Bias and Free Press

freedom-of-the-press-big

One of the freedoms cherished by the founding fathers was a free press.

They felt it was an essential part of a robust democracy.

They also were not so naïve as to ignore the challenges that come with unfettered publishing.

The basic challenge is balancing the public’s right to know with the power that a biased press has to influence the public to advance its own political agenda.

There have been times when there were no restrictions on the press at all.  The press were propaganda arms of the political parties during Lincoln’s time.  At the turn of the last century sensational yellow journalism ruled.  Pulitzer and Hurst used their newspapers to start the Spanish American War.  They also advocated the assassination of McKinley which then occurred.  Pulitzer was so troubled by his “yellow sins”, that he dedicated himself to creating a new code of ethics for newspapers.  That code survives to this day, though only a handful of newspapers still support it.

The government had some better grounds to control the broadcast media because they were using public bandwidth.  The last vestige of government regulations controlling broadcast news coverage (The Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time Requirements) were eliminated during the Reagan administration.  Every attempt to restore at least those provisions, has been opposed by both conservatives and liberals.  Obama, for example, preferred net neutrality, caps on media ownership, and investments in public broadcasting as ways to encourage a wide range of media options for voters.

Public opinion STRONGLY supports the equal time requirements.  Similar majorities rejected the concept that news sites should be required to present opposing points of view (Fairness Doctrine).

Combine this with the “narrow casting” business model available to online and broadcast media, and you have the “something for everyone” landscape that we enjoy today.

The extreme of this phenomena is fake news.  The purpose of fake news is to sell advertising.  That is the same business model legit news organizations use.  The difference is that fake news outlets don’t actually report on anything.  Their stories are fiction intended to manipulate rather than inform their target audience.  The bulk of the fake news operations focus on conservative conspiracy theories because they’ve found that those get the most clicks.

The following graph does as good a job as any in attempting to explain the current landscape.

trusted-sources

Whether or not you agree with how individual news sources appear on this spectrum isn’t really the issue.  The issue is that this spectrum exists and the further you get from the middle vertically and horizontally, the less reliable the information becomes.

Bias

Bias does not mean that someone disagrees with you.

Bias means that a news organization’s political opinion influences either their news choices and/or the content of their stories.

As you can see from the above graph, there are very few news sources that meet the criteria of being free from partisan bias – NPR, BBC, WashPost, NYT, NBC News, ABC News, AP, and Reuters.  It does not include Fox or MSNBC.  It does not include Slate, The Atlantic, The WSJ, or The Hill.

Conservatives have spent decades disputing the claim that Fox is biased and the NYT is not.  There is no winning this debate.

But here’s the core of the discussion.

Democracy needs reliable sources of facts that we can all trust in order to move forward.

Fox fails this test because they blur the boundaries between opinion (they call it entertainment) and news.  Hannity is just one example.  He has a news show, but also was an official adviser to the Trump campaign.  His defense is that he claims to be an entertainer and not a journalist.  This is the same defense that John Steward used on the Daily Show.  The Daily Show makes no claims to be fair or balanced.  Fox does.

The WSJ also recently failed this test.  That’s because their editor has said that the paper will no longer fact check Trump.  Instead the paper will simply present readers information and let the readers decide whether or not Trump is telling the truth.

I honestly think it is pretty easy to sort all of this out.

Let’s look at what each news source says are their code of ethics.

Here’s what the NYT says:

The core purpose of The New York Times is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. Producing content of the highest quality and integrity is the basis for our reputation and the means by which we fulfill the public trust and our customers’ expectations.

Here’s what Fox News says:

The Fox Nation was created for people who believe in the United States of America and its ideals, as expressed in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Emancipation Proclamation. It is a community that believes in the American Dream: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One that believes being an American is an honor, as well as a great responsibility – and a wonderful adventure.

This is a place for people who believe we live in a great country, a welcoming refuge for legal immigrants who want to contribute their talents and abilities to make our way of life even greater. We believe we should enjoy the company and support of each other, delighting in the creativity, ingenuity, and work ethic of one and all, while observing the rules of civility and mutual respect and, most importantly, strengthening our diverse society by striving for unity.

The Fox Nation is committed to the core principles of tolerance, open debate, civil discourse, and fair and balanced coverage of the news. It is for those opposed to intolerance, excessive government control of our lives, and attempts to monopolize opinion or suppress freedom of thought, expression, and worship.

We invite all Americans who share these values to join us here at Fox Nation.

I tried to find an ethics or mission statement for the WSJ, but they appear not to have one.

In other words, NYT is committed to distribute high quality news and information.  Fox News is committed to creating an experience for a particular group of people who all share a common point of view.  The WSJ is going to do whatever it needs to do to make money.  All have been true to their stated goals.

Summary

It is possible to find unbiased organizations who strive to report the news in a straight forward manner and inform the public on what is true and what is false.

It is also possible to find biased organizations who will report the news, and in some case make up news, to suit their audience.  They have a particular point of view that they promote.  They filter and in some cases alter or invent what they call news in order to re-inforce that particular point of view.  Those who choose to rely on these sources of information and fundamentally misinformed.

Next up:  How does democracy function in an environment where at least some portion of the electorate are either uninformed or misinformed?

49 Responses to “Bias and Free Press”

  1. keith says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/01/18/queer-dance-party-mike-pence-house-maryland/96744014/

    This reminds me of Genesis 19:4&5

    Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “where are the men who came tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

  2. keith says:

    CNN announced today that if Trump were to die at the inauguration Obama would announce the replacement…

  3. Keith says:

    I have a question. Will the monies given to the Clinton Foundation be greater or less now that both Bill & Hillary will have more time to spend with the foundation and its good works?

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Why would you care? They are both private citizens. There is no conflict of interest or influence peddling involved. The foundation already announced that they were shutting down the Global Initiative part of the foundation. It was the only part of the foundation that wasn’t directly involved in either raising or distributing money.

    http://www.snopes.com/clinton-foundation-dead-contributions-dry/

    What I think you SHOULD be concerned about are Trump’s significant unresolved conflicts of interest that will likely result in his downfall.

    Eisen describes Trump’s business entanglements as “frankly and nakedly unconstitutional. … It is extraordinary that we’ll have a president who is violating the constitutional conflicts clause, the so-called Emoluments Clause, as soon as he takes the oath of office,” he says.

    and

    let’s remember that the Senate hangs by just a few votes, and there are some very independent-minded Republicans in the Senate, and I think when we get to our first scandal — and scandal will be inevitable with this arrangement that Mr. Trump is maintaining where he’s hanging on to his ownership interests … I think you’ll see in the Senate that some of those Republicans join with the Democrats to ask for documents, ask for witnesses, to call for hearings. So I think you’ll see some legislative oversight.

    http://www.npr.org/2017/01/19/510574687/ethics-lawyers-call-trumps-business-conflicts-nakedly-unconstitutional

    The ACLU has already filed a FOIA suit asking for all government documents regarding Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-aclu-foia-conflicts_us_58824218e4b096b4a231543e

    Compare that with the fact that the White House website, for a period of time today, was promoting the First Lady’s jewelry business.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/20/white-house-website-promotes-melania-trumps-modeling-and-jewelry-line/?utm_term=.473fa4193e61

    The Atlantic has a good in depth article on this too.

