Contributor Post Created with Sketch. It Isn’t Just the Presidency at Stake

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 7.57.26 AMI’ve seen it posted in various places that establishment GOP types are more afraid of Cruz than Trump. Having spent the last several days at meetings that were nothing but establishment GOP, I can report that is absolutely backwards. They don’t fear Trump because they think he will win; they fear him as the GOP nominee because they don’t see how can possibly avoid losing.

Of the remaining candidates, the establishment likes Rubio best, because they believe he has the greatest chance of winning, as he is personally likeable and has a positive message that could appeal beyond the base. Cruz is not liked by the establishment, but all recognize that he is smart and conservative. They believe they would have a tough time winning the general election were he the nominee – they worry that his appeal is now narrowed to only the most conservative/evangelical voters and so won’t have broad enough support — but they think they could win.

Why the focus on winning? Because whichever party prevails in the presidency will likely control of the Senate and, by extension, the balance on the Supreme Court.

Thus, Trump inspires despair. At a personal level, a lot of people in that world tell me they have done business with him, know him, and don’t like or trust him. Several say they think about writing about their experiences, but expect that if they do there will immediately be a harassing letter from his attorneys initiating a lawsuit, and so stay quiet. But they are deeply concerned about what the Democrats’ attack ads will say, and worry that many of Trump’s current enthusiasts will think — too late — “Oh, I didn’t know that. I don’t like that”.

Worse, they don’t believe Trump means what he says, and believe he will say one thing one day, the opposite the next — whatever suits the moment — so they don’t trust that his conservative pronouncements will stick when no longer expedient, and worry that he may start a trade war (think Smoot-Hawley tariffs and the resulting Great Depression).

But their greatest concern is that if Trump is the GOP nominee, they don’t see how he can win; his negatives are higher even than Hillary’s. If the top of the GOP presidential ticket loses, they know that almost certainly means senators running in states the GOP nominee loses will also lose, and the Democrats will take the Senate. And if the Democrats take the Senate (and there are more than enough vulnerable GOP senators to do so), that means Obama’s disastrous and debilitating policies like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank become permanent, a culture of dependency grows, the debt continues to spiral, and we’re looking at a court that for a generation won’t follow the constitution or the law but what it “reasonably knows” ought to be the law.

So here is their calculus: If you are eager enough to kick the SOB’s out of DC that you’ll vote for Trump, then you ought to be prepared come January to live with a Democrat in the White House, Sen. Chuck Schumer as majority leader, and Scalia’s conservative seat filled with someone far to the left, tipping the Court’s balance for a generation.

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  1. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Heather Higgins:

    So here is their calculus: If you are eager enough to kick the SOB’s out of DC that you’ll vote for Trump, then you ought to be prepared come January to live with a Democrat in the White House, Sen. Chuck Schumer as majority leader, and Scalia’s conservative seat filled with someone far to the left, tipping the Court’s balance for a generation.

    I hate to say it, but there are people whom I otherwise count as sensible and thoughtful who really think it’s worth it.

    • #1
    • February 24, 2016, at 5:14 AM PST
    • Like
  2. James Madison Member

    I don’t know what a GOPe is. You can’t show me one. They don’t work in concert. Republicans form coalitions among Republicans. This GOPe talk is straight out of Rush.

    Rush repeats the falsehood the GOP lost in 1992 because it got away from Reaganism. But Reagan delivered big government, huge deficits, and compromised with Tip O’Neill and Jim Wright who wrote the Reagan tax reform bills. He granted amnesty.

    Rush ignored that H. Ross Perot destroyed GHW Bush’s second term. And Bob Dole’s too. And, in 2000, we had a seated President who was in fact popular, and a Democrat nominee who was a bit aloof and still only won by fewer than 1,000 votes in Florida. In 2004, we had the GWOT on our side. By 2008, the WMD’s and economic collapse along with the first black President overwhelmed the GOP. In fact, McCain led until Lehman failed.

    In 2012, Romney was a bit inept. The media helped cover up by buying the “al Qaeda is on the run” story and the economic malaise was deflected with the Republicans-ran-the-car-in-the-ditch. The Tea Party proved to be ineffective in 2012, and marginal at best in 2014.

    These are the facts. The Rush line of moderate, squishy Republicans is just nonsense that sells Denturcreme. Rush is monetizing with his own world.

    Now, we have one candidate who is all things to all men – Trump. A candidate whose ambition got the best of him – Cruz. And a candidate who has 98% ACA and Heritage Foundation voting record who is not called a RINO. 98%, 96%, 100%, check out the ratings over the past 5 1/2 years.

