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This incoherent scribbling in the Huffington Post highlights what desperate straits the Democrats are in. The chief scribbler says Brett Kavanaugh’s “confirmation is far from inevitable”, noting that, thanks to “Sen. John McCain’s illness, Republicans have a tiny effective majority of 50 to 49 in the Senate. If Democrats all vote against confirmation — which is not impossible — Republicans must unanimously hold the line.”

Clearly, this is a case of extreme wishful thinking. First, Chuck Schumer isn’t whipping this vote. Next, red state Democrats won’t sacrifice their seats just to keep some Indivisible/Resistance crazies happy.

Then there’s this:

Two of the Republicans who voted against ending the Affordable Care Act, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are still very much in play, despite early signals that some think may mean they are leaning toward confirmation. Three other Republican senators may also be unreliable votes for confirmation, depending on how the confirmation process plays out: Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada and Cory Gardner of Colorado.

This writer doesn’t offer any evidence that Collins, Murkowski, Flake, Heller or Gardner are considering voting against confirming Kavanaugh. It’s entirely speculation.

Kavanaugh’s record indicates he would likely vote to reverse the narrowly decided Supreme Court ruling finding the Affordable Care Act constitutional. That allows opponents to argue that if a senator votes for confirmation of Kavanaugh, he or she is voting to take away your health care. This is the issue that caused Murkowski and Collins to dramatically break with their party last summer, and you can expect it to take a major role in efforts aimed at swaying their votes again.

There is also very little question that Kavanaugh would vote to gut Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. Yet a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 71 percent of Americans oppose repealing Roe, including 52 percent of self-identified Republicans. Even in red states like Manchin’s West Virginia, Heitkamp’s North Dakota or Donnelly’s Indiana, voters don’t want a woman’s right to make her own choices about pregnancy taken away.

Is there anything in this scribbling that suggests a connection with reality? I’ll stipulate that it has a connection with the Democrats’ talking points. That isn’t the same as a connection with reality, though.

The truth is that I hope that Democrats vote unanimously against confirming Judge Kavanaugh. It’ll make defeating them this November that much easier. ‘Uncle Orrin’ Hatch has had enough of the Democrats’ stupidity:

Good for him. It’s long past time.

After President Trump tweeted that he’s willing to shut down the government over funding for his border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he’s optimistic they “can avoid a government shutdown.” A senior Republican aide said “We’ve got the whole month of August dedicated to appropriations. This notion that we’re going to shut down the government — everyone needs to dial down the panic button a couple notches.”

That leads me to this question: will Republicans finish the major funding bills on time, then force Democrats to either vote for funding the wall or shutting the government down? The truth is that Republicans might paint the Democrats into a corner by passing the vast majority of appropriations bills on time. The NDAA is heading to President Trump’s desk, which funds the military. Since Congress is passing individual appropriations bills rather than a CR that funds the entire government, the MSM and the Democrats (pardon the repetition) will find it virtually impossible to succeed in accusing Republicans of shutting down government.

Further, the part of the government that is actually shut down is the Department of Homeland Security. Do Democrats really want to tell swing-district voters that they don’t want to build the wall? That might work in some of the most liberal districts but it can’t help them in the Rust Belt, the Midwest or Great Lakes states where they’re fighting to recapture governorships and/or hold onto precarious Senate seats. Further, if Democrats vote against funding the wall, won’t that essentially kill their opportunity to flip the Arizona and Nevada Senate seats?

“We’ll finish up the set of appropriations measures we’ve been considering for several days and take four more big steps toward our goal of completing a regular appropriations process and funding the government in a timely and orderly manner,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

President Obama loved getting Republicans into an all-or-nothing position because he had the biggest megaphone. Republicans now have that super-sized megaphone. It’s worth noting that President Trump is on the right side of the border wall issue. Whether Republicans realize it or not, most Rust Belt/Corn Belt states prefer keeping the gangs, drug cartels and human traffickers out of their states.

If Democrats want to bet that they’re on the right side of that issue, let ’em try. Ultimately, I’m betting that there’s more people who want to stop MS-13 and keep the economy running strong than there are people who prefer open borders, rampant crime and a return to the Obama economy.