    Trump has promised not to enter any new foreign deals, and, at the end of each year, to return “profits” from “hotels and similar businesses” to the U.S. Treasury. But this arrangement leaves open a vast universe of ways in which Trump will, by virtue of his continuing ownership interest, foreseeably benefit (or suffer) personally from how foreign nations interact with the Trump Organization. This is the core evil that the foreign emoluments cause sought to address.

    The ONLY thing standing between Trump and a full scale assault from the media, the FBI, the ACLU, State AG’s, and Congress is his popularity. He is teetering on the raged edge of 40% right now. Even if he and his campaign survive the Russian investigations that are going on now, his foreign entanglements will produce a waterfall of claims about how a bunch of governments including Russia have been and continue to funnel money into Trump’s businesses. Combine that with a colossal fumble on Obamacare and his approval rating could easily sink into the 20’s. That means erosion in even his core supporters who realize that he is corrupt and unable to deliver on his promises. If that happens, the knives will be out and those Senators that are up for election in 2018 will be heading for the exits.

    If he gets into a big fight with Ryan and McConnell, I would not put it beyond them to drag their feet on stuff to further damage his image as a powerful deal maker. That could have the same effect of driving down his approval ratings and making him a lame duck in his first term.

    Pride goeth before the fall.

    The last real outsider that occupied the White House was Jimmy Carter. He believed that he could use popular opinion to bend Congress to his will and alter the way Washington did business. He failed. Some are predicting that if Trump attempts to follow the same plan, he will also fail.

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2016/11/22/how-trump-can-drain-the-swamp/

  5. Keith says:

    Nice answer and problems will arrive.

    However your smart enough to know the question I asked. If the money becomes substantially less to the Clinton foundation it doesn’t take some as bright as you to understand the reason. Just at least be honest.

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    We could also use your same logic to suggest that if revenue from foreign governments and large foreign corporations goes up at Trump properties, you could draw the same conclusion.

    The difference, of course, is that if Trump makes any money from foreigners, he is violating the constitution and could be impeached.

    Clinton didn’t violate any laws and personally took no money from anyone. She also agreed to separate herself and Bill completely from their foundation if she was elected. Trump hasn’t come even close to that sort of separation from the interests that cause him problems.

    I honestly don’t know what plans the Clintons have for their foundation going forward, but since you have provided an opening that would require you to exonerate Clinton from the previous appearances of influence peddling, I hope that contributions to the foundation increase next year.

  7. Keith says:

    So do I!!!!!

    Use there name for good!!!!

    I will excuse Trump from nothing.

    I expect him to create the environment for 3 – 4% GDP growth.
    I expect him to negotiate FAIR free trade deals.
    I expect him to nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court.
    I expect some rational immigration reform. Note – I do not expect 12 million or so to be deported.
    I don’t care if he builds a wall.
    I expect him to be aggressive with ISIS in conjunction with other countries.
    I expect him to repeal and somewhat replace ACA at minimum for the most needy amount us.

    Top of my head that’s it.

    I was encouraged by the amount of Prayer that surrounded his inaguration.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I will excuse Trump from nothing.

    How about lying about the size of his inauguration crowds?

    I expect him to create the environment for 3 – 4% GDP growth.

    Create the environment? How about deliver?

    BTW, Q3 GDP numbers have been revised upward to 3.5%, so I would suggest that the “environment” already exists. Let’s see him preserve that rate AND not recklessly drive up inflation.

    https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

    I expect him to negotiate FAIR free trade deals.

    I guess you are going to need to describe what “FAIR” means. Most every trade deal has winners and losers. If you expect him to negotiate trade deals that don’t have any domestic losers, you’d better prepare yourself for disappointment.

    I expect him to nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court.

    Me too.

    I expect some rational immigration reform. Note – I do not expect 12 million or so to be deported.

    Please define “rational” reform. My definition of “rational” is that we recruit workers for jobs that are going unfilled.

    I don’t care if he builds a wall.

    How much debt are you willing to accept to build a useless wall? (see above definition of immigration reform)

    I expect him to be aggressive with ISIS in conjunction with other countries.

    Please define aggressive. Does that mean our troops returning in significant numbers to the middle east?

    I expect him to repeal and somewhat replace ACA at minimum for the most needy amount us.

    I expect him to seriously fumble the ACA repeal/replace. That’s because there is very little different that he could do that would retain the private insurance markets, reduce premiums costs, preserve quality, and cover more people. This fumble will be the beginning of the end for him.

    Here’s what I expect from him.

    1. Constant meaningless battles with anyone and everyone that disagrees with him or suggests that he may not be winning.
    2. Fumbled Obamacare replacement.
    3. No new jobs for the unemployed factory workers and coal minors that voted for him.
    4. A cascade of scandals because of his refusal to divest himself.
    5. A constitutional crisis because of his foreign entanglements.

    Bush II’s approval rating hit 30% in 2006. The Republicans lost control of the House, the Senate, and their majority in state governors.

    Trump could hit 30% yet this year because of his Obamacare fumble.

    Bush II left office in the low 20’s. If Trump falls into the 20’s, it will be all over. Senators up for re-election in 2018 will jump ship and begin supporting the many investigations which will be ongoing at that time.

    In 2018 many of those who voted for Trump because of his promise to bring back their jobs will still be unemployed or underemployed, but now will also have lost their health insurance. If he survives until 2018, he will lose his majorities. Hard to tell how he will respond to that, but I suspect it won’t be pretty and I suspect that he will either resign or get impeached before his first term is done.

  9. Keith says:

    Glad you’re optimistic. I believe when President Obama won I wrote all the good things I hoped he’d be able to do. Any thoughts?

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    This isn’t a partisan issue.

    Obama won both the electoral college and the popular vote. As a result, he had a legitimate claim to a mandate to implement the agenda on which he was elected. His legislative agenda reflected what he had promised during his campaign.

    Obama made full and complete financial disclosure so there was no question about any conflicts of interest. Trump has not.

    According to Politifact, 75% of the things that Obama said during his 8 years in office were true. Using that same comparison, Trump is operating a less than half that (31%).

    Obama acknowledged the vital role of the press in a free and open democracy. Trump has not.

