Like it or not, voters “back home” in districts still matter if lawmakers plan to keep their jobs.
The districts – you know – they would need to actually win if some of their spineless selves want to stay in Washington.
Despite the personal preferences of quisling Republicans who would likely love nothing more than to dump the president and his agenda and retreat back into minority ‘Loyal Opposition’ status, the political reality on the ground says Trump is still popular in their own districts.
During a New Year’s Day panel discussion on MSNBC’s Hardball with host Chris Matthews, political pundit and former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, no fan of Trump, nevertheless acknowledged why we won’t see the kind of movement “away from the president” many Trump-haters might prefer.
“Well, the Republican Party has never been so divided,” said Matthews. “Certainly not in the television age. Senators openly defy their party’s leader now. The president backed a Senate candidate in Alabama accused of mistreating teenaged girls against the will of nearly every Republican in Washington. He battled a sick war hero John McCain. He reportedly fought to keep Mitt Romney, 2012’s nominee for president out of the Senate. And Steve Bannon mocked the majority Mitch McConnell with more venom than he showed Democrats. What’s going on in the GOP? Susan, I think it’s really interesting. There still a non-trump Republican Party?”
“No,” said USA Today’s Susan Page. “I think what’s interesting is the Republican Party is deeply divided. It’s really fractured. And yet the only people willing to actually directly take on Trump are people who do not plan to run for reelection like Senator Flake and Senator Corker. This is the party of Trump. They are tied to him. And I don’t think there is any getting away from that.”
At which point, Matthews turned to Steele and asked, “Why, Michael? Is that true?”
“I ask that question, why?” Steele quipped.
“Where they won’t even wink at somebody and say I don’t really like this guy,” Matthews said.
“Because the real bottom line is when they go back to their congressional districts and they look at their states, they see that a significant portion of that base Republican vote is still with the president,” said Steele. “So that 32, 33% is made up of largely 75 or 80% of the Republican Party. And that is — as long as that number is where it is, you’re not going see the kind of movement away from the president that people talk to you and all of us about in the shadows of Washington. With the low whispers and the rolled eyes.”
“You’ll get more of that next year as the campaign for 2018 heats up and they start looking at their poll numbers and they realize it’s either me or him,” Steele concluded. “And the reality for a lot of Republicans is right now Donald Trump, the him, is winning in their districts and their backyards, and they’re caught in this hot spot.”
In other words, America has President Trump and his base to thank for his numerous accomplishments in 2017.
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