Donald Trump

What If Donald Trump Doesn't Sink the Republican Party?

Distaste for the president may not translate to distaste for other Republicans, as the special election in Georgia showed.

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What if Republican voters who don't particularly like President Donald Trump are also able to compartmentalize their votes? What if they dislike Democrats more than they do the president? What if, rather than being punished for Trump's unpopularity, local candidates are rewarded for their moderation? This would be a disaster for Democrats. And Tuesday's runoff election in Georgia's 6th District shows that it might be possible.

Now, had Jon Ossoff come out ahead of Karen Handel, the coverage would have painted this as a game-changing moment: a referendum on conservatism itself, a harbinger of a coming liberal wave and a rejection of Trump's disastrous presidency. It would have illustrated that Democrats had figured out how to flip those suburban and affluent Republicans who aren't crazy about the president.

Perhaps some of that will still play out during the midterms because one race (or even four) doesn't tell us everything we need to know. Every district is unique. Still, there are definitely ominous signs for Democrats.

You can try and grasp at moral victories, of course, as I saw a number of liberal pundits on cable television trying to do yesterday. You can tell yourself that Ossoff had come closer than any Democrat ever in the 6th District. But there are numerous problems with this optimism. For one, there won't be many red districts where the president is less popular. Democrats are going to have to flip some of these seats to win back a majority. Second, it's difficult to imagine how the environment could be any worse for the GOP (though that, too, is possible). Moreover, Ossoff spent a record $23.6 million on a House race, yet Handel outran not only him but also Trump.

This last point is mentioned as often as the others, yet it's probably the most important. Trump's approval rating in the 6th District is equal to the national approval rating of 35 percent, which is to say exceptionally low for a Republican area. He had won the district by less than 2 percentage points back in November. According to a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, the majority of Republicans surveyed (55 percent) said, "expressing their opinion on Trump wasn't a factor in their decision-making" for the special election.

It's true that neither Ossoff nor Handel mentioned the president much during the race—which, in itself, bolsters the theory that Trump might not be as consequential in these races as Democrats hope. But the race was nationalized. Its implications were national. The coverage was national. The parties treated the race as one that would have national implications. Certainly, the money that poured into the race was national. One imagines that every Georgia Republican who went to the polls understood what this race meant for the future of the parties. When you nationalize races, Republicans will take more than the president into account.

We already know that an electorate can be happy with a president and dislike his party. Why can't the reverse be true? President Barack Obama, for example, carried healthy approval ratings for the majority of his presidency, yet voters decimated his party over six years.

What if there's a faction of Republican voters who don't like Trump but still don't like Obama's policies?

As high as Trump's unpopular ratings remain, and as constant a theme in the media as it is, elections are still a choice. For instance, Congress's low ratings as an institution are a mirage. Despite what you may have heard, it is actually one of the most popular institutions in America. Everyone loves his or her members of Congress. They just hate yours. Handel will likely be in her position as long as she pleases because incumbents win more than 95 percent of races.

If the average Republican is willing to look past Trump's sins (and, obviously, many GOPers like him outright), they can start weighing many other factors. They may, for instance, understand that voting for Ossoff is not only a vote against Trump but a vote for progressive liberals like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was given a near 60 percent disapproval rating in the 6th District. This is the choice.

It is also worth noting that, as galvanizing as the anti-Trump movement has been these past months, it is not a movement of persuasion. The default rhetorical disposition of liberals is still to accuse anyone who takes a cultural or economic position to the right of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of being a clingy racist. Maybe affluent suburban Republicans don't appreciate the accusation. And maybe bashing the president and getting hysterical over Russia isn't a winning strategy in places like Georgia because, while the GOP has tons of problems, for what does the Democratic Party stand?

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  1. Who fucking knows but the big picture is that Trump choose these legislators for his administration because they were from solid Republican legislative districts and I guarantee you the Republicans did not expect these close races. Trump could have easily filled those administrative positions with anyone but sitting legislators but he picked in part to win these special elections to create an illusion of victory.

    1. That’s not to say that hatred of democrats won’t carry the day if these registered Republicans are anything like me. I personally hate Republicans more than I hate cancer, ISIS and traffic jams caused by rubber necking combined. I realize this hatred isn’t healthy for me but it’s there and it’s real. I would probably challenge their political leaders to duels if we were living in other times. In other words I would risk my life to kill these motherfuckers if the law allowed me to take that chance.

      1. It’s almost like road rage hate. I expose myself to articles, videos and discussions on the Internet or radio that piss me off and I get pissed and then it subsides but it’s everyday more or less the same. For instance the first thing I saw this morning on yahoo news was a video of a some cop brutally beating on a motorist and then I saw the comments of people who I suspected were conservatives defending and excusing the vicious brutality. No wonder I flirt with this type of hatred and no wonder our society seems to be on the brink.

        1. Then make sure you point the barrel to your own head instead of someone else’s. You’re the one with the problem, not whoever you feel like rationalizing “made you do it”.

          So fuck off and quit blaming others for your issues.

          1. Yeah, he needs more personal attacks, potty mouth — and more slavish obedience to the wacky right.
            Shout down all dissent!!

        2. I expose myself to articles, videos and discussions on the Internet or radio that piss me off

          Seems like a healthy thing to do. I suggest you take a chill pill dude. Maybe try reflecting on things that are truly important. Hint: politics isn’t one of those things.

          1. Maybe try reflecting on things that are truly important. Hint: politics isn’t one of those things.

            Or reflecting on anything. Saying you hate Republicans more than you hate cancer (in earnest) says more about you and your stance on cancer than anything about Republicans.

            1. Saying you hate Republicans more than you hate cancer (in earnest) says more about you and your stance on cancer than anything about Republicans.

              And you saying THAT is more than we need to know about being a bullshitter.

          2. Hint: politics isn’t one of those things.

            YESS! Accept and love the state.
            How many dozens of those chill pills did you swallow, dude?

        3. It might help to remind yourself that 98% of what you read is total bullshit design to get you pissed off at one team or the other.

        4. let it go dude. you’re making yourself miserable. put things in perspective. we’re living in a golden age. be grateful for that.

        5. The left are completely unhinged, amoral and idiotic at this point.

        6. “For instance the first thing I saw this morning on yahoo news was a video of a some cop brutally beating on a motorist and then I saw the comments of people who I suspected were conservatives defending and excusing the vicious brutality.”
          Excuse me but aren’t cop unions beholden to the Democrat party who run every big city government in the country? Haven’t guys like Rahm and Blasio been letting these assholes run wild for a century or so? I’m as pissed about cop brutality as you are but killing Republicans won’t solve the problem.

      2. Dude. You’re clearly deranged. Coming back to a comment you made over half-an-hour later just to talk about how you hate Republicans more than anything in the world and would kill them if you had the chance? Especially after the recent shooting in Alexandria, VA… I think the FBI/SS would like to investigate you a little bit. Reported–we’ll see if something comes from it.

        Get help. Every congressperson is different, irrespective of party, and I’d wager you have zero basis for your rage other than a mental disorder gone unchecked.

        1. I’d wager you have zero basis for your rage other than a mental disorder gone unchecked.

          Mental disorder combined with most likely spending a lot of time in left-wing echo chambers soaking in the typical proggie strawman characterizations of Republicans: that they’ all racists, all misogynists, Nazis, etc.

          “This is your brain on Derpbook.”

      3. I would risk my life to kill these motherfuckers if the law allowed me to take that chance.

        Wait a minute: you’re willing to risk your life, but the law stops you? Not much of a kamikaze there, are you sunshine?

        -jcr

        1. “Wait a minute: you’re willing to risk your life, but the law stops you? Not much of a kamikaze there, are you sunshine?”

          He’s not a kamikaze, he’s a mentally disturbed coward.

          1. He’s not a kamikaze, he’s a liar.
            If he had the faith of a kamikaze, he would be dead now.

      4. In other words I would risk my life to kill these motherfuckers if the law allowed me to take that chance.

        Great, here comes another subpoena. Thanks a lot, you no-perspective-having asshole.

        1. Great, here comes another subpoena.

          Maybe, but can’t we appreciate the irony that it would be a worshiper of the all powerful god-state being targeted?

          1. No, because everyone who comments here is gonna end up on a list. And we’re probably all on several already.

            1. I figure I’ve been on one or more lists since 1995, so nothing new there.

            2. “No, because everyone who comments here is gonna end up on a list. And we’re probably all on several already.”

              Wait, I thought that was the point?

              1. All kidding aside, there’s (recent) precedent for a federal prosecutor coming after both Reason and individual Hit’n’Run commentors for wishing harm on government functionaries, and it wasn’t even as blatant as Memory Hole’s assassination fantasy up there. Just ’cause Preet’s gone doesn’t mean somebody else won’t follow his lead.