    My reasons for pessimism have little to do with policy. I’m concerned because Trump does not seem to live in a fact-based world. He also does not appear to possess any ideology. Finally, he is fundamentally untrustworthy. His only attribute is that he managed to win a very close election in an unconventional way. IMHO this puts him in a very tenuous political position. He only got 46% of the popular vote and has a 40% approval rating. His ability to exert any sort of influence on his Republican majority comes directly from his public support. He now OWNS Obamacare and he is in an impossible position. He has to repeal it to satisfy his base and conservative Republicans. But he will not be able to replace it with something better unless he is willing to spend a lot more money. Conservative Republicans won’t allow him to do that. Instead the replacement will offer less coverage to fewer people. The same stories that dogged the implementation of Obamacare, will dog its replacement. Those who lose coverage will be angry. Trump’s approval rating will lose another 10 points. That will leave Trump at the same point Bush was in 2006 when voters took away his majority.

    This is the consequence of running a campaign pledging to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better – without sharing any of the details of what “better” meant.

    The reality is that Obamacare isn’t his only challenge, just his first one.

    A bunch of lawyers just filed suit in NY courts today asking a judge to prevent Trump from collecting ANY money at ANY of his businesses from ANY foreign individual or government. This could be his first big court battle which he will likely lose.

    He has also decided to pick a fight with the media. The media reaction is to dig deeper into his affairs. The result is going to be a cascade of investigative reports on past problems and current conflicts of interest. He could have resolved those conflicts of interest by divesting and publishing his tax returns. He didn’t and now will suffer the consequences.

    I’m not even covering the potential repercussions of the multiple investigations going on regarding his Russian connections. He has also picked a fight with the intelligence community responsible for those investigations. This is the same intelligence community that leaked like a sieve during the campaign.

    This has NOTHING to do with partisanship. This has EVERYTHING to do with the way that Trump has decided to govern.

    Combine that with the now unified opposition that he is facing from a resurgent women’s rights movement and it is hard to see how he is going to be able to improve his approval ratings any time soon. It is easy to see how his approval ratings could continue to slide. And finally, history has already proven that approval ratings at or below 30% are toxic for sitting presidents regardless of their party.

    QED

  11. Keith says:

    Rasmussen has Trump at 57% amoung likely voters.

    Union leaders met with him yesterday and came out and couldn’t say enough good things.

  12. Keith says:

    Trumps press Sec gave the first question to those other then the mainstream media. Interestingly enough they weren’t concerned about the size of the crowd. The first question was about abortion.

    Your response, way above, about the truthfulness and non-bias of the media was was ok with me until you mentioned the “good ones.” I’m convinced you don’t fully grasp. I’m now certain you never will. I can do a news cast and be 100% truthful about the facts and at the same time be 100% biased and favoring one position, or one candidate, over the other. Simply watch Jeff. They all are this way!!! All of them!!!!

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Rasmussen has Trump at 57% amoung likely voters.

    Union leaders met with him yesterday and came out and couldn’t say enough good things.

    Rasmussen has generally been a right-wing biased poll.

    Gallup has him at 45% and more importantly it is the lowest approval rating of a new president in the history of their polling. He also has the highest disapproval percentage (45%) by a significant margin of any president in their polling history

    Rasmussen has Trump at 57% amoung likely voters.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/202811/trump-sets-new-low-point-inaugural-approval-rating.aspx?g_source=Politics&g_medium=lead&g_campaign=tiles

    The substance of my post is that his approval rating will go down as he fumbles the Obamacare replacement, the Russian investigation goes forward, and his other issues of conflict of interest.

    Bush II probably had higher approval ratings from Rasmussen in 2006 too. Didn’t matter. He still lost bigly in 2006. Same will happen to Trump he fumbles Obamacare, fails to resolve his foreign entanglements, and fails to address his domestic conflicts of interest.

    The current NY law suit regarding the emoluments clause may or may not ultimately prevail, but it is highly likely that part of the discovery process will finally force Trump to share his tax returns.

    He has asserted that there is nothing in his tax returns. I don’t believe him. Those tax returns will certainly become public if they are part of this discovery process. That will only accelerate his decline because of all of the things that they will expose. As I said before, I think it should take about three scandals to drive his approval rating down into the danger zone.

    Unions are happy about the TPP as was Bernie. That will not rescue Trump.

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    ALL BROADCAST NEWS CASTS are bias. The “good ones” are print. I happen to like NPR’s approach and feel that they also make an effort to tell both sides of the story, but I don’t expect you to share that opinion.

  15. Keith says:

    Here’s who you said were the good ones –

    As you can see from the above graph, there are very few news sources that meet the criteria of being free from partisan bias – NPR, BBC, WashPost, NYT, NBC News, ABC News, AP, and Reuters.

    i will repeat, they are all biased.

  16. Keith says:

    50 infrastructure projects being floated …

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:

    i will repeat, they are all biased.

    You are welcome to your opinion, but in order to convince me of that you are going to have to present more than just your opinion. Just to make sure that we are on the same page, bias does not mean that these news organization don’t have an opinion. What bias means is that they allow their opinions to influence the way that they report the news. So please provide some examples of how you feel NPR, WashPost, or the NYT is biased.

    I’ll start by posting an article from NPR that aired this morning.

    It covers the word lie or liar. NPR has defended their reluctance to use the word “lie” in characterizing a comment from Trump because “lie” includes an intent to deceive. The proof that they had in this story was that Trump’s statements were not based on fact. Since they had no proof in this particular story that Trump was being intentional rather than simply misinformed or delusional, they chose not to use the word “lie”. They then explained to their listeners why they made that decision. If they were indeed biased against Trump, as you claim, they would not have made this decision. They would have assumed intent and been perfectly happy to use the word “lie”.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/25/511503605/npr-and-the-l-word-intent-is-key

    Since you suggest that ALL media outlets are biased, I won’t spend any time providing examples of other sites (e.g. Fox News) that fail the bias test.

  18. Jeff Beamsley says:

    He won the election. He has every right to advance his agenda. Just be warned that as soon as he starts to spend money, there is going to be INTENSE scrutiny on how that money is spent. The process itself will be very closely watched. If there is any indication that Trump is playing favorites OR that money is going to those who have close ties to any of Trump’s private businesses – the waterfall of corruption stories will start. Even the process will have to be more transparent than any previous government contracting process because of the high risk of crony capitalism. I am very skeptical that this administration has either the focus or the sophistication to pull it off.

  19. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, Here’s an article that is a little more in depth regarding Trump’s approval rating.

    http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2017/01/25/Poll-shows-Donald-Trump-approval-rating-on-rise.html

    David Cohen, a political-science professor at the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron, said he does not consider Rasmussen methodology as reliable as Gallup’s.

    “All presidents should expect a bump after the inauguration. He came into office at the lowest approval for a modern president. He had nowhere to go but up. However, his 45 percent is the lowest initial job approval rating for a president in polling history. Obama was at 68 percent,” Mr. Cohen said.

