Congressman-Elect Roy’s First Hires Suggests Good Things Forthcoming

Chip Roy, the congressman-elect in Texas’s 21st congressional district, looks like he wants to establish himself as a real conservative leader in the House. His first hire is Wade Miller, a Marine combat veteran who served both in the Horn of Africa and Iraq. Miller worked for Heritage Action when it was still the congressional heart burn generator and then went to work as Political Director for Ted Cruz.

Maggie Harrell is an Auburn grad, which we won’t hold against her, and she worked as counsel to Jeff Sessions, which suggests Roy wants to be a fighter on immigration. Harrell will be the legislative director.

Then there is Nathan McDaniel who served as Roy’s campaign manager and had been a field director for Americans for Prosperity.

So we have a Jeff Sessions alumnus, a Heritage Action and Ted Cruz alumnus, and an Americans for Prosperity alumnus. In other words, we have people who can organize the grassroots and the grass tops. Insert nuclear bomb gif here, folks. Keep your eye on this office.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Asked for Leniency for Friend Charged With Spousal Abuse Who Later Murdered His Wife

This is going to be a problem for Marcia Fudge as she seeks to potentially challenge Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.

Fudge wrote a letter to a prosecutor in support of her friend, Lance Mason. Mason, at the time, was charged with beating his wife. “I commend Lance for immediately recognizing that he needed help and entered counseling,” she wrote. “The Lance T. Mason I know is a kind, intelligent man and loyal friend. The Lance T. Mason I know is an advocate for the people of his community,” she continued.

According to the New York Times, Mason served “nine months in prison for brutally beating his wife in 2014 in front of their children, punching her 20 times and fracturing a bone in her face

Lance T. Mason murdered his estranged wife in front of his kids this past Saturday.

I’ve Changed My Mind on Third Parties and a 2020 Primary Challenge

I want to be careful here. I am not endorsing the concept. But I have reconsidered my flat opposition to both the creation of a third party and a 2020 Presidential primary challenge. I think neither would be successful, but as I recently pointed out to someone, had John C. Frémont not run as a Republican in 1856, there would probably be no Lincoln in 1860.

For the first time, I think I finally see a path forward for a third party in the United States, but it may run through the 2020 Republican primaries.

If you pay attention in Florida, Senator-elect (that sounds awesome to write) Rick Scott got 45% of the Hispanic vote. Brian Kemp, the Governor-elect in Georgia, got 38% of the Hispanic vote in Georgia. In fact, Republicans did far better with the Hispanic vote than the media would have anyone believe is possible.

Across the country, another notable data point is that Republicans this year, without Trump on the ballot, actually increased their share of the vote among black voters. Most notably, the share of the vote of black men and Hispanic men increased for the GOP. The trend away from the Democrats by minority voters is almost entirely because of cultural issues. The Democrats’ growing hostility to faith, conservative social values, etc. is a real Achilles heel for the party with minority voters, particularly Hispanic voters.

Concurrent to that, the white suburbs fled the GOP. High income white voters in the suburbs who have been reliably Republican have had enough of President Trump. Combine white suburban voters with black and Hispanic voters who will not go to the GOP because of Trump, but no longer feel at home in the Democratic Party, and there appears to be real room for a third party in the country now — one that is viable unlike the Libertarians or Green parties.

I suspect this all runs through the GOP, however. Put up someone in the 2020 Republican Presidential primary against Donald Trump running on these sorts of themes and the person probably cannot win, but probably could start a third party movement as a sizable, though not a majority portion of Republicans tired of President Trump leave their political home and make it an acceptable place for black and Hispanic voters.

The GOP would become a mostly white rural party. The Democrats would become a mostly wealthy, urban white party. This new party, call it the Federalists, would be a coalition of former Republicans and minority Democrats with a healthy addition of evangelicals all of whom think the two parties have failed the country.

Again, I do not think such a pivot would be successful in 2020. I also think it would probably lead to President Trump’s defeat, thereby making remaining Republican bitter towards the effort. But the data from the midterms shows pretty clearly the suburban Republicans and the socially conservative minority Democrats are all ready for a new political home. It would not be an immediate successful enterprise, but could potentially sustain itself so long as it makes it a party of ideas, and not one man’s enterprise like the Reform Party of Ross Perot.

For those of us who are fiscally conservative, we’d also have to get used to the idea that this would not be a small government party, per se. But it could no doubt position itself as a fiscally responsible, free market party, which neither of the existing parties are.

I am pretty sure I would not support the effort. And I have said repeatedly I think the GOP is Trump’s for the time being and there is no reason for a primary challenge. But the midterm data all very compelling suggest if someone wanted to try a go at resetting the American political coalitions, now would be the time.

The Facts Matter. Democrats Got Them Wrong.

This is a must read from the Weekly Standard on Stacey Abrams’ concession speech this past Friday. It is stunning to me how many Democrats and their friends in the media got basic facts wrong in Georgia.

