Thursday, May 04, 2017

Are Trump Voters Going To Turn Out To Keep Ryan In The Speaker's Chair In 2018?


Yesterday, Cook's Amy Walter mused aloud whether or not big Republican support for Trump "is going to translate into turn-out and support for the GOP in 2018. You don’t have to go too far back in history to find an example of a president who came to office with backing from a new, enthusiastic group of voters, only to find that those voters failed to consistently show up for the party. The so-called Obama coalition never soured on Obama, but they also didn’t show up to vote for his party in 2010, 2014 or 2016-- i.e., the years he wasn’t on the ballot."
Here’s what all the stories about the president’s continued popularity in “Trump country” miss: the Trump brand is better liked than the congressional GOP brand. The UVA poll found Trump’s approval rating among 2016 Trump voters at 93 percent, with 42 percent who said they “strongly” approved of the job Trump is doing. Congressional Republicans got a decent, but lower, 81 percent approval rating, with just 20 percent strongly approving. Speaker Paul Ryan had a decidedly more anemic 52 percent approval rating. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell casts a much smaller shadow, just 56 percent rated him with 28 percent approving of the job he’s doing and 26 percent disapproving.

...Moreover, Trump voters blame congressional Republicans more than the president for the failure of a health care reform bill. The UVA poll of Trump voters found that  “only 5% of respondents said that Trump was the most responsible for the failed initial attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Roughly half (48%) blamed Democrats, while the remainder blamed House Speaker Paul Ryan (12%), moderate Republicans (15%), or the conservative House Freedom Caucus (21%).”

In other words, as many Trump voters blame House Republicans as House Democrats for the failure of the health care bill. They are sticking with Trump while sticking it to Republicans in D.C. Anecdotal reports from the recent Trump rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania underscored this dynamic. As the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher wrote the Saturday night crowd:
They’ve concluded that the Washington machine is blocking him at every turn. They blame the conservative Republicans, and they blame the Democrats, and they blame the news media, and they blame, even now, Hillary Clinton.
They don’t blame Trump.

To be fair, a president is always going to be better known and better liked than his colleagues in Congress, even among his own partisans. The President can float above the fray in a way House/Senate leaders and members can’t.  However, there’s something ironic about the candidate who struggled to be accepted by the party now getting better marks than those who’ve been long-time GOP stalwarts.

Republicans control all levers of power in Washington. If they continue to struggle to accomplish significant stuff, it will be harder for Republicans to get their base to show up to vote in the midterm elections. Meanwhile, there’s no evidence that the dislike for Trump among Democrats is fading anytime soon. That’s a dangerous dynamic for the party in power.
And there are some on the far right starting to chip away at the foundations of the Trump base. Monday, Rush Limbaugh was bothered about the bill to keeping funding the government. "If this is what we get with a Republican President and a Republican Congress, " he asked, "why vote Republican?" His view of the deal is that it "funds sanctuary cities, Obamacare, EPA, Planned Parenthood; does not provide money for the wall... Why is anybody voting Republican, if this is what happens when we win?"
There’s no reason to keep electing Republicans if this is what we’re gonna get with this budget deal, which pays-- continually pays-- for sanctuary cities, funds Obamacare, funds the EPA, gives money to Planned Parenthood and no money for the wall. If you’re asking, “What am I voting for Republicans for?” you have a legitimate question. This is one of the reasons Donald Trump was elected. This is the swamp. This is what needs to be drained.

...Listen to this list of things that were funded in the latest budget deal and ask yourself: Why are you voting Republican? “The bill continues funding refugee resettlement and visas from the six countries from which Trump wanted to suspend immediate immigration, despite this budget being the last recourse against the judicial tyranny.” This was a… This budget was an opportunity to stick it to the judges. It did not. “Sanctuary cities were funded…” Congress could have weighed in in any number of ways to stop this. The American people are tired of it; Trump is tired of it.

Trump ran for office and was elected on this. Sanctuary cities continue to be funded against the law. “Planned Parenthood was funded, despite the long-standing GOP promise to fight to defund it, even when they only controlled Congress. … Increased spending for a number of liberal priorities rather than codifying Trump’s requested $17 billion in non-defense spending cuts. EPA was saved from the cuts proposed for this year by Trump’s [budget director]. A $295.9 billion bailout for Puerto Rico’s irresponsible Medicaid program...

