ChrisWeigant.com

Democrats Looking Good For House Midterms

[ Posted Thursday, January 11th, 2018 – 17:44 PST ]

Republican Representatives Darrell Issa and Ed Royce both announced this week that they will not be running for re-election in their California House districts. This brings the number of such announced GOP retirements nationwide to 32 for this midterm election cycle. As CNN has been tracking, this is an extraordinarily high number of retirements for so early in the campaign season. As filing deadlines approach, that number will doubtlessly go even higher. Comparatively, only 16 House Democrats have announced their retirement. This is just one indicator, but it shows Democrats well-positioned to make gains in the House races this November.

Of course, none of these races is guaranteed to go Democrats' way. But it remains a fact that it is a lot easier to flip a seat in an open race than it is to unseat an incumbent running for re-election. And so far, Democrats have twice the opportunities for doing so than Republicans.

Not all of the representatives who have announced they won't be running are retirements, as some are running for higher office. But what's rather shocking is the fact that nine Republican committee chairs have decided to throw in the towel already. This is in large part due to the GOP caucus rules, which have term limits for committee chairs built in. Republicans cycle in "new blood" to leadership positions so that senior members don't become entrenched over time. But this leads to powerful chairmen facing a future where they will be much less influential. Some make the decision to leave Congress entirely rather than accept such a demotion. Royce was one of these, it bears mentioning.

Issa, however, was not. He already got automatically demoted after the 2014 elections (he used to chair the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he used his position to investigate Hillary Clinton over Benghazi). So he isn't facing an imminent loss of power, the way Royce is, because he already lost it three years ago. What makes Issa's case interesting is that by most accounts he was the number one target for the Democratic Party this time around. He represents a district that voted strongly for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, and while he was re-elected during that election, he is the most vulnerable Republican when measured by the makeup of his district.

Issa knew this, and tried to reinvent himself as some sort of GOP moderate. For some strange reason, at some point I was added to Issa's press office email list, so I've been getting his press releases for over a year now, and they all tried to fit Issa into the mold of a Republican willing to take on his own party on a number of issues. However, the electorate is not in the mood for a Democrat-Lite, because at this point they would prefer an actual Democrat. His constituents haven't forgotten that Benghazi investigation, either. Issa has now all but admitted this by deciding to take himself out of the running rather than face an embarrassing defeat this fall.

California has a total of 53 House districts, 14 of which are currently held by Republicans. Even before Issa and Royce's announcements, Democrats were heavily targeting at least eight of these seats. Add to this the oddity of California's "jungle primary" (or "top two") system, which may produce a 2018 general election ballot with only two Democrats (and zero Republicans) appearing in both the governor's race and in a Senate race (Dianne Feinstein has a strong Democratic primary challenger who might wind up on the general election ballot with her). This may tend to depress Republican turnout across the state, since the two big statewide races won't have any Republican candidates to vote for at all (I should add that I have long been against the jungle primary for this very reason -- its unfairness to minority parties in the general election). Taken together, this means that if a real Democratic wave appears on Election Day, Democrats could conceivably sweep the board and win all of California's 53 seats. That is wildly optimistic, to be sure, but reducing the GOP's House delegation to single digits in California is not so farfetched.

Nationally, there are two other indicators which tend to be pretty accurate when it comes to measuring how midterm House elections are going to turn out. The first is presidential job approval rating. For the past half-century, when a president is below 50 percent approval with the public, his party has lost an average of 40 seats in the midterms. Democrats only need 24 seats to retake the chamber in 2018. Donald Trump has never seen an average approval rating above 50 percent, during his entire first year in office. He struggles to keep it above 40 percent, in fact. A president in the high 30s simply has no political "coattails" when it comes to midterm elections, to put it bluntly.

The second indicator to watch is the "generic ballot question." Pollsters ask -- without naming any names -- whether you are likely to vote for "a Democrat" or "a Republican" in congressional races. Currently, the spread is wider than it has ever been, according to FiveThirtyEight.com, at roughly 12 points up for the Democrats. Individual polls put the Democratic advantage anywhere from 4 points up to an astounding 18 points up. That is huge. Now, what with gerrymandering heavily favoring the Republicans, nationally Democrats have to win the vote by anywhere from 5 to 8 points in order to gain a House majority. If the numbers hold until Election Day (things could always change, in other words), Democrats might be looking at not just a wave but an absolute blowout.