    2. Yeah, its not like Trump was an outsider who needed to fill positions in his cabinet and chose these politicians for some quality that Trump wanted.

      Then there is a special election completely outside the cycle of normal voting habits. Democrats think they can win so they pump tens of millions into 4 congressional races and get most of their loons out to vote. Republicans comparatively spend little and get some of the registered Republicans out to vote.

      Democrats still lose but typical lefty analysis of the special elections shows red states are ready to go Blue at any moment.

      The left just really does not realize that they are crazy, do they?

      Its like me advocating that Commifornia would go Team Red if an election was held today. I would be crazy to think that would happen.

      1. Crazy AND arrogant.

        A toxic cocktail.

    3. Ah, the joy of your shrieking, screaming tantrum. Cry, loser, cry.

    4. Get help.

      And I don’t mean that retarded Harvey Jackins inspired pseudo-science called Re-evaluation Counseling, either.

    5. So basically you’re no different than every other Obama-loving Weigelian scumbag in the JournoList, including many who write for Reason.

      At least you’re honest whereas most of you guys are complete liars, so I’ll give you that.

      1. Simple Mikey doesn’t know very many adjectives. Sad!

      2. Meanwhile, educated people know that the poor have a legal right to free treatment in Emergency Rooms
        But only recently. Since President Eisenhower.

        And even the semi-intelligent know that the ER is among THE most costly source of care.
        Do the math.

    6. Seems far fetched to me Memory Hole. Seems simpler that he wanted good people in his administration and chose them for that reason.

      It’s the Democrats who’ve been saying that every one of these special election races is a referendum on Trump. They keep trying (and throwing huge sums of money – consider they spent $30 million on Ossoff while Maxine Waters spent less than $1 million on her re-election while her R opponent spent less than $4000 and she got 71% of the vote). Ossoff got the same % of the votes in the initial election that he got in the runoff.

  2. Trump’s approval rating in the 6th District is equal to the national approval rating of 35 percent, which is to say exceptionally low for a Republican area.
    Its as if these polls numbers are inaccurate somehow.

    According to national media, Trump is the most unpopular president in decades. Yet, Trump beat Hillary and Republicans won 4 out of 4 special elections in 2017 in Kansas, Montana, Georgia and South Carolina.

    If Republicans are like me, I ignore what Trump says on twitter and press conferences and go by what he does to try and dismantle the Nanny-State. Actions speak louder than words and Trump words are all over the place. Trump’s actions to dismantle the Nanny-State is what really scares lefties.

    1. “Approval Rating” doesn’t directly equate to voting habit, does it?

      I can disapprove of the job he’s doing, but still vote for him instead of Hillary in the inevitable do-over election.

      1. “Approval Rating” doesn’t directly equate to voting habit, does it?

        I keep putting a negative sign in front of my approval rating when I turn these surveys in. I wonder if that adversely affects the results?

        1. Nah man – the program just takes the absolute value.

          Probably why they whiffed on predicting Trump’s election.

      2. Exactly, a lot of people didn’t so much vote *for* Donald Trump as they did *against* Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. And in the next election AntiFa, the pussyhats and the rest of the “resistance” will added to the list of people for whom a vote for Trump is really a vote against.

        1. I suspect the Democrats might have had a decent chance in these special elections if the activist left wasn’t going full retard about Trump. Ossoff was about as milquetoast a candidate as you could get, but his biggest fans were the unhinged academic/entertainment class that sees Trump’s presidency as a personal insult. Their temper tantrums seem to be creating enough resentment in the normie class of conservatives that doesn’t necessarily like Trump, but hates these lefty children even more.

          1. I suspect that Ossoff would have had a better chance of winning if the election wasn’t brought to the National level.

            1. I suspect that Ossoff would have had a better chance of winning if the election wasn’t brought to the National level.

              I’m not so sure about that, given his vote percentage remained the same in the runoff, but even if that was the case, that’s still an issue for the Dems, who’ve taken their fundraising PAC activity to that level and turned even minor seat contests like this into life-or-death struggle sessions. People who live outside MegaCity1 and MegaCity2 are more likely to be turned off by a bunch of coastal shitheads thinking they can tell people outside their urban ant hives who their representatives should be.

        2. I don’t think Schumer is a lightening rod for anger (neither did I think of Reid). But Democrats would be wise to put Pelosi out to pasture.

    2. > According to national media, Trump is the most unpopular president in decades

      If it’s a mainstream media poll, it’s most likely B.S. These are the people who swore up and down that Hillary would win 98% of the vote. Even Adolf Hitler, with all of his fraud, threats, ballot stuffing, and Reichstag walkouts only claimed 80%.

      Who other than Saddam Hussein “wins” 98% of the vote??

      1. There is certainly something seriously screwed with the poll organizations. The election of Trump clearly showed that either they were deliberately lying, or their methodology had melted down. Maybe they can salvage something, but so far their predictions aren’t encouraging confidence.

        1. What is screwed with the poll organizations is that there is permanent Trumpist undervote, so any polling somehow needs to take that into account. These folks are so withdrawn from the process that they say that they’re undecided or even that they support the other guy. They may even be lowering the Trump approval poll numbers for all anyone knows (but I doubt that).

        2. Or that you’re a sucker for Trump’s bullshit.
          The polls OVERSTATED his support in the popular vote.,

          And he won the Electoral Vote with fewer than 80,000 votes in three states — after the Comey charges in the closing days (Comey being a Republican) and after the Putin- ordered hacking and release of the Podesta emails INTENDED to boost Trump.

          Then again, Trump’s inauguration crowed was the largest assembly of people in human history.

        3. Or that you’re a sucker for Trump’s bullshit.
          The polls OVERSTATED his support in the popular vote.,

          And he won the Electoral Vote with fewer than 80,000 votes in three states — after the Comey charges in the closing days (Comey being a Republican) and after the Putin- ordered hacking and release of the Podesta emails INTENDED to boost Trump.

          Then again, Trump’s inauguration crowed was the largest assembly of people in human history.

    3. Progressives and Democrats think these special election races are a referendum on Trump. Seems to me each are an election between two politicians, most of whom I don’t care for. But then, it’s party insiders who are usually deciding who’s going to be running. That’s the way it works. And unfortunately, most party insiders are big government proponents, except for the Libertarians of course.

      And look at the bright side, Trump is a lot more “small government” then I expected.

      1. And look at the bright side, Trump is a lot more “small government” then I expected.

        You credit Trump for his own party jamming his campaign promises up his ass?

        Fuck “small government.” That’s a secondary consequence if expanding individual liberty.

    4. “According to national media, Trump is the most unpopular president in decades. Yet, Trump beat Hillary and Republicans won 4 out of 4 special elections in 2017 in Kansas, Montana, Georgia and South Carolina.”

      It’s as if some folks have forgotten that the US is a republic and a union of fifty states with three very separate branches of government where politics are very much local. It ain’t hard to draw a line between the presidency and a local election. And most people seem to be able to do that just fine.

    5. According to national media, Trump is the most unpopular president in decades. Yet, Trump beat Hillary

      STILL french-kissing Trump’s ass?

      1) 10 million people voted against Trump.
      2) Another estimated 10-15 million Trump votes were cast against Hillary,
      3) Trump now endorses the WaPo bombshell that the “fake news” about Russian interference oid TRUE — but blames Obama for getting him elected.
      4) We know Russian spent an entire year trying to get Trump elected, under the direct orders of Putin, Plus Comey’s testimony just before the election. And the Podesta emails. Nobody know what effect all three of those had on the votes, between TWO highly untrusted candidates. But how many vote had to switch? Trump won the Electoral College bu a mere 80,000 votes in three states.
      6) And he has repudiated EVERY major campaign promise that got him elected … like promising universal health care coverage and no cuts to Medicaid.

      This suggests that his approval ratings may be the least of his worries. How much worse before he gets lynched by angry mobs?

  3. “The parties treated the race as one that would have national implications. Certainly, the money that poured into the race was national.”

    You mean, people outside congressional district 6 were trying to…influence…democracy?

    OH NOES! CALL THE CIA, THE FBI, AND THE NSA!

    #Sandyspringsgate

    1. Indeed. I’m not sure how it’s ‘right’ to allow someone in New York to influence an election halfway across the continent from them when those who get elected in another state don’t represent New York in any way, shape, or form.

      It’s taken as a given that people who aren’t going to be represented by a particular office-holder should never the less be able to give that candidate money to influence their chances of winning said election.

      I find this to be pretty disgusting for a party that pretends to value Democracy over Republicanism. Frankly, I think it’s bullshit no matter which side is doing it. Only those people who are going to be represented by a candidate should be able to give money to that candidate. This should be obvious, in my opinion.

