Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Soldiering On

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Monday Morning Open Thread

If it weren’t for persistent Repub thimble-rigging, I’d say November was ours to lose. But least we’re doing our best to make it harder for them to steal another election!

Benjamin Wallace-Wells, in the New Yorker, “Is the G.O.P. Actually in Trouble in the Midterms?”:

There are just forty-eight days until the midterm elections. The primaries are finished, and the slate of candidates is set. Republicans are alarmed. Their own internal polling suggests that, on the so-called generic ballot for the House of Representatives, American voters prefer Democrats over Republicans by nine percentage points…

… Paul Ryan is leaving Washington, and his libertarian brand of conservatism has lost its vogue. Trump’s Presidency has been full of warlike gestures but devoid of strategy: having promised a politics that would elevate those left behind, he has crafted tax policies that favor the rich and a failed health-care plan that would gut protections for working-class Americans. And, having won by slim margins in 2016 in the upper Midwest, he has imposed an aggressive tariff program that has meant chaos for farmers, who are struggling to sell their products overseas. The Republican Party is out of ideas...

Parties remake themselves by winning. Victories bring new talent to Washington. The Democratic primaries this summer were widely said to have moved the Party to the left, but the mechanism for this shift was a succession of charismatic young candidates, each presenting a different version of the Party’s future. There was the working-class pugnacity of Randy Bryce, in Wisconsin; the sunny millennial socialism of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in New York; and the historic turn promised by two talented black progressive politicians in the South—Stacey Abrams, in Georgia, and Andrew Gillum, in Florida. These candidates’ base, and maybe the future of the Democratic Party, has hinged on the increasing progressivism of cities across the United States and the idea that the politics of Brooklyn are no longer so out of place in Atlanta, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, or Phoenix—and that a forthrightly progressive politics has a chance in the states where those cities dominate…

You Did It! Now Let’s Go For More!

Woooo! $5k. I kept my word and threw in another 50.

Goal Thermometer

She’s a good candidate and WV deserves better.

Local Races Open Thread: Beto vs. Cruz, #TrueToForm

Reports from last night’s debate:

And then…

Goal Thermometer

Round Two With #TeamKendra

After the event in Bethany earlier today, I rushed back to the homestead, slopped the hogs, threw on my Sunday finest overalls, and fired up the tractor and aimed it in the direction of Wheeling to hit the second northern panhandle event Kendra Fershee held today. It was at West Virginia Northern Community College, and there was a pretty good crowd considering it is football Friday and the Ohio Valley is football crazy:

Another solid event, and this is on top of the event she held in Bethany and down in Parkersburg this morning, so a full day on the trail. I don’t know how these guys do it because I am officially peopled out til at least Monday.

At any rate, I can not stress how much every dollar helps, so if you are so inclined, please pitch in:

Goal Thermometer

If we reach $5k, I will pitch in another 50 bucks, which in the annals of matching funds is some of the weakest shit ever, but hey, I’m trying here.

#TeamKendra Visits My Thriving Metropolis

Just got back from an open meeting with Kendra Fershee at Bethany College, and we had a really good turnout:

She spoke for about 90 minutes, and there were a lot of great questions and a lot of great discussion. Some of the topics included universal healthcare, marijuana legalization, the supreme court nomination, the flawed environment v. business model, coal and natural gas, structural racism and social justice, cash bail and for profit prisons, court and criminal justice reform, education, the NRA stranglehold on the gun debate, women in politics, and much, much, more.

This was the first time I had met her in person, having only spoken with her via social media for the last year (I was an early adopter and got in touch with her shortly after she announced), and she’s the real deal. Just a great person, not slick and fake, she really connects with people when they engage her, and there isn’t a shred of the kind of arrogance you get with so many politicians. The students really liked her, and so did the adults. I’m really hoping she pulls it off because I think she is the kind of representation West Virginians deserve in Congress. You know how every now and then you just get excited about a certain candidate because they are a real person- that’s how I feel about Fershee.

Here she is posing with some students in front of the Bethany College mascot, the Bison:

BTW- she is not taking any special interest money and is really a shoestring candidate, and she needs all the support she can get. I’m throwing in another $100.00 bucks and I really hope you will, too:

Goal Thermometer

Let’s get this baby to five or ten thousand! She has another event tonight at WVNCC, and I am thinking about heading to it.

Friday Morning Open Thread: If We’re Lucky…

BS master-dealer gets high on his own supply. From the NYTimes, “Trump Sees a ‘Red Wave’ Where His Party Sees a Red Alert”:

During a discussion about his party’s legislative high points this year with a small group at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, expressed a new concern about an old habit of President Trump’s.

The many “distractions” generated by the president, Mr. McConnell said during the dinner, were preventing Republicans from having a coherent message for the midterm elections focused on the booming economy, according to multiple people who were briefed on the remarks.

Representative Paul D. Ryan, the House speaker, who also attended, expressed another concern — that the president’s talk with his supporters of a “red wave” in November was unfounded. All agreed that he should instead be sounding the alarm about the possibility of big Democratic gains…

Voters who are not die-hard Trump supporters may not “believe there’s anything at stake in this election,” Mr. Newhouse wrote. “Put simply, they don’t believe that Democrats will win the House. (Why should they believe the same prognosticators that told them that Hillary was going to be elected president?).”

Mr. Trump has alternately acknowledged to aides and supporters that the climate is troublesome and insisted that the worst will never happen. It is not clear that he actually believes his talk of a “red wave,” or if he is trying to will it into existence, advisers and allies say…

Some of this, of course, is poor-mouthing to gin up donations and scare the local precinct-walkers to up their efforts. But in his own clueless fashion, I think Conor Friedersdorf may have blundered into a salient point:

Consider the Trump voters who strongly gravitated toward him in the 2016 primaries because they felt so alienated by the rest of the GOP establishment; or who voted for him in the general election due to his celebrity, or his status as a political outsider, or faith that he would “drain the swamp” of a corrupt, bipartisan, establishment elite, or confidence that he would be a good “dealmaker” once in Washington, or a desire to “shake things up,” or to stoke and then revel in chaos, or because of an unusually strong or visceral dislike of Hillary Clinton…

…[I]f what you like most about the Trump presidency is watching him drive the media crazy; or reading his steady stream of combative tweets ostensibly “owning the libs”; or having a white man rather than a black man back in the White House; or seeing a president unapologetically attack Muslims, Mexicans, and NFL players; or following along to Sean Hannity’s sycophantic analysis of daily events; or believing that Trump is keeping North Korea or Iran in check? Well, all of that will continue regardless of the 2018 election.

For the subset of Trump supporters mostly in it for the “are you not entertained” spectacle, Democratic victory might even enhance their enjoyment, with their champion stepping daily into an arena filled with new villains. “Here’s the question facing the voters this fall,” talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt, a perennial Republican Party partisan, wrote recently in a Washington Post op-ed. “Do they vote to ratchet up this culture of conflict and chaos, or to return Republican legislative majorities that have figured out how to work with this most unusual of presidents?”

For at least some of the Americans who put Trump into power, revealed preference would seem to suggest their choice is: Ratchet up the conflict! As the reality-TV POTUS preps for a new season, fans want plot twists…

And us sane people have things like this to look forward to (i.e., to encourage us to keep fighting for every vote)…