Tag: mcconnell
Poll: Republican Party's Favorable Rating Now Lowest Since Insurrection

Poll: Republican Party's Favorable Rating Now Lowest Since Insurrection

One week into the House GOP's follies in the majority, the Republican Party favorability rating plunged in Civiqs tracking Sunday to just 26 percent among registered voters—a two-year low point since hitting 25 percent in the weeks following the January 6 insurrection.

The party also notched a 65 percent unfavorable rating—it's highest point in almost six years since the first year of Donald Trump's tenure.

To be fair, the GOP's rapid descent doesn't fall entirely on the shoulders of House Republicans. The party's favorables have steadily declined ever since Republicans' 2022 midterm debacle. The party kicked off November at an already anemic 32 percent, yet things still took a turn for the worse after Election Day.

The drop off has mostly been driven by both Republican and independent men. Among men overall, GOP favorables have dropped nearly double digits since the election, from 38 percent in early November to 29 percent Sunday. That included a 10-point decline among independent men, from 27 percent to 17 percent, in the same timeframe.

But Republican men delivered the real blow, with their favorable feelings toward the GOP taking a 13-point hit since Election Day, from 75 percent to 62 percent over the weekend. As with Trump’s cratering favorability rating, it appears men really don’t like a loser.

The GOP suffered a similar decline in favorables after losing the White House in 2020. The difference for Republicans now is that they will no longer have unified Democratic control of government to serve as a foil for their own incompetence.

The party's lowest Trump-era favorability rating of 18 percent came during the GOP trifecta in September 2017, after Republicans tried and failed twice to repeal the Affordable Care Act—a constant GOP pledge for the better part of a decade.

Let's keep an eye on this space as House Republicans flaunt their true MAGA colors as the majority party in the lower chamber. It promises to be a very educational moment for the country.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

McConnell And Scott Locked In Nasty Leadership Struggle

McConnell And Scott Locked In Nasty Leadership Struggle

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell andSen. Rick Scott are now engaged in a battle to lead the Republican caucus in the Senate as the Florida lawmaker directly challenges the Kentucky Republican who has held the job for the past 15 years.

“Sen. Rick Scott and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell engaged in a tense back-and-forth where they criticized each other as the two men addressed Senate Republicans in a tense three-hour meeting,” CNN’s Manu Raju reports, citing “multiple senators” including Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri.

“The open hostility between Rick Scott’s and McConnell’s teams is just off the charts,” The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake adds.

Sen. Rick Scott has been highly criticized this year, first for his 60-page far-right extremist agenda that would effectively end social security, Medicare, increase taxes on low income workers, requiring every federal law to be passed again every five years. Later, in his role as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Scott was also highly criticized. Many still question where millions of donations to the NRSC went as some GOP Senate candidates struggled.

Still, Scott officially announced his candidacy to become the next Senate GOP Leader, challenging McConnell.

“Senator Scott disagrees with the approach that Mitch has taken in this election and for the last couple of years, and he made that clear and Senator McConnell criticized Senator Scott’s management of the NRSC,” Sen. Hawley told CNN.

McConnell is confident he will be re-elected Senate Republican Leader.

“I think the outcome is pretty clear. I want to repeat again, I have the votes, I will be elected. The only issue is whether we do it sooner or later,” McConnell said.

CNN reports it appears McConnell does.

Politico on Monday reminded readers that before the election one week ago, Scott had said “that Republicans had ‘great candidates’ and that those candidates had a ‘great message’ and the ‘energy on our side is unbelievable.’ He also said that ‘we defined the Democrats early and it paid off,’ an apparent reference to the National Republican Senatorial Committee spending money early on television ads.”

“Scott’s decision to release his own ‘Rescue America’ plan also did not go over well with some of his colleagues, especially after President Joe Biden used it to hammer Republicans,” Politico added.

In an apparent attack on Scott’s pre-Election Day claims, McConnell told CNN’s Raju, “So we learned some lessons about this, and I think the lesson’s pretty clear – Senate races are different, candidate quality, you recall I said in August is important. In most of our states we met that test, in a few of them we did not.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

To Aid Musk, Republicans Corruptly Threaten Major Firms Over Twitter Ad 'Pause'

To Aid Musk, Republicans Corruptly Threaten Major Firms Over Twitter Ad 'Pause'

Elon Musk and his right-wing supporters have portrayed his takeover of Twitter as a major victory for free speech. But the billionaire’s first week as its CEO was characterized by his erratic behavior on the social media platform and lack of compelling answers off of it. Musk’s volatile leadership quickly resulted in wary corporations heeding the concerns of a coalition of organizations — including Media Matters — and exercising their own free speech rights by pausing their Twitter advertisements.

Republicans are not interested in supporting the free speech of those companies. They have a compelling partisan interest in securing Musk’s control of a leading communications hub for journalists, and have responded to the advertiser pause by threatening the firms with political retribution.