      1. The best solution to outsider money/influence is a massive increase in districts. Outsiders are not merely looking to influence a particular election but a particular power outcome in congress. More districts massively jacks up the cost for them to buy ‘a congressional majority’ or somesuch. And smaller districts also increase the value of retail tactics (door knocking, precinct activity) compared to wholesale tactics (money, ads, media). Outsider money is entirely about wholesale tactics – not about party.

        1. That was actually the design our founders gave us, until Congress decided to cap the number of House members in 1929. The Constitution said (Article I Section 2) that “The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand” referring to the number of free persons plus 3/5 of others not including Indians. Under those rules, we’d have a House with about 10,000 representatives.

          1. Consider how hard it would be to buy off enough of 10,000 representatives?

            Frankly, I’m not against people outside of a district saying something about the race, including by spending their money on it. There’s a lot of good that can come from this. Consider all the money the Democrats wasted on Ossoff! And frankly, what’s the big problem of foreign money in elections? It’s not money that wins elections (Hillary outspent Trump 3 to 1), it’s voters. Foreigners and outsiders can’t vote in the elections.

            The way I see the Russian/Trump collusion story, is it’s morphed into an obstruction of justice investigation, for collusion that didn’t happen, that shouldn’t be illegal anyway. The Democrats and Ted Kennedy didn’t think it was a bad thing (search on “Ted Kennedy Russia election Forbes” for the article). And the Democrats are starting to rethink the whole thing, since it’s starting to point back to them.

      2. Rand Paul and Justin Amash among others represent my values and beliefs. The Congress critters who represent what I believe in are not in my district. Does that mean that I should not support them and do what I can to get them reelected?

        1. Outside funding at that scale is the equivalent of Calitards who turn states outside California into progressive dystopias, except in this case they never leave their own state instead of migrating like locusts like they’ve been doing for the last 30 years.

  4. The Republicans are being saved by the Democrats being such a fucking terrible party.

    Insulting voters is an exceptionally poor way to gain voters. People with skills aren’t impressed by people with a lot of “book smarts” who can’t do a fucking thing useful.

    1. Especially when the “book” is “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

  5. What this author fails to add is people aren’t just fed up with the liberal democrat leadership, they’re actively IGNORING it. Like I said to tone-lib the other day. What he and other libs fail to grasp is a majority of voters have simply tuned out their whiny social justice crap. Voters don’t care about where trump ties are made, or that sjw’s think they’re racist for wanting immigration reform, or who’s talking to Russia.

    Voters have shifted to focusing on real, tangible issues that affect them, ie rapidly rising healthcare costs, taxes, failing infrastructure, deregulation, and job creation.

    Democrats are losing ground because they’re sawft as puppy shit on a hot sidewalk on all the issues trump has brought to the forefront. Or they’re directly to blame in some cases, like healthcare costs rising. Voters just simply are turned off by liberals right now.

    1. The left thrives whenever people ignore it. If they’re really fed up with the left, they should defund it. And that’s not going to happen without a lot of bloodletting. Kind of like removing a bunch of leeches from all over your body.

    2. I think that under your schema, the Democrats are winning the political war over health care.

  6. For me, the funniest thing about this election was the loser whining about money in politics after having outspent the winner by 6 to 1.

    -jcr

    1. For me, the funniest thing about this election was the loser whining about money in politics after having outspent the winner by 6 to 1.

      Not as funny as you being bamboozled so badly.

      She outspent him 2-1 on campaign committees and only 50% overall.

  7. Party identification driven by hatred of the other team is too powerful a force this decade for Trump to legitimately damage his party.

    Essentially one-third of the country identifies as independent. But guess what? We just had an election with two major-party candidates widely considered to be the worst their parties have spat out in four decades. And of those tens of millions of “independent” voters, 90% of them chose to stick with the terrible red and blue teams.

    Further, the amount of partisans who hate the other team is constantly on the rise.

    Republicans aren’t going to vote for Democrats because they hate them.
    Republicans aren’t going to vote for independents because they hate the Democrats too much.
    Right-leaning independents aren’t going to vote for Democrats because they hate them even as they claim neutrality.
    And right-leaning independents apparently aren’t even going to vote for right-leaning independents, because either they’re retarded cowards or they’re smarter than us libertarians (I’d believe either or both at this point).

    The Republicans are going to be fine.

    1. I still firmly believe that a libertarian could have won the presidency in the most recent election.

      It’s just too damned bad that no libertarians ran. Not one.

      1. Wasn’t going to happen. No libertarian was going to win either major party’s nomination, and nobody could have won running on a third party ticket.

        1. No libertarian was going to win either major party’s nomination

          Exhibit A: Paul, Rand. And there are no libertarianish Democrats to use as Exhibit B. But apparently even any non-crazy moderate Dems couldn’t even crack the top tow in the primary. It was the would be queen vs. commie.

          nobody could have won running on a third party ticket.

          Agreed. The game is too rigged (the Commission on Presidential Debates, ballot access laws, etc.) for any 3rd party candidate to ever win. Voting for a 3rd party is meaningless. Actually voting in general is meaningless.

          1. Ted Cruz is fairly libertarianish and he came close.

            1. Don’t know how anyone could use Ted Cruz and libertarian in the same sentence with a straight face

            2. Ted Cruz is fairly libertarianish and he came close

              Crus is almost as crazy as Ron/Rand Paul. Learn the difference between libertarians and jack-booted statists.

      2. Somebody somewhere in the DNC probably thinks Stalin could have been president if only he was a true communist.

        1. Many in the LP think Ron Paul could have been president, if only he was a real libertarian.

      3. I still firmly believe that a libertarian could have won the presidency in the most recent election.
        It’s just too damned bad that no libertarians ran. Not one.

        We had two perfect ones, bit they had NOTHING .. no platform at all … because the party and movement are nor dominated by anti-gubmint goobers who believe that actually getting elected and doing something iis evil, compared to reciting memorized slogans.

        The goobers libertarianism (yours?) is rejected by 91% of even libertarians, per Cato, which bluntly proves the their destruction of the movement,

    2. I agree with the argument that most regular voters have already chosen which flavor of vomit they will lap up because they hate the other flavor of vomit. But:
      And of those tens of millions of “independent” voters, 90% of them chose to stick with the terrible red and blue teams.
      this ain’t exactly true. That particular poll was a sample of people leaving the polling booth. That merely proves that negative campaigning works. Turn an election into EOTWAWKI – and you force a two-choice election and true independents stay home.

      The real effect is that D’s and R’s are getting about 55% of the voting age population. The rest are either not voting (and ultimately letting their registration lapse into inactivity) or voting sporadically. For those who do continue to remain registered voters (and most likely independent), D’s and R’s are getting about 70% now (90% as recently as the 1990’s).

      That group of dropouts and marginalized is the opportunity for outsiders and third-parties and is big enough to win an election. But they’ll only come back into the process for positive reasons (and every election both the D’s and R’s will field someone who tries to bring those folks into the D/R tent). And structurally, our system would require someone to do that with a phenomenally well-organized grassroots precinct-level organization that can bypass the media/debate/money/ads channel.

  8. How are disaffected Republicans supposed to defect? Prolife anti-trump protestors were kicked out of the women’s march. Pro-business LGBTQRS were just run out of pride. Anyone who isn’t a hardcore sjw is in physical danger on any given college campus.

    There’s just no coalition building with the likes of @memory hole, who I fear is increasingly representative of mainstream democrats.

    1. “…who I fear is increasingly representative of mainstream democrats.”

      No, I don’t think that’s true. @memory hole is a complete loon. Your typical mainstream Democrat is a fairly normal American. What you are seeing is the media (who are primarily to the Left of mainstream Democrats) increasingly giving voice to the fringe of the party. This is further enhanced because both parties have been electing non-centrist Politicians. For the most part, neither party is composed of actual fringe types like @memory hole, but you’ve lost most of the members that were clustered around the center of the American political range.

    2. That’s really the key- coalition building around specific issues. That’s what reasonable, principled, mature people do.

  9. OT: Healthcare discussion on Squawk on the Street – 50% of US births are covered by Medicaid; 2/3 of nursing care is Medicaid (NOT Medicare).

    1. Take 1) Idiocracy–stupid people having babies.

      Take 2) There’s this thing called moral hazard.

      I suspect people who have to pay the medical bills for having children take those costs into consideration.

      I mean, why wouldn’t they?

    2. 50% of US births are covered by Medicaid

      What has happened to this country? When I was a kid, sluts gave birth in a porta-potty. And they didn’t get time off work to do that either. No siree. Just drop the load, wash your hands, and get back to work servicing the important people in the office.

