Beneath The Hood Of Trump’s Support Base
Trump’s victory in 2016 came on the back of a surge in voter turnout among white Americans without a college degree, a group he won by better than a 2-1 margin over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump won 6.5 million more voters over the age of 45, despite losing the national popular vote by almost three million.
But that “demographic blowback” which saw some older Americans cast a vote for the first time since Ronald Reagan was on the ballot, was never a long-term strategy they are literally dying off.
But they aren’t dead yet, and neither is Trump’s support base.
AP: Julio Cortez
A CNBC poll last week found 89 per cent of voters without a college degree and 74 per cent of Republicans want Trump to stay active in politics in some way. Almost half of Republicans want Trump to remain head of their party, while 11 per cent want him to break away and start his own party. It’s that final figure that probably worries Republicans more than any other.
Trump has already flirted with the idea of starting his own “Patriot Party” to rival both Republicans and Democrats, and provide a vehicle for a potential third presidential campaign in 2024.
The only time a former president tried to return to office under the banner of a new party, Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, he consigned his former Republican Party to a distant third place.
Republican Voters Arent Clamoring For Changes
It might seem odd that were only now turning our attention to Republican voters, who may seem like the most important factor in keeping the party from shifting gears. Im not so sure. We have a lot of evidence that voters tend to follow the cues of political elites . In other words, I suspect that if GOP elites, from national elected leaders to Fox News to local activists, had collectively broken with Trump and Trumpism after the Capitol riot, the percentage of rank-and-file Republican voters ready for the party to go in a new direction would have grown.;
Party elites arent completely unresponsive to popular will, of course. If, for some reason, a majority of Republican voters were positively clamoring for a new direction, perhaps elites would respond. But thats not happening. Instead, polls suggest rank-and-file Republican voters seem fairly averse to major changes to the GOP, particularly a real repudiation of Trump.
Opinionrep Justin Amash’s Brave Decision To Leave The Gop Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
So who will stand up now and help take the Republican Party in a new direction? Election season cannot go into perpetuity, at some point we must govern. Someone must lead.
I am not naive, nor do I believe that the majority of our political leaders have the intelligence or moral compass to act with the courage of Abraham Lincoln. Expecting an overnight solution to a longterm problem is a recipe for failure. And I realize that the same people who mocked me for believing that Republicans and Democrats could work together before, will likely mock me once again for believing that all hope is not lost.
I realize that the same people who mocked me for believing that Republicans and Democrats could work together before, will likely mock me once again for believing that all hope is not lost.
But what other choice do we have? Our democracy requires compromise and courage to meet the challenges that we face. We cannot afford to continue down the broken roads that have led us to gridlock. We need each other.
Like it or not, Democrats need a strong Republican Party to act a a counterweight in our deliberative process. The Framers fully intended for progress to be incremental, not overnight or all at once. A democracy absent diversity is not a democracy. This symbiotic relationship may not be pretty and certainly may not always be successful, but it is necessary to the framework that makes us a shining star on a hill.
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Trump Is Still A Force In The Party
After the 2012 elections, prominent Republicans sharply criticized Mitt Romney and his campaign. Democrats did the same to Hillary Clinton after 2016 and sometimes included former President Barack Obama in their criticisms, too. For a political party to change direction, it nearly always has to distance itself from past leaders.;
Or put another way: For there to be an autopsy, there has to be a dead body.
They’ll Stand By Their Man Even When Doing So Is Bad For Democracy
Former President Trump will once again make the kind of history you do not want your name associated with on Tuesday when his second impeachment trial commences in the U.S. Senate. As with Trump’s first trial , the outcome is not in doubt. But just because we know how it will end doesn’t mean the trial won’t be gripping. Members of Congress narrating their terrifying Insurrection Day ordeals will be a riveting spectacle. And just as we did in the House last month, Americans will get a quick and dirty head count of how many Republicans value democracy itself more than their own political fates.
Don’t get your hopes up on that score. While the political and evidentiary cases for GOP senators to convict Trump and bar him from ever holding federal office again are straightforward, the path to 67 votes is not. Instead, viewers should brace themselves for torturous arguments about how it is unconstitutional to impeach a former president, and some extremely “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” galaxy logic about how Trump did not incite the crowd to insurrection because he did not literally say the words “please go and lay violent siege to our national legislature.” Gathering more than one Republican in a room these days is a plain invitation to this kind of sophistry.
That they still refuse to do so says more about them than it does about Trump.
Why The Gop Congress Will Stop Trump From Going Too Far
The coming resistance from Republican lawmakers who hate Trump, fear executive overreachor both.
