Call Chuck Grassley And Say “Thanks”

News reports this afternoon indicate what many Republicans in Washington, D.C. have been hearing since this morning: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley appears set to proceed with moving legislation to bar President Trump from firing Bob Mueller through his committee, allowing it to proceed to a floor vote if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says so.

There are a lot of reasons to thank Grassley (whose office number is 202-224-3744) for doing this, regardless of what your personal opinion of Trump, or the likelihood of his firing Mueller, is. (For my money, Trump is exceedingly unlikely to fire Mueller, or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, because it would make Trump look exceptionally weak, when Trump– politically and personally– is all about looking tough). Here are just a few:


  • No joke: If this bill makes it into law, we can all say “buh-bye” to the constant cable news Defcon-1 style flashing red siren news alerts about whether or not the President is going to do something that is manifestly not in his interest to do. In other words, we should all call Grassley and say “thank you” for possibly being the one guy who is going to make consuming any shred of political news these days way less annoying and tiresome. That counts for a lot, at least for me.


  • To the extent that Trump might, in a moment of overwhelming weakness, succumb to his worst instincts and actually pull the trigger on Mueller or Rosenstein, Grassley and everyone who backs this legislation would be saving him from looking roughly as big and tough as this tortoise (not a good look for the leader of a party heading into a tough mid-term election, but exactly the one Democrats would love Trump to adopt).
  • For as much as cable news likes to breathlessly focus on how the Mueller probe is all about nabbing Trump, the truth is, what Mueller has been ruthlessly effective at doing is taking down big names in the D.C. swamp, foremost among them Clintonworld’s Tony Podesta. Tony probably won’t be the last big name in Clintonworld, or Democratic circles to topple, so people who dig that kind of thing (literally everyone who’s ever uttered the phrase “Crooked Hillary”) should be high-fiving Grassley right about now.


  • Basically the entire population has become convinced that government can’t and doesn’t bother to govern anymore. Grassley is actually doing that, by conducting committee business. For some of us, it’s probably worth saying “thanks” to him for just, like, doing his job.

Anyway, give Chuck Grassley a call. His number is 202-224-3744. Or you can email him here, if you like.

The post Call Chuck Grassley And Say “Thanks” appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State

A tax reform “trigger” is a good idea– just not the one the GOP has been discussing

Earlier today, rumors were that the Senate GOP was considering a “trigger” in tax reform that would effectively nix or reverse tax cuts if the revenue anticipated to stem from enhanced economic activity, thanks to said tax cuts, didn’t materialize.

Tonight, it looks like Senate Republicans are just going to reduce tax cuts by $350 billion to win over debt hawks– maybe more, given fresh analyses that are now emerging showing a bigger debt/deficit impact than what debt/deficit hawks want to see.

But there’s a different proposal that Senate Republicans should be considering, that would presumably do more to placate debt/deficit hawks, most of whom have at least as big a problem with excessive government spending as they do with too-high taxes, and should not– if Republicans are remotely interested in voting in a way that accords with their rhetoric– be a problem for the rest of the gang. From my column at US News:

The trigger that Congress should ultimately incorporate into whatever bill is sent to the president is one that would automatically force spending cuts even if post-tax-reform revenue meets expectations, in terms of its deficit/debt-increasing impact.

Ideally, the cuts would mimic the sequester, and come from both entitlements (especially Medicare, the main driver of the debt) and defense (where there is plenty of pork barrel spending to be eliminated, contrary to what defense hawks tend to assert).


Of course, this kind of trigger is exceedingly unlikely to happen. The sequester, while popular with many base GOP voters (and a few more blue dog Democrat types, where they still exist), was not popular in Congress, which loves to buy people’s votes by throwing money at them and which knows very well that seniors (who tend to be more conservative, including on defense matters, and who obviously rely on Medicare and Social Security) vote more reliably and in greater numbers than 20-somethings. That said, the sequester did still become law, which means the once-unicornish, deficit-hawk-ideal spending-cut-deal now looks more like an albino giraffe: Not something out of a fairytale, totally made up, never to be seen in real life, just something really, really rare and probably not something you’re going to see born and reborn 20 times over the course of your life.

