A growing number of Republicans say a course correction is needed to prevent their party from losing the House, Senate or both chambers given strong political headwinds that one veteran lawmaker likened to a political “hurricane,” The Hill reports. GOP calls to work more with Democrats next year are becoming more common as Republicans look for ways to win over swing voters. Said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “We’re going to be looking for areas of bipartisan agreement because that’s the way the Senate is.”
David Atkins says Democrats must reject the coming bipartisan trap: “Misbehaving dogs, mischievous children and cheating spouses all share a common behavior: once they’ve been caught behaving cruelly and selfishly, they swindle their victim with ersatz overtures of affection, often publicly in front of others. Refusing these overtures makes the victim look mean and unforgiving. Accepting them opens the door to further, more aggressive wrongdoing.
Republicans are set to engage in the same manipulative game with Democrats in 2018. Knowing that voters are set to punish them severely for promoting wildly corrupt and unpopular policies, they’re hoping to ploy Democrats with promises of bipartisan policy. Republicans expect that if they offer false olive branches and Democrats refuse them, voters will grow angry at everyone and throw up their hands in collective frustration. They assume the media will pliantly adopt their usual both-sides-refuse-to-work-together template pieces.
But it won’t work. If Democrats are smart they will reject the gambit and refuse to be played.”
This is a masterpiece pic.twitter.com/K0lqg4GfBh
— Aaron Vallely (@Vallmeister) December 22, 2017
Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes at Foreign Policy says signs are mounting that the House Intelligence Committee plans on prematurely abdicating its work.
“That means it’s on the public to evaluate whether the House Intelligence Committee investigation has genuinely reached its appropriate conclusion. Is this simply a partisan “witch hunt” that Democrats are seeking to draw out to inflict maximum damage on the Trump administration, the mirror image of the contentious Benghazi investigation that Democrats insisted was a purely partisan endeavor? Or, conversely, are Republicans engaged in a cover-up, putting on a show of interviews and document review to appease the public while seeking to avoid damaging truths?
One way to answer these questions is to return to the beginning. What was the scope of the investigation in the first place? Do we have the answers that the endeavor set out to uncover?”
the @FBI foiled a terrorist plot in SF. suspect was a white USMC vet who turned to ISIS after a bad divorce.
1. thank you FBI.
2. terrorist threats to the US: really not an immigration issue. all these guys have become radicalized here.https://t.co/suTwnTb5D3
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) December 22, 2017
Amy Walter at Cook Political Report: “Lots of folks think of Trump’s “base” as those folks who show up to his rallies. However, his base also encompasses those who don’t and won’t come to a rally. A fear of a Clinton presidency may have been enough to get them to vote for Trump in 2016, but will Trump’s erratic temperament and their lackluster support of the GOP’s signature policy achievement in Congress, keep them home in 2018.”
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 23, 2017
Politico says the White House knows the midterm election will probably be bad. Behind the scenes, top aides are scrambling to avoid the worst.
“Among GOP leaders, however, there is widespread concern heading into 2018. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said privately that both chambers could be lost in November. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has told donors that he fears a wave of swing district Republican lawmakers could retire rather than seek reelection.
During a conference meeting last week, House Republicans listened as the past five chairmen of the party’s campaign arm addressed the political environment. One endangered lawmaker said his main takeaway was that incumbents should spend little time worrying about Trump or the White House and focus only on controlling what they can. Another person who was present came away with the impression that if lawmakers didn’t shore up their political standing now, they shouldn’t expect the national party to be able to save them down the road.”
During a meeting in June, Trump, speaking about Haitians, said they “all have AIDS,” one person who attended the meeting told NYT.
Of Nigerians, Trump said once they’d seen the U.S., they’d never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled two officials. https://t.co/yjHZt4RHc8
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 23, 2017
James Hohmann with 10 reasons Democrats think the tax bill will be a political loser for Trump and the Republicans in the midterms: “Yesterday’s Daily 202 argued that the legislation is likely to become more popular after President Trump signs it into law — partly because people’s expectations start off so low, support is still soft among Republicans, and major advertising campaigns are being planned to promote it.
