Saturday, July 08, 2017

House Republicans Are Getting Some Dangerous Signals About Their Career Viability


Axios had a very popular little post yesterday about how unpopular TrumpCare is among voters: the most unpopular bill in three decades . Not only is TrumpCare more unpopular now than Obamacare was when the Tea Party was rampaging through the streets (and airwaves) lying about death panels, it's more unpopular than Bush's TARP bailout bill-- and by a lot. Before passage, at it's worst, the Affordable Care Act was only supported by 38% of Americans, a far cry from the 12% who back Paul Ryan's and Mitch McConnell's TrumpCare legislation.

Axios asserts this is important because "it's rare for Congress to move ahead with legislation when the signs are this clear that the public doesn't want it. Clinton's health care plan never got a floor vote in the House or Senate, and neither did President George W. Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security... [T]he Social Security plan only had 46 percent support in February 2005 and seniors were overwhelmingly opposed, according to the Pew Research Center."

So what does all this mean for the 2018 midterm elections? Obviously, Trump won't be on the ballot. Neither will Mitch McConnell. But Paul Ryan is-- and his opponent, Randy Bryce, is probably scaring the hell out of the GOP-- judging by all their attacks against Bryce who, under normal circumstances, they would be completely ignoring. Hard to ignore @IronStache-- and he's just getting started. Ryan, for example, doesn't do public events in his district and doesn't debate his opponents-- unless you consider a goat-milking contest a debate. This morning, the congressman from the district next door, Mark Pocan, held two townhall events-- in Ryan's district, one in Elkhorn and one in Racine... and both with Randy Bryce. Judging who's Bryce hired for his campaign team-- Bill Hyers and David Keith-- I have a feeling Ryan's head will soon be spinning about the prospects of his own political mortality.

And on healthcare, Bryce has pledged to sign on as a co-sponsor of John Conyers' immensely popular Medicare-for-All bill as soon as he replaces Ryan in Congress. He told GQ that he likes "the protections that Obamacare put in place, but I want to work towards universal health care. And look, you hear people say that and then do one thing at a time. But first I want to make sure people are covered and have something going on. To be honest with you, there are things about Obamacare that need to be fixed. From the building trade standpoint, we’ve been self-insured, but we were penalized with the 'Cadillac tax' for having it. And I don’t think people who have been doing the right thing should be penalized. So there are things that I see that could be corrected with it. But that emergency room plan that we had wasn’t the answer. If you have somebody who doesn’t have health care and can’t see somebody when they notice something’s wrong, and have it addressed when it’s a minor issue, they’re going to wait until it’s a big thing and they’ll end up going to the emergency room. Well if they can’t afford to go see a doctor for preventive care, how in the heck can we expect them to pay the extra fees at the emergency room? So we need protections. We need to not penalize people for having pre-existing conditions. The system is extremely flawed now, and there’s no reason why every single person, should not have some form of health care."

Like Bryce, every Blue America-endorsed House candidate has expressed a desire to co-sponsor Conyers' Medicare-for-All bill. I suspect it will be hard for conservative Democrats in contested primaries to publicly oppose single-payer.

I don't put a lot of credence in pre-election reporting from Cook. They've been good at analyzing election results after elections and not very good at predicting what will happen in elections, primarily because of their shocking establishment bias. That said, David Wasserman, no fool, pointed to 10 districts that both the DCCC and NRCC are focussing on. In all 10 districts, Cook changed their ratings in a Democratic direction. None of these are districts Blue America is involved with, at least not yet. By the way, these ratings aren't necessarily realistic, but the direction they're moving is what's important here:
CA-24- Carbajal (D)-- Lean D to Likely D
FL-18- Mast (R)-- Solid R to Likely R
IL-10- Schneider (Blue Dog)-- Likely D to Solid D
IL-12- Bost (R)-- Likely R to Lean R
IL-17- Bustos (Blue Dog)-- Likely D to Solid D
NY-19- Faso (R)-- Lean R to Toss Up
NC-09- Pittenger (R)-- Solid R to Likely R
NC-13- Budd (R)-- Solid R to Likely R
PA-06- Costello (R)-- Likely R to Lean R
VA-02- Taylor (R)-- Solid R to Likely R
Wasserman pointed out that "the danger signs are everywhere for the GOP." He pointed out that Señor Trumpanzee's "approval is mired in the high 30s, and support for the AHCA's legislation is stuck in the high teens, and Democrats have been significantly over-performing-- despite falling short-- in a broad array of special elections. They also lead most national generic ballot tests by high single digits."
Race by race, the data isn't much better for Republicans. Multiple public and private polls now show House Republican incumbents who won by wide margins last fall tied with or trailing real and hypothetical opponents. For example, GOP Rep. Martha McSally (AZ-02) cruised by 14 points last fall. After voting for the AHCA, she's running even in two surveys against former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [a Blue Dog loser unlikely to win but being pushed by the DCCC and catnip for people like Wasserman], whose impending bid is the worst-kept secret in Tucson.

