A Machiavellian Twist

Something smart Democrats are worried about: the move among congressional GOP leaders to dump Trump is all about driving the party’s Super PAC friends to ignore him and pour their fortunes into House and Senate races instead. And the TV ads they are increasingly funding in key races are moving numbers toward GOP candidates.

The crazier he gets, or is portrayed, the more difficult it gets for Democrats to link him to down ballot Republicans because party leaders are isolating him as an outlier.

In other words, the fear is that the more Trump is marginalized the less chance that Democrats regain control on Capitol Hill. My suggestion to Democrats? STOP focusing on Trump and git ‘er done down ballot.

In even more other words, it seems to me the Republican establishment, having abandoned any hope of winning the White House, is creatively working on a way to leverage their Trump disaster into building a Congress that will be hostile to anything Hillary wants to do.

And Democrats, from the grass roots on up to the Obamas and the Clintons, are taking the bait.


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

68 thoughts on “A Machiavellian Twist”

  1. newsmax: Hillary Super PAC May Lend Hand to Down-Ballot Dems

    According to CNN, Priorities USA is producing ads for Senate races that may air in North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. As it happens, those four states are battleground states in the presidential election between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

    House races might also be included in the group’s push, which is expected to begin next week

    NH1 News reported Monday that Priorities USA is considering inserting itself into the Senate race in New Hampshire between Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte and Democrat Maggie Hassan, the state’s current governor.

    Priorities USA reportedly raised $23 million in August and had $41.5 million in cash at the start of September

  2. seattle times:

    Speaking next to Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray, both of whom are up for re-election, Clinton emphasized the importance of voting in down-ballot races as well as her own.

    “It goes without saying that you’re going to have maybe the biggest turnout of any state,” she said to huge cheers.

    The brief stop followed a fundraiser at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle featuring a performance by Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

    While a smattering of pro-Trump supporters stood outside the theater — including one in a Clinton mask with devil horns and one with a “Hillary for Prison 2016” sign — Clinton spoke of reconciliation inside.

    She said she wanted people “to start looking after each other again,” and that people needed to support each other at the end of an acrimonious campaign season.

    “I need your help not just to win this election but to govern and to heal the divides that exist in our country right now,” she told donors.

  3. Getting a Republican grassroots message, such as the this, circulating might be helpful:

    Fellow Republicans our down balloteers were complicit in presenting Trump with the nomination that has destroyed our party. Reward them with another term? Hell no! Real change means giving Clinton a genuine chance to fail or succeed–give her a fighting chance to make things better. Stay home on Election Day.

  4. Senate Republicans, whose fragile majority has been threatened by Donald Trump’s tanking presidential bid, are suddenly confronting another problem: a lack of cash.
    Republicans are set to be massively outspent on TV ads in seven of the eight states that are likely to decide control of the chamber. The spending disadvantage could badly hinder the GOP’s prospects, and it has led to growing frustration among the party’s top strategists — many of whom are convinced it’s long past time to cut Trump loose and focus almost exclusively on preserving the Senate majority.

  5. jack, a month ago this story ran in realclearpolitics: Kochs’ Network to Push Down-Ballot Voter Turnout

    The influential political network funded by the billionaire Koch brothers will shift its focus from television advertising to grassroots organizing in the final month before Election Day, representatives for the groups told reporters Wednesday.

    Notably, the network will now emphasize turning out dependable Republicans who are not enthusiastic about the presidential race, along with voters who are unsure about the presidential candidates but leaning toward supporting a Republican candidate for Senate. The strategy, targeting roughly 5 million voters overall, seeks to compensate for potentially anemic turnout amid low voter enthusiasm — recognizing that Republican nominee Donald Trump has not built out a ground operation as part of his campaign and is instead leaning on Republican National Committee resources.


    The powerful network backed by Charles (pictured) and David Koch decided earlier this year that it would not commit any of its vast resources to support Trump’s bid for president, instead honing its energies on battleground Senate races.

