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For months, perhaps years, it’s been obvious that the energy in the Democratic Party has been in the ‘Bernie Sanders wing’ of the party. One thing that showed up bigtime in last night’s Democratic Party primaries was the ‘Bernie Sanders wing’ of the party. In “Nebraska, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wanted former Rep. Brad Ashford as its nominee for an Omaha-based seat. But Tuesday night ended with liberal Kara Eastman, a social worker, proclaimed the winner by more than 1,000 votes.”

The voters said that Ashford wasn’t radical enough for their liking.

In Pennsylvania, Greg Edwards, who lost the primary to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, and winner Susan Wild, summed things up perfectly when he said “That’s where the momentum is. If you try and run a Republican-lite or a Democrat-lite candidate, it suppresses the Democratic vote.” Also in Pennsylvania, another moderate candidate, Rachel Reddick, “lost to ‘proud progressive’ Scott Wallace. The self-funding millionaire drenched the airwaves with TV ads that attacked Reddick for recently being a registered Republican.”

So much for Democrats recruiting candidates like Conor Lamb that “fit their districts.”

This isn’t good news for the blue wave theorists in the media:

Eastman’s victory had liberals feeling emboldened. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal group, said Tuesday night that Eastman’s win should teach Democrats that “the way to inspire voters in 2018 is to campaign on a bold progressive agenda of Medicare for All, higher wages for workers, and other economic populist ideas that help working families and challenge corporate power.”

Progressives mix together with moderates like oil mixes with water. The question most likely to be asked after these primaries is whether Democrats will unite behind these candidates or will they stay home. With a message like this, Kara Eastman won’t win in November:

Seriously? Health care, raising the minimum wage and “debt-free education”? In Nebraska, she’s gonna run on those? I can’t picture those issues playing well in Nebraska.

While Democrats and Palestinians criticize President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, other nations are announcing that they’re moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

First, “Guatemala courageously decided it would follow the United States’ lead and move its embassy to Jerusalem.” Next, “the Walla news [reported that] Romania and Slovakia are planning to make such a move. Paraguay and Togo are reportedly also considering such a move.”

This is a big deal politically in that Democrats have started criticizing President Trump’s decision. For instance, Bernie Sanders said “There’s a reason why all past US administrations have not made this move, and why leaders around the world have warned Trump against it: It would undermine the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and severely, perhaps irreparably, damage our ability to broker it.”

Dianne Feinstein’s letter said this:

The future of Jerusalem is an issue that should be decided by Israel and the Palestinians, not unilaterally by the United States.

That sentence was contained in this letter:

While Democrats criticized President Trump’s decision, world leaders sided with President Trump. That’s what leadership does. Leadership molds consensus. It doesn’t conform to consensus. President Obama led from behind. President Trump just leads. Period.

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It’s long past time to pose some uncomfortable questions to Democrats. This weekend, President Trump and Comrade Bernie Sanders had a Twitter fight that started with Sen. Sanders saying “Doesn’t it tell us a lot about Republican priorities when the tax breaks for corporations are permanent, while the tax breaks for working families expire at the end of 8 years?”

Let’s look at this from a purely logical perspective. Since Republicans wrote the bill, it’s safe to assume that they wanted to cut taxes for the middle class. That’s obvious because they dropped the marginal tax rates for every income group. Extending this thinking further, it’s fair to argue that the middle class tax cuts weren’t made permanent because of the Senate’s budget rules, not because the Republicans don’t like middle class tax cuts?

It isn’t difficult to make the case that the middle class tax cuts would’ve been made permanent had a dozen Democrats voted with Republicans for the bill. Because Democrats emphatically said no to tax cuts, the middle class tax cuts weren’t made permanent.

Whose fault is that, Bernie?

From there, things went downhill fast:

What we could do with $1.5 trillion:
-Make college tuition-free
-Provide universal preschool
-Repair our crumbling infrastructure
-Fund CHIP for 107 years
-Rebuild Puerto Rico

What an elitist! What people think that everyone needs a degree from a 4-year college? Elitists. President Trump prefers a different approach. He sees the importance of high school grads going to trade schools. He knows that graduates from trade schools will be needed to rebuild this nation’s infrastructure, help the U.S. become energy dominant and add value to the economy.

