Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Fight For The Conservative Lane Of The Democratic Party Nomination


The B-Team frontrunners

In a Q&A with the L.A. Times editorial board the day after Christmas, Nick Goldberg, editor of the editorial pages, kicked off the show with a great question: “What do you say to voters who worry that in a general election a candidate as far to the left as you are is gonna alienate swing voters and moderates and independents?” Bernie was happy with the question and noted he’s “heard it once or twice” and has “thought about it a whole lot, anyone who underestimates Donald Trump as a candidate, for a variety of reasons, will be very mistaken.” Let me give you his whole response before we get to the sentences I need at the very end of the response (which I bolded):
He is going to be a very, very strong candidate. He certainly has a very strong base. He will have unlimited amounts of money to campaign on. He is a pathological liar. He will merge in an unprecedented way agencies of government with his campaign, because he doesn’t particularly believe in the rule of law. So he is going to be a very, very tough opponent.

The only way that you beat Trump is by having an unprecedented campaign, an unprecedentedly large voter turnout. And we’ll have to combat every single day the voter suppression which you’ve recently seen manifest itself in Wisconsin and Georgia. And we can expect that to take place all over the country. We are living in perilous times, and Republicans understand that if they can keep poor people and people of color and young people from voting, they’ve got a better shot to do it. And I have zero doubt that they will do it. They’ve appointed right-wing judges who will sustain their efforts. So we have to combat that in every way we can.

But the reason I believe that I am the strongest candidate, and the reason I believe our approach is right is if you want a large voter turnout, if we understand that there are tens of millions of people in this country who don’t vote, who’ve kind of given up on the political process, that young people-- although we’re seeing some real gains there and we’re working really hard on this thing-- young people, who are by and large progressive-- my guess is roughly speaking for every three people under 30 who vote, two of them are going to vote progressive, okay, but many of them don’t vote-- I think I am by far the strongest candidate to reach out to those people. I think I’m the strongest candidate to bring together a multiracial coalition of African Americans, of Latinos, of Asians.

So to answer your question, I don’t believe that the [way to win] this election is to just speak to Republican women in the suburbs. That’s one theory. And I think many of those women will vote for me because they are appalled, correctly so, about Trump’s personal behavior and his temperament. I think we can win many of them. Not all of them. But on the other hand, the key to this election is can we get millions of young people who have never voted before into the political process, many working people who understand that Trump is a fraud, can we get them voting? That is the key to this election. So I’ve heard that hypothesis, I just don’t agree with it.

And let me add to that if I might, [there are] people who run the same old, same old type of campaign. And you know, [former Vice President] Joe Biden is a personal friend of mine, so I’m not here to, you know, to attack him. But my God, if you are, if you’re a Donald Trump and you got Biden having voted for the war in Iraq, Biden having voted for these terrible, in my view, trade agreements, Biden having voted for the bankruptcy bill. Trump will eat his lunch.

Mr. faux-macho asshole-- the one with the “D” next to his name, not the one with the “R” next to his name-- responded on CNN in his signature disgusting style: "Tell him come and I'll give him some dessert at the White House."

Soon, either Bernie or Elizabeth-- hopefully both on a unity ticket-- will be facing one of the corporate Dems from the Republican wing of the party competing for the conservative lane: Status Quo Joe, Mayo Pete or, incredibly, #NeverTrump Republican Michael Bloomberg pretending to be some sort of Democrat for the sake of his outsized ego. So more important than the retort to Bernie one of Biden’s speechwriters put in his mouth, was Mayo Pete’s all out attack on his rival during an Iowa Public Television broadcast over the weekend. Remember, if conservative Democrats were happy with Biden, there’s no room for Mayo Pete (nor for Bloomberg or Klobuchar). According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, all the other right-of-center Democrats are eating Biden’s dust, at least nationally:
Status Quo Joe- 28.3%
Mayo Pete- 8.3%
Bloomberg- 4.9%
Klobuchar- 3.6%
Delaney- 0.6%
Bennet- 0.4%
The Iowa caucuses-- which can’t be accurately polled-- show Mayo edging Biden 22.0 to 18.8, with Klobuchar at 6.3% and Bloomberg at 1.3%. In New Hampshire, where Bernie leads, the other right-of-center candidates were behind Mayo:
Mayo Pete- 17.7%
Status Quo Joe- 14.3%
Klobuchar- 2.0%
Mayo is in single digits in all the other early states, and not a threat to Biden-- unless he can beat him in Iowa and New Hampshire. He doesn’t have to win either state, but if he leads Biden in both, he could make some inroads nationally and lessen the importance of Biden’s unassailable lead in South Carolina. It would certainly mean that Mayo will probably take potential Biden votes/delegates in SuperTuesday states-- especially California, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Maine, Utah, Virginia, Minnesota and North Carolina, basically leaving Biden with Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Goal ThermometerOn Sunday, Mayo-- campaigning in Iowa-- brought up Biden’s vote for the Iraq War in a way to show why Biden shouldn’t be president. “This is an example of why years in Washington is not always the same thing as judgment. He supported the worst foreign policy decision made by the United States in my lifetime, which was the decision to invade Iraq.”

Afterwards, he told reporters that “It’s certainly a question that reflects on foreign policy judgment at a time like this when it’s so precarious for the people of the U.S. Obviously, my judgment is different when it comes to a lot of these issues.” Obviously? These are two completely unfit candidates for the presidency. And the next day, Mayo doubled down on his criticism of Status Quo Joe, this time during an interview with the Associated Press. On Monday, Mayo said that he "would not have wanted to see" his son serving on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company while he was leading anti-corruption efforts in the country. He told Tom Beaumont that his administration would "do everything we can to prevent even the appearance of a conflict. That's very important because as we see it can create a lot of complications even when there is no wrongdoing." I just hope to God Democratic voters across the country figure it out in time-- and don't move to any of the other conservatives in the race.

So far Biden hasn't responded with an invitation to a White House he'll hopefully never live in. If you'd like to help make sure neither he, Mayo, Bloomberg or any other conservative follows Trump into it... well, that's why I included the 2020 ActBlue thermometer above. Be part of the political revolution.

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Will CA-25 Voters Choose Willful Mediocrity Or Shoot For The Stars?