    If the GOPe favors Rubio, it is favoring the most conservative GOP candidate since Calvin Coolidge. And many need to turn off the radio and read.

    • #2
    • February 24, 2016, at 5:14 AM PST
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  3. Z in MT Member

    I think their thesis is wrong. Trump brings in Republican voters that would normally stay home. The Republican stalwarts will vote like they always will except for Presidency where they will beg off and vote against Trump. Plus a Trump nomination frees the donors to focus on the Senate races. If the polls show Trump losing in a landslide that will depress Democrat turnout which will also help.

    • #3
    • February 24, 2016, at 5:14 AM PST
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  4. BrentB67 Inactive

    The people I’ve talked to that have met or done business with Trump speak well of him. I don’t know if they intend to vote for him, but I’ve not heard negative feedback.

    I am not interested in Majority Leader Schumer or Justice Scalia’s seat filled with another Sotomayor or Kagan. Unfortunately a Majority Leader McConnell and and another Justice Roberts are only marginal less worse.

    If all the establishment you met with has to offer is “yeah, but the other guy is worse” be prepared for defeat.

    • #4
    • February 24, 2016, at 5:38 AM PST
    • Like
  5. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I fear that what you say is true.

    The problem is with your conclusion. Poll after poll shows that Trump voters rate “the candidate’s ability to win in November” as very low down on their issues list.

    They are, as they keep saying, voting out of anger and frustration. They are mad as you-know-what, and they are not going to take it any more.

    Until someone, or something, happens to change their calculus, they will continue to vote for Trump because it feels so good to do so. Boy, are they sticking it to the GOP. Instant gratification. Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead. Who cares what happens in three months, eight months, twelve months, four years, or even a generation (however long that is) from now? We’re mad. Take that, you [CoC]!!

    That’s where we are. Cheering for a candidate who’s got the highest negatives and is viewed as the most dishonest of the Republican bunch in just about every survey and poll, whose positions on the issues are neither thoughtful nor well-developed, who can’t carry the ball in the most basic discussion of history, policy, or governance, whose campaign often resorts, instead, to entertaining and shocking insults and profanity, and who regularly retweets trolling conspiracy theories, debunked stories, and lies in his social media presence. His supporters adore him.

    Pointing out that ‘electability’ might be an important consideration when choosing a candidate to run in the general conjures up scenes of Mitt Romney, ‘establishment’ back room deals, planning ahead, strategizing winners and losers, and just turns Trump supporters off. Pushing the issue often results in the sentiment that Tom Meyer reports in #1. “Well, if Hillary wins, that’ll show you!!!”

    Absent an indictment on the Democrat side, and a cataclysm on the Republican, Trump will be running against Hillary Clinton, an equally despised and damaged candidate who fights just as, if not even more, dirty, than Trump himself.

    It’s not going to be an edifying few months. And either way, the future looks either uncertain or unpleasant. Fasten your seatbelts.

    • #5
    • February 24, 2016, at 5:40 AM PST
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  6. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    She: Fasten your seatbelts.

    Or not. I wonder if dying in the crash might be the better option than surviving it.

    • #6
    • February 24, 2016, at 5:48 AM PST
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  7. Columbo Member

    Heather Higgins:Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 7.57.26 AM They don’t fear Trump because they think he will win; they fear him as the GOP nominee because they don’t see how [they] can possibly avoid losing.

    So here is their calculus: If you are eager enough to kick the SOB’s out of DC that you’ll vote for Trump, then you ought to be prepared come January to live with a Democrat in the White House, Sen. Chuck Schumer as majority leader, and Scalia’s conservative seat filled with someone far to the left, tipping the Court’s balance for a generation.

    I understand the ‘calculus’ of this premise. And I believe that “they” (the gOp “Establishment”) have completely misread the general election electorate, just as they have misread their own voter base this primary season.

    Because of the complete and utter failure of Washington and the fiscal mess it has foisted on this nation and its people by the actions of McConnell/Boehner and Obama/Reid/Pelosi/Clinton, Trump will win the general election, whether any of us like it or not.

    • #7
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:01 AM PST
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  8. BrentB67 Inactive

    We didn’t learn our lesson with Obama so that probably means more lessons.

    • #8
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:02 AM PST
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  9. Drusus Coolidge

    James Madison:I don’t know what a GOPe is. You can’t show me one. They don’t work in concert. Republicans form coalitions among Republicans. This GOPe talk is straight out of Rush.

    Rush repeats the falsehood the GOP lost in 1992 because it got away from Reaganism. But Reagan delivered big government, huge deficits, and compromised with Tip O’Neill and Jim Wright who wrote the Reagan tax reform bills. He granted amnesty.

