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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Contagious winning is a disease every Repub should wish to contract

It’s often said winning is contagious; it’s probably just as often mentioned losing is too...

These polar opposite truisms explain the respective states of mind of the Republican and Democrat parties these days as Congress heads into a key legislative phase that includes another debate on funding the Trump January jobsgovernment and also an attempt to forge some kind of solution to the touchy immigration dilemma.

Coming off of Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address last week the president and Republicans were beaming from ear to ear as they assembled in West Virginia to plot a strategy forward for the remaining months on the 2018 calendar.

Needless to say, the president and his fellow Republicans were in a “winning is contagious” kind of mood at the gathering. Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner reported from the GOP retreat at The Greenbrier last week, “Trump addressed the GOP on the first day that the Republican-passed tax cuts take effect (February 1) and will show up as extra money in the paychecks of most workers. He identified senators and House members who helped pass major agenda items including tax reform and opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, and boldly mused that Republicans might consider a ‘phase two’ on taxes to get people's rates ‘even lower.’…

“’We’ve had a year that was almost unlike any other,’ Trump said. ‘It was a tremendous success.’

“Trump said passing the tax bill culminated a year of other GOP accomplishments that have not registered in the polls, including court appointments and rolling back dozens of Obama-era regulations that critics said were stifling jobs and economic growth.”

Yes, all good things. But another old saying cautions that “you’re only as good as your last game.” Now that the attention-grabbing annual SOTU address is in the rearview mirror it’s time to buckle down, rearm and prepare to do battle with a political enemy that won’t yield an inch without making the majority party earn it. If there was any doubt left about how determined Democrats were to stop Trump it was dispelled by their scowls and catcalls last Tuesday night.

Democrats’ hatred for Trump is so deep they even refused to applaud standing for the national anthem. This is serious.

Judging by the president’s own words it also appears Trump and his congressional leaders have healed any lingering acrimonies from the 2016 election and last summer’s heated intra-party back-and-forth over Congress’s embarrassing impotence in dealing with Obamacare. Seeing as Trump is saving all his Twitter fire for the stonewalling Democrats these days, Republicans must be breathing sighs of relief that the head guy’s negative energy is directed elsewhere.

After a year the parliamentary battle lines have returned to roughly their pre-Trump positions. It’s not exactly as if Trump has joined the establishment – but the GOP forces have coalesced in the cause to defeat the Democrats. Is that a good thing? Time will tell.

Meanwhile rank-and-file Republicans must be relieved the perpetually intense media spotlight is off them now. Trump absorbs nearly all of the media angst like the earth’s atmosphere blocks the sun’s deadly radiation -- members and senators therefore only suffer bad media suntans instead of deadly cancer. No wonder they’re all so happy and “unified” lately.

More than anything the tone of media commentary concerning Trump has changed markedly. Ever since Republicans passed tax reform, instead of unrelenting personal attacks and criticisms at Trump the man, his enemies now go after his legislative proposals. They no longer question his “fitness” for office or his background. Those days are gone. Trump is now accepted and established as president and leader of the Republican Party, brash personal style and all.

In other words, Donald Trump is a standard politician now. Who would’ve guessed?

Could it be “Trumpism” is the GOP’s dominant ideology? Political observer Michael Barone wrote at the Washington Examiner, “[W]hat I think we’re seeing is a reshaping of the character of the two parties, the emergence of Trump-Republican and anti-Trump-Democratic parties from the dried husks of the parties of former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton...

“[W]hile Trump Republicanism has elements of other party traditions, its dominant tone is nationalist. That puts the Democratic Party, now suffused with Trump hatred and a simmering urge to relitigate or overturn the 2016 election, in danger of positioning itself as anti-nationalist. The withering contempt of many coastal Democrats for heartland Americans, who regard patriotism as normal and benign, is probably not a political asset.”

Put another way, the Democrats’ psychological obsession with Trump is a loser…and losing is contagious.

So is winning, which is what Republicans do under Trump. GOP congressman and senators now grasp it’s better to unite and accomplish something than fight among themselves and get nothing. Winning feels good – every human craves it. Trump said so during the campaign and Congress is seeing the benefits of having a successful businessman in the White House.

Republicans know they’ll “win” simply by passing bills and Trump signing them. There may be intense disagreement among conservatives and mushy-moderates in the House and Senate (as it should be), but they’ve reckoned it’s preferable to take somewhat less than everything they want and end up a hero rather than an incompetent goat.

At the West Virginia meeting Trump reiterated any immigration legislation must contain all four of his pillars – or there won’t be any agreement. Does this mean he’s willing to allow DACA to lapse and enforce the existing laws against the so-called “dreamers”? The coming weeks will reveal whether Democrats bow to the pressure of saving their precious constituency.