It’s painfully obvious that Sen. Sanders doesn’t understand how the economy works. He apparently thinks that forcing companies to pay high marginal tax rates will build the economy. We tried that the last 8 years. It failed, with economic growth being virtually stagnant. The Trump Boom is already growing the economy at a robust rate. This Christmas season has been better than expected:

Fueled by high consumer confidence and a robust job market, U.S. retail sales in the holiday period rose at their best pace since 2011, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending. Sales, excluding automobiles, rose 4.9% from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve, compared with a 3.7% gain in the same period last year, according to the Mastercard Inc. MA 0.21% unit, which tracks all forms of payment. E-commerce continued to drive the gains, rising 18.1%.

“It started with a bang in the week leading up to Black Friday,” said Sarah Quinlan, a senior vice president of marketing insights at Mastercard. She added that retailers benefited this year from Christmas Day falling on a Monday, giving shoppers a full weekend to scoop up last-minute purchases. Dec. 23 ranked next to Black Friday in terms of spending, according to Mastercard. “Overall, this year was a big win for retail,” Ms. Quinlan said.

The question Republicans should constantly ask is ‘why didn’t Democrats join with us to make middle class tax cuts permanent?’ They had their chance. Democrats blew it.

It’s apparent that Democrats don’t understand that their unanimous vote against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has painted them into a political corner. Let’s start with by examining the difficult position Sen. Manchin painted himself into.

Sen. Manchin said “he’s repeatedly tried to find areas to reach across the aisle and vote with Republicans for Mr. Trump’s agenda, but said he couldn’t do it this time. ‘There’s some good in this bill. I acknowledge that,’ Mr. Manchin said on West Virginia talk radio, after host Hoppy Kercheval pointed to the tax cuts he said the state’s middle class residents stood to gain.” Why do I think that Sen. Manchin’s constituents will hold it against him for voting against their tax cuts? Why shouldn’t West Virginians, aka Mountaineers, hold it against Sen. Manchin for voting with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the tax cuts?

Later, Sen. Manchin complained that “the bills seemed too skewed toward business, pointing to the permanent nature of corporate tax cuts, compared to the planned expiration of the reductions in the individual rate.” First, I’m reminded of President Reagan’s saying that you can’t be pro-jobs and hate the employer. Apparently, Sen. Manchin didn’t learn that lesson. Next, Sen. Manchin is whining about the Senate’s rules, which he’s repeatedly voted to approve. If the Senate’s rules weren’t so screwed up, the individual tax cuts could’ve been made permanent.

Sen. Manchin’s excuses sound like ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuses than legitimate excuses.

By contrast, Patrick Morrisey, Sen. Manchin’s likely opponent, will be able to vote for eliminating coal industry-hating regulations, great judges and never vote with Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren out of party loyalty. Hint: Anyone that thinks Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren plays well with coal miners should view this video:

Hillary lost West Virginia by 40+ points. What should frighten Sen. Manchin is that it wouldn’t surprise me if Hillary is more well liked than Sanders or Warren.

At a town-hall meeting in Missouri last week, Sen. Claire McCaskill framed her vote against the bill as disappointment that the plan favored corporations. She argued the bill betrayed the principles Mr. Trump had originally proposed. “This isn’t Trump’s bill,” she said at the event in suburban St. Louis. “Trump campaigned on the bill being about you.” But one resident told the St. Louis Public Radio before the event that he didn’t understand her opposition to the bill and hoped she’d explain it more. “I’m having a hard time finding a way that it does not benefit the people of Missouri,” said Dennis Hugo, a 32-year-old, self-described Libertarian.

Finally, there’s this:

In Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, another Democrat, told his voters he met with Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence over the tax bill. “From the beginning of this year’s tax reform effort, I’ve been willing to partner with Republicans, Democrats, and President Trump and his administration,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star. “Despite this common ground, the bill produced by Sen. Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan was the complete opposite of what the president and I had discussed,” Mr. Donnelly added.

In North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who said last month she was open to voting for the bill, said that the $1.5 trillion in additional deficits piled up by the tax cuts swayed her to vote against it. But some voters in her state don’t see that as a reasonable opposition.

Sen. Heitkamp is gonna have a ton of difficulty peddling that excuse. There wasn’t a tax cut package that wasn’t going to pile up deficits according to the CBO’s scoring. That’s actually the least of Sen. Heitkamp’s worries. She, along with Sen. Donnelly, Sen. Tester, Sen. Baldwin, Sen. Casey and Sen. Brown, voted against significantly reducing the estate tax on farmers’ estates. The full expensing of equipment isn’t insignificant to farmers, either.

In DC, the spin will be that this helps corporations, not working people. In Indiana, Montana and North Dakota, big farms are incorporated. Saying that the Democrats’ messaging doesn’t exactly fit those states is understatement.

