Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Don't Count On Any Republicans To Help Save The Country From Trump Until After There's Rioting In The Streets


Maverick-- or craven partisan hack?

Whichever NY Times editor who gave Jennifer Steinhauser's Sunday piece the headline, GOP Senators, Pulling Away From Trump, Have 'A Lot Less Fear Of Him', may have been having a bout of wishful thinking. Or maybe those commas were an excuse to confuse readers. Nah, The Times would never do that. Point is though, Republican senators don't go rogue when it comes to voting and this year, pretty much the whole batch has been sticking to the party line. Almost all of them have been with Trump 100% of the time. The only ones who have drifted from Trump's positions more than a measly 3% of the time are Susan Collins (R-ME), Rand Paul (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and, just barely, John McCain (R-AZ). Anyone counting on Lindsey Graham or Jeff Flake or Rob Portman or Dean Heller or Ben Sasse or Lamar Alexander-- let alone some congenital coward like Marco Rubio-- is going to be very, very disappointed very, very fast. Anyone criticize him last night for leaking super-secret intelligence to two Kremlin spies? They may run their mouths or get a little wild with the late night tweets but their voting records are pure Trumpy-the-Clown shillery. Sure, as Steinhauser asserts, some Senate Republicans may be aware enough to be "increasingly unnerved by President Trump’s volatility and unpopularity," but are they really "starting to show signs of breaking away from him as they try to forge a more traditional Republican agenda and protect their political fortunes?" Don't bet the house on it-- let alone the House.

Steinhauser points out, correctly, that "[s]everal Republicans have openly questioned" Señor Trumpanzee’s decision Comey, but when she writes that "even lawmakers who supported the move have complained privately that it was poorly timed and disruptive to their work" she's closer to an apt description than anything that would imply an open revolt (when it come stop votes). Schumer has announced he (and presumably most of his caucus) are going to vote against Trump's FBI nominee until some kind of an independent investigator or independent prosecutor is appointed. They'll need 3 Republicans for that to work. And they won't have them-- not even 3. So, sure, "many were dismayed when Mr. Trump seemed to then threaten Mr. Comey not to leak negative information about him," but so what?

None of this bullshit is going to amount to anything at all but some bad vibes in the media:
As they pursue their own agenda, Republican senators are drafting a health care bill with little White House input, seeking to avoid the public relations pitfalls that befell the House as it passed its own deeply unpopular version. Republicans are also pushing back on the president’s impending budget request-- including, notably, a provision that would nearly eliminate funding for the national drug control office amid an opioid epidemic. And many high-ranking Republicans have said they will not support any move by Mr. Trump to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

So far, Republicans have refrained from bucking the president en masse, in part to avoid undermining their intense push to put health care and tax bills on his desk this year. And the Republican leadership, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, remains behind Mr. Trump.

But with the White House lurching from crisis to crisis, the president is hampering Republicans’ efforts to fulfill his promises... When Congress and the White House are controlled by the same party, lawmakers usually try to use the full weight of the presidency to achieve legislative priorities, through a clear and coordinated vision, patience with intransigent lawmakers and message repetition. Mr. Trump’s transient use of his bully pulpit for policy messaging has upended that playbook.

...Two Republican senators who face potentially tough re-election fights next year-- Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake of Arizona-- have been unabashed in their criticism of Mr. Trump and his administration, which they have clearly begun to view as a drag on their political prospects.
Is that so? Heller has a ProgressivePunch score for the current session of 0.00, which can be interpreted as him having voted with Trump on every single issue-- 100% of the time. And Flake, who Trump has abused by name several times, has a score of 1.64, which means he may have differed with Trump on something once, maybe twice.

There's one way to slow Trump down and that's defeating every possible Republican that can be defeated in the special elections of 2017 and in the midterms next year. That simple. Short of judicial action-- there's supposedly a sealed indictment in Virginia that says "Señor Trumpanzee" on it-- the only way to stop him is at the ballot box. That said, one of our favorite incumbents, Pramila Jayapal, just sent around an article Joan Walsh wrote about her for The Nation, Pramila Jayapal Wants Democrats To Know That Resistance Is Not Enough. Pramila has been one of the strongest and most effective voices of the resistance to Trump and to Ryan's legislative overreach in the House. And she has emphasized that that isn't enough. "Trump has been a very unifying figure to organize against.