The political establishment in DC, in Los Angeles, in Sacramento and in Santa Clarita-- and I’m talking about the Democratic political establishment-- have all gone bonkers in trying to destroy Cenk Uygur’s electoral aspirations. I don’t know Cenk well, but well enough to be certain that he would be the single best member of Congress-- at least in the ways most feared by the transpartisan establishment. He wants to cut them off from the bribery that makes the wheel of careerism go round and round. The establishment has instead rallied around a useless corporate tool who, if elected, will instantly disappear into the backbenches to never be heard from again-- except in fundraising letters every two years. Frankly, I was surprised a couple of weeks ago when the establishment newspaper for CA-25, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, actually published a relatively fair and balanced piece on Uygur as a candidate.
Last month, the former MSNBC personality announced the launch of his campaign after former Rep. Katie Hill stepped down from office on Nov. 1. He’s now looking into the next steps: relocating with his family from Los Angeles to the district.

“I’m moving to the district but I’ll have to wait until the end of the school year,” said Uygur, a father of a 9- and 7-year-old. “We’re already looking at houses and it’s a beautiful area so we’re happy to move.”

As the family finds a place to settle down, he and his campaign committee have already started mobilizing in the Santa Clarita Valley. On Friday, Uygur announced he would no longer accept endorsements, following an endorsement from presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who said in a statement on Thursday that Uygur “will serve ordinary people, not powerful special interests,” but then withdrew his endorsement entirely a day later.

Uygur’s platform is taking on “corruption in politics,” as his campaign website states.

“Getting money out of politics (is a priority) because that affects all the issues and the issues of this district,” said Uygur.

Other priorities include supporting small businesses, increasing the minimum wage and Medicare for All-- the only candidate who has voiced being in favor of it because “others get contributions from private insurance companies,” he said.

School funding and improved safety for students in the wake of the Saugus High School shooting are also on his radar.

How does he plan on doing that?

“I’m going to go after Mitch McConnell (the Senate majority leader) with fire and fury and the reason for that is that we must get federal gun control immediately,” he said. “Every day that our kids are in danger of a school shooting is a day that I cannot bear. If we put enough public pressure he will have to bring (legislation) up for a vote.”

Uygur said he’s not concerned about his challengers on either side of the party lines, which include former Republican Rep. Steve Knight, Republican Mike Garcia and Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita. Besides the competition, the progressive pundit has had to reckon with past remarks about women, saying that “I’ve apologized. They were made when I was a politically incorrect Republican.” 
Let’s take a look at the two leading candidates’ websites. The DCCC/EMILY’s List corporate shill, Christy Smith:

And the independent-minded progressive, Cenk:

The DCCC tells the candidates it owns to nev er put an issues page where people will find it without looking around, which explains why there is no issues page on the top bar of Smith’s website. Obviously, on the other hand,you can’t miss it on Cenk’s. When you eventually get to hers, it’s nice and vanilla: no real policy... just pablum: “Christy believes that a great education levels the playing field and creates more opportunity for all of our young people.” Is she going to back any of the bold plans bering put forth by political leaders like Elizabeth or Bernie? She doesn’t say, but her silence tells the story. She plans to go to Congress to do whatever her donors and political benefactors tell her to do-- on education and on every other issue. Look at her Mayo Pete-like healthcare plank:
Health care is a human right and while the Affordable Care Act was a tremendous step in that direction, Christy believes we need to do more to reduce costs, ensure that every American has access to affordable healthcare, and protect those with pre-existing conditions. That’s why she supports a public health insurance option for anyone who wants it. Additionally, Christy believes we need to have the same consumer protections in the healthcare system as we do in any consumer market, which includes transparency when it comes to the real cost of healthcare treatments. She will work to shed light on pricing that for too long has been negotiated in the dark.

Christy also believes that Congress needs to do the work of controlling the skyrocketing cost of health care, including the rising costs of prescription drugs. It’s unacceptable that US taxpayers subsidize the research and development of lifesaving drugs, only to pay more for them than people who live in Europe, Japan, and Canada. She'll also fight to protect Medicaid and Medicare, women's reproductive health care rights, and funding for Planned Parenthood.
Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All bill (H.R. 1384) will be voted on once Pelosi is out of the way. 118 Democrats have co-sponsored it (including Katie Hill and Democrats in neighboring districts like Brad Sherman, Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff and Judy Chu). It’s not a theory; it’s an actual piece of pending legislation. Will Smith co-sponsor it or even vote for it? She very carefully doesn’t say, using DCCC language to not offend anyone nor commit to anything. It’s what she is and it’s why sending her to Congress would be a complete waste of time.

Compare her inane plank to Cenk’s take-no-prisoners approach:
I’m the only candidate in this race who is in favor of Medicare for All. Every single person is covered under Medicare for All and there are no co-pays, deductibles, or premiums. Imagine a country where no one dies because they don’t have insurance or goes bankrupt when they run into a serious medical problem. Well, that’s what every developed country in the world has-- except us. And on average they pay half of what we do!

Don’t let anyone-- Republican or Democrat-- deceive you about Medicare for All. You wouldn’t need private insurance anymore because you would have better insurance! Even it’s critics agree Medicare for All is “the Cadillac plan” and has “awesome” coverage. It expands the coverage you have now and lets you go to any doctor, hospital, or provider! The only reason the other politicians are against it is because they get campaign contributions from private insurance companies to keep the old, expensive, ineffective system we have now. Simply put, Medicare for All will save lives, and I will always fight for what's best for the people.
It’s the same thing when it comes to the climate crisis. No need for Smith to even mention the Green New Deal, which is opposed by the establishment she craves to join-- just more professional-sounding pablum and meaningless talking points. Cenk? Exactly what you would expect: fire and fury:
Environmental Justice and Climate Change

The planet is on fire. And we don’t have a second one. My district is on fire. Our politicians fiddle while we burn. We must take action right now. The oil companies keep all the profits of extracting our natural resources but do they pay all the costs to our future? A primary cause of climate change is the oil and gas industry, but when Simi Valley is on fire we have to pay for it! Why? That’s outrageous. Did you get any part of the profits of Exxon-Mobil? No, neither did I. But when your house burns down, they are nowhere to be found. That’s privatizing the gains and socializing the losses. 16 out of the last 17 years have been the hottest on record. If we don’t act soon, we can’t reverse it. I’m not going to let my district burn down for their profits.
Goal ThermometerVoters in CA-25 have an opportunity to rub the establishment’s snout in the mud and elect someone who will drive Pelosi, Hoyer and their cronies insane every single day. He will push and push and push and never worry about losing his seat, always working to enact the policies to make the lives of working families better. Unlike Smith, he isn’t running to make a career move. He’s running to make a difference, a real one, for the Santa Clarita, Simi and the Antelope valleys-- and for the country. Please consider contributing to his campaign on the DWT ActBlue page which you can access by clicking on the thermometer on the right. This morning Cenk told me that "I'm not sure there has ever been a clearer choice in a Democratic primary. Christy brags non-stop about how the establishment picked her and she celebrates the money she got from corporate donors, including the insurance industry. I don't take a dime from corporate donors or lobbyists and I don't owe any other politician any favors. The reason why I can speak so boldly and honestly is because I am accountable to only one set of people-- the voters."