In the two-and-a-half years I’ve been writing the 202, I’ve never received so much pushback. Top operatives at all the relevant Democratic committees and outside groups, as well as the most prominent progressive pollsters in town and campaign managers in the states, argued passionately that the tax bill is not going to become a winner for the GOP. They shared a battery of private polling and reports on focus groups to make their case.
“Calling this thing a win because Republicans finally got something done is like saying the captain of the Titanic won when he successfully found that reclusive iceberg,” said Jesse Ferguson, the former director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm.”
New @MasonDixonPoll out of Kentucky: Mitch McConnell at 30/62 approval. Trump at 50/43, Governor Matt Bevin at 45/41, and Rand Paul at 44/42. For a state that Trump won with 63%, these numbers are pretty underwhelming for Republicans.https://t.co/mzkmJgeKYw
— Chris Lee (@politico_chris) December 23, 2017
“In no way do we believe this will be a political liability. Trust me, we’re prepared to deal with this in a political context.”
— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quoted by the Washington Post, on the GOP’s new tax law.
— Vox (@voxdotcom) December 23, 2017
“A March special election in a conservative-leaning stretch of western Pennsylvania that Donald Trump won by 20 points is the next big test of whether a Democratic wave will sweep the party into the House majority for the first time 2010,” Politico reports.
“The congressional seat left vacant by ex-Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), an anti-abortion Republican who allegedly encouraged a lover to terminate a pregnancy, has all the makings of the next major special election showdown. It pits Democrat Conor Lamb, a young, telegenic Marine veteran with a political pedigree, against Rick Saccone, a Trump-supporting GOP state representative and Air Force veteran with a long voting record and doubters among local Republicans.”
Trump Job Approval in the South vs. his 2016 result in parentheses:
AR- 48% (61%)
LA- 48% (58%)
MS- 51% (58%)
AL- 53% (62%)
GA- 47% (50%)
SC- 51% (55%)
FL- 42% (49%)
NC- 43% (52%)
VA- 39% (44%)
WV- 59% (68%)
KY- 50% (63%)
MO- 48% (56%)
TX- 45% (52%)
OK- 56% (65%)
TN- 51% (61%)
— Chris Lee (@politico_chris) December 22, 2017
Washington Post: “The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces right, not left, as on the seal. The 13 arrows representing the original states have disappeared. And the national motto, ‘E pluribus unum’ — a Latin phrase that means ‘Out of many, one’ — is gone. Instead, both sides of the coin feature Trump’s campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again.’”
“The changes don’t stop there. In addition to his signature, Trump’s name appears three times on the coin, which is thicker than those made for past presidents. And forget the traditional subdued silver and copper: Trump’s coin, a White House aide marveled, is ‘very gold.’”
Can Cops Unlearn Their Unconscious Biases? – “Implicit bias” training is spreading to departments around the country, the theory being it can inf https://t.co/0PREjbMgFn
— Robert H. Foreman (@parthi_vj) December 23, 2017
Jane Coaston on when Conservatives Turned Into Radicals
“But this dynamic had been clear for at least a decade. From my first year of college to the weeks in which, as editor in chief, I closed my final edition of the paper, I came to a realization: Whatever conservatism told me it was intellectually — whatever ideas we discussed, whatever policy papers I read — could never compete with what conservatism was in practice. At the conferences the Collegiate Network sent me to, no one was discussing tax policy or the nature of effective governance; they were debating whether Barack Obama was a “real” American and whether Sarah Palin could unseat him in 2012, based on pure and unfettered loathing. Nothing was being conserved.
Conservative voters have known this for some time. This is why they voted last year for a president who swore not to preserve but to upend. Since Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign for the presidency, Republicans have worked to maintain a two-tiered party — one for the ideologues who believed in Burke and Buckley, free markets and free minds, and one for the voters, who are often moved less by a system of ideas than by id and grievance. It was always the voters, though, who really mattered. And it was the voters who won.”