Monday, May 29, 2017

Not Even Impeaching Trump Would Save The House Republicans From Angry Voters


I've never been a big fan of Nate Silver's or his brand of research. But sometimes-- like this time-- he hits the nail right on the head. His point last week is that conventional wisdom about the solidity of Trump's core support is incorrect and that Trump's base is already looking shaky and starting to shrink.
A widely held tenet of the current conventional wisdom is that while President Trump might not be popular overall, he has a high floor on his support. Trump’s sizable and enthusiastic base-- perhaps 35 to 40 percent of the country-- won’t abandon him any time soon, the theory goes, and they don’t necessarily care about some of the controversies that the “mainstream media” treats as game-changing developments.

It’s an entirely reasonable theory. We live in a highly partisan epoch, and voters are usually loyal to politicians from their party. Trump endured a lot of turbulence in the general election but stuck it out to win the Electoral College. The media doesn’t always guess right about which stories will resonate with voters.

But the theory isn’t supported by the evidence. To the contrary, Trump’s base seems to be eroding. There’s been a considerable decline in the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump, from a peak of around 30 percent in February to just 21 or 22 percent of the electorate now. (The decline in Trump’s strong approval ratings is larger than the overall decline in his approval ratings, in fact.) Far from having unconditional love from his base, Trump has already lost almost a third of his strong support. And voters who strongly disapprove of Trump outnumber those who strongly approve of him by about a 2-to-1 ratio, which could presage an “enthusiasm gap” that works against Trump at the midterms. The data suggests, in particular, that the GOP’s initial attempt (and failure) in March to pass its unpopular health care bill may have cost Trump with his core supporters.

...During last year’s presidential primaries, Trump received about 14 million votes out of a total of 62 million cast between the two parties, which works out to 23 percent of the total. So perhaps it’s not a coincidence that 20 to 25 percent of the country still strongly supports Trump; they were with him from the start.

But 20 to 25 percent isn’t all that large a base-- obviously not enough to win general elections on its own. Instead, Trump won the White House because most Republicans who initially supported another GOP candidate in the primary wound up backing him in the November election. Trump has always had his share of reluctant supporters, and their ranks have been growing as the number of strong supporters has decreased. If those reluctant Trump supporters shift to being reluctant opponents instead, he’ll be in a lot of trouble, with consequences ranging from a midterm wave against Republicans to an increased likelihood of impeachment.
Last night I was on the phone with one of the strategists putting together the plan to defeat Paul Ryan. He seems worried that Trump could be impeached quickly-- which is really unlikely-- and damage the chances for a an anti-Trump wave turning into a more general anti-GOP tsunami. I tried to calm him down. As we've pointed out many times in the past, Paul Ryan's toxicity among voters is nearly as strong as Trump's-- even in his own Wisconsin district.

Yesterday, writing for the Capital Times in nearby Madison, John Nichols explored one of the biggest reasons why Ryan's approval has been collapsing in WI-01. And it's not just about Trumpanzee. Ryan is being recognized nationally and locally as a bold-faced liar whose deceptions are actually insulting to the intelligence of the people he's attempting to deceive.

When the Congressional Budget Office issued its assessment of the American Health Care Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan responded with this announcement: “This CBO report again confirms that the American Health Care Act achieves our mission: lowering premiums and lowering the deficit.”

That is a lie on so many levels that it is hard to know where to begin.

But let’s start here: The CBO report specifically explains that in many states, “community-rated premiums would rise over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with pre-existing or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive non-group health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all.”

So what Ryan is saying about premiums is wrong.

But the bigger concern is with what he is not saying.

Ryan's lie of omission is a serious one, as it avoids the fundamental fact revealed by the CBO report: Whatever savings might be achieved come at immense human cost. As the Los Angeles Times notes, “According to the budget office, which both parties in Congress look to for estimates on the impact of complex legislation, the bill would cause 23 million fewer people to have health insurance by 2026. Many additional consumers would see skimpier health coverage and higher deductibles, the budget office projected.”

The CBO review says that “less healthy people would face extremely high premiums.” And that “out-of-pocket spending on maternity care and mental health and substance abuse services could increase by thousands of dollars.”

Bottom line: Paul Ryan is proposing to provide Americans with less health care at greater cost. And he is not even delivering as much deficit relief as previously promised. As CBS News notes: “The House-passed legislation would also reduce federal deficits over the next 10 years by $119 billion, CBO said Wednesday, which is less than the $150 billion CBO projected in a score of an earlier version of the bill.” And, by all accounts, only a small percentage of the supposed “savings” would be applied to budget reduction.

So Paul Ryan is spouting nonsense.

That's bad.
Bad, but hardly new. Now it's finally being exposed. The DCCC has systematically protected Ryan over the last decade by discouraging and-- when that didn't work-- sabotaging prospective and actual Democratic challengers. Democratic activists in Wisconsin are ready for Pelosi and Lujan and their bullshit this time and are putting together a plan to take Ryan down without any participation from the DCCC, the DNC, Pelosi or any of the corrupt elements that have soiled the Democratic brand among the kind of working Americans who delivered states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Michigan to Trump in 2016. There's no room for any characters like Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Rahm Emanuel in their plans-- Trump or no Trump.

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At 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, impeaching him would probably do the Rs a lot of good in the midterms. Depends on how many they actually kill with deprivation.

But there are 2 parts to removing a R and electing a D.

The R must be so bad that even R voters have qualms. And that bar is very, very, VERY low. They love the drumpfsterfire... so use that as your yardstick.

The D must be good enough to resurrect a lot of dormant leftys to show up and vote. The DNC and DxCCs have been nearly perfect in suppressing anyone good enough to clear THAT bar.

So, DWT and readers, don't think that just the former is enough. it isn't. And remember the democraps suppress the latter.


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