Saturday, April 15, 2017

With Trump's Base Starting To Get Restless, Republican Congressional Incumbents Are Staring Into The Face Of Mortality


On Thursday Alex Isenstadt looked into the idea that Trump's base is starting to turn on him. He reported for Politico that some of them are "losing the faith... 'We expect him to keep his word, and right now he’s not keeping his word,’ says one campaign supporter." The racists and bigots who catapulted him into the White House are getting restless. And the chaos and failure that is coming out of his Regime is starting to wear thin. Even morons sometimes understand they've been had. Trump pretended to be religious and "godly" during the campaign. You know how many times he's been to church since the election? The same number of times I have. But that is an actual metric that means a lot to some of the idiots who were stupid and gullible enough to have voted for him.
Their complaints range from Trump’s embrace of an interventionist foreign policy to his less hawkish tone on China to, most recently, his marginalization of his nationalist chief strategist, Steve Bannon. But the crux of their disillusionment, interviews with nearly two dozen Trump loyalists reveal, is a belief that Trump the candidate bears little resemblance to Trump the president. He’s failing, in their view, to deliver on his promise of a transformative “America First” agenda driven by hard-edged populism.

...Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the president’s most vocal backers on Capitol Hill, said he’s been disheartened by the chief strategist’s isolation.

"A lot of us look at Steve Bannon as the voice of conservatism in the White House," said King, who has known Bannon for years.

The displeasure over Bannon’s reduced status has trickled down to Trump’s grass-roots army of volunteers.

Yesterday CNN reported that Trump's opponents are already beginning to stoke and capitalize on these feelings. The ad by American Bridge, just above, and "aimed at Trump supporters who are likely to be angered by his recent flip-flops," is a good example. It casts Trump "as someone who said one thing to working-class voters on the campaign trail, but did something different once those voters catapulted him into the White House."
Trump, in just the last week, walked back several anti-establishment campaign promises, including labeling China a currency manipulator, questioning the efficacy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, his support of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and his plan to get rid of the Export-Import bank.

"Circumstances change," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told CNN.

Though circumstances may have changed for now-President Trump, they haven't for the millions of voters-- fueled by populist rhetoric and anti-establishment fervor-- who backed candidate Trump.

..."Donald Trump's promises to working families throughout the campaign were lies," said Andrew Bates, spokesman for American Bridge and a former Clinton campaign staffer. "In reality, his administration has abandoned them to finance policies that help no one but the wealthiest Americans."

Bates called the ads "part of a larger, ongoing effort to hold him accountable and expose all he's done to sell out working-class Americans."

...The goal is not necessarily to turn Trump voters into Democrats, since that isn't likely to happen. But by demoralizing Trump's base of supporters, Democrats are hopeful they can capitalize on excitement in their base to sweep many Republicans out of power in the House and Senate.

With that in mind, the ad will aim to tie Trump's comments to vulnerable 2018 Republicans, including Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake of Arizona, two Republicans up for reelection in 2018 in states that are turning progressively bluer.

"His tax plan, just like Trumpcare, is a giveaway to the rich at the expense of working families and would have serious consequences for the middle-class that our country cannot afford," American Bridge president Jessica Mackler told CNN about the ad.

Jeff Flake's raucous town hall meeting in Mesa Thursday night shows how tricky the political situation has become for Republicans who will have to go before the voters in 2018. Trump won Arizona last year-- but not by much. McCain and Romney each beat Obama in Arizona 54-45%. Trump squeaked by 49.5-45.4%. It wasn't that Hillary did better than Obama-- she didn't-- it was that voters liked Trump less than other GOP nominees. Last November Trump got 1,021,154 votes the same day that McCain was being reelected senator with 1,089,324 votes (53.4%). Trump was a drag on the GOP ticket across the state. He's less popular among Arizona voters today. The trick for a politician like Flake is to hold onto Trump's base while expanding it by differentiating himself from Trump. But Flake made a tremendous error by sponsoring the bill that gives internet service providers the right to sell our personal information to anyone willing to pay for it without asking for permission. Trump was happy to sign the bill-- in secret-- but the bill turns off Trump voters and Trump opponents alike. If Flake has a savvy opponent in 2018, he'll be mercilessly roasted for that one.

Glenn Beck on Trump: "another Republican who said stuff and didn't mean it"

Thursday night, Flake was barraged with questions about Trump, as well as about substantive issues around healthcare, climate change, Betsy DeVos, the budget, immigration, Planned Parenthood, etc. He was roundly booed and jeered for almost every answer he came up with. 2018 is going to be a deadly election cycle for Flake and others caught up in the Trump undertow. As Greg Sargent pointed out in the Washington Post yesterday, "for all the chatter about how Trump is suddenly getting more conventional, his serial shredding of our norms on ethics and transparency continues to run rampant."
The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Trump’s reversal on the value on the Export-Import Bank and on whether to label China a currency manipulator reflect a “growing reliance on former corporate executives in his White House-- and business leaders outside of it.” Meanwhile, the Post reports that White House “moderates” aligned with Wall Street, such as Cohn and Jared Kushner, are “racking up successes in a battle over ideology and control” with the Bannon wing. This will be clear in the coming prioritization of tax reform.

But it has long been obvious that Trump was going to govern in ways that Wall Street aligned GOP elites are perfectly comfortable with. Trump’s agenda has long included elements that conventional conservative Republicans support: deregulation of Wall Street; a rollback of regulations to protect the environment and combat climate change; deep tax cuts for the rich and businesses. All of that has been underway or in the planning stages since the beginning.