  6. a very serious carl hiaasen: Trouble lurks down the third-party path

    A fellow named Gary Johnson is running for president on the Libertarian ticket. He is an affable flake with zero chance of winning, yet millions of disenchanted Americans are expected to vote for him this year.

    This is our way of protesting a rotten political system, they’ll say. Our vote doesn’t matter anyway, they’ll tell you, so we’re making a statement.


    If only 538 of the 138,000 Floridians who threw away their votes on no-chance, third-party candidates had chosen Gore instead, he would have won the presidency.

    And Section 60 in Arlington wouldn’t have so many graves.

    I went there a few years ago with my family and saw a young woman sitting bare-headed on the ground in a cold rain, in front of one of the markers. She was alone, crying and talking to the name etched on the stone.
    A regular visitor to the cemetery said that the woman was there almost every day, grieving at the gravesite of her husband, who’d been killed in combat in Iraq.

    She’d been coming for a long time, the man said, and always stayed until the cemetery closed, when workers would escort her to the gate. Then the next day she’d be back.

    Every time somebody tells me their vote doesn’t matter, I think of that heartbroken woman and wonder what she would say if she heard those words.

  7. get a grip turn off the tv and stop reading the crap realclearpolitics spreads around

  8. excerpts from a very long endorsement by the  Miami Herald Editorial Board

    Let’s make clear what the 2016 presidential election isn’t about:

    It is not about choosing between a bad candidate and a worse one. The narrative that Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils is patently wrong. Ms. Clinton is a pragmatic, tough-minded woman of accomplishment and political conviction with a demonstrated mastery of policy. She is politically flawed. However, Donald Trump is a damaged human being.

    It’s not about an entertaining, shoot-from-the-hip renegade outsider taking on a mainstay of the entrenched political elite. That was Sarah Palin vs. Joe Biden back in 2008. No, Mr. Trump is the elite, one who has managed to talk a good game to fire up frustrated and frightened mostly white Americans with a campaign of hate and xenophobia.

    For her part, Ms. Clinton has used her insider status to work aggressively on behalf of the disenfranchised, here and around the world. She has not won every battle, but she fights the good fight, and she fights the right ones in the name of equality and democracy.


    The sum of all her flaws amounts to little compared to Donald Trump’s total lack of fitness for the presidency. Hers are the mistakes of someone who has been in the public arena, fighting for policies she believes in and battling critics, throughout her entire adult life.

    His flaws are the product of self-indulgence, the absence of contributions to the betterment of society and the lack of discipline he has shown throughout the campaign. To believe they are both equally flawed is to indulge in false equivalence.

    That goes double for anyone in Florida thinking of “sending a message” by voting for a third-party candidate. A vote for such a candidate means taking a chance that the rest of the electorate will do the right thing. That worked out well in 2000, didn’t it? This year, the stakes are too high to sit it out or vote for an also-ran.

    The priority of every voter who cares about standards of honesty and decency, not to mention the future and direction of this country, is to reject what Donald Trump represents. America does not need an arrogant, self-absorbed charlatan in the Oval Office. It needs a steady hand in perilous times, a voice of compassion in pursuing policies that help, not hurt, the disenfranchised; a leader capable of narrowing, if not healing, this nation’s divisions.

    For all these reasons, the Miami Herald recommends HILLARY CLINTON for president of the United States.

  9. kgc, not a good time to bury one’s head in the sand as so many did when they poopoohed the possibility of electing ronnie the actor and dubya the shrub.

    polls have been wrong (remember the primary surprises and brexit) and we shouldn’t be complacent.

  10. Pat

    The Kochs spent a lot during the primaries in a civil war conflict with the business wing of the party. They weren’t very successful either.

