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MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE—Molly Ball of Time wrote a fine examination of a phenomenon that I’ve noticed amid the Legion halls and rotary luncheons up here—namely, that the voters of New Hampshire are not so much Undecided as they are terrified of somehow making the “wrong” choice. This is not something I’ve ever encountered before. Usually, the calculation is a simple one: vote your heart in the primary and then engage your brain, if necessary, in November. This year, however, there is a genuine fear among folks that whatever decision they made on Tuesday might contribute to another four years of El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago. From Ball’s story:
“I am very, very worried,” says Marianne Burke, a 62-year-old special-ed teacher. “I’m terrified. We’ve got to get it together as Democrats.” But she can’t make up her mind either: Buttigieg is inspiring but inexperienced; Klobuchar’s debate closing was powerful, but does she have a chance? She worries that the strong economy is giving Trump a boost and doesn’t understand why no one seems bothered by his outrageous behavior. “I just want to be inspired,” she says. “I’m so tired of Trump and everything he represents. We need somebody who’s going to bring out the best in all of us.”
Well, that’s a tall damn order right there, especially considering what was going on in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday while the duck boots and down vests were trudging to the polls.
The Democratic minority tried to bring three election-security bills to the floor for a vote only to have the Republican majority block them in the person of Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, and someone who is so full of hot air she probably has to be tied to the floor to keep her from floating to the top of the Rotunda. Blackburn, it should be noted, has had her own passing connection with the Volga Bagmen, largely through the intercession of the National Rifle Association. On Tuesday, though, because she doesn’t know any better and doesn’t care that she doesn’t, she was a rock in defense of foreign interference in American elections. From The Hill:
Blackburn accused Democrats of trying to move the bills knowing that GOP lawmakers would block them and giving them fodder for fundraising efforts.
“How dare they try to make us look like the tools we are? That’s our job, tovarich!”
“They are attempting to bypass this body’s Rules Committee on behalf of various bills that will seize control over elections from the states and take it from the states and where do they want to put it? They want it to rest in the hands of Washington, D.C., bureaucrats,” she said.
Well, I’d prefer they put some of this stuff in the hands of the Washington D.C. bureaucrats who work for the FBI, but I’m funny that way. And speaking of, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned last week that the Russian ratfcking of the 2020 election is well underway. No worries, though, because Senator Blackburn has an even better idea.
So in response to this gross hypocrisy today, I am filing my own bill directing the government accountability office to look into the debacle in Iowa. I send a bill to the desk. I send a bill to the desk and I ask that it be appropriately referred. This is not an attack. This is a recognition that any complex process comes with the risk of mistakes or mismanagement. We’re all vulnerable. We must recognize this. We must investigate allegations of fraud and mismanagement and, of course, there should be lessons learned from the past.
So, as opposed to securing the next presidential election against foreign interference, Senator Blackburn proposes that the General Accountability Office investigate…the Iowa caucus screw-ups.
So, yes, I could understand why people might be concerned about making the “wrong” decision here on Tuesday. But I’m more concerned that, down the road, it isn’t going to matter a damn.
And, right on cue, along comes a new Monmouth poll to heap more concerns on my head.
Just over 4 in 10 (42%) registered voters feel that Trump should be reelected, while a majority (55%) say it is time to have someone new in the Oval Office. These numbers did not move much as the impeachment hearings and trial played out. Prior results were 41% reelect and 57% someone new in January, 43%-54% in December, and 42%-55% in November. The current results are also similar to late September when news about the president’s Ukraine call broke (39%-57%) and in August when the House impeachment inquiry was just getting started (39%-57%).
About two-thirds of American voters believe that Trump will definitely (27%) or probably (39%) get reelected in November. Just 22% say he will probably lose to the Democrat and only 6% say he will definitely lose to the Democrat. Republicans are brimming with confidence – 59% say reelection is definite and 34% probable – while Democrats are not so certain about their chances – just 11% say their nominee will definitely beat Trump and another 44% say it is probable that Trump will lose. On the other side of the coin, 38% of Democrats actually think it is more likely than not that Trump will win a second term. Just 4% of Republicans think Trump will lose to the Democrat.
A majority of Americans want the president* turfed out, and roughly the same percentage don’t believe it will happen. This is a recipe for a slow-motion democratic suicide by loss of faith, in the system and in each other.