Saturday, April 01, 2017

Is The Republican Party On A Congressional Kamikazee Mission?


The GOP is now like a college cafeteria food fight-- a free-for-all. Polling released yesterday shows Trump's ratings continuing to plummet and now shows that Paul Ryan is the single most unpopular politician in America-- even more disliked than Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and... Señor Trumpanzee.
PPP's newest national poll finds Donald Trump's approval rating falling to its lowest level yet in our polling.

...[The healthcare] issue has made Paul Ryan into the most unpopular politician in the country. At the start of the Trump administration he had a 33% approval rating, with 43% of voters disapproving of him. Now his approval has plunged to 21%, with his disapproval spiking all the way up to 61%. Ryan's particularly seen his image crater with Trump voters-- what was a 53/23 approval rating with them in mid-January is now negative at 35/41.
Thursday, Ryan told CBS This Morning that Trumpanzee was "very apologetic" for telling his Twitter followers to watch "Judge" Jeanine demand Ryan step down as Speaker. "He actually was very apologetic about it, in that he said, 'I had no idea that that’s what she was going to talk about... I thought she was going to talk about something else.' So really that was completely coincidental."

The Marist poll, also released yesterday, had even worse news for Trump.
Only 38 percent of registered voters said they approved of the job Trump is doing as president, compared with 51 percent who disapproved. That’s down 3 percentage points since mid-February, and is considerably lower than other presidents at comparable times in their presidencies.

Independents approve of the job Trump is doing by 34-52 percent, while Democrats approve by 9-84 percent. Republicans approve by 79-10 percent, which are strong numbers, though they have gone down 3 points since February.
Peter Sullivan at The Hill reported yesterday that mainstream conservatives in the House are now refusing to even talk with the Freedom Caucus. "The centrist Tuesday Group," he wrote, "affirmed at a meeting Wednesday that it will not meet with the conservative House Freedom Caucus to negotiate changes to an ObamaCare replacement bill, according to Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.). 
“I am not speaking for the White House; I'm not speaking for the Speaker; but I will speak for the Tuesday Group,” Collins, a member of the group, told reporters. “We have never negotiated with the Freedom Caucus. There was never a meeting scheduled with the Freedom Caucus. We will never meet with the Freedom Caucus, because it's not appropriate for a group of ad hoc members.”

...“It was just reiterated that next time one of those calls comes in [from the Freedom Caucus], just hang up,” Collins said of the Tuesday Group meeting.

...The tension between the groups is a bad sign for prospects of reviving ObamaCare repeal legislation.

Collins predicted that the repeal bill would not come back.
The Conservative Review's Chris Pandolfo wrote yesterday that "These moderate Republicans refused to go along with a full repeal of Obamacare, and now they are pledging to work with liberal Democrats to pass bad bills rather than use the Republican majority to pass conservative legislation. It’s compromise with Democrats. Screw the conservatives. Pass liberal legislation that will hurt people. And President Trump is fine with all of it. This is not what the conservative base in the Republican Party voted for in 2016. Then again, actually it is. The Tea Party took this risk when they handed Trump the Republican nomination in 2016. Donald Trump was never a conservative. He was never anti-establishment. Some conservatives knew that when they held their nose to beat Hillary Clinton. Well, the Democrats are out of power and conservatives are still losing. So where do we go from here?"

To hell, as far as mainstream conservative Adam Kinzinger is concerned. Kinzinger represents a swingy district in north central Illinois that Obama won in 2008, Romney won in 2012 and that Trumpanzee took with 55.5% in 2016 (on the same day that Kinzinger was reelected without opposition). In 2014 he had beaten his Democratic opponent 71-29%. Yesterday Kinzinger penned an OpEd for the NY Times, How the Freedom Caucus is Undermining the GOP. He bemoans the blame game tearing the Republicans in Congress apart-- and then immediately jumped into it. "[C]laiming that the party was in disarray," he wrote, "is untrue. A vast majority of us were ready to vote yes [on TrumpCare], but one faction of the party made it impossible: the House Freedom Caucus."

Kinzinger, forgetting that TrumpCare had eye-popping disapproval from Americans in every part of the country-- and an overall approval of just 17%, wrote that the Freedom Caucus is an "interesting name for a group of about three dozen members that refuses to let the will of the people advance on the House floor, a group that Mr. Trump himself scolded on Twitter on Thursday for undermining the Republican agenda, and our party as a whole." Kinzinger says he's "fed up." (But is he handsome enough to keep his seat in an anti-Trump tsunami? Aaron Schock always thought so-- but he's headed to prison.)
This is why the legislation collapsed: In exchange for their votes on the replacement plan, the members of the Freedom Caucus wanted reductions in essential health benefits. President Trump agreed in good faith. Some more-moderate Republican members struggled to accept these changes. Yet even knowing that some yes votes had turned to no, the conference went to bed on Thursday thinking that we would vote the next day. To our dismay (but not to my surprise), the concessions were not enough to get the Freedom Caucus on board, as usual.

...Those demands included rescinding Title 1 regulations, which include protections for people with pre-existing conditions and allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. The president, and many of us, had promised to protect these two key provisions.

The Freedom Caucus fully understood that its last-minute demands would doom the bill. The vote was going to fail.

This is a common tactic by the group. Over the years, the caucus has repeatedly demanded more while refusing to compromise. In 2013, a group of conservatives who later became part of the Freedom Caucus won major concessions on the farm bill, and then still voted against it. In 2015, the caucus made demands for a free-trade bill that were clearly intended to kill the legislation. Their demands were not met and the bill passed without their support.

It’s what they do: They move the goal posts, and once that happens, they still refuse to play. We are the Charlie Brown party, hoping that this time, things will be different. But time and again, the Freedom Caucus is Lucy-- pulling the ball out from under us, letting us take the fall and smiling to themselves for making a splash. It’s a cheap tactic, not a way to govern, and enough is enough.
I'd say Kinzinger and his GOP establishment allies have more to worry about than their failed attempts to deny healthcare to millions of Americans. This is something that's going to land on them like a ton of bricks:

And then, of course, there's this... with incredibly unpopular Paul Ryan and Señor Trumpanzee leading the bickering and failed party into the 2018 midterms. One day they may be looking back on today's numbers wistfully, hot tears running down their pudgy, well-fed cheeks:

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At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The evangelical FC aside, the polling here illustrates the real problem. We have a nation of moron Nazis vs. blind morons that are very confused, all of whom are living cluelessly under despotic corporate tyranny.

I doubt that more than single digits understand this. So it'll never change without some kind of collapse or civil war or both.


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