The Wall

White evangelicals are getting a lot of attention in the larger press these days. That’s because they appear to be the most loyal demographic of Trump’s support.

I’ve posted on this topic before. Most recently, I speculated that it was Trump’s support of Christian Nationalism that could explain at least some of it.

I’ve also posted about the revisionist history that is a popular by-product of the fundamentalist belief that the founders intended this be a Christian nation. In fact, reliable historical accounts prove that their intent exactly the opposite. They realized that this experiment with democracy would fail if religion become politicized. Just as they distrusted the ability of a king to reflect the best interests of the people, they also believed the best way to get religion out of politics was to create a government with no religious preference.

So let’s dig into the question a little bit more to see if we can figure out why the white evangelical support for Trump is unwavering even as his support from other groups erodes.

White Evangelicals
The first question we need to address is why it appears to be specifically WHITE evangelicals rather than evangelicals in general, or even whites in general.

According to surveys, white evangelicals are more conservative than the larger white population on things like welfare, climate change, and immigration. 80% of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016. 59% of whites in general voted for Clinton. This may be the result of a fundamental fear of demographic change in general and racial resentment in particular.

Twice as many white evangelicals oppose climate change spending compared with other non-white evangelical groups. Twice as many white evangelicals oppose raising taxes on the wealthy compared with other non-white evangelical groups. White evangelicals are significantly more conservative on racial issues like Black Lives Matter or apologizing for slavery. 50% of white evangelicals believe that immigrants hurt the economy. Less than a quarter of non-white evangelicals share that belief. White evangelicals have the most negative attitudes toward immigrants of all US religious groups. That is in spite of the fact that most conservative white evangelical leaders strongly favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Here’s the answer that researchers have come up with.

My research indicates white evangelical conservatism correlates strongly with their perceptions (of) anti-white discrimination, even after taking into account economic status, party, age and region. Fully 50 percent of white evangelical respondents to our 2016 survey reported feeling they face discrimination that’s comparable to, or even higher than, the discrimination they believe Muslim Americans face. Those who hold this perception are more likely to hold conservative attitudes on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, tax policy and health-care reform.

This racial resentment is exacerbated by the rapid growth in non-white evangelical membership.  While 66% of evangelicals are still white, their numbers are declining rapidly.

The number of white evangelical Protestants fell from about 23 percent of the US population in 2006 to 17 percent in 2016, and only 11 percent are under 30, according to a survey of more than 100,000 Americans.

A Wall
67% of white evangelicals support building a wall. That is compared with 39% of the larger population. Here’s some additional research.

“For white evangelicals who see the sun setting on white Christian dominance in the country, the wall is a powerful metaphor,” said Jones, who has spent many years analyzing the attitudes of religious voters, and published the book “The End of White Christian America.”

Jones added that this metaphor embodies a white evangelical view of the world “as a dangerous battleground” made up of “chosen insiders and threatening outsiders,” as well as an “embattled minority trope that is rooted deep within southern culture,” such as the “Lost Cause theology following the Civil War,” and in “evangelical culture generally.”

Trump’s wall is a metaphor for the belief that Trump will protect white evangelicals from the demographic and cultural changes that they feel threaten their way of life.

On this score, historian John Fea has noted a longtime strain in white evangelical culture of “racial and religious fear” built on anxiety over immigrants, secularization, modernization and demographic change. While white evangelicals are not a monolith, Fea argues, many believe Trump is God’s vessel for “delivering them from the ‘captivity’ of the Obama administration,” so there’s little Trump could do that would “lead white conservative evangelicals to abandon him.”

As Stewart points out, some leading evangelical figures have even talked about this in wall metaphors. One such figure, who appears in the film, has declared that “America has become a nation without walls,” and that Trump will “restore the crumbling walls that separate us from cultural collapse.”

Walls appear deeply ahistorical as responses to the actual challenges to national sovereignty mounted by the facts of 21st-century globalization, Brown writes, but their overtones of long-vanished historical times are key to what makes them reassuring.

Walls have long been a metaphor for cultural strength and rebuilding community. Here’s how David Barton of the revisionist history WallBuilders movement describes it.

In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, the nation of Israel rallied together in a grassroots movement to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and thus restore stability, safety, and a promising future to that great city. We have chosen this historical concept of “rebuilding the walls” to represent allegorically the call for citizen involvement in rebuilding our nation’s foundations. As Psalm 11:3 reminds us, “If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?”

King Cyrus
There is a belief spreading among white evangelicals that Trump is a modern day version of King Cyrus.

This has been prompted by the release of a new movie, “The Trump Prophecy,” which tells the tale of a former firefighter who experienced an epiphany in 2011 that Trump would be elected president.

Analyzing the film, Katherine Stewart, a journalist who covers the Christian right, notes that it positions Trump as a modern-day “King Cyrus,” the 6th-century B.C. king of Persia who freed Jews from captivity in Babylon. As Stewart notes, Cyrus is the “model for a nonbeliever appointed by God as a vessel for the faithful,” and in the eyes of white evangelicals, Trump plays that role. In this telling, Trump is a savior figure for “Christian nationalism,” so his personal failings and misconduct are beside the point. Indeed, Stewart notes, his autocratic and anti-democratic conduct is a virtue, since it is being marshaled toward that end of rescuing evangelical culture from extermination.

Summary
To be clear, this is not an economic issue.

Economic anxiety isn’t a primary reason for white evangelicals supporting Trump. They fear losing racial status. White evangelicals’ belief that they’re the targets of discrimination – more so than other groups — influence far more than simply their votes for Trump.

While facts don’t support this fear, it remains an issue of belief just as strong as any other evangelical interpretation of the Bible. The problem is that you simply can’t argue belief.

So it doesn’t matter what the Mueller investigation turns up. Even if there is evidence that Trump committed treasonous acts, this particular group of supporters will continue to believe that God is working out His plan through Trump.

I believe that God IS working out his plan through Trump, but that His plan has no more to do with politics now than it did 2000 years ago when some questioned whether or not Jesus planned to overthrow the Romans.

As a result, I believe that the white evangelical group will face the same reckoning that every other group that confused politics with piety have faced throughout history. Unfortunately, pride goeth before the fall. Where there is great pride, as in the expectation of white privilege, the fall will be also be great.

God’s plan is simple. As the Bible tells us, God is no respecter of persons, or wealth, or influence, or privilege. His plan is that we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. The best way to secure that salvation is to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, provide clothes to the needy, care for the sick, and visit those who are imprisoned. God will judge all of us the same way. He doesn’t need our help separating the sheep from the goats. He doesn’t need a wall to carry out his plan. He doesn’t need a King. He certainly doesn’t need a president. He just needs us to love each other, listen humbly for His direction, and follow the leadings of Truth.

 

35 Responses to “The Wall”

  1. Keith says:

    Are you racist Jeff?

    African Americans vote 90-95% for Democrats. African amaerican Christians/church’s hate homosexual marriage. They can’t stand abortion. Their support for Bill Clinton? President Obama? Please write the corisponding hack piece on them. I dare you!!!!!

    White evangelicals vote for republicans because of abortion first and foremost and now homosexual marriage and supreme Court judges in my humble opinion. Everything else follows. Pick a side Trump or Hillary. Romney or Obama. Bush or Gore. It’s that simple.

