Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A New Political Party? Where Will the Refugees Go?

When one of the two major political parties gets in trouble, there's always talk of "third party." It's happening now to the Republicans. Jeremy Peters is out this morning with a piece in the NYTimes, wondering if Trump's about to brand a new property political party. (What shall we call it? "The Trump Party"? Or just "Trump"? "Trumpists"? "Trumpeters"? (In fairness, probably should be named for Bannon, its brain. How about The Bannonarians? Or how about White Nation?)

Bannon intends to make it happen. He's got his "weapons" back, he's leveled on his targets, and he's blasting away at the Republican establishment. McConnell, bam! Ryan, boom! He intends to take them and others down. Trump is the party now. You cannot oppose Trump. There are consequences.

Sen. Bob Corker
Like for Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. There's a rumor Bannon's prepared to support a primary opponent against Corker. Trump has attacked him on Twitter. Why? Corker publicly and on camera said that Trump had not demonstrated the “stability” or “competence” necessary to effectively lead the nation.

Now Corker is very publicly wondering if he'll even run for his Senate seat. It would only be his third term. He seems smart, level-headed, fair (though I don't prefer his votes). But he stood up to The Leader, and that makes Corker an untouchable.

Didn't Bannon just say on some Sunday interview show that Gov. Chris Christie got pushed out of Trump's inner circle because Christie didn't react well to the "Access Hollywood" tape? You remember, you do -- Trump struttin' in the locker room for the much younger Billy Bush. For the record -- and because I think we're mature enough now -- here is the unedited, unexpurgated transcription of part of what Trump bragged to Billy Bush:
“I moved on her and I failed – I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her, she was married. And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said: ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phoney tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
Christie had faced a camera back when that tape came out and said he couldn't support Trump unless he apologized. Trump didn't apologize, and Christie "didn't make the plane."

You know who else is gone who just coincidentally also denounced Trump over the "pussy-grabbing"? Jason Chaffetz of Utah. He said at the time, "I'm out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president." Strangely, "I'm out" proved prophetic in another way. Chaffetz left Congress suddenly, earlier this year. One of the most active and ambitious of House Republican conservatives ... retires mid-term. That's strange. There's been no hint that Trump/Bannon bullied him, but makes you wonder.
And look at the other battlefield casualties -- representatives of what may eventually be called "The Republican Party" again, refugees from Trumpland who finally got fed up with the wrongheadedness, the ignorance, and the bullying. I count four House Republicans, three in the last five days, who've backed out of running for reelection, four members who would have had a decided edge for reelection, but who are fed up: 
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. When she announced her retirement back in April, she made a point of insisting, in front of cameras, that she’s not leaving Congress "because of her differences" with President Trump or with the direction of the Trump administration. But note: Ros-Lehtinen has been "one of the most vocal moderate Republican critics of the White House and the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Ros-Lehtinen, who said she didn’t vote for Trump last year, has disagreed with the president on deportations, transgender rights and budget cuts, and with House Republicans on healthcare" (Miami Herald).
Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.). Trott just announced yesterday. He's always been a so-called moderate. He's rich, from a suburban district that leans Republican, but he's had a "rocky relationship" with Trump. After Trump's equivocation about the "many fine people" who had associated themselves with neo-Fascism in Charlottesville, Trott said Trump should perhaps "stick to golf." Trott ... gone, after only two terms. He would have had the incumbent's advantage next year, unless he got primaried. (Dum-dum-DUMB)

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.). Dent, who's been a favorite on-camera interview target for MS-NBC, has been an outspoken Trump critic. His retirement statement (in part): “I’ve worked to instill
stability, certainty and predictability in Washington. I’ve fought to fulfill the basic functions of government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default. Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) Reichert is no Republican spring chicken. He's 67. He's represented his Washington State district for seven terms -- 14 years. But he decided it was time to exit. He had faced raucous town hall crowds in August, and Democrats were already lining up to battle each other in a primary for the privilege of knocking Reichert's lights out in 2018.

As the Republican Party splinters, there'll be more sudden retirements. Watch for it.


J.W. Williamson said...

Bannon may have worried that Trump would misunderstand some of the stuff he said Sunday night. According to Ashley Parker, "Shortly after Stephen K. Bannon ... finished taping his 60 Minutes interview, a top Bannon aide texted White House Communications Director Hope Hicks to enthuse about the upcoming show. Bannon, the aide wrote, had offered an 'epic' defense of the president, according to three people with knowledge of the exchange."

That's called "working the refs."

The Trump White House (Sarah Huckabee Sanders) offered "muted" approval of Bannon. Probably didn't like the crack Bannon copped to, that the firing of James B. Comey was the dumbest political move in modern political history. That, of course, was aimed at Jared Kushner, who has been tagged as the chief pusher of the firing, not at Trump.


Anonymous said...

Republicans are the worst major politcal party ever....well, except for the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Williamson, you are so off-base! There's not going to be a Trump Party. When the truth finally comes out about how Trump and Putin worked together to win that election, Trump will be history and all thoughts of some long-term popular movement dies. It's a cult of personality. When the personality crashes and burns, it's over.

Anonymous said...


Trump isn't losing any support.

No one cares about the republicans in Congress, they are do nothing cowards.

We don't need another political party, we need no political parties.