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Ed Rogers’ article lays out the 2018 campaign perfectly, saying “The Democrats’ last effort at having something positive to offer voters was a comical failure. Does anyone even remember when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) launched her “A Better Deal” campaign in July? Despite efforts to refresh the platform’s website, it appears that Pelosi has essentially abandoned it altogether. The word “fizzle” doesn’t even begin to capture its non-performance.” The Democrats don’t have a policy agenda. At this point, they’re the political party of identity politics. Period.

By comparison, Republicans have a positive message to run on. According to Ed Rogers’ article, “President Trump and Republicans in Congress have made a positive impact on the economy. Forecasts for the months ahead look good, consumer confidence is up, the repeal of net neutrality will return capitalism to the Internet, stock market advances are contributing to the ‘wealth effect,’ businesses see that the war on regulation has only just begun and, with tax reform on the brink, chief executives and entrepreneurs throughout the country know that an all-around pro-business vibe has taken hold in Washington.”

Other than getting the US economy heading in the right direction and repealing a ton of counterproductive regulations, Republicans haven’t done much. It’s clear that Democrats want to return to the failed policies of the past 8 years. If you ask the average person if they’d prefer more money in their checks or less, they’ll take more. If you asked those people if they’d like having more opportunities at good paying jobs or less, I’m betting that they’ll take more opportunities.

Lately, Democrats have started hinting that the tax cuts won’t guarantee more good paying jobs. I’d turn that around on them and say that the only guarantee we had during the Obama administration was a guarantee of less economic growth and fewer opportunities for upward mobility. The facts speak for themselves. They aren’t pretty.

Newt Gingrich lays things out perfectly in this op-ed:

Writing a good bill is only step one. Communicating the bill effectively, despite falsehoods and distortions in fake news, is the vital second step – and it requires serious commitment. If Republicans reach every person who is helped by this bill, they will win decisively in 2018.

The Democrats who do not vote for this bill will have to explain why they are against reduced taxes, lower unemployment, a simpler tax code and more American job creation. Winning the argument over the tax bill may be the most crucial step toward victory in 2018.

Rogers is right about this:

While the process associated with the tax bill’s formation has not been particularly flattering or well communicated, none of that will matter if it produces a lift to the economy. Voters care about job growth, better wages and feeling economic momentum, not how tax law is formulated.

In the end, people want a strong economy and more money in their paychecks.

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Lately, Sen. Schumer has made a habit of saying that Republicans will rue the day the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes. It isn’t that he actually believes this. It’s that he’s trying to spin a major loss for Senate Democrats into a smaller loss. Seriously, only Bernie Sanders is stupid enough to think that the bill won’t create jobs and get the economy running better.

Sen. Schumer issued a statement that said “Under this bill, the working class, middle class and upper middle class get skewered, while the rich and wealthy corporations make out like bandits. It is just the opposite of what America needs — and Republicans will rue the day they pass this.”

It’s important to remember that that’s coming from a man who tried protecting Sen. Franken by recommending a do-nothing ethics committee investigation. Anyone that’s willing to protect a pervert like Franken isn’t a person whose opinion I’d value. Marco Rubio, a person whose political instincts I value, though not always his policies, has changed his vote from no to yes on the bill.

Implicit in Schumer’s statement is Sen. Schumer’s admission that the bill will pass. That’s a victory for Republicans and the American people. Since President Trump was elected, the economy has surged. GDP is higher. Consumer confidence is soaring. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. Regulations that’ve been cut by this Congress and this administration have taken government’s boot off the economy’s throat. People’s 401(k)s are getting richer.

For all of Sen. Schumer’s whining, people are better off now than they were a year ago. Despite President Obama’s BS, the economy isn’t stronger because the Trump built off the blueprint that President Obama put in place. It’s flourishing because President Trump tore President Obama’s blueprint down, then rebuilt it from scratch. GDP for Q1 2017 was 1.7%. Q3 of 2017 is dramatically different, with GDP up at 3.3% with an asterisk. (That asterisk is that it would’ve been higher if not for 5 major hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast in a single month.)

This is fantastic news:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said Friday that the chamber would vote on the plan Tuesday, with the Senate vote to follow shortly thereafter.

Expect there to be a lavish bill signing ceremony at the White House either Wednesday or Thursday. Sen. Schumer’s spin won’t change the fact that the middle class will see more in their paychecks after the start of the new year.

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Let’s be clear about something. When Doug Jones won the Alabama special election Tuesday night, he won because Steve Bannon’s candidate did what Bannon’s candidates always do. Bannon’s candidate lost a race that mainstream Republicans couldn’t lose in a million lifetimes. Predictably, Democrats are misreading what tonight’s results mean.