“Sec. 543 of the omnibus contains a provision opening the door for more H2-B low-skilled workers this fiscal year. $990 million increase of the ‘Food for Peace’ program in Africa. Government-run health care? HHS will see a $2.8 billion boost in spending, of which $2 billion will go to the [National Institutes for Health], which was supposed to be cut by the Trump budget. Green energy programs within the Department of Energy, programs Trump would have eliminated, received a modest spending increase.

“The federal judiciary saw its budget increased by 3%, to $7.4 billion, from fiscal 2016, despite engaging in civil disobedience against the rule of law. The unconstitutional Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is fully funded despite GOP promises to dismantle it... California’s high-speed rail will continue to be funded by the Federal Rail Administration.” What was “not funded”? “The border wall. Although $1.5 billion in additional ‘border security’ funds were allocated,” and there were a couple of other little things done to ramp up border security and fewer people are coming in because of the fear factor, but this makes no sense.

...Let me be clear about something. It wasn’t just Trump that people voted for. It was Republicans in Congress, Republicans in the Senate. People voted to do the exact opposite of what has happened in this budget. It’s not just Trump voters. Now, you can say it’s betrayal. It certainly is. But it’s much more than that.

All right, now, look. I’m seeing all kinds of adjectives in the media various places how we got screwed, how we got betrayed and all of this. I… Folks, I think, yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s no question. But none of this should be a surprise. It’s disappointing, and the election had specific reasons for happening. People voted for specific reasons. Among them was stopping the current inertia, reinstituting the rule of law throughout our country; trying to save the constantly degrading culture, the growing expanse that is the Washington, D.C., government and the entitlement component of our government that just seems to have no end.

Then yesterday the House voted 309-118 in favor of the $1.1 trillion Continuing Resolution Limbaugh was freaking out over. 103 Republicans (+15 Dems voted NO). Hard-core extremists like Mark Meadows (R-NC), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA).

Tom Wakely, the progressive Democrat running against Lamar Smith, didn't seem surprise when we asked him right after the vote. "Once again Lamar voted party over country," he told us. "We have seen him do this year after year for thirty years. We have to remember that Lamar was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump. So, when Trump tweeded that a government shutdown is just what this country needs, Lamar was more than happy to jump on-board the President's train to oblivion. It seems that Lamar has come to embrace the 1960's and 1970's rallying cry of burn, baby burn."

Jenny Marshall is the progressive activist and public school teacher running for the central North Carolina congressional seat currently in the hands of Virginia Foxx. Foxx voted yesterday to shut down the government. Jenny told us that "Foxx should have remembered the billion dollar fiasco the last shut down caused, but no. No lessons learned for her.  She notoriously refuses to invest money in programs that help people, but has no problem throwing it away on shutting down the government. So much for being fiscally responsible."

The other big North Carolina proponent of government shutdowns is Mark Meadows, head of the Freedom Caucus. He has a real opponent for reelection for 2018, though, Matt Coffay, who's holding him accountable for every crackpot move he makes. "Yesterday," Matt told us, "Mark Meadows voted against a bipartisan budget deal that will keep the government functioning through September. This isn't surprising, though, considering that Meadows was the architect of the 2013 government shut down, which cost his district millions and millions of dollars. We need representatives in Congress who want to work for the people, and not just for their ideological agendas."

When Chicagoland Congressman Peter Roskam was 10, he fell down the stairs and had a serious concussion. Everyone else in his family is a normal progressive and they all-- including his sister, a doctor-- thinks the concussion turned him into a freak. He's was one of those who voted for a government shutdown. We asked Geoff Petzel, the progressive Democrat running for the IL-06 seat Roskam occupies. Geoff told us that "Roskam's vote to shut down the government is irresponsible. Shutting down the government would mean that veterans would not get benefit checks, hundreds of thousands of government employees would not get compensated for the days the government was shut down, federally backed mortgages would be halted and passport services would stop. Peter doesn't understand that real people, including people in the 6th District will be hurt if a government shut down happens. I would like to think that our Congressman would base his decisions on what is best for the people of his district, but once again, Peter has shown he is a radical right wing extremist with no regard for his constituents."