Losing ain’t fun – and there’s no way Democrats win this one unless Trump folds. Republicans hold all the cards if they’d only use them. Needless to say any success should translate into more wins for the “team” and heading into the 2018 elections that’s a vital consideration.

According to reports, Vice President Mike Pence already has a strategy for this year’s midterms. Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer of Politico reported from The Greenbrier, “Vice President Mike Pence is launching one of the most aggressive campaign strategies in recent White House history: He will hopscotch the country over the next three months, making nearly three dozen stops that could raise tens of millions of dollars for House and Senate Republicans, all while promoting the party's legislative accomplishments.

“If done right, Pence said in an exclusive interview with POLITICO backstage before his speech to the House and Senate GOP here Wednesday night, Republicans could expand their majority in both chambers.

“’Elections are about choices,’ he said in the interview, in which he discussed his midterm outlook in detail for the first time. ‘If we frame that choice, I think we’re going to reelect majorities in the House and the Senate, and I actually think we’re going to, when all the dust settles after 2018, I think we’re going to have more Republicans in Congress in Washington, D.C., than where we started.’”

An optimistic forecast, yes, but it could happen if the chips fall the right way. It’s comforting to know Pence is involved in all-things Trump administration and the former Indiana governor deserves much credit for ensuring the White House sticks to its conservative agenda promises.

Sherman’s and Palmer’s article details Pence’s ambitious travel schedule in the coming months; he will be partnering with Trump-backed public-policy nonprofit group America First Policies to hold public events designed specifically to discuss legislative achievements like the tax bill.

In essence the Trump White House is going on offense to help the GOP’s campaign efforts. Instead of sitting back and letting the Democrats and media crow over how bad the party’s 2018 election prospects look Pence will be nationalizing the issues and steering attention back towards the winning agenda as opposed to petty local personality conflicts.

Americans aren’t stupid; they’ll realize how much is on the line this November – will it be the grim flag-affronting Democrats or the optimistic outlook Trump presented during his SOTU speech? There’re still millions of gallons of swamp left to drain and it won’t be accomplished by putting the Democrats back in power.

Red state Democrats should be held accountable for their “no” votes on the Trump agenda. Pence is correct: if the GOP’s message gets out the party’s prospects for maintaining and even expanding its majorities increases markedly. Imagine what a Senate with 55 or 56 Republican votes might look like – how much would get done?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Democrats won’t let up; they’re still stuck on impeaching Trump. Cristina Marcos and Mike Lillis of The Hill reported, “Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are proving central to efforts to impeach President Trump.

“Black lawmakers say that’s the result of Trump repeatedly stirring racial controversies, from personally attacking two members of the caucus to casting equal blame on white supremacists and counterprotesters for fatal violence in Charlottesville, Va., last summer.

“Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), former head of the CBC, said the bitter feelings originated well before Trump arrived in office, when the real estate mogul began raising doubts about former President Obama’s birthplace — and, by extension, his authority to be president.”

Common sense indicates such efforts won’t get very far; it’s also only a matter of time before black Americans wake up to the reality of what the Democrat party represents to them – namely, losing. Even a small percentage shift of the black vote towards the GOP would make a huge difference in many elections.

Democrats promised relief for black neighborhoods for years but now they’ve moved on to championing the cause of illegal aliens instead. Politically speaking it’s a fight Democrats realize they can’t win – but since when did losing ever bother them?

Many commentators suggest Donald Trump is teaching Republicans how to win; everyone knows they could use a little schooling in the art of closing the deal. If the GOP continues to follow Trump’s lead in passing the MAGA agenda, winning will be contagious indeed.

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The old saying is that when the going gets tough the tough gets going.
Well we see a lot of republicans going, they will leave the Congress and go do something else. We hear many question why they are leaving is it because they believe they will be in the minority next congress. Well if that is the reason then we see who the tough ones are and who the weak ones are.
I heard a reason for this yesterday, that the republicans in the House has put a limit on the chairmanships of the committees, in other words they are term limited. And as it was explained reasonably it is hard to be a back bencher once you were the chairman.
It has also been discussed that it is difficult to find good replacements to fill the open seats. This brings to light what the future would hold if those who support term limits are successful.
The real problem in Washington D.C. is not those who are elected but those who elect. The American citizens who vote with no consistency, vote for a President of one party and the Congress of another party and then wonder why oh why can they not work together.
Vote on personality rather that what a person stands for. If you like what Trump has done so far and then vote the progressive socialist democrat party in control of Congress don't be surprised or angry at the results.