    Rush ignored that H. Ross Perot destroyed GHW Bush’s second term. And Bob Dole’s too. And, in 2000, we had a seated President who was in fact popular, and a Democrat nominee who was a bit aloof and still only won by fewer than 1,000 votes in Florida. In 2004, we had the GWOT on our side. By 2008, the WMD’s and economic collapse along with the first black President overwhelmed the GOP. In fact, McCain led until Lehman failed.

    In 2012, Romney was a bit inept. The media helped cover up by buying the “al Qaeda is on the run” story and the economic malaise was deflected with the Republicans-ran-the-car-in-the-ditch. The Tea Party proved to be ineffective in 2012, and marginal at best in 2014.

    These are the facts. The Rush line of moderate, squishy Republicans is just nonsense that sells Denturcreme. Rush is monetizing with his own world.

    Now, we have one candidate who is all things to all men – Trump. A candidate whose ambition got the best of him – Cruz. And a candidate who has 98% ACA and Heritage Foundation voting record who is not called a RINO. 98%, 96%, 100%, check out the ratings over the past 5 1/2 years.

    If the GOPe favors Rubio, it is favoring the most conservative GOP candidate since Calvin Coolidge. And many need to turn off the radio and read.

    God yes! This is spot on. As is the crushingly depressing OP that inspired the comment.

    • #9
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:05 AM PST
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  10. Saint Augustine Member

    Hear, hear!

    • #10
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:11 AM PST
    • Like
  11. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The King Prawn:

    She: Fasten your seatbelts.

    Or not. I wonder if dying in the crash might be the better option than surviving it.

    At least now I know I’m not the only glass-is-half-empty fatalist here.

    • #11
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:24 AM PST
    • Like
  12. Drusus Coolidge

    Songwriter:

    The King Prawn:

    She: Fasten your seatbelts.

    Or not. I wonder if dying in the crash might be the better option than surviving it.

    At least now I know I’m not the only glass-is-half-empty fatalist here.

    As Woody Allen said, I see the glass half-full, just of poison.

    • #12
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:29 AM PST
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  13. Polyphemus Inactive

    BrentB67:The people I’ve talked to that have met or done business with Trump speak well of him. I don’t know if they intend to vote for him, but I’ve not heard negative feedback.

    I am not interested in Majority Leader Schumer or Justice Scalia’s seat filled with another Sotomayor or Kagan. Unfortunately a Majority Leader McConnell and and another Justice Roberts are only marginal less worse.

    If all the establishment you met with has to offer is “yeah, but the other guy is worse” be prepared for defeat.

    I think this view lacks perspective. To say you are disappointed, annoyed or even feel betrayed by McConnell and (especially) Roberts is fair. I would go along with all of that. But to say the difference between them and Schumer/Sotomayor is only a marginal one is myopic and wildly overstated. This piece by the OP is sobering to me and I think that sobering up is, indeed, what any Trump supporter who is a conservative needs.

    • #13
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:36 AM PST
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  14. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If the GOP Establishment (whoever they are) is all that afraid of Trump, why aren’t they doing something about it? They could begin with an apology for being so lousy at their jobs. Then they could set aside their own egos for a minute and openly support Cruz or Rubio, while pointing out that Trump is a disaster waiting to happen. They might follow that with straight talk about the realities to come from an HRC presidency. But none of that is gonna happen because they are more concerned with their own welfare than the welfare of the nation.

    What saddens me is, thanks to the feckless leadership of the GOP, I may soon be forced to vote for a blustering, uninformed, unpredictable boor in hopes of preventing a manipulative, congenital, power-mad liar from becoming POTUS.

    • #14
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:42 AM PST
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  15. Columbo Member

    Songwriter:What saddens me is, thanks to the feckless leadership of the GOP, I may soon be forced to vote for a blustering, uninformed, unpredictable boor in hopes of preventing a manipulative, congenital, power-mad liar from becoming POTUS.

    THIS.

    • #15
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:43 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Lily Bart Inactive

    Columbo:

    Songwriter:What saddens me is, thanks to the feckless leadership of the GOP, I may soon be forced to vote for a blustering, uninformed, unpredictable boor in hopes of preventing a manipulative, congenital, power-mad liar from becoming POTUS.

    THIS.

    Me too.

    • #16
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:46 AM PST
    • Like
  17. Richard Fulmer Member

    Songwriter:

    The King Prawn:

    She: Fasten your seatbelts.

    Or not. I wonder if dying in the crash might be the better option than surviving it.

    At least now I know I’m not the only glass-is-half-empty fatalist here.