    3. 2/3 of nursing care is Medicaid (NOT Medicare)

      That’s because fulltime home healthcare and nursing homes and hospices for Medicare eligibles are actually covered via Medicaid.

    4. 50% of US births are covered by Medicaid; 2/3 of nursing care is Medicaid (NOT Medicare).

      Do you know why? I didn’t think so,

      Medicaid is the DESIGNATED provider of — not just nursing care. Those are seniors. Republicans are fucking with the most powerful voting group. Grandma’s wheelchair.

      9 million low-income seniors are “dual-eligible” both Medicaid and Medicare, because they can’t afford Medicare’s $134 monthly premiums — plus deductibles and copays. Also Voting seniors,

  10. Just for the record, Trump’s approval ratings are holding steady.

    http://graphics.wsj.com/wsjnbcpoll/

    Much of that seems to be about the improving economy.

    1. This can’t be true Ken! I’ve been promised that Trump’s polls are lower than ever, that he’s hated from sea to shining sea! The only people left supporting him are the white supremacist patriarchal christian fascist identitarian alt-right!

      Are you implying that 40% of the country is made up of these deplorables? That’s an even higher percent than Hillary warned us of!

      1. It’s always been more or less 40% v. 40% plus the indecisive 20% in the middle breaking one way or the other.

        In 2020, it’ll be a close election again, I’m sure.

        When the seas don’t turn to blood, and we’re not overwhelmed by plagues of locusts, frogs, insects, and boils–because Trump was president for four years, yeah, some people will be disappointed.

        The rest of them will go to the polls and pull for Trump (or not) on their way home from work.

      2. 40% isn’t exactly a high bar to clear, or a number to celebrate.

        That said, a lot of Democrats are definitely prematurely celebrating future success and exaggerating a narrative of collapse. His approval rating has dipped since entering office, but it’s still about where it was on election day. And in this day and age, 40% approval can be enough to win if the country is sufficiently opposed and/or apathetic towards your opposition. And the Democratic Party today is a shitshow of incompetence, particularly when it comes to elections. The GOP has displayed plenty of incompetence at governing recently, but they at least know how to win elections.

        1. The Gop isn’t good at winning elections. Trump won in spite of them, and as i said before, these special elections go to republicans because people are voting against liberals more than voting for republicans.

          If anything the GOP is still shooting itself in the feet (high healthcare bill, regards dumbass Paul Ryan), the liberals just are so damn annoying Noone can stand to vote for them anymore.

          You can be dumb, ideological, rude, smarmy, etc, but when you cross into annoying you get tuned out. It’s this simple.

        2. Agree, but that’s only if the Democrats run another turd like Hillary.

        3. Agreed, if the Democrats run another putrid candidate like Hillary.

  11. Yeah… the only way that the Republican Party is going to sink will be due to Ryan/McConnell. Trump’s not the person screwing up here. Largely, he has actually been trying to keep most of his campaign promises, meanwhile, the House and Senate Republicans are trying to avoid doing anything constructive.

    1. This is spot on. Paul Ryan seemed so bright years ago. Now its like he’s trying to control every aspect of the healthcare bill thinking it will be his golden egg to higher office. Which is fucked 1) because his motivations seem so self centered, and 2) the bills are so crappy yet he seems oblivious to the obvious blowback hell get if they fail.

      He’s sticking his neck out for a bill that will have no problem whacking his political head off if he doesn’t get it right. Which seems to be the case so far. Rand needs to keep embarrassing him and his process.

  12. Sorry, I forgot which website I’m on . . .

    If Trump doesn’t sink the Republican party, then we’re all doomed.

    I’m talking Old Testament, real wrath-of-God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling. Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together ? mass hysteria.

    1. Are you opining that, now, it is finally time we cross the streams?

    2. Hah, Ghostbusters 2 was on television the other day. Would be great if they make #3 before they’re all dead (Egon, RIP).

      1. What you didn’t like the GhostBusters remake?

        1. I’d argue that if Reitman died before he saw the film, it was a merciful death.

        2. Anything with Melissa McCarthy is a “No thanks” for me. Female comedians tend to be complete crap, and she’s being unironically celebrated for having the same acting range as Roseanne Barr.

  13. Only the democrats and the media ‘nationalized’ the race.

    No one even mentions the small detail of the democrat candidate not living in the district. I would not vote for anyone with so little respect for me that they ask for my vote and not live where they claim they want to ‘serve’.

    The democrats need to spend more time looking at that national map showing red and blue by county, and rethink the I HATE TRUMP campaign rhetoric as being a winner.

    1. Well, he had his 12 year girlfriend he lived with.

      If you can’t fake having balls enough to propose after more than a decade, you’re too much of a pussy for me.

      1. Why buy the cow, something, something….

    2. Isn’t there a residency requirement to become a Congressman or Senator for a given district?

      1. Yes – it involves maintaining a residence there. Which is how HRC came to count as “a New Yorker” even though she’d hardly ever even been there prior to running for Senate.

  14. Everyone likes Trump except commies and cucks

    1. Shouldn’t you be hanging out at The Federalist with the other Nut-Con retards?

  15. Ah.. lets see.. A district that was consistently Red in the low 60s to unopposed hung on to win with under 52%. Gerrymandering may offer protection to many elephants but the trend does not seem to be their friend and the Orange Plague is their albatross.

    1. i needed you around for the Jackie Smith and Bill Buckner events of my childhood…

    2. Please cite a couple of seats in 2018 that are vulnerable due to Trump ties. Because in my state, there are no seriously contested seats and some will go completely uncontested. Team Red and Blue colluded to make sure they didn’t have to piss away money on competitive elections.

    3. Ah.. lets see.. A district that was consistently Red in the low 60s to unopposed hung on to win with under 52%

      Lol–Ossoff got fewer votes than a Democratic candidate in 2016 that may not have even existed. In fact, voting totals showed that Handel actually flipped or grew the Republican vote percentage in several areas. Losing when you “cover the spread” still makes you a loser, shitlib.

      And to be quite blunt, gerrymandering is a rational tactic when the opposing party has made it clear they intend to continue to support the importation of immigrant populations that are sympathetic to left-wing positions, rather than convince the existing population to vote for them.

      1. Lol–Ossoff got fewer votes than a Democratic candidate in 2016 that may not have even existed. In fact, voting totals showed that Handel actually flipped or grew the Republican vote percentage in several areas. Losing when you “cover the spread” still makes you a loser, shitlib.

        So lets see Rocks for Brains…Dems 2016: 124,917. 2017: 124,893. And the Elephant (quite literally): 2016: 201,088 2017: 134,595. Yes, growing the R percentage by subtraction! The R vote was down by 1/3, the D vote unchanged. Will those non-voting Rs stay home again in 2018? Or are many of them really I’s who stayed home and could go D in 2018?

        In effect, the R’s need to spot the D’s 10 pts in a district to be assured of a win. There are enough “lean R’ districts that 2018 may be very painful if Orangeman continues to drag the R party down (though they do a good job on their own).

        1. “DAH NUMBAHS! DAH NUMBAHS!”

          Not only did you confirm that Ossoff got fewer votes than someone that probably didn’t even exist, you spit out this dumbass word salad that amounts to simple-simon wishful thinking.

          You like numbers? Here’s your party’s track record the last seven years:

          1,000 federal and state seats lost.
          10 governorships
          The House
          The Senate
          The White House
          All 5 special elections post 2016

          That you can sit there and talk shit like your party’s accomplished anything is laughable in the extreme. Save your shitlib fantasias for the campus coffeehouse where you and the other morons don’t have to deal with reality.

      2. Keep in mind that Ossoff was a weak candidate that was trying to slip by on being a nice guy. The Blue Team will have a full slate of good candidates to go in 2018.

        1. Keep up that rich fantasy life.

  16. It’s like when a football team drafts a terrible QB. The fans will certainly make sure everyone knows how much they hate the new QB, but they’re not going to go start rooting for their archrivals instead.

    1. So… Trump is the Johnny Manziel of politics.

      1. No, he’s more like a Eli Manning – who puts up mediocre performances but can succeed with the right team around him and occasionally make a great play.

        1. “No, he’s more like a Eli Manning – who puts up mediocre performances ”

          I’m not sure that Trump is that good.

          1. Eli two unlikely SB wins.
            Trumps one (so far) unlikely presidential win.
            Still time to tie it up

  17. The default rhetorical disposition of liberals is still to accuse anyone who takes a cultural or economic position to the right of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of being a clingy racist. Maybe affluent suburban Republicans don’t appreciate the accusation. And maybe bashing the president and getting hysterical over Russia isn’t a winning strategy in places like Georgia because, while the GOP has tons of problems, for what does the Democratic Party stand?

