Monday, May 1, 2017

Last Call For Economic Anxiety, Again

The "economic anxiety" excuse for why Trump won will never, ever die it seems, and the latest proponents of the odious theory are the Democrats themselves.  Greg Sargent took a look at the internal polling from the Democratic "autopsy" of the 2016 campaign and has some grim figures:

One finding from the polling stands out: A shockingly large percentage of these Obama-Trump voters said Democrats’ economic policies will favor the wealthy — twice the percentage that said the same about Trump. I was also permitted to view video of some focus group activity, which showed Obama-Trump voters offering sharp criticism of Democrats on the economy.

Priorities USA, the super PAC that is working to restore Democrats to power, conducted focus groups of Obama-Trump voters in Wisconsin and Michigan — two states that Trump snatched from Democrats — in late January and polled some 800 Obama-Trump voters nationally at around the same time. The pollsters also conducted focus groups with so-called drop-off voters — people who voted for Obama in 2012 but didn’t vote in 2016 — in the same states and polled 800 drop-off voters nationally.

“[Hillary] Clinton and Democrats’ economic message did not break through to drop-off or Obama-Trump voters, even though drop-off voters are decidedly anti-Trump,” Priorities USA concluded in a presentation of its polling data and focus group findings, which has been shown to party officials in recent days.

The poll found that Obama-Trump voters, many of whom are working-class whites and were pivotal to Trump’s victory, are economically losing ground and are skeptical of Democratic solutions to their problems. Among the findings: 
  • 50 percent of Obama-Trump voters said their incomes are falling behind the cost of living, and another 31 percent said their incomes are merely keeping pace with the cost of living.
  • A sizable chunk of Obama-Trump voters — 30 percent — said their vote for Trump was more a vote against Clinton than a vote for Trump. Remember, these voters backed Obama four years earlier.
  • 42 percent of Obama-Trump voters said congressional Democrats’ economic policies will favor the wealthy, vs. only 21 percent of them who said the same about Trump. (Forty percent say that about congressional Republicans.) A total of 77 percent of Obama-Trump voters said Trump’s policies will favor some mix of all other classes (middle class, poor, all equally), while a total of 58 percent said that about congressional Democrats.
“If you felt like your life wasn’t getting better over eight years, then you might draw a conclusion that Democrats don’t care about you,” Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, told me in an interview. “Certainly a subset of these voters were responsive to what Trump was selling them on immigration. But you had a lot of consistency with the Obama-Trump voters … in terms of the severe economic anxiety they face.”

The economic anxiety angle remains an excuse.  I know that because Clinton adopted a lot of Bernie's economic policies before the election, and Tom Perez has adopted even more now ($15 minimum wage comes to mind) and yet nobody seems to give a damn.  If it was ever really about economics and not a white supremacist in the White House, the Dems would have won.

The message is clear: the Dems have to kick black, Hispanic, and Aisan voters to the curb and go after white votes, because only they matter.

I'm tired of it and I'll fight that every step of the way.

The Whitest Of Whitewashings

Don't look now, but not only is Trump trying to rehabilitate his political hero Andrew Jackson, he's actually trying to say that Jackson could have stopped the US Civil War if he had been around.

President Trump during an interview that airs Monday questioned why the country had a Civil War and suggested former President Andrew Jackson could have prevented it had he served later. 
"I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn't have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart," Trump said during an interview with the Washington Examiner's Salena Zito.

"He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, 'There's no reason for this.'"

Jackson, the nation's seventh president, died in 1845. The Civil War began in 1861.

The president further questioned why the country could not have solved the Civil War.

"People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why?" Trump said during the edition of "Main Street Meets the Beltway" scheduled to air on SiriusXM.

"People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?"

During the interview, the president also compared his win to that of Jackson.

"My campaign and win was most like Andrew Jackson, with his campaign. And I said, when was Andrew Jackson? It was 1828. That's a long time ago," Trump said. 
"That's Andrew Jackson. And he had a very, very mean and nasty campaign. Because they said this was the meanest and the nastiest. And unfortunately, it continues."

The fact that Jackson died 16 years before the Civil War and served as president more than 30 years before aside, Jackson was one of America's biggest proponents of slavery.  Jackson's estate, The Hermitage, was a slave plantation, pure an simple, and Jackson himself signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830, leading directly to the Trail of Tears.  This is a man who thought both blacks and Native Americans were savages who could not be reasoned with because he didn't view either group as human.

“My original convictions upon this subject have been confirmed by the course of events for several years, and experience is every day adding to their strength,” he said during his Fifth Annual Address to Congress in 1833. “That those tribes can not exist surrounded by our settlements and in continual contact with our citizens is certain.

“They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear.”

Jackson’s steadfast belief in racial inferiority fueled his early career as a slave trader, which in turn funded his purchase of the Hermitage plantation in 1804. More than 150 slaves worked the land at one point and throughout his life, Jackson is believed to have owned upwards of 300 slaves.

And this is who Trump not only admires, but is someone who Trump believes could have prevented the US Civil War.  I'll leave the theories on how a man who directly profited from slavery and ran tens of thousands of Native Americans off their lands would have "worked it out" to you, dear reader.

But I do know that Trump has long been Old Hickory's biggest fan, and has often pointed out the parallels between his campaign and Jackson's in 1828.  That shouldn't aurprise anyone at this point, because of course we elected both of them.

Third Time's A Horrow Show

Republicans in the House say they are very close to having enough votes this week to finally and completely dismantle Obamacare, and the resulting pressure on Republicans to pass Trumpcare 3.0 is enough that party leaders are going all out to secure the votes that they need.

House Republican leaders and White House officials are increasingly confident about passing their long-stalled Obamacare replacement bill: More lawmakers than ever are committed to voting “yes," they say, and GOP insiders insist they’re within striking distance of a majority.

But the window of opportunity for Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team is closing fast. The House is scheduled to leave town for a one-week recess on Thursday, and some senior Republicans worry that failing to get it done by then would fritter away critical momentum. Skittish Republicans would return home to face a barrage of pressure from Democrats and progressive outside groups.

Some senior Republicans and White House officials are advising Ryan (R-Wis.) and his top lieutenants to cancel the recess if needed, and to keep the House in session until they have the votes.

"I think they could have voted on Friday," President Donald Trump said in a Sunday interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" to discuss his first 100 days in office. "I said, 'Just relax. Don't worry about this phony 100 day thing. Just relax. Take it easy. Take your time. Get the good vote and make it perfect.'"

"I think health care reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare is just around the corner,” Vice President Mike Pence added on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think we’re close.”

While Trump and the White House have been overly optimistic before about repealing Obamacare, senior House Republicans agree with them this time.

“We’re very close," Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

All sides agree that right now the Republicans are still short on the votes, and if they don't get it done this week, it might never happen.  But that's no reason to relax.  If like me you're in a GOP district, it's time to make some phone calls.  Thomas Massie is still a no here in NKY, so that's something at least, but we still need a few more no votes to seal this thing in the dumpster.

There are a lot of undecided Republicans out there still.  Time to convince them to say no.


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