The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

A polling place in Georgia in November 2020

For months, Republicans have been saying they expect to win back control of Congress in the November midterm elections and plan to obstruct President Joe Biden's agenda if they do. But American voters may not agree with that plan, according to new polling released Tuesday.

A November USA Today/Suffolk University poll found that in the next congressional election, registered voters preferred a generic Republican candidate over a generic Democratic candidate 46 percent to 38 percent. But when the same outlet posed the same question in December, the generic Democratic candidate led 39 percent to 37 percent — a 10-point swing to the left from the previous month.

Other polling seems to confirm this shift in public opinion. A recent Economist/YouGov poll found Democratic candidates led by 43 percent -- 36 percent on a generic congressional ballot question. A December Reuters/Ipsos survey found Democrats leading by a similar margin, 40 percent -- 33 percent.

Nonetheless, Republicans in Congress have continued to talk up their chances of winning back control of the House and Senate in November. "We're going to have a hell of a year," Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who chairs the National Republic Senatorial Committee, told the Associated Press on Friday. "Every state that Biden won by less than 10 is now a battleground state."

In a 2022 kick-off letter to his GOP House caucus, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote that he hopes to "earn the majority" this year to "define what our country will be for the next decade."

If Republicans do regain control of Congress, they would work to obstruct the agenda on which Biden was elected by more than seven million votes. Since Biden's inauguration last January, Republicans in Congress have stalled votes on his nominees, unanimously opposed most of his major investment plans, and have tried to run out the clock on COVID safety measures.

Republican leaders have promised that if they regain the majority, they will seek to retaliate against Democratic lawmakers for governing by majority rule and holding GOP members accountable for violent extremism. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in June that a GOP majority would likely block Biden from filling Supreme Court vacancies, as it did with President Barack Obama in 2016.

McCarthy vowed in November that he would restore the committee seats of Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), both of whom lost their assignments in this Congress due to their extreme rhetoric, and said they may even "have better committee assignments" in the future.

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he was 90 percent confident in a GOP House majority and 50/50 on a GOP Senate as well. He suggested on his podcast that if Republicans regained control of the House in November, they would likely move to impeach Biden as retribution for House Democrats impeaching former President Donald Trump.

"What is good for the goose is good for the gander," Cruz said. "I think there are potentially multiple grounds to consider for impeachment."

Article reprinted with permission from The American Independent

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Meadows

Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wanted a presidential pardon. He had facilitated key stages of Trump’s attempted 2020 coup, linking the insurrectionists to the highest reaches of the White House and Congress.

But ultimately, Meadows failed to deliver what Trump most wanted, which was convincing others in government to overturn the 2020 election. And then his subordinates, White House security staff, thwarted Trump’s plan to march with a mob into the Capitol.

Meadows’ role has become clearer with each January 6 hearing. Earlier hearings traced how his attempted Justice Department takeover failed. The fake Electoral College slates that Meadows had pushed were not accepted by Congress. The calls by Trump to state officials that he had orchestrated to “find votes” did not work. Nor could Meadows convince Vice-President Mike Pence to ignore the official Electoral College results and count pro-Trump forgeries.

And as January 6 approached and the insurrection began, new and riveting details emerged about Meadow’s pivotal role at the eye of this storm, according to testimony on Tuesday by his top White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows had been repeatedly told that threats of violence were real. Yet he repeatedly ignored calls from the Secret Service, Capitol police, White House lawyers and military chiefs to protect the Capitol, Hutchinson told the committee under oath. And then Meadows, or, at least White House staff under him, failed Trump a final time – although in a surprising way.

After Trump told supporters at a January 6 rally that he would walk with them to the Capitol, Meadows’ staff, which oversaw Trump’s transportation, refused to drive him there. Trump was furious. He grabbed at the limousine’s steering wheel. He assaulted the Secret Service deputy, who was in the car, and had told Trump that it was not safe to go, Hutchinson testified.

“He said, ‘I’m the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” she said, describing what was told to her a short while later by those in the limousine. And Trump blamed Meadows.

“Later in the day, it had been relayed to me via Mark that the president wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel, the driver] didn’t pull it off for him, and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books [Trump’s schedule].”

Hutchinson’s testimony was the latest revelations to emerge from hearings that have traced in great detail how Trump and his allies plotted and intended to overturn the election. Her eye-witness account provided an unprecedented view of a raging president.

Hutchinson’s testimony was compared to John Dean, the star witness of the Watergate hearings a half-century ago that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon for his aides’ efforts to spy on and smear Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign.

“She IS the John Dean of the hearings,” tweeted the Brooking Institution’s Norman Eisen, who has written legal analyses on prosecuting Trump. “Trump fighting with his security, throwing plates at the wall, but above all the WH knowing that violence was coming on 1/6. The plates & the fighting are not crimes, but they will color the prosecution devastatingly.”

Meadows’ presence has hovered over the coup plot and insurrection. Though he has refused to testify before the January 6 committee, his pivotal role increasingly has come into view.

Under oath, Hutchinson described links between Meadows and communication channels to the armed mob that had assembled. She was backstage at the Trump’s midday January 6 rally and described Trump’s anger that the crowd was not big enough. The Secret Service told him that many people were armed and did not want to go through security and give up their weapons.

Trump, she recounted, said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.

As the day progressed and the Capitol was breached, Hutchison described the scene at the White House from her cubicle outside the Oval Office. She repeatedly went into Meadows’ office, where he had isolated himself. When Secret Service officials urged her to get Meadows to urge Trump to tell his supporters to stand down and leave, he sat listless.

“He [Meadows] needs to snap out of it,” she said that she told others who pressed her to get Meadows to act. Later, she heard Meadows repeatedly tell other White House officials that Trump “doesn’t think they [insurrectionists] are doing anything wrong.” Trump said Pence deserved to be hung as a traitor, she said.

Immediately after January 6, Hutchinson said that Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president but did not do so. She also said that Meadows sought a pardon for his January 6-related actions.

Today, Meadows is championing many of the same election falsehoods that he pushed for Trump as a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a right-wing think tank whose 2021 annual report boasts of “changing the way conservatives fight.”

His colleagues include Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who pushed for Trump to use every means to overturn the election and leads CPI’s “election integrity network,” and other Republicans who have been attacking elections as illegitimate where their candidates lose.

Hutchinson’s testimony may impede Meadows’ future political role, as it exposes him to possible criminal prosecution. But the election-denying movement that he nurtured has not gone away. CPI said it is targeting elections in national battleground states for 2022’s midterms, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump did not give Meadows a pardon. But in July 2021, Trump’s “Save America” PAC gave CPI $1 million.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

Tina Peters

YouTube Screenshot

A right-wing conspiracy theorist who was indicted in March on criminal charges of tampering with voting machines to try to prove former President Donald Trump's lies of a stolen 2020 presidential election on Tuesday lost the Republican primary to run for secretary of state of Colorado, the person who oversees its elections.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, Tina Peters, the clerk and recorder of Mesa County, Colorado, was in third place, trailing the winner, fellow Republican Pam Anderson, 43.2 percent to 28.3 percent.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}