    This X 1,000,000.

    Go ahead, progressives, keep digging your own grave. Keep accusing anyone and everyone you disagree with of being horrible misogynists and racists. See how many elections you win then. It turns out people don’t like being called names, especially when it’s not true, and there’s not enough “true believer” progressives outside of deep blue enclaves like San Fran and college campuses to win elections outside of those areas.

  18. What If Donald Trump Doesn’t Sink the Republican Party?

    Hey, that’s been my nightmare for the past year. What if Trump wins on an anti-TEA Party moderate populist big-government platform that embraces the RINO GOP establishment and marginalizes the libertarianish fringe of the party? What lessons are the shitweasels in Washington going to draw from this?

    Oh, lookee there – even as we speak, they’re repealing Obamacare just like they’ve been promising for years! How’s that wall coming along? Has Hillary been locked up yet? ISIS had the shit bombed out of them and their oil taken? Are we tired of winning yet? Wake me up when we get to the part where Trump proposes free college for everybody and the rich are going to pay for it.

    1. The shitweasels in DC are going to learn the same lesson they always learn: being a shitweasel pays bank, so fuck all y’all.

    2. the RINO GOP establishment

      I would have thought that by definition, the GOP establishment are not RINOs.

      1. The RINO’s are the conservatives, at this point.

    3. Tea Partiers were not Norquist “drown it in the bathtub” conservatives. They were, however, anti-welfare-state on the low end, but not mid-low end, as a lot of them like the government teat when it favors them but not those folks that “don’t deserve it”; they have set up the schema for deserving as being delineated by having a job, which is why there is this big push to get “able-bodied adults” off any of the teat. As for myself, if someone is paying little or not taxes and sucking on the teat, what’s the difference between that guy and some other guy that is not working but sucking on the same teat? This is a level of nuance that would make John Kerry blush!

  19. What has Trump actually done outside of sending childish tweets? As near as I can tell he hasn’t actually accomplished anything. If that continues for the rest of his term hell I’ll even vote for him next time. He’s changed nothing but the media acts like he nuked the entire planet.

    1. Well, he also signed some bureaucracy-shrinking executive orders that didn’t accomplish anything, and he withdrew from a non-binding climate agreement that wouldn’t have accomplished anything. In other words, Hitler.

      1. You’re right, he hasn’t done shit.

        But his idiot fan club thinks he is their Savior.

        1. idiot fan club thinks he is their Savior

          Un. Precedented.

        2. Just like you with Barack Obama, eh shreek? Pay your goddamn bet, liar.

        3. “You’re right, he hasn’t done shit.

          But his idiot fan club thinks he is their Savior.”

          LOL, I didn’t vote for him, but if he keeps not doing shit, he’s got my vote next time. I haven’t been particularly pleased with the Big Things that the last 3 or 4 Presidents have done.

        4. Gorsuch – check
          Slashing the budget of every dept except military – check
          Deregulation laws – check
          Healthcare and immigration bills put forth and in session in less than 6 months – check
          Exiting the Paris fraud – check
          Pressuring the U.N. Members to pony up – check
          Attempting to unify the Arab states against Isis – check
          Pushing for tax reform and corporate reductions – check

          Nope, nothing to see there. Looks just as obama left it. It’s gonna be a boring 3.5 years with nooooooooothing happening.

          1. Talking shit and accomplishing shit are not the same thing.

            1. Anyone who works in a business regulated by the federal government or watches the regulatory state would disagree. Trump has seriously disrupted the regulatory trajectory of Bush/Obama. How it will play out in the long term I don’t know but it beats the shit out of the alternative,

      2. I dare not say it among my mostly prog friends and family, but Trump has not done anything particularly bad, or particularly good for that matter. In fact, he really hasn’t done anything, which is OK by me. I suspect most voters who aren’t suffering from TDS recognize this, which is why the dems aren’t winning these special elections-yet…that could change (or not) if Trump actually starts getting things done.

        I am more worried with what will happen if the dems start winning state and local races, like the Virginia house (polls are showing them with an advantage right now). This is where they can do the most damage IMO.

        1. The only lasting thing of any importance that Trump has done in getting Gorsuch in. Even if this monstrosity of a health care bill gets passed, the unitary Blue control in 2021 will simply roll back those changes. And of course any Executive Orders will be rolled back.

          We’ll see how he does on tax reform. A cut – accompanied by a reduction in deductions – in the corporate tax rate might be durable, but a simple tax cut for the wealthy will be target #1 for the Blue Team.

          1. The only lasting thing of any importance that Trump has done in getting Gorsuch in

            “lasting” damage to individual liberty.

    2. childish tweets are violence!

    3. His tax cut “plan” is just some back of the envelope number – HEY HOW DOES 15% SOUND?

      His border wall is a scam.

      No “Muslin ban”. No SUPER SEKRET PLAN TO DEFEAT ISIS like he said.

      No ACA repeal. No trade agreement rewrite – and there won’t be one.

      No coal jobs – no job revival at all.

      The Con Man conned his white trash base.

      1. Speaking of white trash cons, pay your bet.

      2. Looks like PBP’s mom turned the porn filter back on on his computer and changed the password.

        1. Am I wrong?

          Of course not. And you probably know it.

          1. No – you’re just one of those people whose ability to recognize shortcomings in the executive depends absolutely on which team is in power.

          2. Yea, actually you are wrong and you’re totally ignoring gorsuch, slashing federal budgets, proposing immigration and healthcare legislation, Uniting Arab leaders against Isis, passing regulation reform, pushing for tax cuts, and pulling out of paris, among other things.

            And that’s only six months. At this rate by the end of the year well be looking at as many attempts at reform and deregulation as most presidents attempt in their entire tenure. He’s certainly keeping the heat up.

      3. HEY HOW DOES 15% SOUND?

        That’s less than what I’m paying now, so it sounds pretty fucking good.

        Maybe you and Memory Hole can go on that Republican shooting spree you’ve been fantasizing about. Make sure to pay your bet first, though, asshole.

        1. Everyone is admonishing PBP to pay his or her bet. What’s the back story on this?

          1. PB made a bet with one of the commenters and lost–the loser was to donate $20 to Reason. PB claims he paid the donation, but nobody at Reason has confirmed that he did so, and Welch (I believe) even commented at one point that no money from him had arrived.

      4. His tax cut “plan” is just some back of the envelope number – HEY HOW DOES 15% SOUND?

        It’s a 60% tax cut on himself. We’d have a billionaire paying the same tax rate as his voters, or less.
        On top of his huge existing loophole. Never hire a swamp rat to drain the swamp!

    4. I loved the New Jersey Generals.

    5. He got Gorsuch on the SC, so the one thing he’s actually accomplished is pretty good so far.

      1. Yeah, we needed another rightwing statist that shits on individual rights.

  20. So who thought that Trump’s election meant the end of the Republican party? The same ones who were going to protest vote for Hillary? Because I don’t know how much concern trolls can be trusted to objectively predict anything.

    1. I voted for Trump (in the primary) in order to end the Republican Party. Things are proceeding nicely so far.

    2. The Republican Party has gotten too big to stay unified. At the moment it’s just the “anti-Democrat” party. It would be hard to say, given the broad range of beliefs and actions among Republican politicians at the moment, that there’s any very specific “Republican platform” right now.

      The Democrats have a very narrow and highly dogmatic platform that is sinking them very quickly.

      If the Democrats stop being a threat, there’s enough factionalism for some Republican group to splinter.

      We’ll probably retain the “Democrat” and “Republican” labels (but one may go the way of the Whigs and we’ll see a new label), but the two parties are already disintegrating before our eyes. A re-alignment is in progress.

      1. “… but the two parties are already disintegrating before our eyes. A re-alignment is in progress.”

        Agreed, and it’s been pretty apparent for a while.

        Both parties have become reactionary tribes for the most part. That leaves them rudderless and without principle. There are a host of issues (civil liberties, foreign policy, etc) that are either being ignored or they are taking positions on them that are selectively applied based on their ideological cul-de-sac.

        The realignment of the parties themselves will be less important than the coalition-building that will (hopefully) happen, as both parties hemmorage registered voters. 40%+ of voters are now independent. That doesn’t bode well for the tribalists.

      2. I see; so being “very narrow” means being the party against a health care bill that is favored by only 16%.

        1. Obamacare just passed 50% for the first time. GOP is a MASSIVE shipwreck.

  21. That’a an awful lotta words and such to say Democrats are losers.

  22. The coverage by NYT, WaPo and NPR has been awful, obviously. Someone on NPR in a round table discussion literally said that “Maybe the anti-Trump fervor isn’t high enough yet” That really spoke volumes about the utter lack of principle and platform in the Dem party.