    Make it about race all you want. I find that pathetic. But your a progressive. I now believe white years ago your side decided they would build a coalition of “everyone except” straight white males.

    All and all nice red herring of an article. Trumps talking about the boarder. Something many Dems are on record as wanting and even voting to support, and in dollar amount far greater then what Trumps asking for. What day you about boarder Security?

  2. Keith says:

    It doesn’t seem they disagree does it?

    https://youtu.be/-dLmM2Wz0PM

    I agree with every word Chuck says here. Do you?

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Trumps talking about the boarder. Something many Dems are on record as wanting and even voting to support, and in dollar amount far greater then what Trumps asking for. What day you about boarder Security?

    That is a good summary of Trump’s position.

    It isn’t a good statement of reality.

    This is pretty simple. It isn’t about border security. It IS about building a wall. He could have a border security deal TODAY if he were willing to stop talking about a wall. So please don’t continue to push that weak cheese argument that Democrats want open borders and aren’t concerned about illegal immigration.

    Here are a few facts.

    Trump ran on building a wall in 2016 and lost the popular vote. He ran on building a wall again in 2018 and Republicans suffered the biggest defeat in the House (based in popular votes) in history.

    Trump and Republicans controlled the government for two years and couldn’t get a bill passed to build a wall. The reason isn’t that Democrats opposed it (which they do). The reason is that a majority of American oppose it (which they do). So he couldn’t get the votes in his own party to fund building a wall because enough members in his own party knew that voting to build a wall was going to cost them votes in their next election.

    Even with all of that, Trump HAD a deal to fund at least part of building the wall in return for some action on Dreamers. He welshed on that deal. So now he is holding the government hostage in an effort to get a better deal.

    It’s not going to happen.

    That’s because he has painted himself into a corner with this base (white evangelicals) regarding this particular issue. IMHO, he has nowhere to go and will eventually have to admit defeat BECAUSE the pain that he is causing the country with the shutdown is going to ultimately be greater than the political pain he will suffer by backing down on his “wall” promise.

    In the meantime Democrats in the House will continue to pass bills reopening the government bit by bit and dare Republicans to vote no and the President to veto. Each bill will prove more embarrassing than the previous one. If it gets to that, either Trump caves or the Senate caves and overrides the veto (or passes bills with enough votes that they would override a veto).

    Hard to see how Trump recovers from this because right behind this are the avalanche of details that Democrats are going to start releasing regarding the various ongoing investigations.

    The most recent one, which came out of a botched redaction by Manafort’s lawyers, confirm that Manafort was sharing Trump’s internal campaign polling data with a Russian oligarch who owed Manafort money. Manafort’s motivation was to prove himself sufficiently valuable to the oligarch that the oligarch would pay some of his overdue bills. The only value that the polling data would have to the oligarch is if he was planning to pass it on to Putin. The only value this data would have to Putin, is if he could use it to provide better targeting information for the social media attacks that he was running on the Clinton campaign. Specifically, which states might be close enough that the social media campaign could influence the outcome. My prediction is that we will also discover that after that polling data was shared, there were changes in the Russian ad buys which reflected the targeting that Trump’s polling data contained. It will also be interesting to see if this flow of data from the Trump campaign to the Russians continued after Manafort was fired. We already know that Trump won the election based on roughly 7000 votes cast in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Whether or not the social media campaign actually caused that change in votes is going to be hard to prove. But it may be possible to prove that those states were targeted by the Russians BECAUSE they got polling data from the Trump campaign.

    At this point you are probably saying, so what? How are you ever going to be able to prove that Trump personally approved this? This was just Manafort, or perhaps Manafort and Roger Stone and some other rogue campaign folks with a “take no prisoners” attitude regarding their campaign.

    If so, then what is the alibi for the December 19th Treasuring Department (Mnuchin) easing sanctions against Russians including this specific oligarch. 2017 legislation gives congress 30 days to block any attempt by the President to ease Russian sanctions. So why was this announcement made during the Christmas holiday adjournment and three days before the announcement of the partial government shutdown? Maybe it is just coincidence, or perhaps the Trump administration was not interested in answering questions about why we are easing sanctions against Russians who were specifically involved in Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 election.

    This is just one of the reasons why it is difficult to imagine how things are going to get better for Trump and why he is so desperate to get a win in the “wall” fight. It has nothing to do with border security. It has everything to do with his need to demonstrate that he is the strong man that he claims to be and that he is willing to do “whatever it takes” to impose his will on those who disagree with him. In this case that happens to be a majority of the American people.

    His support from white Evangelicals is FOUNDED on his ability to demonstrate that he can protect them from all of the forces that appeared to be arrayed against them even though they are in the minority. It will be interesting to see what happens to that support when they discover that he CAN’T deliver on his promises.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It doesn’t seem they disagree does it?

    https://youtu.be/-dLmM2Wz0PM

    I agree with every word Chuck says here. Do you?

    Sorry, I’ve learned a LONG TIME ago not to trust random video’s posted on youtube.

    If Youtube videos are to be believed, Trump should be in jail for pedophilia.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHLjm9kHFe8

    If you can find the full text of Schumer’s remarks during this speech, then we can have a conversation.

    As I posted earlier, Democrats in general and Schumer in particular had an agreement with Trump to trade $25B in border security funding for a deal on Dreamers. Trump blew that deal up, not Schumer.

    It was Trump who demanded $5B in WALL funding and shut down the government when he didn’t get it. He CREATED this crisis because he felt he needed to get a political win. He felt the need to demonstrate to his base that even though Republicans lost big in the midterm elections, Trump wasn’t damaged.

    Trump could have a deal TODAY on border security if he wanted one. He wants to build a wall because of political, not practical reasons. Democrats would probably also be willing to give him some smaller amount for a wall, but only if they get some political value in return (Dreamer deal). Trump is unwilling to do that. Right now, IMHO Democrats have the upper hand because they are controlling the agenda. The longer that Trump waits the weaker his position gets and the fewer options he has.

    So please stop repeating the Trump administration line.

    This is NOT about border security or what is best for the country.

    This IS all about symbolism, machismo, and what is best for Trump.

    BTW, the Democrats ARE demonstrating that they understand why they were handed a majority in the House. It WAS NOT to impeach Trump. It WAS to serve as an effective check on Presidential power. Trump is abusing his power by shutting down the government. Democrats are making sure to defeat that tactic so that it won’t be used again in the future.

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW BTW, here are some examples of why Trump is losing.

    Schumer and Pelosi are not the most likeable politicians in the country. Yet, they are winning the battle because they have successfully painted Trump as a petulant child.

    The country WANTS compromise. That’s why they gave Democrats a majority.

    Schumer and Pelosi are saying that they are willing to talk about ANYTHING, but table stakes for that discussion are ending the shutdown. IMHO, they have made the case that holding federal government employees hostage is NOT the way our government is supposed to work. They did not attempt to argue with Trump about his characterization of what is happening at the border. They have AGREED that we need to increase funding for border security and improve the way that asylum seekers are handled. They have disagreed that shutting down the government is the best path to create a plan that can pass Congress and get a Presidential signature.

