Monday, July 4, 2016

Last Call For The Frenemy Zone

Should she win the presidency, Hillary Clinton would quickly try to find common ground with Republicans on an immigration overhaul and infrastructure spending, risking the wrath of liberals who would like nothing more than to twist the knife in a wounded opposition party.

In her first 100 days, she would also tap women to make up half of her cabinet in hopes of bringing a new tone and collaborative sensibility to Washington, while also looking past Wall Street to places like Silicon Valley for talent — perhaps wooing Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, and maybe asking Tim Cook from Apple to become the first openly gay cabinet secretary.

Former President Bill Clinton would keep a low public profile, granting few interviews and avoiding any moves that could create headaches for his wife, like his recent meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email practices.

Mrs. Clinton would even schmooze differently than the past few presidents have. Not one to do business over golf or basketball, she would bring back the intimate style of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson, negotiating over adult beverages. Picture a steady stream of senators, congressmen and other leaders raising a glass and talking policy in the Oval Office with her and her likely chief of staff, John D. Podesta, as her husband pops in with a quick thought or a disarming compliment.

Deeply confident that she would perform better as the president than as a political candidate, Mrs. Clinton wants to pursue a whole new approach at the White House to try to break through years of partisan gridlock, according to a dozen campaign advisers and allies who described her goals and outlook. From policy goals and personnel to her instinct for patiently cultivating the enemy, Mrs. Clinton thinks she would be a better dealmaker than President Obama if she finds willing partners on the other side.

I'm with Steve M. on this: when reality comes by and kicks Hillary Clinton in the ass, it's going to get brutal, fast.

Obama also had large majorities in the House and Senate. Because of gerrymandering in GOP states, a Democratic House is next to impossible in 2017, and the widespread optimism about a Democratic takeover of the Senate seems awfully premature -- the Cook Political Report finds no current Republican seat that so much as leans Democratic (though several are tossups), and Democrats could lose Harry Reid's seat in Nevada, which is also a tossup. If Democrats take back the Senate, it'll be by one or two seats, far less than their margin in 2009.

And Republicans, up against huge Democratic majorities in 2009, still dug in their heels and blocked as much of Obama's agenda as they could manage.

Conventional wisdom says they loathed him more because he's black. I don't buy that. They've hated Hillary Clinton for a quarter of a century. Their voters despise her. And she's likely to win in the fall without being well liked by the broad electorate.

They're going to consider her weak and vulnerable. They know Democrats don't vote in midterms. So they're going to effectively shut the government down again, then blame Democrats, the party that believes in government, for the gridlock, in the hope of another off-year midterm rout.
And there is every reason to believe this will work.  Let's recall Mitch McConnell and the GOP were plotting how to obstruct the Obama agenda on his inauguration day. It worked, too.  They lost on Obamacare, but they won back Congress and all but ended the Democrats in the South in 2010 and in the Midwest in 2014, or have we forgotten that Obama 2008 swing states like Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio and Florida, and even deep blue states like Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland now have GOP governors and in many cases, GOP legislatures?

Hell, the NYT is talking about "Team of Rivals" again and a new era of bipartisanship and I guarantee you that Paul Ryan will be commenting on the "growing anger by GOP rank and file over articles of impeachment" before St. Patrick's Day, if not sooner.

Grow the hell up, guys.  You'll have Republicans screaming "burn that Clinton bitch!" on the House floor from day one, and the Village will happily enable it by buying into Clinton happy talk.

Does anyone here think the party that created Trump and enabled his hatred and racism, or the 60 million racist, hate-fueled people who will vote for him in November will just magically vanish come January?

Sure, NYT.  Let's test that theory in six months.

Love Is A Battleground State

I know pundits and prognosticators have months of electoral vote predictions to make in order to get clicks and sell ads, and a big part of that is pretending that there's ten or twelve "battleground states" that are true toss-ups when the reality is that Hillary Clinton has got this in the bag. For instance, this is how prediction site 270 To Win sees the 2016 race:

Click the map to create your own at

And this is ridiculous.

Here's the reality:

Click the map to create your own at

Even being super, super generous to Donald Trump and saying that Florida, Ohio, Nevada and New Hampshire are somehow toss-ups when I expect Clinton to win all four, Clinton still has 272 electoral votes and the presidency.

However, that does mean North Carolina is a actually true toss-up this year, and is being fought as such by both campaigns.

Politically turbulent North Carolina, where Barack Obama won in 2008 and then Republicans rose up to engineer a conservative revolution, has suddenly emerged as a focal point in the presidential race.

The battle lines will be clear Tuesday in dueling rallies in the state’s two major cities.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will appear in Charlotte alongside President Obama, who is making his debut on the campaign trail and will try to reenergize his multiethnic coalition.

That night, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump will take the stage in Raleigh, where he is expected to lambast Clinton and present her as seeking a third Obama term.

The two campaigns are angling to motivate their core supporters but also to sway a large pool of newly transplanted centrist voters such as Eric and Tonya Mills, both 46, who met here in college and moved back in 2013.

“There’s just something that seems shady to me” about Clinton, said Eric Mills, a patent lawyer, as the couple strode through a “First Friday” street party last week in Raleigh. Still, he said, he did not think he could bring himself to vote for Trump, whose political rise has been a curiosity among those Mills has met on recent business trips overseas. Tonya Mills, a civil engineer, called her vote a “toss-up,” saying that if she had to vote today, she would opt for Clinton, “but it wouldn’t be with my heart behind it.”

And yes, the state is plagued by New South conservative dipsticks like the Mills here who don't see any difference in their lives between how Trump as president would affect them and how Clinton would affect them.  They've got their corporate six-figure jobs working for a Charlotte bank or an RTP biotech startup, and "Clinton, I guess, maybe" is the best you're going to get out of them because they don't want to admit that they secretly want Trump to pull it off and take "their" country back from those people who voted for Obama in 2008.

Believe me, I know the type. They're cool with and even proud of their kids learning Spanish as a second language in an immersive elementary school program, seeing the black family from work at the minor-league baseball field and eating at the newest Thai fusion restaurant in the hipster part of town, not so much with the carniceria in the strip mall next to the Fantastic Sam's where you take the kids, the black family moving in next door, or the Hmong church being built down the street.

This is where the battleground may be, but keep in mind that the 2016 election war is likely already over.

Sir Nigel Bravely Runs Away

Across the pond in Brexitville, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage figures he's won by destroying the EU and the UK economy, so he's done with being the guy in charge of creating the disaster.

Nigel Farage says he is standing down as leader of the UK Independence Party.

Mr Farage said his "political ambition has been achieved" with the UK having voted to leave the EU.

He said the party was in a "pretty good place" and said he would not change his mind about quitting as he did after the 2015 general election.

Leading UKIP was "tough at times" but "all worth it" said Mr Farage, who is also an MEP. He added that the UK needed a "Brexit prime minister".

Mr Farage said the party would campaign against "backsliding" on the UK's exit from the EU, saying he planned to see out his term in the European Parliament - describing his party as "the turkeys that voted for Christmas".

He said his party's "greatest potential" lay in attracting Labour voters, adding that he would not be backing any particular candidate to replace him.

"May the best man or woman win," he said.

And why would Farage want to stick around?  He knows full well that Britain is headed into the jet intake and will get shredded and spat out against the wall at several hundred miles an hour. He won't be the guy who has to actually deal withthe rise of racist nationalism he's helped to create.

That's for the little people.  See you, suckers!
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