Thursday, February 11, 2021

Last Call For Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

When I say that further domestic terrorism attacks against Democrats and Republican "traitors" by violent Trump cutists are not only likely but inevitable, this new AEI poll is exactly why I believe that.

The mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol may have been a fringe group of extremists, but politically motivated violence has the support of a significant share of the U.S. public, according to a new survey by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

The survey found that nearly three in 10 Americans, including 39% of Republicans, agreed that, "If elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves, even if it requires violent actions."

That result was "a really dramatic finding," says Daniel Cox, director of the AEI Survey Center on American Life. "I think any time you have a significant number of the public saying use of force can be justified in our political system, that's pretty scary."

The survey found stark divisions between Republicans and Democrats on the 2020 presidential election, with two out of three Republicans saying President Biden was not legitimately elected, while 98% of Democrats and 73% of independents acknowledged Biden's victory.

The level of distrust among Republicans evident in the survey was such that about eight in 10 said the current political system is "stacked against conservatives and people with traditional values." A majority agreed with the statement, "The traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it."

The survey found that to be a minority sentiment — two out of three Americans overall rejected the use of violence in pursuit of political ends – and Cox emphasized that the finding reflected "attitudes and beliefs" rather than a disposition to do something.

"If I believe something, I may act on it, and I may not," Cox says. "We shouldn't run out and say, 'Oh, my goodness, 40% of Republicans are going to attack the Capitol,' But under the right circumstances, if you have this worldview, then you are more inclined to act in a certain way if you are presented with that option."

No, not all 40% of Republicans are going to pick up Ar-15s and try to kill Democrats.

But some of them will resort to violence.

We know this because they have before.

On top of all that, we know exactly where these terrorists are being radicalized: online, and at American churches.

The AEI survey found that partisan divisions were also evident along religious lines. About three in five white evangelicals told the pollsters that Biden was not legitimately elected, that it was not accurate to say former President Donald Trump encouraged the attack on the Capitol, and that a Biden presidency now has them feeling disappointed, angry or frightened.

On all those questions, Cox says, white evangelicals are "politically quite distinct." Majorities of white mainline Protestants, Black Protestants, Catholics, followers of non-Christian religions and the religiously unaffiliated all viewed Biden's victory as legitimate.

The AEI survey found that white evangelicals were especially prone to subscribe to the QAnon movement's conspiracy theories. Twenty-seven percent said it was "mostly" or "completely" accurate to say Trump "has been secretly fighting a group of child sex traffickers that include prominent Democrats and Hollywood elites." That share was higher than for any other faith group and more than double the support for QAnon beliefs evident among Black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics and non-Christians.

"As with a lot of questions in the survey, white evangelicals stand out in terms of their belief in conspiracy theories and the idea that violence can be necessary," Cox says. "They're far more likely to embrace all these different conspiracies."

A quarter of white evangelicals believe in QAnon conspiracy theories.


The violence is guaranteed, and once Trump reemerges on the news scene like the political and societal herpes virus he is, the cultists will follow his lead and another attack is preordained. More than anything else, I fear a Trump indictment will absolutely lead to massive, massive violence.

The question is do we do the right thing anyway?

Operation Redline, 2022 Edition

Republicans are exceedingly confident that they will have the House back in GOP hands two years from now, and frankly there's very little to make me think Nancy Pelosi will be able to keep her gavel with just five seats to spare against the triple threat of Republicans being the out-of-power party, 2022 being a midterm cycle, and Republicans having control in a majority of states over redistricting.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm for House Republicans, announced Wednesday morning the 47 districts it is targeting as pickup opportunities in the 2022 midterms.

The group, led by Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, is targeting many of the same districts it did in 2020, as well as the exurban New York City 18th Congressional District, home to new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who won reelection by about 12 points in 2020.

Midterms are widely considered a prime opportunity for the party not in the White House, and Republicans are setting their sights on some of the nation’s most competitive districts. In light of the 2020 Census and redistricting, Republican prospects for regaining control of the House appear even brighter, as the GOP controls about two-thirds of the states’ redistricting processes, according to FiveThirtyEight.

In 2018, Democrats managed a 40-seat gain as a part of the referendum vote against the Trump administration.

The NRCC indicated it was going to stick to its 2020 playbook after the GOP made massive cuts into the Democratic majority, flipping 15 seats from blue to red and reducing the Democratic control to just a handful of votes.

“We are just a few weeks into the Biden Administration and Americans are already seeing the job-killing initiatives House Democrats support,” said NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer in a press release accompanying the target districts.