Abrams and her allies point out that large numbers of people have been removed from voter rolls—1.5 million Georgians since 2012—but their contention that Kemp “purged” these names as secretary of state is false. The state’s “Use It or Lose It” law, passed in 1997 by a Democratic legislature and signed by Democratic governor Zell Miller, requires that voters who don’t vote or otherwise respond to requests from local voting offices to update their registration status be deemed inactive. This ensures that people who’ve died or moved away can no longer “vote” in state elections—i.e. that their identities can’t be used for untoward electoral purposes.

The Abrams campaign alleges that the number of voters purged spiked in 2017, when 107,000 voters were declared inactive. But the secretary of state’s office points out that the biannual voter-roll maintenance didn’t take place in 2015 owing to a legal challenge and so there was an unusually high number last year.

I’ve Got Concerns With Facebook’s Content Governance Plan

It is pretty clear Facebook and, specifically, Mark Zuckerberg have put a lot of thought into what to do with their content. As they have gotten so big, they have become an easy target for critics. Facebook is dominant in social media and, frankly, a lot of media outlets abdicated their traffic growth to Facebook. When that did not pan out, they’ve decided to nurse their grievances against Facebook with regular and sustained attacks on the platform. Many a journalist who suffered a “pivot to video” has an axe to grind and we should not forget that this shapes a lot of media coverage towards Facebook these days. Likewise, a lot of what happens on and with social media is so unknown that people fear it.

But it is clear as well that Facebook is grappling with a bunch of unknowns related to its content and how to patrol it, as Mark Zuckerberg himself outlines in a pretty lengthy piece about the steps the platform will take moving forward. You can read it here.

Essentially, Facebook is working with various countries on regulation of the platform; intends to create an independent third party group to make content decisions for it; and intends to use algorithms to degrade content that is acceptable under Facebook’s terms of service, but that approach the line of being unacceptable. I put them in that order because I want to deal with them in that way.

First, there are plenty of countries that do not value our first amendment and Facebook has to work with those countries. I think it should be applauded for pro-actively seeking to work with countries like France to find a favorable solution to that country’s concerns. That, however, leads me to the second issue.

Facebook intends to create Continue reading

After Midterms, Republicans Are Endangered Species On West Coast

As midterm election results continue to roll in from California, the extent of the Republican rout on the West Coast is becoming apparent. At this point, it looks as though Democrat gains in the House will be a net increase of 38 seats. Almost 20 percent of these gains come from the West Coast and many are in the one-time Republican stronghold of Orange County, California where Republican congressional districts were wiped out.

Prior to the election, Republicans held four of the six seats in the suburban Los Angeles county. The 46th and 47th districts were previously Democratic districts, but the remainder of the county has traditionally been Republican.

The Democratic gains in Orange County were mixed between picking up Republican open seats and knocking off GOP incumbents. Dana Rohrabacher, the 48th district congressman widely considered to be the most pro-Kremlin Republican, lost to Democrat Harley Rouda and Republican Mimi Walters in the 45th district was defeated by Katie Porter. In the 49th district, Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight committee, famous for his investigations of Benghazi and Fast and Furious, announced his retirement and saw his seat flip to the Democrats as Mike Levin defeated Diane Harkey. In the 39th district, another Republican retirement cleared the way for Democrat Gil Cisneros to defeat Republican Young Kim.

The Orange County Republican rout is similar to the Republican difficulties in the rest of the country. Orange County is heavily suburban and has a declining population of whites, which make up only 42 percent of the population per California Demographics. Hispanics comprise 34 percent of county residents while 19 percent are Asian. Exit polls show that nationally less than 30 percent of those minority groups voted Republican.

Democrats also flipped two other California congressional districts in California. The 10th district in Turlock, north of San Francisco, and the 25th district in Palmdale, on the north side of LA, both voted out Republican incumbents.

A seventh West Coast district, Washington’s 8th, home to Rep. Dave Reichert, another retiring Republican, is being replaced by Democrat Josh Harder. At this point, Democrats control seven of Washington’s 10 congressional districts. The third district, represented by Republican Herrera Beutler, is now the only Republican district on the entire West Coast that borders on the Pacific Ocean.

 

 

There were no flipped seats in Oregon, but four of the state’s five districts were already Democrat. Only Gregg Walden’s second district, which covers the inland two-thirds of the state, is represented by a Republican.

 

If the Republicans want to take back the House, they will have to become more competitive in suburban House districts like those in Orange County. Reversing this year’s losses will also require that the GOP overcome the current trend of declining minority support.

Stacey Abrams Refuses to Concede, But She Gives Up

Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, says she will give up the fight for Governor, even though she thinks a “system of suppression” denied her a victory. She claims “democracy failed Georgia.” The problem is that in her litany of supposed incompetence she is actually claiming arises from problems that happened in counties, not at the state level.

State law is very clear that long lines, etc. are not grounds for overturning an election and she recognizes she has no remedy moving forward. She claims she will keep up the fight, which undoubtedly will involve a run against Senator David Perdue.

In her statement, she hints at a future race and claims Brian Kemp was “deliberate and intentional in his actions” to undermine democracy this year. She claim there will be new fights.

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