Thursday, August 02, 2018

The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party Doesn't Back Trump... But That Doesn't Mean They're Any Good For Anything But Being Against Trump


Self-described "non-practicing" Republican Nicolle Wallace sat in for Rachel Maddow Tuesday night. I kind of like her MSNBC appearances. Her guest-- at around the 1:30 point on the tape-- was ex-Republican Steve Schmidt. I like his appearances too. Just watch the clip above and you'll see why I enjoy these two so much-- especially the mouthy Schmidt, who just skewers Señor Trumpanzee like there's no tomorrow. But I have a warning for you, an important one. These are both conservatives (who not all that long ago were working to elect Sarah Palin). Think about that when they seduce you with their anti-Trumpanzee shtik. Neither is a progressive the way Chris Hayes is and the way Rachel, a garden variety Democrat, once appeared to be.

When Schmidt gets into internal Democratic politics is when we get into problems with this entertaining strategist. MSNBC made the video and they left off the last little part Wallace refers to at the end. On that Schmidt said Trump "may look out and see an 18-person Democratic field and pray that a socialist is nominated by the Democrats believing that-- in his view-- that if there's two unelectable candidates one of the two unelectable candidates is gonna win..."

Notice how slickly he slipped in the conservative establishment slur against Bernie. I guess he's for Biden. Or for whichever establishment status quo candidate is going to pay him. Schmidt worked on messaging for George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger and John McCain and until very recently worked for an especially sleazy p.r. firm, Edelman (one of whose clients is the campaign to get Brett Kavanaugh confirmed. I believe he officially announced his departure from the GOP on June 19.

And on the same day, he announced he would be voting for Democrats from now on.

That was over a month ago. But yesterday Politico announced that Republicans abuzz over Schmidt's divorce from GOP. They reported that there's speculation in Republican circles that "he’ll advise a presidential bid by his longtime client, former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz, or another Democratic candidate in 2020."
Working for a Schultz campaign would complete Schmidt’s decade-long process of estrangement from the Republican Party after spending much of his career at its highest levels.

For now, he remains mum on his future plans and his conversations with Schultz.

“I don’t have any plans to be on a political campaign, and I would never jump into one too lightly,” Schmidt said in an interview. “Howard Schultz is a hell of a man, a hell of a leader. I'm proud to call him a friend, but there's no campaign, and I don’t have anything to tell you."

The speculation began in earnest in July, when Schmidt, who served as chief strategist to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, abruptly stepped down as vice chairman of public affairs at the PR firm Edelman after eight years on the job.

Schmidt’s moves coincided with Shultz's announcement of his retirement from Starbucks, effective June 26. Schultz’s retirement has fanned speculation that he will run for president as a Democrat in 2020, a prospect with which he has openly toyed as he mulls his post-Starbucks future.

Starbucks has been an Edelman client for 20 years, during which time the coffee chain has cultivated a progressive image and made itself a leader in corporate social responsibility. Schmidt worked closely with Schultz while at the firm, and the two remain friends. Schultz is also a client of Schmidt’s personal consulting practice.

"Howard has worked with Steve for several years,” said Wanda Herndon, a spokeswoman for Schultz, in response to questions about a potential 2020 collaboration. “He respects him and values his insights."

One person who recently asked Schmidt about his conversations with Schultz said that Schmidt denied the two are mulling a presidential campaign. "He says he's not advising for political purposes,” according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to relay the contents of a private conversation.

Few of Schmidt’s peers believe that... That speculation has been tinged, for some, with simmering resentments built up over a decade during which Schmidt increasingly drifted from his fellow Republican foot soldiers.

Before there were never-Trumpers there was Schmidt, who publicly expressed regret at his role in bringing Sarah Palin onto the 2008 Republican ticket, a fiasco that presaged the party’s turn toward reality-show populism.

But while Schmidt’s disavowals won him a strange new respect in elite circles, they also earned the enmity of his Republican operative peers and many of his colleagues on the McCain campaign. They felt he used media, especially the book Game Change, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s best-selling account of the 2008 campaign, to wash his hands of Palin and burnish his image at the expense of others.