Of course, none of this is guaranteed in any way. Opinion could shift, crises could happen, intervening events might change millions of voters' minds. However, ten months out, Democrats are in an incredibly strong position, at least on the House side. The Senate is a different calculation, and this time around Republicans have a huge built-in advantage (that's a subject for another column, in other words).

The enthusiasm and energy is all on the side of the Democrats, from all indications. Republican after Republican is realizing this, and deciding to spend more time with their families rather than face the voters this time around. Donald Trump has the lowest approval rating of any modern president at this point in his term, and that has been true for the entire last year. In the generic ballot question, Democrats already have an overwhelming edge. All in all, Democrats are looking incredibly good heading into the midterm election season, on the House side of the Capitol.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

56 Comments on “Democrats Looking Good For House Midterms”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    As much as I love reading stuff like how a party loses x seats in years when its president has y public approval, and therefore the Republicans are looking screwed for the 2018 House election because yada yada ...
    I am inevitably reminded of all the savvy analysis I read last fall about how Trump couldn't win, because never in American political history yada yada.

    Granted of course you have sensibly said "none of this is guaranteed" etc. But the tone here is definitely one of hands being rubbed together in glee. Gotta say I don't feel the glee yet.

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I would say that "Democrats' Chances Looking Good For House Midterms" might have been a more accurate title.

    Saying the Democrats are looking good is misleading.

    "However, the electorate is not in the mood for Democrat-lite because at this point they prefer an actual Democrat."

    And yet, all the Democrats are offering is Big Money Republican-lite Democrats. Didn't 2016 teach the Democrats that citizens were not in the mood for that either? Trump wasn't scary enough to fool people with the we are not as bad as the Republicans anymore in 2016 and I don't expect that will change in 2018.

    An actual Democrat would run a small contribution campaign so that there would be no question that the candidate would represent ordinary citizens instead of Big Money interests as a legislator.

    Will that be an article for another day, another election cycle in another year or ever?

  3. [3] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Don H

    What exactly do you think be the result of "An actual Dem representing ordinary citizens instead of big money interests"? How would that translate into government policy, and what would change in how things operate, and what happens in the course of day-to-day living for average folks?

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M from Ct [1] -

    I wouldn't call it glee, not yet. Very cautious optimism, that's all. Especially the part about Issa retiring. We'll be glad to see him go out here in CA, that's for sure..

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    And just to say I beat Michale to the punch....

    "Earth, man... what a shithole."
    -Alien Resurrection

    Heh. Only "shithole" quote I knew... up until today, that is.

    :-)

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Personally, I think it is way to soon to be cautiously optimistic.

    I would posit that perhaps less optimism is the way to go to keep the grassroots fires alive.

    Flipping some of those seats here in California are going to be an uphill battle and will require some savy picks to get the flip especially behind the Orange Curtain and in the central valley.

    If the Dems want to flip these hard to flip seats they need to come up with a clear and cogent message about what the republicons have been up to and what they plan to fight for to protect the constituents in the districts. In other words they have to leave the D vs. R stuff to the republicans and come out with a good message and policy plan to defeat the politics of fear.

    We have to remember we are talking the Dems here and as such they are the party that regularly snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Is it time for a racist president to go?

  8. [8] 
    John M wrote:

    Another thing to keep in mind are the current court cases going on against partisan political gerrymandering. A recent Federal court decision declared North Carolina's congressional map unconstitutional on gerrymandering grounds, and ordered the legislature to come up with a new map for use in the coming 2018 mid term election. Since the current map gives the Republican delegation a 10 to 3 advantage, any new map potentially could lead to Democrats picking up as many as 5 congressional house seats just in North Carolina alone.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am inevitably reminded of all the savvy analysis I read last fall about how Trump couldn't win, because never in American political history yada yada.

    EXACTLY..

    All the euphoria is *EXACTLY* how ya'all felt in Sep-Nov of 2016...

    When will ya'all learn??

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is it time for a racist president to go?

    Do you have ANY facts that proves that President Trump is racist???

    Of course you don't..

    So much for "reality-based" eh Liz??? :^/

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:
  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    RE: PTDS...

    The hysterical dementia that the Left suffers from vis a vis President Trump is a most virulent form of Derangement Syndrome. Much more virulent than your run o' the mill Bush/Odumbo Derangement Syndrome..

