meetings and conference calls between leading party operatives, elected officials, and message crafters.

“I predict the coming divide in the Democratic Party won’t be ideological so much as it will be between those who resist and oppose and those who accommodate and appease,” strategist David Brock told roughly 120 donors gathered in Florida to plot a path forward over the weekend... At a forum this week for candidates running to be the next Democratic National Committee chair, the very idea that the party should try to work with the new president was dismissed as absurd.

...Chicago mayor and former Barack Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel advocated a measured approach to Trump opposition, one in which Democrats choose only specific fights with a tight game plan. Sitting opposite Emanuel, former Joe Biden chief of staff Ron Klain shared his rules for a “100 Day Fight Club”-- a battle royale he advocated to mark Trump’s opening stretch, according to people in the room.

...“Three days ago Donald Trump went from being a private citizen who tweets and criticizes to the establishment,” said Ted Lieu, a Los Angeles-area congressman who has been vocally anti-Trump, to the point of introducing legislation to stop the new president from launching a nuclear first strike without passing it by Congress. “He and the Republicans have unified control, and they own it. It is Trump’s foreign policy, Trump’s economy, Trump’s healthcare plan. So he has to govern and in less than two years voters will go to the polls, and he has to own it.”

“We are very wary that this administration is trying to flood the zone with a whole lot of stuff that is very objectionable all at once, and make it very difficult by creating a cacophony of terribleness so that not one thing gets through. It’s a tactic that they used on the campaign and they were fairly successful at doing so, so in a lot of ways we look at our jobs is focusing in on what we think are the most objectionable things," added Zac Petkanas, the director of the DNC’s anti-Trump war room, which is currently taking on Trump's cabinet nominees, ties to Russia, and potential conflicts of interest.

Even so, strident anti-Trump Democrats worry that dealmakers like Senate Minority Leader Schumer will try to find agreements with the new president-- concerns that have been heightened by the cabinet confirmation process, in which Schumer has prioritized eight nominees rather than trying to gum up all of the picks at once.

In their view, a true opposition party in the Senate should grind all Republican movement to a halt. But that creates a problem for the senators leading the charge, who insist choosing their battles is the most effective way to kneecap Trump’s agenda.

“Opposing every nominee was not seriously on the table, it never has been. That’s not a test of whether or not you’re resistant," said Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, noting that the party simply doesn’t have the votes to stop many of them.

Democratic lawmakers have still found ways to embarrass Trump, by pushing to get Trump’s nominees to disagree with the president, and introducing legislation aimed at disempowering him or forcing him to disclose personal information like tax returns. And by letting some of Trump’s less objectionable picks through without a fight, like Housing and Urban Secretary nominee Ben Carson, senators believe they can inoculate themselves from the criticism of obstructionism often leveled at McConnell during Obama’s presidency.
Trump doesn't care about being embarrassed; only about winning. And winning is what theDemocrats should be thinking about too. Grassroots Democrats are riled up, something that's likely to turn against collaborators like New Dem chief Jim Himes and Big PhRMA whore Cory Booker.

Meanwhile, we've been talking with Democrats around the country eager to take on Trumpism, from fired-up state legislators in Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania, states where Mercer's Cambridge Analytica was able to manipulate enough weak, simple-minded voters to give Trump his win, to elected officials in states as diverse as California and Texas. In fact, in Texas, one of Trump's most persistent antagonists, El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke is preparing to take on Ted Cruz in the 2018 Senate contest. This week, Beto told the Texas Observer that for the Democratic Party to move forward-- to be more than just the party that focuses on hating Trumpism-- Democratic office-holders have to listen to and talk with "the people who have been the bedrock of Democratic support for the better part of 70 years. I think that should cause us to assess whatever we’ve been doing. Nancy Pelosi has been able to leverage what is, relatively speaking, a weak negotiating position into significant concessions on funding bills. She’s also a terrific fundraiser. Congressional elections have become multimillion-dollar affairs, and she’s been able to pump a lot of money into the party. But this is all a pretext for what I’m going to say next. We need to do a much better job of listening to the people we represent and understanding their anxieties, and then be able to craft a legislative agenda and talk about it in a way that connects with constituents. I don’t know that the same leadership team that’s been in there for more than a decade and through four congressional cycles of loss can effectively do what’s necessary for change."
I remember my first official meeting at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee-- I’d just been sworn in. Steve Israel, who was the chair and a member of Congress from Long Island, laid out for [newly elected members] how we should do our job. When you broke down his daily agenda as to how we should be spending our time, more than half of it was fundraising. It showed me just how screwed up the place was. Because the opening conversation wasn’t, “Hey, I know you came here to improve [health care] access for veterans or pursue a smarter foreign policy or fix health care”-- it was all about how to stay in office. It was absolutely disgusting to me. It’s probably disgusting to Steve Israel. I don’t think anybody likes it.

But it’s the system into which people were elected. I think that’s the way most people look at it: to be reelected and to have any weight with the caucus they need to do these things, even if they find them distasteful. I spent about a half-session trying to figure out how to play that game, and then I gave up and stopped taking PAC checks. I decided I was going to sacrifice my ability to be a player in that large-dollar world and just focus on the issues I was excited to be there for.

I think with America’s disgust with politicians in general and congressional members in particular, and part of that connected to the obsession with money and with being re-elected, I think there’s a golden opportunity for the Democratic Party to set itself apart and renounce Big Money. It’s counterintuitive. It means you leave some big bucks on the table, but I think it could be inspirational and could become the brand that will set us apart.

