Less than two years ago, Steve Bannon was arguably the most powerful man in the world and it was terrifying.
I remember the despair I felt before Trump’s inauguration when it became clear that Bannon would have a big role in the administration.
I remember the distress we all felt when it became clear that he was really pulling the strings; that Steve Bannon was running our country.
Well, times have changed.
This week, it was announced that Bannon is going to come rally Republicans in Western NY next week because Trump-fan and indicted-rich-guy Chris Collins is in a dead heat race (despite running in a super red district).
At first, progressives in WNY were horrified and disgusted. Steve Bannon? Here? Discussions about protests began immediately.
But then it became kind of… pathetic. Don’t get me wrong, Bannon is still disgusting and awful and evil, but think about it: the “great” Steve Bannon is coming to rescue Trump’s first congressional supporter who is running scared in a district that should be as red as red can be.
And where is he speaking? Not the arena. Not the stadium. Not the convention center. Heck, not even a large banquet hall.
He is speaking at a Volunteer Fire Company in a small town.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Reminded me of these wise words:
I know the right doesn’t really believe in science and, although that is super annoying when it comes to saving the planet, it is helpful when it comes to beating them at elections.
For example, one well replicated and robust effect in psychology is called psychological reactance. Reactance occurs when people feel as if an existing right is being taken away from them. We tend to hate that and so we react by asserting that right even more strongly than before.
This happened with health care. People were mostly against ACA before it went into law, but it turned out that once you gave people healthcare, they REALLY didn’t like it when Republicans tried to take it away.
Now it is happening with voting.
The voter suppression actions are distressing and abhorrent, but they also may very well backfire. Why? Reactance.
How much of the heavy early voting turnout is related to the voting issue, how much is related to Abrams’s historic campaign (she’d be the first female Georgia governor and the country’s first African American female governor) and how much is attributable to the pink wave of newly engaged women voters may be hard to assess.
and turnout has been HUGE: Turnout soars on the first day of early voting in Georgia
Voters across Georgia rushed to the polls on the first day of in-person early voting Monday, with 69,049 people casting their ballots.
That’s a sharp increase from the last midterm election in 2014, when 20,898 people showed up on the first day of in-person early voting, according to numbers from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
and as of yesterday:
that is almost TRIPLE the numbers from 2014. TRIPLE THE NUMBERS
And y’all know that turnout is the Democrats best friend? if we can get turnout, we tend to do well.
And this may not be just in Georgia. Native Americans are, rightfully, pissed off about their voter suppression in ND and there is some evidence that they may fight back with VOTES:
O.J. Semans, executive director of Four Directions, a Native American voting rights group, talks with Rachel Maddow about the effort to overcome new obstacles North Dakota Republicans have put in place to make it harder for Native Americans to vote.
So keep ignoring science, Republicans (well, when it comes to elections). We’ll see you on the other side of November 6th.
Other Blue Wave News
People are searching “register to vote” at near-presidential-election levels — suggesting a surge in interest among less frequent voters.
We asked Google’s search team to provide us with data on searches for the term in each of the three most recent midterm cycles by state. Over and over, the pattern is the same: a big spike in searches last month that dwarfs searches in 2010 or 2014.
again, this is HUGE because TURNOUT IS OUR BEST FRIEND. That is why it is so important for all of us to be focused like laser-beams on GOTV right now!
And about those mobs….
If the Nov. 6 midterm elections turn into what many Democrats hope will be a “blue wave,” swamping Republican majorities from Congress to state legislatures nationwide, it will have been powered in part by a new and sprawling network of activists on the left who, like Wilburn, have leaped into action over the past two years — energized by their deep desire to thwart the rise of Trump and his agenda.
Like the conservative tea party groups that rose up after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 and that helped Republicans retake the House and gain power in state legislatures in 2010, this new liberal movement has emerged largely outside the traditional party structure.
It is led by hundreds of thousands of mostly white, college-educated, middle-aged women who trace their inspiration to the inaugural women’s marches in January 2017 and whose ambitions have only grown amid a succession of disagreements with Trump, including over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
The pink resistance is reflected in the historic number of women running for office. “More than 500 women announced runs for Congress and governorships in 2018 — a record number,” CBS News reports. And with those female candidates, we have seen an influx of female donors, a new group of political power players.
The irony is striking: At a time that President Trump and his most devoted fans — evangelicals — have abandoned any pretense that character and public morality matter, it is progressive women who have insisted that honesty, decency, respect and kindness count most of all.
The pink wave is so big we are even bringing Republican women to our side! → Fed up with Trump, a GOP women’s PAC is backing Dems in two key Michigan races
A political action committee run by Republican women opposed to Donald Trump is getting involved in Michigan’s most competitive Congressional races — and supporting the Democrat candidates.
Republican Women for Progress PAC tells Metro Times it has taken out $50,000 television ad buys in Michigan’s 11th and 8th Congressional District races. Both races feature a moderate Democrat against a Trump-aligned Republican. In MI-11, Democrat Haley Stevens is up against Republican Lena Epstein, the former Michigan chair for the Trump campaign. In MI-08, Elissa Slotkin is trying to unseat incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop.