    From the ads i’ve seen they and the club for growth are still promoting  ideas that are dated and not connecting with this years voter,



  11. Craig…  AMEN!  AMEN!  AMEN!

    Being from the battle ground state of NH… we can’t watch a baseball game (or anything else) without being inundated with negative ads from both Ayotte and Hassan.  Meanwhile, the phone rings off the hook.  One thing I have noticed is that in the past week there’s been many more ads about Hassan…  and most of them in the positive vein.  It’s a welcomed change.

  12. stories like this emphasize why we must stay alert and vigilant

    wapo: Group accuses Mike Pence of voter suppression after state police raid registration program in Indiana

    A progressive advocacy group is launching an advertising campaign accusing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who also is the Republican vice-presidential nominee, of allowing voter suppression after state police raided the offices of a voter registration program aimed at signing up African Americans.

    Patriot Majority USA will place the ads on black-oriented radio stations and in print and online with black newspapers throughout the state starting Saturday, said the group’s director, Craig Varoga. Patriot Majority is affiliated with the Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC that supports Democratic candidates.

    On Oct. 4, one week before the state’s deadline to register to vote, state police raided the Indianapolis office of the Indiana Voter Registration Project, seizing computers, cellphones and records. The state police launched an investigation in late August after elections officials in Hendricks County, a suburb of Indianapolis, alerted authorities to some applications that seemed amiss. A spokesman for the state police told local news media that “at least 10” applications were confirmed to be fraudulent.

    Varoga estimates that 45,000 people, most of them African Americans, might not be able to vote on Nov. 8 because their applications were seized during the raid. The group has asked the Justice Department to investigate, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an advocate for voting rights, sent a letter to Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson asking her to take steps to ensure that eligible voters who signed up through the voter registration drive will not be disenfranchised.

  13. I insist that the people that want to vote for a third, fourth, or tenth party to do exactly that……it is your vote! 


    Blaming others for Gore not winning the potus is pure bs…..why not blame him for not winning his own state…..that is where the blame should be…..and also b/c he did not have the guts to fight it all the way…….he is to blaming i mo that we had the second Bush in office….and anything harmful that the cheney/bush regime did…..is on him…….

    Sports: we should only have two baseball teams….two basketball teams….one for the Rs and one for the Ds…….two teams of any sport….and keep all others away from participating…….rah, rah, rah…..fooey…..


    Jack…that moon was great….started real early and lasted all night….was up with it for a long while…..shining on Bull frog lake here in il……..felt like part of it all…….


    Ive been saying for the past few months to concentrate on the senate and the congress seats……if the ds blow this……they should be the third party…and let someone else that can take on the republicans do the job for them……they are in very serious trouble….and the ds should be able to take both houses…..EASILY…….im pulling for hillary all the way….so should the whole democratic party……get it together and get her an all dem government…..get down and dirty and get er done…….not hillary…..but get the dems all talking about how “they voted for Trump , before they voted against him”……..ask Kerry if that would work………..later

  14. Just as important as the down ballot this year are the gubernatorial elections between now and 2020 plus making as much gerrymandering illegal as possible.  The next census will be in 2020.  The states then get to set the Congressional districts based on that census.  Those districts need to be as squared off as borders allow so as to not grant favorability to either party.

  15. Hillary, and the dnc…should go and have a little talk with Bernie S……..and get him to go all out against those that endorsed Trump early on…..he can make a big difference, and help him self out in this regard……sorta make up for the harm that he did by staying around too long……

  16. “My suggestion to Democrats? STOP focusing on Trump and git ‘er done down ballot.”

    craig, i agree. aside from the obvious reasons of limited time and money, dems and especially Hillary should back away from poking and pummeling him.  too risky that such tactics will turn him into something to be pitied, a poor creature like the bloodied bull driven mad pricked by picadors or crazed horribly hobbled bear baited by sadists.

  17. Solar…

    I agree that Gore only has himself to blame for the 2000 election…   but to say that anything the Bush/Cheney regime did was on him is, IMO, pure BS!  Bush/Cheney have only Bush/Cheney to blame for what they did.

