Third Party & Independents Archives

Nathan Gonzalez Says the Blue Wave is Dead

Forget the Blue Wave, Roll Call’s Nathan Gonzalez tells us. That metaphor has drowned itself out of useful existence. Even though it will clearly continue swelling the rhetoric of media commentators and conjuring up images of a GOP dug in on the electoral shoreline awaiting the flood of ballot results, come early November.

As the New Yorker used to say many, many years ago: Block That Metaphor!

So, what does Mr. Gonzalez have to give us as an alternative metaphor? It's actually very useful if you're a beltway journalist who works for an outfit that is wonky and detailed and never anywhere near right of center. Nathan's nifty new metahpor goes like this:

There are too many fires for the GOP to deal with at the same time.

That might be halfway too close to oh-so-cute (you even get concerns about climate change and California wild fires added in for free!) but unfortunately, Gonzalez has a valid point. Over much of this year, it has been a parade of resignations for the GOP, leavened by a few scandals like Chris Collins arrest on insider trading charges. This is not helpful in a mid-term election that is in large part all about whether you hate or love Trump. It clears out experienced members who have built up a local base and opens up the possibility of successful (or almost successful) challenges in what were firmly Republican districts. Never mind the ones that the President won by just a few percentage points.

What Gonzalez means is that even though Paul Ryan has been very successful at raising funds, with the amount of suddenly vulnerable GOP seats (Nathan Gonzalez puts it at 68 which seems a little high, but he may very well be right), there isn't enough money to effectively combat the spreading brush fires.

So, why doesn't President Trump try to focus his tweets on helping and supporting candidates (something he has admittedly done) and not always causing a controversy or two per day?

Because he's Trump. And more than that, because he really does seem to believe that the GOP must be purged and/or bent to his will and re-made as a populist party. And that is indeed happening. As well, as Gonzalez's colleague at Roll Call, John Bennett, points out, it seems the President is already campaigning for 2020 as much as he's talking about the mid-terms. You might disagree with that strategy at this time, but who knows, it may work? In 2020.

If the economy continues at the roaring pace of the latest quarter, could that damp down on the fires smoldering around the country? Yes, if Trump would allow others to relay that message to their constituents and not just be the sole messenger that voters notice. Which would mean the President not tweeting the way he does. Which will remain a hypothetical for as long as Trump is in the White House.

Would a successful conclusion to NAFTA re-negotiations - one that gives the Trump administration some clear victories but allows Mexico and Canada to take back to their constituencies a treaty that their citizens can live with - give an additional boost that might pull some independents back towards President Trump? Or would it alienate his base by not demanding significant enough concessions from America's neighbors to the North and South? It's hard not to think that Trump cares far more about avoiding the second possibility than achieving the first. And Peter Navarro is still Director of Trade and Industrial policy.

So, to dive back into an extended metaphor: are these brush fires the natural result of a hot electoral campaign with both supporters and opponents of the President feeling unusually high levels of intensity in the heat of summer? Or is this manmade warming due to an uninterrupted flow of provocative emissions from all sides, searing the landscape with their toxic fumes?

And if it's the former, is this a natural cleansing of the political landscape, long overdue after centuries of cozy duopoly in Washington? Or is it flicking lighted matches onto tinder-dry brush because you like the sight of flames?

We've had a lot talk of hot summers over the last few years. Here's the thing. At some point, brush fires burn themselves out and things begin to grow again. And I don't mean Greenspan's decades-old metaphor about economic growth. I mean political renewal. On both sides of the aisle.

And to renew, you often have to burn out the underbrush. Maybe that should be Trump's metaphor, rather than Drain the Swamp:

Burn it Down.

Posted by AllardK at August 9, 2018 2:55 PM
Comment #430010

Big swings of control of congress in midterm elections usually are evidence of the electorate being disgruntled by some action taken by the congress they ousted, or by the sitting president.

What has congress, or the president done, in the past two years to upset the electorate?

Are we, as a nation, better off now than we were two years ago?

By every yardstick I am aware of, the answer is a resounding YES.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2018 3:30 PM
Comment #430011

Oh Look! AllardK is suggesting the Molotov Cocktails come out! I vote for sticking with Drain the Swamp.

Is it just me, or am I seeing things? Didn’t the sages of the political process just get caught with their pants down in the 2016 election? Throughout this entire post I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, the people who plan on abandoning the Democratic party aren’t going to get up and shout it out at the next DNC meeting. I don’t understand why we take the pundits seriously. They were caught flat footed then, why not now also? Democratics sound now just like they sounded in 2016. They marched, eyes wide shut, right into Trump’s big broad chest and he was standing right in front of them. It looks to me like they’re doing the same thing again!