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Rushin’ To Destruction: 2019 In Review, Part 13- - Tucker Carlson: Russia’s Tokyo Rose


-by Noah

Tucker Carlson oozes the smarmy elitism of most spoiled wealthy prep school boys. He’s comfortable in it, so comfortable that he’s never grown out of it. He approaches life and his nightly FOX "News" propaganda show with smirk and a gleeful "Fuck you, I’m Tucker Carlson and you’re not" attitude. This is a guy who doesn’t give a damn as long as the money’s good, it’s coming from "the right kind of people," and it enables him to masturbate his ego on a nightly basis.

Tucker Carlson’s lack of patriotism has never been in question. It’s just that now, with the statements and actions of people like Donald Trump, Moscow Mictch, and Devin Nunes, he’s more emboldened to flaunt his treachery as an adversarial propagandist than ever before. To Carlson, Vladimir Putin is a friend, not a homicidal dictator bent on world domination including the Untied States.

Carlson has always positioned himself as a kind of modern day Tokyo Rose. During World War II, Tokyo Rose (Actually several women lumped under the same name.) broadcast Japanese propaganda from her base in Tokyo to allied troops and sailors in the Pacific theater. The idea was that her broadcasts would lower morale and maybe even get allied troops to lay down their guns and join the other side. In the European theater, the Germans had Lord Haw Haw, their Nazi equivalent to Tokyo Rose.

Going way back, Whiney Little Tucker has always thrown his support for whatever rightwing extremism came along. From his blatant support of the Republican Party’s white supremacy movement. (He even claims white supremacy is a hoax) to his full support for phony tax cuts designed to benefit the wealthiest while, maybe, throwing a few pennies down to the feet of the “peasants,” Carlson has used his microphone to push whatever would get him the most money from Rupert Murdoch and hurt the most Americans at the same time. Is it any wonder that he marches along in lockstep with Trump, Nunes, Jordan, Moscow Mitch and the rest of the Republican Party?

On Carlson’s 11/25 show, Tucker decided to come out of his closet fully and completely. He meant his traitorous confessional as a win-win. It was a way to help his idol Trump by playing down Ukraine, and, help his idol’s bossman in Moscow at the same time.
Why do I care... what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? And I’m serious. Why do I care. Why shouldn’t I root for Russia, which I am?”
So, yes, Tucker Carlson is a Russian version of Tokyo Rose for the present day, and the clip at the end of this post proves what those who keep an eye on Tucker Carlson already know: The above quote is no aberration.

Carlson’s nightly viewers, unlike the allied troops of World War II, naively and eagerly buy into the Russian propaganda he and his like-minded cohorts at FOX "News" drill into their heads 24 hours a day They buy into it much to their own detriment in some cases, and, maybe in others, because they’re rather live in Russia. We’ve seen the t-shirts they wear at Trump rallies ("I’d rather be a Russian Than A Democrat,") etc. In the meantime, these brainwashed minions are happy to live here and cheer Putin’s Number 1 Puppet.

Interestingly, when Carlson made his open admission, the social media world blew up in his smug face, rightly so. Tucker has never wielded much brainpower (He relies on acute smugness and coming off like a nine-year-old smart aleck) but he was smart enough to realize that he’d hurt himself by his revelation, even if he didn’t completely understand the how or the why. So, Tucker tried backtracking. As he signed off for the night, he lamely claimed he was only joking. It could not have been any more unconvincing. The cat was now officially out of the bag. Little Whiney Tucker then enlisted the aid of Sean Hannity to speak up in his defense but the best Hannity could come up with was a lame joke about Tucker being "a communist." Jeez, Tucker, when you have to resort to having a goon like Hannity, a fellow traveler at that, well… Let’s just say, it makes you look even worse. I’m surprised you didn’t pull a Mulvaney and just shout “Get over it!”

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Wouldn't It Be Hilarious If The Senate Actually Found Him Guilty After All?


You can't 'unknow' something like this, right?

Monday, on Maine public Radio’s Morning Edition, Susan Collins used her experience from the Clinton impeachment trial to urge Moscow Mitch and Little Chucky Schmucky to play nice. “I think that the model and the precedent established by the trial for President Clinton is one that our leaders should take a hard look at. What happened back then is Senator Trent Lott on the Republican side, Senator Tom Daschle on the Democratic side, negotiated the terms to begin the trial. And those terms were adopted unanimously by the Senate, 100 to zero. I can't imagine anything like that happening today, regrettably. They decided that we would start with the opening arguments from both sides. And then we proceeded to a period where senators questioned the two sides through the Chief Justice. I remember submitting the only bipartisan question with Senator Russ Feingold at the time. And those questions, of which there were more than 100, elicited a lot of information that was very useful. So I hope we do that approach this time as well. Then we move to what I call the third stage. At that point, we debated whether or not we wanted to hear from witnesses and get additional documents. And there was a roll call vote, with Republicans wanting witnesses at that point. And Democrats, with few exceptions, not wanting witnesses, so we have a reverse of the current situation. And we decided to call just three witnesses and to have them deposed, rather than testifying live.”

Pressed by the host, she said she is open to calling witnesses, which is not the Trumpist line. “I am open to witnesses. I think it's premature to decide who should be called until we see the evidence that is presented and get the answers to the questions that we senators can submit through the Chief Justice to both sides.”

