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Friday, August 12, 2016


Nothing left to lose

by Tom Sullivan

For a political ticket led by a man fixated on winning, there's a whole lot in the air that smells like losing.

Lawrence O'Donnell opened The Last Word on Thursday with news from Politico that top Republican Party officials had scheduled a Friday “come to Jesus” meeting in Orlando with Donald Trump's imploding campaign. O'Donnell quipped that Trump would be disappointed when Jesus didn't show up.

Politico reported:

Though a campaign source dismissed it as a "typical" gathering, others described it as a more serious meeting, with one calling it an "emergency meeting." It comes at a time of mounting tension between the campaign and the Republican National Committee, which is facing pressure to pull the plug on Trump’s campaign and redirect party funds down ballot to protect congressional majorities endangered by Trump’s candidacy.


Another person familiar with the meeting, a Republican operative who works with the campaign, said the planned gathering was “a come-to-Jesus meeting.” That source said that many Trump campaign staffers share the party officials’ frustrations with Trump’s penchant for self-sabotaging rhetoric. “What’s bothering people on the campaign is that they feel like they’re doing all the right things, but they’re losing every news cycle to Hillary and there’s nothing they can do about it.”
In another report, Raw Story quotes "an epic tweetstorm" by Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak about the fear setting in for down-ballot losses triggered by the Trump campaign:
“OK, this shit’s not funny anymore,” he began. “Trump is threatening elected GOPers at all levels in places that haven’t been competitive in decades… We are looking at an extinction-level event.”
And is there anything legislators from the North Carolina Republican Party have left to lose? Yesterday a federal court slapped them down AGAIN for drawing voting districts that discriminate based on race. This time it's state legislative districts:
RALEIGH – The map that has twice been used to elect the North Carolina General Assembly is unconstitutional because many of the districts are racially gerrymandered, a panel of federal judges ruled Thursday.

Elections can proceed this year, the judges said in their order, because postponing the election would cause “undue disruption.” But the legislature must redraw the districts in the next legislative session for use in 2018.

The judges concluded that “the overriding priority of the redistricting plan was to draw a predetermined, race-based number of districts.”
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in Shelby County v. Holder it was because “our country has changed.” Guess he doesn't get out much.

In February, a federal court ordered North Carolina to redraw U.S. Congressional districts after determining that its 1st and 12th were racial gerrymanders. In May, the state Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a state law passed by the Republican legislature to elect Supreme Court justices using retention elections.

In early July, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals declared illegal districts drawn for Wake County school board and county commissioner districts. Later that same day, Republican lawmakers had had enough. Two dozen Republicans in the state House rebelled when their leadership tried to impose similar districts on city council races in Asheville. That attempt went down to defeat. Later last month, a federal judge issued a permanent injunction against implementation of city council districts drawn by Republicans in Raleigh for the city of Greensboro.

Finally, at the end of July the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional the state's omnibus voter suppression act because it discriminates against minority voters.

Donald Trump promised Republican primary voters that with him in charge they would win so much, "You're going to get tired of winning." They've got to be wondering when that starts exactly.