If Republicans can campaign on getting their appropriations done on time, that will tell voters that, despite a bumpy start, Republicans are getting the nation’s work done on time. That’s a net positive for both the House and Senate. Couple that with the Senate confirming another Supreme Court justice and the House getting started on Tax Cuts 2.0 and you’ve got a pretty nice list of accomplishments to run on.

If funding the wall is the only thing left on the agenda, that’d put Democrats in a sticky position. That’s a position red state Democrat senators don’t want to find themselves in.

This Politico article contains some of the best news I’ve seen all day. When I read “the party’s base is demanding Schumer and his colleagues wage a knock-down, drag-out fight”, I couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear.

Let’s be upfront about this. I don’t expect this to happen. Still, if the Democrats want to imperil their most vulnerable senators, I’ll be happy to see that happen. I’d love to see Republicans pick up 6-7 seats instead of 2-3 seats in the Senate.

Still, if the Democrats’ base insists on a knock-down-drag-out fight, Republicans should smile, then hit these red-state Democrats hard until they’re too toxic to win. In some cases, that shouldn’t be that difficult. It’s important that we remember that this vote isn’t the only thing that senators like Manchin, Donnelly, Tester, Heitkamp and Nelson will be judged on. Tester and Nelson voted against Gorsuch. All of them voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Don’t think that those votes won’t be included in the GOP’s closing arguments in late October and early November.

Still, how long at-risk Democrats can or should hold out is a complicated political equation that could affect their survival in November. As long as they remain undecided, deep-pocketed conservative groups like the Judicial Crisis Network and Americans for Prosperity will continue pounding them with pro-Kavanaugh ads and activism in their states.

A spokeswoman for JCN said it would pull ads when and if Democratic senators come out in support of Kavanaugh and shift to thanking the nominee’s supporters. Meanwhile, GOP opponents, who expect some of these Democrats to ultimately support Kavanaugh, are hitting them for their supposed indecision.

Organizations like the Judicial Crisis Network are already running ads like this against Democrats:

This is another hard-hitting ad from JCN:

Good luck dealing with that pressure.
UPDATE: Rand Paul has announced that he’s supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The pressure just got a lot more intense for Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester, etc.

Earlier this week, I criticized Democrat strategists for not being too bright. As if to provide proof that I was right, Paul ‘The Forehead’ Begala wrote this op-ed to prove my point. His point is that vulnerable red state Democrats can vote against confirming Brett Kavanaugh and not get punished for that vote.

The first point Begala makes is that “Kavanaugh is a total swamp creature.” Coming from a Democrat, that’s rich. Coming from a 25-year occupant of the Swamp, that’s even richer. Then Begala followed by saying “Rather than choosing a judge from Indiana or Pennsylvania or other heartland states, President Trump went with a Beltway Boy, born and bred. Kavanaugh got to where he is the Washington way: by loyally serving powerful figures in the party — first special prosecutor Ken Starr in his pursuit of Bill Clinton, then as a legal hit man in the Constitutional drive-by shooting of Bush v. Gore. And then, finally, as an aide to Pres. George W. Bush in the White House. Bush rewarded Kavanaugh’s service by placing him on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he has consistently backed presidential power against the little guy or gal. Kavanaugh is the kind of guy who sucks up and spits down — the epitome of a Beltway swamp creature. Nobody who rides a John Deere tractor all day will be able to relate to Beltway Brett.”

Notice that Begala never once said that Kavanaugh was a bad judge. The only reference to jurisprudence he made was to “the Constitutional drive-by shooting of Bush v. Gore.” I know Democrats hate that ruling but that case was decided correctly. The Florida Supreme Court didn’t follow the law. The Bush team took the case to the US Supreme Court. SCOTUS instructed the Florida Supreme Court to follow the law as written. When the Florida Supreme Court ignored SCOTUS’ instructions, SCOTUS ended the recount. At that point, Bush was ahead. There was no other outcome warranted.

That being said, I hope these red state Democrats listen to Begala. I hope that they ignore their constituents. I hope that they play into the hands of Republicans. They won’t stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation but they’ll give voters another reason to fire them. Let’s remember that 7 of the 10 Democrats voted against confirming Justice Gorsuch and that all of them voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. That isn’t a re-election resume. That’s a defeat resume.

