Connect with us
Avatar

Published

on

In Georgia, where Democrats not only beat Trump in November but flipped the U.S. Senate in the runoff elections, the Republican-controlled state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill requiring an ID when requesting an absentee ballot. The following day, it was a bonanza across the country. The Iowa House passed a bill designed to limit early voting. In Missouri, the Republican-controlled House passed legislation that would require a photo ID at the polls, while a legislative committee in Wyoming moved forward with a similar bill.

The Brennan Center for Justice is tracking more than 250 bills to restrict voting by lawmakers in 43 states.

Benjamin Ginsberg, an elections lawyer who has represented past Republican presidential nominees, lamented the death of the “ideas factory” in the GOP.

“Tell me what the innovative Republican policies have been of late?” he said. The focus on re-litigating the last election is “probably a sign that the Republican Party is mired in a bit of a policy wasteland and doesn’t know which way to turn to get out.”

Alberto Gonzales, the former attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, said “all Americans should be concerned about election integrity.” But with no evidence of widespread fraud beyond normal irregularities, he said, the focus by some in the GOP on the last election is a “big distraction” from issues that are more pressing to the electorate.

“I think it’s a big distraction,” Gonzales said. “And I worry that it will continue to be a big distraction as long as a certain individual makes statements that it was stolen.”

There is nothing to suggest that Trump, who will speak at the convention on Sunday, is letting go — or that the party’s rank- and-file is prepared to pivot away from his claims that the election was stolen from him, despite more than 60 losses in election lawsuits

Advertisement

challenging the presidential election.

It hasn’t always been this way in the Republican Party. Last year, CPAC’s theme was “America vs. socialism.” The year before that, there were no fewer than three panels focusing on the challenges posed by a rising China. This year, CPAC did not go off without an airing of the party’s greatest hits: trade, China, immigration and abortion. And there were shoutouts for Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand. But the fallout from November was the main fixture — in the Republicans’ frustration at de-platforming and the seven-part exploration of “protecting elections.”

In part, the party’s lack of a more forward-looking posture is a function of its sudden dearth of power in Washington. The GOP is settling in as an opposition party — with conservatives constituting what Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas described at CPAC as “the Rebel Alliance.” But there is little room for innovative, policy-focused conservative thought in a party so in thrall to one leader — a leader obsessed with the notion that he lost in a rigged election.

Advertisement
Follow us on Parler For Uncut Raw uncensored content!

Ken Khachigian, a former aide to Richard Nixon and chief speechwriter for Reagan, said the Republican Party today doesn’t have “a singular voice like they had with Reagan, for example, or Bill Buckley, the movement conservatives who could get up on a stage and move everyone the way Jack Kemp did back in the day.”

“There’s always hope,” Khachigian said, suggesting that “when you have nitwits like AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] on the other side, it’s not hard to come up with somebody.”

But the backward-looking focus on November and its fallout, he said, is “shooting blanks.”

It may come at a cost. As the Republican Party prepares for the midterm elections and the next presidential primary, it’s doing so as a shell of itself, having lost the White House and both houses of Congress in the span of four years. The last time it carried the popular vote in a presidential election was 2004, and America’s shifting demographics are making it increasingly unlikely that it will do so in 2024 — regardless of attempts to raise barriers to voting.

“It is a party that has been fashioned in the mold of Trump — Trump’s message, Trump’s tactics — and it is perfectly comfortable being a party that is defined by what it’s against,” said Kevin Madden, a former Mitt Romney adviser.

The difficulty for the party, Madden said, is “you become almost toxic as a party brand to larger, growing parts of the electorate. … The limitation of a message and a platform that’s just about disagreeing with the opposition is that it doesn’t speak to the broader concerns or anxieties of a big part of the electorate.”

It’s possible that the party’s fixation on election fraud and on the perceived silencing of those who tried to overturn the outcome will fade. Trump’s effort to contest the election postponed the traditional, post-election period of mourning for the losing party. And because a majority of Republicans still approve of Trump and believe the election wasn’t free or fair, there is a political imperative for the party to mollify them.

Sal Russo, a former Reagan aide and Tea Party Express co-founder, said that “sometimes you’ve got to give some deference to where your base wants to go. … Do I think the Republicans have to get over the election process issues? Yes, because you don’t win on ‘we’re going to tighten up absentee ballot eligibility.’ It doesn’t turn out to vote.”

“I think there’s a catharsis that has to happen,” he said, adding that “it’s probably a good thing that CPAC is spending a lot of time” on the subject.


Advertisement
Advertisement
Comments

News

McConnell vs. Trump: Why the GOP Is Right to Worry

Avatar

Published

on

By

There’s nothing quite like a dust-up between two prominent members of the same party to stir the blood. Whether it’s New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lobbing insults at each other, or President Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy barely concealing what one book called their “mutual contempt,” it catches the eye the way a scrap between people wearing the same uniform enlivens any sport.

