Monday, March 5, 2018

Has Overconfidence Already Set In?...

Top Republicans sound increasingly resigned to losing a special House election in Pennsylvania Trump Country a week from today, after party-affiliated groups spent more than $9 million on a race that should be a "gimme."
It's one of the increasingly bearish signs for the GOP ahead of November's midterms, with mammoth stakes for the West Wing: If Dems take the House and there's a Speaker Pelosi, President Trump faces endless subpoenas and perhaps impeachment proceedings.
We had a very clarifying conversation with an analyst who's reliably ahead of the curve, and he agreed to share his findings with Axios.
Chris Krueger, managing director of Cowen & Co.'s Washington Research Group, said he sees four "glaring red flags for the House GOP majority":
  1. The correlation between the president’s approval number and first-term midterm losses by the president’s party: In the six times that the president’s job approval was under 50%, the average loss was more than 43 seats. The Democrats need 24 to flip the House.
  2. CA + PA = half-way there: California is the citadel of the resistance, which has 14 House Republicans. Between retirements, losing state-and-local tax deductions in the tax bill, and Trump’s California disapproval, the Golden State could lose half its GOP delegation. The new Pennsylvania redistricting map — and similar anti-Trump trend lines — could cost Rs as many as six seats.  These two states get you halfway to a Democratic House.
  3. Suburban danger zones: 2018 could make the suburbs great again for the House Democrats. The Democratic victories in last year's Virginia and New Jersey governor's races could well be the canaries in the coal mine. Remember that there are 23 House Republican seats in districts Clinton won — and most are suburban.
  4. Trump Coalition Unique to Trump: This is the biggest wildcard.  Just like we saw with Obama voters in the midterms of 2010 and 2014, we suspect the unique coalition that supported the president will not turn out for generic House members of that President’s party. Just as Obama voters didn’t turn out for generic House Democrats, Trump-centric voters won’t come out for generic House Republicans.  You do not drain the swamp by reelecting the establishment and the deep state.
Go deeper: Cowen's Washington Macro Commentaries 

As democrats are often wont to do they are showing signs of overconfidence as we approach the 2018 id-term elections. This is a very, very, dangerous mistake as the 2016 HRC loss to DJT so vividly pointed out to us.

Theoretically the orange man in the Oval Office ought to be easy to derail in 2018 and topple in 2020. Don't blow it Democrats


  1. It's not smart to be overconfident. The Democrats better come up with a message. Being anti-Trump isn't good enough.

    1. Very true. They also better nominate a candidate that has a record of honesty, decency, and has the wisdom to rise above the old class warfare drumbeat. As well as having the intelligence to select the same to fill key positions in their administration.

  2. I worry about overconfidence too. People who think the election is "in the bag" may become too willing to engage in infighting and alienate groups of potential voters. The establishment-vs-radical split remains a problem among Democrats, and the primaries are yet to come. I worry that whichever faction's candidate doesn't get the nomination for a given district, that faction's supporters might sulk at home to "teach the party a lesson" or whatever. There's also the possibility of more Russian interference to worry about. We have to fight every campaign as though we could lose, even if we don't believe we could.

    But hopefully the 2016 results taught people the risks of overconfidence.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "rise above the old class warfare drumbeat". The oligarchy has been waging scorched-earth class warfare against the rest of the country since the eighties, and they've been winning -- just look at how wealth inequality has skyrocketed. But it's only called class warfare when the rest of the population fights back -- even though it only does so occasionally and not very effectively. Polling has shown a steady rise in support for higher taxes on the wealthy and other measures to start to rein in the obscene greed of the oligarchy. My biggest complaint about the Democrats is that they've shied away from taking any real action on this problem. They, too, are largely beholden to rich donors.

    1. Indeed democrats are beholden to the rich donors too. This will continue to exist as long as their are lobbyists and our law allows it.

      Class warfare rhetoric has been around a long time. It is a total negative IMO.

      I blame conservatives and libertarians as much as I blame socialists and Marxists. Capital is good. It needs labor to sustain success and fuel growth. Capital and Labor need each other. Its long overdue for Capital and Labor to start approaching their relationship as mutual stakeholders and work to find the win win. I will add Capital takes the biggest risk. Sometimes I think Labor loses sight of this.