Something a little more feasible might be a trigger that targets non-defense discretionary spending, which Republicans are happy to campaign on cutting, at least. (In practice, Republicans haven’t proven to be especially good at cutting any spending, as the Bush era demonstrated aptly, and as the Trump era could also come to show.)

On spec, it would seem more feasible to get a deal in place for insertion of a trigger targeting this: The GOP’s defense hawks won’t get stressed about it; the more libertarian slash-and-burn types will grumble a little about how it doesn’t address the Medicare-driving-debt problem but ultimately will be happy about any spending reductions.

That leaves moderates. Of those, in the House, many are already lost causes because they take issue with proposed elimination of state and local tax deductions. The question is whether any more would bail on the final package if a spending-cut-trigger were included. Maybe, maybe not.

Two open questions, tonight, as the GOP Senate caucus proceeds with tax reform: Has this proposal been mooted, even behind closed doors? Have Senate moderates (or House moderates who supported the House bill but could bail on a final package) said “no way” to such a deal behind closed doors, and is that why this isn’t on the table? As noted, it appears that more analyses are coming out by the minute that show the debt implications of the deal as it stands are not what debt/deficit hawks are hoping to see (just turn on CNN).

In all candor, while politics is indeed the art of the possible, it would be preferable to try to address too-high spending here rather than curtailing tax cuts– if Republicans really believe that big tax cuts will indeed stimulate mass economic activity that will promote more, and higher economic growth, and will make the deficit and debt impact of this less than some more bearish analyses suggest, and if they indeed do believe the federal government spends too much hard-earned taxpayer money.

The post A tax reform “trigger” is a good idea– just not the one the GOP has been discussing appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State

RNC earns an A+ for high-grade DNC trolling

Image via Flickr Creative Commons by Eirik Solheim

Treat this as some light afternoon entertainment… the RNC, in an A+ high-grade DNC-trolling effort, just sent this out. Look closely, and you’ll see the DNC Fall Meeting “schedule” includes briefings on “Where Is Michigan?”, “The Menendez Mess,” and “Moral Victories.”

We’ll see how useful the RNC turns out to be in 2018, but at least for now, their emails seem to be good for a laugh.


The post RNC earns an A+ for high-grade DNC trolling appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State

A rejoinder to Matt Lewis on libertarians and the alt-right

Earlier this week, Matt Lewis wrote an intriguing piece about what he dubs the libertarian to alt-right pipeline.

But speaking from more than a decade of experience as a libertarian Republican, engaging with other self-described libertarians, the truth is somewhat worse than what Matt depicted: For too many self-described “libertarians”—by no means all, but a lot of them—libertarianism and alt-rightism are in fact synonymous, and have been for decades.

In other words, there is no pipeline. Just a pile of jumbled policy views informed by notions of identity and superiority that’s been masquerading as a totally different perspective and philosophy—one with way better branding.

A friend who has variously worked to elect both former presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, remarked to me a few years ago that the big difference he saw between the two Pauls—and one thing that would probably end up proving one wildly more successful in a presidential race than the other—was that Ron routinely telegraphs the belief that Americans (a traditionally majority white group) are exceptional. By contrast, Rand believes and tries to telegraph that America (an ideal, a dream, a concept, an idea undergirded by protection of a wide swath of fundamental liberties) is exceptional. This is a telling difference that gets at why for so many so-called libertarians, there’s no “evolution” (or “regressing”) from supposed libertarianism to alt-rightism. They have, in fact, always believed the same thing, but they’ve been able to slap a more appealing label on it, thanks to Ron Paul’s personal and political branding.

While Ron Paul ended his career as a Republican congressman who ran for President as a member of the Republican Party, it’s worth remembering that he first made a big splash, nationally, as a Libertarian candidate. Ron was perhaps the most prominent, self-described libertarian in US politics. As such, whether Ron Paul—a candidate for whom I voted in the 2012 Republican presidential primary (full disclosure) —is or is not a truly pure libertarian has never really been mooted, except in elite right-of-center intellectual circles. He said he was a libertarian, so people who rallied to him universally had to be libertarians, too. Except that Ron Paul showed some not-clearly-libertarian inclinations—and his followers did, too, or worse.

