Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Last Call For A De-Pressing Development, Con't

Buried in this NYT story on Trump regime mouthpiece Sean Spicer being horrible at his job is another nasty Dear Leader trial balloon: decreeing that the daily press briefing be limited to weekly state-run propaganda blurbs with pre-approved topics only.

The biggest shift Mr. Trump is discussing is a dramatic change to the briefing room schedule, including limiting briefings that he has described as a “spectacle” to once a week and asking reporters to submit written questions. Some of Mr. Trump’s outside advisers, including the Fox News host Sean Hannity, have urged him to curtail the freewheeling — and often embarrassing — barrage of questions. Mr. Trump has been particularly irked by CNN, and other allies such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have suggested banning the cable network.

“Donald Trump might as well get behind the podium himself, as the press coverage is the part of his presidency he cares the most deeply about,” said Tim Miller, who was communications director for Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign. “You can’t be a credible press secretary when your boss makes you tell preposterous lies. You can’t be a credible press secretary when you don’t know what your boss thinks on key issues because he changes his mind depending on the last person he talked to.”

And even with Spicer being "promoted" out of the job, finding a replacement to read the weekly Trump regime press release is still pretty hard.  Trump doesn't want a press secretary, he wants a FOX News talking head.

Among the candidates: Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host, about whom Trump advisers remain “iffy”; Kimberly Guilfoyle, the Fox News commentator who said publicly that Mr. Trump had called her in recent weeks (she said she didn’t want the job); and David Martosko, an editor for The Daily Mail who was briefly considered for the role during the transition and has been talked about for other roles now (White House aides said he was liked by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, but was never under serious consideration and put out a statement withdrawing his name).

So we're about one more major Trump-Russia leak from Tang the Conqueror reducing the White House to being, well, the Kremlin.

But maybe he'll pivot, right press flacks?

We'll Pass, Thanks

Looks like the Congressional Black Caucus has seen the light (or the darkness in this case) as the Trump regime has consistently rolled back civil rights and voting rights protections for African-Americans, and now the caucus isn't going to let Trump bait it into being used for feel-good photo ops anymore.

The Congressional Black Caucus is expected to reject an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump, according to four sources close to the group. 
The Trump administration, sources said, has done nothing to advance the CBC's priorities since the group's executive board first met with Trump in March. And members are worried the request for a caucus-wide meeting would amount to little more than a photo op that the president could use to bolster his standing among African-Americans.

“No one wants to be a co-star on the reality show,” said one senior Democratic aide. 
Lawmakers in the 49-member group each received an invitation last week from Omarosa Manigault, the-reality-TV-star-turned-White-House-aide who has pitched herself as an unofficial liaison to the CBC. 
“As requested by the president, we would like to schedule a follow-up meeting with the entire membership of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss issues pertinent to your members,” Manigault wrote in the invitation, obtained by POLITICO. 
But multiple CBC members said they were put off that she signed the invitation as “the Honorable Omarosa Manigault,” saying she hasn’t earned that title nor has she helped raise the profile of CBC issues within the White House as promised.

Considering how Trump treated HBCU presidents earlier this year by inviting them to meet with him and then turning around and proposing massive education budget cuts to colleges and universities, I don't blame the CBC one bit.  They should loudly oppose Trump's plans as a group and make sure that voters everywhere know exactly how much damage this regime is doing to black communities through the destruction of voting rights, civil service jobs, infrastructure scams, public housing and education cuts, Medicaid and Obamacare repeal, and stripping executive branch civil rights offices.

This is the first useful thing the CBC has done in year, frankly.  Bet you wish you had Obama back, huh?

Still Close, Still No Cigars

Democrats got awfully close last night in two special House elections, one in Georgia-06, the other in SC-05, but Republicans kept their seats in districts that voted for GOP incumbents by more than 20 points in November.  Democrats have gone 0-4 in these districts in special elections this year now, and that's prompting some to say that just running against the increasingly unpopular Trump is no longer an option.

To win in 2018, Democrats will have to find opportunities to do better, but it’s certainly an achievable goal. The fact that the district was competitive is a sign that the GOP majority is at risk; the question is simply what can Democrats do to put themselves over the top?

One thing they might want to try is developing a substantive policy agenda to run on. They came close this time, and they’ll just need to put forth an attractive package for voters in the 2018 midterms.

Ossoff, like so many losing Democratic candidates over the years, was brought down fundamentally by arguments grounded in identity politics.

Karen Handel didn’t argue that the Republican Party’s health care bill is a good idea (it’s very unpopular) or that tax cuts for millionaires should be the country’s top economic priority (another policy that polls dismally). Instead, her campaign and its allies buried Ossoff under a pile of what basically amounts to nonsense — stuff about Kathy Griffin, stuff about Samuel L. Jackson, stuff about his home being just over the district line, stuff about him having raised money from out of state — lumped together under the broad heading that he’s an “outsider.”

Much of this was unfair or ridiculous. And the stuff that wasn’t unfair — like the location of his home — is honestly pretty silly. None of this has anything to do with the lives of actual people living in the suburbs of Atlanta or anywhere else.

Ossoff’s team was aware, of course, that the district is not accustomed to voting for Democrats and that he was vulnerable to this kind of attack. They attempted to counter this move by positioning Ossoff as blandly as possible — just a kind of nice guy who doesn’t like Donald Trump — and dissociating him from any hard-edged ideas or themes. It’s a strategy that makes a certain amount of sense, but it also makes it hard to mobilize potential supporters. And by lowering the concrete stakes in the election, it also makes it easier for trivial and pseudo-issues to end up dominating in the end.

I hate to say that Yglesias has a point here, but he does.  Outrage will bring Republicans to the polls every time.  Democrats need more to bother to show up to vote.

Yes, there's no such thing as a safe seat for the GOP this year, but it still means that Democrats need more than "Trump sucks" to win in a lot of these districts where Republicans have a massive advantage due to gerrymandering.

Still, a district where the GOP won by 20 in November was only 6 now.  In a closer district Ossoff would have won.  And there are 70 or 80 closer districts out there for next year.


Related Posts with Thumbnails