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100 Days of Trump: Democrats bet the House (and Senate) on Trump being unpopular in 2018

Looking ahead to the next round of elections late next year, the first of the so-called “Donald Trump era,” political observers are pondering how the new president will affect the candidates in both parties.

Will Republicans suffer from being too closely identified with what on the surface looks like an unpopular Trump? Likewise, will Democrats benefit from running against the president? The answers are only speculative Trump rallyat this point.

Josh Kraushaar of National Journal reports, “The emerging view among many Democrats is that President Trump is so unpopular, even in many GOP-friendly areas, that their candidates simply need to run against the White House to win back control of Congress. As long as the party promotes charismatic, telegenic recruits, the thinking goes, their ideology won’t matter a whit. Numerous outside groups are popping up, declaring themselves part of the ‘resistance’ against the White House. These partisans argue that GOP obstruction under President Obama helped Republicans win control of the House, Senate, and presidency. Now Democrats feel they can use similarly aggressive tactics and do the same.”

We’ll get to the Republican view in a minute. It seems clear that Democrats, by believing they can run just about anyone who speaks in complete sentences and looks good in a suit (or pantsuit!) against Republicans because of the way the public feels about Trump, are just repeating the same mistakes that led them to electoral disaster last year.

While it’s still fresh in our memories, let’s not forget how the political pundit class worked so diligently to convince themselves and the American public that Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in for the presidency, so much so that the shock and disbelief and non-acceptance of the results of election night are still very much in evidence today.

Nevertheless the media continues to maintain the narrative that Trump is “unpopular,” with most stories about poll results so predictable that a fourth grader could write the headline. How about, “Trump has the lowest favorable rating of any new president after the first month -- ever. Therefore, he’s a loser.”

Well, who cares about polling from February of 2017? Whereas new presidents in the past have been able to count on some period of goodwill from members of the other party, Trump never got one. Instead of accepting Trump’s repeated calls to “work together for the benefit of our country,” Democrats have persisted in stonewalling his cabinet nominees, nitpicking over tweets and maintaining that he’s Russian president Vladimir Putin’s political puppet.

In essence, Democrats are not even giving people room to get used to a new direction in Washington. To them it's all demonize, all the time.

Meanwhile the tiresome protests rage on and the depth of dissatisfaction from liberals has not abated one bit. No wonder they still think Trump is so “unpopular.” It’s a myth.

Let Democrats go on thinking they can run against Trump alone and succeed. It’s impossible to predict the future, but if the past is a guide I’d say they’re dead wrong.

Thankfully Republicans appear to be on a saner track. “The emerging view in Republican circles is that partisan loyalty is strong enough that GOP candidates will be able to win in states and districts where the party holds a numerical advantage. They point to the results of last year’s presidential election, in which congressional Republicans were able to distinguish their own brand from Trump’s blustery populism. They argue that the Democratic Party is so dominated by its left wing that even anti-Trump Republicans will continue to vote for their party’s congressional candidates, so long as they run on a traditional conservative agenda,” Kraushaar wrote.

This analysis is mostly correct. But I would argue the number of “anti-Trump” Republicans is actually pretty small. Even those who aren’t crazy about the president’s atypical behavior still like his policies.

When you get down to it, Trump’s formula for success is really not all that hard to figure out. For years Republicans have been running on issues that enjoy majority public support for the most part. Most people, for example, favor a strong military, border security, no-nonsense law enforcement, religious freedom, energy development, fiscal responsibility, reasonable taxation, protection from excessive government interference in their lives, privacy in their homes and personal property and observance of traditional values (pro-life with perhaps a couple exceptions).

These are winning issues. All of them. Donald Trump has stirred up the leftists’ hornet’s nest in his first month simply because, unlike so many other politicians when they get into office, he’s kept to the themes he ran on during the campaign. Trump has the discipline and work ethic of a businessman and it shows.

In contrast, the Democrats offer fruitless and unsuccessful “resistance” and empty promises to pursue the Russian-Trump conspiracy. Oh yes, and possible impeachment, too.

That’s not much of a platform to run on. No wonder they’re searching for telegenic and articulate candidates to face the Republicans next year. In doing so, they’re urgent about it too.

Reid Wilson of The Hill reports, “Near a nadir of political power, Democrats across the country say their comeback must begin with key races next year — and warn that failure to make big gains in state races in 2018 will doom them to another decade in the minority in Washington.

“More than three-dozen states will choose governors in the next two years, while voters pick state legislative candidates in thousands of districts across the country.

“In the vast majority of cases, those legislators and governors will draw new political boundaries following the 2020 census that will determine just how competitive the battle for the U.S. House of Representatives will be in the following decade.”

Though harder to predict because of the nature of local races and issues, state legislatures and governors are trending Republican because that’s where the country is at ideologically. The Democrats have devolved into a party of liberal coastal and urban elites that have basically nothing to offer people in the interiors.

Gun control? Unrestricted Muslim immigration? Gender neutral bathrooms? Climate change? Seriously? Try telling a farmer he can’t use chemical fertilizers because it might heat up the atmosphere and cause the polar ice cap to melt.

The Democrats have a state representation problem because they’re packed tightly into non-competitive blue districts that because of demographics guarantee a Democrat representative every time. Why else do you think there were 60-something Democrats who felt safe enough to boycott Trump’s inauguration? Those people never have to worry about losing an election, but they’re certainly not doing their party members out in the hinterlands any favors by catering to the extreme fringe.

