The Republicans are facing a bleak electoral landscape – and Trump is to blame

Via:  bob-nelson  •  3 months ago  •  35 comments

The Republicans are facing a bleak electoral landscape – and Trump is to blame
Donald Trump... lives up to every single dumb and politically clichéd stereotype that even the hottest, most vitriolic progressives can dish out. His foolish jingoism, his 18th century trade policies, his overtly cruel immigration policy of child separation, his constant racial dog-whistling on everything from the alt-right to the NFL have activated minority voters, particularly African-Americans, like nothing before.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


originalRepublicans observing a rising wave of liberal and progressive candidates, policies and election results in the United States may wish to blame Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or billionaire donors like George Soros or Tom Steyer. They’re missing the mark. The real cause of political disaster coming at the GOP like a Cat 5 hurricane is none other than President Donald J. Trump.

Everywhere American Republicans turn, they see progressives and liberals more energised than in any election cycle in recent memory and for one reason: Trump. Like so much of what Trump does, the effect he promised to have on American politics is the opposite of what he has delivered. His followers expected that a wave of robust nationalist populism would sweep like-minded Trump-style candidates into office on the crest of waves of popular legislation, executive action and a new, permanent political realignment. They believed that Washington’s infamous swamp would be drained, and that a new era had arrived.

Instead, despite an apparently thriving economy, the country is moving left, ideologically, electorally, emotionally. Washington’s corruption and dysfunction are more obvious than at any time since the Teapot Dome scandal of 1921. The Republican cry that Democrats are socialists is increasingly met largely with a shrug from the broader public.

Bereft of successes outside of a tax bill that benefits multi-billion dollar American corporations, a handful of judicial appointments and a few executive orders, Republicans are reeling. The Grand Old Party is now a mere extension of Donald Trump, a personal political fiefdom with no ideological lodestar other than obsequious fealty to the President. Republicans bear the political (and moral) burdens of every one of Trump’s detriments, mistakes, errors and daily displays of instability.

A grim electoral landscape looms for the GOP in the short and long term. In the House of Representatives, the mood of Republicans is funereal as the 5 November mid-term elections approach. Democrats are playing in the GOP’s backfield: dozens of seats are at risk. The Democrats could well run up the score in the coming weeks. In the Senate, GOP-promised pick-ups in West Virginia, Missouri and Montana are looking more remote by the day, and the hoped-for Rick Scott victory in Florida is by no means a certainty. Even deep red Texas is in play as Republican Senator Ted Cruz faces a young, charismatic, harder-working opponent who is filling halls across the Lone Star State. For Republicans, a great day in November now means holding the Senate by a single vote. They’ve mostly written off the House, and winnable governor’s races are suddenly toss-ups. Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. Trump gave the American left what decades of incremental Republican ideological warfare couldn’t — a lurid, ludicrous, opera buffa villain. Trump may be bad at being President, but he’s outstanding at ensuring that voters, both today and tomorrow, stay away from the Republican Party in droves.

For many in the GOP and the conservative movement, a core appeal of Donald Trump was that he was transgressive. They wanted a candidate well outside the normal political boundaries and borders, and they got one. Their deal with the Devil was simple: they knew Trump was an aggressively terrible leader, but he was their aggressively terrible leader. He would be the cruel, divisive, hideous avatar for their most deeply held resentments and hatreds. He would be an impervious weapon in the culture war, clad in celebrity and armed with a corrosive talent for personal destruction honed on a hundred reality television show episodes. He was their all-or-nothing bet to win the cultural and political war in America. He would, in the juvenile parlance of the Trumpright, ‘own the libs’.

On the way to this imagined liberal Götterdämmerung, however, something went badly wrong. It turned out that Americans who love Trump truly love Trump. Party loyalty like this doesn’t happen often. Though Trump cites his 80 per cent approval with the base regularly, it’s from a diminishing cohort of voters willing to call themselves Republicans. What the GOP missed was that Trump’s opponents — a majority of Americans — don’t merely disagree with him, but loathe him with the fire of a million suns, and with an intensity rarely seen in modern politics. Not only that, they’ve demonstrated that they’ll crawl over broken glass to vote against Trump, his allies, and his sycophants. This behaviour has played out in every special election outside a deep red GOP seat since 2017.