Ron Paul was a super-hawk on immigration. Ron Paul took a generally anti-free trade stance. Ron Paul and his fans spent a lot of time fretting about the NAFTA superhighway. Each of those positions would be more correctly described as anti-free market than “libertarian.” And conveniently, each of those positions are also more closely associated with the alt-right today than they ever have been with libertarianism, viewed broadly, conservatism, or Republicanism (whatever that is). They’re all positions that were, and could still be, very easily taken by any rank-and-file Old Labour type politician in the UK (substitute for NAFTA Superhighway, EU Agreement Allowing Romanian Trucks on British Motorways). There’s not much “libertarian” about Old Labour. But there’s a lot in common with the alt-right.

To be fair, many of Ron Paul’s policy positions that dovetail nicely with alt-rightism also can be justified on libertarian grounds. Alt-righters often love talk of “states’ rights,” because it is code to those of them who really do harbor major, overt, and fully disclosed racial grievances for letting states do away with policies that they perceive as “anti-white.” But “states’ rights” is obviously also a concept that would be supported to at least a good degree by the likes of former Gov. and Libertarian presidential candidate (for whom I also voted, and worked to win votes for) Gary Johnson.

A very high to nonexistent threshold for shutting down free speech, which clearly benefits members of the alt-right that would commonly be called racists even by their defenders, gets solid support from libertarians (note the ACLU’s defense of Milo Yiannopoulos).

And of course, yes, libertarians and alt-righters generally agree that having a less hawkish, less nation-building-focused foreign policy is the right move for America. But they come at this from different places: Genuine, one might say “pure” libertarians are generally skeptical of the ability of government—including the military—to successfully overhaul societies, economies and the like. And they’re skeptical about whether it’s a project worth undertaking anyway (is making Pakistan a more gender-equality-minded country really government’s proper purpose)—especially since it comes with significant economic costs (and libertarians loathe spending money on unnecessary things).

Alt-righters are less concerned about the government getting so big that it’s engaged in societal makeover efforts in distant lands, and more about government misallocating resources away from actual (white) Americans, in favor of brown people in Third World countries. They’re also concerned about the perceived waste of resources—not money but good, American boys in our military—on preventing Somalis from killing each other.

If you look at Ron Paul, you can see how all of this was nicely packaged up, but also how, courtesy of his views on immigration and trade, to say nothing of his staffing and the content of his infamous newsletters, he might be considered to be somewhat or as much alt-right as libertarian—while giving alt-righters the ability to claim a mantle that sounds good and cool: Libertarian. It’s about freedom! Even when for many Ron Paul devotees, it’s really not.

Rand Paul, by contrast, has taken a much less hawkish tone on immigration than did his Dad. While he didn’t vote for the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill, he has spoken about immigration, diversity, people speaking different languages and celebrating non-traditional white American cultures in positive terms. This is one thing that earned him the enmity of the anti-immigration lobby that backed Trump so heavily in 2016. Rand Paul spoke about his German ancestors being discriminated against because they weren’t “American” enough. He’s given speeches that integrate Spanish, and offered to Hispanic voters that he didn’t spend enough time paying attention in Spanish class in high school, so he only speaks “un poco di Tex-Mex y un poco de Spanglish.” True, Rand is not a pro-free-trade fanatic. But he’s clearly comfortable with people the alt-right views as “different” and “foreign,” like most true libertarians tend to be– and like the alt-right tends not to be (or at least not much).

Rand also has distanced himself from Barry Goldwater’s old position, highly approved of by the alt-right and (grudgingly) conceded by legitimate libertarians on philosophical purist grounds, that the Civil Rights Act went too far and undercut fundamental rights while extending or protecting others. That made him a traitor in the minds of a good number of his Dad’s old supporters—guys who were never drawn to him in the run-up to 2016, anyway, and who always were in a Trumpish state of mind.

And the truth is, when you exit the Beltway, and head for “Real America,” you can find plenty of people who caucused or voted for Ron Paul in 2012 and who chose Donald Trump over Rand Paul in 2016, not even giving Rand a passing glance. Very many of those people never changed what they believed, or tunneled down a slippery pipeline into the fever swamps of white-supremacy-curious. A lot of them have always been there, and Ron Paul gave them a political home, enabling them to associate with people who are fairly described as “cosmopolitan” or “(quasi-) intellectual.” People like me and several family members, who by the time we got to have our say in the GOP primary process, felt most drawn to Rand—who had, unfortunately, dropped out by that time—and who then went on to vote for Johnson in the general.

