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Political Roundup for October 11th, 2017…RRH Elections…

Last night, Republicans held FL-LD-44, while the following combinations advanced in mayoral elections in North Carolina:
Raleigh: Nancy McFarlane (I) 49 – Charles Francis (D) 37
Greensboro: Nancy Vaughan (D) 61 – Diane Moffett (D) 22
Durham: Steve Schewel (D) 51 – Farad Ali (D) 29
Fayetteville: Mitch Colvin (D) 45 – Nat Robertson (R) 32

President/Miscellaneous

Duh: The failing New York Times shares the obvious: ultra mature President Donald Trump’s super not petty and totally provoked fight with outgoing US Senator and Liddle Man Bob Corker (R) isn’t endangering his legislative agenda.

Big, Beautiful Wall: Speaking of the American Great Wall… According to the very dishonest AP, many people are saying that they don’t like the Donald’s proposed wall. They also disapprove of his plan to deport the “dreamers.”

Chicago Demographics: According to The Economist, without the Big, Beautiful Wall soon to Make America Great Again, Hispanics have eclipsed African-Americans to become Chicago’s second-largest ethnic group. Until recently, they were long ignored by the C[r]ook County Democratic machine.

God’s Waiting Room: The Wall Street Journal reports that real estate developers are looking to shake Boca Raton, Florida’s reputation as “God’s waiting room.” Given the perennial swing state’s very troubling age gap, these sorts of things are always worth keeping an eye on, especially when they reflect potential larger trends.

Russians and Fake News: The New York Times highlights the ingenious method by which clever, Russian-run accounts fanned the flames of controversy on both sides in 2016: anger. This quote really says it best: “One of the most powerful weapons that Russian agents used to reshape American politics was the anger, passion, and misinformation that real Americans were broadcasting across social media platforms.”….

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Puerto Rico : Time For Statehood?

puerto rico

Puerto Rico, that small island in the Caribbean which has suffered so much in this season of hurricanes, is in ruins.

Decades of miss-management, downright greed and stupidity have undermined this unincorporated territory of the United States.

Puerto Rico was bankrupt before the hurricane, it is a basket case now.

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Americans need to see Puerto Rico as different and special, because unlike the other islands that have suffered so badly these last couple of months, Puerto Rico is American and its people are American Citizens with all the rights of their mainland cousins.

Now with no power, little clean water, food or fuel Puerto Rico is in dire straits.  There is little in the way of communications, cell or landline, and the initial calculations are that it will be at least six months before there is a return to some normalcy.

This is colossal damage.

3.4 million people are suffering now, and all of them AMERICAN citizens.

This is not some distant a third world crisis, this is America’s own we are talking about.  In her own back-yard.  Should they be placed at the back of the queue?

Maybe when he goes there in a few days’ time, Donald might offer them full statehood as the 51st state of America to go along with the massive aid that they need?

The opportunities for Trump (should he choose to take them) are outstanding…..

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Harvey Is Nothing To Do With Global Warming…..

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It ain’t no shark and it ain’t no warming neither

Houston’s flood this week is due to hubris and bad planning rather than global warming.  But hey would we not have to blame someone if it was planning?

Houston for those of us who have never passed through it, is one of those enormous post second war urban sprawls that ooze out across the West.  It was never the cowboys, John Wayne or General Custer that tamed this land, more like General Electric, General Motors and Westinghouse.  The air conditioner, personal cars and the refrigerator opened the land around Houston to become the huge 627.5 square mile of monster city it is today.

And it’s the way you build them that causes much of the problem.

Houston is low lying and near the coast.  And in what might possibly be a clue, much of what has been built on, was swamp.  So it always was prone to flooding.  This is not something new.  And then we need to factor in that much of the rest of the unchecked unregulated development was on prairie.  Now prairie is an interesting eco-system being grass with very deep roots that go far underground.  It is permeable to a fault.  The grass itself grows high and so when water hits prairie there is plenty of places for it all to go, sucked up into the grass above ground or sequestered down in the roots.  What the City fathers in their planning regulations, and the developers only out for a quite sale, have done is turn a sponge into a bathtub.