“We think the best thing that we can do for the party and for the country right now is to make sure there are good women — Democrat or Republican — that are elected to office and who can serve as a check on this administration and on the president,” says Meghan Milloy, co-founder of Republican Women for Progress. “[This effort] really was inspired by us talking to Republican women in these districts where they said there was just no way that they could vote for the Republican.”
I love these pink wave stories. All those years we ran the PTAs, block clubs, and neighborhood carpools were just practice for us taking over the government!
And the enormous amount of money raised by democrats surprises me 0% because it points to what we have been saying here again and again and again. the enthusiasm is ON OUR SIDE. We are the majority! If we were not, they wouldn’t have to cheat to win.
Well, lets talk more about that $$ advantage:
Democrats have raised almost 2/3 of the total money for the House (not counting candidates who lost in primaries). Despite the fact that the GOP holds the incumbency advantage. Never been anything like that before in our House fundraising data, which goes back to 1998. pic.twitter.com/18iRaPGQxJ
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 16, 2018
Democratic candidates running for Congress this year collectively raised more than $1 billion for their campaigns — a record-shattering sum that highlights the party’s zeal to retake the House and Senate and underscores the enormous amount of money flowing into the midterm races.
did you get that? Numbers like this have NEVER happened before. What does that mean?
Here is election guru Nate Silver’s take: Election Update: Democrats’ Unprecedented Fundraising Edge Is Scary For Republicans … And Our Model
while Democrats’ numbers have held steady or improved from the high levels they had in 2016, Republican numbers have collapsed. The 17 GOP candidates that project to raise at least $2 million this year is down from 64 in 2016.
The result is a fundraising disparity of the likes we’ve never seen before — at least not in recent years. (Our data on House fundraising goes back to 1998.)
That data, plus Democrats’ very strong performances in special elections, could look like tangible signs of a Democratic turnout surge that pollsters and pundits perhaps won’t have paid enough attention to.
If turnout among Democratic-leaning groups actually outpaces that among Republican-leaning ones, Democrats will beat their polls and our projections.
and the other statistics wonder out there (the other Nate — Cohen) is also seeing the possibility of huge turnout among Ds → For a Change, Democrats Seem Set to Equal or Exceed Republicans in Turnout
A wide range of evidence indicates that Democratic voters are poised to vote in numbers unseen in a midterm election in at least a decade.
Democrats have largely erased the turnout deficit that hobbled them during the Obama presidency, according to results from more than 50 New York Times Upshot/Siena College polls of the most competitive House battleground districts.
Across the Times/Siena polls, Republicans have a six-point lead among voters who turned out in 2014. But Democrats counter with a 10-point advantage among voters who didn’t turn out in that election. Those voters are poised to represent more than one-third of the electorate, enough to essentially eliminate the Republican turnout advantage of the last decade.
If Democrats can lure additional young and nonwhite voters off the sidelines and out of the undecided column, the party could be poised to break through in many of the districts where they’ve struggled the most to this point.
Lets make sure that we live up to this awesome potential.
GOTV! GOTV! GOTV! We can do this!!! We can save our democracy in just a few weeks from now.
Even this a-hole is helping:
One hundred years ago in November, the president of the United States was desperately trying to preserve his partisan majorities in Congress in the midterm elections — and blew it, losing both the House and the Senate in an almost unprecedented result. The good news for Democrats today is that Donald Trump appears determined to make the very same mistakes that Woodrow Wilson made in 1918, greatly enhancing the Democrats’ prospects for victory in the fall.
To be sure, the reasons for America’s weariness with the current president differ greatly from those that brought down Wilson. Trump fatigue is largely a product of the ringmaster’s perpetual circus: noise, shock and vulgar spectacle. But the fatigue is no less real. So the louder Trump gets about this midterm — the more he repeats some variation of “A vote for Cindy (or David or Patrick) is a vote for me” — the greater is the likelihood that he will suffer Wilson’s fate. Under the circumstances, many voters don’t care so much about whether America can be great again — only that it can be quiet.
more reasons to hope (and keep working hard):
1) The state’s demographics are (still) changing
2) Recent elections have gotten closer and closer
3) Independents could tip the balance
4) Some moderate Republicans could be peeling off as well
5) Sinema seems uniquely suited to the state
and great new poll news from AZ — Sinema Leads McSally in Latest Survey somewhere between 5-8%!
First, the chaotic primary process has (somehow) produced a slate of diverse, high-quality Democratic candidates: people to vote for, not just surrogates for voters wanting to show opposition to the president.
Second, women are fired up and ready to vote.
Third, the Midwest is back in play.
Fourth, the Democratic Party has largely healed, dodged or whistled past the lingering bitterness of its divisive 2016 presidential primary process
Finally, victory in key races rests largely on a factor within Democrats’ control: turning out their voters.
The Houston Chronicle endorses Beto O'Rourke for Senate. In 2012, the Chronicle endorsed Ted Cruz.