To some, this will read as an exercise in Ron Paul-bashing (not my intention, perhaps just collateral damage) or ideological purification, something that conservatives have engaged in ad nauseum for at least the full decade I’ve been in politics, and which seems unproductive. That’s unsavory, since as a libertarian Republican, I want more people like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and yes, Gary Johnson in the party. If we can get them by grabbing the votes of a few unsuspecting alt-rightish voters who really love Ron, and have less in common with Rand, it’s highly tempting—and a goal perhaps undercut by pointing out these somewhat nasty realities.

But this is the reality: For a long time, and for a disturbingly large number of people, alt-righters have been “libertarians.” For them, there is no pipeline. Just the same old, static location, with new verbiage developed to describe them.


The post A rejoinder to Matt Lewis on libertarians and the alt-right appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State

Reported House Obamacare “repeal” compromise looks like a wimpy dog turd

Late last night, Huffington Post broke news of a reported House compromise to “repeal” Obamacare. This morning, CNN is lending credence to the reporting, suggesting it is not “fake news.” That’s unfortunate, because if the details are as reported by HuffPost, the compromise deal frankly looks like a dog turd… a dog turd that does not, in fact, repeal Obamacare, and will entrench the notion that Republicans are a bunch of gutless wonders lacking the balls to do what they actually ran on for multiple electoral cycles in a row.


Over to HuffPost:

The deal, brokered between House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Tuesday Group co-chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), would allow states to get waivers eliminating the so-called community rating provision ― the rule that prohibits insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. In order to obtain the waiver, states would have to participate in a federal high-risk pool or establish their own, and satisfy some other conditions.

In exchange for that conservative concession, the amendment would reinstate the Essential Health Benefits that were already taken out of the bill ― though, again, states could waive those provisions as well if they were able to show that doing so would lower premiums, increase the number of people insured, or “advance another benefit to the public interest in the state.”

There are other details, of course (for example, it seems that Medicaid cuts are still part of the package, and presumably, we’re still looking at repeal of the individual and employer mandates). But from these two paragraphs, we can ascertain that what this “compromise” mostly boils down to is Congress punting on actually, fully repealing Obamacare and passing off that responsibility—and all the potential political downside— to the states.

Obamacare *might* be repealed in your state, if your legislators and governor have the balls to do what the House GOP apparently does not. But realistically, it probably won’t. And the ultimate reason for that is because the House GOP wanted an easy vote they could brand as “repealing” Obamacare while in reality just kicking the can to some other politicos whose re-election is of no real concern to them.

Hence the “dog turd” characterization. The bill does not, in fact, repeal Obamacare; it punts decision-making for that to state-level decision-makers.

And hence the “wimpy” characterization. The bill exempts Members of Congress from taking a legitimately hard, but necessary, vote to get rid of something they’ve campaigned on repealing for several cycles in a row. It lets them take an easy vote for repeal-in-name-only, pass responsibility to some other poor suckers, claim they fulfilled a campaign promise and do a victory lap. Of course, the problem is, anyone paying attention who actually wanted Obamacare repealed will think this is incredibly weak, and Democrats will still run millions in attack ads blasting Republicans for repealing Obamacare even if they didn’t, meaning the political upside here is still questionable.

I understand why congressional Republicans want to do anything—literally, anything—to claim they’ve repealed Obamacare. Really, I do. And the reality is, this may be the only thing they can pass through the House, and there’s an argument that it’s better than nothing (though how this would fare in the Senate is a whole different matter).

Nonetheless, a dose of intellectual honesty would be good. It would be fairer to characterize this as Obamacare reform—not repeal and replacement—and, yes, as a wimpy dog turd of a compromise that should leave exactly no one feeling warm and fuzzy.