So, the developers paved over all that prairie with housing, roads, car parks, concrete, concrete, concrete etc, and hey they only discovered afterwards that the water had to go somewhere.  Surprising absolutely no one in particular, it ends up in areas that had not flooded previously.  Because, well it had nowhere else to go.

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And its all downhill to downtown

Next despite what might pass for common sense, the developers filled up the existing flood plains with more buildings.  Even as far back as 1980 there were concerns about building on floodplains and next to bayous.  But noone did anything.  Hey it was Boomtime what could possibly go wrong?  And naturally these developers did not have to put their hands in their corporate pockets to ensure that as they developed the housing they upgraded the infrastructure to allow cast water to be taken away.  And no one seems to have asked them to do that….

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Political Roundup for August 28th, 2017…Pence 2020?…RRH Elections…

President

Kasichlooper: Say it with me now ‘THIRD PARTIES CAN’T WIN NATIONAL ELECTIONS!’ The one asterisk to that has to do with impending civil war (and we’re not there, at least not yet). Even then, one of the original two parties will just rapidly die, leaving us with two parties once again. The most recent trial balloon making its way around Acela Corridor cocktail parties (and likely funding some consultant’s underling’s delicious and boozy bottomless brunch at El Centro on 14th St) is a possible 2020 ticket of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). You get two Johns for the price of one, and for once that wasn’t being said to a hooker. Joking aside, this balloon will eventually deflate like all of the others.

Pence: In this piece by Jack Colwell over at Howey Politics Indiana, he points out that the DNC is already talking about Vice President Mike Pence (R) as if he will be running for President… in 2020. I’m not sure if the DNC is just convinced that Trump will retire, or that they’re so deep into their own rhetoric that they’ve already just priced-in his impeachment and removal from office as a given. If it’s the former, I’d be really interested in how they know this. I’m guessing it’s the latter, though….

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Netroots 2017….The Democratic internal struggle continues?

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren got a warm response for a rousing speech in Atlanta at Netroots Nation 2017 Saturday.

And she didn’t say fight among yourselves.

The senator from Massachusetts gave a rousing, upbeat, 31-minute speech in Atlanta at Netroots Nation Saturday morning. You can watch it all here starting at 47:00. Or you can read it all below. Any transcription errors are mine.

Before i begin, i want to say a word about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, DACA.

The fights that we fight for, they matter. In 2012, because of the persistence of many of you in this room, 800,000 young men and women were protected from deportation. Because of you, because of your work, and because of DACA, dreamers who are as American as you are promised a chance to work and a chance to live without fear of being ripped away from family and friends. And, at the home most of them know, the chance to build a future.

And now, President Trump will make a decision on DACA. Dreamers’ future hangs in the balance. This Tuesday, August 15, people are mobilizing to protect dreamers. So, Let’s not sit back. Let’s stand together and say, President Trump, let dreamers stay! They are our friends, our family, and our future. Give dreamers the chance to fill their dream. That is what we want to do. [Strong applause]  Yeah. You bet. Yeah.

These fights matter, these fights matter, and that is why it is good to be back at a Netroots Nation. i love it. Thank you Mary and Eric and thank you Arshad and thank you the entire Netroots Nation’s team for bringing us together again…..

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Warren’s party, locked out of power in Washington and most of the country, has spent 2017 opposing Trump while also fighting about what it really stands for. Both trends were on display at Netroots, as huddles over how to block Republican bills alternated with protests of Democrats who were seen to be belittling black candidates, LGBT rights or Native Americans.

The evidence from Atlanta suggested that Democrats might march into 2017 and 2018 elections still arguing about how to win — without dividing the party.

The high-profile problems of the Democratic National Committee were part of that discussion, but the larger focus was about what progressives were building outside the party, untainted by the Democratic brand. Just as the tea party complemented the work of the Obama-era GOP, progressives want to build organizations, national and hyperlocal, to turn out voters who might be turned off by Democrats.

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The US Senate Republicans are Confused….Resurgent….

It’s easy from the outside….

But actually being responsible as the MAJORITY  is more difficult, eh?