    I am sure you can see and acknowledge the factual nature of this claim..

    As such, I feel the designation of this most virulent form must set it apart from the normal and simple Derangement Syndromes..

    Having said that, I do acknowledge your concerns that PTDS is too close to PTSD, a malady suffered predominantly by returning combat soldiers and cops in high crime areas... And PTSD should NEVER be made light of...

    I will endeavor to come it with a term that is not connected to PTSD, but does reflect the true out-of-control most hysterical aspects of this new and most virulent form of Derangement Syndrome...

    Your assistance in coming up with a term for this new virulent form of Derangement Syndrome would me most appreciated...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2018/01/11/22/48062BA500000578-5260595-image-a-28_1515710432137.jpg

    Shithole country....

    I fail to see what the problem is... President Trump merely stated a fact....

    Aren't ya'all about "Truth" and "Facts"???

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again, President Trump calls the tune and the media and hysterical NeverTrumpers dance to it.. :D

    But I have to concede that President Trump was wrong about one thing..

    I am certainly *NOT* getting tired of winning!! :D

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia…

    President Trump talking about shithole countries???

    Nope...

    Senator Ed Kennedy talking about shithole countries...

    :^/

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    I will endeavor to come it with a term that is not connected to PTSD, but does reflect the true out-of-control most hysterical aspects of this new and most virulent form of Derangement Syndrome...

    How does HTDS sound???

    Hysterical Trump Derangement Syndrome

    Hmmmmmm I kinda like it, but it doesn't do the malady justice...

    HHTDS???

    Hyper Hysterical Trump Derangement Syndrome...

    That's getting closer..

    I will ponder... :D

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    But nobody at the DPCC or the DCCC or the Democratic National Committee commissioned this report. Bustos did. And she did it because she believes Democrats won’t win back control of Congress until they win back the trust (and the votes) of rural people in Middle America.
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/11/terry-goodin-rural-democrats-indiana-216273

    There's the facts people..

    Until Democrats can stop attacking and insulting American voters and start actually LISTENING to American voters, EVEN voters who voted for President Trump....

    Well, ya'all better get used to MINORITY PARTY status, because that's all ya'all will ever have...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    The facts are harsh. “The number of Democrats holding office across the nation is at its lowest point since the 1920s and the decline has been especially severe in rural America,” Bustos writes in the report. In 2009, the report notes, Democrats held 57 percent of the heartland’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Now: 39 percent. In 2008, Barack Obama won seven of the eight heartland states. In 2012, he won six. In 2016? Trump won six. There are 737 counties in the Midwest—Trump won all but 63 of them. “We can’t keep bombing in the rural parts of these states,” Bustos told me. And with arguably some of the most critical midterms in American history less than 10 months away, the 2020 presidential election already looming and redistricting control on the line, Democrats need to find a fix fast, said Robin Johnson, a Bustos adviser and consultant who teaches political science at Monmouth College in Illinois and conducted the interviews for the report last summer. “If we don’t get this right in the next two cycles,” he told me, “we’re done”—rendered mostly powerless in Congress and in heartland state houses. He called the report “a cold reality check.”

    FACTS, people....

    Something ya'all CLAIM to be about, but ignore when they don't fit your Party agenda...

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Time magazine's new cover, showing Donald Trump's yellowish hair on fire in a cartoonish blaze, symbolizes how the media view the president as a hot mess.

    But some of the president's fiercest critics on the right are starting to recognize how their side’s animosity is burning out of control.

    The relentless negativity of the #NeverTrumpers actually helps him by making his detractors seem obsessed and unwilling to credit him for just about anything. They give the president a big target, one that is widely distrusted by his base. And they can seem incredibly condescending toward the man in the White House.

    This is not just an extension of liberal bias. Many in the #NeverTrump movement are on the right, having tried to block him from winning the Republican nomination and now convinced that he is damaging their movement.

    David Brooks, the moderately conservative New York Times columnist, has been extremely harsh toward the president, likening him to a small child and generally rendering him as unfit for office. But in a bit of a reassessment, Brooks now says the critics have gone too far.

    People who meet with the president, he says, are often surprised to find "that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by ...