    Instead of focusing on the fearful picture that Trump painted, Pelosi is talking about the hardship Trump has imposed on federal employees. She has accused him of not understanding what it means to miss rent or mortgage payment because of not getting paid. She has successfully described this as an extreme tactic used by a desperate weak man who doesn’t understand financial vulnerability. To the degree that her argument is winning, that is the political price that Trump is paying by being perceived as unwilling to negotiate.

    They are both currently winning this argument because Trump continues to act in childish ways. They are acting like adults and right now a majority of the country is looking for some adult supervision of the country.

    At the White House, Pelosi seemed almost incredulous. “If you don’t understand financial insecurity, then you would have a policy that takes pride in saying, ‘I’m going to keep government shut down for months or years unless you totally agree to my position,’ ” she told the media. She continued, “So I said to him, ‘Mr. President, the evidence of what’s happening there does not support the crisis you describe and therefore the solution you suggest. Because we have a better idea of how to keep our country safe and it isn’t a wall.’” Facts! Defiance! No wonder Trump stormed out. (Minority Leader Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York pointed out that the Democrats offered to negotiate anything if Trump opened the government. He added, “This was really, really unfortunate and in my judgment, somewhat unbecoming of a presidency.”)

    Back at the Capitol, Pelosi was needling Trump again. “We’ve been having conversations with him. But you cannot come to a conclusion if the president of the United States says ‘My way or the highway, there’s nothing to negotiate and, by the way, I am willing to hold the American, our federal workers hostage to my view,’” she said. “How pathetic is his argument, if he doesn’t even have confidence that he can prevail in the negotiation if he has to shut down government to strengthen his hand.”

    Asked how this compared to past negotiations, she replied, “It wasn’t even a high-stakes negotiation. It was a petulant president of the United States. A person who would say, ‘I’ll keep government shut down for weeks, months or years unless I get my way.’ ” She explained, “That’s just not the way democracy works, and so it’s very sad. And the sad part of it is, that when you are having a negotiation, you can’t negotiate unless you stipulate to fact and the president is presenting notions that really do not relate to fact, evidence, data or truth.”

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Are you racist Jeff?

    Not the last time I checked. I’m a Christian. I believe that we are all made in the image and likeness of our creator. That means that we are all spiritual beings – not material. If our essence is spirit, we don’t have a color much less a body. My challenge is to love those who don’t love me and figure out what the best thing is that I can do every day to secure my own salvation.

    African Americans vote 90-95% for Democrats. African amaerican Christians/church’s hate homosexual marriage. They can’t stand abortion. Their support for Bill Clinton? President Obama? Please write the corisponding hack piece on them. I dare you!!!!!

    This wasn’t a hack piece.

    It was based on solid social science data on why White Evangelists continue to support a president at a level that NO OTHER EVANGELICAL group can approach.

    This is a valid question.

    If it were simply a question about belief(abortion, marriage equality, etc.), I agree. All evangelical groups are pretty well aligned. But as you pointed out, non-white evangelicals are voting for Democrats who are pro-choice and support marriage equality. We’ll dig into that in a minute.

    I the meantime, the areas where WHITE Evangelicals diverge from non-white evangelical congregations are on issues directly related to race. I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but the data IS the data.

    White evangelicals vote for republicans because of abortion first and foremost and now homosexual marriage and supreme Court judges in my humble opinion. Everything else follows. Pick a side Trump or Hillary. Romney or Obama. Bush or Gore. It’s that simple.

    Unfortunately, it IS NOT that simple. If it were, the voting and survey data would be different. But it’s not different.

    If you are able to find credible data supporting a different conclusion, I’m happy to discuss it. But what the data says is that White Evangelicals are terrified of ALL people of color. They are particularly terrified of the prospect that the Evangelical movement is growing fastest AMONG people of color. It is the fear of the other which is the basis for their perception that Trump is fulfillment of the King Cyrus prophecy. This is enough of a “thing” that someone made a movie promoting this idea.

    Make it about race all you want. I find that pathetic. But your a progressive. I now believe white years ago your side decided they would build a coalition of “everyone except” straight white males.

    What is pathetic is your level of denial.

    This is not about sides.

    This is about trying to figure out why people who claim a deep devotion to their Christian faith appear willing to support someone who doesn’t share anything in common with them.

    Whether or not you agree with the answer, hopefully you can appreciate that this is a fair question.

    Your answer is that it is all about policy (abortion, marriage equality, etc.). As a result, I explored this concept in deeper detail. I just found it hard to believe that people as deeply devoted to their Christian faith as evangelicals appear to be, could be so transactional in their voting preferences. There had to be more to it. Otherwise it called into question the quality of faith for the whole evangelical movement.

    The data that I found says that it isn’t just an issue of voting for whomever is against abortion and marriage equality. That’s why there is a difference between evangelical congregations that has nothing to do with faith.

    White Evangelicals overwhelmingly support restrictive immigration policies and policies which discriminate against the poor and people of color. Those policies have nothing to do with abortion or marriage equality. Many white evangelical leaders oppose those policies, yet white evangelical members broadly support them.

    Hopefully you can appreciate why evangelical congregations composed of people of color and those that are poor are going to oppose these policies. For them, these issues are MORE important than abortion or marriage equality. You could criticize these non-white congregations for being transactional, because policies that help people of color in general are also going to benefit evangelical congregations of color. But, just as with white evangelicals, I believe the choices of non-white congregations are better aligned with what the bible says regarding the poor and the stranger. White Evangelical leaders have also come to the same conclusion. They both believe their faith is better served by focusing on the poor and the stranger than it is defending the rights of the unborn or objecting to the sexual preferences of some people.

    But let’s just turn the question around.

    In 2020, the Democrats nominate an African American evangelical woman. She reflects the beliefs of her congregation. She is pro-life. She is anti-marriage equality. She pledges to nominate judges who will keep an open mind to both questions. She supports increased funding for programs to combat poverty. She supports immigration laws which would admit anyone (and their family) who can prove they have a clean criminal record, are not affiliated with any terrorist organizations, and have an employer/community willing to sponsor them.

    You telling me that all those white evangelicals currently supporting Trump would change their party affiliation and vote for this female African American Democrat?

    I really hope that they would change their vote because that would indicate that they really are trying to live their faith. But the research predicts that Trump would retain all of the support that he currently enjoys from white evangelicals.

  7. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    And I can say how did the Russians influence the tens of thousands of voters in Philly, Detroit and Milwaukee to stay home and not vote for Hillary as they had for President Obama? Had they she wins hands down. They didn’t. Did the Russsians somehow influence Hillary to not campaign in Mich or Wisc??? You say one yet somehow forget the other truth.

    Don’t ever forget 11 or 12 outstayed counties in Michigan votes twice for President Obama then flipped to Trump. When did they become racists?

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And I can say how did the Russians influence the tens of thousands of voters in Philly, Detroit and Milwaukee to stay home and not vote for Hillary as they had for President Obama? Had they she wins hands down. They didn’t. Did the Russsians somehow influence Hillary to not campaign in Mich or Wisc??? You say one yet somehow forget the other truth.