The reason Collins and Lisa Murkowski are even thinking about breaking with Trump and Moscow Mitch about calling witnesses is because of the bombshell reporting from the NY Times last week. Democrats-- and the media in general-- are presenting it as a game changer in the impeachment process.

Basically, the report reveals what many assumed, namely that Mulvaney was involved in withholding aid from Ukraine at Trump’s orders and that other Trumpists, primarily Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and then-National Security Adviser John Bolton overtly opposed the move. Monday, Schumer was running around like a chicken without a head, shrieking about calling them as witnesses.
"This new story shows all four witnesses that we Senate Democrats have requested" were "intimately involved and had direct knowledge of President Trump's decision to cut off aid and benefit himself," Schumer, a Democrat, told reporters in a press conference at his New York office.

"Simply put, in our fight to have key documents and witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial, these new revelations are a game changer."

The New York Times reported Sunday that Mulvaney was flying with President Donald Trump on Air Force One in June when he emailed his senior adviser to ask, “Did we ever find out about the money for Ukraine and whether we can hold it back?”

The adviser, Robert Blair, emailed back that it could be done, but he warned that they should "[e]xpect Congress to become unhinged," the report said, citing a previously undisclosed email. Assisting Mulvaney execute the hold were Blair and three officials in the White House Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought, the office's acting head, Michael Duffey, who oversees funding, and lawyer Mark Paoletta, the report said.

The Times' report also showed there was high-level pushback from top Trump officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and now-former national security adviser John Bolton.

The trio met with Trump in the Oval Office in late August and pressed him to release the aid, with Bolton telling the president, "This is in America's interest," the Times reported, citing an official briefed on the gathering.

Trump responded that he didn't believe Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was a genuine reformer. "Ukraine is a corrupt country," Trump reportedly replied, adding that "We are pissing away our money."

Trump reversed course after news of the freeze became public and House Democrats announced they were investigating the hold.

The White House blocked Mulvaney, Pompeo, Esper, Vought, Bolton, Blair and others from testifying or turning over documents to House impeachment investigators.

Schumer is demanding Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) call Mulvaney, Bolton, Blair and Duffey as witnesses at Trump's Senate trial. Emails made public last week showed that Duffey was the official who told the Pentagon that the president wanted the aid frozen-- a request that came just hours after Trump's July phone call with the Ukrainian president that has served as the backbone of the impeachment proceedings against him.

The four witnesses "were intimately involved" with what was going on behind the scenes, Schumer said.

"Let me be clear, this is about getting to the truth," the Democratic leader said. "Will the Senate hold a fair trial or will it enable a cover-up? President Trump, if you are so confident you did nothing wrong, why won't you let your men testify?"

The Senate trial will begin after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sends the two articles of impeachment over to the Senate, but it's unclear when exactly that will be. Senators are slated to return to Washington on Jan. 3.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, told MSNBC's Katy Tur on Monday that the Times’ article “vindicates the judgment of the House of Representatives.”

"The New York Times story just fills in a lot more details about the essential narrative that is in the impeachment report coming from the House of Representatives," he said. "And we hope that the Senate would indeed fill in further facts that have since surfaced, you know, after our impeachment of the president."

Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman who led the House impeachment inquiry, tweeted a link to the story and wrote, "Despite the President’s obstruction, additional damning evidence of his abuse of power continues to come to light. The question is whether the Senate will demand to see these and other emails and hear from those who were involved."

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Dick Gephardt And Status Quo Joe Are A Certain Kind Of Democrat-- One Where A "P" Works Better Than A "T" As A final Letter


These people all belong in prison-- but only because no one would ever agree their crimes are capital offenses

Dick Gephardt’s dream was to be President or Speaker of the House or very wealthy; he never made it beyond majority leader, but he sure did become very wealthy, selling access to his friends in office to the highest bidders. Now he’s one of the nation's most contemptible Goldman Sachs and PhRMA lobbyist scumbags. Believe it or not, he was once an actual contender for president (of the United States). First elected to Congress by the St. Louis Democratic Machine, he never experienced one moment of politics that wasn’t drenched in corruption, criminality and convenient flip-flopping on any issue he needed to switch positions on. People outside DC sensed he was a piece of shit and-- like Biden-- all his attempts to run for president, starting in 1987 were smartly rebuffed.

After he helped Bush and Cheney trick Congress into declaring war on Iraq (2002), his political career as a Democrat was pretty much done. He didn’t run for a 15th term in Congress but he switched from anti-Choice to “pro”-Choice and tried to run for president again. That’s how I allowed myself to interact with him, against my own better judgment. I’ll make the story of how, as short as I can. The RIAA had paid a huge bribe to the Democratic Party in order to get Congress and President Clinton to go along with some internet publishing deal. But they wanted a president of one of the labels to go thank Clinton personally and there was no one else among the label presidents who had ever experienced the internet, so I was chosen. Therefore they put the bribe in my name, without even asking me-- of even telling me. I’ll skip over the Clinton part and how he and Charlie Rangel tried shaking me down for more cash and go right to the Gephardt story.

By the 2004 campaign my name was on all the political fundraising call lists as a mega-donor because of that RIAA bribe I had nothing to do with. The good news was that I got calls from some cool people, like Howard Dean, but the bad news is that I got attention from the shady characters like Al Gore-- I’ll never forget his wife, who I loathed for her censorship attempts, asking me while I was dancing with my boyfriend at the White House if I would become a Gore bundler-- and Dick Gephardt. Gephardt insisted on meeting me in person even after I told him bluntly that I was firmly and irrevocably backing Howard Dean because he was opposed to the war Gephardt helped Bush start. So I met him. Terry McAuliffe was there too. I felt like I was drowning in a cesspool of the kind of criminality that was destroying politics. Once I made it clear to Gephardt that I wouldn’t give him 5 cents if his life depended on it, he dismissed me and I knew without a doubt I would never hear from him again. (His last campaign puttered out after one of his staffers called a Dean aide a “faggot” and punched him.) Among Gephardt’s endorsers were Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn, Sherrod Brown, and lots of Blue Dogs who were soon defeated in their own reelection attempts. Gephardt, who had once won the Iowa caucuses, came in 4th in 2004 and that was that. He has devoted the rest of his life to crime, handing out bribes on behalf of corporations instead of taking them for himself from corporations the way he used to.