      Income inequality has always existed. Having said that the incredible widening of the gap is immoral and if not reversed will ultimately result is extreme social upheaval.

      I question whether we are smart enough to avoid the dislocation.

  3. Of this I am confident... the Dems have an incredible ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. November is a long ways off and there are still a lot of things that can happen.

    Armed conflict, a boom in the economy, another terrorist attack, the dems go too far left.

    It's troubling to me to see the Dems not endorsing Dianne Feinstein and throwing a pro life House member under the bus in an Ohio primary.

    These types of litmus tests are what is currently killing the GOP where the Rockefeller Republicans have effectively been shown the door.

    The question for both parties is this... have the center left and center right sides of the debate and cultural wars collapsed? If so, conservatives who have for years decried our devolution into chaos may be proven correct.

    I hope not.

    1. On Dianne Feinstein, this is a very good commentary.

      On abortion, well, a party does have to have some core values and positions. It's the positions the two parties take that make them distinguishable from each other and make the Democrats worth voting for in the first place. "Pro-life" is a euphemism for forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. If protecting the right to abortion isn't a core liberal and Democratic value, I can't imagine what would be.

      I'd still vote for an anti-abortion Democrat over a Republican, because he'd likely be better than the Republican on other issues, but the party should do its damnedest to avoid such a situation ever arising. You have to draw the line somewhere.

      If by the center-right you mean old-style conservatives who are still holding out against the new madness of Trumpism and the older madness of theocracy, they are certainly out there and waxing eloquent around the net about their political homelessness -- but I don't think there are very many of them. Just look at Trump's approval rating among Republicans. The nearest I've been able to discern to a "center-left" is Democrats who are liberal on most things but refuse to challenge Wall Street and the financial parasite class. There are a lot of them among elected officials, not so many among the rank-and-file. It's a tendency I think we've had more than enough of.

  4. I respect the pro life folks right to never consider or have an abortion. What is a problem is their belief they have the right to force their beliefs on women who support the right to choose.

    I am center right fiscally and center left socially/culturally. Not a fan of litmus tests or groupthink.

  5. I respect the pro life folks right to never consider or have an abortion.

    So does everybody. Pro-choice is, by definition, respecting whatever choice each woman chooses to make. Since there's no serious challenge to the right to not have an abortion (at least in the US), that issue seldom comes up in politics. "Pro-life", equally by definition, means forcing their own taboo against abortion on others who wish to have abortions. If it weren't for that, there'd be no issue to fight about.

    Sometimes there really are cases where one side is 100% right and the other is 100% wrong. This is one of them. The attempted coercion is 100% on one side, 0% on the other.

    As I said, I'd still vote for an anti-abortion Democrat over a Republican (unless the Republican were pro-choice, a vanishingly unlikely situation nowadays), so I don't know whether you'd consider me to be using this issue as a litmus test or not. But if there's anything that deserves to qualify as a litmus test, this is one of the few things that does. Parties have to stand for something. You have to draw the line somewhere.

  6. Infidel... I've often wondered if the Dems would ultimately make abortion the litmus test, as the GOP has done. Me? I don't like abortion and would love a world where it was not needed, but that is not the world we inhabit. But as a pro-choice Christian, I believe the decision is best left between a woman, her doctor and her pastor/close friend/partner/etc... in effect, not dictated by the government.

    The Democratic line used to be safe, legal and rare. I wonder where that view went and where a political home is today for people like me who espouse that view?

    I also think there are plenty of people in the US, perhaps, depending on the polls or stats, who are okay with first trimester abortions, but not late term abortions after a fetus would be viable. Is a view that puts any limits on abortion a bridge too far for the Democrats? I suspect many in the "pro-life" camp rest more in that camp.

    Should there be any room, in your view, in the Democratic party for people who struggle with the idea that there are girls and women who do not use contraceptives, have no means to support a child and have multiple abortions as a stop gap against pregnancy? Perhaps it's rare, but the fact is, I know some folks who have that history. Should we be encouraging that behavior, or is there a cost, both physically and emotionally that can be damaging to society? Especially if the procedures are done late term?

