Friday, October 02, 2020

Many Republican Candidates Are Paralyzed With Fear-- Fear Of Normal Voters On The One Hand And Fear Of Trump And His Element On The Other



Trump isn't dead yet and hasn't used his COVID diagnosis as an excuse for backing out of the race. He insists otherwise, but he was hurt badly by Tuesday's debate. This is very typical post-debate polling coverage: "Trump hurt himself more than his rival with Tuesday night's theatrics in what's been called the worst U.S. presidential debate in history."

Now, try to imagine the "Fake News" tantrum the criminally, clinically insane Donald must have thrown Wednesday night when he saw Gabe Sherman's Vanity Fair report, "The Family Is Worried Brad Will Start Talking": TrumpWorld Panics Over Debate Fiasco As Campaign Turmoil Mounts. It sounds pretty dire: "Over three days, the New York Times dropped a tax bombshell, Florida cops cuffed Brad Parscale, and the president just couldn’t help himself onstage. 'Trump didn’t win over any voters,' said a prominent Republican, 'and he pissed off a lot of people.'"

Sherman asserts that while the campaign is still assessing the political damage from the debate, particularly Trump's "refusal to condemn white supremacists," the Orange blot "didn't win over any voters, and he pissed off a lot of people."

Worse yet, "Republicans are resigned to the fact that Trump is unlikely-- or unwilling-- to course-correct. 'Trump thinks he won. He didn’t,' said another Republican with ties to the campaign. 'But does anyone have the balls to tell him that? No. They’d be fired.'"
Trump doesn’t accept the consensus that the debate was a disaster because, sources said, he was unabashedly himself. “The thing about the debate is people got to see why no one that has any integrity can work for Trump. This is what Trump is like in the Oval Office every day. It’s why [John] Kelly left. It’s why [Jim] Mattis quit,” said the prominent Republican. “Trump doesn’t let anyone else speak. He really doesn’t care what you have to say. He demeans people. He talks over them. And everyone around him thinks it’s getting worse.”

Inside Trumpworld there’s a view that the past week is an inflection point in the campaign. It started on Sunday night with the bombshell New York Times report that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. “For Trump the Times story was worse than losing reelection,” said the second Republican. “If you had told Donald back in 2015 that his tax returns would be exposed and he’d have all these investigations, I guarantee you he wouldn’t have run.”

As the Times story lit up cable news and Twitter, news broke that Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale had been taken into custody outside his Ft. Lauderdale home and hospitalized after threatening to commit suicide and allegedly beating his wife days prior. Police body camera footage showing an officer brutally tackling a shirtless, 6’8” Parscale to the pavement instantly became a visual metaphor for the chaos engulfing the Trump campaign. One campaign adviser I spoke with was shocked by the amount of force the police used to subdue and cuff Parscale. “If Brad had been Black, there would be riots all over the country,” the source said. (In fact, police have killed unarmed Black men in far less hostile situations.)

Parscale’s public meltdown happened while he is reportedly under investigation for stealing from the Trump campaign and the RNC. According to the source close to the campaign, the Trump family is worried that Parscale could turn on them and cooperate with law enforcement about possible campaign finance violations. “The family is worried Brad will start talking,” the source said.
And the shit show is just getting started... for Republicans who have earned-- and continue to earn-- every bit of it. Writing for the Washington Post, Robert Costa and Matt Viser reported that the aftermath of the debate "triggered a reckoning among Republicans on Wednesday about the incumbent’s incendiary remarks on white supremacy and his baseless claims of electoral fraud, with GOP officials privately expressing alarm about the fallout with key voters." Republican elected officials, though, were muted, tepid and largely non-existent "reflecting how the GOP remains convinced that an alliance with Trump and his voters is crucial for its survival. But hewing too close to him is also seen as a mistake by some Republicans, particularly for those who wish to court moderates and independent voters."

Utterly out-of-touch, brow furrowed, Susan Collins, who is losing her reelection bid to an uninspiring moderate Democrat, made the probably-fatal error of telling reporters that "There was fault on both sides. The interrupting on both sides, the name-calling was very unbecoming for a presidential debate." When pressed, she admitted it was "a mistake" for Donald to not condemn the Proud Boys and his other white supremicist supporters.

Tim Scott (R-SC) is the only black Republican in the Senate. (He was appointed.) He say Trump "misspoke" and "should correct it. If he doesn’t correct it, I guess he didn’t misspeak." That was about as close to a rebuke Donald got from a Republican senator-- and Scott isn't up for reelection in November. Donald's post-debate attempt at a "correction" was to lie to the media and claim he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are. "I mean, you’ll have to give me a definition, because I really don’t know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work." Yeah, so I guess he didn't misspeak.
Trump’s comments did little to encourage Republicans about the political turbulence they face in the final stretch of the campaign as Trump seizes on matters of race and urban unrest and unfounded allegations of voter fraud.