But if you want to know why Donald Trump’s public insult to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell is different, look at the response of McConnell’s fellow Republicans, who dispatched Senator Rick Scott to fly to Florida to placate Trump with the coveted—and heretofore nonexistent—“Champion for Freedom” award.

In another time, fellow members of the world’s greatest deliberative body would have rallied round their colleague, or at least held their tongues, secure in their positions. Now, however, they look warily at the political fate of Jeff Flake, Bob Corker and Mark Sanford—and the potential fate of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, John Thune and other Republicans who have incurred the wrath of Trump.

In part it’s the source of his anger that marks his attack on fellow Republicans unique—and in part, it’s because he doesn’t mind what kind of damage he does to the party. Disputes between fellow party members are hardly new, but they’re usually limited (on both sides) by an understanding of the collateral damage. When one side really doesn’t care, all bets are off.

Intra-party disputes have historically taken place during the election process, unlike this one, and they’ve usually been driven by major political arguments, a clash of personal ambitions, or both. Theodore Roosevelt tried to unseat his chosen successor, William Howard Taft, for the GOP nomination in 1912—and when Taft won, he then ran a third-party campaign arguing that Taft had betrayed the Republican agenda. In 1936, Al Smith tried to deny President Franklin Roosevelt a second term, based in part on FDR’s aggressive use of federal power to fight the impact of the Depression. Eisenhower and Robert Taft (son of William Howard) staged a Pier Six brawl in 1952 over the direction of the Republican Party. Robert Kennedy ran against LBJ in 1968 with the Vietnam War as his cause; Ronald Reagan was the conservative challenger to the incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976; Ted Kennedy was the liberal challenger to President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Once that battle is over, there’s powerful pressure to shake hands, or at least coexist, and take the fight to the other team. Bob Kerrey held his 1992 primary rival Bill Clinton in minimum high regard—“He’s an exceptionally skillful liar,” he said of Clinton at one point—but he cast the deciding vote for Clinton’s economic package in 1993 because he didn’t want to effectively cripple a Democratic presidency before it had begun. It takes a special kind of animus for a member of one party to actually defeat a key goal of his or her party’s president, as John McCain did in July, 2017, when he walked into the well of the Senate and dramatically cast a thumbs-down “no” vote to kill Trump’s attempt to repeal Obamacare; perhaps Trump’s sneer that he “liked heroes who weren’t captured” may have had something to do with that vote.

Advertisement

Advertisement
Follow us on Parler For Uncut Raw uncensored content!

But then, there’s always been something different about Donald Trump and the Republican Party—in part because he seems to have a stronger connection to its voters than the party leadership does. Even after he won the nomination in 2016, four of the five previous GOP presidential nominees refused to endorse him, as did fully a fifth of the Republican senators…and he won a higher percentage of Republican voters that November than did Ronald Reagan. This past January, seven senators of his own party voted to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors, and Trump’s support among rank-and-file party members was effectively unshaken.

Once Trump survived, the party found itself having to pay respects again, and not just with the silver bowl Rick Scott handed him earlier this week. The same Republican Senate leader who denounced Trump for a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” and held him “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the January 6th Capitol riot duly said he would support him as the 2024 nominee. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and presidential wannabe Nikki Haley have executed even more breathtaking pirouettes, from condemnation to supplication. They and other Republicans seem to have looked at January 6th as the final straw—the climax of behavior so egregious that it finally gave them free rein to call out the president—and then watched, to their horror, as Trump, like Freddy Krueger, emerged whole and ready to inflict fatal political wounds on those who defied him.

Nor did Republicans need to call Trump out for his behavior in order to draw his anger. The standard for Republican heresy went far beyond a vote to impeach or convict. The simple willingness to follow the plain commands of the law, as did Kemp, or acknowledge that Joe Biden had won, as did Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, was enough.

For Republican leaders, the urgent call is to find some way toward a truce of sorts. If the party can manage to hold itself together, they know full well that history will be on their side as they seek to retake the House and Senate, given what normally happens to a president’s party in the midterms.

They also know what happens when a headline figure who becomes power-hungry, or really doesn’t care about the collateral damage, goes after members of his own party. When FDR tied to “purge” Democrats in 1938, the party lost 72 House seats and seven Senate seats. Theodore Roosevelt’s third-party run against his chosen successor William Howard Taft doomed the Republican to a humiliating third-place finish in 1912.

Trump, too, took down the Republican establishment in 2016, and seems completely unchastened by his loss in 2020. Any plea to Trump to turn down the heat ignores a lifetime’s worth of behavior. Asking Trump not to insult those who have offended him is liking asking him not to exhale.