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 9, 2018 3:40 PM
Comment #430013

All the “talking heads” and “chattering class” are being paid, and paid well, to advance someone’s agenda. This is certainly true of the pollsters.

Weary, I don’t have a crystal ball and neither do you. However, I certainly do not believe what I read and hear by those who have a vested interest in promoting themselves or others.

I study the effects of politics on the lives of the majority of its citizens. How has the past two years affected my life, or the lives of others?

My conclusion is that the lives pf a majority of Americans have improved in the past two years.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2018 3:53 PM
Comment #430015

Here’s the problem, Royal.
The left-wing drones are eating up all the lies, hate and division that the left and its media have created.
They actually believe President Trump is a Russian spy. They have embraced racist groups like blm and anti-America groups like antifa. They justify intimidation, harassment and physical violence of those they disagree with and to silence speech.
They are energized and will show up in droves to vote.

Right-wing voters, however, do not seem to be all that excited by the inaction of their reps and, IMO, they won’t be showing up to support them without President Trump also being on the ballot.

I don’t think they will match what the Republicans did under Obama, but I do believe they will have a lot of success.

Posted by: kctim at August 9, 2018 4:13 PM
Comment #430016

I understand your point kctim. No doubt these groups you identify do affect some elections in some places.

I would point out however, that the Democrats running in many districts are very moderate, and don’t reflect what you have described. The DNC recognizes that running on a platform of hate Trump, promote open borders, increase taxes and socialism is not a winning issue.

Consequently, we have seen Democrat Party Leaders attempt to squash the very behavior you seem to believe might lead them to victory.

Working middle-class Americans far outnumber to Liberals you describe. And, these Americans almost always vote their pocketbook and local issues.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2018 4:26 PM
Comment #430017

..Or, the chattering nabobs believe their own propaganda again and will be taken by surprise again when the people pull the curtain closed and cast their secret ballot.

They may come out and say they voted for their Democratic, but they actually pulled the (R) lever with glee.

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 9, 2018 4:50 PM
Comment #430018

Will there be a blue wave this November?
Almost certainly.

What will be the most important issues?
As I have said on WB many, many times, ‘the fish rots from the head down.’ The trial of Manafort and the testimony of Gates give us an insight into the gross corruption of the 2016 Trump Campaign Manager and the Deputy Campaign Manager. Gates has already pleaded guilty to felonies and will either face a reduced sentence, or no jail time at all. Most likely the jury will send Manafort to prison for the rest of his life, but that is up to the jury and judge. Meanwhile, Congressman Collins will go down for insider trading, ALONG WITH 6 OR 7 other Congressmen. An additional Congressperson will also face some ugly charges. The DOJ case against the Russian spy, Maria Butina, not only implicates the NRA and the GOP, but specifically mentions one Congressman who ASKED for Russian dirt on his or her opponent. Most likely, the Congressman in question is Matt Gaetz.

One major factor that has received little attention, but will almost certainly be a major determinant in November, is health care. The new premiums will be announced in October, shortly before the midterms. The Trump administration has “hollowed out” the ACA and destroyed sources of revenue. Without that revenue, premiums will skyrocket. This is already baked into the cake. Voters consistently mentioned concerns about health care as being at the top of their list, so this spells a totally predictable disaster for the GOP.

Corruption is also typically a big factor in midterms, as we saw in 2006.

The great unknown variable is the Mueller investigation. It is glaringly obvious to everyone, left or right, that the Trump defense team will not allow Trump to testify and that they are stalling. Most likely Mueller will be forced to subpoena the president. We could see anything from a tsunami of indictments and a constitutional brawl over whether a president can be subpoenaed, to nothing at all for months.

The GOP and conservatism have become enmeshed in a personality cult, and there is no moral bottom. Racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia- any of these could blow up yet at any time, to say nothing of treason.

And make no mistake. Trump is treason.

Posted by: phx8 at August 9, 2018 4:54 PM
Comment #430020

I think their lies and hate will trump their platform, pocketbook and local issues this time, Royal.
Either way, the Republicans are going to need every Trump voter they can get to show up in Nov.

Posted by: kctim at August 9, 2018 4:56 PM
Comment #430021

Phx8, your Russia, treason, racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia nonsense will only help with the leftist loons, not the average voter.

Now healthcare, yes, you are correct. Americans have a very short memory and they will probably blame Trump and Republicans for the skyrocketing premiums caused by the ACA.

Posted by: kctim at August 9, 2018 5:02 PM
Comment #430022

You have a good point Weary.