    "The White House is getting more professional. Imagine if Trump didn't tweet. The craziness of the past weeks would be out of the way, and we'd see a White House that is briskly pursuing its goals: the shift in our Pakistan policy, the shift in our offshore drilling policy, the fruition of our ISIS policy, the nomination for judgeships and the formation of policies on infrastructure, DACA, North Korea and trade."

    In other words, for all the sound and fury, the president is doing a reasonably good job.

    But the anti-Trump movement—of which Brooks is a "proud member"—"seems to be getting dumber. It seems to be settling into a smug, fairy tale version of reality that filters out discordant information" and views Trump as "a semiliterate madman surrounded by sycophants who are morally, intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us."

    In perhaps the unkindest cut, Brooks says "the anti-Trump movement suffers from insularity. Most of the people who detest Trump don't know anybody who works with him or supports him."

    That last point buttresses something I've been saying for a long time, that some of the opposition to the 45th president is not just ideological, not just stylistic, but cultural in nature. And those who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome, just like those who suffered from Obama Derangement Syndrome, may be deluded into thinking the whole world agrees with them.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/12/are-nevertrumpers-being-consumed-by-their-own-fiery-denunciations.html

    You people just don't get it..

    The hysterical NeverTrumpers are slaves to their own delusions and it's dragging them and the entire movement down..

    They come across as stark raving lunatics and immature children with their cutsey name calling and their senseless hysterical attacks, not only on President Trump, but also the people who support President Trump..

    The hysterical NeverTrumpers have become a political caricature... A beltway joke...

    Exhibit A of a frothing at the mouth ignorant lunatic...

    In short, the hysterical NeverTrumpers have become *EVERYTHING* that they accuse President Trump of...

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Swiss government rules lobsters must be 'stunned' before being boiled
    http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2018/01/12/swiss-government-rules-lobsters-must-be-stunned-before-being-boiled.html

    We're having lobster tonight..

    Crap! Now I gotta dig up my phaser....

  21. [21] 
    DecayedOldBritishLiberal wrote:

    Michale:

    TL;DR

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    DOBL,

    Michale:

    TL;DR

    TRANSLATION: I am lazy and will ignore any viewpoint, no matter how factual, that is not consistent with my ideological slavery...

    I accept your concession.. :D

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    I GOT IT!!!!!

    The PERFECT solution for the Dumbocrat Party...

    Ya'all can run on the EVERYONE WHO DOESN'T TOE OUR PARTY LINE IS A DEPLORABLE platform!!!

    That would be PERFECT!!!!

    THAT would definitely be a winning platform this time around!!!

    Go for it, people!!! :D

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    How about SSDDDS ? That way it covers Republicans, too.

  25. [25] 
    DecayedOldBritishLiberal wrote:

    Michale: and another thing. Stop calling us "y'all" all the time. Trying to make out you're this good ol' Southern boy, this authentic regular guy. I don't believe a word of it. You're not authentic, you're not regular, and I didn't believe you were a guy until CW straightened me out.

    You're just making a fool of yourself, and it's embarrassing for all of us to watch.

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CRS-
    Who knows? But right now a Big Money candidate/legislator that is not influenced by the Big Money that financed their campaign rather than the people that voted for them is the exception to the rule, if they exist at all. Small contribution candidates that do not represent the small contributors which would also be the people that voted for them would most likely be the exception to the rule.

    Exactly what the result will be is an unknown. but the odds are it will be better than what we have now.

    It's a sort of like the guest on Washington Journal this morning said about prison & sentencing reform:
    "Do you want to return decent citizens to society or criminals?"

    Who would you rather have in Congress?

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're just making a fool of yourself, and it's embarrassing for all of us to watch.

    And yet, here ya are.. :D

    Michale: and another thing. Stop calling us "y'all" all the time. Trying to make out you're this good ol' Southern boy, this authentic regular guy. I don't believe a word of it. You're not authentic, you're not regular, and I didn't believe you were a guy until CW straightened me out.

    Bite me, son.. :D

    But yer right about one thing.. I am not a good ol southern boy...

    Born and raised in Southern California..

    See what happens when you make an assumption??

    You make an ASS out of U.... And umption....

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    How about SSDDDS

    Same Shit Dumbocrat......

    That's all I got... :D

  29. [29] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Don H

    I have serious doubts as to the likelihood of anything much of consequence really changing, even if your 'Don Q' Utopian dream ever became reality. Legislators are always going to represent the interests of the class of people who tend to make the world function, and that actually does NOT inevitably imply that such interests are automatically antithetical to, or in conflict with, the interests of the 'little people' (poor people, or whatever).