Democrats are in trouble because they champion issues that a majority of people just don’t care about. And trying to wrap-up all of their appeal in an anti-Trump package isn’t going to help them win next year.

I for one hope they continue to get it wrong…

The stellar immigration news out of Washington makes it feel a lot like Christmas

When Donald Trump announced he was running for president in June of 2015, perhaps his signature theme was restoring some semblance of order to America’s immigration system.

Like with so many of his other key issues it hasn’t taken Trump long to deliver on his get-tough immigration promises. For that reason, some are saying it’s like Christmas every day for those who have begged the federal government to do something about border security for decades.

W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner writes, “…The (Christmas) gift (former Colorado Congressman Tom) Tancredo is referring to came in the form of Department of Homeland Security documents made public Tuesday detailing the Trump administration's plans to increase immigration enforcement both at the border and within the interior of the country.

“According to these documents, the Trump administration is going to expand its enforcement priorities beyond illegal immigrants who have also committed serious crimes. Any criminal conviction could result in deportation, especially for the kind of document fraud that is common among the undocumented.

“The memoranda remind the public that any illegal immigrant is subject to removal. The DHS is ordered to widen the areas of the country where illegal immigrants can be deported swiftly. Immigration authorities ‘no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.’”

Goodbye, sanctuary cities. Hello legal system.

As would be expected, already liberal organizations are claiming Trump’s commitment to enforce the current laws is “mass deportations” and causing panic in “immigrant communities.”

Far from “mass deportations,” the Trump orders merely expand the classes of illegal aliens that may be subject to removal. In other words, if you use false documents to obtain some sort of benefits, you could be on your way out.

Only “undocumented” immigrants need worry, of course. And if they’re panicking, so be it. I have a very hard time believing there are people in this country without legal status who didn’t realize this day would come at some point. It’s not like they all woke up one morning and realized, “Hey, I’m an illegal alien” and started to sweat.

If anything, these unfortunate people have been constantly comforted by politicians in both parties who’ve winked and nodded and cleared the way for millions to stay in America without sanction by making them eligible for federal and state benefits, public schools and even legal privileges such as drivers licenses.

When added to the overtly stupid public protests with Mexican flags and signs that say “No one is illegal,” for years these folks have been given a false sense of security that they could carry on with “normal” lives and not have to worry – much – about being sent back to where they came from without notice.

Enter Donald Trump and his merry band of conservative border enforcers and suddenly the laws of this country become “cruel” when in reality it’s the corrupted (and now deposed) political class that’s misled illegal aliens the whole time. They’re the cruel ones.

Immigration hawks should be feeling pretty good these days. The Christmas analogy works.

But gaining control of border enforcement is just the first step in a long – and hopefully political – process of solving the immigration issue. Until that time, pass the eggnog.

The left’s Astroturf town hall protests will likely backfire on Democrats

With most congressmen of both parties back home in their districts for the week-long recess, many are finding it rough sledding when facing the public in town hall meetings.

The turmoil at these gatherings has seemingly frightened many a wary congressman into hiding, but not Rep. Tom McClintock. The conservative northern Californian held several public forums this week where the organized forces of the left were out in force to try and scare him into backing away from his principles.

David Siders of Politico reports, “The confrontation between McClintock and his constituents, echoed at a smattering of town-hall style events across the country, laid bare the intensity of divisions confronting Republican lawmakers in their home states one month into Donald Trump’s presidency. Democratic activists have seized on the town hall meetings as a rallying point on issues ranging from immigration and the environment to efforts to dismantle Obama’s signature health care law…

“McClintock’s town hall – and another one planned Wednesday in Sonora – followed a raucous town hall meeting in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville earlier this month. Following the event, McClintock took to the House floor to appeal for ‘civil discussion,’ while lamenting what he called a ‘well-organized element that came to disrupt’ his town hall. Republicans more recently criticized advertisements by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action designed to draw attention to Republican town hall meetings, while Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday, ‘The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!’”

Somehow it kind of defeats the purpose of these meetings if all the leftists do is scream and disrupt. If they’re truly interested in the congressman’s answers to their concerns, shouldn’t they show a little respect?

Siders’ article indicated many of McClintock’s protesters came to nudge him over Obamacare. If there was ever a sign that these demonstrations are just an orchestrated plan to make a lot of noise, this is it.

Don’t forget the left constantly insinuated conservatives were stirring up the grassroots during the 2010 rallies against Obamacare, claiming they were merely “AstroTurf” manifestations of wealthy donors who didn’t like Obama.

I think the doubters discovered in November of 2010 that the Tea Party was very real. I doubt there will be a similar reckoning for Republicans in 2018, here’s why:

First, even with paid protesters the left will not be able to sustain this level of popular angst for another 20-plus months.

Next, there have to be at least as many people who are furious at the ill-effects caused by Obamacare as those who might be harmed by its repeal. “Save my federal subsidy” is not going to motivate enough people to come to the polls to cause a wave. You simply cannot buy that many votes. If anything, 2016 proved it.

The worst health insurance cost increases have also yet to hit the market. With the Republicans in Congress almost certain to do something about Obamacare in the near future, I think many people are holding back to see what happens.

Except for the forces of the left who are out to protest Trump and anyone else who might be with him in his mission to “Make America Great Again.” The establishment will not go quietly, if these town hall “protests” are any indication.

We can only hope more Republican congressman have a steel spine like Tom McClintock.

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