The post Reported House Obamacare “repeal” compromise looks like a wimpy dog turd appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State

The dirty, shady, crony capitalist, union giveaway in Trump’s new budget

Lurking in President Trump’s newly-unveiled budget proposal is a big problem for conservatives. No, it’s not that it fails to touch entitlement spending, which is the real driver of the debt and deficit. It’s not that it focuses on gimmicky (if otherwise unobjectionable) things like cutting funding for Big Bird on the erroneous pretext that this will somehow balance the federal budget.

The big problem is the budget’s advocacy for a proposed “privatization” of air traffic control that is a crony capitalist, big labor giveaway and tax-hiking scheme of the very worst sort that also happens to be opposed by the Department of Defense.

Here’s the background: For years now, House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster, who inherited his daddy’s seat in Congress, has been pushing to “spin off” air traffic control to a private corporation.

Sounds fine, right? Well, except for the fact that the corporation would be dominated by big airline and union interests, who have zero interest in constraining air traffic control costs (like air traffic controllers’ salaries or benefit packages), and a lot of interest in raising taxes and fees, especially on lesser players in the aviation industry—something that Shuster’s board would absolutely be able to do because setting it up explicitly involves Congress delegating away its taxing authority.

In short, this plan will allow big airlines to tax consumers up the wazoo, and big labor to reap the rewards, which is why the air traffic controllers union supports it—oh, and the Pentagon doesn’t like it because it raises concerns about their ability to use airspace the way they need to, which matters in an environment where planes have been weaponized by terrorists and used to attack the homeland.

In addition to DoD, the scheme is opposed by Grover Norquist because of its tax component, and has been heavily, heavily criticized for its insufficient conservative underpinnings by the Heritage Foundation, Manhattan Institute and Center for Individual Freedom.

So why is Shuster pushing it? And why has Trump apparently bought into it?

Taking the first question first, there’s a really simple and frankly gross answer: Shuster is dating one of the airlines’ chief in-house lobbyists. Not a joke.

Shelley Rubino is the Vice President for Global Government Affairs for Airlines for America, the trade association that does Big Airline’s bidding in Washington, DC. And she and Shuster are literally involved in a romantic relationship.

Mind you, both profess that she does not lobby Shuster (though she presumably does other things to/with him).

And yes, it is all a big political problem that makes Shuster basically the perfect poster boy if Nancy Pelosi wants to run a 2018 campaign focused on “draining the swamp,” like she did in 2006.

The Shuster-Rubino relationship, and its apparent responsibility for Shuster doggedly pursuing this scheme which is not conservative and generates howls from appropriators and House conservatives alike, got Shuster into a lot of trouble in his re-election last year.

He only beat a no-name Tea Party primary opponent by 1%– 1,000 votes.

Then, that Tea Party primary opponent ran as a Democrat to try to oust him—all over this issue. Shuster won, but he and his allies—including the airlines and Big Labordropped hundreds of thousands to save him. He was mercilessly trashed by his local papers for his lack of ethics where all this was concerned. But he and his girlfriend do not care.

Conservatives, and Trump, should.

Trump, as someone with basically no understanding of policy, can be somewhat excused for erroneously buying into this scheme. Shuster was an early backer of his, and Trump has heard plenty “good” about the plan from him, as well as his girlfriend’s paymasters who have put in serious time, effort and money pushing the Trump administration on this. Trump has a tendency to buy into the last thing he heard from someone who was nice and friendly to him, so that probably explains this—that, plus the fact that his Deputy Transportation Secretary nominee apparently lawyered for Airlines for America, so Trump and his neophyte staff are probably hearing a bevy of “good” stuff about this plan from him, too, while missing the rest.

But the plan is opposed by 62% of Americans according to a recent poll; and even if it weren’t, it’s hard to believe that Trump voters last fall went to the polls and selected him over Hillary Clinton because they desperately wanted more cronyist, hated-industry-benefiting, union-giveaway schemes rammed through the federal government. It’s also unlikely that they were looking for more policy hostile to the Department of Defense, which this “privatization”—or more accurately, corporatization—plainly is.

Shuster has an understandable, if objectively awful and objectionable, reason for supporting this nonsense. Trump does not. In fact, if cronyist and big labor love, combined with Pentagon dislike of it weren’t enough to justify his dumping on it, Trump’s former life as the owner of a plane of one type that would be massively taxed by the airline and union-dominated board should be enough to put him off it.