"He would help to serve as a check on a president who is a danger to the republic. Cruz is unwilling to take on that responsibility."https://t.co/sp4SBYZitY
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 19, 2018
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) October 18, 2018
let’s do this! Remember:
Russia Russia Russia
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller have been spending a whole lot of time together of late, according to CNN’s Katelyn Polantz and Evan Perez. The duo write:“[Manafort] and his lawyers have visited Mueller’s office in Washington at least nine times in the last four weeks, a strong indication that the special counsel is moving at a steady clip.”NINE times in the last FOUR weeks. That’s basically one out of every two work days over the last month. That’s a whole lot.This feels like a VERY big deal.Again, nothing may come of all these Manafort-Mueller meetings. But it’s hard for me to see why Mueller would spend so much time with Manafort — especially this far along in the investigation — if the former head of the FBI didn’t believe that Manafort had something (and maybe a lot of somethings) to give him that will help the probe.All of which should make the White House more than a little nervous.
2/ The Mueller probe will go down as one of the most successful and professionally run probes of its kind in US history. Even Trump's legal team says that new indictments—*on collusion*—are coming. That doesn't even count Stone and Prince getting pinched for lying (at a minimum).
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) October 19, 2018
sounds good to me ❤️
Given the dynamic political situation that is rapidly approaching with midterm elections, Mueller might decide to protect himself — and his investigation — by filing a formal written report memorializing his findings to date. But such a report should not be mistaken for the end of Mueller’s probe. Mueller still has plenty of work to do, and his most consequential prosecutorial actions likely still lie ahead.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter.
Tides Are Turning
I found this poll heartening:
Up now: Support for Trump among troops is slipping, and the armed forces are now evenly divided over whether they approve of his presidency. The results from our latest Military Times poll: https://t.co/C4tVUDWThT pic.twitter.com/RpGHfSdFSI
— Leo Shane III (@LeoShane) October 15, 2018
and here is another sign that the mood of the country is in our favor:
It’s easier to find Republicans in competitive races toning down their NRA credentials than it is to find Democrats actively campaigning on gun control and gun safety. Rather, Democrats trying to pick up competitive seats to regain the majority for their party are more inclined to tout their comfort with firearms.
also, I saw A LOT of despair about how the NYPD handled that proud boy fiasco, but very little acknowledgment of the great news that, once again, our persistence and collective voice made a difference:
The NYPD said Monday that it plans to arrest nine members of the alt-right group the Proud Boys and three more anti-fascist opponents involved in a brawl on the Upper East Side on Friday — as new video of the melee surfaced.
And this gave me hope:
MINNEAPOLIS — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. for the first time Tuesday addressed the recent bitter partisan fight over new Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court, seeking to “assure” an audience that the court will serve “one nation” and not “one party or one interest.”
Before being interviewed by a law professor at the University of Minnesota, Roberts told an audience of 2,700 that he wanted to speak to the “contentious events in Washington in recent weeks,” and to “emphasize how the judicial branch is, must be, very different.”
“I have great respect for our public officials; after all, they speak for the people, and that commands a certain degree of humility from those of us in the judicial branch, who do not.
“We do not speak for the people, but we speak for the Constitution.”
I saw a lot of people being snarky about it, but I think it is great news because it means that the court now has the motivation to NOT appear biased. They know we are watching. They know the stakes.
Another great example of how the people and the world can pull together even when our government doesn’t lead:
As a rule, international conferences bask in publicity, the better to boost attendance and prestige. The sort of publicity that has fallen on the Saudi Future Investment Initiative (FII), though, hasn’t helped. The Oct. 23-25 event, “powered” by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has become the target of worldwide disgust with mounting evidence that Saudi officials bear responsibility for the disappearance and alleged brutal murder of Saudi journalist and Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, who entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and hasn’t surfaced since.
CNN, the Financial Times, CNBC, Nikkei and the New York Times are just several of the organizations that have withdrawn as media partners over the alleged murder of Khashoggi. Now Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced he won’t participate.
and here is another example of a bad thing changing when people put pressure and a spotlight on it:
Fast results: A few hours after NYT published this article, Heritage announced it's suspending the program.
"Heritage is re-evaluating the Federal Clerkship Training Academy," Greg Scott, a spokesman for the group, said. "As a result, the program will not go on as scheduled." https://t.co/MQ0fEbe0Cr
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 18, 2018
and some surprisingly good news from Europe:
Europe’s top court ordered Poland’s government on Friday to immediately halt implementation of a controversial law designed to force more than a dozen of the nation’s Supreme Court justices into early retirement.
The surprise decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) sets up a potential clash between European authorities and the right-wing Polish government, which has been accused of subverting the rule of law with a bid to pack Supreme Court with sympathetic judges.
That is it for today. Please please please continue to do all you can for November 6th.
Act like the future of the world is at stake.
Act like we have a great chance of winning if you do your best.
Act like you have an opportunity to be a part of the most amazing movement of our lifetimes.
Act like the awesome person you are!!
I am so proud and so lucky to be in this with all of you ❤️ ✊ ❤️