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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Pelosi v. the Mean Girls

In Defying the Odds, we discuss leftward drift of the Democratic Party.     The update  -- just published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

John Bresnahan and Heather Caygle at Politico:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was right.
The California Democrat has been warning for months that impeachment isn't a magic wand to quickly remove President Donald Trump from office, especially if Republicans weren't signing onto the effort. She‘s repeatedly urged her party to wait to see what special counsel Robert Mueller uncovers before deciding on next steps.

Now that the results from Mueller's probe have been delivered to Capitol Hill — via a controversial summary from Attorney General William Barr — the pro-impeachment wing of the Democratic Caucus has taken a major blow. Suddenly Trump, who has spent the last two years bashing Mueller, has decided the results of the special counsel's probe are completely credible, while many Democrats are crestfallen.
“I think her instincts were correct, that we’re putting way too much into the Mueller report, and what if it disappoints?” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said of Pelosi. “What did we really think Mueller was going to do?”
Connolly said Barr’s report on Mueller’s finding “exposes some of those early calls [for impeachment] for being premature and not based on the evidence at hand. And I think it sets that back. It doesn’t let [Trump] off the hook, but you cried wolf way too early.”

Peggy Noonan writes of the"mean girls of Congress.
 In less than three months in office they have established a new mood, an approach to national politics that is combative, angry, polarizing. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota surely meant to oppose U.S. policy toward Israel but somehow couldn’t quite manage to do it without being obviously anti-Semitic—“Israel has hypnotized the world,” “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” It caused an uproar, she apologized, but it seems never to have occurred to her that you can’t talk about your fellow Americans that way. Or that she is a public figure and has to actually model admirable behavior.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is quick—quicker—to aggression. Her default position, behind the smiles and hugs and warmth and dancing, is the pointed, accusatory finger. From just the past two weeks: The New Deal was “an extremely economically racist policy,” Ronald Reagan “pitted white working-class Americans against brown and black working Americans in order to just screw over all working-class Americans,” so he too was racist. Pretty much everyone on the political scene was racist until Ms. Ocasio-Cortez arrived.
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I think we all know where this started, the political brutishness, the ignoring of traditions and norms. Donald Trump is both origin and rationale.

The mean girls of Congress have learned at his knee. They have taken their tactics from him. They claim to be his reluctant imitators but I think they admire his ferocity. They have a taste for it, and a talent.

They are good at being the thing they supposedly despise. They are not the antidote to the current brutality but an iteration of it.

They are his natural children.