Published in 1969 by Lawrence Peter, the Peter principle is a management theory that posits the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Employees are promoted a final time into jobs they cannot accomplish, and managers rise to the level of their incompetence.

The Republican Senate is a hot mess, and is a perfect example of the Peter Principle. The American citizenry chose to promote them to the role of majority party in part because of their excellence in being the minority party, and in part because they assumed the Republicans would be able to translate Obama resistance into actual political leadership.

But sadly, not so much. Their ineptitude is both confounding, and infuriating. But even more difficult to comprehend is their inability to understand even the simple principles of governing. They don’t seem to grasp the essentials of being a majority party: leadership, presenting a coherent message, and coalescing their members into a united body. These necessities seem to be far beyond their capabilities.

There are a myriad of issues within that august body, but chief among them is their inability to look beyond themselves in order to protect the brand and the party.

From the outside, the Republican party appears to be confused and uncertain as to their identity. They campaign on being conservatives, one even declared his desire to “build that dang wall”.  They know all the conservative talking points, they even eagerly took the identity of Tea Party membership when necessary. Every website touts conservative this, and conservative that, but close examination reveals a true inner conflict.

For many Senate Republicans, it is apparent the talk of being Republican conservative is just that, talk. Conservatism is the hard outer shell, but if you were to take a look at the squishy center, you would see a Rockefeller republican, a moderate trans dying to compromise, aching for comity, desirous of the approval of the Democratic coastal elites, and jealous for preening media attention….

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They ALL thought Mitch McConnell was the Senate Wizzard….

Then the Senate Healthcare fiasco started, eh?

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13:  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answers questions following the weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol November 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. McConnell was re-elected as leader of the Senate Republican caucus earlier in the day.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Mitch McConnell plotting his next dastardly deed.

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It’s really hard to determine if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the path forward to a Trumpcare vote laid out and is just creating massive confusion over what his senators will even be voting on as a smokescreen, or whether he is truly scrambling and honestly doesn’t have a clue which of three bills is going to the floor next week.

His choices: repeal and delay; Trumpcare 3.0 as disastrously scored by the CBO on Thursday; or Trumpcare 3.0 with the amendment from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that would turn the insurance exchange into a big, unaffordable high-risk pool. One thing is definitely certain: he’s pissing off his caucus.

The uncertainty so close to a major vote is feeding a growing sense of chaos on Capitol Hill, where GOP senators are openly fretting about the lack of information about legislation that could leave anywhere from 22 million to 32 million more Americans without health insurance.

“I don’t even know what we’re proceeding to next week,” said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican who has called on her party’s leaders to take a more measured approach to fixing the current healthcare law.

“I don’t know whether we’re proceeding to the House bill, a new version of the Senate bill, the old version of the Senate bill, the 2015 repeal-and-hope-that-we-come-up-with something-in-two-years bill. I truly don’t.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) compared the current Senate GOP healthcare discussions to a “bazaar,” with tens of billions of dollars being offered up to woo holdout senators. “I fear that it’s beginning to lack coherency,” Corker told reporters.

Beginning to lack coherency? Sounds like it’s safe to say Collins is going to remain firmly in the “no” column. But it’s the “bazaar” that is the problem.

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RNC To GOP Candidates: Fealty To Donald Trump Or Else…Red State…

Party loyalty in politics is nothing new. The fact is, most people who vote for Democrats and Republicans are “party” people. Meaning it doesn’t much matter what positions an individual candidate or office holder has on issues. Voters walk into a booth, look at the party and vote for the Republican or the Democrat. It is the case in most scenarios, and that’s just a fact.

Hard-core supporters are there and don’t like it when you criticize their guy. That’s understandable as well. But those are issues between voters, not the party and the candidates running under the banner of that party.

When it comes to candidates and people in office, the Republican National Committee has a responsibility to back Republicans. As much as it stung for some people, Donald Trump won the nomination, and the party infrastructure backed him. It didn’t matter if he smeared fellow Republican candidates with lies and ridiculous conspiracy theories. The party supported him because it does so for Republicans. 