Much like House Republicans’ dubious Obamacare “repeal” and “replacement” (a.k.a., “tinker” and “entrench”) scheme has garnered opposition from committed conservatives sufficient that its future looks bleak, so too should this particular proposal. Privatization is a great thing, but privatization this is not. And as a result, this proposal should never make it to the House floor, let alone the President’s desk.

The post The dirty, shady, crony capitalist, union giveaway in Trump’s new budget appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State

In mock-presidential matchup, Liz Warren loses to Donald Trump. Yes. Really.

A joint Morning Consult-Politico poll released today contains some startling news: If the 2020 presidential election were held today, and the candidates were Donald Trump and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Trump would win. Yes. Really.

Ruh-roh! Ruh-roh!

Trump bests Warren 42 percent to 36 percent, with 22 percent undecided. Warren has a combined 37 percent favorable rating to a combined 30 percent unfavorable rating; 20 percent view her very favorably, and 20 percent view her very unfavorably. Amazingly, 18 percent of those polled have heard of her but have no opinion, while 16 percent don’t know who she is.

This is just one poll, it’s not focused on swing states (where the contest would, in actuality be fought), and it does show plenty of room for Warren to improve her standing.

But the point is, Warren’s appearance at the Women’s March in DC, the publicity surrounding McConnell ending her grandstanding on the Senate floor, and all of her high-profile attacks on Trump aren’t doing much for her, on the national level— at least not yet. And it suggests that her political standing is less good than it was ahead of 2016, when she was generating lots of interest from swing voters in swing state focus groups.

It also doesn’t seem to be doing much for her thus far back in Massachusetts. As a reminder, recent WBUR polling shows that only 44 percent of voters there think she deserves re-election, whereas 46 percent think someone else should get to have a go. In September, University of Massachusetts polling showed her barely capable of beating former Gov. Bill Weld and Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. Interestingly, that polling did show her beating Curt Schilling handily, which may explain why Schilling looks like he’s not running. But thus far, no one else seems to be stepping up, while Warren presumably uses things like her appearance at the March donning her pink Planned Parenthood scarf, her railing against McConnell and Jeff Sessions, and various Senate questioning stunts to rake in dollars from the lefty, Sanders contingent in the Democratic Party to pad out a campaign war-chest capable of making up for her other deficiencies as a candidate.

Those recruiting for this race need to ponder their next moves long and hard. On the one hand, getting a Republican in the race now could focus attention on Warren’s negatives and force her to start spending some of that cash rather than just hoarding it for a possible rainy day.

The flip side is, the longer a Republican is in the race, the more opportunities will exist to highlight inevitable splits between that contender and Massachusetts voters, who (obviously) tend to be pretty liberal. Also, fundraising in that race isn’t going to be easy, because the baseline presumption of most GOP donors will be that the race is unwinnable. It remains the case that Warren will probably still be re-elected, but GOP donors might not want to treat her as a dead-cert shoo-in and pass on funding what might be long-shot bid that could come good (think Mark Kirk in 2010).

Someone like Weld could be hugely advantageous in this race—maybe even running as an Independent, not a Republican. It’s easy to see him besting Warren in a debate. He’s no fire-breather on issues that tend to freak out the more liberal swing voters in the Bay State. It’s more plausible to see him attacking her over her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which looks increasingly beleaguered with news emerging about the CFPB’s head’s Clinton-like use of private devices, payment of cushy salaries—even by DC standards– to its employees, and court judgments indicating the whole structure is unconstitutional, than it is virtually any other possible contender (perhaps especially Mitt Romney). By the time Warren reaches re-election, the CFPB might not even exist anymore—maybe a good talking point for her versus evil Republicans, but along with her inability to get appointed to head it, also something that makes her look somewhat ineffective.

When speculation originally popped about Warren being in trouble, and Weld polling well against her, the assumption was that Weld couldn’t run against her, because he was not resident in Massachusetts. Except, it turned out he was.

There are a lot of options to go after Warren, but Weld might just be the man. It’d be very hard to tie the former Libertarian Party VP to Trump. And he’s well-known in Massachusetts, which is still full of voters who have, in fact, pulled the lever for him before.

