by Jeffery Rendall
Don’t you just love it when someone who has no expertise or authority into your (personal or professional) business gives you advice on how to conduct yourself and run your life?
Such was the case when former New York Democrat congressman Steve Israel wrote about the gloomy prospects for the Republican Party last week. In a piece titled “Requiem for the Republican Party,” Israel grumbled at The Hill, “…Republican leaders rightly rebuked Trump’s kumbaya with the Kremlin. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others expressed, in proper Washington parlance, their disagreements with the president’s moral equivocations. But it may be too late. They have planted the invasive seeds of demagoguery, and now they cannot prune them with a few soft ‘tsk-tsks.’
“I never agreed with the Grand Old Party on everything when I served as a member of Congress. But I found accord with it on promoting a Western democratic order in the world, maintaining a strong military to defend freedom, and opposing authoritarianism. I supported the global leadership of the Bush administration in combating AIDS.
“I hope that party is not over and replaced by a frothing coalescence of our worst instincts. I hope that real Republicans will take to heart the words, not of Andrew Jackson, whose portrait hangs in the Oval Office of their president, but the singer Jackson Brown, ‘Oh won’t you stay, just a little bit longer, oh please please please stay, just a little bit more.’”
It figures Israel would quote someone like two-bit loser pop singer Jackson Browne (yes, it’s actually spelled with an “e” on the end, Steve) – a lifelong entertainment industry leftist who achieved fame for criticizing the Reagan administration in the 80’s and then took after John McCain in 2008 for misappropriating one of his songs to use for campaign bumper music. As though anyone who knows anything about music history wouldn’t recognize what a brainless reactionary idiot Browne is when it comes to commenting on politics.
Browne can croon all he wants about “running on empty” or staying longer (cited above) but chances are he’s really closer to remarking truthfully about his own beloved Democrat party, a jumbled conglomeration of true believer limousine liberals (like Israel) self-serving ethnic groups and opportunistic socialists who see nothing but Trump-hate through bloodshot eyes and exposed fangs. Democrats could use some sound advice of their own these days on how to devise a platform that will motivate people to vote for their candidates rather than tossing out sanctimonious partisan lectures from washed up congressmen.
I didn’t bother to look but I’m guessing there are a plethora of juicy negative Israel quotes about George W. Bush and the Republican neoconservatives’ War on Terror from the early part of this century. For Israel to say he agrees with the old GOP notion of a strong national defense and then provide correction for the misdirection the party’s allegedly experiencing under Trump is like a mortician lecturing on how to cure the disease that killed a dead body he’s embalming.
There just aren’t any Democrats fit to offer guidance to Republicans these days, much less to instruct President Donald Trump. Trump’s been too successful at altering the direction of the GOP – and the country — so much so that the establishment-dominated party of George W. Bush hardly exists anymore (though it should be noted Jeb Bush did praise Trump recently).
It’s true Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the media’s bait and weaseled out when asked to defend Trump’s positions on Russia and Putin last week. Like the John McCains and Jeff Flakes of the world, GOP congressional leaders must’ve thought the public wouldn’t support Trump’s less antagonistic view of relations with the Russians. They were wrong again. Rank and file Republicans and conservatives recognize Trump’s strategy of forging a different path on foreign relations and trade and they buy into it.
We may not all agree but we’re at least willing to listen. If Trump’s policies encourage peace abroad and rev up the economy to over 4 percent growth, maybe it’d be best to at least give the chief executive a chance.
Besides, if GOP voters really thought it best to maintain the old establishment ruling class status quo there were plenty of candidates they could’ve chosen in the 2016 party presidential field. How does “President Lindsey Graham sound?” Not too pleasing… nor did “President Chris Christie” or “President Jeb Bush”, none of which made it far in the race.
The truth is, despite what people like Israel say, there’s nothing wrong with the GOP under Trump. Republicans haven’t suddenly turned their back on immigrants, decided to completely ditch NATO, initiate a trade war or abandon their calls for a strong national defense. On the contrary – under Trump’s leadership, Republicans have finally gotten their acts together and kept promises they’ve made for decades. If the GOP House would only elect Jim Jordan as their next Speaker (assuming still in the majority next Congress) the transformation would be greatly aided.
Pundits and political prophets don’t think it will happen (GOP retain a House majority). They’re so busy peering through their “blue wave” periscope they’re missing everything else going on around them. Thankfully some with sense aren’t sold on what the “experts” are forecasting.
David Catron wrote at The American Spectator on Monday, “[T]he predictions of high-profile political prognosticators like Sabato, Cook, and Silver — whose research methods ostensibly go far beyond those of mere public opinion surveys — are unreliable. What does that say about the tracking polls with which we are daily inundated by interminable analyses? It means the polls have little credibility. It should be obvious that not all polls are created equal. Certain surveys always overstate Democrat strength, while others invariably overstate GOP strength, and it’s no coincidence that they tend to reflect the party line of the organization paying for the poll…
“[I]f the forecasters are unreliable and the pollsters are telling us what their paymasters want us to hear, what about those pundits who say the blue wave is coming? Most of them are also trying to keep their editors happy. Who are you to believe? Well, those of us who write for TAS. Look, GOP voters turn out in midterm elections in larger numbers than Democrats, and they won’t support a party that wants open borders, the abolition of ICE, single-payer, guaranteed government jobs, etc…
“This couldn’t come at a worse time for the Democrats. Once-loyal supporters are becoming disillusioned and joining the #WalkAway movement, rejecting the party that presided over slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow, segregation, and the welfare plantation. The turnout they need won’t be there. Democrat claims to the contrary are nothing more than swamp gas, noxious effluvia from the bowels of a moribund Beltway beast.”