    “Don’t expect the modest approval to last. A very bad first week and controversial statements/​actions will likely mean a drop,” he added.

    and

    Jeffrey Broxmeyer, a University of Toledo political science professor, said Gallup bases its surveys on a broader sample than Rasmussen, using “voting-age population” and people who have cell phones, giving Gallup a younger, more diverse, and poorer sample, but less likely than Rasmussen’s sample to vote. He said Rasmussen skews toward “older, wealthier, high-propensity voters.”

    “This Rasmussen poll is an outlier from what I can tell, although it is certainly possible the trend line is accurate,” Mr. Broxmeyer said.

    What is important here is whether his approval rating is going up or going down.

    What I suggest that we agree on realclearpolitics.com who happens to be tracking this approval rating. They are generally regarded as right of center regarding polling and will be listing all of the polls with a simple average.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

  20. Keith says:

    Remember one thing Jeff. Whether Trump won or Hillary won, whoever won, was going I. With the lowest number ever.

  21. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Remember one thing Jeff. Whether Trump won or Hillary won, whoever won, was going I. With the lowest number ever.

    I can play the what if game just as well as you.

    Just remember that if the FBI and the Russians hadn’t put their thumb on the scale, we would be having a different conversation.

    or

    Just remember that if Trump had told the American people that his plan to replace Obamacare would add trillions to the debt AND cover significantly fewer people AND would be less effective in controlling future healthcare cost increases, he would have lost PA, Michigan, and Wisconsin and we would be having a different conversation.

    The reality is the Hillary didn’t win. Trump did lose the popular vote by the highest margin in history. He does have the lowest approval rating and the highest disapproval rating of any President in recent history. His actions so far suggest that he is in denial about both of those facts. That response alone should be sufficient to give you pause regarding his ability to deal with future events that will further damage his popularity.

    IMHO he has to come to grips with what kind of a leader he plans to be. So far, it appears that he is going to govern for his base. That’s fine. But he has to own the fact that his base is not a majority of voters. Instead he is attempting to delegitimize dissent. That is a dangerous strategy both for him and the country.

  22. Keith says:

    http://freebeacon.com/politics/study-obama-worst-record-supreme-court-modern-history/

    Don’t read the article just that facts in the article. What sets of data do you want to use? I’m not suggesting Obama was a terrible President, I just don’t think he was a good one.

    Trump governing for his base? Trump appears to be doing everything he said he was. I wish he wouldn’t say stupid things. It’s pointless. Obama governed for his base also. While he was doing so EVERY DEM running for the house, senate Governor, state legislature, DOG CATCHER lost. The only person who did win was HIM!!! Using hyperbole there Jeff) So let’s not guess what’s going to happen let’s watch and see what happens.

    Talking about who one the popular vote is useless and serves no purpose. The election was not held in California and mope body bother to campaign there.

    And to clean up your simplistic comment about the Russian interfering lets ask our selves, challange really, to go find 5 voters who changed there minds about voting for Hillary and instead voted for Trump because the Russians interfered. Since you live in Michigan and in a country that twice voted for President Obama and somehow this time went for Trump it should be easy for you to find some….

    Note – I know there is a side show that comes with Trumo that I really don’t care to see. I also believe there is a willingness to work and get things done for the American people that will be helpful. Google “list of 50 infrastructure projects proposed by Trump.”

    One of the things I mentioned the other day was I want him to create the environment that can foster 3 – 4% GDP growth. You said you wanted him to deliver it. I thought of that comment when I read a comment from one of the Big Three auto executives after their meeting with Trump the other day. They said Trump talked about tax cuts for businesses and regulation reform. But to us, we’d rather see regulations eased then tax cuts, that would do the most good.

    Take this the way it’s intended but I’m not interest in a president “getting results I believe his job is to create the environment that can breed success. I.E. Tax reform, regulation reform, fair trade, etc.

  23. Keith says:

    You said you could play that game too…

    Well I wasn’t playing a game. We know what Hillary’s numbers were. It’s a fact she would have had the lowest approval rating ever. You proceeded with hypotheticals in response to a fact.

    I’d like for you to tell me what a successful Trump presidency would look like.

  24. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://freebeacon.com/politics/study-obama-worst-record-supreme-court-modern-history/

    Don’t read the article just that facts in the article. What sets of data do you want to use? I’m not suggesting Obama was a terrible President, I just don’t think he was a good one.

    First of all, why would you care? Trump is President now, not Obama.

    Second, your conclusion along with the conclusion of the BIASED source that you quoted ignored the point of the study.

    A few commentators have noticed Obama’s problems in the Court, attributing them to
    Obama himself. But because our data show a downward secular trend in presidential success
    ever since the Reagan years, it may be that the Obama administration is just the latest victim
    of a Court that has gradually been losing confidence in the executive branch.

    Talking about who one the popular vote is useless and serves no purpose. The election was not held in California and mope body bother to campaign there.

    54% of voters voted for someone else. That is the fundamental weakness that Trump is dealing with and why his approval rating REMAINS low. The Quinnipac Poll has his approval rating at 36%. Those numbers represent his base. Choosing to govern for a minority of voters is dangerous. As far as, “wait and see”, we don’t have to wait. The challenges are already coming hot and heavy. Trump says he is going to pay for the wall with a 20% tariff on imports from Mexico only to discover that most of what we import from Mexico has a very high content of American parts. So in fact he would be taxing the very manufacturing that he has promised to help. Suddenly it became just an option. He said he knows that torture works, but his military folks say it doesn’t. He had to agree not to order the military to torture. He’s even backtracked on his famous Carrier deal. He now is catching flack for not coming to the aid of another Indianapolis plant (Rexnord) slated for closure because it is moving production to Mexico.

    And to clean up your simplistic comment about the Russian interfering lets ask our selves, challange really, to go find 5 voters who changed there minds about voting for Hillary and instead voted for Trump because the Russians interfered. Since you live in Michigan and in a country that twice voted for President Obama and somehow this time went for Trump it should be easy for you to find some….

    Since when did foreign intervention in an election become a no harm/no foul claim? The data show that late deciders in the election (those that made their minds up in the last two weeks) went overwhelmingly for Trump in the key battleground states that decided the election.

    In fact, if you look at the four closest states where Clinton lost — or, in the case of Michigan, where she’s expected to lose — exit polls show late-deciding voters in each of them went strongly for Trump in the final days. In Florida and Pennsylvania, late-deciders favored Trump by 17 points. In Michigan, they went for Trump by 11 points. In Wisconsin, they broke for Trump by a whopping 29 points, 59-30.

    The issue is not that we need to rerun the election. The issue is that the Russians DID engage in an organized effort to bias the election process. The American people need to know if there were any connections between the Trump campaign and this Russian effort. Trump brought this on himself. He could have easily taken the stance that any meddling in the election would not be tolerated. Instead he denied the whole thing.

