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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Make the miderms a referendum on Trump

How'm I doing?

That was Ed Koch's contribution to American politics as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989.

He used it as his re-election slogan until New Yorkers decided the answer was not-so-hot.

President Trump should make the midterm election this year a referendum on him. It already is, but he should embrace it just as he has the stock market's Trump Rally.

He should do this because of what the Democratic Party and its media subsidiary told us in 2016.

CNN: "Brexit: The UK's Donald Trump moment."

Boston Globe: "This election is a referendum on Trump."

The Hill: "Dems seek Trump referendum."

Wall Street Journal: "With the party conventions wrapped up, the contours of the final 100 days of the general election are becoming clearer. The country wants change, which should help Republicans. But Democrats are confident that Hillary Clinton will win if they can make the election about Donald Trump, and Mr. Trump seems happy to oblige."

But Mike Littwin at Real Clear Politics warned them on June 17, 2016.

"For those keeping score at home, we are back to the Donald-Trump-is-doomed phase of the game," he wrote.

"It should be familiar to all of us by now. Trump says something so offensive — or several things so offensive — that he reveals himself, at last, as the dangerous demagogue/carnival barker that he surely is. Republican leaders either condemn him while still vowing their support (see: Ryan, Paul) or they slink away unheard and unseen (see: Gardner, Cory).

"And in each case, just when you think that Trump’s campaign must implode, it doesn’t. Somehow, instead, he has marched triumphantly past 16 Republican challengers, and without benefit of anyone whispering sic transit gloria mundi into his ear, although Chris Christie does apparently whisper his offer to get the boss a Big Mac.

"But this time is different, because it has to be. Because a general election is different from a primary. Because GOP donors are backing away from him. Because top Republicans won’t work for him. Because, come on. This is Donald Trump running for president."

And so it was, and so it went.

Republican donors? He didn't need them.

Top Republicans? He didn't need them.

And the general turned out to be a lot like the primaries, at least in Pennsylvania and Michigan, where it counted.

Those two states won it for him by giving him well over the 270 needed to win.

Had he won 270-268, the popular vote argument would have swung one or more Electoral College voters.

Here we are nearly two years later. It's President Trump's world; we just live in it, as Dean Martin said of Frank Sinatra.

How'm I doing? Trump may ask.

"The federal government this January ran a surplus while collecting record total tax revenues for that month of the year, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today," CNS News reported.

That is seasonal.

But it is a rational argument for the Laffer Curve, which holds that reducing taxes can increase revenues as taking a smaller portion from taxes stimulates the economy.

This proved to be true under President Reagan.

Polls show the tax cut is now popular. Duh. Why Democrats bet against it is beyond me.

And the tax cut is helping President Trump.

"In January, 44% of voters approved of Trump’s job performance; 51% disapproved," the Morning Consult poll showed.

"January's rating represents 2-point rise from September, 4-point increase from November."

Here is where history and the math match.

The 2016 election featured a rarity in the Senate. There was no ticket-splitting. In the 12 states with Senate races Hillary won, Democrats took each race.

In the 22 states with Senate races President Trump won, Republicans took each race.

If that happens this year, Republicans walk away with the Senate with a filibuster busting 60-40 advantage.

To be sure, Trump's advantage in 2016 was he ran against a woman most voters detested.

But he knew that and kept on plugging, running a nearly perfect campaign (come on, she spent twice as much money) and convincing enough voters in 30 states to take a chance on him, which won the day.

Having succeeded in putting Democrats on the wrong side of the tax cuts, he is now working on eroding their base on illegal immigration.

"The Senate begins a rare, open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the "Dreamer" immigrants on Monday, and Republican senators say they'll introduce President Donald Trump's plan. Though his proposal has no chance of passage, Trump may be the most influential voice in the conversation," CBS News reported.

"If the aim is to pass a legislative solution, Trump will be a crucial and, at times, complicating player. His day-to-day turnabouts on the issues have confounded Democrats and Republicans and led some to urge the White House to minimize his role in the debate for fear he'll say something that undermines the effort.

"Yet his ultimate support will be vital if Congress is to overcome election-year pressures against compromise. No Senate deal is likely to see the light of day in the more conservative House without the president's blessing and promise to sell compromise to his hard-line base."

His hard-line base?

Has CBS taken a good look at the dreamers?

No action on DACA and deportations should make the Democratic base question why they bother to vote.

Making 2018 about Trump should win the day for Republicans.

We shall see.


From Leslie Eastman's review at Legal Insurrection:
Surber, a recovering journalist with over 30 years of experience, has been cataloging the #FakeNews that has been regularly offered as serious analysis of President Donald Trump’s actions, policies, and opinions. He has brought his enormous collection together in the longest, most serious book he has yet written: Fake News Follies 2017.
"Fake News Follies of 2017" is available on Kindle and in paperback.

Autographed copies are available. Email me at for details. I am including a "director's cut." I'll email you back the original Chapter 1 that I cut because while the chapter was amusing, it really had nothing to do with the "Fake News Follies of 2017."

Ben Garrison did the cover and I am so happy with it. I told him what the book was about, sent him a copy of the manuscript, and he came up with a perfect cover. I am so pleased.


  1. Well, except...Dems are just NUTS. I'm not sure which state I'm going to be voting in, but it may not make any difference.

    1. Heck. Follow our democrat brethren and sistren and vote in several. Embrace the power of "and."

  2. Old Ed Koch was an old style Democrat, and while I would not agree with him on policy, I would not have a problem talking and joking with him. His type are missed because there was a common ground you could meet on, and it wasn't so small only a ballerina could toe stand on it.

    -Mikey NTH

    1. That was when Democrats could actually craft a policy because they'd come up working with people, not running for Congress the second they left law school.

  3. Making 2018 about Republicans, especially the Senate, almost certainly won't.

  4. I gotta quibble with you on your definition of the Laffer Curve.

    The Laffer Curve posits that there is a sweet spot in tax rates that maximizes revenue. It does not define what that sweet spot is.

    1. Yes, I should have included a reference to the optimum. Sorry.

    2. The reason I bring it up is that you basically gave the liberal definition which is an absurd notion.

      Laffer was talking about "tax avoidance" which is doing things like corporations parking billions of dollars overseas so they don't have to pay taxes on it.

  5. Quoting Littwin will always get my attention. A lip lock REgressive down to his hypocritical bones. The only good thing about the Rocky Mountain News folding was I didn't have to come across one of his pools of vomit.

    I must be an emetophobe because I stepped gingerly around his words again.

  6. If Trump gets his way on an immigration bill, his popularity will effing ZOOM!