Trump has catalysed progressives, helping to produce a wave of candidates far to the left of not only the American political mainstream but even the Democratic party’s middle lane. Some, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have soared to instant national prominence, while the fortunes of liberal stalwarts like Nancy Pelosi have also risen. Some aren’t ready for prime time quite yet, but many are pushing the proverbial Overton Window — the range of politically acceptable opinion — firmly to the left. What should concern Republicans more is that centrist Democrats are winning in purple states like Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Republicans have long been accustomed to a high level of media and liberal activist opprobrium in every national election for the past few decades. Mitt Romney faced mockery as an out-of-touch billionaire elitist over his gaffe about ‘binders full of women’ and transporting a dog on the roof of his car. Coverage of John McCain characterised him as too cranky, too curmudgeonly, too old, too sharp-tongued. George W. Bush was referred to as ‘Bushitler’ by more than a few American leftists. Ronald Reagan was history’s greatest monster in many a Democratic fever dream. As Republicans and conservatives, we were familiar with the usual false accusations that we wanted women back in the kitchen, granny thrown from the cliff, and for minorities to stay in their place.

Donald Trump, however, lives up to every single dumb and politically clichéd stereotype that even the hottest, most vitriolic progressives can dish out. His foolish jingoism, his 18th century trade policies, his overtly cruel immigration policy of child separation, his constant racial dog-whistling on everything from the alt-right to the NFL have activated minority voters, particularly African-Americans, like nothing before. For Republicans planning for a political future beyond this election season, the ‘Trump effect’ with women, educated voters, millennials, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and first-generation American citizens is a demographic catastrophe in the making. In the case of Hispanics, they’re the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, and the much derided millennials are about to overtake the baby boomers in the number of registered voters in their demographic group.

For once, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and the liberal sector of the media don’t have to overreach. They didn’t need to gild the lily (fortunately, since Trump’s various residences have consumed much of the world’s gold leaf) by exaggerating Trump’s terrible character, beliefs, policies, and behaviours. That Trump was so objectively horrible from the very beginning ensured a political backlash; its scope and intensity shouldn’t surprise anyone. Republican elected officials should have seen it coming. They have had two-and-a-half years of watching Donald Trump turn repellent behaviour and rhetoric into the Republican brand and message. They have no excuse for being surprised.

As the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh grinds to its close, Republicans have been capering over gaining two seats on the Supreme Court in the Trump era. They should enjoy this last flush of summer, because a political winter is coming, and it’s going to be long, bitter and the sole fault of Donald Trump.

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Bob Nelson
1  seeder  Bob Nelson    3 months ago
A grim electoral landscape looms for the GOP in the short and long term. In the House of Representatives, the mood of Republicans is funereal as the 5 November mid-term elections approach. Democrats are playing in the GOP’s backfield: dozens of seats are at risk. The Democrats could well run up the score in the coming weeks. In the Senate, GOP-promised pick-ups in West Virginia, Missouri and Montana are looking more remote by the day, and the hoped-for Rick Scott victory in Florida is by no means a certainty. Even deep red Texas is in play as Republican Senator Ted Cruz faces a young, charismatic, harder-working opponent who is filling halls across the Lone Star State.
This is a British Conservative, trying to explain to his readers what is probably going to happen and why.
 
 
WallyW
1.1  WallyW  replied to  Bob Nelson @1    3 months ago

I don't think the fine people of the USA are ready to turn over the country to a bunch of progressives and far left liberals. Perhaps in a few unimportant districts in some coastal cities, but certainly not in that large swath of land fly over country in between. But hey....hope springs eternal....gotta keep up the faith. Right?

 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  WallyW @1.1    3 months ago

Since Trump has become president, his approval ratings have either stayed flat or gone down. There is no question he is disapproved by the majority of Americans. 

[deleted]

 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  WallyW @1.1    3 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
WallyW
1.1.3  WallyW  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.2    3 months ago

You need to get out of your echo chamber and go talk to ordinary and average Americans. All the left has been doing for the past two years is NOT winning friends nor influencing people in a positive way.