Tuesday night’s victory is the result of a terrible, far-outside-the-mainstream, candidate who thought he had a mandate from God misunderstanding how toxic he’d become. If Democrats think they’ll get to run against a lengthy list of candidates that share the same qualities as tonight’s loser has, they’ll quickly be disabused of that foolish notion.

Martha McSally isn’t a clone of tonight’s loser. Republicans have already recruited top-tier candidates to run against vulnerable incumbents in Missouri, Florida, Indiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana and West Virginia. Any thought that this will turn out well for Democrats in 2018 will quickly be dispatched.

The Democrats’ seismic victory Tuesday in the unlikely political battleground of Alabama brought jubilation, and a sudden a rush of confidence, to a party that has been struggling to gain its footing since Donald Trump won the presidency 13 months ago. Democrat Doug Jones’s triumph, the result of a vigorous turnout of the party’s traditional voters and of Republican splintering in a deeply conservative state, sent a thunder clap across the national political landscape that Democrats hope will signify an emerging comeback at the start of the 2018 midterm election campaign.

There’s no disputing that Democrats are feeling exhilarated after tonight’s victory. That thrill of victory won’t last long, though. Republicans will pass the tax reform bill before Jones is seated as Alabama’s junior senator for the next 3 years.

Tonight’s loser refused to admit that he’d lost:

Most likely, tonight’s winner is thrilled. MSNBC certainly is:

The best news of the night for Republicans is up for debate. Arguments could be made that the best thing is that Republicans don’t have to run with Bannon’s loser strapped to their neck. That’s certainly a positive. Another argument that could be made is that mainstream Republicans can now emphasize tonight’s defeat as proof that Bannon’s candidates are losers in primaries, thereby giving top-tier candidates a better shot at winning primaries. Still another argument could be made that the best news is that Republicans rejected sexist pigs even though it hurt their party.

Democrats tried claiming the moral high ground when Al Franken and John Conyers resigned amidst allegations of sexual harassment. It didn’t take long for Republicans, President Trump especially, to highlight that a special election in Michigan would replace Conyers with either his son or his nephew and that Minnesota’s DFL governor would pick a DFL legislator to replace a DFL senator. In other words, Democrats didn’t stand to lose a thing.

Republicans voted their values despite the fact that they lost an important Senate seat. Finally, it’s worth noting that ‘moderate’ Democrats will have to defend their voting in lockstep with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on judges and on cutting taxes. They also have to explain why they threatened to shut down the government.

If I had to give this article a title, I’d give the title ‘You can’t beat something with nothing’. Another title I’d consider is ‘Republicans win while Democrats whine’. Katie Packer Beeson’s article is spot on.

It starts by saying “The Democrats seem to enjoy gloating about the hot mess that is the Republican Party these days. Former GOP presidents warning the president about the people he surrounds himself with; sitting Republican U.S. senators calling the president unstable and unqualified; and a former GOP speaker of the house saying “there is no Republican Party. The president isn’t a Republican.” And Democrats’ friends in the mainstream media have kindly created an echo chamber that makes them think that they are always right and the Republicans are a bunch of sexist, racist, whack jobs. So why aren’t they winning?”

It continued, saying “So when they lost the election, there was a reckoning. The leadership of the Democratic Party was drummed up and new, forward-looking leaders took the reins and offered an alternative to what they saw as the disaster of Donald Trump. Wait, no. That isn’t what happened. Instead, they re-elected Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house. They elected Chuck Schumer as Senate majority [editor’s note: Schumer is minority leader] leader and completely sold out to the New York and California wings of the Democratic Party.”

Then there’s this:

Instead of talking about middle-class tax cuts, they talked about transgender bathroom access. Instead of talking about fixing Obamacare, which was crushing many in the middle class with high premiums and complicated doctor selections, they walked right into the trap of the alt-right and began tearing down Civil War statues.

Democrats still haven’t figured out how to talk to blue collar America. They’re experts at talking to college professors and progressive activists but they’re worthless at talking with factory workers, small businesses and tradesmen. It’s like those people are from another planet. (Perhaps, it’s the Democrats that are from a different planet?)

Look how paralyzed Hillary looks when confronted by a coal miner:

Hillary looked positively petrified. She looked like she would’ve rather been anywhere else in the world than at that roundtable.

What [Democrats] don’t seem to understand is that you can point out your opponent’s weaknesses all day long, but if you don’t provide an alternative, then people will stick with the status quo. I’ve spoken to dozens of Republican women in recent months who have grown disillusioned with the Republican Party, and when I ask why they don’t defect, the answer is always the same: “It’s no better over there.”