He immediately went to work for them after losing his presidential bid

So why bring this turd up? He led the battle against the public option in 2009 and has worked diligently to keep drug prices high by pushing to extend patents and block generic drugs from coming to market. It’s largely due to the efforts of Dick Gephardt that drug prices are often TEN TIMES higher in the U.S. than in other countries. And, as Lee Fang, just reported for The Intercept Gephardt is still helping PhRMA rip off the American public as he nears his 80th birthday. Ironically, for me at least, the lead picture in Fang’s article is Gephardt and McAuliffe. Today-- no surprise-- Gephardt is paid to act as a general in the war against Medicare-for-All.

Fang noted that the mere prospect of single payer has elicited swift derision from some corners of the Democratic Party, with Dick Gephardt “laughing off the idea at a health insurance conference earlier this month. ‘Not in my lifetime,’ scoffed Gephardt, when asked if the United States will ever adopt such a system. Gephardt, who serves as a Democratic ‘superdelegate’ responsible for choosing the party’s presidential nominee, was asked about the possibility of single payer at the Centene Corporation annual investor day conference at The Pierre, a ritzy five-star hotel in New York City. ‘There is no way you could pass single payer in any intermediate future,’ Gephardt declared. America, he added, has the ‘greatest health care system in the world, bar none.’ And while single payer would provide universal coverage, there would be less quality and innovation without the ‘involvement of the private sector.’ Haley Barbour, the former Republican National Committee chair, another speaker at the event, chimed in to agree. ‘Hear, hear. Put me down as agreeing with Leader Gephardt as usual,’ Barbour chuckled.”
The claim that single payer suppresses innovation is an old argument that does not stand up to scrutiny. Most medical innovation in the U.S. are already government funded, through universities receiving federal subsidies and grants, as well as through the National Institutes of Health. A single-payer insurance system, like Medicare, would simply negotiate for lower prices from providers, and would likely steer savings towards greater investments in research and development. Claims about lower quality care are also highly disputed, given that countries with single payer and tightly regulated universal health systems perform much higher than the U.S. in a range of health outcomes.

Despite well-entrenched opposition from much of the private health care industry, political momentum for single payer has enjoyed a rapid boom of late.
Does it make your blood boil? It does mine. It makes me want to commit myself to electing Bernie to the presidency and progressives to Congress even more. I spoke with some of the congressional candidates who are running on Medicare-for-All platforms and asked them how they deal with political opponents who use these same manufactured lies about Medicare in their campaigns. Eva Putzova isn’t from the Dick Gephardt wing of the party. She served as a Bernie delegate from Arizona to the Democratic National Convention in 2016 and she’s been fighting for working families every since. The revolving door between politics and corporate lobbyists is not something she looks at kindly, primarily because the results are horrifically damaging to the people she is running to represent in Congress. “We need to implement a single payer, Medicare for All system that will remove the profit-making insurance and pharmaceutical industries from the influence and control they presently exert on health care policy, and policy-makers,” she told me earlier today. “In no other industrialized nation do these profit-making interests have such influence as in the U.S. We need to chase these ‘money lenders from the temple’ as rapidly as possible in order to provide good, quality, universal healthcare to all Americans.”

Goal ThermometerMassachusetts progressive Brianna Wu addressed her comment directly-- “Here’s what I have to say to those elected officials and candidates who don’t support Medicare For All-- you’re simply not spending enough time listening to your constituents. I can’t count how many people in my district have told me they have no healthcare or inadequate health care. They don’t go to a doctor when they get sick because they just can’t afford it. Some have gone bankrupt because of obscenely high medical bills. These are real people who work hard for themselves and their families. In one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, it isn’t just unfair, it should be criminal. My opponent, Rep. Stephen Lynch, has said that he isn’t yet convinced that Medicare For All would be a good idea. I’m sure that’s true. He enjoys his cadillac insurance plan as a congressman. So do his campaign donors who work for the insurance industry. It’s clear that Rep. Lynch isn’t spending enough time listening to his constituents. If he and other establishment-backed elected officials did listen, they would learn that their days in office are numbered, and that we need Medicare For All. Now.”

Heidi Sloan has a keen understanding of how congressional agendas need to be analyzed. A TX-25 progressive, she is campaigning heavily on Medicare-for-All and for cleaning up campaign finance corruption and the revolving door between congressional offices and lobbying firms. "The most effective piece of the Affordable Care Act was the Medicare expansion, and now we have a movement of people demanding the expansion of Medicare to every person in this country. We have real enemies in this fight, people like Roger Williams who oppose us because his class interests conflict with the goal of single-payer universal healthcare. The ruling class is smart enough to realize that workers who don't depend on employers for healthcare are a lot more likely to go on strike or walk away from a lousy job. Besides, even one of the richest members of Congress doesn't want to lose contributions after the for-profit industry funding his campaign is abolished. He'd rather corporations profit off of the denial of healthcare than to have less industry money to run on. Roger Williams has got to go, and all of the crooked politicians who take corporate money have to go with him."

David Scott stays quiet in Congress-- a career-long backbencher and Blue Dog with a tendency to back Republicans back in Georgia. This year there’s a strong progressive contesting the right to represent the suburban district south and southwest of Atlanta-- Dr. Michael Owens. Yesterday he told us that his platform has "included Medicare for All since day one of my campaign-- which is in stark contrast to my opponent’s stance. This is very unfortunate especially when you consider that there are parts of my district that rank among the least insured in the whole state. This is typical of Scott. He has consistently not supported Medicare for All. In the 114th, 115th and now in the 116th Congress, Scott hasn’t backed Medicare-for-All legislation. I would have signed on as an original cosponsor of Pramila Jayapal’s H.R. 676.  Remember, Georgia currently has the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States-- 46.2 deaths per 100,000 live births. More than 60 of Georgia’s 159 counties do not have a pediatrician. My opponent’s solution is the same that it has been over the last 15 years-- to host a one-day ‘health fair.’ This is a far cry from the bold health care solutions we need. 'Affordable and accessible health care' is a term we should learn to not trust. We also shouldn't trust an elected official who has received over $400,000 from the insurance industry over the last 4 election cycles. The women, children and men of my district and of this country need a single payer system, specifically Medicare for All, to ensure that all Americans have healthcare. Not 'affordable and accessible' healthcare via insurance companies whose goal is to maximize profits and deny and delay coverage. Healthcare is an an American crisis and we must put the need of the people over the greed of the health insurance industry."