    This is an early test of the Trump administration. As you know, Nixon was brought down by the coverup, not the break-in. If there is evidence that the Trump administration is making any efforts to cover their tracks or block the investigations that are going on now, they will likely pay a similar price.

    Note – I know there is a side show that comes with Trumo that I really don’t care to see. I also believe there is a willingness to work and get things done for the American people that will be helpful. Google “list of 50 infrastructure projects proposed by Trump.”

    I’m a fan of infrastructure too. If Republicans had supported Obama’s efforts, the recovery we’re seeing now would have occurred years earlier. He has to prove that he can actually spend the money in ways that are fair and above board. Because a deep web of business contacts still benefit him personally, I think it will be impossible for him to spend any significant amount of money without raising immediate issues of conflicts of interest.

    One of the things I mentioned the other day was I want him to create the environment that can foster 3 – 4% GDP growth.

    You ignored the more important response. We have 3%+ GDP growth NOW. His job is to sustain it without causing the economy to overheat, drive up interest rates, and create a bubble that will lead to a recession. You predicted all of those things in the Obama administration. They didn’t happen. Hopefully you’re prepared to hold Trump accountable if he mishandles the economy.

  25. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I’d like for you to tell me what a successful Trump presidency would look like.

    Here’s the answer you want to hear. Then I’ll provide my answer.

    1. Replace Obamacare with something better. Covers more people at a lower cost to both the individual and the government, and better benefits (fake high deductible plans don’t qualify). Drive down the costs of care long term.

    2. Sustain current economic growth without overheating the economy.

    3. Have a rational foreign policy that encourages trade and reduces tensions that lead to conflict.

    Here’s my real answer.

    An ideal Trump presidency is one that crashes and burns sooner rather than later so that the collateral damage from that crash is minimized. That’s because the crash is inevitable given the current trajectory and the people that he has surrounded himself with.

  26. Keith says:

    We do not have 3% GDP now.

    My point with the article I posted was to counter your claim of Predident Obamas popularity that Trump is up against. Period, that’s all. Nothing more then that.

    Also, it will do you a world of good to stop listening to every word Trump speaks. He’s negotiating at all times. Let’s let the result speak for itself. If he fails he fails. But, your going to have to stop hanging on every word. Surely you get this.

    And just as his company will benefit the reverse will happen also.

  27. Keith says:

    I appreciate you honest answer. I’m hoping it’s the first one.

    The biggest difficulty the republicans have is with the ACA. How do you replace a system that was designed to fail when you were not very interested in changing the previous system? The dems fully believed, my opinion, they would never relinquish power in DC and believed they would be the ones to fix the ACA. Of Cousteau the natural fix was single payer. Why? Because the purposely broke the system for that purpose. It’s the ONLY answer for them. They simply couldn’t go from A to C they had to stop at B first.
    (B =’s broken)

    So, the repubs are left to create a system they would never have created. It won’t go well.

  28. Jeff Beamsley says:

    We do not have 3% GDP now.

    au contriare mon frere. Q3 GDP growth has been upward adjusted to 3.5%. Q4 estimates are at 1.9% but will likely be adjusted higher. It all depends on how you define now and the seasonal adjustments. But it will be easy enough to track. On a year over year basis, is the economy continuing to grow?

    My point with the article I posted was to counter your claim of Predident Obamas popularity that Trump is up against. Period, that’s all. Nothing more then that.

    The numbers don’t lie (unlike the President). Obama is leaving office with a 60% approval rating because people LIKE his policies. You happen to be in the minority. Trump is entering office with a 40% approval rating because most all of the Obama people and some more mainstream Republicans DON’T like his policies. You find yourself in the minority again regarding your support of him. But he still managed to win the election, so he will have an opportunity to prove you right and me wrong.

    Also, it will do you a world of good to stop listening to every word Trump speaks. He’s negotiating at all times. Let’s let the result speak for itself. If he fails he fails. But, your going to have to stop hanging on every word. Surely you get this.

    I will post some more on this soon, but I disagree. As leader of the most powerful country in the world his words DO matter. A President with no filter and little interest in facts is dangerous. You may regard it as “negotiation”. The rest of the world views it as threatening.

    And just as his company will benefit the reverse will happen also.

    You can’t be serious. This is the point exactly. He should be making decisions based on what is best for the country, not what is best for his own personal interests. It doesn’t matter whether or not Trump can be trusted (though I don’t think that he is trustworthy). It does matter that the American people will accept that his decisions are not motivated by his own business interests either to profit OR to avoid loss. His failure to divest will result in an avalanche of news reports and law suits pointing out his conflicts of interest. I think it is reasonable to suggest that this constant stream of corruption claims along with his thin skinned denial of them, will eventually drive more of his core supporters into the “disapproval” column. He may prove that he can still govern effectively with a 30% approval rating, but so far nobody has. The reason is that congress people and senators realize that at those levels, being a “friend” of Trump is a liability. Their basic motivation is to get re-elected. If Trump becomes a liability, he will not be able to advance his agenda because Congress will be spending their time investigating him.

  29. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I appreciate you honest answer. I’m hoping it’s the first one.

    Everything I write is honest. I detest trolls, so I’m not going to say something just to upset someone else. This is my own blog. My reasons for writing are to share my thoughts.

    The biggest difficulty the republicans have is with the ACA.

    Yup, we agree on that. The rest of your comment is based on your own bias.

    How do you replace a system that was designed to fail when you were not very interested in changing the previous system?

    ACA was based on a Republican idea from the Heritage Foundation. Romney implemented it in MA and it has been running quite well thank you for over 10 years.

    The dems fully believed, my opinion, they would never relinquish power in DC and believed they would be the ones to fix the ACA. Of Cousteau the natural fix was single payer.

    The Dems got the best deal that they could with what they had. We both agree that there are a lot of good things about a single payor system, but Obama didn’t have the votes in his own party to pass it. I think that their political calculus was that it would be very difficult to take coverage away from 20M people once they had it. Whether their political calculus regarding the future of Obamacare is correct or not we’ll see.

    Because the purposely broke the system for that purpose. It’s the ONLY answer for them. They simply couldn’t go from A to C they had to stop at B first.
    (B =’s broken)

    This last part is conspiracy theory. You have no proof that there was any intent to defraud or otherwise game the political system in order to accomplish some other goal. Perhaps some thought that there could be some transition to single payor as more people grew comfortable with the idea of universal health care, but suggesting that the ACA was purposely structured to fail in order to give way to a single payor solution is really a stretch. Obviously the Dems paid a dear price for passing the ACA. If their plan was to put something out there that would disappoint everyone in hopes of paving the way for a single payor solution, they were VERY wrong.

    So, the repubs are left to create a system they would never have created. It won’t go well.

