Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Congressional Republicans Are Starting To Brace For The 2018 Anti-Trump Wave


Remember how well Trump's coattails worked out for Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire?

We still have a year and a half before the 2018 midterm election day and I feel confident we'll be seeing a LOT more stories like the one Politico's Jake Sherman wrote to start this week off: GOP growing worried they’ll lose House.
Republicans are growing increasingly worried that they will lose the House of Representatives. The pervasive pessimism comes as there continues to be a dearth of legislative victories, and a toxic political environment that appears to be worsening. Of course, the midterm elections are nearly a year and a half away. But more than a dozen Republicans we’ve spoken to in the last few weeks say the prospect for political and legislative wins big and small is dimming. And as much as President Donald Trump has worked to woo over fellow Republicans with dinners at the White House and regular meetings with GOP leadership, it hasn’t had much of an impact on the overall state of play.

The rank and file has been frustrated with the House committees, which have not produced a drumbeat of legislation to tout as victories. And the party is deeply split on health-care reform, a tax overhaul and infrastructure spending. Passing a budget to set the groundwork for tax reform is still seen as far off. And the congressional schedule doesn’t leave a lot of time to kick things into high gear. The House is in session for 13 more days and the Senate is in session for 14 more days before the July 4 recess. Not to mention, there’s serious concern in the GOP that there could be more revelations about President Donald Trump, and Robert Mueller’s investigation still remains the wild card. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifying Tuesday before the Senate Intel Committee is expected to just add more drama to distract from the GOP agenda into the mix.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN? Republicans will be less willing to take risks as they shift into political survival mode.
Different Republicans in vulnerable seats are navigating these treacherous waters in different ways. Carlos Curbelo, for example, in a South Florida swing district Hillary won handily, 56.7-40.6%, is doing whatever he can to separate himself from Trump in ways that will appeal to his constituents-- like on Climate Change, which is already manifesting itself in his district with rising oceans and regular street flooding.

New Jersey plutocrat Tom MacArthur is taking the opposite tact. He's in a swingy South Jersey district that voted 51.8-47.2% for Obama in 2012 but flipped to Trump last year 51.4% to 45.2%. MacArthur joined the mainstream conservative grouping, the Tuesday Group, but stabbed them in the back, making a deal with Mark Meadows of the hard right Freedom Caucus to wreck Medicaid and pass TrumpCare in the House. He was kicked out of the Tuesday Group and has attached himself to Trump. On Sunday afternoon Trump headlined a fat cat fundraiser for MacArthur at his sleazy Bedminster Golf Course (in Leonard Lance's 7th district; Lance, who voted for TrumpCare in committee, felt the pressure in the district and then flip-flopped on the final vote, infuriating Trump, was not invited to the event). Chris Christie was there but the press wasn't allowed to hear Trump and MacArthur address a crowd of about 100 wealthy right-wing check writers. The invitation said that the event-- Trump's first for a member of Congress since Putin installed him in the White House-- was sponsored by MacArthur Victory, the NRCC, TMAC PAC, and the New Jersey Republican State Committee. MacArthur is a notorious self-funder, buying his first race (2014) with a 5 million dollar check but taking so much in special interest bribes-- nearly $2 million-- as a freshman that he only had to write himself a $200,000 check for his 2016 campaign.

Anyway, all across the country Republican incumbents in swing districts are going to have to do the calculus and decide if they're going to run from Trump or embrace him. So far many have warily tried to stick with him despite all the scandal and controversy. California congressmembers on shaky political ground-- like Darrell Issa, Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher, Steve Knight, Devin Nunes and Duncan Hunter-- have made the bet the the DCCC is too lame to field effective campaigns against them and they have tied their political futures to Trump. Zombie-like they seem to expect him to suddenly change his ways and turn the disastrous approval numbers-- not just for himself, but for that party-- around.

Katie Hill is the Santa Clarita Valley progressive who we're hoping replaces Trump rubber stamp Steve Knight in CA-25. This morning, in a wide ranging discussion of the issues facing her neighbors in L.A. and Ventura counties she mentioned that "Government health care spending is vital to the well being our community and it’s also a jobs issue. Steve Knight’s yes vote on Trumpcare was an irreverent vote to our very purple, working class district. Instead of stripping 77,000 of our neighbors of their health care, we need to be bringing more people into the health care system by strengthening the ACA and eventually moving towards a single payer system. That way people can get the care they need and those working in health related professions, like my mom who is a nurse, can make a decent living working in a compassionate profession. If we look at Knight’s voting record, he's voting 100% in favor of Trump’s legislative agenda... To me, this is a massive failure of the representative government we’ve been promised. We have to put the concerns of our neighbors before scoring political points with party leaders. Most importantly, we need representatives willing to buck partisan party politics when it compromises the well being of our community."

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how we americans attribute whatever evil is being done (or talked about) by a PARTY to the president (when of the same party).

Fact is, all the lege that the entirety of the republicans want to pass that will remove money from the lower 99.9% and give it to the top .1%, and that will bankrupt and kill millions, has almost nothing to do with the retarded orange-utang that the party now must tongue-bathe daily lest he lose his shit over the smallest thing.

Yet even DWT pukes up an article that conflates trump with the misanthropy of the republicans (ryan/mcturtle are the faces of that evil... have been for over a decade).

Of course, with the democraps on the case, it's likely the Rs will actually expand their majority in '18. And even if they lose the house, it'll only be for 2 years since Pelosi will see to it that the democraps do nothing at all with the majority that the people need because her donors forbid them.

See, there is always that side of the coin. The Rs and their president, even a potted plant like this one, can be as bad as they want to be. But for seats to flip, voters need an alternative that is actually better. And Pelosi (and the DCCC) is extremely deft at screwing that particular pooch... have been for over a decade.

So voters are regularly given a choice between a rabid badger and a syphilitic swine. Who would you vote for?

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering the history of the Democratic Party in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I'll wait until the votes are tallied to celebrate.

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think 2018 is possible. Pardon the attitude, but simplest argument is the most persuasive.

Trump's "Southern Strategy" and "Reagan Democrat" voters are too goddamned stupid to catch on in such a short time. It will take until at least 2020 for them to start believing their own eyes over what the grifter-in-chief is telling them. And even then, they'll give up their healthcare and food stamps as long as they can be persuaded that the Nigras and Mooslims are being screwed even worse.


Post a Comment

<< Home