Rachel Ventura’s New Dem opponent, Bill Foster, is a total DC insider who plays all the lobbyist games that see congressmen betraying the interests of their constituents for the interests of their campaign donors and other insiders. It might not be as bad if he lived in the district and met some of the folks he’s supposed to be representing. Last night, Rachel told us that “In 2018, Americans spent an all-time high of $360 billion on prescription drugs! Bill Foster won’t support Medicare for all because he supports a tiered healthcare system for those who can afford better insurance. We all deserve to have quality healthcare! Dick Gephardt and my political opponent have one thing in common. They are both part of our political past. Gephardt’s candle is fading quickly and it won’t be long before we are passing single-payer healthcare. We will do things different when I am elected to represent the people of Illinois’ 11th congressional district. There is an intelligent group of young people running for office this cycle, and we are going to win. We will join those who are already reshaping the political landscape in Washington and fighting to represent people over corporations. Change starts in the political campaign. I won’t be taking a penny from big PhRMA or from the for-profit healthcare system. I will have no problem hanging a “not for sale” sign on my office door and refusing meetings with those who have corrupted our political system to a point where voters, in desperation, choose a chaotic outsider like Donald Trump. It’s time to put the past behind us. The old way of doing things and the old players who are still scrapping for relevancy in this changing system will one day be written about as the dark ages in American history.”

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

In fact, no matter how many flushes it takes, a whole reservoir if necessary. Of course, a vat of lye for a tub of lies might be more practical.

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Monday, December 30, 2019

The Iowa Caucuses Are February 3rd— Very Soon


Every week I’m on the radio with David Feldman and every week I try to explain why Iowa just cannot be accurately polled. The idea of Mayo Pete winning the caucuses is patently absurd, even if the RealClearPolitics polling average-- based on polls that are all over the map and far from showing any kind of consensus-- show him ahead:
Mayo- 22.0%
Bernie- 20.0%
Status Quo Joe- 18.8%
Elizabeth- 16.0%
Klobuchar- 6.3%
Booker- 2.8%
Steyer- 2.5%
Yang- 2.3%
Tulsi- 2.0%
Bloomberg- 1.3%
On Saturday, Harry Enten reported for CNN.com readers that Iowa, is a little more than a month away and we don't really know who is ahead, let alone who is going to win. He’s completely correct-- but for all the wrong reasons. He wrote that we don’t know who’s winning because there aren’t enough polls and that the polls are too close.

Is it somehow not dawning on people that polls only measure how caucus-goers feel when they go into a caucus, not how they will actually vote when the process is over? It isn’t like a primary. In New Hampshire, if the polling is accurate, this is how the primary should turn out (unless other factors intervene-- like the results in Iowa, or, just as likely, Status Quo Joe saying something as stupid as how he won't cooperate with a lawful congressional subpoena):
Bernie- 19.0%
Mayo- 17.7%
Status Quo Joe- 14.3%
Elizabeth- 13.3%
Tulsi- 5.7%
Yang- 4.7%
Steyer- 2.7%
Klobuchar- 2.0%
Booker- 1.7%
But in Iowa, precinct caucuses work differently than primaries. Caucus goers go into a room and talk out the issues with their neighbors before they vote. A candidate with hard-core followers, like Bernie does, rather than followers who are unaware of the real world (like Biden followers) or whose allegience to their candidate is shallow (like Mayo’s followers) does much better. If a candidate doesn't poll at least 15% on the first ballot, they're out and their supporters can go home or vote for someone else. Most of the polling doesn’t measure this because it’s too expensive to measure accurately-- if it’s rally even possible at all.

Enten was paid to conclude his piece by writing that “people will caucus soon enough, and we'll actually know who won.” OK. I have two main predictions for Iowa: Klobuchar will do badly enough for her to finally drop out of the race and go back to work in the Senate. (Michael Bennet may do the same thing; he's destroying his political career-- a good thing, since he sucks as a senator.) Billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, a Republican pretending to be a Democrat, will misinterpret terrible results and conclude that they have to spend even more money on TV and internet ads that turn off more people than they persuade.

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Status Quo Joe vs Martin Luther King, Jr.


Biden was a natural-born Republican. He didn’t switch his party registration until he felt the need to suck up to his boss at the law firm he got a job at. And when he ran for office in Delaware he was, basically, a one-issue politician-- “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” in the words of another “Democrat” in Biden’s day. Biden always preferred working with Republicans than Democrats, especially progressive Democrats, who he always feared and hated. He used to brag how he was a conservative on almost everything-- and you could see that clearly in his long and putrid record. It was just a terrible Republican-oriented voting record for decades in the Senate, it was also his record of leadership and what he chose to push: wars (like Iraq), bad trade deals (like NAFTA), Wall Street legislation (from putative bankruptcy bills to bills that put millions of Americans into unsustainable college debt) and, of course, extreme social injustice, one of Biden's life-long specialties. Biden has always had an easier time working with Republicans-- and embracing their agenda-- than working with progressives, whose agenda he has always generally abhorred and mocked and worked to derail. He's always been that kind of Democrat. Obama didn't pick him as a running mate for any other reason than to balance the ticket-- basically, a black man and a publicly calmed-down racist.

So it should have come as no surprise on Monday when ole Status Quo Joe told Democratic primary voters in Exeter, New Hampshire that he’s open to picking a Republican as a running mate.

Remember, we’re talking about a 77 year old man who only appears healthy because of thousands of dollars in plastic surgery that he has deployed to deceive voters, someone who is clearly senile and getting worse by the week and someone who would be a not very healthy 78 when he occupied the White House. He wants a Republican ready to step in? Which one? He refused to say. A more moderate Ivanka Trump? Or a more fascist-leaning Don, Jr.? Moscow Mitch? Pence? Who’s he got in mind? Someone as anti-Choice and anti-gay and anti-Black as he always was until he found it politically expedient to claim otherwise? Of course!! I know exactly who he has in mind-- the perfect Biden Republican-- Paul Ryan... the two of them could gut Social Security together and live happily ever after, heroes of the one percent!