Goal Thermometer And Ann Coulter, writing for the Steve Bannon/Mercer News Breitbart was harsher, and far more deranged, than Limbaugh had been on Monday. "If this is the budget deal we get when Republicans control the House, the Senate and the presidency," she wrote, "there’s no point in ever voting for a Republican again." You go, girl! And she did-- right after Ryan: "Not only is there no funding for a wall, but-- thanks to the deft negotiating skills of House Speaker Paul Ryan-- the bill actually prohibits money from being spent on a wall." And Ryan isn't the only establishment Republican she was gunning for.
At a CYA press conference on Tuesday, Trump’s ridiculously chipper budget director, Mick Mulvaney, described the bill’s prohibition on building a wall as a MAJOR win. (At least Mulvaney said it in English, unlike his all-Spanish 2014 townhall.)

True, there will be no wall. But the Democrats graciously agreed to allow the administration to fix broken parts of any existing fences on up to 40 miles of our 3,000 mile border.

The other big wins, according to Mulvaney, are:

1) more defense spending, which is fantastic news, because I was worried Boeing and Lockheed Martin CEOs were falling behind Mark Zuckerberg with their gluttonous salaries; and

2) school choice, an obsession of Washington wonks that is hated out in America, where parents move to high-tax towns for the express purpose of avoiding schools full of disaffected urban youth, and the disaffected urban youth don’t want to spend two hours on a bus every day.

But Mulvaney assures us that this monstrosity of a spending bill has set things up beautifully for the next budget negotiation in October.

That has become the GOP’s official motto: “Next time!”

We can never win this time. Instead, Republicans’ idea is always to surrender this time, in hopes that their gentlemanliness will be rewarded by their mortal enemies next time. Then, next time comes, and Republicans again surrender in hopes of currying favor with the Democrats and the media for the next time.

Mulvaney’s most disturbing comment was to say that what upset Trump the most was the Democrats’ “spiking the football” on this deal.

Apparently, Trump’s fine with no wall-- and everything else in a bill straight out of George Soros’ dream journal-- if only the Democrats hadn’t been so rude as to tell the public about it. When your main complaint is that the other side is gloating too much, maybe you’re not that great a negotiator.

Yeah, sure, it’s only 100 days in, it’s an artificial deadline, the media is dying to say Trump has failed and so on.

Except: Planning for the wall should have begun on Nov. 9, and a spade should have been put into the earth to begin building it the day after Trump’s inauguration. Now, it’s 100 days later, and we still don’t have the whisper of a prospect of a wall.

Moreover, this isn’t one random bill funding Planned Parenthood (which this bill does). This is the budget deal. There won’t be another one like it until next October.

That’s a spectacular failure. Democrats have got to be pinching themselves, thinking, Am I dreaming this?

It’s theoretically possible that Trump could still build a wall, but he’s just massively lengthened the odds of ever prevailing. Sure, you can let the other team build a 20-point lead in first half and still come back to beat them, but it’s a lot easier if you don’t go into halftime 20 points down.

Trump entered the presidency with the only kind of power that matters. He didn’t owe Wall Street a thing. He didn’t owe anyone-- not donors, lobbyists nor any political party. What he had was the people, passionately on his side.

But as soon as he got into office, Trump started giving away his miraculous, unprecedented power. Hey, Wall Street! Even though you didn’t give me any money, is it too late to be your friend?

No amount of abandoning his supporters will get Trump anywhere with Wall Street, Hollywood or the media. Their ferocity will simply shift to ridicule.

Admittedly, Trump has the enormous handicap of having to work through congressional Republicans, who are feckless cowards. If Speaker Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell had been around for Reagan’s firing of the air traffic controllers, they would have been hysterically screaming, No! You can’t do that-- the planes will crash!

This isn’t new information. We knew Washington Republicans were useless. That’s why we elected such a comically improbable president as Donald J. Trump.

The deal was that we were getting the Hollywood version of a New York businessman: an uncouth, incurious rube-- who would be ruthless in getting whatever he wanted.

In addition to being the only candidate for president in either party taking America’s side on trade, immigration, jobs and crime, what set Trump apart was his promise that we would finally win.

Remember? There would be so much winning, we were going to get “sick and tired of winning,” and beg him, “Please, please, we can’t win anymore. … It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.”

We’re not winning. We’re losing, and we’re losing on the central promise of Trump’s campaign.

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At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So they no longer vote GOP. There is ZERO chance they will vote for Democrats.

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

So Gallup poll says 58% of US adults want MFA/SP?

ZERO percent will ever get a chance to vote for candidates who want it. So that 58% will end up happily voting for some R or some democrap who are never going to allow it.

In 2018 nearly all the house Rs who voted for this and all who voted no will be re-elected. And the few who are not will be replaced by corrupt democraps who won't support MFA/SP.

So what good is that poll.


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