    The issue isn’t whether or not the Russians were successful in altering the course of the election. I’ve already said that it would be very difficult to prove anything one way or the other.

    It is a fact, however, which you have been unwilling to admit, that the Russians did ATTEMPT to influence the 2016 election.

    That is as much of an attack on this country as any other terrorist. Like the shoe bomber, it doesn’t matter whether or not the bomb actually went off. The crime is the attack.

    The question IS did the Russians obtain information from the Trump campaign that COULD have been used to better focus their social media campaign?

    The Rosenbergs were tried and executed for treason because they shared US nuclear secrets with the Russians. The Russians have never used a nuclear weapon. There was also no proof that the Russians needed the information that they got from the Rosenbergs in order to create a nuclear weapon.

    The crime is in sharing sensitive information with our enemies, not whether our enemies were actually able to use that information.

    Hopefully you can appreciate how serious a crime this is and the implications if it turns out that Trump was aware of it.

    Don’t ever forget 11 or 12 outstayed counties in Michigan votes twice for President Obama then flipped to Trump. When did they become racists?

    Trump flipped 12 counties in Michigan, but that wasn’t the reason he won. He won by 10K votes. Clinton got 78K fewer votes in Wayne County that Obama. Trump got 14k more votes than Romney. The libertarian Gary Johnson got 172K votes. Green Party Jill Stein got 51K votes. Evan McMullin running as a Republican alternative to Trump got 8K votes.

    The Russian plan in Michigan was to suppress the African American vote and promote third party candidates. Both of those things happened. Johnson’s vote total was the most any third party candidate obtained in Michigan since Ross Perot.

    You can claim that Clinton didn’t help her cause, and that is true.

    But when you are talking about swaying .23% of the total vote, it is certainly possible. Here’s a link to a NYT article reporting on some of the tactics.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/us/politics/russia-2016-influence-campaign.html

    The voter suppression effort was focused particularly on Sanders supporters and African-Americans, urging them to shun Mrs. Clinton in the general election and either vote for Ms. Stein or stay home.

    The focus on the African American community tried to convince African Americans that the election process was corrupt and that their votes didn’t matter. Black voter participation declined in 2016 for the first time in 20 years.

    The campaign also targeted left-wing voters with material that criticized Clinton and promoted Sanders (who wasn’t on the ballot), Johnson, and Stein.

    Whether or not the Russians were successful in Michigan, it is clear that Clinton would have won Michigan if there was just marginally higher African American turnout in Wayne County and if there was just marginally fewer voters picking third party candidates rather than Clinton.

    As far as your comment regarding racists, that is really a little bit of passive aggression. You are better than that.

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, regarding third party candidates – both Johnson and Stein did marginally better in Michigan (3.6% and 1.1%) than they did nationally (3.28% and 1.07%).

    Here that the Washington Post says regarding their effect in key swing states.

    First, in five states Trump won by a margin smaller than the combined Johnson/Stein vote: in Arizona (by 0.6 percentage points), Florida (1.6), Michigan (4.4), Pennsylvania (2.0) and Wisconsin (3.7).

    What if we add the entire Stein vote to Clinton’s total in these states? This would have flipped the outcome in Michigan (16 electoral votes) and Wisconsin (10), and left Clinton just 19,234 votes short (as of this writing) in Pennsylvania (20) — a margin she might have overcome without Johnson in the race. Adding the first two states to Clinton’s column would give her 258 electoral votes, while Trump would have 280. Adding Pennsylvania would have put Clinton over the top, 278 to 260.

    But this projection rests on the unrealistic assumption that all Stein voters would have voted for Clinton. Probably some would have stayed home, skipped the presidential race or voted for another candidate.

    Second, the 2016 exit polls asked voters how they would have voted if forced to choose between the two major-party candidates. Based on those answers, in the five states identified above, Trump would have kept his lead in Arizona (48 percent to 44 percent) and Florida (48 to 46 percent). Clinton would have flipped Michigan (48 to 44 percent).

    In Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Clinton and Trump would have tied at 48 percent apiece.

    In each case, the other respondents said they would have abstained from voting.

    Clinton might have won, based upon these data, but only by winning both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. If Trump held onto even one, he would have kept an electoral college majority.

    Russian attempts to influence Sanders supporters to vote for third party candidates wasn’t sufficient to secure the election for Trump. BUT, they came REALLY close and you certainly can make the case that combining this effort with suppressing the African American vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, and PA could have made the difference.

    The fact that it was this close would certainly be incentive for the Russian effort and that’s really what we need to find out.

    If it turns out that the Russians did all of this on their own without any contact with the Trump campaign, we still have an issue. That issue is Trump’s unwillingness to treat this as a serious terrorist attack. If it turns out that the contacts with the Trump campaign that we know about and/or others that we don’t know about yet WERE part of a coordinated effort to undermine the Clinton campaign; we have to be willing to hold EVERYONE who either participated or knew about it and did nothing accountable. This is not politics as usual. This is treason.

    We invaded Afghanistan because they allowed OBL to use that country as a base of operations when he planned the 9/11 attacks. We invaded Iraq because they made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Bush I.

    What is our appropriate response when we discover that Russia attacked our election system with the purpose of destabilizing our democracy?

    What is our appropriate response when we discover, even if he wasn’t involved, that our President was aware, as a result of his security briefings, of the scope of Russian involvement in our elections and ignored that information?

    Hopefully our appropriate response if we discover that our current President was aware of Russian efforts to undermine the Clinton campaign and did nothing to stop them, or worse yet approved them, is to remove him from office.

    The fact that the FBI had information about Trump’s contacts with Russia that raised enough questions to justify an investigation of a sitting President is VERY concerning.

    You can suggest that it was just a rogue FBI protecting their fired chief and maybe that’s the truth. But the FBI also knows the serious risks they would be taking if this investigation had no basis in fact.

    So we need to know this too. If the FBI can’t be trusted to stay in its lane do its job, it needs to be restructured.

    If the FBI HAD a basis in fact to suspect that Russia had something on Trump that they could use to manipulate him, we need to know that too so that we can determine whether the FBI are heroes or scoundrels.

    Also the suggestion of some that nothing came from the investigation is also false. Until the Mueller report is released, we just don’t know. The appropriate action for the FBI would have been to hand over whatever they found to someone in the Justice Department for action. They can’t bring charges against anyone for anything.

    We’ll know soon enough.

    Hopefully we’ll see some leadership from both parties when we learn more about what actually happened.

  10. Keith says:

    https://news.grabien.com/story-montage-media-was-already-calling-trump-impeachment-followin

    Please watch the video.

    Sorry for lack of response lately. Traveling extra. When I saw this montage late last him I thought to send it to you. When I saw it my first thought was and the far left thinks a few Russian Facebook posts influenced the election? The mainstream media’s influence is overwhelming and constant. It’s always in front of us. The most recent findings still show “mainstream media”, minus Fox, to be 90% negitive coverage of Trump sines he was elected. The left wonders why trump supports support Trump…. well the ability to listen to the left and the mainstream media is difficult. Their credibility is shot. From day one it’s been impeach Trump. Why should ANYONE listen or take them seriously? If he’s done something impeachable then it will stand on its own. Yesterday’s display was so over the top even Mullar had to step in.