  18. Solar……check out how the “Blue” and the “Green” chariot teams were a part of the politics of Constantinople in the time of Belisarius……..interesting stuff……

  19. Wiki on Belisarius

    In 532, he was the highest-ranking military officer in the Imperial capital of Constantinoplewhen the Nika riots broke out in the city (among factions of chariot racing fans) and nearly resulted in the overthrow of Justinian. Belisarius, with the help of the magister militum of theIllyricumMundus, along with Narses and John the Armenian, suppressed the rebellion with a bloodbath in the Hippodrome, the gathering place of the rebels, that is said to have claimed the lives of 30,000 people.

  20. More wiki on the nika riots:

    As Justinian rallied himself, he created a plan that involved Narses, a popular eunuch, as well as the generals Belisarius and Mundus. Carrying a bag of gold given to him by Justinian, the slightly built eunuch entered the Hippodrome alone and unarmed, against a murderous mob that had already killed hundreds. Narses went directly to the Blues’ section, where he approached the important Blues and reminded them that Emperor Justinian supported them over the Greens. He also reminded them that the man they were crowning, Hypatius, was a Green. Then, he distributed the gold. The Blue leaders spoke quietly with each other and then they spoke to their followers. Then, in the middle of Hypatius’s coronation, the Blues stormed out of the Hippodrome. The Greens sat, stunned. Then, Imperial troops led by Belisarius and Mundus stormed into the Hippodrome, killing the remaining rebels.

  21. sturge, in the updated version does Bernie, michelle or elizabeth warren play the part of narses (I’m assuming the blues are the sanders holdouts,  independents and goper moderates)?

  22. GO VOTE

    XR, the easiest way for our fellow citizens who have been mislead by their Republican leaders is to simply take a day off from being a Republican. If that means not voting, so be it. If it means voting a Democratic ticket top to bottom, great. But, at some point Republican rank and file voters have to take a cold shower and realize theirs is not the party their parents’ supported. Don’t vote Republican–it is not in your interest at any level. That’s the message that must be received and internalized.

  23. Ok, …went too far blaming Gore for Cheney/Bush catastrophic harm to us all….But when i think about Gore………


    Sturg, thanks…..you know that i love reading all about that……havent had the time to see the new movie Ben the Hur……but can at anytime Kodi tv for free…..lots of great  Documentary…Movies, series…..that is where i get my game of thorns fix…………saw a series with my wife that kept me laughing out loud most of the time……”Dixie Land” or something like that…..in the south…it had a ex black athlete that was Mayor….had lesbian blue belles and an ex NY doctor that screwed around with everyone she could….a lot of  things that made a lot of people mad i think…..heart of dixie maybe the name…….you have internet….if you want i could walk you through the steps to get tons and tons of great free movies……look up Kodi it is free and only take a little bit of time to get it started….

  24. Solar, besides Ben-Hur, Gen Lew Wallace wrote half a dozen other books–none of which I have read. But, I’ve always have been curious as to how a Civil War general ended-up being a well-read author. And, I really thought the 1960s Ben-Hur was over the top.

  25. If I’m in that situation in the hippodrome, and I suddenly notice a bunch of the Blues storming out the exits, you can bet yer ass I’m gonna grab something borrowed, something blue and do some plain and fancy storming my own self……

    I can just hear the Greens now: “Ooooooooooooooh, shit……”

  26. Flatus

    Wallace came from a well educated family, but he was more a learn by reading scholar and something of a trouble maker in school.  Still all the seed of the writer were there.  Even more interesting to me, his wife became a prominent suffragette.


    Interesting story of his later life involving Billy the Kid that is reflected in modern politics and Bill Richardson reneging on the possible pardon made by Wallace.

  27. Apparently, Trump has started blaming Jews (along with everyone he’s already been blaming) for his recent scandals, according to some reports of his most recent speeches. This election just keeps reminding me of…

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    This is taken from The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which quotes the text as one of the many poetic versions of the speech originally written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power.