    We agree there. But please don’t characterize the Republicans as somehow the responsible people in the room cleaning up someone else’s mess. The Republicans have promised from day one that they could do better and “better” would retain NOTHING of the current system. Now they are on the hook to deliver on that promise. That’s their fault, and now they have to own the consequences. They had six years in which they could have passed tweaks to alter the system more to their liking. They were the ones who felt they could muster the votes to just toss it without any replacement. They are finding out that they were wrong, and now they will suffer the pain of fumbling the replacement.

  30. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, the reason why the Republicans are struggling with a replacement is because the existing bill is actually solid financially. According to the COB, it is revenue positive because of the taxes and fees associated with it. It has dramatically reduced the ranks of the uninsured. It has made significant progress in slowing the rate of growth in healthcare costs. I has also turned over significant control to states in how they manage their own medicaid populations and the insurance exchanges.

    Take away the taxes and Trumpcare costs a lot more money.

    Take away the individual mandate and the exchanges collapse because the risk pools are disrupted. That affects the ability for the insurance companies to accept patients unconditionally. If you allow insurance companies to re-introduce risk stratifying patients, the government will have to subsidize insurance for our high risk population, which again will get very expensive.

    The individual mandate has also lowered the costs of care for hospitals who are dealing with far fewer indigent cases in the ER.

    Finally, it is going to be very difficult to get the insurance companies to give up some sort of cap on expense if you don’t also promise them a large number of young people who will be required to purchase insurance for a long time before they have any significant expenses.

    That’s why I think that some form of the Collins plan will ultimately be the Republican solution. Those states who like Obamacare and government subsidized Medicaid can keep them. Those states who want to put something else in place are welcome to do that and the government will just block grant the states for their costs. Then we’ll see how those states that have low tax strategy compete with those states that have a comprehensive health care policy in place. If Romneycare is any example, the high tax low healthcare cost states are winning.

  31. Stuart says:

    Hi – could you tell me where you got the media landscape chart? or are you the author?

    Many thanks,
    Stuart.

  32. Keith says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I certainly wasn’t meaning to arguementive.

    GDP 2016
    .9
    1.3
    3.5
    1.9

    Clearly not 3.5 but you did pick.

    I was using President Obama’s approval rate for the entirety of his 2 terms. Not the day he left office in my response above. Please think bigger and single points of data at single points in time. President Obama is likeable, I like him. If his policies were so accepted then the Dems wouldn’t have lost every elected seat over the past 8 years except his. Follow that logic. I’ve said this 100 times and I will continue to say it, HE WAS and IS LIKED!!! Look no further. If you think elections of that magnitude are decided by issues then you don’t closely follow IMHO

    I’m amused by the progressives outpouring of decent. They will blow the country up if they have too. I believe that. This is what hate red looks like on a mass scale. It’s also intolerance. There’s NO mistake about this.

  33. Keith says:

    http://m.washingtontimes.com/

    This is what I’m referring to, mostly, when I speak of media bias.
    Not factually correct or incorrect but the picture the media paints. Here’s the admission from one a the very few ring leaders.

  34. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Nope. I think that I saw this on an Medium article, but I can’t seem to find it. I’m not going to vouch that there is anything academic underlying this. It is more an easy display to discuss the concept that there is a spectrum of bias with only a handful of reliable sites.

  35. Keith says:

    Chuck Todd said it!!!!!

    It’s what they do. Everyone does it. Fox does it. NPR does it. CNN does it. ABC does it. Etc!! Fox is highly out numbered. It’s what I’ve always talked about.

  36. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The Q4 numbers aren’t official yet, but those are the quarterly numbers that Trump has to beat.

    I was using President Obama’s approval rate for the entirety of his 2 terms. Not the day he left office in my response above. Please think bigger and single points of data at single points in time. President Obama is likeable, I like him. If his policies were so accepted then the Dems wouldn’t have lost every elected seat over the past 8 years except his. Follow that logic. I’ve said this 100 times and I will continue to say it, HE WAS and IS LIKED!!! Look no further. If you think elections of that magnitude are decided by issues then you don’t closely follow IMHO

    Popularity is volatile. The average tells you nothing. It is a point in time measure that has political consequences. Obama’s approval ratings never dropped below 40%. But as an example of how biased news organizations report the news, the Blaze and Breitbart used Obama’s eight year average to write a story that Obama left office the least popular president in history. The fact was that he left office with one of the highest approval ratings in recent history. They also lied that his approval rating dropped to 38% in 2011 and 2014. You can look for yourself on the monthly Gallup list.

    http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/01/24/gallup-obamas-average-approval-rating-among-the-worst-in-modern-american-history/

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/116479/barack-obama-presidential-job-approval.aspx

    I like him. If his policies were so accepted then the Dems wouldn’t have lost every elected seat over the past 8 years except his. Follow that logic.

    First of all that claim is crazy. The longest term of any elected official is 6 years. If your claim was true every elected official would be Republican. Obviously there are still a lot of Democrats in national and state offices.

    There is only one national referendum. That’s the vote for President. Every other election is statewide, or regional. Republicans did make gains in 2010 that allowed them to gerrymander congressional districts after the senate which made it easier for those who were elected to the House in 2010 to retain their seats.
    So for, example, the House Democrats in the very next election in 2012 got more votes that House Republicans even though House Republicans retained their majority.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/feb/19/steny-hoyer/steny-hoyer-house-democrats-won-majority-2012-popu/

    So please accept a few facts.

    1. Obama is MUCH more popular that Trump at this point in time.
    2. Democrats did make gains in the house and the Senate this year even though Trump won the Presidency.

    I’m amused by the progressives outpouring of decent.

    It’s called free speech. Millions of women marching around the world with no violence. That’s called resistance. It is also what happens when a President who didn’t win the popular vote gets elected.

    They will blow the country up if they have too. I believe that.

    Well that’s biased. I recall a Tea Party movement disrupting town halls and threatening violence. I don’t recall you objecting to that. This is exactly the same reaction to policies that a significant portion of the american electorate disagree with. If you accepted the conservative backlash to a liberal president, you have to also accept liberal backlash to a conservative president. And please don’t talk with me about the violence at the inauguration. Those were anarchists wearing masks. I’m not sure what their political philosophy is, but if you are going to allow Trump to distance himself from white supremacists, you are also going to have to allow the progressive movement the ability to reject the anarchist movement.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/2017/live-updates/politics/live-coverage-of-trumps-inauguration/black-bloc-style-tactics-seen-as-chaos-erupts-in-downtown-d-c/?utm_term=.9a493beb72ec

    This is what hate red looks like on a mass scale. It’s also intolerance. There’s NO mistake about this.