And yet, unless a majority of our electorate have lost their minds, why would they change horses in the middle of the stream?

I try to understand the fanatics but am never successful. They are just too alien to me and to many Americans.

The media has really tried to make an issue out of the plight of illegal children. And, we all are compassionate when it comes to children. Yet, most of us recognize that it was the parents of these children who brought them here.

Are there many among us who will trade our jobs, incomes, and security to demonstrate support for a few children brought here illegally?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2018 5:03 PM
Comment #430024

It is difficult to understand why anyone would believe that Americans will vote for their congress person or United States senator or governor based upon the Mueller investigation.

Phx8 firmly believes that is the case. Please tell us why?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2018 5:29 PM
Comment #430026

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2018 6:00 PM
Comment #430027

Why does phx8 think Manafort is a big deal. People go to jail for stuff all the time and they don’t bring down presidents.

The DOJ case against the Russian spy, Maria Butina, not only implicates the NRA and the GOP, but specifically mentions one Congressman who ASKED for Russian dirt on his or her opponent. Most likely, the Congressman in question is Matt Gaetz Adam Schiff.
Posted by: Weary Willie at August 9, 2018 7:53 PM
Comment #430029

You write:
“Most likely, the Congressman in question is Matt Gaetz Adam Schiff.”

Gaetz lives in FL, like the source, and Gaetz had a personal relationship with Roger Stone. Could it be someone else? Sure. But the odds are heavily in the favor of Gaetz. He fits the profile. Chances are, he is yet another traitor betraying his company in order to win office.

You write: “It is difficult to understand why anyone would believe that Americans will vote for their congress person or United States senator or governor based upon the Mueller investigation.”

You mean the whole treason thing? Yeah. A lot of Republicans and conservatives will give Trump a pass on treason. Already, polls have shown Putin’s approval numbers climbing among Republicans. In one recent poll, something like 11% of Republicans thought there was nothing wrong with the Russians help Trump win the election, and another 19% thought it was wrong, but not a big deal.

Both Trump and Bush left office with people still approving of their performance. Something like 25% thought that was a job well done by Bush- economic catastrophe, invading another country based on a lie, you know- and yet, 25% thought ‘Yeah! That’s the way to do it!’

Posted by: phx8 at August 9, 2018 9:13 PM
Comment #430038

What are you saying, phx8?

To borrow a phrase from j2t2 and Dr. McCoy, “My god, Man! What are you trying to say?!”.

Your reply contains the words, “Could it be ..”, “the odds are..”, “Chances are..”,

Chances are, he is yet another traitor betraying his company in order to win office.

Do you listen to yourself when you write such comments? I don’t think you do. I think that is a purely emotional statement that has no base in fact whatsoever! I respect your right to express your opinion. I’ll be damned if I will respect an opinion like that!

Usually people who say stuff like that are lawyers in front of a judge. They say it because they are also prepared to back their statement up with evidence that can be established as fact by a jury.

phx8, j2t2, ohrealy, Cube, want to bypass that inconvenient prerequisite. They want you to believe what they say, without question. Without Question is the operative condition to a compromise with them.

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 10, 2018 2:20 AM
Comment #430059

So, it is ok to cross out the name of Gaetz and substitute ‘Adam Schiff,’ backed up by no evidence whatsoever, and then talk about a legal standard and backing up evidence with statements?

Well, allow me to clutch my pearls! Where are the fainting vapors?

You go from criticizing the use of such phrases as ‘could be’ and ‘chances are’ at the beginning of the comment, to calling for a legal standard for any discussion of betrayal of the country; and by the end of the comment, claiming something about believing what is said “without question.”

Do you listen to yourself?

Posted by: phx8 at August 10, 2018 10:34 AM
Comment #430062

Why did he take the call if it’s so illegal to get dirt on an opponent?

Using your logic he should have not even taken the call. You claim it’s illegal to talk to a foreign entity with a purpose of getting compromising material on a political opponent. Schiff should have never taken the call. He should have never even looked at that phone if it is as wrong as you claim it is.

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 10, 2018 1:23 PM
Comment #430063

Don’t be so gullible. During the call Schiff said ““We will try to work with the FBI to figure out, along with your staff, how we can obtain copies.” The same linked article says:

“Before agreeing to take the call, and immediately following it, the committee informed appropriate law-enforcement and security personnel of the conversation, and of our belief that it was probably bogus.”

And that is exactly how such a call should be handled.

Posted by: phx8 at August 10, 2018 1:41 PM
Comment #430064

Using the standards the left has set Schiff should never have taken the call.

