January 13, 2018


Republicans Are About to Lose an Election About Values (NOAH ROTHMAN, JAN. 12, 2018, Commentary)

As of this writing, the United States is embroiled in two concurrent international incidents that have almost nothing to do with American policy or U.S. interests. On Friday morning, President Trump canceled a scheduled trip to the United Kingdom, America's closest and most pivotal ally, because he simply wasn't welcome. Trump offered a variety of unconvincing explanations for his scrapped visit, but the truth is that his reckless tweeting promoted some of the U.K.'s most racist elements, sparking a feud with Prime Minister Teresa May. His presence simply couldn't be tolerated. Likewise, the president apparently (according to the non-denials of his communications staff) used an ugly expletive to describe half of the world. Many of the slighted countries are now issuing bristling protests and requesting formal clarification as to whether the leader of the free world views them as "shitholes."

At home, the controversy over Trump's latest verbal evacuation is once again sucking up all the available oxygen. Cable news is consumed with the debate over whether or not Trump was right to declare some 54 nations fetid cavities on the global landscape. More crippling for the president, the national-media landscape is equally enlivened by the debate over whether Trump's comments--in which he apparently contended that "skilled" migrants could only come from European nations and not the developing world--represent rank bigotry. Whatever the GOP agenda was yesterday is once again derailed by Trump's big mouth.

Trump-friendly Republicans will convince themselves that these are distractions that are of interest only to a hopelessly biased political press, but they're not. Not to voters. According to polling over the course of the last month, registered voters would prefer to see Democrats retake Congress by anywhere from a 7- to 18-point margin. The number of House Republicans looking for the exits in 2018 outpaces events in both 2010 and 1994, two wave years when the party in power suffered a drubbing.

What's driving this kind of anti-Republican sentiment? It's not foreign affairs. Despite Trump-instigated diplomatic furors, the world is at relative peace. The ISIS threat has receded dramatically, and U.S.-led sorties are being reduced accordingly. It's not the economy. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. The labor market is tightening, and wages in sectors like manufacturing are up. The economy is growing at a sustainable 3 percent, and near daily new stock market highs ensure that retirement investments are seeing a substantial return. Republicans who think voters are going to fall on their knees in gratitude to the GOP when they see a tax code reform-related 2 percent withholding reduction in their paycheck come February are kidding themselves.

The driving force behind the coming backlash is Trump, the man, more so than Trump, the president.

Donald's values are not America's.

Posted by at January 13, 2018 8:26 AM