    1. “Maybe the anti-Trump fervor isn’t high enough yet”

      Bwahahaha!


  23. Moreover, Ossoff spent a record $23.6 million on a House race, yet Handel outran not only him but also Trump.

    Honest question here, but why is it that people are allowed to donate massive amounts of money to a candidate in a state, and district ,that they do not live in or otherwise have anything to do with? This seems like a perversion of democracy, which is ironic for the party that claims to believe in Democracy over Republicanism.

    One thing I think would be a good reform is only allow people who honestly reside within a given district to give money to candidates in that district. It’s insane to allow big-time PAC cash to influence elections in area’s that do not technically represent them at all.

    Why should a New York resident, for instance, have any influence over a race in Georgia? It’s insane.

    1. why is it that people are allowed to donate massive amounts of money to a candidate in a state, and district ,that they do not live in or otherwise have anything to do with?

      Because it’s their money?

      I’m not sure how I feel about this. I guess it doesn’t have the anti-speech ramifications of rules that restrict any campaign spending. But I’m still not very comfortable restricting anyone’s political activity.

      And even with a rule like that, people would just donate to a super-PAC or something like that to support candidates outside of their districts or states. So I don’t know that it would make much difference.

      1. It’s only restricting the political activity of people who have absolutely no legitimate interest in effecting who represents said district. The only people who should have a say in who represents them are, obviously, the people who are going to be represented by that politician.

        While spending money clearly does not equal a win, as this particular example shows pretty well, there is still no reason to allow someone from outside a district to give money to a politician for a certain district.

        It’s effectively ‘no taxation without representation’, only in this case it’s ‘interests from outside the district should not be able to influence the election process within the district’.

        Why this is allowed is unknown, but 1st amendment issues do not come into play because there should not be a free speech interest in giving money to a candidate in a district that that does represent you.

        1. Or to put it another way, in a Republican system a Congressperson or Senator is intended to only represent their particular districts interests. And, again, while money does not necessarily equal influence it would be a reasonable reform to only allow those individuals who are electing someone to have their backs in national politics to have any say at all on who that person is.

          ‘Free speech’ etc. doesn’t mean shit in this arena, because this person is intended to be a proxy for those who vote them into office. People who don’t live in the area are not allowed to vote for the candidate yet they can give that candidate $25 million dollars to run a campaign and saturate every last corner of that district with signs, advertisements, etc. which do have an effect.

          This is because the national Party has an interest in keeping power. Why should they be allowed to top-down support people in their own national interest over the interest of those at the grassroots? It’s illogical and not necessarily in the best interests of the voters in those districts.

        2. Not so fast. Congressional districts don’t have walls. For instance, I used to live in a neighborhood where a lot of people worked for a large manufacturing company that employed a lot of people in the state and around the country. If a rep was running in that district that was hostile to that company or advocated trade policies that could adversely impact them, it doesn’t just impact the people in the district.

          Same goes for environmental issues. Candidate A doesn’t care too much about air quality, or at the minimum prioritizes jobs over air quality. Candidate B is tougher on environmental issues. Voter group C lives in the next state over, and doesn’t want the emissions blowing over into their district.

          Congress critters vote on stuff that impacts us all. While the vote only goes to the district, I have no problem with people or groups informing those voters about who these people are or what they stand for.

          Plus, you know, that free speech thing is a bitch.

          1. If a rep was running in that district that was hostile to that company or advocated trade policies that could adversely impact them, it doesn’t just impact the people in the district.

            That’s a good point, as well.

            As a concrete example, where I live there’s a number of oil refineries, closest ones being Chevron in Richmond and Pillips 66 in Rodeo (both about 10 miles from me).

            The City of Richmond has an extremely hostile relationship with Chevron. Whenever Chevron applies for a permit upgrade, or at times even to maintain its equipment, the City comes at them with a long list of demands for contributions to city infrastructure and services, often resulting in a stalemate so the improvement don’t get done.

            Periodically the Chevron refinery has failures that release toxic clouds into the atmosphere that do not politely confined themselves to Richmond’s city limits. The other refineries in the area don’t have this problem, and Chevron’s other refineries don’t have this problem – this is a problem with Richmond, in particular.

            There’s a case where arguably those of us who share a border with Richmond have a stake in who sits on the Richmond City Council.


            1. As a concrete example, where I live there’s a number of oil refineries, closest ones being Chevron in Richmond and Pillips 66 in Rodeo (both about 10 miles from me).

              The City of Richmond has an extremely hostile relationship with Chevron. Whenever Chevron applies for a permit upgrade, or at times even to maintain its equipment, the City comes at them with a long list of demands for contributions to city infrastructure and services, often resulting in a stalemate so the improvement don’t get done.

              It sounds like maybe Chevron should move, then, along with all those jobs. You might see Richmond remove it’s head from it’s own ass in that scenario, but the people who live in that area should have the primary say in what happens in their area.

              It sounds to me like you guys just don’t believe in Republicanism. That’s fine, I’m not going to say you’re bad and wrong for that but it’s the basis of the American system and this is a real problem that perverts said system.


              There’s a case where arguably those of us who share a border with Richmond have a stake in who sits on the Richmond City Council.

              Perhaps so, but I would think this would be an interest of the State government at that point yes? This is basic civics, which I suspect you’re well aware of but perhaps you haven’t given it the thought it deserves in this area. Or maybe I haven’t, but I do think about it a lot.

              1. Oh, and as an addendum to all of this PAC’s and other interests are free to purchase advertisements for and against a candidate in that area as a proxy, since it doesn’t necessarily flow through the Congresscritter’s budget. Perhaps the figure given in the article includes PAC spending, and I would agree that at this point it becomes a first amendment issue and thus would be allowed. So I’m thinking this is how they get around it, but I honestly can’t say for sure.

                My problem is if this money goes directly into the Congresscritter’s budget, but I suspect the elaborate shell-game that is a Super-PAC is how they ultimately get around these types of limits. It’s a perversion of the Republican system, in my view, but perhaps that is ultimately subordinate to the 1st Amendment.

              2. It sounds like maybe Chevron should move, then, along with all those jobs.

                They’ve considered it, but they’re still looking for a suitcase that this will fit into.

                It sounds to me like you guys just don’t believe in Republicanism.

                That’s not what anyone is saying – we’re talking pragmatics.

                Perhaps so, but I would think this would be an interest of the State government at that point yes?

                Maybe that’s how we handle the idea that my interests should be represented somehow in the City of Richmond’s behavior, yes. Same argument can be made for national party’s influencing local elections.

                It’s a question of “how,” not “whether,” interests from “outside the district” get represented.

                Sometimes there isn’t a good way.


                1. Sometimes there isn’t a good way.

                  I can agree with that, even while I’m not entirely convinced that 1st amendment concerns should apply to the election process in the same way they apply to other things. Certainly anyone should be able to say anything they want about a given candidate, but I’m not as certain how the funding should play out. I think Citizens United settled a lot of these issues if memory serves.

                  I think it probably ends up mattering a little less than I figure, since really speech and money don’t necessarily equal the desired outcomes and the people in the district are, as a matter of fact, the only people who are actually voting which is probably the most important thing.

                  1. I’m not entirely convinced that 1st amendment concerns should apply to the election process in the same way they apply to other things.

                    Well – I see what you mean, and I agree to a certain extent, except insofar as your relationship with your political representation is pretty fundamental to the 1A.

                    OTOH, if the 1A enshrines a human right, and not a government-created right, then Russians have a right to influence our elections, too (and by the “stakeholder” logic, they should – everyone one in the world should). So it’s not such a clear-cut case.

                    The problem is how you practically achieve a “no outsiders” situations without creating more problems than you solve.


                    1. Well – I see what you mean, and I agree to a certain extent, except insofar as your relationship with your political representation is pretty fundamental to the 1A.

                      Emphasis added, because I agree with that but I don’t agree that someone has the same right over another district.


                      The problem is how you practically achieve a “no outsiders” situations without creating more problems than you solve.

                      True enough I suppose, but the system we have now is pretty shitty in most ways I can think of. Occasionally, though, the least shitty system is as good as it gets.

              3. For many years I owned a commercial property in a jurisdiction that I did not live in. I could not vote for mayor, town council or for or against referendum even though these matters personally affected my livelihood. Rand Paul represents my interests in the senate far better than anyone I can vote for in Illinois so contributing to his campaign in KY makes more sense than pulling an R or D in IL.


          2. If a rep was running in that district that was hostile to that company or advocated trade policies that could adversely impact them, it doesn’t just impact the people in the district.