    Enjoy the snow !!!

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    As I’ve said before, I’m not interested in random videos from biased news sites. Here’s one example of how this site has been rated.

    Overall, we rate Grabien Right biased based on story selection and sourcing that significantly favors the right. We also rate them borderline Questionable for factual reporting due to failed checks and use of sources that have very poor track records with fact checkers.

    Please don’t use right wing biased web-based sites to support your claim of media bias.

    Your response echoes the bias that right wing Trump supporters have been using to “spin” Russian meddling in our election.

    The FACT is that Russian DID meddle in our election. Trump initially tried to deny that this meddling occurred. When he could no longer deny it, the story switched to the statement that it had no effect on the outcome. Now the right wing story is that “the left” is blowing this up into a big deal in an effort by “the left” to delegitimize Trump election. That’s just another attempt to recast the story in a light that minimizes what the real story is. That’s how propaganda works.

    No legitimate news source is suggesting that the 2016 election was illegitimate. Suggesting that Trump may have committed an impeachable offense is NOT the same as suggesting that he somehow got more votes in the electoral college than he should have. Contrary to Trump’s claim, there was no evidence of voter fraud.

    On the other hand, there IS plenty of evidence that the Russians ATTEMPTED to influence the outcome of the election. So let’s just stop there.

    Try to take your bias glasses off.

    Here are the legitimate questions.

    1. What should the United States do when a foreign power attacks country by interfering with our elections?
    2. What should the United States do when the President refuses to hold ANY foreign power accountable even after we have proof that our country was attacked?

    Answer those two questions honestly and we can continue to have this discussion.

  12. Jeff Beamsley says:

    From day one it’s been impeach Trump. Why should ANYONE listen or take them seriously? If he’s done something impeachable then it will stand on its own. Yesterday’s display was so over the top even Mullar had to step in.

    Here’s what Mueller’s office said.

    BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,

    This doesn’t say what was inaccurate.

    We’ll likely find out when the Mueller report comes out.

    In the meantime, Cohen is going to testify before Congress in a couple of weeks. Unless he backtracks on his comments during that testimony, the whole story will remain in the news.

    It’s news because, if true, it represents an impeachable offense on the part of the President. So criticizing the news media for reporting accurately that Cohen has accused the President of committing an impeachable offense is demonstrating your bias. If you have a news story from a credible source like the NYT, Wash Post, CSM, NPR, etc that you feel is biased, please post a link. Otherwise, I believe you will find that all of the ethical news sources are saying that this implicates the President, but it is not proof of any crime. Proof requires other witnesses, emails, text, and/or taped conversations.

    As many have pointed out, the tapes were what caused Nixon to resign. Until Alexander Butterfield testified that there were tapes, it was likely that Nixon would have survived because there weren’t enough votes in the Senate to convict him. Once the tapes were obtained, his public support and his support in the Senate crumbled.

    The same thing is going on today. There aren’t enough votes in the Senate (yet) to impeach Trump.

    But Trump has put himself in a very dangerous position because the shutdown confrontation is eroding his base support.

    White evangelicals’ support for Trump, for instance, plunged a net 13 percentage points in the NPR poll, sinking to 66-23 percent approval from 73-17 percent in the December poll. Trump also lost support from noncollege-educated white men, with his approval falling to 50 percent from 56 percent and his disapproval ticking up 1 point to 35 percent.

    Cracks even appeared in Trump’s seemingly impenetrable facade of overall Republican support: 83 percent of Republican respondents said they support the president in the most recent poll — down 7 points from the early December poll — while his disapproval in the party rose 3 points.

    If he continues to lose support at the rate of approximately 1 point per week, his popularity could get into the low 30’s by the end of March. Federal funding for food stamps is slated to run out of money on March 1.

    Add to that, the Congressional investigations in to a whole range of issues that are kicking off and time is really running out for Trump.

    He has to get the shutdown resolved. Otherwise the combination of the slow erosion in his support from the shutdown, new revelations/public testimony (like the Cohen story), and release of the Mueller Report leave Trump with very little public support.

    I know that I have predicted Trump’s demise in the past and it didn’t happen. The reason it didn’t happen was because his support among White Evangelicals stayed firm even as it was eroding everywhere else. Now we are finally seeing some erosion in White Evangelicals and non-college educated white men. I’m not sure why, because these are the people that should be most supportive of his promise to build a wall, but the numbers don’t lie. My suspicion is that at least some of these people may finally be losing faith in Trump either because of his tactics or the mountain of evidence pilling up against him.

    My prediction is that the first thing the Senate will do, if Trump hasn’t made a deal by the middle of February and the Cohen testimony proves as damaging as it could be, is pass a bill to reopen the government with a veto-proof majority. This will indicate that McConnell has decided that Trump won’t survive. Then Mueller will release his report. The House will have a bunch of hearings on whether or not to issue articles of impeachment. Trump’s support will continue to erode during the month or so he is flapping in the wind. Somewhere along there it will be clear that he will not survive a vote in the Senate and he will resign.

    This clearly isn’t the only scenario.

    Trump could decide to make a deal with the Democrats and surprise everyone.

    It’s also possible that the erosion in his support won’t continue. Perhaps the prospect of impeachment will reinvigorate those who are currently losing faith in him. If so, he may be able to survive the public release of the Mueller report just because so many of his supporters will consider the report biased.

    But the Democrats aren’t going to do anything to make this any easier for Trump. So I don’t think that they are going to do anything prior to the release of the Mueller Report regarding impeachment. They know the challenges that Trump is facing too and will continue to do their best to erode his public support by holding him accountable for all his missteps (e.g. outing the Congressional travel plans) and holding public hearings on the many areas of questionable behavior.

    IMHO, if Trump continues to believe that his best path is to refuse to deal unless he gets everything that he has asked for, this could be the beginning of the end.

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Well, right on cue, Trump sweetened his deal.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/19/politics/house-democrats-border-security-funding-trump/index.html

    We’ll know for sure after Trump’s appearance at 4:00 PM.

    If so, Trump blinked.

    That’s probably good for everyone.

    Don’t know if this is specifically the deal, since the courts are going to weigh in on whether or not Trump’s cancellation of DACA was legal.

    But it does suggest that Trump is willing to give something substantial up in return for getting the funding he has requested. Now we’ll see if Democrats have an idea of what that “something” is going to be.

  14. Keith says:

    And right on que, actually early, nancy said no.

    Did Trump blink. Remember he went no where over the holidays and sat in his office asking the Dems and Nancy to come back from vacation to n negotiate. They didn’t. When she did come back trump asked nancy “if I end the shit down and we reconvene about the boarder do I get funding for the wall and she said no.” He’s been willing to negotiate, she is not nor will she ever. He wants a wall, she doesn’t.

  15. Keith says:

    YS)Please don’t use right wing biased web-based sites to support your claim of media bias.

    MR) it’s a video!!!!!! I’m not suggestion you read or watch ther opinion. You’re burying your head in the sand. Do you think anyone in the mainstream media is going to present this????? Just watch it and tell me what’s wrong with the video!!!

    You nicely change the subject on all that follows.

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And right on que, actually early, nancy said no.