    Infidel... I don't claim to have answers here... I'm just thinking/ruminating outloud. No disrespect intended.

    Sorry Les... I didn't mean to hijack the thread. But I am increasingly concerned that our body politic is devolving into two far left and right sides, leaving many of us out. And I wonder where it is all going to shake out.

    For the GOP to not be honest and accept that there are some issues on their side is evident. For the Dems, it seems as if they are willing to go right off the opposite cliff.

    1. Should there be any room, in your view, in the Democratic party for people who struggle with the idea that there are girls and women who do not use contraceptives, have no means to support a child and have multiple abortions as a stop gap against pregnancy?

      I only care about practicalities -- what is to be legal and what isn't. So long as you agree that a woman who wants an abortion should not be prevented from getting one, I have no problem with it. If you mentally "struggle with" the thought of some things, well, that's not an issue for politics at all. Politics deals with choosing who gets to make the laws. Morality may be infinitely nuanced, but law is just about whether X is to be prohibited or not.

      But I am increasingly concerned that our body politic is devolving into two far left and right sides, leaving many of us out.

      I'm not sure it's that simple. Most people don't strike me as being especially radical, and not everything can be laid out on a left-to-right spectrum. From my viewpoint, the Democratic party is still much too passive ("moderate", if you prefer) on issues like skyrocketing wealth inequality. Talk means nothing. When are they going to do something about it? The most dangerous person in our politics right now is Trump and he's not an extremist or an ideologist of any stripe, just a narcissistic incompetent with no sense of moral restraint.

      I too could claim to feel left out in some ways. I'm basically a liberal but strongly support gun ownership and the state of Israel. In some areas there's no party that represents what I want. But you deal with the political system as it is, not as you wish it could be. You choose the best option from among what's actually on the menu. Right now, that's the Democrats.

      I'd vote for an anti-abortion Democrat or a pro-Wall-Street Democrat over a Republican, not because I agree with them, but because they'd be better than the alternative. It's not that I don't feel strongly about these issues, it's that being divided against ourselves, and insisting on ideological purity from politicians, are self-indulgences we can't afford in the current situation. This is what worries me about reports like the one RN excerpted above. When people start feeling that victory is inevitable and it's just a question of what kind of Democrats will win power as a result, they may feel they have the luxury of such self-indulgence.

  7. ... I didn't mean to hijack the thread. But I am increasingly concerned that our body politic is devolving into two far left and right sides, leaving many of us out. And I wonder where it is all going to shake out.

    Quite alright Dave, you didn't hijack the thread. It probably isn't all that suprising but I am in line with your thoughts. I am, and always have been, a pro choice individual. But I admidt to struggling with abortion when a fetus as reached viability. I believe there should be resonable restrictions placed on abotion and ethics and morality plays a large part in this. Or at least it should. I am befinitely against late term abortion.

    We could discuss this issue in greater detail, with multiple ideas put out there for discussion by everyone. I'm okay with that on this thread if it is relevant to the post.

    For the GOP to not be honest and accept that there are some issues on their side is evident. For the Dems, it seems as if they are willing to go right off the opposite cliff.

    I agree Dave...

  8. Turned out pretty well RN... No one called folks names, the three of us are not in lockstep agreement, but that's okay. We're different folks from different parts of the country and with different histories.

    Maybe the fact that we can indeed be civil is encouraging.

    1. I am finding that in general center left and center right folks, and those that are open to considering both right and left views absence preconceived prejudice can usually engage w/out the stuff seen on the extreme of both political ideologies.

      There really is more folks like us than those who congregate on the Mothership of Reactionary Conservatism.


As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 3/4/18 Anonymous commenting has been disabled and this site has reverted to comment moderation. This unfortunate action is necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or irrelevant to the post subject.

While we appreciate and encourage all political viewpoints we feel no obligation to post comments that fail to rise to the standards of decency and decorum we have set for Rational Nation USA.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.