Wednesday, January 17, 2018

GOP Insiders Brace for a 2018 Trumpocalypse

With the news that the Trump/Pence regime plans to issue new rules that would allow heath care providers to refuse to treat LGBT individuals, perform abortions or withhold treatment from anyone who offends their religious sensibilities (see the subsequent post to this one), it is more urgent than ever that Democrats, Millennials, minorities and, of course, LGBT citizens mobilize to deal Republicans a bloodbath defeat in the 2018 midterm elections.   Thankfully, indications are that social and other forces are coming together to make that needed electoral blood bath a reality.  A piece in Vanity Fair looks at the fear gripping veteran GOP operatives in the run up to November.  Frighteningly, Der Trumpenf├╝hrer cited the 2002 midterms and suggested that a terror attack might help GOP prospects - a GOP equivalent to the Reichstag fire that Hitler used to assume dictatorial powers.   Here are highlights from Vanity Fair:
It doesn’t take a stable genius to comprehend the trouble that Republicans find themselves in 10 months before President Donald Trump’s first midterm election. Ignore the optimistic bromides about “fake news,” “fake polls,” and the political savior of a federal tax overhaul that Trump, and the Republican-controlled Congress, delivered late last year. . . . But veteran Republican operatives, scrambling to help the party survive the gathering storm, know better. The Democratic base is apoplectic and energized. The number of Republican lawmakers who are opting to retire, rather than walk into the electoral buzzsaw, is matched only by the surge of Democratic candidates running in suddenly competitive districts. And Trump, despite the occasional good news cycle, has become no less toxic.
“It’s bad,” a senior Republican strategist involved in a 2018 campaign told me flatly. “The environment is really bad. It’s challenging and it could get worse.”
Each of the dozen or so Republican strategists I spoke to offered a similar assessment. A Democratic base that couldn’t be bothered to show up to the polls for Hillary Clinton just 14 months ago is now supercharged. And a critical sliver of the traditional Republican coalition—the college-educated, upscale suburbanites, especially women—is disgusted with Trump despite the booming economy.
But as a senior Republican congressman told me during a recent conversation: with this president, Republicans have to navigate “political crosswinds.” Do Republicans run with Trump or against him? Do they run as traditional Republicans or Trump Republicans? How should Republicans on the 2018 ballot talk to all of the various voting blocs of G.O.P. voters, never mind swing voters and Independents, especially in instances where they have to hug a Trump-friendly primary electorate while appealing to a Trump-hostile crowd in the general election? “We’re not prepared,” the Republican congressman said. . . . . “If you don’t succeed in selling the middle-class tax cut, then the only villain is Trump.”
Republicans, meanwhile, are leaning on Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California to keep the blue tide at bay. . . . . Democrats are dismissive, noting that anti-Pelosi messaging failed in 2006, during President George W. Bush’s second midterm, in which they won control of Congress for the first time in a dozen years.
And this year has all the hallmarks of a wave against the president and the ruling party. The G.O.P. didn’t just blow the gubernatorial race in purple Virginia, on its own not necessarily a death knell. The party lost 15 state legislative contests, many in seats gerrymandered for G.O.P. control, and nearly control of the legislature. The Republicans also saw their power upended in historically red suburban counties outside of Philadelphia and New York City.
Those are the warning signs before accounting for Trump and his Twitter feed, and why many Republican strategists are resigned to the crash that’s coming, absent an intervening event, like a war or something unexpected that would rally the country behind the president. All that’s left to do is mitigate the damage. “It’s impossible to navigate Trump,” a Republican consultant said. “And it’s all about him.”

Democrats need to replicate the Northam grassroots organizing effort in Virginia in 2017 and Millennials - who will suffer the most from GOP/Trump/Pence policies long term - minorities and LGBT citizens mobilize to get people registered to vote and to the polls in November to deal Republicans an electoral bloodbath defeat in the 2018 midterm elections. 

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