Patterico's Pontifications

10/16/2018

President Trump Fires Up Democrats Before The Midterms

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:51 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The New York Times offers an assessment of the midterms and how the Kavanaugh hearing impacted voters, and how the subsequent polarization may help Republicans:

The fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court seems to have contributed to polarizing the electorate, helping Republicans gain in red states and districts even as Democrats cement their strong position elsewhere. The trend might fade, but if it holds it will be an abrupt change from earlier polls and last year’s special election results, which indicated that Democrats were highly competitive in red areas.

Instead, the district and state polling raises the possibility of an election more like last year’s Virginia elections or the 2010 midterm elections. Both were strong results for the party out of power — but the big numbers came mainly on home turf. A similar result this year would tend to lock the Democrats into their single biggest disadvantage: the map.

National polls continue to show all of the conditions for a wave in place. The president’s approval rating is in the low 40s. It’s a midterm election year, when the president’s party usually takes big losses. Democrats lead on the generic ballot by eight to nine points. These indicators have remained relatively stable throughout the Justice Kavanaugh controversy, but the president’s approval rating has ticked up, most likely in the conservative areas where Republicans show newfound strength.

And if Republicans can take advantage of their underlying geographic advantages, they can hold down their losses and gain seats in the Senate, even in a Democratic wave.

The post-Kavanaugh polling effect could prove to be fleeting, especially if highly energized partisans are responding to polls in unusual numbers. But over the last few decades, American electoral results have generally moved toward greater polarization. It would not be a surprise if the midterms left the nation even more divided.

In spite of the important midterms being right around the corner, President Trump couldn’t resist shooting the GOP in the foot on the same day. And in doing so, he energized Democrats right before an election. This time his blunder not only comes on the heels of a federal judge tossing out the defamation lawsuit against him and ordering adult film actress Stormy Daniels to pay the his legal fees, but also comes just one day after Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “DNA gambit” went up in smoke, leaving the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful desperate to dig her way of the hole in which she currently finds herself. Trump, who is unable to keep his damn mouth shut and recognize a positive news cycle for Republicans, chose to alienate potential voters and fire up Democrats by once again reminding Americans that he is a misogynistic lout. You tell me, who are major media outlets going to focus on: Sen. Warren, fake Indian or a POTUS publicly degrading the woman with whom he had an illicit affair? This isn’t hard. Well, except for a president who keeps throwing out the red meat, that is…

“Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit versus Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees.” @FoxNews Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con!

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According to a report, “Trump’s reference to Texas apparently stems from the judge citing a Texas law in dismissing the case brought by Daniels, a Texas resident. His mention of a “letter” may be the original statement Daniels wrote and signed in January denying an affair, before she backtracked.”

During an interview today, Trump did not back down about the “horseface” insult:

Asked by the AP if it was appropriate to insult a woman’s appearance, Trump responded, “You can take it any way you want.”

We have already heard Trump demean and degrade women in the public square. Consider his attack on Carly Fiorina and “that face,” Heidi Cruz in the unflattering side-by-side photo with Melania Trump, Rosie O’Donnell and her “fat, ugly face,” Alicia Machado (Miss Universe), whom he referred to as “Miss Piggy,” the “bimbo” Megyn Kelly and his cringeworthy “blood coming out of her wherever” attack. In the aftermath of these insults, he has never showed any genuine remorse or regret for disrespecting these women. But then, when a man has been repeatedly accused of sexual assault, and is caught on tape bragging about grabbing women by their genitals, why would he? Clearly he has a woman problem. Jonah Goldberg aptly described it after the leak of that video:

Character is destiny. The man in the video is Donald Trump. Sure, it’s bawdy Trump. It’s “locker room Trump.” And I’m no prude about dirty talk in private. But that isn’t all that’s going on. This isn’t just bad language or objectifying women with your buddies. It’s a married man who is bragging about trying to bed a married woman. It’s an insecure, morally ugly, man-child who thinks boasting about how he can get away with groping women ”because you’re a star” impresses people. He’s a grotesque — as a businessman and a man full stop.

With the midterms looming, one has to believe that any number of Republicans running for office just want the president to shut-up and not mess this up for them.

In further confirmation that sleazy birds of sordid feather flock together, presidential-hopeful Michael Avenatti responded to Trump’s tweet:

“You are a disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States. Bring everything you have, because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are. How many other women did you cheat on your wife with while you had a baby at home?”

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Stormy Daniels got in on the act as well:

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president. In addition to his…umm…shortcomings, he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN! And perhaps a penchant for bestiality. Game on, Tiny.

