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Superstition, fear and jealousy

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The economy is humming

But Republicans are bumming,

Think their only hope is to keep attacks a-coming.

To the dismay of party leaders, the healthy economy and Mr. Trump have become countervailing forces. The decline in unemployment and soaring gross domestic product, along with the tax overhaul Republicans argue is fueling the growth, have been obscured by the president’s inflammatory moves on immigration, Vladimir V. Putin and other fronts, party leaders say.

These self-inflicted wounds since early summer have helped push Mr. Trump’s approval ratings below 40 percent and the fortunes of his party down with them.

Why can’t people accept that Republicans in Congress must spinelessly support everything their leader does? Why don’t they give the GOP credit when people like Paul Ryan and Jeff Flake feebly tut-tut their way out of the door? Unfair!

The only solution is to project attack!

And instead of attempting to highlight positive economic news like the 3.9 percent unemployment rate, Republicans have turned to a scorched-earth campaign against the Democrats in a bid to save their House majority and salvage their one-seat edge in the Senate.

Republican electioneering groups, including the Congressional Leadership Fund “super PAC” and the National Republican Congressional Committee, have spent millions in recent weeks attacking Democratic candidates in intensely personal terms. The committees, along with some Republican candidates, have blasted one Democratic hopeful in New York for rap lyrics he once wrote; branded another, in Pennsylvania, as a “trust fund baby” and “tax dodger”; and aired commercials featuring veterans in wheelchairs to sow doubts about the patriotism of some Democratic nominees.

[…]

Laying out the strategy in an interview this week in his Capitol office, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the would-be successor to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, warned that if Democrats took power they would swiftly impeach the president, stymie immigration enforcement and seek to enact universal health care.

“It’s just going to be chaos,” said Mr. McCarthy, trying to repurpose the sense of tumult that voters do not like about Mr. Trump’s administration.

While the kvetching kumquat hasn’t written any rap songs, I’d argue that actions like serving as Putin’s footstool and letting members of one of his clubs run the VA now are a several degrees less patriotic than lyrics that included criticism of the Founding Fathers that were written and performed 10 years ago. However he’s white beneath the layer of Sherwin-Willams, Antonio Delgado is black, and “performed rap” is a great way of saying the Candidate is Near.

At any rate, don’t expect the accounts of the White House Spidermen and the Congress Spidermen pointing fingers at one another to amount to an ongoing division between the two factions of horrible people who want the same things. For the same reason, I remain unconvinced that there are a significant number of Republican voters who like the right wing’s steal from the poor and give to the rich economic policies but are skeeved out by the #StupidestPresidentEver. I do believe that various factions of the GOP are squabbling over campaign funds because money is one thing they do care about and someone has probably spent it all on three sex workers, two wets suits and a dildo shaped like a pear tree.

There is an interesting nugget buried in the article: the constant of Fake News! drumbeat may be having an unforeseen side-effect.

America First Action, a political committee aligned with Mr. Trump, conducted a series of focus groups over the summer and concluded the party had a severe voter-turnout problem, brought on in part by contentment about the economy and a refusal by Republicans to believe that Democrats could actually win the midterm elections.

Conservative-leaning voters in the study routinely dismissed the possibility of a Democratic wave election, with some describing the prospect as “fake news,” said an official familiar with the research, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the data was not intended to be disclosed.

One may imagine the NYT reporters who wrote this story threw back their heads and cackled like woodpeckers on hearing this.

Breaking that attitude of complacency is now the Republicans’ top priority, far more than wooing moderates with gentler messaging about economic growth.

One may also imagine the panic at AFA HQ on learning that voters really do believe the orange clown is invincible. Apparently the stress gave rise to a cunning and completely original plan that involves digging up dirt on their opponents, so expect to see lots of pictures of Democratic candidates laughing it up with ObamaPelosiClinton (Hiss), reminders that you can’t spell Socilaizcim without Ocasio-Cortez, or more shocking revelations that a candidate played in one of those infernal rock n’ roll or rap combinations.

In short, the GOP will continue to do what it has always done, which is rile up their voters to get them to the polls. Because if Republican candidates talk about their accomplishments they’ll have to come up with a way to talk about them that won’t cause voters to start building guillotines, and that’s too much like actual work.

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