Darrel Issa’s Seat is Ground Zero for Dems 2018 Takeover Plans
The anti Trump #Resistance starts here:
“I do not work for the executive branch,” Issa said in an opening statement Saturday at one of two morning town hall meetings at a community center here. “I investigated the Obama administration. I also investigated the Bush administration.”
“Issa, 63, has been distancing himself from Trump for some time. Widely seen as a partisan flamethrower during his years leading the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and its many investigations of the Obama administration, Issa is more likely these days to defend the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency or to demand a rigorous investigation into allegations of Russian intervention in the 2016 election.”
Hillary Clinton won his district in the POTUS race by a significant margin. So he’s first up in the chopping block of the 24 Congressional districts with GOP Congress critters who voted for Hillary in the national race.
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight has referred to Issa”s seat as the unsafest seat in the country.
“On Saturday, one questioner noted that some Democrats have wondered whether Trump is too emotionally unstable to be trusted with nuclear weapons.”
“Issa’s answer stopped short of a full-throated show of support for the new commander in chief. If the issue comes up in front of the appropriate body, he said, “I will vote my conscience.”
“Yet Issa’s attempts to distance himself from Trump were met with derision and boos. When he referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as an “evil son of a blank” who sows chaos and then capitalizes on it, an audience member yelled “so does Trump.” The crowd cheered.”
“A protester outside the community center held a sign that seemed to sum up the attitude of many, if not most, of the more than 1,000 who attended the two sessions: “Repeal and Replace the President.”
“One man wore a Russian military hat. Another wore a T-shirt that read, “Trump-Putin, ’16.” A woman held a sign: “Russia-Gate Follow the Money.” Another had a shirt signaling that she is a “nasty woman,” a jibe Trump aimed at Hillary Clinton during a presidential campaign debate.”
“In Virginia, the Democrats have a new, innovative idea: actually putting up candidates for Congress. No, really. There were a number of districts she won in 2016, where the Dems didn’t even put up a Congressional candidate.”
The future of the Democratic party is not Bernie, it’s Hillary. It’s not the Rustbelt, it’s the Sunbelt.
“Amid Trump resistance, Virginia Democrats see surge of candidates for House of Delegates.”
“After retiring from her environmental law career, Mary Jo Sheeley spent much of her newfound free time volunteering for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Upset by President Donald Trump’s victory and shaken by the feeling that the things she believes in could no longer be taken for granted, she vowed to stay active.”
“She marched with hundreds of thousands of other women in D.C., then got together with small groups of other activists to talk about what to do next.”
“It’s so clear what we need to do,” Sheeley said. “We need to look at what is going on locally. And we need to change the balance of power in the General Assembly.”
“Republicans hold a dominant 66-34 majority in the House, but Democrats hope the swell of anti-Trump activism in Virginia, the only Southern state Trump did not win, could lead to a 2017 wave in down-ticket House races as Virginians elect a governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.”
As of late last week, Democrats said they had candidates running in 43 of the 66 House districts that Republicans currently represent, more than double the 21 GOP districts Democrats contested in 2015. So far, Republicans have five challengers among the 34 Democratic-held districts.
“Hoping to channel the energy of women’s marches and Indivisible groups into an anti-Trump wave, Democrats have challengers in all 17 GOP-held districts that went for Clinton.”
“I have not seen this before,” said Del. Charniele L. Herring, an Alexandria Democrat and chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, of the phenomenon she described as a “huge organic surge.”
GOPers are doing what they do best-attempting to hand wave it away:
Republicans do not dispute the swell of activism on the other side, but they doubt it will easily translate to GOP incumbents being dislodged en masse.
“They have no clear message or clear reason for taking their frustrations out on Virginia Republicans,” said Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck. “It seems to be all driven by the national political scene. But I think they’re in for a rude awakening when they see that Virginia voters care about Virginia issues.”
“Even if the political playing field has shifted in response to Trump, General Assembly incumbents are notoriously difficult to beat. During the 2015 legislative races, 122 lawmakers sought re-election and not a single incumbent from either party lost, a statistic anti-gerrymandering advocates have used to argue that legislative lines are drawn to protect those already in power.”
I do think, in all seriousness, this is an important debate. It’s obviously a good thing for the Democratic party if there is a surge in demand. But it’s clear how the GOPers will try to fight challenges. By trying to insist this is a local race.
What’s energizing Democrats are national issues. Many threatened Republicans will try to play for the local dimension: Virginians care about Virginia, ‘not Washington DC’-though DC is a pretty short hop from Virginia.
And I personally face the same issue here in the NY 2 Congressional district. I want to challenge Peter king based on his chumminess with Donald Trump-and Paul Ryan.
Right now my poll is in the field checking out the views and feelings of constituents. If I do run, I will focus on the idea that Peter King is in Donald Trump’s back pocket-and Paul Ryan’s front pocket; the better for them to steal our health insurance.
But King has been a local NY Congressman for over 25 years. He will likely try to resist my attempt to make it a national race.
So 2018 will be a test for how much national elections will galvanize voters at the local or district level.
P.S. If you enjoy my blog and my support of #TheResistance-I’m also considering a 2018 run against GOP Congressmen Peter King of the NY 2nd district-then please consider a donation.