Then Begala wrote this:

Finally, Begala wrote this:

If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. If President Trump is able to replace Justice Kennedy with a Trumpian Republican, women’s rights, gay rights, voting rights, the right to use contraceptives, so much of modern life, could be upended. Standing for principle, not caving to a bully, earns the respect of voters. Far better to be what Mark Shields calls “a conviction politician” rather than just another Washington windsock.

What a blowhard. Saying that confirming Kavanaugh will lead to making contraceptives illegal is the height of dishonesty. There’s no chance that will happen. This is the Democrats’ fearmongering playbook. It doesn’t have anything to do with reality. Nothing.

Still, I hope these red state Democrats obey Begala and Dick Durbin:

Suffice it to say that strategists like Begala are strategists that Republicans should promote. LOL

When then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to abolish the filibuster on judicial nominees and presidential appointments in 2013, people told him that his tactic would have adverse affects in years to come. Chief among those critics was Mitch McConnell, the current Senate Majority Leader.

Last year, Democrat special interest organizations ordered Democrats to filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. When Democrats complied, Sen. McConnell predictably replied by dropping the nuclear option on the Democrats. This summer, when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, those same Democrat special interest organizations have ordered Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to keep all Democrats together in voting against President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Kennedy. (Apparently, the idiots who ordered the first mistake haven’t learned that it’s foolish to double down on that mistake.)

This article highlights just how foolish Democrats are. Because these special interest organizations insisted on resisting President Trump the last time, they don’t have a chance this time. It must’ve killed Carl Hulse to write this:

The actions of a handful of Senate Democrats struggling to hold their seats in red states where Mr. Trump remains popular — notably Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — will have broad implications for the party at a critical political juncture.

That’s just the start of the list. After this week, you’d better add Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill and Bill Nelson to the list, too. If Tim Kaine votes against President Trump’s latest nominee, it’ll be difficult for him to defend himself because he will have voted against both of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees.

That’s what happens when politicians listen to lunatics like this activist:

Republicans should thank Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and President Trump for the difficult position Democrats are in right now.

This article introduces a frightening thought to Republicans — “the Maxine Waters brigade.” Actually, conservatives should be happy for such a phenomenon.

This paragraph should explain why. In it, it talks about “Even before the prospect of a conservative SCOTUS majority, progressives were already chasing Republicans out of restaurants. Now that Roe v. Wade is theoretically at risk, what will the Maxine Waters brigade do now—start throwing them out of airplanes?”

As I highlighted in this earlier post, Democrats are losing it. Watch 15 seconds of the videos of Jeffrey Toobin and Chris Matthews losing it and you’ll know what I mean. To use an old cliche, a little paranoia goes a long way. This week especially, Democrats are living proof of that cliche.

Here’s a bigger problem for Democrats:

Yes, that’s turned around a bit in the Trump era, most notably in Alabama where a solidly red seat flipped to blue. But unfortunately for Democrats there are only so many Judge Roy Moore’s to go around. What’s happening this November is that Democrats like Joe Manchin (WV), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Claire McCaskill (MO) have to run against quality, non-crazy Republicans in states that Trump carried by double-digits.

And now, thanks to Justice Kennedy’s retirement, those same Democrats have to vote against a conservative Supreme Court nominee…on the eve of an election. It’s like a felon robbing a bank on his way to a parole hearing—it confirms everything they feared about you to begin with.

For people who understand things the game of Cribbage, they know that a hand with all even cards is close to worthless. The old saying is that the only right way to throw such a hand is away. Democrats are looking at the political equivalent of an all even cards Cribbage hand this year.

Think about this: Joe Crowley had hoped to challenge Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House. He was defeated by a socialist who wants to abolish ICE. She’ll win that election but New York Republicans should drape her around the necks of every so-called moderate in New York. I can’t picture that turning out well for Democrats.

Think about this, too. How many voters think that getting rid of ICE is the pathway to a safer, more prosperous America? A: Virtually no one. When closing arguments are made this October and November, expect this to be part of the Republicans’ closing arguments.

