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November 27, 2017 05:24 AM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”

–Charles Darwin


10 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. In Tax Debate, Gift to Religious Right Could Be Bargaining Chip

    For years, a coalition of well-funded groups on the religious right have waged an uphill battle to repeal a 1954 law that bans churches and other nonprofit groups from engaging in political activity.

    Now, those groups are edging toward a once-improbable victory as Republican lawmakers, with the enthusiastic backing of President Trump, prepare to rewrite large swaths of the United States tax code as part of the $1.5 trillion tax package moving through Congress.

    Among the changes in the tax bill that passed the House this month is a provision to roll back the 1954 ban, a move that is championed by the religious right, but opposed by thousands of religious and nonprofit leaders, who warn that it could blur the line between charity and politics.

  2. WOTD from Charlie Cook: Big Wave Election coming in 2018.

    Charlie Cook estimates that the Democrats need a 7-8% shift to regain the House in 2018, and polls and election results so far indicate a 7-15% shift:

    According to the national polls, the generic congressional ballot test points to a wave as well. Cook Political Report House Editor David Wasserman estimates that Democrats need to win the House popular vote, which is what the generic ballot test tries to replicate, by at least 7 or 8 points to win 218 districts, the barest of majorities. The RealClearPolitics average is a Democratic advantage of 10.7 points; the last eight RCP averages have shown the Democratic lead ranging from 7 to 15 points.

    The off-year election results also point to a wave. It was a foregone conclusion that Democrats would pick up the governorship of New Jersey, but state legislative gains in Virginia, Georgia, Washington, and elsewhere are ominous for Republicans. Tim Storey, the elections guru at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says that about 33 state legislative seats have shifted from Republican to Democrat this year, while just two have gone from Democrat to Republican, and a couple of seats could go either way. In special congressional elections, in strongly GOP districts in Georgia, Kansas, Montana, and South Carolina, Republicans have come out on top, but voting patterns showed them underperforming the norm by 6 to 12 points. These results do not bode well for the 23 GOP-held districts won last year by Hillary Clinton or for those that Trump won narrowly.

    Coffman is toast. Tipton is vulnerable. How many seats in the Colorado legislature will we win if we pick up 10-15 points? 3-5 Senate seats and 5-6 House seats?

    WOTD2 from WAPO: Suburbs are Moving against Republicans

    We vote; we win: The interesting part of this article is not that a Democrats won the county for the first time in 50 years. The Republican candidate for Governor actually got more votes than his predecessor, but Democratic voters showed up by much more. Cause? Outrage against Trump and intense activism. 

    Lemmings. The Republican Party is made up of lemmings, all running together toward the cliffs. 


      1. The playing field has changed as people can see just how bad Trump and the Republican Party are. The Democratic Party needs to be confident and make an honest case that they will repair the damage. 

        I know quite a few millennials. A general attitude they expressed prior to Trump's election, is that both parties are about the same – beholden to corporations, business and special interests. A common view is that they wouldn't be able to count on Social Security.  Despite the optimism around Obama, this generation is very cynical and has had very little faith the the Democratic Party would protect their interests. And, despite all the good Obama did, he also stayed close to the traditional technocratic liberal tradition, which failed at defending the middle & working classes.

        I think the liberal/technocratic holding pattern is the primary explanation for the decline of the Democratic Party and why Trump was able to win in some historically blue midwestern states.

        Maybe Clinton had to lose in order for the Democratic Party to purge the hold of the Centrists and Third Way Party hacks.

        Two other data points I keep in my head about the collapse in the earning power over the past 40 years:

        When I was in College I made enough at a Summer job and part-time work to pay for a good portion of my education at a State School. Millennials and later are loaded down with debt.

        Truck drivers used to make $30/hour and now they make $20. Good Union jobs ain't what they used to be. And Unions have shrunk to a very weak percentage of the workforce.

        I think that puts some specifics into the "economic insecurity" argument. In other words, the malaise is widespread, and it isn't something you have to interview rust-belt Trump voters about.

    1. One additional datapoint.

      Support for Trump remains steady among self-identifying Republicans. But, the percent of people calling themselves Republican has declined from the mid 30% to the mid 20%.

    1. Most importantly, money should go toward building up the Democratic brand across Colorado; that and registering voters. 

      Aside from Fox News, the Republican brand is collapsing. 

      That gives us the carrot as well as the stick.

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