    Did Trump blink. Remember he went no where over the holidays and sat in his office asking the Dems and Nancy to come back from vacation to n negotiate. They didn’t. When she did come back trump asked nancy “if I end the shit down and we reconvene about the boarder do I get funding for the wall and she said no.” He’s been willing to negotiate, she is not nor will she ever. He wants a wall, she doesn’t.

    Sure she said no. Her position has been consistent. She came to a meeting and stated her position. Trump was the one who walked out of that meeting.

    She and Schumer also participated in meeting at Trump’s request that was broadcast. They warned Trump that if he followed through on his threat to shut down the government, it would not go well for him. He didn’t listen to them. Instead he said he would be happy to take the blame for shutting the government down. Now that he is feeling the full brunt of that blame, he’s been furiously trying to blame it on Pelosi – and folks like you believe him. Fortunately you are in the minority.

    Trump was the one who shut the government down after congress had a funding deal on the table because some conservative commentators criticized him. How’s that working for him now?

    Please tell me why the Dems should fund Trump’s wall?

    They won the last election telling voters that they were against a wall. The Dems are doing what they said they were going to do. Polls also support their position. Trump is the one losing support. Dems and congress are gaining support.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/17/trump-loses-support-among-core-voters-as-the-shutdown-drags-on-polls.html

    Trump was unable to get funding passed for his wall when Republicans controlled everything. Why should Dems help Trump get something done that he was unable to do when he didn’t need any Democratic votes.

    BTW, Trump says he is willing to negotiate but until yesterday he was the one who shot down EVERY attempt at a compromise. Pelosi and the Dems have laid out their position. They have offered to take up the issue of border security immediately after Trump reopens the government. Whether or not that includes funding for a wall will be determined by a compromise between the House and Senate.

    Trump was also the one who created the DACA crisis. That has also backfired on him as the SCOTUS has indicated that they are not going to take up his appeal of the federal court injunction on implementing his order to end DACA. So he doesn’t even have that bargaining chip. DACA supporters told Democrats that they would rather take their chances in court than kick the can down the road for another three years.

    As I predicted, Trump was the first one to blink and Ann Coulter immediately roasted him for it. It is his fault that he has put himself in a no win situation that will only get worse from here.

    We’ll see whether he has sufficient smarts to take his lumps now and stop the bleeding. Otherwise he is going to force McConnell to take action on his own. If McConnell acts to reopen the government without Trump’s blessing, that is going to provide cover for the rest of the party to start putting some distance between themselves and Trump. That’s when the prospect of a possible impeachment suddenly becomes real.

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:

    it’s a video!!!!!! I’m not suggestion you read or watch ther opinion. You’re burying your head in the sand. Do you think anyone in the mainstream media is going to present this????? Just watch it and tell me what’s wrong with the video!!!

    I can tell you NOW what is wrong with the video. It is from a right wing biased organization. The only reason you believe this video is because it supports your point of view. I’m not going to waste my time doing the research to demonstrate that this video is unreliable.

    Instead I’ll post a little article for you to review.

    It is very easy to produce fake videos these days.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/26/fake-news-obama-video-trump-face2face-doctored-content

    So the ONLY way to know that any piece of content is accurate is to evaluate where it come from. If it comes from an ethical responsible source, then it has gone through an editorial process that includes editors validating that there are multiple credible sources supporting the claims.

    This site didn’t do that – so it isn’t useful in supporting whatever point you were trying to make.

  18. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You nicely change the subject on all that follows

    My intent was not to change the subject. There just wasn’t anything more on your favorite subject of media bias to talk about.

    If you have more credible sources to document that bias that you claim, please feel free to post them.

  19. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, I did watch a little of the montage that Grabien put together. It’s is tough to figure out what the context of these conversations was because the individual clips are so short.

    Many of them, however, said the same thing that I said. IF the reports are true, it represents a serious offense for which other presidents have been impeached.

    If there were people, other than Buzzfeed, saying that the President DID in fact direct Cohen to lie – they are certainly guilty of a rush to judgement.

    But the majority of these commentators were only speculating on what the consequences MIGHT be IF the Buzzfeed article WAS true.

    What is going to happen at this point is that other news organizations are going to try to develop their own sources to either corroborate of deny the Buzzfeed report. If other sources pop up, then stories will be written about them. There has already been an indepth story written about the Mueller investigation response.

    The other thing that is going to happen is that Cohen will be asked these same questions under oath when he testifies before Congress. If he is willing to state under oath that Trump directed him to lie to Congress, then the Buzzfeed story gets stronger. That’s because the House will open an investigation into whether or not they can prove that these conversations took place and that Trump really did tell Cohen to lie to Congress.

    The other thing that is going to happen is that the Mueller report will certainly contain whatever evidence Mueller has been able to gather in an attempt to answer the same question.

    This likely won’t be the ONLY thing in the Mueller report.

    The bottom line is that Trump is heading into very dangerous waters, particularly if the government is still closed and his popularity is in decline.

  20. Keith says:

    In context. The left believes the Russians Facebook posts helped elect Trump.
    So they might again media can have an influence.

    Mainstream media ran with this story BEFORE they knew it was legit. So they said “IF TRuE” and proceeded to smear and go to their favorite wish, that trump be impeached. So they have created a narrative. The IF TRUE is the same as it’s probably true. Why speculate Jeff!!! How many times are they going to do this? And my point when will you see it????

    Well Jeff if true you stole from your company and bought a home up north, then that would be enough to throw you in jail?

    Then this weekend the kids from Covington Kentucky met the mainstream media…

    How often does Chuck Todd or Wolf Blitzer say “if true” when it comes Dems? Not often.

  21. Keith says:

    Conservative Supreme Court majority says it will hear 2nd Amendment case – CNN Politics

    Note the headline “Conservative Supreme Court”

    The same Supreme Court that doesn’t act on Trumps Dreamers appeal.

  22. Keith says:

    https://www.axios.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-beto-o-rourke-democrats-d69595cc-ea49-41b5-b521-dce94dc2790f.html

    Jeff,
    Would you vote for her over Jeb Bush? Mike Pence?

    This young lady fascinates me. I like her. I disagree with most everything she says. But she is very Trumpian. She doesn’t have her facts right but she doesn’t need to to get her message across. You KNOW WHAT SHE MEANs!!! Exactly like Trump. 74% of Dems would vote for her in this survey. Seems a bit hypocritical if we use the lefts standard against themselves.

    On a side note news from Davos today is they a scared to death of her 70% tax.

  23. Jeff Beamsley says:

    She doesn’t have her facts right but she doesn’t need to to get her message across. You KNOW WHAT SHE MEANs!!! Exactly like Trump.

    I’ll respond in more detail later.

    Just wanted to post a link to a fact check from the Wash Post. It’s just more proof that they will fact check ANYONE regardless of party. The ONLY reason why Trump gets fact checked so frequently is because it lies so frequently.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/24/ocasio-cortezs-misfired-facts-living-wage-minimum-wage/?utm_term=.9d1b046e2e8e

    And NO I’m not excited about another politician attempting to replicate any part of Trump’s political strategy. And double NO I’m not interested in voting for ANY politician who makes lying part of their strategy.