Catron has a point though I’m not as convinced that polls have no validity. Yes, some tallies are slanted based on turnout models of the respective polling organizations – which admittedly is always a guestimate – but these pollsters have professional reputations to maintain and they can’t be cavalier in their predictions. If a boy cries “Wolf!” too many times people stop listening, right?
Pollsters sure botched 2016 – and 2014 before that – but there were other factors indicating they were “close” to getting it right… in some respects. The national popular vote average, for example, which showed Clinton with a three-point lead heading into Election Day, ended up being very near the final result (about a point off).
Where the pollsters dropped the ball was in blowing their predictions concerning the so-called “swing” states and in completely misinterpreting the undercurrents beneath the “blue wall” collapsing in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Pollsters seemingly read a bias into their predictions but conservatives and Republicans who claim the “blue wave” is a myth may be doing the same thing today. We won’t really know for sure until November and by that time the wave will have crested or fizzled before it ever materialized. Either way pollsters will certainly spin the results and tout their premonitions or explain away why they got it wrong again.
To try and eliminate as much of the guessing game as feasible both parties are in full speed ahead mode preparing to get out the vote. David M. Drucker wrote in the Washington Examiner, “The battle for Congress unfolding 100 days before the midterm elections is a tale of two campaigns, playing out in two contrasting Americas that hold conflicting opinions of President Trump.
“In the affluent suburbs, where educated professionals will decide control of the House, antipathy for Trump and flat-out exhaustion with his antics threaten to sink the Republican Party’s 24-seat majority. The Democratic Party that would snatch the speaker’s gavel, bolstered by a diverse array of candidates, is fueled by women and an unapologetic liberalism long relegated to the margins of the left-wing base.
“The fight for the Senate runs right through the ruby red heartland. There, a firm appreciation for Trump has only strengthened amid a cascade of scandals, putting Republicans in a remarkable position to pad their 51-49 majority. To survive, or possibly flip the chamber, Democrats are relying on a handful of pragmatic progressives, once the foundation of the party but whose influence is waning.”
Yes, Republicans are on offense in red Trump state senate races and supposedly on defense in the suburbs that used to be the party’s voter fortress. Drucker and other observers claim women voters in particular have had it with Trump’s personality and are therefore seriously considering a vote switch that would bring Nancy Pelosi much closer to grasping the Speaker’s gavel.
This analysis once again assumes all female voters who live near major cities have similar thought processes. As a segment of a pollster’s sample this might be correct but here’s thinking most persuadable women are smart enough to see the difference between candidates who will advance a proven economic agenda versus those who promise to only rant, rave, storm around and gripe about how mean Trump is.
In survey after survey and year after year Americans indicate they’re worried about kitchen table issues like jobs, interest rates and their ability to live a life free of excessive worry about the future. All factors point towards Republicans here, don’t they? The bigger mystery in individual House districts is whether the GOP fields a candidate who will inspire marginal voters to bother to participate. Democrats certainly won’t – they’re all the same, liberal rubber-stamps.
It isn’t logical to surmise voters only factor Trump’s personality into their deliberations on whom to send (or send back) to Congress. Liberal pundits may think this is true but reality and common sense suggest otherwise. If a GOP congressman sticks close to the popular Trump agenda, chances are he (or she) will be okay. It’s really not that hard to figure out.
Senate races add the matter of judicial and administration nominations to the voting equation. Again, big advantage to the Constitution-supporting Republicans here.
Trump will certainly figure in somewhere along the line, but he’s only helping things these days. Newt Gingrich wrote at Fox News, “Since his first days in office, President Trump has been dogged about cutting red tape and making it easier for American business owners (small and large) to work, hire people, and ply their trades – without having to devote time, money and attention to government regulators at every turn.
“The historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was a tremendous accomplishment by the White House and the Republican-led Congress, has helped to encourage investments in the United States. The tax cuts have allowed American families to keep more of their money and incentivized American businesses to bring money they earn overseas back to our country.
“This is a big part of why the United States is becoming twice as productive under President Trump as it was under President Obama.”
Of course not everyone feels the same way, but consumer confidence is way up, as is business investment. Trump’s trade policies are showing dividends and 90-something days is a long time for things to get even better. By November the news might be unimpeachable, if you’ll pardon the expression.
August is typically the time of year when Washington slumbers a bit and voters take a mental break before diving into the contentious fall campaigns. President Trump will keep things interesting, allowing plenty of opportunities for Democrats to shoot themselves in the foot.