Friday, May 26, 2017

Republican Candidates Are In A State Of Delusion Headed Towards The Midterms


The GOP mess has crossed over into popular culture; it ain't going' away

One week ago, Politico interviewed Mike Madrid, a well-known Republican political consultant in California. "The Democrats," he reminded them, "were absolutely convinced that running against Trump down-ticket was going to create the biggest Democratic blue wave of all time, and it did not work at all… What we’re really seeing in America right now is incredibly intense, wired up Democratic base that’s lighting its hair on fire and driving the media narrative, but it’s not driving polling data, and you’re not seeing it in increased turnout in elections."

Is that so? While Trump's approval rating is languishing in the mid-30s, I've never seen as big a gap open in the generic congressional polling. A Quinnipiac poll released a few days before Madrid spoke with Politico reported their results this way:
By a 54 – 38 percent margin, American voters want the Democratic Party to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This is the widest margin ever measured for this question in a Quinnipiac University poll, exceeding a 5 percentage point margin for Republicans in 2013.
As for the chief Republican in Congress, PPP polled Paul Ryan's own southeast Wisconsin district and found this:

As for not translating into votes, that's just really insane. Tuesday two deep red legislative districts in New Hampshire and Long Island, the former having never elected a Democrat before ever, and that latter in which Trump's margin of victory had been 20 points, both dumped GOP candidates. The Long Island Assembly district is the only deep red part of Peter King's congressional district. If Republicans can't hold that area, 2018 will be the last anyone ever hears of Peter King, unless he's arrested for robbing a Dunkin' Donuts. Last night Republican Greg Gianforte managed to keep Montana's at-large congressional seat in Republican hands-- but at an immense cost ($29.55 per vote, compared to Quist's $3.94 per vote)-- and by a very reduced margin. Gianfote scored 189,473 votes (50.3%) to 166,483 (44.0%) for Quist and 21,509 (5.7%) for Libertarian Mark Wicks. Last November Ryan Zinke was reelected with 56.19% over Democrat Denise Juneau's 40.55% (and 3.26% for the Libertarian). Trump scored 56.5% over Clinton's 35.9%. Quist's performance was up 8 points over Clinton and 3.5% over Juneau's. The 6.5% swing away from Trump, on a nationwide basis, would be enough for Democrats to take back the House in 2018.

Many Republican incumbents and their campaign consultants are in states of denial, which isn't uncommon when people see a tsunami headed their way. That same Politico article that quoted Madrid, also quoted another GOP political consultant, Dave Gillaird, who is a strategist for 4 of the 7 Republicans the DCCC is targeting in 2018, Jeff Denham, Mimi Walters, Darrell Issa and Ed Royce, said "all four of them had campaigns for re-election saying they were going to repeal Obamacare in favor of something better… They all came to the conclusion that this was better than Obamacare, and that was what they campaigned for re-election on." He called concerns about voter anger at Republicans over healthcare "overblown." That's what I meant by a state of denial.

I turned to the progressive Democrats running against the fools Gillaird has lulled into a state of clueless complacency. Katie Porter and Kia Hamadanchy are both awesome candidates running for the Orange County seat Mimi Walters refuses to move into and claims to represent in Congress. Katie, a consumer advocate and UC Irvine professor told us, simply that "After the House passed Trumpcare, Congresswoman Walters was one of the first people President Trump thanked at the White House. And thanks to the CBO report released yesterday, her constituents now know that the bill Walters helped write would end coverage for 23 million Americans-- including tens of thousands of people in her district. Walters' unconditional support of Trump's plan is completely at odds with the needs and lived experience of families here in Orange County."

We haven't mentioned Sam Jammal before.He's a former Obama Administration official and local Democrat from Royce's district, who progressives are hoping to draft to run against Royce. Last night he told us, "We have to stop Donald Trump's reckless agenda to benefit millionaires at the expense of the rest of us. It starts with holding local Republicans accountable. Our families can't afford elected officials who vote to cut health care for 23 million Americans, while also voting to raise prices for seniors and destabilize the employer-based health care system. All of this was done to give a tax break to millionaires. That's too extreme for Orange County. It is alarming that these Republicans are celebrating this as an accomplishment."