However, it doesn’t appear as though that kind of thinking applies to other Republicans now, especially if they’ve been critical of Donald Trump:

The Republican National Committee isn’t spending big for New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno because the RNC doesn’t think she has been loyal to President Trump, NJ.com reported Wednesday.

Guadagno, currently the lieutenant governor under Gov. Chris Christie (R), is viewed skeptically by the RNC because of her criticism of Trump after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape and as a lost cause, the report said.

“[The president] is unhappy with anyone who neglected him in his hour of need,” an RNC insider reportedly said, referring to Guadagno’s public disavowal of Trump last fall after the surfacing last year of the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women. 

If the RNC stated that they weren’t going all in because Guadagno is trying to ride into office on the scorched coattails of Chris Christie, that might make some sense. But that isn’t the justification here. The thinking appears to be Guadagno didn’t rush in to defend Donald Trump when audio tape revealed he thinks men in positions of power can do what they want with women sans repercussions.

What Guadagno did was not unreasonable. She was hardly the first Republican to distance themselves from Trump when that tape hit the public airwaves. Now the RNC is going to withhold funds and assistance from a Republican candidate because of Donald Trump? Since when did the RNC become beholden to one person instead of the party as a whole?

It only proves Trump doesn’t just want loyalty. He wants slavish devotion. Fealty. Without it, he has no use for a person. It is a dangerous method if the GOP wants to grow…..

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Political Roundup for July 20, 2017…Trump Support softening…RRH Elections

Presidential/National

Voter Fraud Commission:  President Trump (R?) accused election officials refusing to provide data largely available in the public domain to his “Voting Integrity Commission” of hiding “something”.  Not sure whose worse here… the “Commission” refusing to lift a finger here or the election officials who could just turn it over to shut the “Commission” up.

Trumpism:  Why are soft Trump supporters willing to bail from the Trump Train, but ardent supporters aren’t bailing?  The Wall Street Journal supposes that Trump’s ardent supporters care less about accomplishments and care more about someone understanding them.  We should get used to this politics of feelings over accomplishments in this identity politics fueled insanity we live in.  Thanks liberals for creating identity politics.

AG:  President Trump seems to regret hiring Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-Drug War).

Postal Service:  In case Republicans had a reason to support the Post Office (worst service ever), here is a reason why we should all support destroying this grossly incompetent institution… the supposedly civil service non-partisan government owned operation broke the law by encouraging employees to take paid time off to campaign for former Senator Hillary Clinton (D)…..

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Oh Good, The President Just Tweeted About Why Working With Russia Against Americans Is A-OK…

President Trump just tweeted about the many trials and tribulations his son is enduring following his perfectly normal and innocent meeting with Russians about how take out Hillary Clinton.

Jay Caruso will have an editorial posted here shortly going in depth on this tweet, but before that, I have question. Would youhave gone to that meeting? I wouldn’t have.

One, I would refuse to take aid from Russkies. Sorry if that makes me sound old, but they are the bad guys and have been half over half a century. I wouldn’t have gone on principle, and I wouldn’t have trusted them anyway.

Speaking of trust, what kind of amateur move was this on the part of Don Jr.? Has he never worked in a high stakes job before? The Trumps, and their friends and fervent fans see a conspiracy behind every Democrat mailbox and pizza place. But he found no reason to distrust a meeting with Russia intended to collude in defeating his opponent?

And finally, I will use the opportunity of this post to give you a sample of something I’m working on for RedState. It’s a new type of newsletter for us, and last week I created a sample dialog. It’s a bit out of date, but pertinent here, so I’m pasting just a portion of it below.

This should have come up…

Hey, remember that time everyone spent months saying that Russia wanted to help Trump win the election, and then Trump and company denied that for months, and it was this huge thing that everyone has been talking about all day every day forever? Yeah, while that was going on, Donald Trump Jr. sat around not mentioning that he willingly attended a meeting for the express purpose of getting help from Russia to beat Hillary Clinton. You see what the problem is there, right? That’s the reason he met with them. While everyone was denying Russia wanted to help Trump win, Don Jr. 100% believed he had a meeting because Russia wanted Trump to win.