“This election is drifting toward what feels like a blowout [victory for Biden], and there needs to be some type of event that changes that. The debate was a chance to change the direction, and while it might be too early to be seen, there is no real reason to believe it was a game-changer,” said Brendan Buck, a former top adviser to the past two Republican House speakers, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and John Boehner of Ohio.

Former senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a Trump critic who stays in touch with former colleagues, said the private alarm in Senate GOP circles “is palpable.”

“People are voting already, so they know it’s going to be tough to put forward a new narrative,” Flake said. “They’re more than a little worried because it feels like even if you go in a different direction, it’d be too little, too late. That’s devastating.”

Polling shows the GOP Senate majority at risk with strongholds in the Deep South, such as South Carolina and Georgia, highly competitive. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison tied as Graham seeks a fourth term in the Senate.

One veteran Republican Senate strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are working on a Senate campaign, said, “We’re all kind of prepared to be responsible for our own performances and our own words. You’re not going to see anybody say it was a bad performance, but they’ll consider it like Trump’s really crazy tweets. They’ll say, ‘That’s not my kind of campaign, didn’t really see it.’”

The strategist added that several campaigns are already deliberating on how to address Proud Boys questions at upcoming Senate debates and are trying to figure out how to deflect the issue and shift to more favorable topics.

At the Capitol on Wednesday, where Senate Republicans are working swiftly to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, reactions ranged from venting about the debate to sidestepping challenges to Trump.

“It was awful,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told reporters, while Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) offered a descriptive expletive.

“I was actually watching the Yankees,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD). When asked if he was disturbed by Trump’s response to the Proud Boys question, Rounds said, “He should have been very clear,” whether talking about “far-left” groups or “far-right” groups.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who is in a difficult reelection race, said of Trump’s handling of the Proud Boys question: “I’ll leave it to the president. I know he’s not racist. I’m sure he doesn’t approve of their activities.”
Like Collins, Tillis is being challenged by an uninspiring moderate-to-conservative establishment Democrat and, like Collins, Tillis is losing his reelection bid. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Cunningham ahead by a daunting 6 points. And the most recent poll, by YouGov for CBS News, sounds like a death knell for Tillis. Cunningham is beating him 48% to 38%-- ten points!

And right on cue, Sabato's Crystal Ball stepped a little closer to reality-- just a little-- in its predictions for November. Cory Gardner hasn't had a shot for reelection for over a year and Sabato's outfit seems to have almost figured it out, moving its rating from "leans Democratic" to "likely Democratic." On November 4th they will move it to "safe Democratic." They seem to be recognizing that Al Gross is going to beat Trumpist coward Dan Sullivan in Alaska, moving Sullivan's reelection bid from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican." And in House races they made 12 changes-- all but one in favor of Democratic candidates. And the one was just a reflection of Sabato's unwillingness to understand what the nature of a wave is when even shit candidates like worthless New Dem T.J. Cox, are swept across the finish line by voters who want to see the enemy-- this year Republicans-- vanquished.

Goal ThermometerSabato shows 30 Republican-held seats on the verge of flipping-- and that includes career-ending defeats for 18 House Republican incumbents. Blue America House candidates most likely to win next month-- according to Sabato's predictions-- are Jon Hoadley (MI-06), Kara Eastman (NE-02), Dana Balter (NY-24) and Mike Siegel (TX-10). The only Democrats Sabato sees in actual jeopardy are half a dozen Blue Dogs and New Dems: T.J. Cox (CA), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Collin Peterson (MN), Anthony Brindisi (NY), Max Rose (NY) and Kendra Horn (OK), the last 4 of whom the Democratic Party would be much better off without. My suggestion to people who want their contributions to go to candidates on the verge of winning-- and just using Sabato's criteria-- but who need that extra little push: click on the Blue America 2020 congressional thermometer on the right and give $10 each to Kara Eastman, Mike Siegel and Jon Hoadley. BONUS: here's Mike Siegel speaking at an online Bernie congressional fundraiser Wednesday evening:

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At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you make bad choices. They are lucky that there aren't any chicken feathers or tar in the greenhouse, but some gardening implements can be altered into being deadly weapons. They are again lucky that plants don't have opposable thumbs.

At 5:54 AM, Blogger Ten Bears said...

That Russian hooker’s not wearing any underwear.

I do not for one single minute believe Donald J Drumpf uck, Jenious, and his second Russian hooker have contracted the Trump Virus. “Sleepy” Joe isn’t backing out of the debates, isn’t backing down; the Retards (look it up) are losing all across the country and have practically admitted to and begged for more Russian interference in this election … It’s time for a distraction, a Grand Illusion.

Takes him out of the limelight for a week or two, at which point he can claim it wasn’t so bad, just like the flu – the Trump Flu – and only losers die.

Now drink you fish-tank cleanser and get back to work, it's a campaign stunt.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, Chief TB, you might want to know that FLOTUS is not Russian, but Slovenian (look it up). Best to be seen walking one's talk, so to speak. Friends don't let friends leave themselves open to factual counterattack.


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