Are Some Republicans Panicking? If So, Why?

News coverage these days is schizoid, as reflected in today’s daily “Morning Score” email from Politico. On the one hand, Politico describes a Republican Party in turmoil, if not outright panic:

Republicans say President Donald Trump needs to turn things around fast – or the GOP could pay dearly in 2018. With the party preparing to defend its congressional majorities in next year’s midterms, senior Republicans are expressing early concern about Trump’s lack of legislative accomplishments, his record-low approval ratings, and the overall dysfunction that’s gripped his administration … Potential GOP candidates whom party leaders want to recruit are afraid of walking into a buzz saw, uncertain about what kind of political environment they’ll be facing by the time the midterms come around – and what Trump’s record will look like.

… [I]nterviews with more than a dozen top Republican operatives, donors and officials reveal a growing trepidation about how the initial days of the new political season are unfolding. And they underscore a deep anxiety about how the party will position itself in 2018 as it grapples with the leadership of an unpredictable president still acclimating to Washington. … “It’s not the way you’d want to start a new cycle,” said Randy Evans, a Republican National Committee member from Georgia. “At some point, they’ve got to find some kind of rhythm, and there is no rhythm yet.”

On the other hand, they report this:

FINANCIAL TIMES – We’ve noted several times recently that Democratic candidate fundraising has been on fire to start 2017, driven by never-before-seen rates of online donating. Democratic party committees have touted new records each month of the first quarter. And yet, the GOP party committees have been outraising them. While the Democratic committees are leaning on that high-octane online fundraising, Republicans – in power at all levels in Washington – are bringing in more big checks.

– The DCCC raised $13.2 million in March, part of a record $30.8 million in the first quarter – but the NRCC raised $15.4 million in March and $35.9 million in the first quarter. The RNC was narrowly outraised by the DNC in March, $12.17 million to $12.14 million, but has a wide lead for the whole quarter: $41.4 million to $23.6 million. And the DSCC raised $6.5 million in March and about $14 million in the first quarter – but was outraised by the NRSC, which raised $7 million in March and $16.4 million in the first quarter.

– Cash on hand after Q1 – RNC: $41.4 million, DNC: $10.5 million – NRCC: $27.2 million, DCCC: $16.5 million – NRSC: $13.3 million, DSCC: $12.5 million.

As for Trump’s poll numbers, who cares? He has never polled well. What has happened post-election is that, because of the Democrats’ hysteria, Trump has not gotten the usual presidential honeymoon. But that has little or nothing to do with his ability to govern effectively.

Have Trump’s first three months in office really been ineffectual? That strikes me as a silly claim. His press people have sent out an email tabulating the administration’s successes:

The people who put him in office can see and feel the promises he is delivering on. According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, an incredible 96% of those who supported the President in November say they’d do it again today.

By the Numbers:

* Enacted more legislation and signed more executive orders in the First 100 days than any president in a half century

* Enacted 28 pieces of legislation, more than any other president since Truman

* Signed 25 executive orders, the most of any 100 days in over 50 years (will be over 30 by day 100)

* Achieved first Supreme Court Confirmation in 100 days since 1881

* Instituted tough immigration policies that have driven illegal border crossings to a 17-year low

* Removed more job-killing regulations through legislation than any president in U.S. history

* Estimated savings: $18 billion annually

* Economic optimism has been renewed, with consumer confidence reaching its highest level in 16 years

* Ordered the toughest new rules to stop the revolving door between Washington lobbyists and government officials in history

100 Days of Accomplishments

Job Creation:

* Stronger Enforcement of Trade Guidelines
* Approving Permits for the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines
* Study Into Using American Material in Future Pipeline Construction
* Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
* Historic Partnership with the Private Sector


* Ordering a Freeze and Study of Immigration from Areas Compromised by Terrorism
* Halting Funding to Sanctuary Cities
* Increasing Numbers of Immigration Enforcement Personnel

Public Safety:

* Establishing Commission on Opioid Crisis
* Standing with Law Enforcement Officers
* Creating Task Force on Violent Crime
* Tackling International Cartels

National Security:

* Targeted Strike on Syrian Airfield
* Travel Restrictions on Select Countries Compromised by Terrorism
* New Iran Sanctions
* Calling for Increased Defense Spending in Budget Blueprint
* Cost Savings on F-35’s

Cutting Regulations:

* Energy Independence Executive Order
* Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders
* Reexamination of CAFÉ Standards
* Review of Waters of the United States Rule
* Creation of Regulatory Task Forces
* Eliminating Stream Protection Rule
* Eliminating Regulations on Extraction Companies
* One-in-Two-Out Regulatory Reform
* Minimizing Affordable Care Act

Helping Women/Minorities:

* HBCU Initiative
* Canada-United States Council for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs
* Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act
* Promoting Programs to Engage Women in STEM Fields

Some of those are impressive accomplishments, others less so. The bottom line is that President Trump is doing very well, and Congress and the Republican Party need to get with the program. There is no reason for pessimism, and no reason to be influenced by non-stop hysteria in the Democratic Party media. Republicans were elected to govern, and they–Congress, in particular–need to do their jobs. Over time, the Democrats’ frenzy will look sillier and sillier.

2018, still a long way off, will take care of itself. Republicans will certainly gain seats in the Senate, and in all likelihood the Democrats will barely be able to dent the GOP’s House majority. As long, that is, as Republicans don’t panic.


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