Sunday, June 03, 2018

With Fewer And Fewer Mainstream Conservatives In The House GOP, Leadership Will Fall To The Crackpot Far Right Extremists


Even if the blue wave is huge, the neo-Nazi/KKK wing of the GOP is safest. The districts they represent are deep red and without enough Democrats and independents to make a difference. It's the mainstream conservatives who are going down, not the extremists. And that makes the battle to replace Ryan as GOP top dog-- likely as House Minority Leader-- all the more difficult. The House rank-and-file doesn't necessarily see Wall Street whore Kevin McCarthy, Ryan's #2, as the next leader. Some think it's time for a "strident ideologue" from the Freedom Caucus, like Mark Meadows or Jim Jordan.

Ryan backs McCarthy, but few care what a lame duck has to say and some of his "colleagues worry about the sincerity of McCarthy’s conservatism" and some "aren’t sure that McCarthy is willing to buck a President who has trampled traditional conservative values. 'There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is taking nap somewhere,' former House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday as he met with conservatives on Mackinac Island, Michigan. A McCarthy Speakership, some Republicans fear, could further cement the President’s takeover of the GOP."

All McCarthy's colleagues know he's vulnerable because he was screwing Renee Ellmers (R-NC) when she was in Congress. And no one can get to a majority vote without the backing of the Freedom Caucus, which doesn't trust him.
The power of the Freedom Caucus puts McCarthy in a tough spot. If he tries to appease these rabble-rousers-- many of whom he befriended when he ran candidate recruitment for the GOP in 2010’s Tea Party wave-- he risks alienating the party’s moderates, whom he can’t win a leadership race without.

That’s one reason why Republicans on Capitol Hill have increasingly been talking up other possibilities. Brady, the Ways and Means chairman, is one potential candidate. He helped guide the GOP’s tax cuts into law and has shown a willingness to work across the party caucus, especially as it considers another round of tax cuts before Election Day. As head of the RSC, Walker heads up a group that counts about two-thirds of the conference as members. Another name could be Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah lawmaker and former NRA lobbyist who says if he wins in November it will be his last term. If the GOP is looking for a transitional figure to steer the party through the 116th Congress-- when all eyes will be on the White House races-- it could do worse than select a Mormon from a safe district.

How the drama ends is unknowable at this point. But the under-the-surface tensions speak to just how little unity exists inside today’s Republican Party.
There are 14 Republican members of Congress from California-- including McCarthy-- but as many as 9 are vulnerable to a blue wave. The 5 seats held by mainstream conservatives in New Jersey are crucial in keeping the conference leadership out of the hands of an extremist-- but the Democrats have a shot at winning 4... or even all 5 of them, due in large part to the spectacular unpopularity of both Chris Christie and Señor Trumpanzee. The Democrats' best shots are in the two open seats (Frelinghuysen and LoBiondo) and in NJ-07 (Lance) and NJ-03 (MacArthur). Chris Smith's district (NJ-04) will be more of a stretch but reasonable in a wave cycle. Here are the PVIs and Trump percentages in each district:
NJ-02- 50.6% R+1
NJ-03- 51.4% R+2
NJ-04- 55.8% R+8
NJ-07- 47.5% R+3
NJ-11- 48.8% R+3
The 2nd district-- an open seat-- looks best, right? But...
The problem, from the perspective of Democrats like Keady, is that “People down there aren’t having even-- I wouldn’t even say a center-right-- I would say a far-right candidate, with Van Drew, jammed down their throats.” Van Drew has supported restoring the death penalty in the state and requiring that parents receive notice if their teen-age daughters seek abortions; he has opposed raising the minimum wage, legalizing same-sex marriage, and making Presidential candidates disclose their tax returns. His challengers in Tuesday’s primary are more progressive: Tanzie Youngblood, a retired teacher; William Cunningham, a former staffer for Senator Cory Booker; and Nathan Kleinman, an activist who was involved in the Occupy Philadelphia movement. Hirsh Singh, who will probably win the Republican nomination, has pledged to “support the President’s reform agenda.” Lately, Van Drew has attempted to embrace all comers-- yet, given his legislative background in state government, this may be a somewhat awkward contortion. “Van Drew is twisting himself into a pretzel trying to pander to his far-left base,” Martin, of the NRCC, said, or, as he told me, “Not independent.”

Van Drew’s most noted accomplishment may be his top marks from the National Rifle Association. This caught the attention of Emily McGrath, who is eighteen and will soon graduate from Egg Harbor Township High School. “I’m the complete opposite, basically, of my parents,” she told me. They are Trump supporters. “They think he’s doing a good job.” Like many of her peers, McGrath, whose family owns a handgun, has grown acutely aware of the threat of gun violence. “We practice drills in school,” she said. This year, she became involved with March for Our Lives and volunteered for Cunningham, who has been endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. One day, not long after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Florida, Van Drew visited her A.P. Government class. “We knew he had an A rating from the N.R.A.,” she recalled. McGrath asked if he would accept money from gun lobbyists. “He said, ‘I would never decline an endorsement, but I would never take money from the N.R.A.’ ” It turned out, however, that he had accepted contributions from the N.R.A. and related groups-- amounting to more than three thousand dollars, in 2008. The next day, she stopped by an event where she knew he’d be. “I confronted him there.” The episode was captured on video-- “Senator, you lied,” she said, with a reprimanding finger-wag-- and it went viral. “He got all red and flustered,” she told me. In Van Drew’s defense, his campaign says, even if he has continued to back N.R.A.-friendly legislation, he hasn’t taken any money from gun lobbyists lately.

“I get it,” McGrath said with a sigh. “Jeff Van Drew is very well known in New Jersey. He knows Trenton. He has connections.” In her first go at the polls, she won’t be voting for him. Jersey politics may be frustrating, but she intends to continue studying the subject at Rowan University in the fall. And, “After law school, I’ll practice divorce law so I can make money. But I do plan on running for office someday.” Will her parents vote for her? “Depends who I’m running against.”
A few days ago WHYY and NPR did a focus on NJ-02. It would up being primarily a big boost to Tanzie Youngblood because Van Drew is hiding from the media and the voters, counting on the corrupt party bosses-- in Trenton and at the DCCC-- to get him through the primary. Listen:

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At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A nice light shone on what we'll get AFTER the democraps, who won't/can't get out of their own way, blow it in 2020 or 2022.

We'll not only get a president/cabinet/staff worse than trump... probably a LOT worse, we'll get a congress much, MUCH worse than the ryan/mcturtle 115th. I believe that all outside of the Nazi party would characterize this congress as, by far, the worst ever.

If only voters had refused to support the illusory left party 30 years ago. Maybe by now we'd have a TRULY left party/movement to permanently overwhelm the Nazi minority and FORCE them to have better lives, incomes and education in spite of their hate-filled selves.

If only...

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are no more "mainstream conservatives" in the Republican Party. Beginning with Newt Gingrich's "Contract on America", any such folk were pushed out of the GOP into the mere mortal human wilderness and left to wander about adrift and abandoned until the DCCC needed "ex"-Republicans to run for office as "democrats".

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the same token, 8:47, there are no more Democrats left in the 'crap party. Even Bernie and Warren bent the knee to the Clinton money machine.

At this point I'd even say that the kind of "mainstream conservatives" that gingrich excommunicated are too far left for Pelosi/scummer and their cabal.


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