    I find it very easy to substitute he for they and blacks, gays, Mexicans, Muslims, women etc for the other named groups. I used to be a very optimistic person. Some claimed I was overly optimistic, I had a friend, years ago, who loved calling me Pollyanna 🙂 I no longer have an optimistic view of our country’s future. Quite the contrary, in fact. Trump has incited violence, criminal acts and treasonous activities (encouraging Russia to keep hacking etc) and everyone looks the other way. I, somewhat still optimistically, think that Hillary will win but at what cost? Those people who have been stirred into a frenzy by Trump and the GOP aren’t going away. Unless the majority, and I do believe that decent people are still the majority, wakes up and says this is not OK, rabble-rouser Trump may still be able to get his thugs to do his bidding! Picture the paramilitary groups and German civilians all over Germany breaking windows and burning synagogues in 1938. This is my now pessimistic view of what could easily happen here!

    Craig: So to your point,  “The crazier he gets, or is portrayed, the more difficult it gets for Democrats to link him to down ballot Republicans because party leaders are isolating him as an outlier.” 

    I say, respectfully, the only way to counter that is to keep pointing out that THEY put him in this position. They have espoused similar views, behind closed doors, for years as the vile views that now spew out of their man Trump! We cannot take the pressure off Trump OR the Republicans that put him, and themselves in this position! We either keep telling it like it is or we become like the German people who had their heads buried in the sand while the Nazis and Hitler came to power.

  28. “keep pointing out that THEY put him in this position”

    granny m, amen.  the prez did a good job of that the other day… it’s a delicate line tho to hoe so as not to broad brush all gopers (specially the ones who opposed him at the gitgo) and cause the blowback that happened with Hillary’s basket of deplorable.

  29. okay, here’s another one of his preemptive strikes which (if like his others) foretell his own action. bet there’s something in the wings regarding his own drug use… maybe the good doc dean was right about the sniffles.

    wapo: Trump says he and Clinton should take drug tests before next debate

  30. PATD, just watched the tape of Trump calling for drug testing.  Mix that with the 9th person he groped coming out today and his tearing down a teleprompter at a speech – I don’t know what to say.

    I think the truly hideous thing about all of this is that 37 to 43 percent of my fellow citizens will vote for him.  I think that if I were say 22 years old again, I would head up North for good – eh!

  31. dv, am afraid every one of those  “37 to 43 percent of my fellow citizens” are so excited about him that they will turn out in droves to vote…. and do their darnedest to intimidate and keep others away from voting.

  32. from same nyt link
    12:55 p.m.
    Donald Trump’s campaign is denouncing and severing ties with the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, Matt Borges.
    It’s the latest crack in GOP unity in the critical battleground state, where Republican Gov. John Kasich is also not behind the party’s presidential nominee. Borges has been openly critical of Trump on several occasions and told some Ohio news outlets he wasn’t sure if he would vote for Trump.
    Trump’s Ohio chairman Bob Paduchik is accusing Borges of undermining Trump as part of a bid to be the next Republican National Committee chair. Borges has been mentioned as a possible successor to Reince Priebus.

  33. more wikileaks email dumps reported by the hill … drip, drip, drip until election day. maybe after since they say they have 50,000 of podesta’s


    btw, got a chuckle out of brooks last night on pbs newshour

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But we’re taking about Hillary Clinton, another — David, another WikiLeaks dump this week from what apparently the Russians hacked from the Democrats, from Hillary Clinton’s own campaign manager, John Podesta. Is there anything consequential there that we’re seeing in these day after day of e-mail dumps?

    DAVID BROOKS: Well, I was shocked to how boring it was. Usually, if you’re in the height of campaign, they are setting up private e-mails, ripping into so-and-so.