            It doesn’t really matter if those people are employed by a company within that district, but live in another district. They can’t vote in that election, so they really shouldn’t have a say. Companies of that type are a special problem, but they’re generally regulated at the Federal level and would have overlap with multiple districts interests. That company can choose the most favorable district to house their H.Q. either way. The workers themselves, who live in the district, can give money if they want.

            The argument that a congressperson votes on legislation that effects us all isn’t a reason to allow anyone to vote for that congressperson, so why should they be allowed to give them money? This should be obvious. There is no free speech concern in my view, it’s an issue of representation. Your free speech concern is that you can bad mouth that person all you want, but you shouldn’t have a say if you’re not going to be represented by that person.

        3. Why this is allowed is unknown

          It’s the “you can’t stop it, so to be fair you have to allow it” principle.

          As Zeb says, regardless of how you feel about it you can’t stop people, especially the ethically challenged sort of people who go into politics, from getting the money to the candidate they want.

          If you pass a law saying only people in a district can donate money to a candidate for that district, you can bet that you’re going to see a lot of sudden cash gifts to the residents of that district during campaign season.

          You’ll have “Democracy Drives” to raise money to send to the poor and vulnerable of District X so that they don’t get victimized by the powerful – stuff like that.

          This is why campaign finance reform doesn’t work – it’s never “reform,” it’s only ever an excuse to make the rules ever more byzantine so that the wily and immoral have more power than honest people.


          1. It’s the “you can’t stop it, so to be fair you have to allow it” principle.

            You can’t stop it? Really? That’s interesting, because there are laws on the books for this type of thing. The implication that it’s not something that can be stopped is nonsense in my view.


            If you pass a law saying only people in a district can donate money to a candidate for that district, you can bet that you’re going to see a lot of sudden cash gifts to the residents of that district during campaign season.

            This isn’t a problem, since those ‘cash gifts’ are traceable, taxable, and there is no obligation on the part of the person receiving said gift to spend it in the method dictated by the person giving the cash (not to mention that it could conceivably run afoul of vote buying legislation that’s on the books).

            Even if that becomes the workaround, it’s more reasonable than the current method of anyone all around the nation can funnel as much money as they want into an election for a Congressperson in a district that none of them live in. It waters down the influence of the people who are arguably the primary stakeholders in that election.

            No matter how you rationalize this, it’s an end-run around the intention of a Republican form of government. Agree or disagree with Republicanism in general, but this is a perversion.

            1. You can’t stop it? Really? That’s interesting, because there are laws on the books for this type of thing.

              We have laws against certain drugs as well. We have lots and lots of laws governing campaign spending. We even have laws that people who live outside of a district can’t run for office in that district.

              Even if that becomes the workaround, it’s more reasonable than the current method of anyone all around the nation can funnel as much money as they want into an election for a Congressperson in a district that none of them live in.

              I would argue it is in fact no change from the existing situation, except for a new set of laws that can be used to keep the little people from being able to donate to whom they want.

              No matter how you rationalize this, it’s an end-run around the intention of a Republican form of government

              Yes – it is. That’s what politicians do. That’s why we must work tireless to limit their power in every way possible.


              1. It’s the “you can’t stop it, so to be fair you have to allow it” principle.


                We have laws against certain drugs as well. We have lots and lots of laws governing campaign spending. We even have laws that people who live outside of a district can’t run for office in that district.

                I interpreted the first statement to mean that there was no way to make law in that arena, your second statement cleared up that you meant it’s pointless legislation.

                You bring up a far more pertinent question, in my mind, in that people are saying this guy didn’t even live in the district at all. I take it they used the ‘we bought a house in the district’ method that the Clinton’s used in New York? Classy.

            2. This isn’t a problem, since those ‘cash gifts’ are traceable, taxable…

              Untrue- you can give anyone a “tax-free” gift of less than $10K/yr.

    2. One thing I think would be a good reform is only allow people who honestly reside within a given district to give money to candidates in that district. It’s insane to allow big-time PAC cash to influence elections in area’s that do not technically represent them at all.

      Why should a New York resident, for instance, have any influence over a race in Georgia? It’s insane.

      Aren’t you citing a counterexample as proof of your need for more regulation? The guy that spent the most (outside) money lost so, even if you were able to, why regulate the money at all.

      Further, I kinda held similar notions in the past. How and why a New Yorker can influence a Georgia election is beyond me (turns out, evidence would suggest that he can’t). I would’ve thought that you could reasonably say only a person, corporation, or PAC that resides in or is HQ’ed in Georgia could contribute. However, as these forums kinda indicate, that would require you to draw lines and enforce unequal treatment. Something that, by some of the free-est minded people on the web, cannot be tolerated or shouldn’t exist (rather than just being a good double-edged sword or necessary evil).


      1. Aren’t you citing a counterexample as proof of your need for more regulation? The guy that spent the most (outside) money lost so, even if you were able to, why regulate the money at all.

        Perhaps it works in some cases, perhaps it doesn’t in others, but either way directly contributing to the campaign of a Congressperson in a district that you don’t reside in still shouldn’t be allowed, and perhaps it isn’t. Things like a Super-PAC use money given to them by interests all over the United States to advertise for a given candidate separately from their campaign for this very reason.

        It boils down to a 1st amendment workaround, but I’m not entirely convinced that the 1st amendment should trump the electoral system itself in this particular instance. In my perfect universe, only the people who are actually inside a particular district should really have any say either way about a particular person they’re voting for. No huge money putting forward advertisements for either side. Preferably, just face to face debates between the people in the race.

        I’ll admit that this is almost certainly an impossibility, either way, and as you point out money does not necessarily equal the desired outcome of outside actors. Perhaps it’s a regulation searching for a justification, I’ll admit that’s a distinct possibility.

        1. Things like a Super-PAC use money given to them by interests all over the United States to advertise for a given candidate separately from their campaign for this very reason.

          ^ This.

          This is exactly the trouble with “campaign finance reform.” The practical effect is that it is illegal for garden-variety people to donate much money to specific candidates. But Citizen’s United blessed the Super-PACs as legit by the same principle that should have overturned basically every campaign finance regulation in the country.

          Instead, political donations by the little people are tightly regulated and controlled, but the Super-PACs do whatever they want.

          More rules about who can donate to whom is a step in the wrong direction.


          1. The practical effect is that it is illegal for garden-variety people to donate much money to specific candidates. But Citizen’s United blessed the Super-PACs as legit by the same principle that should have overturned basically every campaign finance regulation in the country.

            And that portion of it I entirely agree with. The problem with a Super-PAC is that, to my knowledge, there is no checking to see if those funds are coming from people who are actually inside the district.

            I infer that the idea is that limiting the free speech of interested parties outside the district is a violation somehow, but to me the first amendment rights of people to have a say in the election process in a district where the representative is not intended to represent their views are secondary to those of the district residents.

            But, again, there is the argument that the voting limitation is the one that matters more and that does hold some water with me. I would really prefer for the funding to be likewise limited, but perhaps there really is no real way to achieve that goal. I certainly can’t think of a non-intrusive way to do so without the medicine being worse than the disease off-hand.

            1. but to me the first amendment rights of people to have a say in the election process in a district where the representative is not intended to represent their views are secondary to those of the district residents.

              So, I’m not allowed to donate a few bucks to Rand Paul’s Senate campaigns?

    3. There are congressmen who’s values and beliefs align with mine. Should I not be allowed to support and encourage their election because I don’t happen to live in their district? Should I only be allowed to support people in my district who I completely disagree with?

    4. It’s insane to allow big-time PAC cash to influence elections in area’s that do not technically represent them at all.

      As this election showed again, money just isn’t that important.

      What is insane is trying to regulate how people contribute to campaigns, because history has shown time and again that such regulations will be abused massively.

  24. Odd, the thought never crossed my mind. The Republicans are in lock-step with Drumpf. If they go down, it is because of their policies, Drumpf is just the one signing bills they want

    1. There’s no evidence (on Hit’n’Run, at least) that many thoughts have ever crossed your mind.

    2. Who is DRUMPF?

      1. “Drumpf” was the original German surname that got Ellis Islanded into “Trump” back in the day, and is now used sometimes to make some kind of unknowable point by people who don’t actually know how points are made.

        I know you already know this, but it needs to be made explicit in order to whack Blue Star on the nose for piddling on the carpet.

        1. some kind of unknowable point

          I think we can go ahead and call it out as anti-German racism. The last president we had who had any significant German lineage was Eisenhower, and IIRC his being German was a bit of an issue that was only mitigating by his having been a war hero in a war against the Germans.

          It’s long been a point of notable hypocrisy in certain corners of the left that open racism against Germans is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged, since Germans invented the concepts of “Master Race” and “Genocide,” and are collectively guilty for the Holocaust.

