Jared Golden (Blue Dog-ME), is a confused conservative, a former employee of Susan Collin's office who became a pro-labor Democratic legislator, won a congressional seat while pretending to be a progressive, joining the Progressive Caucus, quitting almost immediately, joining the Blue Dogs and running up the 3rd most right-wing voting record of any Democrat in the House-- even worse than Josh Gottheimer, Kurt Schrader, Ed Case or Abigail Spanberger. Yesterday he was quoted saying "If you’d told me a year ago that the second-biggest piece of a signature bill of this Congress was $280 billion in tax giveaways to millionaires, I’d have told you the Republicans were in charge." The Republicans aren't in charge, but a coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats-- as so often has been the case-- is in charge.
Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle reported that "Democrats are struggling with a huge problem that could sink them at the ballot box: They may end up looking more sympathetic to rich people than Republicans. After spending several election cycles campaigning against the GOP’s tax cuts as a boon for the wealthy, House Democrats are on the verge of passing a massive tax break for high-income earners-- raising a cap on local and state tax deductions that primarily affects high-cost states. Though it’s good politics for many coastal-area members to include that tax relief in President Joe Biden’s social spending and climate bill, it’s a move that Democrats say threatens to become a national liability ahead of next year’s midterms. With Democrats already lagging behind Republicans in national polls, many in the party say anchoring themselves to this issue is the last thing they should do. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said he’d 'just as soon have it out. Not a big fan because I think it gives tax breaks to the wrong people: Rich people.'" Bernie agreed: "You can’t be a political party that talks about demanding the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes and then end up with a bill that gives large tax breaks to many millionaires. You can’t do that. The hypocrisy is too strong. It’s bad policy, it’s bad politics."
In his Wall Street Journal column this morning, Karl Rove asked "how many House seats could the GOP pick up?" Republicans could wind up with over 230 seats after the midterms, he wrote with a caveat: "if they campaign intelligently... But that’s an important 'if.'" It is-- and they can be counted on to not campaign intelligently. Luckily for them, though, the Democrats could out-stupid them this cycle, the millionaire tax break being just one of many, many examples that will emphasize to many voters that the Democrats aren't the lesser evil after all. The Democrats have spent close to a year showing voters they are almost as unfit to govern as the Republicans are.
Just a dozen things voters can see about Democratic Party governance, after giving them majorities in the Senate and the House and giving them the White House:
There is no raise in the minimum wage
The weak, puny Democrats don't have the will to protect their own besieged voters from GOP disenfranchisement efforts
Drug prices are still 10 times what they are in much of the rest of the world
Medicare still doesn't cover dental costs
The age requirement for Medicare is still 65
Taxation is still patently unfair to working people
Corruption in general and lobbyists in particular still reign supreme in Washington
There is no family leave bill and probably won't be one
Student debt is still crippling millions of Americans... and the economy
Cost free tuition doesn't even get mentioned any longer
Biden's actions on Global Warming/Climate Change are as bad as Trump's despite the sugared lies
A doomed House messaging bill is NOT the same as passing legislation that will help American families
Rove noted that "A surefire way for Republicans to lose otherwise winnable contests is to let them become referendums" on Señor Trumpanzee's Big Lie, something wholeheartedly embraced by the vast majority of Republicans. A poll released this morning by Quinnipiac shows registered voters prefer (46-41%) the GOP gain control of the House and by almost the same margin, 46-42%, gain control the Senate. However-- backing up what Rove warned about in his column today-- "If a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate strongly embraces former President Trump and his ideas, roughly 4 in 10 Americans (42 percent), say they would be less likely to vote for that candidate, 29 percent say they would be more likely to vote for that candidate, and 27 percent say it would have no impact." What makes this difficult for the GOP to navigate is that their base is at odds with the rest of the country on this. "Among Republicans, 61 percent say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who strongly embraces former President Trump and his ideas, 29 percent say it would have no impact, and 8 percent say they would be less likely to vote for that candidate." Ergo: the Trump kiss of death.
In overwhelmingly rural districts and in districts and states that embrace the Old Confederacy, Republicans don't need swing voters to win seats and they can win with strong voters turnout from their own base, like Alabama, where seditionist crackpot Mo Brooks is going to the Senate. But Trump has endorsed candidates up and down the ticket in states and districts where swing voters matter-- unlike Alabama-- and where his endorsees are certifiably insane, as in Senate races in Pennsylvania, Alaska, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Georgia (with very likely followups coming soon in Missouri, Arizona, New Hampshire and Ohio).
In House races, will Trump be the spoiler for Republicans where he's endorsed a bizarre set of candidates like Steve Carra (MI-06), Joe Kent (WA-03), Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13), Max Miller (OH-16), and Ryan Zinke (MT-01). This new deranged ad from a Trump SuperPAC indicates there will be plenty more crackpot candidates out there saving the Democrats' asses.