  34. Since hacking seems to be the knew “news”, why isn’t anyone hacking Trump??? Gotta be a gold mine there LOL!

  35. Granny

    There was some news on that point today.  The US could do it, but it would mean revealing in the open some of the means they are using for more important things.  Just as we found out that the Wikileaks were done by the Russians by tracing back, they could do the same and there is stuff to learn much more important than Putin chit chat with some low level bureaucrat.  Eventually, things will come out when Security makes it possible.


  36. Jamie: Thanks for the info. I certainly wouldn’t want them to jeopardize national security just the get pay back on Trump and his Russian buddies. All this leak stuff annoys and baffles the hell out of me. I am not happy to have lived to see this age 🙁 When I was a kid treason and security in our government were pretty straight forward. At least, from my POV as the daughter of an Intelligence Officer. They usually knew who the bad guys were, where to find them and how to deal with them. Everyone in the spy game worked to serve their country and traitors were not looked upon as media darlings.

    PS: That Lew Wallace history was very interesting!

  37. Holy voter suppression…pence sent indiana state police to raid Indiana Voter Registration Project on Oct. 4th.

    In NM, dems are hoping to take back the legislature and override our termed-out gov, martinez.  martinez may vote for trump, being coy about her future with the national repugs.

    steve pearce?  No ads from him this cycle…he did rely on RNC funding and they have no $$ for New Mexico this year and he, a millionaire, would never fund his own campaign…the dems have few ads against him.  Maybe the Roswell market where the rabid repugs reside, but not in Las Cruces.



  38. I talked today with my sister who lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania …discussed the election.  A swing state without early voting or a back-up paper ballots in many counties.  The old harmony voting machines prevail.  More.

    In my county in NM, a paper ballot back-up.

  39. pence —

    At the Iowa campaign event, Pence told the crowd: “In the state of Indiana, we have a pretty vigorous investigation into voter fraud going on right now. And I encourage you here in Iowa, let’s be sure that our state officials are upholding the principle of ‘one person, one vote’ and the best antidote to that is to be involved in the election process. If you are concerned about voter integrity and you haven’t signed up to be a poll watcher, to volunteer at a polling place to be a part of the integrity of that process, then you need to do it.”

  40. Trump says he isn’t a politician — this is his third or fourth try at running for office.  I guess he means he isn’t a successful politician

    Where is the evidence these women are liars?  The man disputing the “hands on a plane” story was a joke

  41. Fair Warning somewhat obscene lyrics (and a few images) to a funny song that my son thinks should be Trump’s theme.


  42. A whole generation has watched faux news and actually believes they are a legitimate news organization.  Now we all have to deal with that ignorance and their new alt right spinoff of the trump campaign.

  43. Jimmy Carter should monitor the elections

    Trump voters don’t have a clue  He has been lying to them and they believe his crap

    His comments about the press corps have whipped up his audience and the media now needs and escort to and from their pen.   Why is anyone covering him?


  44. Jamie,

    Is the storm of storms materializing? We have had a good deal of rain but not too much in the way of wind. Spent all of Friday worrying about downed trees and power lines. Saturday was supposed to be worse. All quiet on the Key Peninsula, How about your neck of the woods?

  45. Will cast my vote this year in AZ via absentee ballot. McCain will probably win but I will have the pleasure of voting against him one last time.

    HRC closer than a Dem. should be there. Probably won’t get over the top, but proud to say that I will be voting for a very qualified candidate and the first woman POTUS. I’d like to frame that Ballot!

  46. I think Glenn Beck has glommed onto something blue and is looking for a way to storm out of the hippodrome.

  47. We are sad Wisconsin lost and now UCLA is getting drubbed  a sad day for the Cracker Family Hometeams

  48. Jace, the letter your daughter-in-law earmarked was heartbreaking; and, the newspaper article seemed spot-on. Thank both ladies for sharing. Then there’s the matter of your choice of the Brahms for this morning’s treat–absolutely superb–many thanks!

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