 
 
bbl-1
1.1.4  bbl-1  replied to  WallyW @1.1    3 months ago

Totally agree.  The 'vast populations' in the 'vast fly over regions' of America demand...……………………………………?

More corporate power?  Less individual freedom?  No more birth control?  Easier access to military weapons?  More tax cuts for everyone except them?  Agra Farm waste back into the streams?  Imprisonment for pregnancy termination?

"Gotta keep the faith?" 

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.1.5  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  WallyW @1.1    3 months ago
I don't think the fine people of the USA are ready to turn over the country to a bunch of progressives and far left liberals

The liberals and progressives are the fine people of the USA.

"Perhaps in a few unimportant districts in some coastal cities"

You mean where the majority of Americans live? Only those with little world experience who have hidden in their hollars fearful of change are afraid of the big bad "cities".

"but certainly not in that large swath of land fly over country in between."

Why should we care about "large swaths of land", it's the American people that matter, and most American people are found in our great American cities.

"But hey....hope springs eternal....gotta keep up the faith. Right?"

The political pendulum swings back and forth, don't try and assume that won't be true now. I hear Republicans bragging all the time about the supposed 1000 seats they've picked up over the last 8 years as if the pendulum has swung their way and will somehow, contrary to all history and reality, stick there. History shows that the ideological pendulum has always swung forward towards progress and equality more than it swings back to conservative ideals of fear and protectionism.

Conservatives fought to protect slavery, they lost. Conservatives fought to keep blacks and women from voting, they lost. Conservatives fought to preserve segregation and Jim Crow laws, they eventually lost. Conservatives fought to protect their bans on interracial and gay marriage, they eventually lost. Yes, the pendulum swung their way for a time, they had, for a time, a majority who agreed that blacks were inferior, women were supposed to stay at home in the kitchen and bedrooms and gays and interracial couples were to be shunned and even arrested and jailed. Thankfully the supreme court and our legislative branches eventually agreed with the liberals and progressives who have been fighting for equal rights since our founding, and the pendulum has swung far from where we first started in this grand experiment of a democratic constitutional republic.

Liberals and progressives are the wind and sails of our country that move us forward toward a more perfect union, conservatives are the anchor that keep us from going to fast into unknown territory, so I understand their role, I just can't think of any of their actual accomplishments besides holding us back and even at one time turning traitor and starting a civil war in order to keep owning humans as cattle. I suppose, like an air balloon without sandbags, we would have been blown about by political opportunists without conservatives, like a dead weight, giving us ballast. It's just now that we've soared to ever new heights, they feel like a lot more work than they're worth.

 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.6  XDm9mm  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.1.5    3 months ago

Damn.....   I've read some bullshit lines before, but that missive was by far the best.   Congratulations on rewriting history.  [Removed]

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.1.7  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.6    3 months ago
Congratulations on rewriting history.

Please do point out where I supposedly went so wrong. Did not those fighting to defend the status quo of slavery consider themselves "conservative"? Did not those who fought to keep the status quo of segregation and Jim Crow laws consider themselves "conservatives"? Do those who now fight against gay marriage and once fought against interracial marriage not consider themselves "conservatives"?

Have some conservatives adopted the new status quo once their predecessors were beaten? Of course. Today, conservatives claim to have always supported equal rights, yet they continue to claim their right to discriminate against gay Americans.

So I've no doubt you've read more than your share of bullshit before, it's loaded into the vast majority of conservative opinions, but you'll not find such tripe in my comments.

 
 
Trout Giggles
1.1.8  Trout Giggles  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.6    3 months ago

That was down right rude

 
 
Trout Giggles
1.1.9  Trout Giggles  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.1.7    3 months ago

I think you spelled it out in a way that anybody could understand

 
 
WallyW
1.1.10  WallyW  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.1.5    3 months ago

Wow...it seems like several sensitive souls were easily triggered this morning.

 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.11  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  WallyW @1.1.10    3 months ago
Wow...it seems like several sensitive souls were easily triggered this morning.

That's always the objective, isn't it? To "trigger" people...

 
 
JohnRussell
2  JohnRussell    3 months ago

This is one of the best articles I've seen about this topic. Very well written. 