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God, these are awful people. Unbelievably, one is the sitting President of the United States, and one is already working to claim that position for himself. I can hear Trump supporters now: Trump is a fighter and this is what fighters do. Am I right? Anyway, this latest blunder also comes on the heels of Melania Trump’s recent return from a goodwill trip to Africa where she introduced her “Be Best” initiative. You know, Be Best:

When children learn positive online behaviors early-on, social media can be used in productive ways and can effect positive change. Mrs. Trump believes that children should be both seen and heard, and it is our responsibility as adults to educate and reinforce to them that when they are using their voices—whether verbally or online—they must choose their words wisely and speak with respect and compassion.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Cruz v. Beto

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:44 pm

I just realized it’s on now. (Sorry, too busy with work.) You can watch here.

UPDATE: It’s over. I started the thread way too late.

Embattled Senate Candidate’s Attempt to Exploit Sexual Assault Victims Fails Miserably

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:29 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D – North Dakota), having slipped behind her opponent in the polls, went full Feinstein over the weekend and saw her cheap demagoguery blow up in her face:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp apologized Tuesday for misidentifying victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape who were listed in a recent North Dakota newspaper ad aimed at her opponent.

The Democrat, who is facing a tough race for re-election, said in a statement that she had recently learned that several of the women named in the ad either hadn’t authorized it or are not survivors of abuse.

[. . .]

The ad that ran Sunday in several North Dakota newspapers was an open letter to [GOP challenger Kevin] Cramer, criticizing comments he made on Kavanaugh’s confirmation . It was signed by more than 125 people, though some just listed their initials.

Heitkamp said she was investigating how her campaign obtained the names. She said they may have come from a “Facebook feed” that was forwarded to the campaign.

[. . . ]

Several women listed in ad criticized Heitkamp on social media for listing their names.

Lexi Zhorela told The Associated Press that she learned of the ad Monday night

“I’m furious,” the 24-year-old hairdresser and single mother from Bismarck said. “I know I’m not the only woman hurt by this.”

Zhorela said she was listed in the ad because she had been tagged by a friend in a Facebook post who knew she had been the victim of sexual assault.

“I have only shared my story with a couple of people in confidence,” she said. “I didn’t want it blasted for the world to see.”

Zhorela said she had intended to vote for Heitkamp in November but will “definitely not now.”

Heitkamp has apparently been fulsome in her apology, and it’s certainly possible that that the ad was drawn up and submitted without her knowledge or approval. But a candidate sets the ethical framework for his or her campaign (unless of course he or she is entirely the creature of sleazy campaign consultants), so Sen. Heitkamp’s staff must have felt that this line of attack was well within the bounds of what their boss would approve. Desperate to ward off what is starting to feel more and more like a trouncing in three weeks, the Heitkamp campaign borrowed one of the more revolting pages from the Democrat playbook — one that had not worked for them in the Kavanaugh confirmation battle — and watched as it blew up in her face.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are real, and women bear the brunt of the unwanted harassment. We should never try to mitigate that fact and we should always be open to the idea that people whom we otherwise admire and respect might not always privately behave in acceptable ways. But at the same time it is now undeniable that sexual harassment and sexual assault have been relentlessly politicized by grievance-mongering groups who think it can be provide a shortcut to political power. The always dubious idea that all women should always be believed has been exposed as nothing more than a political cudgel used to bash (mostly male, largely Republican) opponents. It is quite obvious for all to see that advocacy groups can not be counted upon to act in good faith, and their political allies will not hesitate to demagogue the issue for gain. Shame on Heidi Heitkamp, and here’s hoping that North Dakota voters make her pay for trying to exploit a sensitive subject.

– JVW

Panicking Fake Indian Goes on Curious Tweet Storm

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:04 am

[guest post by JVW]

As a follow-up to Patterico’s post earlier today, Senator Microhontas reacted to President Trump’s goading of her not as you would expect of someone who is confident that her DNA gambit had once and for all put to rest the issue of her using specious claims of Native American heritage to score prestigious jobs above her curriculum vitae, but as someone who just realizes that she has put this embarrassing issue front and center just as she is quite obviously trying to come up with a Presidential campaign strategy for 2020. Behold:

From there, it spirals into a 23-Tweet stream of uncomfortableness on the part of the Senator, and it leaves many in her party wondering why she has made herself the center of attention three weeks before a pivotal election in which she is expected to breeze to an easy victory.

This has been a really, really, bad day for her, and it’s near impossible not to believe that Trump has gotten into her head.

[Cross-posted over at The Jury Talks Back.]

– JVW


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