The New York Times noted Monday that ”Biden has emphasized the need for a future Democratic president to work with Republicans, stressing the importance of consensus in order to get things done. That viewpoint has been criticized by some liberals who see it as an unacceptable embrace of the status quo and think Mr. Biden is naïve about trying to work with Republicans. But choosing a Republican to be his running mate would be a far more grievous act in the eyes of many Democrats, something many party officials and both liberal and moderate activists would oppose.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., the kind of transformational leader Biden has never even aspired to be, had something to say about his kind of grubby, failed politics, which has never accomplished anything for people but has always keep the transpartisan donor class happy as pigs in shit. America will never celebrate a “Status Quo Joe Day, the way we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. One of King’s best known quotes is “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” Dan Oswald explained that to mean “that if we want to be leaders, we need to lead-- that is, we need to develop ideas and convince others of their merit. A leader doesn’t figure out where everyone is going and then jump to the front of the line. A leader chooses a destination, convinces others of the merits of taking the trip, shows them how they can get there, and then leads them on the journey.”

As a manager, it’s your job to have a vision and share it with those with whom you work. And as a leader, you must build consensus for that vision. If you stand around waiting to find consensus, then you’re not leading anyone. The leader is out in front of the pack determining the proper path. At times you’ll head the wrong way and need to reverse course. Other times, as the leader of the pack, you’ll be the first to step into danger. But as a leader, you must be willing to take calculated risks. That’s part of the job description.
Still plenty of time to vote over at Twitter, but we seem to have an early consensus

Sanders-- not Biden, not Buttigieg, not Bloomberg! We've had enough of the B-team from Democrats. It's time for a real super-star A Team kind of guy, a modern day FDR. And I don't even want to guess what an hideous concoction a Biden cabinet would look like-- not to mention his judicial nominations!

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Rushin’ To Destruction, 2019 In Review, Part 12-- Lawrence O’Donnell Details The Fantasy World Of Trump Followers


-by Noah

During the 2016 campaign half of me was amazed that anyone could watch candidate Trump speak even for two minutes and not realize that they are watching an insane person who had managed to not be confined to asylum only because of his money and economic status. It wasn’t even entirely about what he was saying, it was the persona itself. Sometimes it’s all in the vibe, the eyes, and a certain vocal quality.

The other half of me, of course, knew the answer to the mystery perfectly well. The answer lay in his hypnotic hand gestures and the fact that anyone who found what he had to say profound, believable, or even interesting probably had an IQ south of 80. There was also the fact that some people just liked his message of grievance and blame, particularly when it came to race issues and minorities. Remember those hand gestures? It was more than his acting like he was waving a lantern or playing an accordion (two of his favorites), or even the clenched fist style of dictators throughout history. There was also the number one Trump hand gesture-- the white power WP, three extended fingers signifying the W with the thumb and index finger forming a P. Yes. Many people just see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear, especially when they are led right to it.

Even given all of the above, it can still be hard to understand that 62 million fools would buy the crap this huckster is selling but they do. A lot of it has to do with Trump appealing to humanity’s baser instincts, i.e., the driving forces of what it means to be a Republican: greed, blame and the need to kick somebody, preferably if they’re down.

Back in mid-October, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell expanded on all of this in a piece he called “The Fantasy World Of Trump Followers” as follows:
To be a Trump voter, a Trump supporter is to be to varying degrees, a fantasist. Some businessmen supporting Donald Trump might like to live with the fantasy that they just vote to support his giant tax cuts that bankrupt the treasury of the United State and want his racism, not his vulgarity, not his rank ignorance about every subject he ever speaks about publicly.

Some Trump supporters live in a complete fantasy about Donald Trump himself, the fantasy that somehow Donald Trump will still get Mexico to pay for the wall. The fantasy that there will be a wall to pay for. The fantasy that Donald Trump is smarter than anyone else in politics, the fantasy that Donald Trump is a tough guy, even though he grew up a spoiled rich kid. The fantasy that Donald Trump is brave, even though he got repeated draft deferments to avoid the war of his era and has never once since then exhibited a single moment of bravery of any kind in his life. Still, the Trump fantasists see him as tough and brave and even thin and energetic as they do in this video that was shown at a Trump campaign event at a Trump property in Florida.

That’s about the only place where people would show this video publicly. We aren’t showing the video, and I noticed today the CNN hasn’t been showing the video because in this video, this fantasy version of Donald Trump shoots and kills someone from NBC, and someone from CNN, someone from CBS, and someone from BBC News, along with many other murder victims from many other news organizations. The fantasy Trump character shoots and kills Congressman Joe Kennedy whose grandfather was shot and killed while campaigning for president, and whose great uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was shot and killed, assassinated.

... In the video, the fantasy Trump kills more people than you can count, including Rosie O’Donnell, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and, of course, of course, the fantasy Trump completes what is perhaps the most rewarding of the fantasies in this video for Trump fantasists by breaking President Obama’s neck and killing him. Everyone named Trump is now claiming they knew nothing about this video, including Donald Trump, Jr., who was at the event where the video was shown. President Trump has, through a White House spokesperson, condemned the video after claiming he has not seen the video.

...What are the chances Donald Trump has not seen that video? That is code language for his followers to understand that he really doesn’t condemn the video. When he tells them he’s condemning the video without having seen it, he’s telling them that this is just a political thing that I have to say right now about the video, which I hope you watch and I hope you think of me this way, especially the thin part, fantasy.
As I always say, context is everything. This video is not a one-off. Remember back in 2017 when Trump tweeted out a short fake video of him beating on a CNN reporter at a wrestling match?

The newer video, this year’s model, described in such detail by Lawrence O’Donnell is really, in essence, just a longer and even more graphic version of that. It’s no longer Trump wrestling a reporter and delivering a beating. This time Trump is shooting and stabbing political opponents and journalists to death. It is the stuff of Republican dreams. This extended video is an altered form of a scene filmed in a church from the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service and it takes place in what the video names “The Church Of Fake News.” It was shown at an event held by a pro-Trump group that calls itself American Priorities. The event was held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort which Trump himself now calls his legal residence and the “Southern White House.”