    Please clarify your remarks. WHAT is “what hatred looks like on a mass scale”? Surely not millions of women marching peacefully and joyfully for women’s rights. Intolerance? Surely you jest. Banning travel of 90,000 Muslims just because of their religion, now that’s a good example of intolerance. Refusing to honor the green cards of Muslims who have lived here peacefully for decades? That intolerance. Telling civil servants who have every legal right to express their opinion that if they disagree with the President’s policies, they should quit. That’s intolerance. The guy you are supporting is probably the single most intolerant person I’ve ever seen. He is intolerant of criticism and now he’s the president. Well I suggest that both you and he had better get used to it. Peacefully protesting policies that you disagree with, that’s exercising your first amendment rights the last time I looked. This guy was elected President, not king. And you can bet that the 60% of the population that disagreed with him two weeks ago is going to grow. We are going to resist, protest, and organize because that’s the way democracy works.

  37. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, as long as we are talking Gallup polling and job approval, you might want to check out Gallup’s daily tally of Trump’s approval rating.

    His disapproval rating went up 6% to 51% in 8 days! Now that has to tell you something about how the public is reacting to what they are seeing so far.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx

    It took Obama 2.5 years (August of 2011) to hit those disapproval numbers. Trump did it in 8 days.

    It will be interesting to see what the Muslim travel ban fiasco will do to these numbers.

    You criticized Obama for being inexperienced? Regardless of your politics, just from an execution perspective, Trump so far has been a disaster. Even the Keystone Pipeline executive order was a joke. He said that contractors had to use American steel, but that violates existing WTO agreements which the US has signed prohibiting preference to domestic suppliers. We also don’t apparently make the raw steel used for pipelines anymore. We fabricate it but the raw steel comes from China. So it will turn out to be Chinese steel made into pipes by American Workers. USA! USA!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/01/26/donald-trumps-pledge-to-use-only-u-s-steel-is-loaded-with-caveats/?utm_term=.0edb8ec4047a

    And then it turns out that at least for the Keystone pipeline, the pipes have already been purchased and are stacked in a field in ND waiting for the OK to use them. So this particular pipeline won’t result in ANY significant purchase of steel from anybody. USA! USA!

    http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/4206643-mothballed-pipe-storage-years-nd-keystone-xl-pipeline-might-finally-be-used

  38. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW he isn’t just butchering his domestic policy implementation.

    His first attack on al Qaeda was also a disaster that resulted in the death of an 8 year old girl who was also an american citizen.

    Contrary to earlier reporting, the senior military official said, the raid was Trump’s first clandestine strike — not a holdover mission approved by President Barack Obama. The mission involved “boots on the ground” at an al Qaeda camp near al Bayda in south central Yemen, the official said.

    “Almost everything went wrong,” the official said.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/31/donald-kill-their-families-trump-played-into-al-qaeda-s-hands.html

  39. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, just another thought on Trump and your comment regarding “blowing the country up”.

    Please list anything that Trump has done since taking the oath of office to reach out to the 54% who didn’t vote for him? His attitude, the attitude of his WH staff, and the attitude of some of his supporters appears to be, “Trump won the election, so all of you should get in line.” Well that’s not the way politics works in this country. If he wants to continue to govern by executive order without giving any oversight to Congress, he is going to have to deal with the reality that there are a lot of people who disagree with him.

    Obama made sincere efforts to reach out to Republicans, particularly during the early days of his administration. Republicans stonewalled those efforts and we had 8 years of Congressional gridlock. This was for a President elected by clear popular majorities in both of his elections.

    Trump, who did not get a popular majority, has not made any effort to reach out to those who disagree with him. In fact, he has not made any effort to engage the rest of the government in the decisions that he has made so far. So, hopefully you can appreciate that people are going to protest when they feel disenfranchised.

    He did win the election. As a result, he deserves a chance to implement his agenda. But that implementation should include Congress and should be subject to judicial review. I don’t think that Democrats should take the same position Republicans did in refusing to vote for anything. But I also think that Trump has a responsibility to demonstrate that he understands that there is a minority voice in this country. He hasn’t done that so far.

  40. Keith says:

    First to bias.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/health/policy/24health.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/republicans-ram-through-committee-approval-of-trump-cabinet-nominees/2017/02/01/aa2b5458-e87f-11e6-b82f-687d6e6a3e7c_story.html?utm_term=.635ec54b05c6

    Notice anything there? How many republicans voted for the ACA? Do you see a headline “Obama Rams through ACA?” from the Times?

    The Post has no problem saying “Republicans ram through cabinet members”

    I’ll get to the rest.

  41. Keith says:

    As to popularity. It’s fair to compare avg over the term. Other wise a .200 hitter could claim he should win the batting title because he went 5 for 5 in the last game of the season. The very same can be said of Obamas GDP numbers. Your going to trumpet his 31st quarter and say “see?” Jeff you’re way better then that.

    Peace women’s march ok. I’d give you that. Explaining exactly what they were marching for exactly is a far more difficult matter. However the speakers? There I saw and heard hate. Not so peaceful. My Facebook page is littered by good friends, many, who marched. I simply can understand a coherent message other then they are outraged Trump is their president.

    Last night I was amused by those protesting at the Supreme Court. They has oppose written on stickers they were wearing with a name then added in marker. So they were “Opposed” to whoever Trump picked. Is this resistantance or refusal to accept the results of the election.

    Get off the gerrymandering kick, its changed few is any outcomes.

    Your fiend Alan Dershowitz said Trump had every right to fire the acting AG. He called her actions childish and unnecessary claiming it was only done TO BE FiRED! She could have and shouldnhavebstepped down. His words. (Paraphrasing)

  42. Keith says:

    So come to the realization of a few things.

    In Obamas 8 years WE did not grow the economy at anywhere near a healthy rate. Some more Poole DID get health coverage, gays can now marry. The Middle East is worse then he found it. The electorate was so pissed off they voted in Trump. The Dems lost the Presidency, house, Senate, Governorships, state legislatures , and dog catcher in 87% of contested areas. They’ve lost it all. If the reverse had been true you would have written an article similar to the many you wrote 8 years ago about how completely the Rupiblicans had been spurned for office because of their policies and the damage they had inflicted on our country. Banished to forever be a regional party.

    You were very wrong then. I have NO illusions the Dems won’t be back in full control again some day. None what so ever. They will.

  43. Jeff Beamsley says:

    A more fair apples to apples comparison would be to look at the Wash Post headline which was “House passes health-care reform bill without Republican votes”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/21/AR2010032100943.html

    The second issue is a little more nuanced. That is whether or not the headline was an accurate description of the story. If you read the story, it described tactics used by Republicans to close off debate from Democrats who objected to some of the nominees. Those tactics included suspending the committee rules. Whether or not those tactics were justified is left to the reader to decide as both points of view were well documented. So in fact, the description of ramming the appointments through was accurate.

    Those tactics were NOT used in the House passage of the ACA. It took a year for that legislation to pass and the Democrats did not suspend any rules to cut off Republican debate. They simply had the votes to ultimately pass the bill after all attempts by Republicans to stall the process ended. YOUR interpretation of the ACA passage was that something was rammed through because you didn’t like the legislation. But that’s not how the Post used the term in their headline. It was an accurate description of the tactics Republicans used. The only bias here is your own.