  24. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Conservative Supreme Court majority says it will hear 2nd Amendment case – CNN Politics

    Note the headline “Conservative Supreme Court”

    The same Supreme Court that doesn’t act on Trumps Dreamers appeal.

    Please post a link to whatever article you are complaining about so I can see the context.

    There are a majority of SELF DESCRIBED conservatives on the court. So the description of the court could be accurate if they were referencing the states public beliefs of the judges. Another acceptable description is “a supreme court with a majority of conservative judges”, since that is also accurate.

    That doesn’t mean that every decision they make will be in line with whatever Trump and the Republican Party want.

  25. Jeff Beamsley says:

    How often does Chuck Todd or Wolf Blitzer say “if true” when it comes Dems? Not often.

    Happens all the time. You just don’t react to it in the same way that you react to things critical of Trump.

    Here are some examples.

    Wash Post

    “Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps . . . their credibility will be forever gone!” Trump wrote in a tweet posted shortly after midnight.

    Trump provided no details about the alleged hacking, but his tweets came shortly after the online publication of a story by the Daily Caller asserting that a Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington area hacked Clinton’s private server while she was secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails. The publication cited “two sources briefed on the matter.”

    Fox News, which is frequently watched by the president, aired a segment on the report Tuesday night, with a guest calling it a bombshell if true.

    Huff Post

    During the 2012 presidential campaign, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made an outrageous allegation that GOP nominee Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years.

    Reid, who recently announced that he will not seek re-election in 2016, first made the claim in an interview with the Huffington Post on July 31, 2012. “He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years,” he said. “Now do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain, but obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”

    In fact there is a whole running column in Bloomberg called Whoa, if True where they examine conspiracy theories.

  26. Jeff Beamsley says:

    So Trump blinked.

    This effectively means that there will be no future government shutdowns as long as Pelosi is speaker and Trump is President.

    That’s the good news.

    The next step will be how Trump’s base reacts and whether or not the House and Senate will be able to come up with a compromise deal.

    I think that they will and Trump will sign it because, at this point, he really doesn’t have another choice.

  27. Keith says:

    Good morning Jeff,
    Bottom line, if we get any movement on immigration and illegal imagration then Trump will have advanced the ball further then any recent president. If that means he looks like he blinked then so be it.

    What hasn’t gotten much voice is to the extent Nancy Pelosi has potentially taken DC lower. Now a speaker of the house can feel free to not invite the president of the United Sates for a state of the union. Her friend Harry Ried blew it in the Senate on judges and now nancy on this. Some “win.”

    I’m hopeful we get meaningful change.

  28. Keith says:

    Nancy also promised to negotiate but only after the government opened. More pressure on her now? As I said above if we get ANYTHING on the boarder then that’s a good thing. I think nancy has to get something done.

  29. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Nancy also promised to negotiate but only after the government opened. More pressure on her now? As I said above if we get ANYTHING on the boarder then that’s a good thing. I think nancy has to get something done.

    The structure has already been discussed.

    Congress has already negotiated several compromises on border security. Trump blew them all up.

    The issue isn’t whether Nancy AND MITCH can get something done. The issue is whether Trump is going to sign a bill that doesn’t deliver money to build a wall.

    In simple terms, a physical barrier doesn’t mean anything. Illegal immigration is WAY down. What is UP are those requesting asylum. What is needed are more judges and a better process that meets all legal requirements. Dems also aren’t going to agree to REDUCING the number of legal immigrants that we allow in this country. To a lesser extent, Dems are also going to be interested in fixing DACA (though the courts are liking going to do that), and restoring Temporary Protection Status for those that had it removed.

  30. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Bottom line, if we get any movement on immigration and illegal imagration then Trump will have advanced the ball further then any recent president. If that means he looks like he blinked then so be it.

    What will likely come from this is a WEAKENING of the immigration policies that Trump has tried to put in place through executive order.

    Polls support that view that Pelosi and the Democrats are getting the credit for ending the shutdown. As a result, they are the ones who have the upper hand in moving a solution forward. That’s because in three weeks, Trump will not have the option of shutting the government down again. He is going to have to accept what is able to pass Congress and what Congress passes will NOT have anything close to what was in the Republican bill that failed in the Senate.

    What hasn’t gotten much voice is to the extent Nancy Pelosi has potentially taken DC lower. Now a speaker of the house can feel free to not invite the president of the United Sates for a state of the union. Her friend Harry Ried blew it in the Senate on judges and now nancy on this. Some “win.”

    You can’t be serious.

    Taken DC lower? This is a guy that (likely) was negotiating a deal the Putin for a Moscow hotel right up to the day that he was inaugurated. This is after he said he had no dealings with the Russians. He continues to personally benefit from foreign and domestics visitors who come to Washington seeking favors from the government and all stay at his hotel. He has had more members of his administration indicted for criminal acts than any other first term president. I haven’t even started to talk about his tweets, his lies, his support of white nationalism, his denigration of women. The guy claimed that the Hollywood Access tape was a fake for goodness sake.

    Pelosi’s popularity has gone UP through the shutdown. She and house democrats were elected to serve as an effective check on the Trump and that’s what she did.

    IMHO it has been masterful, and she is only getting started. She is under no illusion that folks like you hate her. But she does understand that power that she now has as majority leader in the House. And that she has an opportunity to tie Trump up in knots while at the same time finding common ground with Senate Republicans.

    She has already put Trump on notice of what the next two years are going to be like. When a reporter attempted to goad her into gloating over her victory, she said that she was just doing her job. Then she said that one of the things she does plan to find out is what Putin has on Trump. That is going to be an interesting investigation.

  31. Keith says:

    I do not hate Nancy. Period. Please retract your statement.

    Your response to my remarks are the definition of your “whataboutism” you like to toss out to me. In your response you also didn’t respond to my comment that Nancy disinvited Trump to deliver the state of the union just because. Now who will do it next “just because.”

    I also don’t remember offering glowing terms of house leader Bonyer for stopping President Obama’s agenda.

  32. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I do not hate Nancy. Period. Please retract your statement.

    I didn’t say that you hated House Speaker Pelosi. I said folks like you hate her. I admit that could have been phrased better. What I meant is that conservatives who hold views similar to yours hate Pelosi. But I can appreciate how it could also be interpreted as “there is a group including you who hate Pelosi”. While she clearly isn’t your favorite person, I don’t recall you ever saying anything approaching the hate-filled speech that comes from others on the right.

    Here’s a Wash Post article on the subject

    Why do Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi so much? It’s not a difficult question to answer — at least it wouldn’t be, if we could bring ourselves to be honest about it.

    Just as they have for the past 15 years, Republicans are running ads around the country trying to convince voters that Pelosi is reason enough not to vote for any Democrat, so horrifyingly evil is she.

    Now on to the rest.

    In your response you also didn’t respond to my comment that Nancy disinvited Trump to deliver the state of the union just because. Now who will do it next “just because.”

    I did respond. I suggested that you were straining our gnats while swallowing camels (as Jesus said). That wasn’t whataboutism. That was an illustration of how the current president has debased the government, previously sacred democratic norms, and the general tone of political discussion. In other words, in light of where political norms are today, I believe her response was both polite, respectful, and fairly elegant.