...Schmidt accepted a meeting with Trump in March 2016 during which he said the future president credited him with being the first television pundit to predict he would win the Republican primary-- and offered him a job on the campaign. Schmidt declined the offer, and said his views on free trade and a strong national defense remain those of the GOP he once knew.

More recently, his complete separation from the party has drawn the ire not just of staunch Trump supporters, but also of other establishment Republicans who remain in the fold, bringing him into open conflict with former allies.

Last week, Schmidt described Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as complicit in the Russian election attack.

“I'm old enough to remember when Steve was in charge of messaging Abu Ghraib and ‘good news in Iraq’ by attacking any Republican who expressed concern,” tweeted Republican strategist Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to McConnell who remains closely aligned with the Senate majority leader, in response. Holmes was invoking Schmidt’s work in the George W. Bush administration as an aide to Dick Cheney.
Goal ThermometerAll sorts of conservatives have flooded into the Democratic Party in Trump's wake. They're anti-Trump, but they're still conservatives. They are welcomed with open arms for the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the Blue Dogs and New Dems as well as by the DCCC. Their instinctual commitment to the status quo is exactly what the DC Democratic establishment loves about them and helps explain why so many people who were so recently contributing money against Democratic candidates and now Democratic candidates-- at least on the congressional level-- themselves. I like the idea of allies against Trump, but these conservatives are also against virtually all the ideals that differentiate the party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt from the party of Ronald Reagan and the George Bushes. And-- like the Democratic establishment-- they really hate progressive ideas and progressives. They do not back Elizabeth Warren or Bernie and they are horrified by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and have no idea why their cutting edge, working family-oriented ideas are so popular... nor why over 60% of Americans back Medicare-for-All and of course, why Bernie is the most popular senator in America rather than, as Schmidt so glibly put it, while Nicolle Wallace smiled benignly, Bernie is unelectable. When does the battle between Schultz and Bloomberg begin? That thermometer on the right is for contributing to Bernie's campaign, by the way.

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At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horse shit. If they're not promising to impeach the motherfucker, they're effectively backing him.

Identical to when Pelosi vowed to not impeach in 2005. cheney and bush and gonzalez should have been the tip of the iceberg. They all committed crimes up to and including torture, murder and war crimes. Rumsfeld should have been next.

When you fail to object to that kind of evil, you basically make it ok to commit that evil. And you encourage further evil in the future.

People suffered and died because the democraps refuse to do their jobs.

This is EXACTLY like the last time. Well, at least they are consistent(ly horrible).

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is my opinion that the "democrats" lost their bravery when Nixon resigned and never recovered it. They had to have been frightened that they had the power to remove a president from office (especially one who should have been removed) and vowed to never again come close to wielding that power, opening the door to the Republicans to use and abuse power in the vacuum thus created.

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember that even then, there was no impeachment... just a whispered trial balloon. Only after the tapes proved Nixon's lies did some REPUBLICANS advise him to leave or BE impeached.

I don't think the democrats had a single ball even then. After all, Nixon committed treason in '68 to win that election and LBJ, who was notoriously heavy-handed politically, refused to do dick about it.

The last democrat I can remember who had balls was probably JFK. And his death (and the deaths of MLK and RFK in '68) meant the end of democrat courage of any kind. LBJ did muscle through voting rights and civil rights and some others, but he also caved to MacNamara on his pet war and, like I said, Nixon's treason. '68 was about it for the democrats, I'd say.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many in that wing who are NOT against trump. Several affirmed many of the worst cabinet Nazis ever. And manchin is gearing up to affirm kavanaugh. Probably others. And there was that tax thing.

As in the 'FDR congress' of 2009, there are many who are eager to betray the voters, the nation and the world in favor of the Nazis.

So not only are they worthless in all ways traditionally democratic... they are also NOT against trump.

Your title is horse-shit.

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Don't trust him don't believe him.


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