          The people who use Drumpf are hoping that you hear an echo of “Dein Fuhrer. And it should be pointed out to them that this is racist.

    3. “The Republicans are in lock-step with Drumpf”

      I’ll bet SIV is green with envy over such a clever turn of phrase!
      Not to mention Blue Star’s third-grade classmates.

    4. Like when they shot down his first attempt at fixing the ACA?

    5. Just out of curiosity – I’ve wondered this for a while – is your handle Warriors reference?

  25. Without assuming anything like an active conspiracy, I have doubts regarding the supposed 35% national approval rating and/or its meaning.
    Even in SF we have a core of drum-beaters and then it seems a whole lot more who have managed to get over the horrible thought that the hag isn’t president and are getting along with their lives.
    So while many will ‘disapprove’ (‘All the cool kids do; don’t you watch TV?’), I’m proposing that to be a stated preference, with the revealed preference indicated in those votes.

    1. Do I approve of him? No. I like some of his cabinet appointments, l like the notion of repealing Fed Regs 2-1 (at least the theory), and I like his SC nomination. I dislike his boorish, immature demeanor, his inclination to keep sticking his dick into the ME, his views on trade, his tendency to collectivize people and host of other shit.

      I did not vote for him, and likely will not in 2020.

      However, measuring approval ratings only tells you he would be vulnerable to an appealing candidate. Who is that? Because so far the names trotted out are:
      1) HRC – once more, with feeling (the worst candidate in modern history who lost to the second worst candidate in modern history and lays the blame on everybody but herself)
      2) Idiot Joe “They’ll Put Y’all Back in Chains” Biden
      3) Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Warren
      4) Bernie “Castro is just misunderstood” Sanders
      and
      5) Eric “The Guy Who Sold Guns to Mexican Drug Cartels” Holder

      Given that list, I may be tempted to pull the lever for The Donald if I’m in a swing state in 2020 (which I won’t be).

    2. Someone can disapprove of Trump without thinking him being president is literally the end of the world and that it means you can’t move on with your life. Plenty of people disapproved of Obama and still managed to move on with life for 8 years. It just means the 60% isn’t all composed of “Drumpf is literally going to kill us all!” types.

  26. Well I think Trump certainly clarified what the large majority of Republicans really do stand for:

    – Pro-gun
    – Pro-military (and by extension, pro-police)
    – Pro-border enforcement

    All of those other issues – abortion, trade, taxes & spending – are more or less negotiable. I don’t think it is a stretch at all to call the current mood on the right to be “nationalist authoritarianism”. And if the current mood on the left is “progressive socialism” then I don’t see how libertarians can reasonably make common cause with either of those two tribes.

    1. I am enjoying the drop in gun and ammo prices.

    2. If the Democrats succeed in their current drive to self marginalize then libertarians will only become less consequential.

    3. I don’t think it is a stretch at all to call the current mood on the right to be “nationalist authoritarianism”.

      In what sense is being pro-gun, pro-military, and pro-border enforcement “authoritarian”?

      the current mood on the left is “progressive socialism”

      The current mood on the left is pretty much the same mood as US progressives and European fascists 1930’s, meaning Democrats believe that people are part of the national community and are responsible for each other; that everybody is entitled to education, healthcare, retirement from the government; and most importantly, that the rich, bankers, and investors are evil parasites on society.

  27. What if Trump drives the Democrats so bug fucking insane that they no longer represent a credible electoral threat to the Republicans currently in office?

    What happens when those politicians become the entrenched deep state majority?

    1. The real thing for the Dems to worry about are the 2018 senatorial races. Democrats are defending 25 seats to a Republican 9, and a lot of those blue seats are in states Trump won.

      Midterms generally favor Republicans, and Trump might be a get out the vote wildcard. Getting 60 would be tough but they are in striking distance.

  28. “Everyone loves his or her members of Congress. They just hate yours. ”

    Eh, Gutierrez (D-IL) is a water-carrying waste of carbon.

    1. I think my representatives are absolutely awful: senile, corrupt, divisive, arrogant, incompetent. They mostly get elected because they pay off the right unions and special interest groups.

  29. If Trump and the Republicans keep winning in the 2018 and 2020 elections, it will be glorious to witness the epic meltdown amongst the radical progressive wing of the Democrat party once they finally contemplate that they might not in fact be “on the right side of history” and that their utopian vision for the country might not in fact be the future of the nation.

    1. A lot of that simply boils down to openly rejecting their worldview that history has a “side” or that the universe has an arc. They clearly believe their political ideology to be a form of holy writ.

  30. Republicans will lose the Senate in 2018, but keep the House. BUT if Drumpf is impeached then the Republicans will lose both.

    1. Delusional.

      Dems are defending a lot more seats than Repubs. More likely Repubs get 60 than Dems get 50. Probably not, but Dems have *no* chance of taking the Senate.

      1. True dat. If Democrats seriously push for impeachment as of now, they’ll lose any chance they had of picking up seats and probably would lose a few.

  31. Blaming Republicans at this point is like blaming that dumb kid who stole a propaganda poster instead of the sick regime in N.K. that tortured him to death. Trump is a carnival sideshow, Republicans aren’t worth s**t, but Democrats are the ones with the nuttiest agenda by far.

    1. Trump is the carnival sideshow media troll that has committed more libertarian acts then any libertarian elected to date. Rolling back stifling regulations and picking rational judges for the courts. Republicans who love to spend money RINOs are the problem. I am not saying Trump is a Libertarian, but he gets the job done. He creates havoc among Republicans, Democrats and the Media alike. It is just all to amusing watching their heads explode over and over again.

      1. Whether his record has been more libertarian than the handful of confirmed libertarian office holders, I’ll leave that to the scribblers here to debate over.

  32. D.H. is beginning to figure out it’s bad form to be obnoxious when you’re probably wrong.

  33. What if Republican voters who don’t particularly like President Donald Trump are also able to compartmentalize their votes?

    Why would anybody but a blind partisan care whether the president and some representative happen to share the same party?

  34. I’d wager David has never read either kleptocracy platform, for the difference, the contrast, was one item. The Democratic party leadership has sworn to cripple reliable power plants. Why? Because Anti-Industrial Revolution pseudoscience says to, and the pseudoscience is settled, data be damned. God’s Own Prohibitionists had to hire a real estate salesman because 2/3 of the voters hate every member of Congress (a fact lost on the Dems). Bozo the Clown could get elected when the other party wants to ban electricity (another concept ungraspable by the Dems and their programmers) and picks a known politician to peddle that platform.
    The Nixon tax code pays the media to ignore small parties. That law provided the cash needed for broadcast media (and Creators.com) to convince all morons that “the other” party candidate was The Antichrist, Hitler, Robespierre, Stalin or Chupacabra, and that “losing” means seeing that party’s looters cash government paychecks. The rest is history, not mystery.

  35. Thank you David. Insightful piece as usual.

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  37. I think what everyone is missing is that the Trump decline is not consistent across all districts, and especially, it does not seem to exist at all in suburban districts like this GA one. Instead, it seems that the decline is in rural areas, as evidenced by the very close result in SC & KS – and I suspect also in the Red districts in Blue states. The rural voters are turning on Trump because they want good health care, not this monstrosity that the Republican Congress is trying to serve up. I suspect that there are a lot of rural districts that had been gerrymandered to a small Red majority that are going to be in trouble – IF the Democrats are smart and get good candidates.

  38. Democrats think that they ran Ossoff as a moderate. Yes, he ran as a moderate only if he was running in a blue district. In the 6th, his campaign was still very progressive. Based on the never ending junk that filled my mailbox, one of Ossoff’s biggest campaign issues was the Living Wage.

    I know the Living Wage puts Mercedes Marxists’ panties in a happy place, but in a well educated wealthy mostly Republican district, it probably should not have been a top issue.

    He also went out of his way in his campaign to be pro-immigrant. I don’t seen it as a big motivator either way in the 6th, but he was a bit over the top on the issue in a progressive way, not in a pro-immigrant libertarian way.

    If the Democrats had positioned Ossoff as someone more like Tom Price rather than Bernie-lite, then maybe they would have won this one.

    1. Democrats think that they ran Ossoff as a moderate.

      “They” didn’t do jack shit.

      Yes, he ran as a moderate only if he was running in a blue district.

      Wrong. The moderate crap was because he didn’t run against Trump. But the Republican rarely mentioned Trump either.

      This race was hysterical, because tribal hacks om both sides keep trying to spin it their own way. Like you do here.

      but he was a bit over the top on the issue in a progressive way, not in a pro-immigrant libertarian way.

      There is no difference. At least you didn’t say proggie.

      If the Democrats had positioned Ossoff

      You can’t help it,. can you?

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