Doug Applegate, the progressive battling it out with Darrell Issa in the San Diego/Orange County district where he nearly beat Issa in 2017, told us that "It’s no longer a right or left battle; it’s right or wrong fight. Americans appreciate the moral imperative of single-payer-universal health care, pre-school to public college, livable $15/hr. wages now and fighting the carbon fuel oligarchy for renewable energy. Within 20 years robotics, automation and artificial intelligence will eliminate half of today’s jobs and in the process deliver the greatest disruption of the world’s economy in history. Everyone, all of our children and grandchildren will face these challenges. That is the reason why I’m going to finish the job I started in 2016 and replace Darrell Issa in Congress.

If Republicans manage to damage the healthcare system in the ways outlined in Trumpcare, California, which dramatically expanded its Medicaid rolls under Obamacare, will be especially hard hit, particularly some of the inland areas represented by Republicans like David Valadao, Steve Knight, Jeff Denham, Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy, Ed Royce, Paul Cook, Ken Calvert and Duncan Hunter, some of which are districts that the DCCC looks at as "untouchable." According to California's Legislative Analyst’s Office, 4.6 million Californians had obtained Affordable Care Act-funded coverage as of fall 2016, part of the reason the Cook Report downgraded so many Republican districts after TrumpCare passed the House, including several in California. Confronted with a little dose of reality, Gilliard admitted that Democrats "are doing a very good job of recruiting candidates based on all this energy on their side" and raising lots of money because of the vote.

A week on and Politico was highlighting a split between Democrats who want to focus on Russia-- like conservative New Dem Adam Schiff (eager to run for Feinstein's Senate seat)-- and Democrats who want to focus on health care and other kitchen table issues. Spoiler: focusing on both is the way forward but Politico lives to begin articles with "The Democratic Party is embroiled in a debate over where they should focus their efforts to win back political power."
The party’s campaign committees and many of Democrats’ leading super PACs have spent virtually all their energy this year on shaming Republicans for their push to repeal Obamacare, an issue that clearly touches voters’ daily lives.

But on the other side of the split, American Bridge-- the party’s outside-group research arm run by David Brock, the well-known Hillary Clinton ally-- is among those convinced the investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials is one Democrats would be foolish to downplay or wait to take advantage of.

A raft of data has already tabbed the House Republican health care bill as highly unpopular. But after last week’s explosive developments related to the Russia investigation, Democratic groups have commissioned polling to gauge just how damaging the probe could be to Republicans in the 2018 midterms. They’ve also begun testing theories on how to make Trump’s Russia problem into House and Senate Republicans’ Russia problem.

The debate in some ways reflects the post-mortem from the presidential election, in which some Democrats felt Clinton did not focus enough on the economy and other pocketbook issues, while Clinton’s own team invested more resources in painting Trump as personally unfit for the presidency.

Strategists on both sides of the Democratic divide downplay the extent of the split. They argue the party has an embarrassment of riches to use against Republicans, and they note that different groups fill different niches in the party’s ecosystem-- Bridge deals with day-to-day rapid response, while the party committees are already focused on individual races in November 2018.

But they also whisper about motivations, with some strategists speculating the Brock-led American Bridge may have more of an eye on wooing donors intensely interested in the Russia investigation than picking winning issues for 2018.

“We should focus on the issues that affect people’s lives, not just on what the media in the D.C. bubble is talking about,” said Symone Sanders, the press secretary at Priorities USA.
And there aren't any Democrats I know of who aren't talking about Trump's budget as well. Even the DNC was savvy enough to write to activists yesterday, framing the issue clearly-- and with news clips:
While campaigning for President, Donald Trump ran on a promise of making this country a better place to live for working Americans. Instead of doing this, Trump’s budget would make life easier for millionaires and billionaires at the expense of everyone else. Communities around the country are preparing for the devastating impact of this budget, which will ultimately cause immense hardship to the very Americans who Trump promised to help.

Cuts to social services in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget has one Columbus food pantry concerned. "Our customers, our shoppers are concerned. They're worried about what that means to their ability to get the food that they want and need,” said Kathy Kelly-Long, director of Broad Street Food Pantry.