    The glass lies broken on the ground, smashed into little pieces.

    • #17
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:48 AM PST
    • Like
  18. BrentB67 Inactive

    Richard Fulmer:

    Songwriter:

    The King Prawn:

    She: Fasten your seatbelts.

    Or not. I wonder if dying in the crash might be the better option than surviving it.

    At least now I know I’m not the only glass-is-half-empty fatalist here.

    The glass lies broken on the ground, smashed into little pieces.

    Under our own boots.

    • #18
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:49 AM PST
    • Like
  19. James Madison Member

    Two observations:

    The data shows Trump is the most unpopular candidate against Clinton. His negatives are very high. This is data. The surveys come from all sorts of angles so they are probably reliable. They may change, but in the general electorate, Trump is unpopular. He won’t win over as many as we hope.

    The “we learned nothing from Obama” point is right and wrong. Against the President, we faced the Iraq WMD meme, the economic collapse, and the first black President theme. The second time we faced the first black President, al Qaeda is on the run and economic cover up. In both cases, the battle was uphill and we picked the best candidates. The fact is the deck was somewhat stacked against us.

    Today (or six months ago, for that matter) we know who the best candidate would be to offset Hillary’s strengths with youth, excitement, and the future. Instead, we have wasted countless hours pursuing a dream (Walker, Christie, Fiorina, Carson, Cruz, Bush, Kasich and Trump, etc.). Of those, only Kasich stood a chance besides Rubio. Reagan was many things, but above all, he was hopeful. Trump is just kind of mean. Rubio and Kasich are hopeful.

    We have allowed ourselves to be misled by talk radio (not just Rush). Talk radio is just that. It monetizes people’s fears to hold an audience. Example: immigration rates a distant 4th on the list of most important issues for the GOP voter. On talk radio, immigration is #1 or #2. It is a false litmus test. The candidates have all shifted. Ted Cruz just shifted a bit two days ago. Yet, we buy into the notion that immigration will be decided by the next President. That is very doubtful.

    Those who vote do not look at all like those who vote in GOP primaries or who listen to Rush, Laura, Sean, Michael, Glen, Hugh, etc. So in that case, we have learned nothing from Obama, Bill Clinton, etc. We are easily misled and distracted from what we are doing. We avoid the bigger reality of the general electorate or demean them. They get a vote too.

    Just as Reagan expanded government, the deficit, and amnesty, which we ignore, we are never going to advance conservatism in one fatal blow. The President keeps saying, “Don’t let the perfect become he enemy of the good.” Get real; win, then get as much as can.

    • #19
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:53 AM PST
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  20. James Madison Member

    One other thought: the Gipper was a consummate salesman.

    Maybe that is Trump’s skill? But the media will turn on him, his tax returns will have to be produced which will be open season, and he will not easily exercise self control.

    Better to go young and hope against the nice, older lady in dizzy glasses.

    • #20
    • February 24, 2016, at 6:59 AM PST
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  21. Dave-L Inactive

    Songwriter:

    thanks to the feckless leadership of the GOP, I may soon be forced to vote for a blustering, uninformed, unpredictable boor in hopes of preventing a manipulative, congenital, power-mad liar from becoming POTUS.

    This more than anything is what motivates my thinking this election cycle. How can anyone criticize Trump for his “Planned Parenthood does some good things…” statements (which I completely disagree with), when the Republican leadership was handed the most favorable circumstances since Gosnell and refused to take a stand and defund PP?!?

    Republican leadership has lost any and all credibility to make any criticisms about “purity”, “principles”, or “conservative-ness”.

    Faith without works is dead indeed.

    • #21
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:00 AM PST
    • Like
  22. Lily Bart Inactive

    I think the GOP establishment is overestimating Rubio’s electability. Indeed, they have a track record of this. He’s a lightweight, he doesn’t think well on his feet – and this is very exploitable. The media and democrats haven’t even started on him. It’s going to be painful to watch.

    And the GOP base mistrusts him…with good cause.

    • #22
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:12 AM PST
    • Like
  23. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Columbo:

    Heather Higgins:Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 7.57.26 AM They don’t fear Trump because they think he will win; they fear him as the GOP nominee because they don’t see how [they] can possibly avoid losing.

    So here is their calculus: If you are eager enough to kick the SOB’s out of DC that you’ll vote for Trump, then you ought to be prepared come January to live with a Democrat in the White House, Sen. Chuck Schumer as majority leader, and Scalia’s conservative seat filled with someone far to the left, tipping the Court’s balance for a generation.