As O’Donnell mentions, Donald Trump, Jr. was in attendance. That we’ve had mass-shootings in churches and a Trump fanatic mailing pipe bombs to many of the victims depicted in the video should never be seen as a coincidence. Rather, it should be seen as another Trump attempt to incite violence against perceived Trump enemies, people he and his supporters call “enemies of the people.” It is a pattern. When that mass-shhoting or other violent event does occur, Trump will again “condemn’ the action and deny any responsibility or connection. Then he will go off camera and laugh.

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Which Side Will James Lankford Take In The Coming Evangelical Civil War?


In 2009 James Lankford stepped down as as the student ministries and evangelism specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and as director of the youth programming at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Davis, Oklahoma to run for Congress. His voting record is pure Trumpist and even before Trump, his record was fanatically far right. He claims to believe deeply in Jesus Christ. And yet, for example, he’s an anti-LGBTQ warrior. And so on. In the video of his appearance on Face the Nation Sunday he talked about how a president should be a role model for the nation’s youth and then offered a scathing indictment of the president from whom he has been a lockstep supporter.

“I don’t think that President Trump as a person is a role model for a lot of different youth. That’s just me personally. I don’t like the way that he tweets… some of the things that he says, his word choices at times are not my word choices. He comes across with more New York City swagger than I do from the Midwest and definitely not the way that I’m raising my kids… It’s also been a grand challenge to be able to say, for a person of faith, for a person who believes that there is a right way to go on things I wish that he did. And he was more of a role model in those areas. Now, saying all that, on the area of life where I'm very passionate about, on the issues of abortion, for instance. He's been tenaciously pro-life. He's focused on putting people around him that are very focused on religious liberty, not honoring a particular faith, but honoring any person of any faith to go be able to live and practice that faith and to have respect for that. That's helpful for any person of faith. And to be able to say, give me the space to be able to live my faith and to be able to put people into the administration that will also allow that and encourage that. So for people of faith, it's a bit of a conundrum at times that I look at some of the moral decisions that he's made and go, I disagree with that. But he's also been very, very protective of areas like life and very protective of areas of religious liberty to be able to allow people to be able to live their faith out. And at the end of the day, what we're really looking for in an administration is folks that allow us to be able to live our principles.”

Recently, a group of evangelical pastors and supporters under the rubric of Vote Common Good asked, “What brings you hope? Is it, as Mr. Rogers once famously said, ‘Looking for the helpers’ Is it remembering all the times where love won in the past and having faith that it will happen again? Is it a blind optimism, undamped by the cynicism of the world?  For us, hope is more than just an emotion, it is a way of living. Hope isn’t just that comes to us in life, it is a reason that we live. Hope is essential, it is growing, and it will not be put out. Hope is here, and in 2020, it will trump hate.”

In 2020, their hope will become action as they organize and host the Faith, Hope and the Common Good Summit & Presidential Forum is Des Moines. The summit “will serve as a training for citizens, faith leaders, community organizers, activists, and political candidates on engaging in civic life and the common good” and shortly after the summit, they will begin their Faith, Hope, and Love for a Change on Election Day 2020 National Bus Tour, traveling to every single state to speak with voters of faith and conscience. Their goal with the tour is “to reach those who want to see our common good be elevated, and to encourage those who have been awakened since 2016. In short, 2020 is the year where our hope comes alive.” In 2018 their tour took them from coast to coast where they introduced Democratic candidates to evangelical voters. In CA-45 they helped Katie Porter win a red Orange County seat. In IA-04 and TX-10 they helped bring J.D. Scholten and Mike Siegel closer to election than anyone could have imagined. This cycle they will be working to help both Scholten and Siegel with evangelical voters again.

Writing for the MaddowBlog the day after Christmas, Steve Benen noted that the civil war brewing in the evangelical movement could be catastrophic for the Trump reelection efforts. Evangelicals-- like Lankford-- have overlooked his tsunami of personal failings to get a step up on their innate hatred and bigotry and to see right-wing judges appointed to courts high and low. Benen wrote that “And while it’s best not to overstate matters-- polling suggests Trump’s support among evangelical Christians is much higher than among Americans in general-- these divisions and public conflicts are exactly what the president’s re-election campaign hoped to avoid. For his part, the Washington Post’s Michael Gerson wrote in his latest column, ‘Christians are called to be representatives of God’s kingdom in the life of this world. Betraying that role not only hurts the reputation of evangelicalism; it does a nasty disservice to the reputation of the Gospel.’ That’s almost certainly not what the White House wants to hear.”

An OpEd by Mario Nicolais in the Colorado Sun on Sunday asked if a generational divide over Trump could lead to an evangelical exodus. He wrote of the war of words in evangelical publications between Mark Galli, Timothy Dalrymple and Napp Nazworth and the old guard of the anti-Jesus sell-outs like Trumpists Ralph Reed, Franklin Graham and James Dobson.
For political purposes, depending on whom you believe, the rift either represents the ramblings of an elitist few or the full-fledged veil of the evangelical temple rent in two. The latter represents not just an existential crisis for Trump and his presidency, but a long-term quandary for all Republicans.

In 2018, white, born-again/evangelical Christians supported Republicans running for Congress at a clip of 75%. No other major religious group eclipsed 56%. Any significant dip in those numbers could cause a ripple effect across the electoral spectrum. Republicans simply have no obvious alternative to replace lost evangelical voters.

Unfortunately for them, that is precisely what some analysts already predict. Earlier this year, the left-of-center FiveThirtyEight website released data that young white evangelicals support for Trump had softened. As younger evangelicals tended to be more liberal on immigration and LGBT rights, their support for Trump teetered.

…Now that generational divide may be super-charged by Galli, Dalrymple and Nazworth. Already leery of Trump and other Republicans, the moral cover provided by CT and its allies may grant young evangelical voters the freedom to abandon the party of their parents.

If that abandonment takes place within the next 10 months, the six days before this Christmas may prove to be the most consequential for the Republican Party in decades.
Doug Pagitt, executive director of Vote Common Good, pointed out that theTrumpist faction “got spooked and I think they realized, ‘we don’t have a handle on the many factions.’ You know you’re in trouble when your argument now is, ‘I don’t have all the evangelicals. We just have some and some are breaking off.’ That’s the beginning of a collapse, and that’s something some of us have been saying all along. It feels to a lot of us that the things we were going to say come November 2020 felt like they needed to be said here in December. Impeachment feels like it’s an issue of national crisis, whereas election just feels like it’s part of the natural cycle.”

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