Feels like that should have come up. And no, it doesn’t matter if they actually were representing the government of Russia (which would be nearly impossible to prove. Part of spycraft is denying you did it…..

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Political Roundup for 7/10/17…Cuomo 2020 = Hillary Clinton 2.0?…RRH Elections….

President:

2020: Andrew Cuomo’s name has been floated around a lot for the D 2020 nomination lately, and Politico has a piece here covering most of what the buzz is about. Basically, Cuomo’s image as the New York Italian Boy could help in wooing back the WCW voters that abandoned Clinton in droves, and his public profile has been moderate enough to not scare off Suburban Republicans still upset with Trump. There are a few problems however, most notably the Albany stench that is sure to come up in both the primary and general election, and secondly the fact that the electrified Democratic left despises him for not being enough of a true believer in Progressive causes. There’s also the problem of being a straight white male in a party that is increasingly trying to define itself around “Diversity”. A bit of an aside, but one of my D friends summarized his problems perfectly when he described him as “Another Hillary Clinton that not even Feminists will get excited about”.

Trump: Trump’s approval ratings have been on the upswing lately, as he’s up to 47-51 in the latest Fox RV Poll. This is tied for his best numbers ever with the immediately post-election “glow” (of being barely underwater), and probably has to do with Trump recently playing to his strengths—making fools out of his media critics and berating Progressives and Europeans for abandoning the Liberal values they used to cherish until recently….

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“I Don’t Like Obamacare Because of Obama” Says Woman on Obamacare

I mean REALLY??????

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This story was on NPR today on the ATC evening news. It is so frustrating.

Rural Northeast CA is in a predicament. Clinics know their patients need ACA coverage or Medicaid but won’t tell their reps to support it so county officials are doing it themselves.

Before the election while Obamacare was being implemented officials had to rename MediCal to make it sound like it was a regular insurance plan, not a “government handout” which these people were too proud to take (from a black man). Since they still didn’t pay anything  for it I don’t know how they filled in that logic gap.

The area went for Trump in a landslide. And now they won’t contact their reps to vote against repeal. Either they don’t believe Republicans will really take their insurance away, or they’re dumb enough to think it will be replaced with something better. Which at this point you’d have to be weapons grade stupid to believe. Or, they’d rather be destitute than admit the black guy helped them. There is nothing you can do when people are so willing to vote and act against their interests. I’ve said it before, I just can’t help wanting to see the repeal actually take away their insurance.

One patient at the Mountain Valleys clinic in Bieber, Kay Roope, 64, knew she had Medi-Cal, and she liked it.

“It did me good,” she says.

Now she has a subsidized commercial plan through Covered California with modest premiums and copays, and she likes that, too.

“It’s OK, ’cause I’m at the doctor’s at least once a month,” she says.

But when asked what she thinks of Obamacare overall, she says she doesn’t like it.

“Because of Obama himself,” she says with a laugh. “I rest my case.”

The confusion and the contradictions are common among patients, explains Morris, the enrollment counselor.

“People just don’t understand the different names,” she says. “But of course, it’s the same thing.”

Morris has seen the difference the Affordable Care Act has made for people in the region. She has seen patients get treatment for diabetes and breast cancer, or get knee surgery that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.

Those patients won’t fight for Obamacare, Morris says, so that’s why the clinics have to.

Notice how she “laughs” when she says “because of Obama himself” .  Yeah, hawhaw, you sure made that case.  The nervous laugh because she knows that makes no sense, and trying to hide her racism.

www.npr.org/…

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Political Roundup for July 6, 2017…Gary Cohn and Conservatives?…RRH Elections

Presidential/National

Cohn:  Conservatives are afraid that President Trump (R)’s National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn is driving the Trump administration to a more moderate policy tone.  Cohn’s NEC has been front and center in many of the policy battles so far because it has been better staffed from a policy perspective than other areas of the administration.

Travel Ban:  6 in 10 Americans support a travel ban for individuals from 6 predominately Muslim countries.  The ban might even be more popular if separated from the President.  Note to Democrats and wimpy Acela Corridor Republicans… Americans love this stuff and you should too….

