Republicans

The Hewitt option

Featured image For several days our friend Hugh Hewitt has promoted a scenario premised on the resignation of appointed Alabama Senator Luther Strange. In Hugh’s scenario, Strange would then be replaced by a new appointee selected by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. On Hugh’s reading of Alabama law, Ivey’s selection of a successor to Strange would begin the process all over again. Now Alex Isenstadt and Eliana Johnson (my daughter) report for Politico »

The wages of injudicious insurgency

Featured image Last month, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell got together at the White House. According to reports, they discussed, among other things, Steve Bannon’s threat to back insurgent candidates in an effort to defeat numerous GOP Senators in primaries. I thought that, from McConnell’s perspective, convincing Trump not to support this effort was the primary purpose of the lunch. McConnell reminded Trump about past insurgent primary winners who went »

The presumption of guilt

Featured image As Scott wrote this morning, the proposition that a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty is to be applied by a jury sitting in a criminal case. The proposition need not be applied in an election campaign and, if one chooses to apply it, one should not demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But in the case of Roy Moore, as a friend emailed me to say, “the Left »

Virginia post mortem, Part Two

Featured image If the only information we had heading into yesterday’s election in Virginia was (1) that Hillary Clinton carried the state by five points and (2) that President Trump’s approval rating in Virginia was 40 percent (compared to 57 percent disapproval), it would have been fairly easy to predict that Republican Ed Gillespie would lose by around 9 points. If, in addition, we recalled that four presidents in a row had »

Virginia post mortem

Featured image It’s no surprise that Ralph Northam defeated Ed Gillespie. I was surprised, though, that the race wasn’t close, and I think most analysts were surprised that Northam won so comfortably (by at least 8 points, it looks like). With hindsight we can say that this was a race between two uninspiring candidates who needed, somehow, to inspire support. Northam inspired support because of raw hatred for President Trump. Gillespie tried »

Ed Gillespie’s high wire act

Featured image If this year’s Virginia governor’s race between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam is a dress rehearsal for 2018, then next year’s congressional races should present quite a spectacle. If you don’t think so, check out this story in the Washington Post called “Bikers for Trump rallies for Gillespie — without Gillespie.” Gillespie narrowly defeated Corey Stewart in the Republican primary. Stewart managed Trump’s campaign in Virginia for a »

Has the Republican Party “surrendered” to Trump?

Featured image I respect Bill Kristol, Sen. Jeff Flake, and every other conservative who takes a principled anti-Trump stand. I don’t much respect Sen. Bob Corker who supported candidate Trump and reportedly wanted to be his Secretary of State, only later to “discover” what most of us knew all along– Donald Trump is a bad guy. I don’t disagree with many of the criticisms leveled at President Trump by Kristol, Flake, and »

The establishment vs. the populists: How deep is the divide?

Featured image Victor Davis Hanson persuasively makes a point I’ve raised less cogently from time to time: The ideological differences between the “establishment” and “populist” wings of the Republican party/conservative movement are overstated: Hanson writes, “the populist-nationalist wing is said to be irreconcilable with the establishment mainstream, but it is hard to see where too many of the lasting irreconcilable differences lie — other than the same old gripe over politicians who »

Poll: Gillespie and Northam deadlocked in Virginia

Featured image The Virginia gubernatorial election always draws attention because (1) it occurs during the barren electoral year that follows presidential races and (2) it occurs in a swing state, albeit one that has been trending Democrat. Thus, fairly or not, the race typically is viewed as portentous for the party that loses. This year, the Democratic candidate is Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. The Republican candidate is Ed Gillespie, former chair of »

Stranger in a strange land [with comment by Paul]

Featured image On Tuesday Roy Moore defeated Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary to run in the special election this December. The seat had been resigned by Jeff Sessions when he was confirmed to the position of Attorney General. Strange was appointed by then Governor Robert Bentley to serve in the position until the special election. The only suspense involved in the outcome of the primary was whether Strange would come »

Not looking good for Luther Strange (or Pres. Trump) in Alabama [UPDATED – Moore Wins]

Featured image Judge Roy Moore has opened up a nice lead over Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican Senate run-off election. With about one-quarter of the precincts reporting, Moore is roughly 17,000 votes ahead (out of about 120,000 counted), for a 57-43 lead. That lead is consistent with, though perhaps at the higher end, of what recent polling has indicated. Moore was expected to win. However, Trump might have though his »

Strange doings in Alabama, Part Two

Featured image Over the weekend, President Trump announced that he will visit Alabama next weekend to campaign for Sen. Luther Strange in that state’s Senate primary Republican run-off . I found this decision difficult to explain inasmuch as (1) polls show that Strange trails his opponent Judge Roy Moore by a significant margin and (2) Moore seems as likely as Strange to vote for pro-Trump positions — at least the ones that »

Strange doings in Alabama

Featured image The last time we looked in on the Alabama Senate primary race between Sen. Luther Strange and Judge Roy Moore, the (former) judge had a double-digit lead. In the first round of the primary, Moore bested Strange by six points and apparently had extended the margin as the run-off approached. That was about three weeks ago. The latest poll, by Emerson just a few days ago, suggests that the race »

The McConnell factor in Alabama [UPDATED]

Featured image In my post last night about the GOP Senate primary in Alabama, I noted that Judge Roy Moore has a large and somewhat surprising lead over Luther Strange, who was appointed to replace Jeff Sessions and has been endorsed by President Trump. In lieu of offering a full explanation, I pleaded ignorance of Alabama politics. Fortunately, a longtime Power Line reader and GOP insider from Alabama has offered his insights. »

Trump’s endorsement not helping in Alabama Senate race

Featured image I don’t believe we have written about the race to fill the Senate seat in Alabama vacated by Jeff Sessions. The Republican primary initially featured three main candidates: Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill the seat after Sessions became Attorney General; Rep. Mo Brooks, a Tea Party style conservative and member of the House Freedom Caucus; and Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Moore famously »

Arthur Finkelstein, RIP

Featured image Arthur Finkelstein died at his home in Ipswich on Friday at the age of 72. Finkelstein was a skillful Republican political consultant who achieved substantial success with a wide array of candidates. Sam Roberts’s New York Times obituary provides the necessary information if you can ignore the “homophobic” slur that Roberts pins on unnamed clients of Finkelstein, who was homosexual. I met Finkelstein in late 1995 or early 1996 when »

The Democrats’ Electoral Disadvantage Is Getting Worse

Featured image At FiveThirtyEight, David Wasserman has a heartwarming analysis of why the Democratic Party is pretty much hosed in Congressional elections for the foreseeable future: Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of »