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Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 01/02/17 13:04, Edited: 01/02/17 13:06

by Dave Mindeman

It is noteworthy that Republicans are publicly talking about how this election has given them a "mandate".

Jason Lewis is a little full of himself with this one....

"Trump shocked everybody. And again taking Democratic states. Keeping the Senate, keeping the House," (Lewis) said. "Now we've got a Republican president. That's a mandate. And so it means they've got to fulfill a mandate. They have to move on something and deliver. And that's as it should be."

Alright let's review....

1) Lewis won a previous Republican seat by only 6600 votes.

2) Trump won an electoral college victory - but he lost the popular vote by 2.8 million votes.

3) Republicans had a net loss of 2 seats in the Senate.

4) In the House, the GOP had a net loss of 6 seats.

How in the world is that a "mandate"?

Of course, with Republicans...if they say it, it must be true.

Yes, the GOP will try to take advantage of this surprising full control of Washington. It is what they do. But the clear pattern with the GOP is that they always, always overreach.

They think they have a "mandate" to toss out Obamacare. Yet, many of the Trump voters depend on the ACA for their health care. And, lo and behold, the GOP do not have a clue as to how to replace it. Years of complaints but never, never, never offering a viable alternative.

They think they have a "mandate" to sweep out all those pesky regulations. While apparently feigning amnesia at the near financial debacle that came from deregulating the financial industry.

This election wasn't about mandates - it was about the frustration felt by rust belt voters. They just threw up their hands and decided that anything new will do - and Trump certainly is new. He is new to government, new to foreign policy, new to actually getting something done, and new to being a popular figure amongst the lowly peasants.

C'mon Republicans. Don't insult our intelligence with "mandate" talk. You will just do what you normally do - and you will lose that "mandate" in a heartbeat.

Go ahead - make our day.
comments (2) permalink

CBO Will Not Whitewash HealthCare Replacement

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 12/20/16 18:49

by Dave Mindeman

I don't know how much of this is going to be paid attention to; after all, the Republicans can pretty much bury anything they want to now, but the Congressional Budget Office has taken a stand on the Obamacare repeal:

The CBO adds a new wrinkle to the debate, by making clear that lawmakers won't be able to claim that they will protect the millions of people that stand to lose insurance with an Obamacare repeal if the coverage that comes with their ACA replacement is significantly less generous or wide-ranging.

The CBO is going to compare coverages and tell us when the replacement coverage does not meet the same standard.

This is important - because the Republican Congress is counting on simple catastrophic insurance coverage to count as actual coverage. They do not have any kind of plan that can give the same guarantees without higher costs.

I am making some assumptions about where this is going, because I doubt that the GOP Congress can repeal the ACA fully. There are several provisions that are much too popular and frankly, are expected to continue. The guarantee of coverage for a pre-existing condition and staying on parents insurance to age 26 ...are the most prominent.

But as other things disappear from the way it was before, there will be more and more rumblings about what is going on.

You see, there are a lot of people who can no longer figure out what the difference will be between having Obamacare and not having it. There are a number of assumptions already ingrained into people's heads about what they expect. The demonizing of the ACA will run into a problem when the law is gone, because the good parts will now be absent.

And the Republicans are somewhat fearful of this. They plan to repeal the law and then keep everything in place for a period of time - maybe 2 to 4 years (which will give them enough time to prepare a soothing message for new elections). But, as yet, the GOP is not even close to a consensus as to what to actually do about replacement.

This is such blatant hypocrisy that my blood boils. The Republicans refused to cooperate on anything involving health care. They only look for details they could criticize and without offering any kind of solution.

Well, the CBO reports will be interesting to watch. There will be a distinct difference to what the Republicans say will happen with there changes and what the data reveals as reality via the CBO analysts.
comments (0) permalink

2016 Election Analysis - Part 2: Enough Of The Hand Wringing

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 12/06/16 16:59

by Dave Mindeman

Democrats are hand wringers. It's just a fact. They nit pick and squabble in the primaries. Get uppity about platform minutia - and then start the blame game when the Party loses the election.

With Obama as President, the Democrats still had a vital say in policy for the country. But, the fact is, we have been on a losing streak where it really counts....in the states and in the legislatures.

Republicans have manipulated how we vote, who gets to vote, and in drawing the lines for voting districts. It has been systematic. And it has been effective.

Democrats always seem to be under the false impression that policy and issues are what drives elections. They are only about 30% right in that regard.

While Democrats obsess about climate change, and income equality, and foreign wars....Republicans work the district lines, voter suppression, and purging the voter rolls.

And it works. Clinton is winning the popular vote by over 2.7 million votes, but lost the electoral college because of 1% losses in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. WI and MI have Republican governors and legislatures. PA has GOP Senate and House.

Votes for Democratic Congressional candidates exceeded votes for GOP candidates, yet the Republicans have a big majority in Congress.

And the Senate is still held narrowly by the Republicans.

But the clear problem with Democratic strategy is the continued losses in the state houses. This is where the Congressional lines are drawn - this is where the legislation that most affects people's lives happens.

Hand wringing and assigning blame may be cathartic in a personal way, but it is useless when it comes to solving our problem.

Democrats have concentrated on urban populations and they have been effective in persuading urban dwellers that the Democratic Party is their party. But in rural America, the Democrats have failed. Not in policy...but in getting out a message regarding what the Democrats have done for them. Republicans have not done anything, policywise, to improve the lot of rural America. In many ways, they have fostered the policies that have obstructed their progress. Net neutrality, broadband, agricultural trade, and transportation policies of the GOP are working against rural development.

Democrats have spent so much time on voter ID, technology, and polling, that they have lost the basic elements of any campaign....

Message, narrative, and responsiveness.

Democrats need to focus their future endeavors on building the party from the ground up again. Local races matter. Legislative majorities matter. Governors matter.

Enough of the hand wringing. Enough of the blame.

Fix what matters and begin again.
comments (0) permalink
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