What Now?! – 8/5/19

“As the nation reeled from two mass shootings in less than a day, President Trump spent the first hours after the tragedies out of sight at his New Jersey golf course, sending out tweets of support awkwardly mixed in with those promoting a celebrity fight and attacking his political foes,” the AP reports.

“Trump was to return to Washington on Sunday evening, at which point aides said he would likely address reporters, but the nation did not glimpse the president in the immediate aftermath of a shooting in El Paso, Texas, that killed at least 20 people and, hours later, and one in Dayton, Ohio, that claimed at least nine lives. Never seemingly comfortable consoling a nation in grief, Trump will be carefully watched for his response as authorities investigate whether the El Paso shooter left behind an anti-immigration manifesto that echoes the president’s hardline rhetoric about the border, again inviting comparison to his predecessors who have tried to heal the country in moments of national trauma.”

Republicans really are hilarious in their flailing for an excuse other than white nationalism. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News that video games are to blame, following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton this weekend.

“A growing number of Democrats are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel the chamber’s August recess so that they can take up gun control legislation in the wake of two mass shootings this weekend,” NBC News reports.

“Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the Republican leader to end the chamber’s break to vote on a universal background check bill after the two shootings – one in Dayton, Ohio and another in El Paso, Texas – left at least 29 dead and 53 injured in a matter of just 13 hours. The Senate is currently in recess until September.”

Ed Kilgore: “The specter that most haunts Democrats as we hurtle toward the 2020 election is that Donald J. Trump managed to get himself elected president in 2016 despite terrible, historically unprecedented (for a major-party presidential nominee) unpopularity, as measured by favorability ratios (Gallup had him at 36 percent favorable/61 percent unfavorable on election eve). To put it mildly, Trump overperformed his favorability numbers, even if you take into account Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity, which was strong, although not in Trump’s neighborhood (Gallup had her favorability ratio at 47/52). And if you don’t want to rely on Gallup, the official exit polls gave Trump a 38 percent approval rating among voters who actually showed up, compared to HRC’s 43 percent.”

“Now that Trump is POTUS, it’s his job-approval numbers that are the most relevant measure of his popularity. And those who have been staring at his approval ratings have to wonder: Are they good enough, or close to good enough, for another Trump win if (a) he drags his opponent down in public esteem as he dragged down HRC, and (b) he gets the benefit of an Electoral College advantage via more efficient distribution of his popular vote?”

Quartz: “North Korea has made headlines of late for launching new missiles, showing off its latest submarines, and publicly executing prisoners. Less noticed, it’s also recently released stamps featuring US president Donald Trump with Kim Jong Un.”

Beto O’Rourke told CNN that President Trump was responsible for shooting incidents yesterday added that he believes Trump is a white nationalist.

Said O’Rourke: “There is an environment of it in the United States. We see it on FOX News, we see it on the Internet. But we also see it from our commander in chief. He is encouraging this. He doesn’t just tolerate it; he encourages it, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, warning of an invasion at our border, seeking to ban all people of one religion.”

He added: “Folks are responding to this. It doesn’t just offend us, it encourages the kind of violence that we’re seeing, including in my home town of El Paso yesterday.”

Walter Shapiro: “After covering the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, I better understand the value of inspiration and the danger of consultant-driven caution. Remember, it was just seven years ago when Joe Biden got ahead of Barack Obama by endorsing gay marriage. Should the Democrats really have stuck with the seemingly safe 2012 moderate position of backing civil unions?”

“Fifteen months before the 2020 election, it is nearly impossible to know the best way of wresting power from Donald Trump. But it is safe to predict that the race will not be decided by a few intemperate debate answers in the summer of 2019.”

“Democratic presidential front-runner and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden mounted a fierce defense of Barack Obama’s legacy on Saturday after several of his White House rivals attacked that record in debates this week,” Reuters reports.

Said Biden: “I’m against any Democrat who wants to get rid of Obamacare.”

“President Trump’s reelection campaign is still a year away, but Kentucky is going to get a preview this fall,” Politico reports.

“Gov. Matt Bevin is clinging as tightly as he can to Trump — even borrowing some of his tactics — as he attempts to overcome rock-bottom approval ratings in a bid for a second term. The unpopular governor is counting on Trump’s appeal here — the president won Kentucky by 30 percentage points in 2016 — and conservative cultural positions to knock off his chief political rival, state Attorney General Andy Beshear, the son of Bevin’s predecessor.”

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suffered a fractured shoulder Sunday from a fall outside his home in Louisville, briefly hospitalizing the Kentucky Republican,” the Washington Post reports.

Good. I hope the Russian traitor is in pain.

Will Bunch: “When things fall apart, they shatter into a million pieces. I can’t tell you yet exactly how the bloodshed in El Paso is related to a mass murder in Dayton, or to the social dysfunction right here in Philadelphia that caused someone to spray bullets into a crowd of people shooting a hip-hop video, or into a crowded block party in Brooklyn the night before that. I can’t explain why people tweeting about El Paso couldn’t use the hashtag #WalmartShooting because it was already in use for a man who’d just murdered two employees at an outlet in Mississippi.”

“All I know is that it’s all starting to feel like the same event — a Great Unraveling of America. The feeling only grew worse when I read that the authorities in El Paso believe some of the wounded may not go to local hospitals … because they’re so afraid of our immigration cops. It seemed like one more sign that conditions in this country — the violence, the fear, the embrace of racism and xenophobia from the highest levels, and the long slide into neo-fascism — have become intolerable. And yet — with the blood of El Paso and Dayton not yet dry — far too many are still tolerating this.”

Sydney Morning Herald: “In time, we will learn exactly what drove the suspect to carry out today’s mass shooting, but what we know for sure is the United States finds itself in the midst of a domestic white nationalist terrorism crisis.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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