Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Easiest Political Consulting Job On Earth

House Republicans like Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas who got incinerated in November really want to know why they lost, and they want the GOP to conduct a detailed, in-depth study of what spelled their doom.

Yoder signed onto a draft letter that House Republicans are circulating in response to the party’s dramatic loss of 40 seats in this year’s midterm elections. The copy, obtained by McClatchy, includes Yoder’s signature alongside those of Carlos Cubelo, a moderate Republican who lost his re-election race in Florida, and GOP Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. It’s unclear how many members signed it as of Friday, or whether the letter has been sent.

Stefanik served as the first female head of recruitment at the National Republican Congressional Committee — the House’s campaign arm — but only one of the 100 women she recruited won. Next year there will be 89 Democratic women serving in the House compared to 13 Republican women.

Yoder’s office did not respond to request for comment on the draft letter. Nor did the NRCC or Stefanik.
Yoder lost his race in a suburban district outside Kansas City by 9 percentage points to his Democratic challenger, Sharice Davids, who will be part of an historic class of 35 female freshmen Democrats in the House.

Yoder was deeply frustrated with what his team saw as a lack of NRCC support even before his loss. When the committee decided in September to pull out of spending in his district, Yoder didn’t receive a courtesy phone call. He learned the news on Twitter.

Yoder called NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers at the time to vent.

“When people ask me what I think of you, I can’t decide whether to tell them you’re a f***ing idiot or a f***ing liar. But now I think you’re both,” Yoder reportedly told Stivers. A source close to Yoder confirmed the quote, originally published by Politico.

Colorful language aside, I'm going to save Mr. Yoder and the GOP a considerable amount of time and effort on that whole autopsy process and just write two words in Sharpie on a 3"x5" index card.  Can you guess what those two words are?

Donald Trump.

That'll be several hundred thousand dollars in consulting fees, thanks.

In all seriousness, the party that pledged utter fealty to a idiotic neanderthal white supremacist reality show host, one mobbed up with Putin's boys and so bad at business that he managed to lose money on casinos shouldn't be surprised that women turned on him to such a degree that they lost 40 House seats.

If you need an "in-depth autopsy" to tell you that, you shouldn't be in politics at all.

He's going to jail, the people who protected him in the GOP should go to jail too, and I hope in 2020 that America rips apart the rest of the GOP in the Senate and of course the White House.  No wonder Senate Republicans are fleeing from Trump in droves.

A reporter hadn’t even finished asking about President Trump and the sentencing of his former lawyer Michael Cohen when Republican Sen. James E. Risch indicated he would have none of it.

“Oh, I don’t do interviews on any of that stuff,” Risch said when questioned about Trump’s shifting explanations on efforts to buy the silence of women who claimed sexual dalliances with him.

Well, why not?

“I don’t do any interviews on anything to do with Trump and that sort of thing, okay?” Risch (Idaho) responded curtly before quickly slipping into the Senate chamber.

As Trump’s legal woes — rooted in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe and the Southern District of New York’s investigation into the hush payments — continued to spiral this past week with new revelations and fresh presidential denials, congressional Republicans found themselves in a familiar position: struggling to account for Trump’s behavior and not-so-consistent statements about his personal controversies.

This week, Republicans responded to the latest chapter in Trump’s saga by rationalizing his actions of those of someone who didn’t know any better, carefully rebuking his Cohen-induced reactions while praising his policies, or putting full faith in his explanations — even as they’ve changed over time.

Or — as Risch showed — by not answering the question altogether.

“Oh, I don’t know anything about that,” Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) said, as a reporter tried to ask him about Trump denying that he directed Cohen to pay women in exchange for keeping quiet about their sexual encounters with the now-president. “I don’t know anything except what I hear and read about all that.”

“Stop,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said. “I have not heard what you told me he said. Until I read, actually read, what the president said, I won’t comment on it.”

“Honestly, I don’t think that’s a fair question,” said Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.), when asked if he believed Trump’s explanation. “I wasn’t there. I don’t have any way of assessing that.” 

Like everyone else, Senate Republicans who have been protection Trump, are waiting to see just how bad the Muller bombshell will be when it hits, and if that doesn't finish Trump off, the Southern District of New York state investigation into the Trump Organization and its shady business will.  Once the indictments start piling up, the dam may actually break.

The one thing you can count on is that Senate Republicans will jump ship if they determine saving Trump is a lost cause.  Cowardice cuts both ways once the cowards find something scarier to be terrified of.  When they become more worried about the general electorate than the GOP base, that's the second the Trump regime ends.

Whether or not we get to that point depends on the fallout.  The Senate GOP saw their House colleagues get scorched.  They know what awaits them in 2020.  And there's evidence now that the events of the last two weeks have pushed voters to the point where they no longer believe Trump about Russia.

Six in 10 Americans say President Donald Trump has been untruthful about the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, while half of the country says the investigation has given them doubts about Trump’s presidency, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The survey, conducted a month after the results of November’s midterm elections, also finds more Americans want congressional Democrats — rather than Trump or congressional Republicans — to take the lead role in setting policy for the country.

And just 10 percent of respondents say that the president has gotten the message for a change in direction from the midterms — when the GOP lost control of the U.S. House of Representatives but kept its majority in the U.S. Senate — and that he’s making the necessary adjustments.

“The dam has not burst on Donald Trump,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, whose firm conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “But this survey suggests all the structural cracks [that exist] in the dam.” 

Only a third of Americans believe Trump is being honest on Russia now, with 62% saying Trump is a liar, and that's up six points since August. The bigger problem is how many Americans actually care about that, and the answer still remains "not nearly enough."   We'll see if the dam breaks or not.

But for the first time in two years, I have slight hope that it will.

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