Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Things are so bad in America right now that Trump is actually starting to lose his base in states like California, and that's only making things worse for Republicans down the ballot. The fever-bright, "own the libs!" faithful in the Golden State -- the kind of people so fanatical in their Trump support that they back him in a state like California -- are becoming less faithful by the day.

President Trump’s support among Republicans and other conservative voters has begun to erode amid the continued coronavirus pandemic and its associated economic havoc, a new poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies shows.
The poll shows Trump far behind Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in California. That’s no surprise — even at his strongest Trump was unlikely ever to be competitive in California, a heavily Democratic state.

What is notable, however, is the size of the gap and the degree to which approval of Trump’s work as president has declined among groups that until now have supported him.

Biden leads Trump in California by 39 percentage points, 67% to 28%, the poll found. That’s 9 points larger than the margin by which Hillary Clinton beat Trump statewide in 2016 — a record at the time. And the share of Californians who approve of Trump’s performance in office, which has held steady in the mid-to-low 30% range for nearly his entire tenure, has now ticked downward to just 29%.

That’s consistent with other polls nationally and in battleground states that show a nationwide tide lifting Biden, swelling his margin in states like California, moving him solidly ahead in close-fought states like Pennsylvania and Michigan and making him potentially competitive in states that Trump won more handily last time, such as Texas and Georgia.

“There was a question of whether his support was already so low in the state that it couldn’t go lower,” said Berkeley political scientist Eric Schickler, co-director of the Institute of Governmental Studies. The poll “shows the answer is no.”

Aides to both candidates believe the biggest factor in Trump’s decline is voters’ fear of the coronavirus and belief that the administration has botched its handling of the pandemic. The poll provides further evidence of that.

About two-thirds of the state’s voters see the health threat from the coronavirus getting worse. They back Biden 84% to 11%. By contrast, about 1 in 8 say the health threat is getting less serious; they back Trump 87% to 10%. About 1 in 5 voters say the threat from the virus is about the same as it’s been; they’re closely divided.

Imagine being in California and thinking Trump is the answer, imagine how God-awful your morality system there is, now imagine that Trump has finally broken you.

Yes, I keep telling people there are more registered Republicans in California than adults in about 42 of the 50 states, and they are a special breed of reality-deniers, but they're starting to crack.

You don't get more "hardcore Trump supporter" than his California contingent.

Even they are starting to give.

Trump Goes Viral, Con't

An increasingly desperate Trump White House is about to wreck COVID-19 relief package negotiations with a series of executive orders that will make both Democrats and Republicans in Congress furious and could capsize any real bill until after Labor Day.

The White House is considering a trio of executive orders aimed at shaking up coronavirus relief negotiations with Democrats, a sign of frustration within the Trump administration at the sluggish pace of the talks with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The three actions under consideration would delay the collection of federal payroll taxes, reinstitute an expired eviction moratorium, and in the riskiest gambit of them all, extend enhanced federal unemployment benefits using unspent money already appropriated by Congress.

This plan is the brainchild of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and President Donald Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he was reviewing his options for unilateral action but hadn't made any decisions to move forward yet.

"We're looking at it," Trump said at a press briefing. "Were also looking at various other things that I'm allowed to do under the system. Such as the payroll tax suspension."

Following another session with Pelosi and Schumer, Meadows called it "the most productive meeting we've had yet," and added that Trump wouldn't issue any executive orders if the negotiations with Democratic leaders are moving toward a conclusion.

"Really right now, we're continuing to consider all of the options that we have before us, but as long as we're making substantial progress in our negotiations, we're hopeful that will provide the fruit necessary to bring it to a close," Meadows told reporters after the meeting with Pelosi and Schumer.

The two Democratic leaders — who have refused to yield much ground in the discussions so far — suggested there had been positive development during Tuesday's closed-door talks.

"They made some concessions, which we appreciated. We made some concessions, which they appreciated," Schumer said. "But we're still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we're continuing to go at it."

What this says to me is if Mitch doesn't have a bill by the end of the week and August recess, the Trump regime will start doing things by executive order.  A moratorium on federal evictions in federal Section 8 housing will definitely help, as will restoring some unemployment benefit money, but the payroll tax moratorium will only blow a hole in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and everyone knows it.

The good news is Mitch knows he's going to have to give in to Democrats at this point.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell conceded Tuesday that he will lack Republican support to pass further coronavirus aid and instead will rely on Democrats to fashion a deal with the White House.

"It's not going to produce a kumbaya moment," McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters in the Capitol. "But the American people in the end need help."

Negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House over another round of aid that could top $1 trillion continue to crawl forward, with sticking points like whether to extend the expanded unemployment benefits that expired last month.

Democrats are eager to restore the jobless payments, but Republicans have remained divided over how large they should be, as well as the level of deficit spending the federal government should undertake to finance them.

"If you're looking for total consensus among Republican senators, you're not going to find it," McConnell said after a lunch meeting with Republican senators. "We do have division about what to do."

But both Republicans and Democrats are going to like and hate the results if Mark Meadows gets his way, and that's the point.  Meadows isn't quite as blockheaded as his boss is.  It's a race now to see whether or not a package can be done before Mitch leaves town and Trump blows everything up.

The clock is ticking.

Feet Of Clay, Defeated

Ten-term St. Louis Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay has been knocked out by Ferguson, Missouri activist and nurse Cori Bush in last night's Democratic primary.

Cori Bush, a onetime homeless woman who led protests following a white police officer’s fatal shooting of a Black 18-year-old in Ferguson, ousted longtime Rep. William Lacy Clay Tuesday in Missouri’s Democratic primary, ending a political dynasty that has spanned more than a half-century.

Bush’s victory came in a rematch of 2018, when she failed to capitalize on a national Democratic wave that favored political newcomers such as Bush’s friend, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

But this time around, Bush’s supporters said protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis and outrage over racial injustice finally pushed her over the edge.

An emotional Bush, speaking to supporters while wearing a mask, said few people expected her to win.

“They counted us out,” she said. “They called me — I’m just the protester, I’m just the activist with no name, no title and no real money. That’s all they said that I was. But St. Louis showed up today.”

Bush’s campaign spokeswoman, Keenan Korth, said voters in the district were “galvanized.”

“They’re ready to turn the page on decades of failed leadership,” Korth said.

Bush, 44, also had backing from political action committee Justice Democrats and Fight Corporate Monopolies this election. She campaigned for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during his presidential bid.

Bush’s primary win essentially guarantees her a seat in Congress representing the heavily Democratic St. Louis area. Missouri’s 1st Congressional District has been represented by Clay or his father for a half-century. Bill Clay served 32 years before retiring in 2000. William Lacy Clay, 64, was elected that year.

Clay didn’t face a serious challenger until Bush. This year, he ran on his decades-long record in Congress.

Clay ran on his record and on support from the Congressional Black Caucus. Clay's father Bill founded the CBC more than 50 years ago when he held the seat and Clay had the open support of current CBC leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Clay figured he had this in the bag, he beat Bush by 20 points in 2018. He had every reason to believe his legacy would secure him another term.

Precisely none of that was able to save his political career in the George Floyd era of Black Lives Matter. Not only did Clay lose, he didn't even get more than 45.5% of the vote, as a third candidate, Kat Bruckner, got 6%. Even with Bruckner splitting the anti-Clay vote, it wasn't enough. Bush won with 48.6%.

Oh, and Missourians approves a ballot measure for expanded Medicare 53-47%. You'd better believe that helped Bush too.

All legacies come to a close.

Here endeth the lesson.


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