Don’t expect the Maxine Waters Brigade to win that fight.

It’s becoming clear how Senate Democrats will attempt to defend vulnerable senators like Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Jon Tester. After President Trump’s campaign rally in Elkhart, IN, Sen. Donnelly issued a statement that said “I don’t work for any president or any political party. I work for Hoosiers, and that will never change.” He added that President “Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were there ‘for politics’ and included statistics on his own voting record, saying he had voted with Trump 62% of the time and had 41 proposals become law since 2013.”

Manchin is trying the same defense in West Virginia, saying that he’s voted with President Trump 60% of the time.

The problem that Sen. Donnelly and Sen. Manchin have is that they both voted against President Trump’s most important pieces of legislation: the Trump-GOP tax cuts and the repeal of Obamacare. Nothing removes the stain of voting against those key pieces of President Trump’s economic plan. President Trump hit Sen. Donnelly hard during this riff:

That’s when Trump said this:

Democrats, like Sleepin’ Joe, say one thing when they’re in Elkhart and then they go to Washington and then they vote for the radical liberal agenda. It never, ever fails. You know, there’s about 12 of them. You think you have their vote. They talk a good game but they always raise their hand for the radical left, of Nancy Pelosi. Always.

Amongst bloggers who’ve been around long enough, that’s sometimes known as ‘Tom Daschle Disease.” There was a blog dedicated to highlighting South Dakota Tom’s statements vs. DC Tom’s statements. Classic. In 2004, that blog contributed mightily to getting John Thune elected. That blog helped defeat Tom Daschle, who was the Senate Majority Leader at the time.

President Trump isn’t a blogger but I’m betting that he’s capable of exposing Joe Donnelly’s 2 faces with ease. Donnelly made the mistake of acting like a moderate to get a ride to Indiana on Air Force One, then voting against President Trump’s signature legislation. Sen. Donnelly is about to find out that crossing President Trump has political consequences. Sen. Manchin’s about to find that out, too.

Apparently, the writer that wrote this article doesn’t believe in researching articles. Earlier this morning, I saw this article about the Democrats’ shrinking, virtually nonexistent, lead in the generic ballot question. According to the poll, the enthusiasm gap has virtually disappeared, too. But I digress.

The second paragraph in the Politico article says “It may be the cruelest irony of the Trump era. During an election season when the House seems to be a lost cause for Republicans and nearly every indicator suggests massive Democratic gains in November, the outlook for wresting the Senate away from the GOP remains grim.”

Based on generic ballot polling from last September, a blue wave looked possible, though that was a stretch, too. After the latest CNN poll, a blue wave in the House looks impossible. BTW, has anyone heard of a wave election where one party wins a ton of seats in the House but loses a bunch of seats in the Senate? Wave elections happen when the electorate gets into a ‘throw the bums out’ mindset. That’s when the right track-wrong track number is underwater.

This is wishful thinking:

Tester isn’t without his own showman’s instincts: Days after the president attacked him, the farmer-turned-senator appeared above-the-fold on newspaper front pages across his home state, photographed in a tractor cab as he prepared to put seed in the ground.

It’s better than curling up into the fetal position but hopping on a tractor won’t save Tester’s behind. Tester sabotaged a cabinet nominee with gossip and unverified information. He also voted against President Trump’s tax cuts. If those things don’t sink Sen. Tester, then he’s virtually invincible. I’m certain he isn’t invincible.

Now that 2018 shows signs of being the next Democratic wave year, it’s possible that once again Tester’s boat—and McCaskill’s, and Manchin’s, and all the rest—will be lifted. After all, in four of the five instances when the House changed control since World War II, the Senate has flipped along with it.

But there are crucial differences this year. Perhaps the biggest is that Trump has signaled his intent to leverage his popularity against Democratic Senate incumbents in the states where his approval ratings are strongest. His presidential travel schedule has closely overlapped the roster of states he carried in 2016. Trump could decide to try to zero in on Tester or another red-state Democrat with a disparaging nickname and a barrage of October tweets.

McCaskill recently fell behind in Missouri, which is hardly proof that there’s a rising tide lifting Democrats’ ships. Further, ignoring the races that are building in Ohio, Minnesota, Florida and Wisconsin is pretty foolish.