...One thing I’ve learned is that very rarely does the moral argument, which is the compelling one for me, persuade anybody. So I try to make the strongest economic argument that immigration is in America’s self-interest. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals beneficiaries, for example, will earn $4 trillion in taxable income over their lifetimes, and I’ve looked at what it would cost to deport them and what it would do to our economy should we lose them.

Those are things hopefully I can get Republicans to pay attention to. No state would be hurt more than Texas should we take a draconian turn on immigration enforcement, and it’s hard to imagine a more draconian turn than what we saw during the Obama administration, which deported more people than any previous administration.
I might mention that Beto may have a primary opponent for that Senate nomination. Joaquin Castro, a more cautious, collaborator type is sniffing around as well. He's hoping for a signal of some kind that the can win before spring when he promises a decision. He's the kind of weak loser who Texas Democrats feel comfortable losing with. If he's the candidate, Cruz is guaranteed 6 more years.

Some good polling news on the congressional front. Voters are repulsed by Trump and by Trumpism and buyers' remorse is huge already. According to a new survey released Thursday by PPP voters, by a nice healthy 48-40% margin, want to see Democrats take back Congress. Only 44% of voters see Trump favorably-- a shockingly low number for a new president-- and 50% already view him unfavorably. 35% are actually ready to see him impeached now! Voters don't like the agenda he's been pushing. Only 34% are willing to see American tax dollars pay for that idiotic wall of his. Now that the GOP is moving towards repealing the Affordable Care Act, support for keeping it now tops support for repealing it, 45-41%. Most Americans (59%) think the crooked prwsisdnet should release his tax returns and 61% say he needs to fully divest from his business interests.

Trump's ties to Russia continue to be a problem for him. Only 13% of voters have a favorable opinion of Russia, to 60% with a negative view of it. For Vladimir Putin himself, the numbers are even worse. Just 10% of voters see him positively, with 67% having an unfavorable opinion of him. Continued close ties to Russia could be a problem for Trump even with his own base-- among his voters Russia has a 20/47 favorability rating and Putin's is 15/55.
When asked who history will judge as a worse president, Trump is seen as worse than both Bushes, Clinton, Reagan, Obama, Carter and Jerry Ford! They think he'll be better than Nixon though. (They're wrong about that.)

In addition to losing out to all of his predecessors, Trump is also losing most of the fights he's picked recently. Voters say 58/21 that they think the intelligence agencies have more credibility than Trump, 50/40 that they think CNN has more credibility than Trump, and 46/41 that they have a higher opinion of the Today Show than Trump.

For the most part Americans don't buy claims about Trump having had the biggest crowds in history at his inauguration last weekend, although there's still a substantial portion of his base that goes along with him:

Only 18% of voters overall think Trump's inauguration had the biggest crowd of any Presidential inauguration in history, to 62% who think it didn't. 34% of Trump voters do still say they think he had the biggest crowd ever though, to 32% who say he didn't, and 34% who aren't sure.

Only 21% of voters overall think that Trump had a bigger crowd for his inauguration than Barack Obama, to 61% who think Obama had bigger crowds. 43% of Trump voters do still think that he had a bigger crowd for his inauguration though, to 26% who grant that it was Obama, and 32% who say they aren't sure.

Only 29% of voters overall think that Trump's inauguration had a bigger crowd than the women's march, to 54% who think the women's march had a bigger crowd. 59% of Trump voters insist though that his inauguration had a bigger crowd than the women's march, to just 20% who say the march was bigger. Trump voters also have an explanation for why so many women turned out last weekend-- 38% think the marchers were paid to do so by George Soros, to 33% who say they don't think that was the case, and 29% who aren't sure.

The lying about crowd size has already taken a toll on Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer's credibility with the public. Conway has a 32% favorability rating, with 43% of voters viewing her negatively. By contrast when we polled on her a month ago she actually had a positive rating at 34/32, so she's had a 13 point net decline in the wake of 'alternative facts.' Spicer, who we polled for the first time, is seen favorably by 24% of voters and negatively by 37%.
Paul Ryan also has a terrible approval rating, just 33% to 43% who disapprove of the job he's doing. Miss McConnell fares even worse-- 15% approve and 52% disapprove. Congress as a whole also comes in at 15% approval-- with 65% disapproving.

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At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, I remind everyone to go deaf when a Democrap is speaking or being quoted:

"Gabriel Debenedetti reported Thurdsday that national Democrats have largely "settled on a scorched-earth, not-now-not-ever model of opposition..."

And pay attention only to what those corrupt pieces of feces actually DO. And what they've been doing is glossed over just after the snip. At best you can characterize them as going fetal. At worst, it's collusion.

Kill that goddamn party and find something else.

The bushbaby was despised by the left just as quickly. Nixon was despised his whole life by anyone who valued truth (google Helen Thomas' quote when asked "when did you realize Nixon was lying" during Watergate).

I think despise isn't nearly strong enough. I feel toward drumpf the way I feel toward cancer... slow agonizing death with almost no recourse.

I'll add that the American voters get the same visceral reaction from me. We truly are colossally and catastrophically evil and stupid.

No rational sane or even sentient person should judge drumpf and his band of Nazis positively. It SHOULD be .01% positive (for the big money) and 99.99% negative... bigly.

Even congress at 15% is 14.99% too high for a civilized electorate of human beings.

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree with everything 3:57 PM Anonymous wrote, this nation hasn't been this divided and rancorous since 1860, when the election of Lincoln to the presidency literally led to the nation making war on itself.

Trump and his Goldman Sturmabteilungen might yet cause international conflict before too long, but domestically the possibility of civil war isn't immediately as likely. That is going to change quickly once the effects of Hair Furor hit home and awaken even the densest "despicable" from their hatred dreams. Then all bets are off.


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