This is a sneak preview;of the upcoming January/February 2017 issue of the Washington Monthly.
Could it happen here? Could a democratically elected leader come to rule us as an autocrat? Citizens of a free society can never lose sight of this question, andhowever complacent many of us have becomethe election of Donald Trump has shoved it back out to center stage.
A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government, James Madison observed in The Federalist Papers, but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. These precautions are the separation of powers and checks and balances, enshrined in the Constitution. Citizens concerned about tyranny from the leaders they have elected must depend on the other branches of government to defend the republic.
In particular, the public must rely on Congress, the branch of government that Madison felt necessarily predominates, given its proximity to the people. Moreover, Article I of the Constitution vests in Congress all legislative Powers herein granted, as well as ample implied powers of oversight, and the power of impeachment should that become necessary. If a strongman government ever takes root in America, it will not be simply because we elected a president determined to establish it, but because Congress acquiesced in his designs.
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Opinion: If Republicans Dont Stand By Trump They Risk Losing Their Base Forever
The Republican Party risks exile for longer than it has endured in the modern era if, in the absence of incontrovertible evidence of actual high crimes and misdemeanors, it deserts President Trump during the campaign to remove him from office. Democrats are pursuing impeachment because they obviously fear that they cannot defeat him at the ballot box in 2020.
The advantage of talking with radio listeners and not merely lecturing readers or tweeting at followers or opponents is that you hear from people who arent among the Manhattan-D.C. media elites who overwhelmingly hate Trump. Cautioning that crowd against confirmation bias is as useless as it was to warn the Obama administration that the nascent Islamic State was not the terrorist . Awkward truths dont do well on the left. But here are some awkward truths:
First, no quid pro quo, much less an illegitimate one, has been proved about Trumps dealings with Ukraine.
Second, quid pro quos have always been a feature of U.S. foreign policy from the long-ago Louisiana Purchase to more recently President Barack Obamas sending the Iranian regime $1.7 billion in cash, which was central to the controversial U.S.-Iran nuclear deal. Quid pro quos are sometimes excellent and obvious, sometimes controversial, sometimes illegal.
That wont fly with half of the country. And that half is watching very closely.
Why Donald Trump Is Republicans’ Worst Nightmare In 2024
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Earlier this week, amid a rambling attack on the validity of the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump said this: “Interesting that today a poll came out indicating I’m far in the lead for the Republican Presidential Primary and the General Election in 2024.”
“Trump is confiding in allies that he intends to run again in 2024 with one contingency: that he still has a good bill of health, according to two sources close to the former president. That means Trump is going to hang over the Republican Party despite its attempts to rebrand during his exile and its blockade of a Trump-centric investigation into January’s insurrection.”“Manhattan prosecutors pursuing a criminal case against former President Donald Trump, his company and its executives have told at least one witness to prepare for grand jury testimony, according to a person familiar with the matter — a signal that the lengthy investigation is moving into an advanced stage.”
House Republicans Meet With Trump To Discuss Overturning Election Results
Trump loyalists are planning a last stand Jan. 6.
Rep. Jody Hice tweeted after the meeting: “The courts refuse to hear the President’s legal case. We’re going to make sure the People can!
12/21/2020 10:10 PM EST
President Donald Trump huddled with a group of congressional Republicans at the White House on Monday, where they strategized over a last-ditch effort to overturn the election results next month, according to several members who attended the meeting.
Rep. Mo Brooks who is spearheading the long-shot push to overturn the election results in Congress organized the trio of White House meetings, which lasted over three hours and included roughly a dozen lawmakers. The group also met with Vice President Mike Pence, who will be presiding over the joint session of Congress when lawmakers officially certify the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, as well as members of Trumps legal team.
It was a back-and-forth concerning the planning and strategy for January the 6th, Brooks said in a phone interview.
In addition to the dozens of House Republicans who are committed to objecting to the election results, Brooks said there are multiple Senate Republicans who are now receptive to the effort, though he declined to name names. Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville , whom Trump has repeatedly praised on Twitter recently, has said he is considering the idea.
Sen. John Thune , however, told reporters Monday that the House GOPs effort is going down like a shot dog.
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Opinionwe Want To Hear What You Think Please Submit A Letter To The Editor
I have often been called too optimistic and criticized for my faith in my fellow American. Yet I wear those labels with pride, because at the end of the day we have to believe. We have to believe that we are part of something worth fighting for and saving.
Most importantly though, we have to believe in the goodness of each other and our ability to correct course even when it seems impossible. That has been our saving grace throughout history, our ability to turn this social experiment around and live up to our motto out of many, one.