The post In mock-presidential matchup, Liz Warren loses to Donald Trump. Yes. Really. appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State

Liz Warren is in trouble in Massachusetts

With jockeying already underway for the position of 2020 Democratic nominee for President, Massachusetts Sen. Liz Warren—a leading contender—might not make it to the starting line, if fresh polling is to be believed.

From WBUR in Boston, there’s some bad news for the woman looking to position herself as the female version of a Bernie Sanders-Ted Kennedy hybrid, fired up and ready to go already for a contest taking place in almost four years:

Over four years in office, Elizabeth Warren has staked her claim as the Senate’s liberal lion.


But according to a new WBUR poll, only 44 percent think Warren “deserves reelection.” Forty-six percent think voters ought to “give someone else a chance.”

“No one’s going to look at a 44 percent reelect number and think that that’s a good number,” said Steve Koczela, president of The MassINC Polling Group, which conducts surveys for WBUR. “No one’s going to look at it being close to even between ‘reelect’ and ‘give someone else a chance’ and think that that’s reassuring.”

Ms. 44 percent is bummed.

The 47 percent? She’s more worried about the 44 percent!

And there’s worse news for Warren. Contrary to what the “give someone else a chance” number might seem to suggest, Warren’s polling problem is not about her incumbency. Nope, it’s actually just about… her:

Warren’s numbers contrast sharply with those of Gov. Charlie Baker. His favorability rating is 59 percent — 8 points better than Warren. But what’s more striking is that only 29 percent of poll respondents think someone else should get a chance at the governor’s office.

Warren’s approval rating seems to be hovering in the same space—low fifties—according to this poll and another WBUR poll done back in September, in which it sat at 53 percent. But that’s hardly good news in the era of Donald Trump, in the bluest state in the country. You’d think if anyone could get their approval ratings up, it’d be Warren in this environment. Yet her state’s moderate Republican governor seems to be faring better, while she looks like she could be taken out relatively easily should either former Massachusetts Gov. and former Libertarian Party nominee for Vice President Bill Weld, or Massachusetts Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito, run.

What’s behind this trend? Back in September, when a University of Massachusetts poll came out showing bad news for Warren, I speculated that some of this might be the shift on her part away from aloof, left-of-center but above-the-political-fray, consumer-issues professor committed to serving Massachusetts to someone doing a hell of a lot of political shivving on behalf of the national Democratic Party itself and everyone’s favorite Democratic interest groups: Planned Parenthood, the American Federation of Teachers, and so on.

Indeed, in the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen Warren playing for the CSPAN cameras during a Betsy DeVos hearing (see this for more on who wants to take down DeVos). There was the refusal to shake hands. There was also a (ham-handed) “please put this in rotation on MSNBC” attempt to tie the topic of wasteful government spending in with Trump University.

There was her speech at the big anti-Trump rally in DC this weekend, complete with prominently-displayed Planned Parenthood scarf.

There was her messaging phone call with reporters proclaiming that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Richard Cordray—who is rumored to be planning a run as a Democrat for Ohio Governor— will sue for wrongful termination if he is fired from his job, even though he has allegedly overseen a spate of employment discrimination at the agency that has, incidentally, been ruled unconstitutional and engulfed in scandals ranging from alleged, egregious spendthriftiness to questionable handling of consumers’ private data in an era marked by continual hacking of government departments to misallocation of regulatory resources.

No one in Massachusetts could possibly be under the misapprehension that Warren was, at any point in recent memory, in the same space philosophically as, say, Weld, Baker, or heck, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But when they elected her, they may not have thought they were voting for a showboating political celebrity most interested in earning praise from national liberal figures and institutions, or someone who was pretty much in line with a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist on every given issue.

All the stuff Warren has been doing of late will probably be very helpful in filling her campaign coffers to help her fight off what looks like a much-tougher-than-expected re-election bid. But that remains the point: Right now, she looks like she’s starting from a pretty crappy position, and she has only herself to blame for that—while her critics have only huge volumes of popcorn to consume while watching the drama unfold.


The post Liz Warren is in trouble in Massachusetts appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State