Trump’s reversals on trade and Ex-Im should only be surprising if you took his economic populism seriously during the campaign. But there was never any grounds for thinking it amounted to anything concrete at all in policy terms. Trump blustered a lot about trade, but he never detailed an actual agenda on it, let alone one that would help workers. He talked tough about raising taxes for the rich before releasing a tax plan that would slash them dramatically.

Pundits told us for months that Trump’s economic nationalism represented a heterodox combination of hard-line immigration restrictionism and a decisive break with Paul Ryan’s Ayn Randian Republicanism on Keynesian spending and social insurance and the safety net. But the second half of that was always mostly nonsense, and all that’s happening now is that this is getting confirmed.

Bannonite populism supposedly held out the promise of massive infrastructure spending, but it looks more likely we’ll end up with a cronyist tax break and privatization scheme, not a genuine public expenditure. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney declined to say in a recent interview whether Trump would veto a bill that contains Ryanesque Medicare “reforms,” i.e., cuts. In other words, Ryanesque entitlement reform is alive as a real possibility. Meanwhile, on Obamacare, Trump continues to pursue a deal with conservatives on repeal, which means he is moving towards more deregulation, even as he remains fully committed to rolling back health coverage for 24 million people.

But the first half of the equation-- the immigration restrictionism-- remains fully in force on the level of policy. The administration continues to defend the travel ban in court. On deportations, the reign of fear is kicking in. Parents are yanking kids from day care out of fear of removal; longtime residents with no other offenses are getting deported; the administration continues to try to strong-arm sanctuary cities into enforcing the federal immigration crackdown. As ABC News reports this morning: “The deportation force looks like it’s coming together-- just more quietly than anticipated.”

...Wall Street and GOP elites may be glad to see Trump reverting to form on the issues that matter to them. But-- while these elites would perhaps like to see immigration reform-- how much do they really care about the ugly nativist stuff that’s proceeding under the radar? Meanwhile, the trips to Mar-a-Lago (which use the White House to enrich the Trump family) and the refusal to release Trump’s tax returns and show transparency about his finances (which allows untold other conflicts of interest to remain undetected)  doesn’t appear to concern them too much, either. The “economic” nationalism is no longer operative (if it ever was), but the ethno-nationalism and the corruption are running as strong as ever.

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At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile. the Democorrupts are plotting how to rephrase their attract the suburban Republican voter slogan with absolutely no intention of changing anything about their platform and strategy. Nor will they go after Trump, for their donors wouldn't like that.

At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

While it is great to see Trump's supporters turn against him for not keeping his promises, as any weakening of his support is a good thing, the promises they desire to be fulfilled are awful and depressing. They are sad and angry to see Bannon in trouble? No wall? Hillary is not in jail? Please! The reasons for their disappointment reflect their horrible and sickening nature. They are "deplorables," and I continue to applaud Hillary for labeling them. She said it like it is. She told the truth and got rammed for it; Trump has said tons of absurd, nasty b.s. towards so many types of people it is hard to count and he is adored for it.

It is depressing to see see that these types continue to be such a big slice of Americans. Although they are becoming disenchanted with Trump, it is not because they seen the light and have changed - all they now see is he is a liar and cannot be trusted. Oh, they did not see this before when it was so blatantly obvious all along? Idiots. He was exposed an temperamentally unfit to be President for a zillion reasons but they were deaf about this. It reinforces my stance that Trump supporters must not be let off the hook, and must be held accountable for their votes and any horrors Trump commits. The "deplorables' get no sympathy from me, none whatsoever.

To Kristof of the NY Times: sorry to say, I am VERY disappointed in you. While I have supported many of your progressive and liberal views, your bleeding heart towards those who are racists and enemies of democracy and who are responsible for bringing Trump the monster upon us is as stupid and ignorant a position as many of theirs. You are showing sympathy for the devil. They they will bring us all down with them. They must be stood up to and fought against. There is reality, there are enemies out there. Did Chamberlain's attitude towards Hitler help? No, he is looked back on as a useless wimp who did not stand up to evil.

The fear of war is becoming more real each day, and this one will be far worse than Iraq or Vietnam. The nuclear option is having right in front of Trump and he is impulsive and thoughtless. He is trigger happy and ignorant to the nth degree, a toxic combination. He despises knowledge and experience. He knows nothing of history. He frowns on diplomacy and is ruining the state department. He is letting the military loose and even they are uncomfortable with this, stressing that this is not for them to lead but to follow - policy, diplomacy and judgment about weighing options and consequences are supposed to guide them. But we have none of this at this time, with Herr Trump and his ignorant incompetent buffoons in charge.

At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Hone's fine comment above, I would only add that the orange-utang has a wild-card that will make all republicans jump back on the careening wagon -- war.

He's done cruise missiles, and that was greeted with orgasmic support.
The MOAB was greeted quizzically, perhaps because people are morons. But the body count did seem small for such a "fearsome" weapon.

But just ahead, tomorrow prolly, is north korea. And right before all those key special elections. Imagine having the key to the whorehouse and NOT USING IT??

Kim jong un is probably as much a dipshit as drumpf, filled with hate and rage toward the us. He'll enable drumpf's "presidential" war. And the special elections will be safe for American neo-Nazis.

Drumpf can even royally fuck the war up and his boys will still win.

The us will become the 4th reich of white Christian hate and killing.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

Verily, I say to you, they have their reward.

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Anon said...


I'm sure it will work this time

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump is pushing the elimination of rules which made it easier for an individual farmer to sue an agribiz conglomerate who was screwing him. Under Trump's rules, the farmer must prove that the problem he claims affects the entire industry, and not just him personally:

Can Trump survive if the small family farmer turns against him?


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