The Doral Debacle Open Thread: “He’s in the Hospitality Business!”

So Mick Mulvaney told us. And Trump certainly set out a rich buffet for his detractors…

… “He had no choice,” Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and longtime friend of the president’s, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It shouldn’t have been done in the first place. And it’s a good move to get out of it and get that out of the papers and off the news.”

[And you know it just broke Christie’s heart to be called on to explain this for his old frenemy…]

The president first heard the criticism of his choice of the Doral watching TV, where even some Fox News personalities were disapproving. By Saturday afternoon, his concerns had deepened when he put in a call to Camp David, where Mr. Mulvaney was hosting moderate congressional Republicans for a discussion of issues facing them, including impeachment, and was told the consensus was he should reverse himself. Those moderates are among the votes Mr. Trump would need to stick with him during an impeachment.

“I didn’t see it being a big negative, but it certainly wasn’t a positive,” said Representative Peter T. King of New York, one of those at Camp David. He said the group told Mr. Trump’s aides that sticking with the decision “would be a distraction.”…

“I think there was a lot of concern,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of the Republicans’ leadership team. “I’m not sure people questioned the legality of it, but it clearly was an unforced political error.”

Mr. Cole said he did not speak to the president directly about it, but expressed relief that Mr. Trump had changed his mind, and was certain that other Republicans felt the same way. “We just didn’t need this,” he said.

By late Saturday afternoon, Mr. Trump had made his decision, but he waited to announce the reversal until that night in two tweets that were separated by a break he took to watch the opening of Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News program…

[Because a guy needs a little ego balm when he’s facing such a hurtful choice.]

“At the end of the day,” Mr. Mulvaney said Sunday, “he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business, and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world, and he wanted to put the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could.”

[A show, he most certainly put on, regardless.]
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Election 2020 Open Thread: The FTFNYTimes Defends Its #1 Priority

Namely, advertising:

SeND Us MoR Money OR YR CaMpaIGN Dies!!!…

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Hold on loosely

I’ve always thought that McConnell cares most about Republicans retaining the Senate. An impeachment trial in the Senate complicates that:

Mr. McConnell sees the proceedings as necessary to protect a half a dozen moderates in states like Maine, Colorado and North Carolina who face re-election next year and must show voters they are giving the House impeachment charges a serious review.

But none of this will come to fruition unless we get the House to vote for impeachment. Let’s raise some more money for the seventeen most vulnerable Democratic House incumbents (you can divide the money among them however you like):

Goal Thermometer

Getting what you pay: state legislature edition

For the 2018-2019 school year in North Carolina, a 23 year old with a bachelor’s degree in education has a minimum starting salary of $35,000.  I hope that our legislatures have more experience and knowledge than a first year teacher as the scope of their work is more complex.

Cheap legislature pay means the legislature is easy to capture.

Term limits means expertise and knowledge devolves to lobbyists and interest groups as they know where the bathroom is as well as where the high value comma should be placed next to an “and.”

“No budget, no pay” rules means that the party whose members can go without pay for years has a significant leverage advantage over the party whose members need to pay a mortgage on the 27th of each month.

We get what we pay for.  Institutional rules partially determine leverage and power which then influences outcomes.  A legislature where the only people who can afford to serve are either independently wealthy or easily bought out by concentrated interests will have a very different agenda merely due to the life experience of relevant leaders applying a filter of their own experiences to policy problems than a legislature where a wide swath of society can afford to run and serve.

We need to think through the first and second order effects of simple solutions to complex problems as the incentives tend to get messy.



Susie baby looks like we goofed again

Susan Collins now trails a generic Democrat by 3 points. That goes up to 7 points in the poll when voters are asked who they would vote for if Collins opposes impeachment, which she likely will. Last month she led a generic Democrat by six points.

Give here to the Balloon Juice Senate Fund, split among eventual Democratic nominees in several of the most competitive Senate races. Feel free to distribute the money among them however you like!

Goal Thermometer

Thanks again everybody. I’ll do some fundraising for the guv races in LA, KY, and MS soon.