I believe that the Republican Party is stuck in a cycle in which their desire to protect their own hindquarters and cushy “jobs” has lead to a self-imposed isolation from the very American Citizens who were responsible for their having those cushy “jobs” in the first place. – kingsjester, 12/13/16
Politico.com reports that
Sweeping losses in Tuesday’s elections have exacerbated a growing rift inside the GOP over whether the party’s candidates should embrace President Donald Trump in next year’s midterms — or make a clean break.
With Trump’s approval ratings cratering in swing states across the country, some senior party strategists are imploring lawmakers to abandon the president. Others argue that shunning Trump and his populist base is simply out of the question and that anything other than a full embrace of the president would spell electoral disaster.
In the Virginia gubernatorial race, Republican Ed Gillespie tried to have it both ways — with disastrous consequences. Gillespie, who privately agonized about the degree to which Trump should be involved in the contest, refused to campaign with the president. But at the same time, he trumpeted Trump’s culture war issues in ads.
White House advisers spent Wednesday combing through the election results and fuming about Gillespie’s have-it-both-ways approach. By keeping Trump at arm’s length, they said, Gillespie squandered an opportunity to motivate conservatives whose support he needed.
“He wouldn’t embrace the president, so the base that came out to vote for the president and that voted for me, didn’t come out,” said Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, a Trump campaign official who nearly defeated Gillespie in the June GOP primary. “The Trump-Stewart base just didn’t turn out.”
Others, however, said Gillespie — an establishment-minded former Beltway lobbyist who never felt entirely at ease highlighting populist issues — went too far in aligning himself with the president. By vowing to preserve the state’s Confederate monuments and to combat MS-13 gang violence, they argued, the candidate fired up Democrats in the state’s population centers and liberal northern suburbs.
“Be yourself and run your own campaign,” said GOP strategist John Weaver, a veteran of presidential campaigns. “Don’t embrace this nationalist approach.”
Trump, he added, “is a tremendous drag in a general election.”
Republicans running down-ballot have long grappled with how to deal with the president. But as Trump’s poll numbers wane and the midterm season grows closer, the debate has taken on greater urgency. While the president’s approval ratings have plummeted in moderate and liberal areas, his core base of supporters has remained steadfast.
The dilemma is expected to be a major topic of discussion next week at the Republican Governors Association annual meeting in Austin, Texas. And top House GOP campaign strategists, trying to preserve their now-tenuous majority, said they wanted to look more deeply into the Virginia results before drawing conclusions.
“It’s quite a predicament,” said Tony Fabrizio, a longtime GOP pollster who worked on the Trump campaign.
“You can’t be the anti-Trump guy in the primary. But you don’t want to be the 100-percent-for-Trump guy in the general,” he added. “When you go to one extreme or the other, that’s when you fall short.”
Gillespie spent months trying to perform a balancing act. He emerged from the June primary deeply frustrated, after Trump supporters nearly powered Stewart to an upset victory. Gillespie vented about his political operation and even considered a staff shakeup. The former national party chairman sketched out several possible paths forward, including a full-on embrace of the president.
But Gillespie — who in 2006 penned an op-ed in which he warned the GOP against becoming an “anti-immigration party” — never felt truly comfortable running under the Trump banner, people close to the campaign said. So he adopted a moderated approach, airing commercials that spotlighted Trump-centric issues like MS-13 and the Confederate monuments, while avoiding attaching himself to the president personally.
Gillespie’s team deliberated extensively about whether to bring in Trump for a campaign event in conservative southwest Virginia. The candidate ended up having Vice President Mike Pence hold a campaign rally and fundraiser for him. Gillespie never made a hard ask for the commander-in-chief.
In the end, Gillespie released about $500,000 worth of mailers highlighting the president’s endorsement of him. Trump also sent a batch of tweets highlighting his support. On Monday evening and then on Election Day, Trump released a robocall bashing Democratic candidate Ralph Northam. One wave of the calls was directed to southwestern Virginia.
White House officials were dismayed by Gillespie’s approach, convinced that he ultimately got the worst of both worlds — ginning up liberal turnout without ever fully motivating Trump’s core supporters.
