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.

Michelle In Charge

Trump has become such an easy target that even a First Lady can join the fray without any fear of significant fallout. But Michelle Obama’s heartfelt shredding of the GOP nominee in a New Hampshire campaign speech on Thursday rose above politics, while well serving her party’s political aims.

Still, I wonder if the obsessive focus on loser Trump by Democratic leaders and supporters is distracting their attention and energy from the next job: regaining control of the House and Senate.

michelle101416Michelle Obama

  • “I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”
  • “This was not just lewd conversation. This wasn’t just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women.”
  • “The shameful comments about our bodies, the disrespect of our ambitions and intellect, the belief that you can do anything you want to a woman — it is cruel, it’s frightening, and the truth is — it hurts.”
  • “So many have worked for so many years to end this kind of violence and abuse and disrespect but here we are in 2016 and we’re hearing these exact same things every day on the campaign trail. We are drowning in it.”
  • “Too many are treating this as just another day’s headline. As if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted. As if this is normal. Just politics as usual … This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable.”
  • “This isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong … Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ This has got to stop right now.”
  • “To dismiss this as everyday locker room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere.”
  • “Strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.”
  • “We’re telling our sons that it’s OK to humiliate women. We’re telling our daughters that this is how they deserve to be treated. We’re telling all our kids that bigotry and bullying are perfectly acceptable in the leader of their country.”
  • “If we have a president who routinely degrades women, who brags about sexually assaulting women, then how can we maintain our moral authority in the world?”

Kerry Threatens Cyber Retaliation

cyberwarSecretary of State John Kerry is promising retaliation against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cyber meddling in the American presidential election. Kerry said the U.S. means to “put the people doing it on a notice that they’re not, quote, ‘getting away with it’ for free, as well as to put states on notice that we’re serious when we say they need to take every measure possible to guarantee the integrity of our elections. And we will and can respond in ways that we choose to at the time of our choice.” Read More.

Orlando Sentinel Rejects Rubio

“Until now, we have never missed an opportunity to recommend Marco Rubio to voters. … This race is different. … If Rubio is re-elected to the Senate, and decides to pivot for another run for the White House in a couple of years, Floridians won’t be getting the full attention that they expect and deserve. They also are more likely to see him do things, like retreating on immigration reform, that make more sense for a GOP presidential candidate than a sitting Florida senator. All of Rubio’s experience and talents, if they are at risk of being diverted elsewhere, aren’t enough to persuade us to recommend him to voters for another U.S. Senate term. We endorse Democrat Patrick Murphy.” Read More

Rubio: I still support Trump

The Down Ballot Matrix

Now that the presidency looks like a done deal for the Democrats, what’s the effect on Senate and House races in the face of Trump’s demise?

Top 3 Reasons Democrats Benefit

  1. Moderate Republicans so disgusted by their party they just stay home.
  2. Trump groupies just vote for him, skip ballot entries for GOP candidates who reject him.
  3. Democrats so fired up by Hillary’s inevitability they flock to the polls.

Top 3 Reasons Republicans Benefit

  1. Predictions of Hillary’s inevitability drive Republicans to the polls.
  2. Moderate Republicans skip presidential ballot, vote for their congressional candidates.
  3. Marginal Democrats think they’re not needed, due to predictions of Hillary’s inevitability.

Anybody got 7 more for a complete Top Ten?