    The only result that I can imagine that you could possibly be hoping for would be an even higher level of redistribution of income than that which currently obtains, and there is not universal agreement that such would actually constitute an improvement or result in a better outcome for the average person.

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Same Shit Different Day Derangement Syndrome

  31. [31] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CRS-
    There is also not universal acceptance of the way the world currently functions under the control and influence of the class that makes the world work the way it works now.

    Of course, universal acceptance is not required. When was the last time everyone voted and voted for the same candidate?

    And if you are claiming One Demand is a utopian dream, you should be aware that One Demand is nothing more than citizens utilizing the basic tools of democracy to demand that the candidates take a position on an important issue.

    So claiming One Demand is a utopian dream is claiming democracy is a utopian dream.

    I don't expect you or many of the Big Money Democrat deniers here to accept or join up, but certainly don't mind discussing it with any of you until CW finally gets around to addressing One Demand with a complete discussion.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have serious doubts as to the likelihood of anything much of consequence really changing, even if your 'Don Q' Utopian dream ever became reality.

    I see what you did there.. :D

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Same Shit Different Day Derangement Syndrome

    Ahhhhh

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Issa has now all but admitted this by deciding to take himself out of the running rather than face an embarrassing defeat this fall.

    Due to the wording of his retirement announcement, people are wondering if Issa is eyeing the district next door... the 50th. I'm guessing NOT.

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-report-issa-considering-running-in-1515695122-htmlstory.html

  35. [35] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Regarding the top-two primary system:
    As you point out having two Democrats on the general election ballot for the Senate and Governor races in California is a major flaw in the top-two primary system. But as long as it keeps working for the CMPs it will not go away.

    Maybe you should reconsider my petition to get Colin Kaepernick to run as an independent against Dianne Feinstein. With a strong primary challenger already in the Democratic primary that could split the party regular vote and increase the possibility for an independent to make the top two.

    The CMPs wouldn't like that and it could then spread to other elections in 2018 and/or 2020 which they would like even less.

    After all, If you can write about Oprah for 2020 then Colin Kaepernick in 2018 doesn't seem out of bounds. Or do I have to get an article about it published in the NYT before you will consider it?

    Even if The Draft Colin Kaepernick idea doesn't catch on maybe it will inspire someone else to run as a small contribution independent in the senate or governor races.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, ya gotta wonder..

    If President Trump is evil/incompetence incarnate...

    Why do the hysterical NeverTrumpers insist on bringing up the most INANE accusations possible???

    "AARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!! PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID "WALL" AND NOW HE IS SAYING "FENCE"!!! THAT ***PROVES*** THAT TRUMP IS HITLER!!!!!!"
    -Hysterical NeverTrumpers

    How completely and utterly moronic....

  37. [37] 
    Paula wrote:

    President Sh!thole gets a physical today then goes off, once again, to Mar a Lago to golf because and get bribed by visitors whose names he won't release.

  38. [38] 
    Paula wrote:

    Blotus lies about why he decided not to go to the UK -- the UK meanwhile lets out a sigh of relief at not having to host the festering orange blister.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Sh!thole gets a physical today then goes off, once again, to Mar a Lago to golf because and get bribed by visitors whose names he won't release.

    Any facts to support??

    No???

    Of course not....

    Run along little girl and let the adults talk...

  40. [40] 
    John M wrote:

    [11] Michale

    "IS Haiti a shithole???

    Apparently..."

    And yet, you could take the EXACT SAME picture of:

    1.) Both China and India, which are heavily polluted, and which Trump apparently wants MORE immigration from.

    2.) Our own Pacific ocean near Hawaii, where a huge floating garbage dump sits on top of the ocean.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    And yet, you could take the EXACT SAME picture of:

    Yes, you can..

    Which DOESN'T change the FACT that Haiti is a shithole...

  42. [42] 
    Paula wrote:

    Sarah Sanders cancels WH briefing today because she can't face reporters; President Sh!thole runs from reporters - won't answer questions. He's a big talking coward who only talks in "safe" places where he can't be challenged.