 
 
WallyW
2.1  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @2    3 months ago

Don't you mean the most biased and inaccurate?

 
 
Ronin2
3  Ronin2    3 months ago

First, the left has to convince their disinterested base to show up on election day in key battle ground states; and not just on the leftist coasts.

Second, they have to keep those voters interested when their platform gets stalled by either a Republican held Senate; or the Trump/Pence WH.  So that they have shot at taking the Senate, and possibly the WH (assuming they can find anyone willing to run for POTUS) during the future election cycle.

That is a very tall order.

The right may hate Trump; but they fear the left's agenda far more. That will be enough to bring out their voters; and garner whatever conservative leaning independents there are.  

 
 
Tessylo
3.1  Tessylo  replied to  Ronin2 @3    3 months ago

A blue wave is coming dear.  More like a Tsunami!

 
 
WallyW
3.1.1  WallyW  replied to  Tessylo @3.1    3 months ago

[delete]

 
 
Ronin2
3.1.2  Ronin2  replied to  Tessylo @3.1    3 months ago

Heard that before. When was that. Oh, last election. And the one before that. And the one before that....

Chances are the Dems will regain the House. They have a very long shot to take the Senate (may have to wait next set of federal elections to pull that one off).

The party in power always loses seats. It was true when the Dems controlled the WH and Congress; and it will be true now that the Republicans control everything.

What I said is also true. Dems are very galvanized until election day comes.  They then fail to show up at the polls. You may hate the hard right; but they always turn out to vote every election.

 
 
Tessylo
3.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1.2    3 months ago

We'll see won't we?  

 
 
Thrawn 31
3.2  Thrawn 31  replied to  Ronin2 @3    3 months ago
First, the left has to convince their disinterested base to show up on election day in key battle ground states; and not just on the leftist coasts.

If the special elections are any indication, that is going to happen and that is a VERY bad thing for the GOP. As a percentage of the population the GOP is smaller than Democrats and Independents, and a pretty large majority of independents are not happy with dumb ass. 

Second, they have to keep those voters interested when their platform gets stalled by either a Republican held Senate;

Trump has that covered, not to worry.

The right may hate Trump;

All indications are that is as far from the truth as possible. 

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Ronin2 @3    3 months ago
The right may hate Trump; but they fear the left's agenda far more.

The lefts agenda of equal rights for all regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, faith or lack thereof. The lefts agenda of religious freedom for all religions, not just evangelical Christians. The lefts agenda of helping more Americans afford health insurance. The lefts agenda of competent public schools that prepare students for the workplace of tomorrow along with free two years of local junior college. The lefts agenda of decriminalizing marijuana. My, that sounds just horrendous... /s

 
 
Dean Moriarty
4  Dean Moriarty    3 months ago

The masses are asses so it is possible. I’m hoping this authors opinion turns out to be hogwash. 

 
 
XDm9mm
4.1  XDm9mm  replied to  Dean Moriarty @4    3 months ago

Well, opinions are like assholes.   The difference is that assholes have a real purpose, authors opinions, not so much, as noted by my post below.   Texas Senate 19 has traditionally been a hard core liberal Democrat district.   Oop's, so much for that blue wave.

 
 
XDm9mm
5  XDm9mm    3 months ago

Is this a harbinger of things to come?

Flores Wins Texas Senate District 19 Special Election

........

As a result, GOP leaders have lined up behind Flores, a former state game warden who unsuccessfully challenged Uresti in 2016, and in some cases, activated their own campaign machinery to help him against Gallego. The Democrat is a former congressman from Alpine who previously represented the area for over two decades in the Texas House.

The GOP believes the all-hands-on-deck effort has put the seat within reach.

"We feel good about where we are," Flores strategist Matt Mackowiak said. "If Republicans turn out on Tuesday, we will win and elect a conservative fromSD-19to the Texas Senate."

Democrats have also mobilized, well aware of the GOP heavyweights on the other side and the anything-can-happen nature of special elections.

"This is a Democratic district, we expect it to perform like a Democratic district, but we cannot take anything for granted and that's why we're working hard," said Manny Garcia, deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party.