“House Republicans start the cycle just five seats short of a majority and are prepared to build on our 2020 successes to deliver a lasting Republican majority in the House. We will stay laser-focused on recruiting talented and diverse candidates, aggressively highlighting Democrats’ socialist agenda and raising enough resources to win,” Emmer added.

The NRCC is targeting Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the Atlanta suburbs, which is now represented by Democrat Carolyn Bordeaux. The seat was the only competitive pickup Democrats had in 2020, notwithstanding two North Carolina districts that were redrawn heavily in Democratic favor following court-ordered redistricting.

Yeah you read that right, Democrats picked up a grand total of one competitive district, and lost 15 others from 2018, and that's with Trump being hung around the necks of the GOP. Hell, Republicans will probably be able to redistrict out a dozen Democrats without having to actually run in anything close to being competitive.

In other words, yes, there's the very real possibility that Dems to lose the House by dozens, if not scores, or House seats. If they couldn't gain seats against Trump, the headwinds may just be too strong come November 2022.

We'll see, but Sean Patrick Mahoney has the defense of a lifetime to coordinate, and I don't think anyone's up to the job, let alone Mahoney.

It's About Suppression, Con't

If you're still wondering why Republicans are turning back to mass voter suppression of Black and brown votes in red states they control, it's because the difference between the Democrats controlling the federal government and the Trump regime gaining complete and total control of the country was only a matter of 90,000 votes in the right districts and states.

The 2020 election was bad for Republicans, full stop. For the first time since 1932, a president came into office with both chambers of Congress under his party’s control, and lost both of them and reelection. Democrats also have unified control of all three levers of power for the first time in a decade.

That said, post-election analysis often overstates just how dire the situation is for a political party. And that’s certainly the case for Republicans and 2020, as they confront their post-Trump reality.

The reality, though, is far from that. In fact, Republicans came, at most, 43,000 votes from winning each of the three levers of power. And that will surely temper any move toward drastic corrective action vis-a-vis former president Donald Trump.

We got the final results from the last outstanding House race on Monday, with former congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R) returning to Congress after defeating Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) in New York by 109 votes. The result means the House stands at 222 to 213 in favor of the Democrats. (These numbers include three vacancies for which the seats are very unlikely to change hands.)

The Democrats’ narrow retention of the House is surely one of the biggest surprises of 2020. In an election in which most analysts expected the Democrats to gain seats, they wound up losing 14, including virtually all of the “toss-ups.” While the GOP lost the presidential race and control of the Senate, we very nearly had a much different outcome.

While Democrat Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than four points and the electoral college 306 to 232, the result was much closer to flipping than that would suggest. Biden won the three decisive states — Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin — by 0.6 percentage points or less, which was similar to Trump’s 2016 victory. If you flip fewer than 43,000 votes across those three states, the electoral college is tied 269 to 269. In that case, Trump would probably have won, given that the race would be decided by one vote for each House delegation, of which Republicans control more.

There are several reasons to argue that Biden has a mandate, including that he won more eligible voters than any candidate in half a century and won the highest percentage for any challenger to an incumbent president since 1932. But the fact remains that we weren’t that far away from a second Trump term.

The number of votes to flip the result was similar in the House. As the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman noted in light of Tenney’s win, fewer than 32,000 votes could have flipped the five seats that Republicans would have needed to win the House majority — Illinois’s 17th District, Iowa’s 3rd, New Jersey’s 7th, Texas’s 15th and Virginia’s 7th.

Technically, this would have required a bigger shift, because Texas’s 15th was decided by nearly 3 percentage points in a low-turnout district. But even just looking at percentages, Republicans could have flipped the House by moving five districts just 2.2 percentage points to the right.

The closest of all, of course, was the Senate. Democrats won effective control of the chamber by getting to a 50-50 split and having Vice President Harris break the tie. But even fewer votes could have led to a different result.

While incumbent David Perdue (R-Ga.) lost the closest Senate race in a runoff last month with now-Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) by about 55,000 votes, he previously came very close to avoiding the runoff altogether. On Election Day, he took 49.7 percent of the vote — fewer than 14,000 votes from winning the race outright. That would have foreclosed any chance Democrats had at winning the Senate.

So, 43,000 votes for president, 32,000 votes for the House and 14,000 votes for the Senate. Shifts of 0.6 percent for president, 2.2 percent for the House, and 0.3 percent for the Senate.
That's it.
89,000 votes going the other direction.
Less than 0.06% of the total votes cast.

That's how close we came to becoming a completely authoritarian regime with no going back.

Just a bit more suppression next time and we lose everything.


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