“GOP candidates cannot keep Trump at arm’s length right up until the end and then expect to energize the base,” said conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham, an outspoken Trump backer. “It seems inauthentic because it is.”
Stewart, for his part, said he reached out to Gillespie multiple times after the primary in hopes of persuading him to run a more pro-Trump campaign. But he said Gillespie never expressed much interest.
Tying oneself to Trump, however, may do little to stem a rising tide of liberal enthusiasm. As they pored over voter figures on Wednesday, Gillespie’s strategists conceded they had been caught off guard by the wave of Democratic turnout.
“If you’re in a district or state with a high percentage of college-educated white voters, you should be quaking in your boots right now,” said Phil Cox, a Gillespie adviser and former executive director of the Republican Governors Association.
He noted that Democrats far outperformed turnout expectations in an off-year election.
As to the difficult question of whether Republicans should align themselves with the president, “There will be a political market test,” Cox said. “Candidates will determine the outcome.”
These Vichy Republicans do understand that Trump won with 46% of the vote and according to RasmussenReports,com , his popularity is polling at 42%, don’t they?
That’s hardly “cratering”.
Our economy has come roaring back under the 45th President.
The Unemployment Rate is down to a percentage not seen since 2000.
Stocks are through the roof.
Corporations are moving back to America.
Consumer Confidence is up.
So is the confidence of our allies.
Trump was called the “Leader of the World” by one of the Foreign Dignitaries on his ongoing 11-Day Asia Trip.
And this is the guy whom they want to distance themselves from?
Do the Vichy Republicans want to be the Democrats’ whipping boy for the next millennium?
What slays me about the Establishment Republicans is that they seem to be quite content, in their moderately Left-leaning stupor, even after the mandate that We The People delivered to them on November 8th, 2016, to be totally oblivious and tone-deaf of their Base, average hard-working middle-class Americans like you and me.
You know, the people who actually put them into office.
They keep on making bad choices.
Spineless Vichy Republicans have been a barrier to Republican victory for as long as I can remember. Like Quakers, Establishment Republicans seem to believe that passive resistance and reaching out to their sworn enemies as “friends”, is the way to defeat those who oppose you.
It was especially bad during Obama’s reign, as the House and Senate Republican Leadership apparently cherished their friendship with the Democrats more than they did the wishes of the folks back home. Yes, they talked a good game, but so did Jon Lovitz in those “Liar Sketches” during the old days of Saturday Night Live, back when they were actually funny.
Yeah, my wife Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket!
And now, in the 11th month of the first year of Trump’s Presidency, Congress remains oblivious to the anger of average Americans, living here in the Heartland, during the 2016 President Election, which gave them control of Capitol Hill.
And that is why they lost those Gubernatorial Elections on Tuesday.
In 1975, Ronald Wilson Reagan gave a speech which sums up our present situation and average Americans’ visceral disdain for the Professional Politicians, who value the Washingtonian Status Quo, above US.
Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness.
I don ‘t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, “We must broaden the base of our party” — when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.
It was a feeling that there was not a sufficient difference now between the parties that kept a majority of the voters away from the polls. When have we ever advocated a closed-door policy? Who has ever been barred from participating?
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?
…A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.
I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.
Note to the GOP Elite:
You guys are now facing the same situation that faced Victor von Frankenstein, in the classic movie: You have created this “monster”.
…a pi$$ed-off base who voted for an “outsider”, a non-professional politician talking directly to the people…
And, you have lost control.
Your only hope is to catch this lighting in a bottle and to ride this lightning bolt all the way through Donald J. Trump’s tenure as President of the United States of America, supporting him and passing legislation in accordance with the wishes of the American Voters who made him the “Leader of your Political Party”.
Your phony baloney jobs are at stake.
If you do not straighten up and perform your job under the mandate which we gave you on November 8, 2016, those jobs which you have become so comfortable in, can and will be taken away in the next Midterm Elections, as demonstrated on Tuesday Night.
The American People replaced a Professional Politician who screwed up the country with a Citizen Statesman.
You are not exempt from the same fate.
Until He Comes,