But we’re not only an opposition party; we’re a proposition party. We’re proposing our vision of the future, and as people are rejecting what they see in front of them, they can turn to us... Progressives have been working for this; for moderates and conservatives, there’s a little bit of fear that the left is gaining power, that people’s involvement means they can’t take certain votes in silence. And when there are splits in the caucus, people recognize they will be held accountable. It’s generally very positive for Democrats, but I know there are conservative Democrats who worry about what will happen if they skew toward the base."

Jenny Marshall is the progressive Democrat-- like Pramila, a Berniecrat-- who's taking on Virginia Foxx in central North Carolina. She also told us that Democrats need a positive message, not just an anti-Trump message, to reach people. "When you slash social safety nets you hurt the most vulnerable in our communities, the children and elderly. Rather than taking care of the least of these, the GOP has cast them aside for tax cuts for the rich, to fund an already bloated military budget and a dubious border wall. As Rep. Ryan has previously stated, 'We don’t want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives.' In reality the majority of Americans, some 70%, have benefitted from a social safety net program at some time in their lives. Public investments in such programs, especially in the lives of children, have been shown to generate high returns on investments. You do not have to look any further than HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Speaker Paul Ryan for examples of these programs in action. It seems like it was good for them, but not for anyone else."

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At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I believe Paul Ryan's father died when Paul was very young and he benefited from the Social Security payments given to him from his father's SS which used to pay every month through college graduation. My brother-in-law benefited from his mother's social security until he got married after college graduation. It was a great way to help him through college. I think it only pays now through age 18. But, as you said, that was fine for Paul, but not for anyone else. Hypocrite!

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rioting in the streets, my arse! Trump is giving the torch and pitchfork (and AR15) crowd exactly what they want. Whatever his voters lose (or fail to gain) during his regime will be chalked up to metrosexual bicoastals, obstructing congressional Democrats, brown-skins from Latin America or the Mideast, and whoever the fuck else. The Mercers and other one-percenters are content as long as they can continue to screw over the rest of us. We are in the hands of V M Vargas - if you're not watching this season of Fargo, your loss.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only rioting will be when E channel cancels the 22 hours of kardashians tits per day.

Someone should remind the well-meaning progressives running in the democrap party sphere that "MESSAGE" isn't enough. There has to be DEEDS that MATCH THE MESSAGE. The former has not been the problem. The utter dearth of the latter has been the problem.

And as long as the democrap party is of/by/for the money, that will ALWAYS be the problem.

A lot of voters are hip to this, finally. More become enlightened every time the democraps have numbers but refuse to use it. 2009 was the acid test, and they burned themselves to a crisp.

At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That anyone should expect a GOP member to do anything but destroy the "great American experiment" is criminally magical thinking. (This is NOT an endorsement of Dems!)

As mentioned before, the Herr Hair phenomenon is ONLY what is to be expected from a) the "evolution" of American politics and b) the GOP controlling both houses of congress and the White House.

Now that Kobach has been hired as "Voting Integrity (sic)" czar, heretofore only local/state voter suppression programs must be assumed soon to be nationalized.
I suggest we should question whether any more elections will take place.

THANKS, DNC super-stupid delegates!!!

John Puma

At 4:10 AM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

John McCain: who only graduated at the bottom of his class because because his father was a famous navy war hero, and was hence afforded preferential treatment; whose shot up four aircraft before he ever got off the deck of his daddy's aircraft carrier; who before being shot down while bombing a light bulb factory from thirty thousand feet had spent less time in-country than I and mine spent in a single patrol; that the John McCain you're talking about?

At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A point? McCain spent years in-country in a pow camp. Not to minimize your point. He's a dipshit who got his career bwo being a terrible pilot (academy legacies tend to be like that). He was also one of the Keating 5. He's corrupt. He's dumb. 'nuf said.


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