Advertisement
Continue Reading

News

Mayor asks for Minnesota attorney general to take up Daunte Wright shooting case

Avatar

Published

on

By

The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Minn., announced on Tuesday that he had asked Gov. Tim Walz to reassign the case of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man shot and killed by police during a traffic stop, to the state attorney general.

The request from Mayor Mike Elliott is the latest local development since Wright was killed on Sunday, sparking two consecutive nights of unrest in the Minneapolis suburb — a short distance from where George Floyd was killed by police last May and where former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is now standing trial on murder and manslaughter charges.

Advertisement

Advertisement
Follow us on Parler For Uncut Raw uncensored content!

At a news briefing on Monday, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon released video of Wright’s traffic stop obtained from Officer Kim Potter’s body camera, which showed Potter shooting Wright. But Gannon said he believed that the shooting was an accident and that Potter meant to deploy her taser when she discharged her gun instead.


Advertisement
Continue Reading

News

Dem pollsters acknowledge ‘major errors’ in 2020 polling

Avatar

Published

on

By

There’s no simple answer for why the polls have missed the mark in recent elections. But one likely culprit for some of the errors is the deteriorating public trust in institutions, like government and the news media — and the correlation between that wariness and voting for Trump. Between his public statements and Twitter account, the former president cast doubt on polling specifically, which the Democratic consultants suggested led to his supporters refusing to participate in surveys.

“Trump went after the polls,” said another Democratic pollster involved in the partnership. “He was really pretty overt to those that were listening about some of his distrust of polls or media.”

The 2020 election shattered turnout records — and since November, pollsters have been eagerly awaiting official information from the states about who voted, and who didn’t. That data is now almost entirely available, and there are clues hidden within.

The Democratic pollsters, who typically compete against each other for business, acknowledge that Trump was able to activate large numbers of voters who had turned out less reliably in the past. Looking at one state where the polls were off — Iowa, where Trump beat Biden handily and what had been seen as a toss-up Senate race went decisively for incumbent GOP Sen. Joni Ernst — Republicans classified as “low-propensity voters” turned out at four times the rate of Democrats in that category, according to the Democratic memo.

“This turnout error was clearly one factor in polling being off across the board, but especially in deeply Republican areas,” the memo reads. “It also meant, at least in some places, we again underestimated relative turnout among rural and white non-college voters, who are overrepresented among low propensity Republicans.”

But sky-high turnout for Trump among irregular voters only explains a small slice of the problem, the pollsters concluded. Even if the polls conducted last year were properly adjusted for future turnout, they still would have been biased toward Democrats.

The memo floats at least three possible causes: late movement toward Trump and Republican candidates that polls conducted in the run-up to the election failed to catch, the Covid pandemic causing people who stayed home to answer the phone at a greater rate than those who did not follow restrictions, and the decline of social trust and faith in institutions.

But there’s little clarity about how significant each of those hypotheses was.

Advertisement

Advertisement
Follow us on Parler For Uncut Raw uncensored content!

“While there is evidence some of these theories played a part, no consensus on a solution has emerged. What we have settled on is the idea there is something systematically different about the people we reached, and the people we did not,” the memo reads. “This problem appears to have been amplified when Trump was on the ballot, and it is these particular voters who Trump activated that did not participate in polls.”

Some Democrats believe these errors are a direct Trump effect — that he is a singular force in politics, engendering extreme opinions on both sides — and it will fade if he’s no longer a candidate.

“I don’t think we know what it is. I think we still have a lot of work to do to figure it out,” one pollster said. “I’m marginally optimistic that if Trump is on the ballot in ’24 that we can fix it. I don’t know. If he’s not, I do think a lot of it could resolve itself.”

The Democratic effort stands in contrast to the last major review of a party’s polling practices. Following the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee’s so-called “autopsy” — best known for its recommendation that party leaders moderate their views on immigration and other social issues — included a list of best practices for pollsters, who were also summoned to party headquarters for discussions.

The five Democratic firms that signed onto the memo are ALG Research, Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, GBAO Strategies, Global Strategy Group and Normington Petts. Together, they are five of the top six polling firms working for the Democratic Party apparatus, along with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, according to financial disclosure reports. ALG Research was Biden’s lead pollster in last year’s election.

Participants in Democrats’ review said the process — which, unlike the GOP’s 2012 effort, was not dictated from party officials — was collegial, despite the fact that the five firms compete against each other for business.

“One should feel comfortable talking to your competitors because, ultimately, we all want the same thing,” said a third participant. “We all want a useful way to help give guidance to Democratic candidates and progressive causes.”


Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Most Popular

Copyright © 2020 King Trump Fovever.