    I understand the ‘calculus’ of this premise. And I believe that “they” (the gOp “Establishment”) have completely misread the general election electorate, just as they have misread their own voter base this primary season.

    Because of the complete and utter failure of Washington and the fiscal mess it has foisted on this nation and its people by the actions of McConnell/Boehner and Obama/Reid/Pelosi/Clinton, Trump will win the general election, whether any of us like it or not.

    And if they are so G-damned mortified, make a deal with the ‘unwashed masses’ – take any type of legalization off the table for ten years, cap h-1 visas at 200,000/yr max, withdraw TPP again, for ten years.

    All I’ve heard so far is that ‘polls, exit polls’ show this isn’t a top priority so fall in line. OK then, blow it up.

    • #23
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:13 AM PST
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  24. Lily Bart Inactive

    Rubio has damaged his ‘brand’, perhaps irreparably.

    Many conservatives do not trust this man. And a few breezy statements about America being the land of opportunity cannot fix this.

    • #24
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:20 AM PST
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  25. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Lily Bart: He’s a lightweight, he doesn’t think well on his feet

    This is simply inaccurate. Watch him in open discussions on foreign policy. He is exceptionally well informed and articulate.

    • #25
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:29 AM PST
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  26. Lily Bart Inactive

    The King Prawn:

    Lily Bart: He’s a lightweight, he doesn’t think well on his feet

    This is simply inaccurate. Watch him in open discussions on foreign policy. He is exceptionally well informed and articulate.

    Oh, I have seem him acquit himself well on some occasions. And I’ve also witnessed him fall on his face. In general, though, he seems a bit out of his depth in interviews and debates.

    • #26
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:37 AM PST
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  27. Baker Member

    James Madison:I don’t know what a GOPe is. You can’t show me one. They don’t work in concert. Republicans form coalitions among Republicans. This GOPe talk is straight out of Rush.

    https://ricochet.com/isnt-just-presidency-stake/#comment-3197529

    This x 1,000,000!!! Really and truly. Unreasonable expectations and rhetoric set up by talk radio types and irresponsible politicians (some of whom may still be in the race for president) helped loose this monster and the party and the country is going to pay a big price.

    • #27
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:37 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Lily Bart Inactive

    Baker:

    James Madison:I don’t know what a GOPe is. You can’t show me one. They don’t work in concert. Republicans form coalitions among Republicans. This GOPe talk is straight out of Rush.

    https://ricochet.com/isnt-just-presidency-stake/#comment-3197529

    This x 1,000,000!!! Really and truly. Unreasonable expectations and rhetoric set up by talk radio types and irresponsible politicians (some of whom may still be in the race for president) helped loose this monster and the party and the country is going to pay a big price.

    You keep telling yourself this. You keep telling yourself that the GOP has represented its bases’ interests well, and that any feelings of disaffection are purely manufactured by Rush Limbaugh (who I don’t listen to, btw). Because it’s so much easier and more comfortable to blame the other guy than to assess the problem, own your share in it, and correct course.

    • #28
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:41 AM PST
    • Like
  29. Big Green Inactive

    BrentB67:The people I’ve talked to that have met or done business with Trump speak well of him. I don’t know if they intend to vote for him, but I’ve not heard negative feedback.

    I am not interested in Majority Leader Schumer or Justice Scalia’s seat filled with another Sotomayor or Kagan. Unfortunately a Majority Leader McConnell and and another Justice Roberts are only marginal less worse.

    If all the establishment you met with has to offer is “yeah, but the other guy is worse” be prepared for defeat.

    Consider me your first then. My firm has done some business with him over the years and no one here has much positive to say about him, including me.

    • #29
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:45 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Big Green Inactive

    Lily Bart:

    Baker:

    James Madison:I don’t know what a GOPe is. You can’t show me one. They don’t work in concert. Republicans form coalitions among Republicans. This GOPe talk is straight out of Rush.

    https://ricochet.com/isnt-just-presidency-stake/#comment-3197529

    This x 1,000,000!!! Really and truly. Unreasonable expectations and rhetoric set up by talk radio types and irresponsible politicians (some of whom may still be in the race for president) helped loose this monster and the party and the country is going to pay a big price.

    You keep telling yourself this. You keep telling yourself that the GOP has represented its bases’ interests well, and that any feelings of disaffection are purely manufactured by Rush Limbaugh (who I don’t listen to, btw). Because it’s so much easier and more comfortable to blame the other guy than to assess the problem, own your share in it, and correct course.

    In your mind, what are the 3-4 most important things to the “base”? Further, what % of Republican voters hold those same views and what % of the total electorate?

    • #30
    • February 24, 2016, at 7:51 AM PST
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