    Meanwhile: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/embassies-respond-shithole-comments Headline is: ‘Shithole’ Comments Spark Global Furor

    Ambassador to Panama resigns, saying he can no longer work for this Administration.

    Deplorables say "Yay, we LOVE that Blotus has come out with his racism! That's why we love him! We're proud bigots and traitors and want DT to continue to work for Vladimir Putin because what we really want to be is an all-white Russian satellite! Our fathers died in WWII for NOTHING!"

  43. [43] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    How could Trump even think a terrible thing like that! Pictures of Haiti show nothing but gleaming white houses, spotlessly clean streets, happy people, palm trees and fields of sugar cane and corn waving in the gentle tropical breezes.

    I'm certain the quake refugees can't wait to get back to their heaven on earth! I can't understand why they're still here?

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all get on Trump incessantly for "lying"..

    NOW Trump tells the truth and ya'all STILL bitch and moan...

    HHPTDS... Definitely...

  45. [45] 
    Paula wrote:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-lawyer-arranged-130-000-payment-for-adult-film-stars-silence-1515787678

    A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Poor woman - imagine having sex with the puffy orange loud mouth. That is to say, don't imagine it. I'm sure she had a much better time on set doing her day job.

  46. [46] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    I grew up in the upper mid-west, and I saw the elements of a nationalistic, authoritarian acceptance in some of my Baby Boomer contemporaries over 40 years ago. Some just practiced grievance politics, but others sensed unfavorable demographic writing on the wall. No one even knew that word, but they feared for their beliefs and way of life, and felt, at a basic level, that the threats could become so strong that they could only be held in check with state-sponsored suppression, or, in last resort, state force.

    That persists there, while throughout the interior states west of the Mississippi River and south of the Ohio River, an openness to accept an authoritarian can be uncovered broadly today. Last week I had breakfast with a Texas cattleman, who paternal family has been in the state since before the Civil War.

    When the conversation drifted to the President, I expressed my concern that the nation could be slipping into a place where the constitution wouldn't be applied equally. His reply was that he didn't see anything wrong with that, as long as the right man was making those decisions. He didn't mean Donald Trump in particular; he meant any man who was the color which rhymes with right, so long as that man was 'genuinely' thus, and those like him continued to have their say in that man's selection.

    He's not advocating a strongman for life. What I think he's saying, regardless of how fraught or self-contradictory it may be, is this. A constitution-when-convenient rule of governance is the only real hope for those fearing for, or lamenting of, the loss of their way of life.

    Again, that's not new, but it now has political voice. We don't hear anything out of Sen. Cruz these days about repealing the 17th Amendment; there are other ways to maintain status quo. One thing that will help is to stop immigration. Another thing is to get rid of as many of those now here as possible before they have any more American-citizen children eligible to vote three senatorial cycles from now.

    Nobody knows better than Bannon what a flawed individual Donald Trump is, and nobody knows better the details of what the President has been able to tap into. It appears that what he didn't understand is that the man they have is doing just fine, and there's no reason to change horses just now.

    Bannon took aim at the President, and the praetorians summarily deflected the shot and destroyed his arsenal, and, with very little effort, crushed the rebellion before it could start. But they weren't allowed to execute him for treason, and so Bannon wanders in the wilderness, for now.

    The same lefties that laughed at the ignorance and bigotry of Archie Bunker on TV as young elites-in-training hold to the narrative that a few votes in WI and PA tipped the election to a flawed individual, and all will again be well when the House flips and they impeach his ass. To use a descriptor with the same root as the Word Of The Day: that's just bullshit.

    On the other hand, all of those of either party whose family businesses derive from governance of the United States of America know the threat is real. For them, and for patriots of all stripes, the coming election may be critically important.

    Say, michale, did you happen to see that Rochester, NY was 59 degrees at noon today, but is close to freezing now, as sundown approaches, and is going to get a foot of snow tonight and tomorrow followed by zero temperatures. Also heard there was a little snow in the FL panhandle a few days ago. Some wacky weather, huh?

  47. [47] 
    Paula wrote:

    Best tweet re: Stormy Daniels/DT encounter from Joshua Green:

    Someone ask Pence about Stormy

  48. [48] 
    Paula wrote:

    Another good tweet re: Stormy Daniels from Quinn Cummings:

    I'll be damned - he DOES pay contractors!

  49. [49] 
    John M wrote:

    [41] Michale

    "Which DOESN'T change the FACT that Haiti is a shithole..."