  44. Jeff Beamsley says:

    In Obamas 8 years WE did not grow the economy at anywhere near a healthy rate. Some more Poole DID get health coverage, gays can now marry. The Middle East is worse then he found it. The electorate was so pissed off they voted in Trump.

    As the Dude would say, “That’s your opinion”.

    If voters were “so pissed off” why did they re-elect Obama? Why did 3M more voters vote for Obama in 2012 than voted for Trump in 2016? In fact Clinton got only 100K less votes in 2016 than Obama did in 2012 and she lost. Trump’s margin of victory in PA, MI, and WI only 70,000 votes. If Clinton had won those votes, she would be in the White House today. So in practical terms, the number of people who were “so pissed off” was about 70K in those three states. They were the ones who decided this election. IT WAS NOT a wholesale rebuke of the Obama legacy or the Clinton candidacy. Those numbers just don’t lie.

    The Dems lost the Presidency, house, Senate, Governorships, state legislatures , and dog catcher in 87% of contested areas. They’ve lost it all.

    Again they did not lose it all. Your numbers are bogus. The Democrats GAINED seats in both the House and the Senate in this election cycle. About half the population of the country lives in states controlled by the GOP which again if pretty consistent with the popular vote.

    I agree that it looked bleak for Republicans in 2008. I was very wrong about the future of the Republican Party at that point. I was also wrong about Trump getting elected. But I’m not wrong about the demographics or the size of the backlash to the Trump election. I am also not wrong in predicting the serious challenges that the Trump presidency faces BECAUSE of his conflicts of interest, his thin skin, and the difficulty he is going to face threading the needle on Obamacare.

    That said, Trump did tap into a deep unhappiness and fear in the rural white population. He made a lot of promises of change, specifically making the government work better for them. That responsibility is now his. Obama handed him an economy that is growing, we aren’t bleeding blood and treasure in the Middle East, healthcare costs have moderated, the dollar is strong (all though is has lost some strength lately), interest rates are low along with inflation, unemployment is low, and wages are growing. Using Bush II’s measure, Obama has kept us safe for 8 years from international terrorist attacks on US soil. So now it’s Trump’s turn to prove that he can do something better.

    From what I have seen so far, it looks like a car wreck in slow motion. I don’t know how long it will take him to get it together, but the public obviously doesn’t have a lot of patience at this point.

    Just watch the approve and disapprove numbers and see what happens when the approve average drops down below 40 and the disapprove number get up above 60.

  45. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Low approval ratings starting to get larger notice.

    A majority, 53%, disapprove of the way the President is handling his job, according to a new CNN/ORC poll, marking the highest disapproval for a new elected president since polls began tracking those results. Trump is the only President to hold a net-negative rating this early in his tenure.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/03/politics/donald-trump-approval-rating/

    If you look at the most recent polls (including the period of the muslim ban) and take out Rassmussen as on outlier, the average is 42.3% approve 52% disapprove. No president has ever had this low a rating since these polls have been taken.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

  46. Keith says:

    Jeff. For the first time, you are not being rational. Look at what has happened to the Sems since 2008. I don’t know how you can say the Sems have lost everything except Obamas seat since. This isn’t bashing. It’s facts. Go back to 2008. Have any dem senates seats? How may seem house seats, Governor’s, state legislatures, how many dog catchers? What the dems won was nothing. What did happen was President Obama won again. If we can’t agree on that then geez, I don’t know what to do.

    Jeff I’m not being agrumentive what so ever. I’m also saying the republicans will over reach, heck THEY might even throw Trump out. But the last 8 years, with the excepting of President Obama, has been a complete rejection of Democrats. The republicans run EVERYTHING, even Dog Catcher!!!!

  47. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Jeff. For the first time, you are not being rational. Look at what has happened to the Sems since 2008. I don’t know how you can say the Sems have lost everything except Obamas seat since. This isn’t bashing. It’s facts. Go back to 2008. Have any dem senates seats? How may seem house seats, Governor’s, state legislatures, how many dog catchers? What the dems won was nothing. What did happen was President Obama won again. If we can’t agree on that then geez, I don’t know what to do.

    This is really simple and you refuse to accept the answer.

    Since 2008 EVERY Senate seat has been up for election at least once (every six years). Every house seat has been up four times (every two years). Every governors seat has been up at least once. State legislator seats have been up between two and four times.

    Your statement is that “the dems won nothing”. If that were true, every federal and state seat would be occupied by a Republican. Clearly they aren’t.

    Here’s the snapshot from 2016.

    Senate 48 Democrats (+2) 52 Republicans (-2)
    House 194 Democrats (+6) 241 Republicans (-6)
    Governorships Democrats 15 (-3) Republicans 33 (+3)

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/live_results/2016_general/president/map.html

    What that means in the House is that 194 Democrats won their elections. I could dig into the other races too, but there is no need. The house elections alone disprove your claim.

    What you appear to be trying to do is make a case that the voters have rejected Obama’s leadership and legacy. Some of them certainly did and that was reflected in the Trump vote. But the fact that Clinton won the popular vote means that “change” voters were not a majority. Also the fact that she “missed” Obama’s 2012 popular vote total by only 100K means that there was not a wholesale rejection of Obama. Your outlandish claim that no Democrat has won an office since Obama’s election in 2008 is crazy. You have made this claim several times without any proof to support it, so I’m not going to help you by trying to figure out what you might be trying to say.

    The republicans run EVERYTHING, even Dog Catcher!!!!

    The Republicans do have a majority in the House, the Senate, and White House. They also have a majority of governorships, but those governorships do not account for a majority of the population.

    This is a point in time.

    The 2006 when Bush II’s approval rating slipped into the 30’s, voters punished the Republican party because of the Iraq war. Democrats gained 6 seats in the Senate, 31 seats in the House, and 6 governorships. That gave Democrats majorities in the house, senate, and only 16 states with Republican governors.

    In 2008 voters punished Republicans for the financial collapse. Obama was elected in a landslide, Dems gain 8 more seats in the senate, 21 seats in the house, and another governorship.

    Since that time the balance of power has flipped back to Republicans. The Tea Party objected to Obamacare. Republicans successfully ground government to a halt and got rewarded for it. Voters have now given Republicans a chance to prove that they can govern. So far it isn’t going so well and we are less than a month into it.

    The quick repeal of Obamacare has not materialized. The ham handed stream of executive orders coming from the White House has demonstrated that Trump is all that everyone feared he would be. He has chosen to remain invested in alt-reality rather than pragmatism. He has done nothing to reach out to the 54% of voters who voted for someone else and he is quickly losing the support of those who voted for change but were lukewarm about him.

    I predict that the balance of power will quickly flip back to Democrats because of Trump’s performance.

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