Sunday, November 12, 2017

Too Late For Republican Elected Officials To Batten Down The Hatches And Ride Out The Storm


Republican politicians who are disgusted with Trump and want to distance themselves from him and from Bannon and from that whole neo-fascist wing of the party. Maybe be heartened to see Trump's favorability ratings continue to crater. But, unfortunately for them, what they're seeing, primarily, are independents being turned off to Trump, not Republicans. It's his party now and it will be so into the foreseeable future-- at least until 2020. They'll get their asses kicked in 2018 but it won't matter much as the party establishment moves into the minority-- in the House for sure and maybe even in the Senate. Republican politicians who hate Trump and Trumpism have just two choices now-- bite their tongues and tow the line or do what Flake, Corker, Dent, LoBiondo and an increasing number of Republicans are doing: retire early.

Yesterday, Dan Balz, writing for the Washington Post reported that GOP leaders have no choice but to live with the consequences of Trump's domination of the party. They're no more capable of controlling him than the conservatives in Germany were capable of controlling Hitler. Ed Gillespie's attempt to run as a mainstream conservative with a bit of outlandish Trumpism-- even without Trump, just with Pence-- came across as insincere, unauthentic and utterly dysfunctional. He lost by a much higher margin than anyone or any poll predicted-- 1,408,831 (53.9%) to 1,174,903 (44.9%)-- dragging the 2 other statewide races down with him and wrecking the GOP majority in the House of Delegates with an unexpected flood of defeats, including for the Majority Leader and Majority Whip. And Trump kicked Gillespie in the ass on his way out the door, after lavishing praise-- the Trumpian kiss of death-- on him during the campaign.

Balz reports that Gillespie’s strategy didn’t work because of the ongoing split between the GOP establishment wing and Trump/Bannon's populist insurgency. He attributes that to "he widening socioeconomic coalition that now comprises the Republican Party, a coalition that includes what used to be called country club Republicans; evangelical Christians, who became a powerful force inside the party beginning with Ronald Reagan (and who are no longer a monolithic political force); and a 21st-century version of what once were called Reagan Democrats. Trump has added an additional layer. The tea party was a manifestation of the tensions within the party. Its rise in 2010 produced some of the same kinds of divisions that former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon is trying to generate today-- dissatisfaction aimed at the party’s Washington leadership."
Before there was candidate Trump, the Republicans were embroiled in a different kind of debate about their future. That dispute was symbolized by the presidential candidacies of Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz represented the view that the party should double down on its conservative values and rally what he said was its silent, conservative base. Rubio envisioned an appeal designed to expand the GOP coalition in a different way, by attracting more Latinos and younger voters.

The argument was a response to Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012. Cruz said the party lost those elections not because Republican policies and ideas were too conservative and its appeal too narrow. He argued that the problem was that Sen. John McCain in 2008 and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in 2012 were not sufficiently or authentically conservative. It was Cruz’s belief that there were in fact millions of conservative voters who were on the sidelines because their presidential nominees were not true conservative champions.

Rubio had a different vision, grounded in the changing demographics of the country and concerns that a party dependent on white voters for 85 to 90 percent of its support, as the GOP has become, would have a diminished future as the nation’s population became increasingly diverse. Rubio and others argued that the votes needed to win the White House could be found among those rising populations, if the party presented itself as open and welcoming to them, with policies to match.

Candidate Trump ran roughshod over those issues and questions. He attracted his own coalition, found a path through the states in the upper Midwest that secured his electoral college victory, and along the way rewrote the rules for how a Republican could win the presidency.

Now the party is at an inflection point, brought about by the president’s electoral success and the reactions of both Democrats, Republicans and independents to what has happened in the year since that victory. Can they prosper if they truly become the party of Trump? Or are they more likely to suffer losses in midterm elections because, whether they do or not, they are now seen as the party of Trump?

Congressional Republicans hope that passing a tax bill will ease public frustrations with their performance and boost their chances in 2018, but something larger is at work in the way voters are seeing the stakes of a Trump presidency.

...It’s possible that, no matter how much they embrace him, other Republican candidates will not be able to generate the kind of energy for themselves that Trump did for his candidacy. Meanwhile, as the Virginia race showed, voters dissatisfied with the president-- particularly women-- appear highly motivated to turn out to register their unhappiness.

In the days after the Virginia election, SurveyMonkey, the online polling firm, asked people whether they thought the Republicans should become the party of Trump or fight against becoming the party of Trump. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, almost 8 in 10 said the GOP should become the party of Trump. The rest of the electorate strongly disagrees.

The implications of that are clear, as Gillespie found during the Virginia race. For Republican candidates, crossing the president risks the ire of the Trump base and depressed turnout. Embracing him too fully risks energizing the opposition. Trump won’t be on the ballot until 2020. In the meantime, he has made the GOP his party, and those who share the label are left to deal with the consequences.
Goal ThermometerThis isn't a problem for fascist-oriented dim bulbs in Congress, like Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Diane Black (R-TN), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Roger Williams (R-TX), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Brett Guthrie (R-KY) or Jodey Arrington (R-TX). This bunch will be with Trump in the bunker right 'til the end. But what does it mean for suburban Republicans in districts where candidates only win when they get support from independent voters as well as Republicans. That's where it's going to be horribly painful in 2018. GOP incumbents like Steve Knight, Darrell Issa, Mimi Walters, Ed Royce, Jeff Denham and Dana Rohrabacher from California; Texans like John Culberson, Mike McCaul, Pete Sessions, Pete Olson, Will Hurd, Kenny Marchant are all in jeopardy and would all be dead men walking if there was a remotely competent DCCC. [As important as Texas is electorally, it is the only region in the country the colossally incompetent DCCC has no regional vice chair.] More toast for following Trump down the rabbit hole? David Young (IA-03), Rod Blum (IA-01), Bruce Poliquin (ME-02), Mike Coffman (CO-06), Martha McSally (AZ-02), Peter Roskam (IL-06), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Brain Mast (FL-18), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Fred Upton (MI-06), Kevin Yoder (KS-03), Ron Estes (KS-04), Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09), Jason Lewis (MI-02), Eric Paulsen (MI-03)... And that's even before we get to the states that are really going to see traumatized Republicans on the day after election day, 2018: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania... and then there's Wisconsin, the sweetest potential win of all. You get the picture.

Congress is going to be a so much more functional place with these 3 there

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At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republicans sowed the wind and now reap the whirlwind. The situation now is exactly what they hoped for with one exception - they were supposed to be holding the reins of the gusts, not be battered by them.

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A well reasoned piece until the picture at the bottom.

You could show 30 pictures of good people and they collectively would still be irrelevant to any possible decent lege because of the 100 at the top of the despotic pile. The caption is nonsense. Congress will be no different with those 3... or 30 like them. The democrap caucus won't change because it is tyrannical and the tyrant won't be going anywhere.

The tyrant is money.

What does DWT mean? Yet you support THAT tyranny.

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The money has not yet begun to fight. There's a year to go. You cannot assume anything today about what this nation of retards will be "thinking" in 11 months after unknown billions can and will be spent to engender the desired reactions among the kindergartner electorate.

What we DO know is the third of the electorate who self-id as Nazis SHALL vote for Rs. Trump is largely irrelevant to this fact.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The money will fight, and they own all of the heavy media artillery. Anything they don't own is rapidly being run out of operation.


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