Michael Starr Hopkins is the founding partner of Northern Starr Strategies and served on the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Republicans’ Choice: Stand With Trump Or Risk His Wrath
Trump has already informed at least two GOP lawmakers of his dissatisfaction with their defense of his racist tweets.
Sen. John Cornyn prides himself on winning a large share of the Latino vote in Texas, campaigning in the Asian American community and running ads in three languages. Its a crucial strategy for a Republican in a diverse state and one that is sharply divergent from President Donald Trumps approach.
So as Cornyn seeks reelection next year with Trump on the ballot, hes making sure that he isnt dragged down by the presidents more inflammatory politics, exemplified again this week by his racist tweets telling four liberal Democratic congresswomen to go back to where they came from.
I dont have any trouble speaking to any of my constituents. They dont confuse me with whats happening up here in D.C., said Cornyn, who has gently criticized Trumps battle as a mistake that unified Democrats. I know we are consumed by this here, but it doesnt consume my constituents when I go back home.
Its a common refrain for Republicans trying to deflect a Trump-fueled firestorm and highlights the dilemma that the party will face for months to come.
GOP lawmakers, especially those facing potentially tough reelection bids, need to create independent identities to win over Trump skeptics. But if they break too fiercely with the president, he and his grassroots supporters might turn on them, with disastrous political consequences.
Why So Many Republicans Cling To Trump
Ben Shapiro got part of it right. A toxic mix of status anxiety, persecution fears, and echoes of the Civil War helps explain why they follow Trump into the abyss.
On September 17, 1862, over 10,000 Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or went missing in a single day at the Battle of Antietam. Very few of them came from slave-owning families, so why did they agree to give their lives in defense of human bondage?
I was reminded of this question when I noticed that Politico Playbook had recruited conservative celebrity and author Ben Shapiro;to explain why the vast majority of House Republicans voted not to impeach President Trump on Wednesday for sending a murderous mob after them on January 6. Politico was slammed by liberals for opening its best-known section to a conservative whos been charged with being bigoted and intolerant. But Shapiros explanation of the rallying around Trump during his final days wasnt totally off base. He was on to something about how Republicans see the world.
With Trump leaving office within a week, defending his incitement of an insurrection doesnt seem to be in the long-term self-interest of Republican officeholders.;But the Civil War example helps explain why people sometimes do very self-destructive things out of spite or insecurity.
White supremacy was such a consensus view at the time that Lincoln felt compelled to defend it.
Like the rebels at Antietam, no one wants to die for nothing.
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Where Texas Republicans Stand On Donald Trump
The surfacing of a 2005 clip showing Donald Trump speaking lewdly about women has caused many Republicans to drop their support for their party’s presidential nominee. Here’s how the controversy is unfolding in Texas.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional comments. It was last updated Oct. 13.
The surfacing of a 2005 clip showing Donald Trump speaking lewdly about women has caused many Republicans across the country to drop their support for their party’s presidential nominee. Here’s how the controversy is unfolding among Texas Republicans in Congress and in statewide office:
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Critical Of Trump And Still Not Supporting Him
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus
Has he previously supported Trump?;No. Straus has never offered support for Trump, often saying he is instead focused on down-ballot races as the chairman of the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee.;
Where does he stand now?;Straus said in a statement Oct. 10: “I’ve had serious concerns about the nominee throughout this entire process. My focus remains on supporting Republican legislative candidates in Texas and across the country.”;
What We All Forget About The Political Career Of Bush 41
Clinton-Gore could compete
Bush’s term in office featured a short and highly successful war in the Persian Gulf and a budget deal with Democrats that would eventually reduce the federal deficit and slow the growth of the national debt. But a brief recession cost him in the polls, and a rebellion broke out on the party’s right.
Bush got a primary challenge from Pat Buchanan, a media personality who served as an adviser to Reagan and Nixon. Buchanan assailed the budget deal because it raised taxes. He conjured the spirits of Reagan and Goldwater and questioned Bush’s conservative bona fides. So did Ross Perot, an eccentric billionaire Texan who was running as a self-financing independent.
On top of that, Bush was confronted with the Democrats’ choice of an all-Southern ticket in Clinton of Arkansas and Al Gore of Tennessee. The young Democrats who could talk Southern carried their home states plus Louisiana and Georgia and all the Civil War “border states” . The region was back in play.
Clinton and Gore threw a chill into Republicans. What if Clinton served two terms and gave way to a still-vital, still-Southern Gore who could serve two more? That would be a roadblock in the White House equivalent to Roosevelt’s four wins.