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 10, 2018 2:02 PM
Comment #430065

No, the question is not whether to take such a call (even if it is probably a prank), but what to do about it. “Before” and “immediately following it,” the Schiff team informed law enforcement. Contrast this with Trump and his campaign: not one- NOT ONE- of Trump’s people contacted law enforcement after contacts with the Russians. Just the opposite. They took the calls and they arranged the meetings. President “I love Wikileaks” Trump referred to the stolen e-mails over one hundred times in one month prior to the election.

And please do not link Breitbart. It is a conspiracy site that often promotes racism and worse. Breitbart, along with Info Wars and Gateway Pundit, has been identified as “unwitting” outlets for Russian propaganda in the 2016 election.

Why do you continue to look at a site that has been identified as an outlet for Russian propaganda?

Posted by: phx8 at August 10, 2018 2:57 PM
Comment #430066

You will have to get hold of U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) to censor alternative news sources, phx8.

I’m sorry to hear you’re not a fan of the U.S. Constitution and freedom of the press. Tell me, phx8, why aren’t you living in a country that censors speech and press? Why would you subject yourself to to an alternative point of view instead of just living in a country that already censors speech and the press? You would be happy as a pig in shit in an environment like Saudi Arabia or Iran. Why not just go there to live instead of putting up with people like me who enjoy an alternative point of view?

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 10, 2018 3:39 PM
Comment #430067

One more chance to actually answer my question phx8.

“It is difficult to understand why anyone would believe that Americans will vote for their congress person or United States senator or governor based upon the Mueller investigation.”

Another non-answer by you will merely indicate you have NO ANSWER.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2018 4:34 PM
Comment #430068

“It is difficult to understand why anyone would believe that Americans will vote for their congress person or United States senator or governor based upon the Mueller investigation.”

That’s not a question.

An “alternative point of view”? There are plenty of controversial issues on which reasonable people can disagree. What is the right size of government? When does life begin, and when does it become a human being? An alternative point of view based on groundless conspiracy theories is not reasonable; in fact, it is downright dangerous.

For example, today Trump declared that asbestos is “100% safe.”

It is NOT safe. Do not ground up asbestos and enclose yourself in a closet and breath the dust in order to prove Trump is right. He is not. Trump is wrong, as wrong as can be. Doing that would be fatal. Trump’s new head of the EPA, Wheeler, is in conflict with everyone in the EPA and the scientific community. This is a conspiracy theory, a dangerous conspiracy theory, and you should NOT go out and breath asbestos dust.

Your willingness to believe bad information from conspiracy sites like Info Wars, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, and others makes you vulnerable to bad things, like becoming a conduit for Russian propaganda, or, who knows, breathing asbestos to prove Trump and Wheeler are right about how safe it is.

Don’t do it. I just mentioned Trump’s latest pronouncement on asbestos as an example. Asbestos is extremely dangerous. Do NOT go out and find a way to breath it.

Posted by: phx8 at August 10, 2018 4:54 PM
Comment #430069

Strange response by phx8. He believed it was a question in a previous post judging by his response. But, he can’t answer so I will forgive him.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2018 5:13 PM
Comment #430070

What conspiracy theories are you talking about?

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 10, 2018 5:31 PM
Comment #430071

Are you talking about this one?

Nolte: CNN Openly Campaigns to Blacklist Infowars

If CNN were sincerely interested in journalism (as opposed to scalping one of its critics), in informing the public (as opposed to silencing someone with whom CNN disagrees), the so-called journalism would be every bit as aggressive in asking Twitter and others why left-wing racists like the New York Times‘s Sarah Jeong and hate-minister Louis Farrakhan are still allowed on these platforms
Posted by: Weary Willie at August 10, 2018 5:35 PM
Comment #430072

Is it this one?

NeverTrumpers Support Big Tech Blacklist of Alex Jones

The answer here is obvious: Tech companies shouldn’t give Jones a pass; they should get rid of the Farrakhans of the world, too. The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.
Posted by: Weary Willie at August 10, 2018 5:49 PM
Comment #430124

Weary your Breitbart link is faulty logic. Face it guys InfoWars is not journalism. It is propaganda and that is giving it the benefit of the doubt. The thought that CNN should give any weight to InfoWars in a conversation about journalism is laughable.

Then of course we have the false comparison of the years of InfoWars’s hatred misinformation, lying conspiracy theories that are false and so on to a few comments made by Jeong is lacking credibility. If Farrakhan is preaching hatred like Jones then these web sites should take action if his content violates their policies.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2018 2:24 PM
Comment #430129

So why aren’t they?

What is journalism now, j2t2? Have you categorized the profession? Do they need a license?

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 12, 2018 12:39 AM
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