    And you don't think this hurts the United States in terms of strategic global politics in the world?

    You have American special forces teams in Africa, like the ones who were killed in Niger, trying to enlist LOCAL cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Yet you now have terrorists able to point and say "this is what their American President really thinks of us."

    Our main rival in the world is China. How many business deals and projects does China have going on in Africa? What happens when the Chinese point and say "You want to do business with us, or those nasty Americans? "

  50. [50] 
    Kick wrote:

    NOW Trump tells the truth and ya'all STILL bitch and moan...

    Fact is, you whine incessantly about some of the Trumptrash being referred to as "deplorables," but the fact is some of them definitely fit that definition perfectly and to a "T".

    Fact is, we here have no doubt whatsoever that the BLOTUS you worship would define your swamp trailer as a "shithole," and the fact is we're sure you can lecture at length about life in a swampy "shithole" before, during, and after Hurricane Irma.

    Fact is, if you think your argument that the words out of the Orange Blowhole are nothing but straight talk instead of the hatred and division expressed within them, then the fact is you're not fooling anyone here with the exception of yourself.

    HHPTDS... Definitely...

    Hand Held Precision Targeting Devices

    Now you're talking, occifer. We love it! :)

  51. [51] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [35] -

    Interesting idea. But I bet it'd work better if you drafted Joe Montana or Steve Young to run. They are a lot more popular than Kap, and not for the kneeling thing -- because they won a lot of 49er games.

    But I'd be interested to see how a sports star would do in CA, you're right about that. However, CA's a multi-sports-city state, so a 49er wouldn't necessarily have much popularity in Oakland, LA, or San Diego. Just a thought...

    -CW

  52. [52] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    45

    I'm hearing a lot of Clinton whataboutism and whining and people saying "much ado about nothing."

    Okay then. Image how this information can be used in the hands of skillful prosecutors. A payoff scenario quid pro quo is exactly what Mueller's team can utilize to show how susceptible to blackmail BLOTUS is and his propensity toward coverup and fabrication... for which they will happily impeach his credibility.

    Putin's Puppet might as well be wearing a sign saying "Extort Me!".

  53. [53] 
    Paula wrote:

    [52] Kick: well the Blotus is a lecher thing is, I think, the LEAST of the thing about which Blotus could be blackmailed. I think his money-laundering and mob ties offer more leverage.

    In Fire & Fury there's a quote about there having been 100 women paid off over the years - I have no trouble believing that.

    I don't really are who he's slept with -- assuming it was consensual and the person was of age. I think there's very big questions on that score, however. Additionally, he's a peeping tom which is disgusting and illegal.

    But his sexual history certainly highlights the unbelievable hypocrisy exhibited by Saint Pence and every other fake-Christian who lauds DT for his piety. They make clear that nothing they say is to be believed.

    As for the whataboutism -- it's all the braindeads have. They're just robotic talking-point spewers like the spigot.

  54. [54] 
    Paula wrote:

    really CARE

  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    53

    Well the Blotus is a lecher thing is, I think, the LEAST of the thing about which Blotus could be blackmailed.

    The entire point actually... that if Shithole Donald could be blackmailed by the likes of a porn star over consensual sex, imagine what Putin could do with his kompromat.

    I think his money-laundering and mob ties offer more leverage.

    Yes, ma'am, absolutely... yet all still an integral part of a pattern of quid pro quo/coverup and this particular instance with a timeline merely 1 month before the presidential election.

    As for the whataboutism -- it's all the braindeads have.

    Yep. Interesting that they'd bring up Bill as an exculpatory talking point, I tell them, since Clinton was impeached for much less... they're simply proving our point. ;)

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    LB,

    Say, michale, did you happen to see that Rochester, NY was 59 degrees at noon today, but is close to freezing now, as sundown approaches, and is going to get a foot of snow tonight and tomorrow followed by zero temperatures. Also heard there was a little snow in the FL panhandle a few days ago. Some wacky weather, huh?

    It is indeed... I have seen days where the temp differential between low and high was 40 degrees and I have seen days where the overnight low was considerably HIGHER than the daytime high...

    I remember one time in Oregon where we had 3 feet of snow in our yard and the temps hovered at single digits and yet Alaska was in the mid 50s.. :D

    Wacky weather indeed...

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