“I don't think anybody shops at a food pantry or anybody relies on SNAP by choice.”

President Donald Trump's $4.1 trillion budget for 2018 calls for sharp cuts in several programs, including food stamps, known as SNAP. And that means the nearly two million people who live in the Mid-South states could have a hard time putting food on the table.

More than 16% of households in Tennessee are below the poverty line. 17% of Tennesseans rely on food stamps, or SNAP, to feed their families. Under President Donald Trump's new budget, people who are able to work will no longer get assistance.

Lucy Melcher of the anti-hunger group Share Our Strength says some people aren't able to find work in their areas and have no access to job training. She says the cuts could be "devastating."

The proposed cuts would "just exacerbate poverty for people who are already trying to work their way out of it," Melcher said. "I don't think there's a person living in poverty today who wouldn't be affected by this budget."

Nationally, more than 44 million people benefit from food assistance programs. Locally, about 50,000 people in San Luis Obispo County and 140,000 in Santa Barbara County rely on that assistance.  "I feel weird asking for help," said Kaitlyn, who wished to remain anonymous. She's 20-years-old and pregnant and is applying for food stamps for the first time because doctors told her she can't work during her pregnancy.

"Because they are worried he's going to come out early, and he has some health issues, so I'm considered a high-risk pregnancy," Kaitlyn said.

She now joins thousands of others in the area who rely on food assistance for their next meal.
Goal Thermometer Ryan and Trump are so toxic among voters now that dozens pf Republicans are trembling about the idea of being photographed with them. A Democratic consultant in South California told me that pictures of Trump and individual candidates with Make America Great Again caps are going to be on billboards everywhere. We asked Katie Hill, the progressive Democrat running against Ryan stooge Steve Knight in CA-25, how she felt Trump and Ryan would impact the congressional race in Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and the Antelope Valley.

"Hillary Clinton won the district by 7 points, meaning Trump was wildly unpopular here before," Hill told us, "and that sentiment has only gotten worse. Right now, the issue that people are most concerned about is healthcare. Seniors keep telling me they aren't able to afford their $20 per month cable bill increases... let alone the projected hundreds of dollars a month extra they will have to pay for insurance under the AHCA. The Trump/Ryan health care bill is absolutely loathed by people who are terrified for the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families. People just could not believe that Knight voted for it. Now it's clearer than ever that he is a puppet for those two-- not a voice for our community."

If Knight and the other Republicans want to persuade themselves voters are going to forget this... that's just fine... for Democratic candidates. No one knew about Republican denialism better than right-wing icon Roy Cohn:

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At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. It is people like this author who are in a state of delusion.

Obamanation and democraps had it all in 2009. They should have enjoyed a run like FDR and his Democrats had from '36 through '52 (and beyond in congress). All they had to do was remedy SOME of the evils from 8 years of cheney/bushbaby, aggressive wars, torture, the 2008 depression and pass an ACA with a PO (SP would have been better).

But the democraps refused to do any of those things, even trying awkwardly to pretend to attempt to pass a useful ACA all while letting the insurance and PHRMA lobbies write the pos.

So in 2010, they lost. Bigly. And that allowed Rs to gerrymander the shit out of a big majority of states.

Since, due to gerrymandering, Ds get a bigly majority of votes but get a paucity of seats. The districts are not being redrawn by 2018. Rs will keep the house easily. They may even expand their majority as the democraps are not even pretending to want to win any more.

The other problem the US has is simple. And people are going to go all "see no... hear no... speak no..." on this, but it's entirely true.

American voters (who will vote) are, by now and certainly by then, majority pure evil/hate/fear/greed. And the Rs are the ones that appeal to evil/hate/fear/greed. The drumpsterfire will be a boost to these dumbfucktards. see: MT.

Democraps are not going to win much. They don't want to win much. And their voters are the ones who won't participate because... why bother. The democraps are corrupt, feckless, worthless piles of shit. 2009 proved it. 2016 sealed it. The leadershit elections for DNC and DxCC welded it down. Their pathetic performances during cabinet and SC confirmations poured a 30-foot-thick concrete crypt around it.

They suck. It might take several more cycles for most voters to get it (americans are slow), but they are a little at a time.


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