Until Democrats learn what animates blue collar workers, they should expect to lose lots of races, at least enough to keep them in the minority for a decade or more.

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According to this tweet, Sen. Klobuchar praised the “@mngop reinsurance proposal as solution to skyrocketing premiums.” While it’s true that the Republican plan will reduce health insurance premiums and stabilize the individual market, there’s no chance that Sen. Klobuchar will vote for that GOP legislation. The woman that portrays herself as Mrs. Bipartisanship gave Minnesota voters a glimpse into who the real Amy Klobuchar is. Earlier tonight, she appeared with Sen. Bernie Sanders, the definition of hard-leftism, on CNN. That’s astonishing. Sen. Graham is a moderate-to-liberal Republican. As I said earlier, Sen. Klobuchar consistently portrays herself as a moderate Democrat.

If that image of Sen. Klobuchar was true, shouldn’t Sen. Klobuchar be anxious to work with Sen. Graham to negotiate a bipartisan agreement? If Sen. Klobuchar reject Sen. Sanders’ extremism? That’s how it should work. Unfortunately, that isn’t what’s happening. Unfortunately, Sen. Klobuchar is siding with the least bipartisan senator in the last fifty years rather than the moderate-to-liberal Republican senator from South Carolina. I’d love to hear Sen. Klobuchar explain why this happened:

During the debate, Sen. Cassidy praised Minnesota’s system, offering Klobuchar a golden opportunity to work some bipartisan magic. Unfortunately, Sen. Klobuchar didn’t capitalize on that opportunity. Instead, she stuck with her bipartisan rhetoric and partisan actions, saying “I am asking people to join me to fix the Affordable Care Act.” “put the politics aside and put the people first.”

Sen. Cassidy clearly presented Sen. Klobuchar with the opportunity to solve the ACA’s skyrocketing premiums. Instead of accepting that offer, Sen. Klobuchar insisted on fixing the ACA. What’s astonishing is that Sen. Klobuchar’s idea of using the GOP reinsurance plan would require a major rewrite of the ACA. That wouldn’t be a tinkering-around-the-edges modification.

It’s pretty clear that Sen. Klobuchar isn’t the moderate she portrays herself to be. It’s a shame she isn’t. If she truly was a moderate, she’d be free to vote for good legislation rather than sticking with Bernie Sanders.

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A generation ago, the Democratic Party was a legitimate political party. It isn’t anymore. Today’s Democrats have gone so far around the bend that even lifelong Democrats have started backpedalling … fast. Jim Geraghty’s column illustrates just how foolish the Democratic Party is. What caught my attention is the paragraph that says “The Democratic party’s leaders haven’t changed their methods, either. They denounced Trump and his ‘Deplorables’ and the rest of the Republican party in the most furious terms in 2016, but that didn’t produce the results they wanted. In 2017, Democrats decided to just keep on doing that, but with more profanity.”

Later, Geraghty wrote “After 2016, one might have expected Democrats to reconsider their full embrace of identity politics. Instead they’ve doubled down. Instead of examining why so many voters in so many states rejected their arguments and philosophies, many within the academy and universities greeted 2017 by insisting even more adamantly that freedom of speech is dangerous and that you should be threatened or violently assaulted if you express a view they disagree with. Instead of giving the lecturing speeches at awards shows a break, Hollywood celebrities are becoming even more politically outspoken and strident, and even more openly contemptuous of roughly half their audience.”

Rational people wouldn’t think that Sending rioters to a congressman’s front steps isn’t a way to prove you’re rational, either:

These tactics might help fire up the Democratic Party’s bi-coastal base but they won’t help flip any of the districts or states that they’ll need to retake the House, Senate or the White House. Republicans will increase their margin in the Senate, thereby marginalizing John McCain, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Rand Paul. Republicans will maintain their House majority, too. Most importantly, they’ll have net gains in terms of governorships, state legislators and total control of state governments.

This isn’t because Republicans are doing a great job. I’ve repeatedly said that they aren’t. It’s because Democrats are doing a great job frightening people, either with violence or unaffordable ideas like Medicare for All.

Next November, Democrats will gather somewhere to question what went wrong … again. The Media Wing of the Democratic Party won’t accept the fact that they’re hurting the Democratic Party. The Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party won’t figure it out that their policies don’t appeal to many people. Instead, they’ll think that the enthusiasm that their supporters show are proof that they’re on the right track. They’ll be wrong … again.