    Also to be accurate, Pelosi did not “disinvite” Trump. While a date had been discussed, the Congressional Resolution confirming that date hadn’t been passed. She suggested that he postpone his State of the Union address until after the government reopened OR he could deliver his speech in writing. There is certainly precedent for both. When Trump suggested that he was going to show up on the previously agreed date whether she liked it or not, she reminded him that a State of the Union speech requires a House and Senate vote. She she controls the votes in the House in the same way that McConnell controls the votes in the Senate, she could state with confidence that no vote would be held until after the government reopened.

    It is certainly possible that another speaker of the House or majority leader in the Senate could decide to withhold a vote on convening a joint session in order to hear the President speak. So yes, that is a possibility. I would gladly trade politicizing the state of the union invitation for holding the government hostage by refusing to sign a spending bill. Not only has Pelosi demonstrated an effective tactic to use when a President chooses to shut down the government, but Republicans and Democrats are actively drafting legislation to prevent any future president or Congress for shutting the government down ever again.

    I also don’t remember offering glowing terms of house leader Bonyer for stopping President Obama’s agenda.

    Boehner and McConnell were in the minority when they hatched their plan to obstruct Obama. That’s my complaint. There should be consequences to elections and Boehner and McConnell refused to accept those consequences. Obama used his majority to save the economy and pass healthcare reform. There are many who said that once they had passed the stimulus bills, Obama should have pivoted to jobs and infrastructure. He didn’t and paid the price. Trump used his majority to pass a massive tax cut. He failed to pass immigration reform. He failed to pass infrastructure investment. As a result, Trump lost his house majority in the midterms. If he had done a better job, he might have been able to keep that majority. Democrats ran on a platform of checking Trump’s power. They are now doing what they were elected to do.

  33. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, true to her word, Pelosi invited the President to give a SOTU address on February 5th.

  34. Keith says:

    For the record. I don’t hate anyone on the left. I have emence respect for nancy p. I believe I’ve said that to you before. How does a late 70’s women who can barely speak, laughter please, command such power for such a long time.

    The only dem I dislike is Hillary. Her arrogant, condescending nature, coupled with the emence distortion and deception is so over the top hypocritical that it’s laughable. And yet she speaks with a straight face. She’s a lawyer and knows better. “Let’s take a deep breath……”

    I’m right now watching senator Warren tax about her wealth tax. Her why we should do this is well interesting. The “tippy top” over $50 Million should have IRS audit every year to determine their wealth and it be taxed. “We’re only talking about 75,000 families. Our tax system needs to be more equitable. When 50% of the folks pay none then I guess she’s interested in helping you and I?

    To the shut down. Senator Warren said she was just with government workers and they were struggling and angers. I fly trek three time a week. For the last five weeks I make it a point to thank the TSA agents. They not unhappy, and knew it was going to work out. The anger was not at only the president but ALL of them. Interesting that the polls say differently.

  35. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The only dem I dislike is Hillary. Her arrogant, condescending nature, coupled with the emence distortion and deception is so over the top hypocritical that it’s laughable. And yet she speaks with a straight face. She’s a lawyer and knows better. “Let’s take a deep breath……”

    Well at some point, hopefully soon, you will stop talking about her. Her political career is done. Feel free to give it a rest. If nothing else, it will be good for your health. 🙂

    I’m right now watching senator Warren tax about her wealth tax. Her why we should do this is well interesting. The “tippy top” over $50 Million should have IRS audit every year to determine their wealth and it be taxed. “We’re only talking about 75,000 families. Our tax system needs to be more equitable. When 50% of the folks pay none then I guess she’s interested in helping you and I?

    Current polls suggest that Warren is the least “electable” of those who have announced an intention to run. I happen to like her, but just because she is a quirky nerd. With regard to the tax argument, the issue isn’t who pays the most tax. The issue is who makes the most money. But that is a progressive way of looking at it. Evidence of the conservative way of looking at it is the recent effort to repeal the estate tax which has already been whittled down to the point that it only applies to the ultra-rich.

    We’ll see where this goes, but some very interesting data has been produced lately which indicates that young people are NOT enjoying the fruits of their labor to the same extent as boomers. Since young people are now in the majority AND are generally MORE progressive that their parents and grandparents, the “tax the rich to support benefits for everyone” argument is likely to gain some support. Unfortunately so will the “we are paying too much for boomer retirement” argument. We’ll see which one wins at the voting booth.

    To the shut down. Senator Warren said she was just with government workers and they were struggling and angers. I fly trek three time a week. For the last five weeks I make it a point to thank the TSA agents. They not unhappy, and knew it was going to work out. The anger was not at only the president but ALL of them. Interesting that the polls say differently.

    You were talking with the TSA agents who decided to go to work. The unhappy ones stayed home. But this was a losing hand from the start. The only chance that Trump had to make this into something is if Pelosi and Schumer fumbled the ball. Pelosi instead demonstrated a steady hand and grace under pressure. Trump didn’t have a chance. FiveThirtyEight has a good article on how Trump is like a bad poker player. He overestimates his own skill, plays too many bad hands, and doesn’t know when to get out.

    Trump has no sense for which battles to pick and seemingly little awareness of his own unpopularity and the consequences it has for the presidency. Moreover, although Trump sometimes seems to realize when he has gotten himself into a no-win position, he doesn’t recognize how often his own decisions are responsible for putting him there. The presidency is a long game, and a much harder one than being a real-estate developer or a reality television host. The scary possibility for Trump — and I do mean merely a possibility — isn’t that the chaos of the shutdown, coming on the heels of the midterms and as the Russia investigation still looms over him, is a new low for him. It’s that it’s the new normal.

    BTW, in a separate article, the same author (Nate Silver) speculates that the shutdown itself is unlikely to affect Trump’s re-election chances. The election season is far enough away, that by the time we get there, the shutdown will be old news. But he also observes that if Trump is going to have any chance of re-election, he is going to need to broaden his appeal beyond his base. The shutdown was clearly appealing ONLY to his base. As Silver observed, many first term Presidents at this point in their administration have already made a pivot to position themselves for the next election. Silver believed that Trump was VERY lucky to win in 2016 with a minority of the popular vote. He suggests that Trump should not count on drawing to an inside straight again in 2020. Instead he needs to figure out how to widen his base of support.

    Maybe Trump took some of the wrong lessons from 2016. Trump may mythologize 2016 as an election in which he was brought into the White House on the strength of his base, but that isn’t necessarily why he won. And even if it was, trying to duplicate the strategy might not work again:

  36. Trump probably won’t face off against an opponent as unpopular as Hillary Clinton, by some measures the most unpopular candidate in general election history except for Trump himself.
  37. He won’t necessarily be the preferred candidate for voters who are on the fence between Trump and his opponent. (In 2016, voters who disliked both Clinton and Trump went for Trump by 17 points.)
  38. If he’s pursuing policies such as shutting down the government to demand a border wall, swing voters may no longer see Trump as a moderate, as (somewhat contrary to the conventional wisdom) they did in 2016.
  39. Trump might or might not benefit from the same Electoral College advantage that he had in 2016.
  40. And he probably won’t have an FBI investigation against his opponent reopened 10 days before the election.

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