Politics

When the tough get going, the guilty get surreal

USA Today:

One year after Charlottesville tragedy, Heather Heyer’s mom talks about daughter’s death

Bro isn’t surprised that some of the same white nationalists plan an anniversary rally Sunday in Washington after their attempt to reconvene in Charlottesville was foiled. Hundreds of far-right demonstrators are likely to march on Pennsylvania Avenue, then gather in Lafayette Square to advocate for “white civil rights.”

Bro has her own plans for that day.

She’ll visit her daughter’s grave and lay flowers there. She’ll attend an NAACP meeting. She’ll speak about what she thinks America must do to heal.

“The country is very polarized, but I think this has been simmering below the surface for many years,” she said. “It’s just now coming out, and so we need to get to the root of it: clear it out, heal our country from the roots up.”

Jennifer Rubin/WaPo:

Corey Stewart is ready to drag down every Virginia Republican on the ticket

In short, thanks to Trump and Stewart, Virginia looks more like Maryland politically speaking than at any point in recent memory. So maybe Republicans in Virginia would be wise to take a look over the Potomac. There they will see Gov. Larry Hogan with a double-digit lead. Hogan is a moderate Republican who disagrees with Trump on a slew of issues — from immigration to climate change. At some point, Virginia Republicans will get tired of losing and start running candidates who reflect the state’s more diverse, moderate electorate.

One final interesting note: Only 16 percent of voters want the state legislature to keep drawing congressional district lines. More popular were a panel of local and state experts (24 percent), a citizens’ commission (20 percent) and a bipartisan commission (18 percent). In 2019, Virginia elects its representatives to the House of Delegates and state Senate (both narrowly held by Republicans). Savvy candidates might want to run on a stop-gerrymandering platform (something Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is likely to sign). Ending gerrymandering would be one significant blow against polarization and in favor of voting. Where there are competitive races, people will show up to vote.

Paul Waldman/WaPo:

What Republican attacks on Nancy Pelosi are really about

Can we stop treating this lie seriously once and for all? We all know what’s really going on. The Republican attack on Pelosi is about conservative identity politics, full stop. It’s partly the same kind of ugly misogyny that has driven conservatives for years, and that comes out whenever the prospect of a woman yielding genuine power rears its head. Women who display ambition are judged harshly, particularly by conservatives; it’s no accident that Bernie Sanders, whose policy ideas are much more opposed to conservatism than Pelosi’s, inspires nothing like the venomous loathing on the right that Pelosi and Hillary Clinton do.

John Stoehr on Devin Nunes:

The most important thing the audio tells us is this: what the Republicans think is the most important thing to say to the base. Remember, the recording was made during a closed-door fundraiser for US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House GOP conference. McMorris Rodgers is vulnerable. She barely won her primary Tuesday. Her Democratic opponent is a former state senator who has on hand nearly as much cash. All this plus the fact that her district really shouldn’t be competitive*.

Put yourself in Nunes’ shoes. What do you say to persuade donors to write checks given they’re unmoved by normal GOP priorities like tax cuts and deregulation. (We know they’re unmoved by normal GOP priorities, because Nunes chose to talk about something else.) You are going to say something like this: I know you don’t like Trump, but I know what you don’t like more! McMorris Rodgers is the last thing standing between the president and the Democrat Party taking him out!

Does this mean Nunes has reason to believe the president did something worthy of impeachment? I don’t trust Nunes to make that assessment. Do you? The best we can say is he thinks that fear-mongering is persuasive—that if he and other Republicans can whoop and wail enough, they can rally the GOP base to stave off defeat.  

Nate Cohn and Alicia Parlipiano/NY Times:

How Broad, and How Happy, Is the Trump Coalition?

And while Mr. Trump has a large and resilient base of supporters, a sizable share had reservations when they cast their ballots for him and continue to have reservations about him today. A small but meaningful number of his voters, particularly women, appear to have soured on him since the election.

Understanding the breadth of Mr. Trump’s coalition is important to understanding the Republican Party’s position heading into the 2018 midterms. Mr. Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters were vital to his victory in the primary, and Obama-Trump voters in old industrial towns were decisive in the general election. But the midterms could be decided by voters at the edge of Mr. Trump’s coalition and of the public’s imagination: stereotype-defying female, college-educated or nonwhite Trump supporters, who are somewhat likelier to harbor reservations about the president. They may have been reluctant to back him, but they were still essential to his 2016 victory and are essential to the G.O.P.’s chances today.

Both concepts can be true: nonvoters decided the election, and there are some Trump voters who can be turned away form the dark side. Non voters tend not to vote (and sometimes they are not permitted to by deliberate policy such as overly strict voter ID laws), and getting them to vote will be very difficult. “Just get the nonvoters” isn’t a strategy, it’s a hope. But with a strategy, it’s a valid idea. So is recruiting unhappy Trump voters, or at least getting them to stay home. Doing both seems the most sensible approach.

This is a very interesting read:

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