Gypsies, tramps and thieves
by Tom Sullivan
Donald Trump's presidential declaration of a national emergency is as fake as Trump University and a host of other Trump-branded products. Trump's "dictator move," wrote Will Bunch, is something we all expected, yet arrived with "a lot more banality than evil." Bunch examines the ways in which Congress through years of fecklessness has, even in trying to retard the expansion of the imperial presidency, simply enabled it through Republican and Democratic presidencies alike. And here we are.
The real national emergency Republicans see is not the southern border, but 2020. On the line are a presidential election, control of state legislatures that draw maps for state and federal districts (REDMAP 2.0?), plus a chance for Republicans to roll back the blue wave that washed over them in 2018.
Their propaganda campaign against high-profile non-white, non-male, non-Christian freshman Democrats has begun.
"In the 116th Congress, if you’re a Democrat, you’re either a socialist, a baby killer or an anti-Semite," writes Sheryl Gay Stolberg for the New York Times. It may not be as catchy as gypsies, tramps and thieves, but Republican strategists are working up a familiar tune their base can hum:
“Socialism is the greatest vulnerability by far that the House Democrats have,” Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in an interview, adding that he had also instructed his team to spotlight “all the extreme wild ideas” that Democrats espouse, “on a daily basis, on an hourly basis if it’s available.”Attempting "to strangle the new Democratic majority in its infancy," the GOP has already launched attacks ads. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will feature prominently, as well as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), both Muslim women. Move over, Nancy Pelosi, self-described democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez is the new face of the liberal menace. Republican strategist and former Trump White House official Andy Surabian believes, “Democrats have handed Republicans this messaging on a silver platter.”
House Republicans have identified 55 Democrats they regard as vulnerable, including many freshmen. Some flipped Republican seats last year, some represent districts carried by Mr. Trump in 2016, and some are in districts held by Republicans until recently. Bruised by their losses last year, Republicans are determined to start earlier and be more aggressive on the offense in 2020, and are hoping to exploit the Democratic presidential candidates’ courtship of the left.
Links to exhibits are here.
Reminder that today's evidentiary hearing in #NC09 will be live streamed on https://t.co/3UiDxx0x9v. It begins at 10 a.m. #ncpol #ncga— NCSBE (@NCSBE) February 18, 2019