Rick Scott leads Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson by 4 points (44%-40%) and he can self-fund. Why this race wasn’t included in Politico’s article is inexplicable. Further, Scott is the popular governor of Florida, which means he’s both popular and has 100% name recognition in the state.

Call me crazy but I think it’s possible that this hit piece isn’t sloppy journalism. It isn’t a stretch to think it’s intentionally inaccurate.

Tonight, West Virginia Republicans took a major step towards replacing Joe Manchin in the US Senate by picking West Virginia State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (not to be confused with HotAir blogger Ed Morrissey) to represent them in this fall’s general election.

Don Blankenship received the most coverage the last week of the race but it wasn’t enough. In an interview with Fox News, “Blankenship told Fox News that he thinks the ‘overhang’ of bad headlines about the Upper Big Branch explosion had the biggest impact.” It probably didn’t help that President Trump tweeted his support for either Morrisey or US Congressman Evan Jenkins, saying “To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!”


This officially puts Sen. Manchin’s seat in danger of getting flipped. Manchin has tried portraying himself as a moderate. Unfortunately, he voted against repealing Obamacare and against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. It’s virtually impossible to portray yourself as a moderate when your votes on the 2 biggest agenda items are identical to Elizabeth Warren’s and Bernie Sanders’ votes.

David Avella’s op-ed provided some worthwhile insight on how to win going into this fall:

Accordingly, Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia, Mike Braun in Indiana, and Jim Renacci in Ohio each followed the Trump playbook and won the Republican Senate nominations in their states Tuesday. They understood that connecting with voters on the issues that mattered most in deciding how to cast their ballots was the key to victory. In West Virginia, Morrisey’s campaign pushed his support for lowering taxes, eliminating regulations put in place by President Obama and creating jobs.

Unlike the Obama coalition, which turned out to belong only to President Obama, it appears as though President Trump’s coalition is transferrable as long as the candidate promises to push President Trump’s agenda if elected.

This isn’t good news for Sen. Manchin:

GOPAC Election Fund polling found that 87 percent of Republican voters in West Virginia were less likely to vote for Manchin when they learn that he voted against President Trump’s tax cuts. This issue presents problems for Manchin with his own supporters, as 12 percent of Manchin voters are less likely to support him based on his tax vote.

Call me crazy but it sounds like there’s trouble ahead for Sen. Manchin. Finally, there’s this:

In Ohio, Renacci’s first ad promoted his experience, stating his business was responsible for creating 1,500 jobs.

In Indiana, Mike Braun talked about bringing jobs that were lost to foreign countries back to his state and touted his success at creating hundreds of jobs.

The question now becomes whether Republicans in the House and Senate use tonight’s results to win seats that nobody’s predicting as battleground districts or states. I’m betting the NRSC, the NRCC and organizations like GOPAC will help candidates run smart campaigns.

If that’s the case, predictions of a big blue wave might turn into this year’s version of Dewey defeats Truman.

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Minutes ago, Rand Paul announced that he’s voting yes to confirm Mike Pompeo as President Trump’s next Secretary of State.

Several Monday conversations with President Donald Trump, a meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and reassurances about Afghanistan led Sen. Rand Paul to announce Monday evening that he would vote to support Pompeo as the next Secretary of State. Paul recounted his decision process on Twitter as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepared to vote on the Pompeo confirmation. The senator spoke with President Trump several times during the day and met with Pompeo.

“After calling continuously for weeks for Director Pompeo to support President Trump’s belief that the Iraq war was a mistake, and that it is time to leave Afghanistan, today I received confirmation the Director Pompeo agrees with @realDonaldTrump,” wrote Paul.

That’s just part of the breaking news today:

Three Democrat senators declared their intention to break ranks with other Senate Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee, ahead of the vote. Red state Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Manchin (WV), and Joe Donnelly (IN) each face November re-election fights in states that went for Trump in 2016.

It isn’t coincidental that they’re all red state Democrats in for the fight of their political lives. This means all of the Democrats voting against confirming Director Pompeo are exposed as putting their membership in #Resistance ahead of being patriots.