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Dear Lefty Media: Democrats Are Still Unpopular In The Suburbs…

Why is it that every time the Democrats suffer a defeat, the media rushes to their aid, giving us the “it’s merely a flesh wound!” prognosis, and telling us here’s how the GOP is actually going to have its clocked cleaned any minute now. Any minute.

So it is with this well-written, well-researched, and wrong piece from Politico Magazine, titled: “The GOP’s Suburban Nightmare.”

Giving credit where it’s due, this writer does his homework in attempting to craft a convincing argument that Trump’s poor(er than Reagan) showing in suburban America is a sign of the impending doom of the GOP — even as early as the 2018 midterms.

It’s a good piece from the perspective of: it’s readable, engaging, has lots of interesting information, etc. It’s a fun read. It’s just wrong.

And here’s how I know.

It uses Atlanta and the Ossoff/Handel race as its jumping off point, making the fast argument that Trump only barely beat Hillary Clinton in the suburbs during the 2016 election. 49% to her 45%, the article says. Then it says this:

Karen Handel’s Georgia special-election victory Tuesday enabled the GOP to kick the can down the road, but not for long. The same Atlanta suburbs that once produced Republicans like Newt Gingrich voted for Clinton in November. They followed up a few months later by nearly sending a 30-year-old, first-time Democratic candidate to Congress. Republicans may be gloating now, but it’s an ominous sign for the 2018 midterm elections, when control of the House is likely to hinge on roughly two or three dozen suburban districts currently held by the GOP.

“Nearly.” I’m from Atlanta and we have a saying in the South: almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades…..

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Political Roundup for June 13th, 2017…RRH Elections

Trump: Apparently it wasn’t the Russians who unleashed an army of social media bots to boost Trump’s 2016 candidacy on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. It was billionaire Robert Mercer who spearheaded the efforts weaponize social media by using fake accounts to spread stories and narratives to influence real people.

Merkley: According to a CNN profile Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) is considering a run for President in 2020. Merkley was the only US Senator to endorse fellow Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016….

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More knocks on Trump from a RedState Conservative…

….by Jay Caruso @ Red State…

……’Now that he is President, I am not all that concerned he’s a Republican as the party is simply not reason enough for me to give him a pass whenever he does something stupid. I am going to judge him on the merits. What’s interesting is the criticism I (along with many others in the conservative movement) get for doing so. As if holding Trump to higher standards than Democrats hold their office-holders is something for which I should be ashamed. I always thought we should be better than them. To be fair, some Republicans and conservatives reflexively harp on Donald Trump simply because they don’t like him. Streiff wrote about Jennifer Rubin, a Paris agreement critic until Donald Trump withdrew from the same agreement. She hasn’t stop railing about it since it happened and refuses to acknowledge her flip-flop on the issue and so that sort of criticism isn’t helpful because it’s rooted in a knee-jerk mentality that leaves reason at the door.

That said, much of the criticism Trump receives from me and other like-minded conservatives is fair. The pushback I often receive strikes me as odd because it doesn’t counter the criticism but instead deflects from the criticism.

For example, I receive emails, Facebook messages, and tweets telling me, “You just want to harm Donald Trump!” or “You just want to see him go down!” The accusation is rubbish. President Trump hurts himself and does so, often. The firing of James Comey is a perfect example of how Trump creates problems for himself and creates an environment where he spends days rationalizing his behavior instead of working with Congressional leaders on legislation. Trump defenders say he had every right to fire Comey as he serves at the pleasure of the president. That’s true. But he handled the situation with the gravitas of Bill O’Reilly, yelling, “We’ll do it live!” at production staff on the set of ‘Inside Edition.’ Trump’s timing was unfortunate, he concocted a bogus reason for doing so, and after his team repeated the bogus reason for nearly two days, he threw them all under the bus by telling Lester Holt he was going to fire Comey regardless of what Rod Rosenstein had to say.

That some conservatives were defending Trump for the Comey mess because it made Democrats angry is ridiculous.’….

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