“This is a helpful list of brands who are begging to sit in front of a House panel next year to discuss their company’s participation in leftist corporate extortion,” political operative and podcaster Josh Holmes tweeted on Friday, linking to a story about companies pausing their advertisements. When critics pointed out that it was inappropriate for Republicans to use their power to threaten companies for not wanting to advertise on a particular platform, he responded that they were being “so dumb.”

Holmes is a major political player. A former chief of staff and campaign manager to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), he’s been described as “the mastermind of Team Mitch.” The communications firm he founded, Cavalry LLC, has repped the campaigns of a host of Senate Republicans, as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee and various GOP political action committees. He’s not some Trumpist flunky shooting off his mouth, but someone with real influence to get Republicans to follow through on his threat if they win either house of Congress in the midterm elections.

Nor is he alone. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has repeatedly criticized companies for not wanting to advertise with Musk, offering dark hints about what might happen if they continued “throwing in their lot with the far Left of the Democratic Party.” Other GOP leaders, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Arizona gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, have also issued vague threats against the companies.

The Republican salvos on Musk’s behalf haven’t commanded much attention from the press.

But they represent the party’s ongoing institutionalization of the corrupt and authoritarian tactics Donald Trump wielded during his presidency.

Trump repeatedly used legitimate regulatory tools to punish companies that defied him and reward those that supported him. He didn’t just criticize reporting from CNN and The Washington Post, for example — he meddled with a proposed merger involving CNN’s parent company, and blocked a major contract that would have benefited the Post’s owner. Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch, owner of Trump’s favorite propaganda outlet, Fox News, saw federal regulators repeatedly support his interests.

Republicans did not throw out this playbook after Trump left office.

Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drew plaudits from the right-wing press when he responded to Disney’s opposition to his “Don’t Say Gay” bill by stripping the company of its special self-governing status in the state.

When Musk first sought to buy Twitter in April, a group of House Republicans led by Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to the company’s board asking them to preserve all records related to the offer — a move that CNBC noted “signals that should Republicans take back the majority in the House in the 2022 midterm elections, they may launch an investigation into Twitter.”

And last week, Axios reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was trying to force the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to replace its leadership after the business lobby endorsed some Democratic candidate in the House during the 2020 election cycle rather than serving as a “functional campaign appendage of the Republican Party.”

The Republican threats against companies that don’t want to give their money to Musk are already paying off for the party. On Monday, Musk urged “independent-minded voters” to support Republican candidates for Congress on the purported grounds that “shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties.” He is trying to ensure that the party that supports his control of Twitter also holds the levers of power in government — and can reward him in turn.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Trump Hits McConnell On Midterm Funding, But Spends PAC Money On Lawyers

Trump Hits McConnell On Midterm Funding, But Spends PAC Money On Lawyers

The Republican civil war just heated up again. Donald Trump launched another attack in the ongoing GOP civil war, bashing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for not bailing out the campaign of one of Trump’s picks this cycle, Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters. Masters has been struggling for funding for weeks, with McConnell trying to get the people who forced this dud of a candidate on him (namely billionaire Peter Thiel) to pick up the tab.

Trump is raging against McConnell, again, about not bankrolling his guy in Arizona, but instead boosting the campaign of incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska. She’s facing a Trump-backed Republican—Kelly Tshibaka—a result of the ranked-choice balloting the state adopted. “The Old Broken Crow, Mitchell McConnell, is authorizing $9 Million Dollars to be spent in order to beat a great Republican, Kelly, instead of $9 Million Dollars that could be used for Blake Masters, and other Republicans, that with this money would beat their Democrat opponent,” Trump fumed in a statement.

Meanwhile, The Washington Postreported Tuesday that “Trump’s political operation has spent more money since he left office on lawyers representing the former president and a pair of nonprofits staffed by former Cabinet members than it has on Republican congressional campaigns, according to a review of financial filings.”

Trump isn’t just skimping on funding Republican campaigns, he’s siphoning off the money to pay for his own legal defense and maybe pay for the ongoing silence of people like former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who probably knows where lots of skeletons (or purloined classified documents) are buried. Save America, Trump’s leadership PAC, has spent about $8.4 million on Republican campaigns. It’s spent $7 million on Trump’s lawyers and $2 million on the nonprofits.

The single biggest check cut by Save America in the last 20 months, the Post found, was for $3 million to the Florida law firm representing Trump in the document-theft investigation. Lawyer Christopher Kise had been paying attention to Trump and his propensity to not pay people who work for him and demanded that he be paid up front. Between May and June, Save America’s pay-outs to lawyers exploded, nearly tripling.

Trump is sucking up huge amounts of money, and the guy in charge of Republican Senate fundraising, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, is squandering the rest on a digital fundraising scheme that seems to mostly be grift. McConnell has had to step into the breach to fund campaigns through his own leadership PAC.

For McConnell’s pains, he’s undergoing truly vicious attacks from Trump, with Scott taking Trump’s side. And he has to face the possibility that a possible Republican Senate majority will have all these Trump picks who will go into office already at war with him.

While it might be satisfying to watch McConnell get what he so richly deserves and have to deal with a MAGA rebellion against him in his own conference, that would be way too dangerous to the nation.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.