Five days of early voting for the runoff wrapped up Friday in SD-19 — which stretches from San Antonio's east side to far West Texas, covering a large swath of the Texas-Mexico border in between.

Source: http://www.tpr.org/post/flores-wins-texas-senate-district-19-special-election

A CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN won a hard core Liberal Democrat district for the Texas Senate.   

 
 
XDm9mm
5.1  XDm9mm  replied to  XDm9mm @5    3 months ago

Well, well, well.....

It seems that a Conservative Republican NEWCOMER beat a well known name here in Texas for the Texas State Senate seat vacated by "convicted Democrat Carlos Uresti".

What's FANTASTIC and a real harbinger of things to come is the fact that the HARD CORE Democrat stronghold district 19 was held by Democrats for 139 years.

139 years is how lohng it took for Democrats to wake up and realize who is actually working for them.  139 years.

Flores defeats Gallego in Senate District 19

By Dylan McGuinness

Updated 8:24 am CDT, Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Voters elected political newcomer Pete Flores to the Texas Senate on Tuesday, flipping a Democratic district red for the first time in 139 years and bolstering Republicans’ supermajority in the chamber ahead of the November elections.

Source: https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Polls-close-at-7-p-m-in-Senate-District-19-13239398.php

 
 
It Is ME
6  It Is ME    3 months ago

"Republicans observing a rising wave of liberal and progressive candidates"

It's fun watching "Democrats use words like "Liberal" and "Progressive" to explain a "Rise" of something else within their own party. jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

Why can't "Democrats" say what it truly is ? jrSmiley_87_smiley_image.gif

It's called "Socialism ! jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

Hollywood Jim Carrey wants it to be the norm too.

Wimps.....

just say it.....

"It's the rise of "Socialism" within your own party".

SAY IT ………. SINCE IT'S SO GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
Thrawn 31
7  Thrawn 31    3 months ago

I will be voting a straight party ticket for only the second time in my life, exclusively Democrat. Not because I am a huge fan of the party, but because I hate Trump. I not only disagree with his policies, methods, and behavior in just about every single instance, but I just loathe him as a person. I have said many times that he does not have a single redeeming quality, he is about as shitty of a person as it is possible to be. I will do my bets to see the Democrats take the Senate and the House purely to act as a check on this fucking idiot, and you know, have Congress kinda do what it was supposed to do.

It has been disturbing to see the trend since the 90s of congress becoming more of a rubber stamp for the executive rather than the independent governing body it was meant to be. 

 
 
XDm9mm
7.1  XDm9mm  replied to  Thrawn 31 @7    3 months ago

So, you'll vote against your own self interests.

Got it.

Oh, by the way, please see my post #5 above.   The Texas Senate District 19 has been a STAUNCH hard line Democrat stronghold for decades.....   just sayin.

 
 
Thrawn 31
7.1.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  XDm9mm @7.1    3 months ago
So, you'll vote against your own self interests.

Not at all. I will be just fine no matter who wins, that is not even a question. Our country will do much better, and thus in the long run so will I, if fat fuck is castrated. Plus, as I said, i absolutely cannot stand him on a personal level. 

 
 
WallyW
7.1.2  WallyW  replied to  Thrawn 31 @7.1.1    3 months ago
i absolutely cannot stand him on a personal level.
Me neither, but he still gets my vote as he represents my interests. 

 
 
JohnRussell
7.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  XDm9mm @7.1    3 months ago

[deleted] He is the most dishonest , corrupt, and ignorant individual to ever hold the office.  [deleted]

 
 
tomwcraig
7.1.4  tomwcraig  replied to  JohnRussell @7.1.3    3 months ago

Did you support Bill Clinton and/or Hillary Clinton?

 
 
WallyW
7.2  WallyW  replied to  Thrawn 31 @7    3 months ago
I not only disagree with his policies, methods, and behavior in just about every single instance, but I just loathe him as a person. I have said many times that he does not have a single redeeming quality, he is about as shitty of a person as it is possible to be

Oh nonsense. Such thinking is not logical or rational.

 
 
livefreeordie
7.3  livefreeordie  replied to  Thrawn 31 @7    3 months ago

Trump has been our best president in terms of his actions since Coolidge

 
 
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