Taken as a whole, the evidence would seem to point to a wave election that would justify moving a slew of races into the Toss Up column and threaten GOP control of the House. Except, the election isn't this November; it's still 16 months away. The fact these warning lights are flashing now means Republicans won't be caught off guard like many incumbents were in 2006 and 2010-- they will have time to raise millions, conduct opposition research and define their opponents early. And Democrats aren't rushing to topple Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has proven an effective foil for GOP House candidates.

  Goal Thermometer This is the odd place we find ourselves when it comes to our race ratings: we know that if this environment persists, dozens of races in Lean and Likely Republican will eventually make their way into the Toss Up column. But we don't yet know which. Even after today's changes, Democrats would only net three seats if the 10 Toss Ups were to be split down the middle. But that understates the degree of danger Republicans face.
By tapping on the thermometer on the right, you'll get to the Blue America House candidates-- all progressive, all backers of Medicare-for-All... and all in need of some grassroots support.

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At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I do so love false optimism! Gerrymander, voter suppression, blame-shifting, repeated verbal attacks on the usual victims, 2nd Amendment appeals.... Add in the predictably weak candidates from the Dem party hierarchy, and you have a recipe for Republican's holding on to their perhaps shrunken congressional majority.

Please let me be monumentally wrong.

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At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

747, not wrong at all.

Remember 2009. MFA is DOA. Do NOT allow the irrelevance (words) of conyers and all those co-signees and promised co-signees to give you any false hopes.
If the highly unlikely happens and the democraps eke out a majority in the house, all bills will have to be cleared by Pelosi/hoyer's donors before seeing the floor for a vote. Pelosi/hoyer will rake a ton from health insurance and phrma to make sure MFA gets flushed (remember Kucinich's articles of impeachment on cheney and gonzo?).
And if Pelosi/hoyer allow floor votes, you can be 1000% sure that it's because it's in the bag that the senate will quash it.
It's almost impossible that the senate will have a D majority, but if it does it won't ever again have 60 Ds.
But if it ever does have 60+ Ds, you can bet the ranch that 15% of those will be infiltrators from the Rs (if needed... again, remember 2009; and pay attention to the pigshit candidates picked by scummer to run).
And if it has fewer than 60, the Ds won't ever consider eliminating the filibuster because they NEED the Rs (and sometimes several Ds, again, remember 2009) to block everything the corporations and billionaires don't want.

MFA is DOA. Bank on it.

All of this will, as it has for decades, prove to the sub-sentient, hateful right that the left is completely feckless and hapless and will further discourage the left from voting for the fetid feces candidates hoisted by Pelosi/scummer. The result of this means that 2020 will have more states under the jackboot of Rs so that after the census they can and will do more gerrymandering to insure permanent R rule. Democraps will do what they always do in the face of this: nothing.

Which is just fine with Pelosi/scummer. They'll keep raking their corporate and billionaire donors to make sure they don't ever get in the way of anything. Won't last forever. By 2022 or 2024, the Ds will be so irrelevant that they won't waste their money any more. But Pelosi/scummer/hoyer/Crowley (or their heirs; they're all old) will already have theirs.

So all you voters on the left: THIS is what you're voting for if you vote for democraps. You're not voting for MFA cuz it's never gonna happen. You're voting for Pelosi/scummer to keep raking while irrelevant. That's it. You're part of the problem.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Bill Michtom said...

Aside from staying home and doing nothing, do you have any USEFUL ideas?

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think voting for some former R puked up by the DCCC is useful?

I have never advocated staying home and doing nothing. But I DO advocate denying democraps your vote. Only when they are unelectable BECAUSE they are democraps will that vacuum be created and a truly left party can coalesce. Perhaps it can coalesce around the likes of Warren, Jayapal, Lieu, Bryce et al. I doubt that good liberal/progressives would hesitate to jump to a good party.

Join the Greens or Socialists and start becoming active locally.
Go to AMAs, rallys and town halls and ask prospective democrap candidates and incumbents how they intend to DO anything when Pelosi/scummer won't allow it.
Ask incumbents why they/obamanation scuttled the PO before the bill was even written and why they had the lobbyists write it. (PO would have been the fix for the very predictable problem of markets being abandoned by insurance)
Ask incumbents why Pelosi won't allow impeachment.
Ask all candidates where they get their money.

KEEP asking until those barely sentients start to remember your question and wonder about the answer.

Call them on any lies they tell in response.

Ask them why they don't support (list of shit democraps refuse to support too long to include) and why. And don't let them TELL you they support shit they've all voted against for years, like MFA.

Mostly, just talk to people. I know most are creatures of their own bubble and are impervious to anything new and different. But once every few years you might make an impression on someone who hasn't yet shut off all inputs.

Also, don't get any hopes up. All this should have started in 1982. Starting now is almost surely too little too late. But you never know until you try.


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