March 30, 2017: Don’t Cooperate | Fox Tops Itself | Ivanka’s Beauty
1. The Nuclear Option: Work with The Democrats or Not?
As the Senate approaches a vote on the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, many in the Red Press have been rooting for the “nuclear option.” That is, conservatives would like Republican senators get rid of the filibuster, which would mean Gorsuch would only need a majority to get on the bench instead of 60 votes.
Ditching the filibuster would be a real upset of Senate precedent, however. It almost certainly would destroy relations with Democrats for years to come. It turns out the Red Media would like just that. After the failure of health care, Trump made some noises about cooperating with Democrats on projects like infrastructure. He was quickly slapped back by Red influencers. Rush Limbaugh, the mightiest of them all, put it like this:
Okay. I want to go back to the first half hour of the program today where I announced to you a possible scenario involving the president working with Democrats, since he can’t get anything done with Republicans. If you missed it, I may recap it. It’s not something I’m predicting yet. It’s a likely scenario. It’s possible that it could happen on a few issues.
The point is, Sean Spicer at the press briefing was just asked about it, and he said of Trump, “The president is very serious about working with Democrats, if that’s what it’s going to take.” Now, stop and think of that for a second here, folks. Who are we talking about? We’re talking about the people that are trying to criminalize Donald Trump. We’re talking about the people that are trying to impeach him.
We’re talking about people who are trying to via innuendo and leak and media assassination, we’re dealing with people that are trying to destroy Donald Trump and his press secretary just signaled that they are serious about reaching out to these people to try to get certain things done, legislatively, like infrastructure or tax reform. I can’t see the Democrats working with Trump on tax reform unless the rich get soaked.
What We’re Watching:
Ending the filibuster is only a smart bet if you think you will retain control of Congress, of course. Despite Trump’s unpopularity in general polls, some of the Red Media remain fairly cocky about retaining conservative control. Why? Because, as early coverage indicates, they think the Democrats are blowing the reorganization of the Democratic National Committee.
Chris Stirewalt writes in the Fox Halftime Report that by focusing on more diversity the DNC is missing the fact that white people mattered most in the last election:
“We saw Tuesday that the purge of the Democratic National Committee is underway as its two-headed leadership team of Chairman Tom Perez and his deputy, Keith Ellison, tried to get a grip on what can only be described as a failed institution.
There’s no doubt that the DNC, which was essentially moribund in the Obama era needs an overhaul. But to what purpose?
The Republican autopsy conducted after the party’s 2012 embarrassment looks hilarious in hindsight. Republicans vowed to focus on outreach to minorities and women with an attitude of inclusiveness and readiness to lead. Let’s just say they went another way on that one…
Republicans won not by embracing America’s demographic shift or courting younger voters but rather by an overt appeal to what President Trump calls “forgotten men and women,” a reference to his surprising support among traditionally Democratic blue-collar white voters of the upper Midwest.”
In Case You Missed It:
An in-depth analysis of voting patterns in the 2016 elections by Nate Cohn at The New York Times essentially found the same thing:
“Obama’s coalition did include younger voters and minorities. But guess who else it included? White people in places like Schuylkill County, Pa.,” Cohn writes about a district that went hard for Trump. “A party that cannot craft a message that appeals to both groups might win an occasional narrow victory but will never produce a governing majority.”
2. A New Woman to Blame: Evelyn Farkas
Conservatives have a set of women they looove to hate: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters. On Tuesday, the Right got a new name to chew on: Dr. Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Obama administration. Dr. Farkas appeared on MSNBC, discussing her grave concern about the unusual relationship between Trump and Russia. She said in the clip:
“I was urging my former colleagues and people on the Hill.... Get as much information, get as much intelligence as you can before Obama leaves the administration… I feared that the info would disappear with the senior people who left it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy… Trump folks if they found out how they knew what we knew about the Trump’s staff dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to those methods… became very worried that not enough was coming out in the open and I knew that there was more… we have very good intelligence on Russia… that’s how you have the leaking…”
Watch the clip of Dr. Evelyn Farkas on MSNBC.
(Note: this was posted by a Right influencer on YouTube, if you'd prefer not to click.)
The Right Media immediately saw this as a confession that the Obama administration wrongfully spied on the candidate and president-elect Donald Trump. “Bombshell?” questioned Greg P. on Twitchy, a Twitter curation site founded by the conservative commentator Michelle Malkin. Greg P. pointed out that Farkas “may have also admitted to Vox’s Ezra Klein back in February that Obama administration national security officials were leaking on then candidate Donald Trump and potential ties to Russia as far back as the summer of 2016.”
The Conservative Treehouse commented:
Sometimes when a person is deep inside an echo-chamber of like-minded ideologues, they might not realize what they’re saying is rather revealing to those on the outside. That’s the set up for former Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas (Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense) appearing on MSNBC and admitting first hand knowledge the Obama administration spied on candidate and president-elect Donald Trump’s transition team to gather “intelligence” for political use.
It would appear Ms. Farkas was so caught up in the discussion, she didn’t quite realize the significant admissions she was making about the Obama administration spying on Donald Trump’s team and generating classified intelligence for Ms. Farkas (and others) to spread to Capitol Hill politicians. MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski recognized the ‘oh-snap’ admission and tried to play it off,… but by then it was too late.
Right influencers on Twitter also pounced. @YoungDems4Trump, with 92k followers, wrote:
@Patriot_Drew with 27k followers wrote:
Deplorable Media @correctthemedia with 18.3K followers wrote:
BREAKING: Obama aide Dr. Evelyn Farkas just admitted live on MSNBC that the Obama administration actively spied on Trump and hid away data!! pic.twitter.com/hXkIh1kvn7— DEPLORABLE MEDIA (@correctthemedia) March 29, 2017
Meanwhile, a CBS poll released yesterday shows that while 40 percent of respondents said they believed Russia had interfered in the election process with the intention of helping Mr. Trump win, only 13 percent of Republicans agreed with that assessment. As for the wiretaps, most Republicans said they think it’s likely that Mr. Trump’s offices were wiretapped during the campaign. Half of independents do. Most Democrats don’t think so.
3. Fox Outdoes Itself
Ok. But just because conservatives have found a new woman to kick around, it doesn’t mean they still can’t pick on Waters. As we’ve written about before, the Democratic congresswoman from California is particularly reviled by Republicans. So it was no surprise to us that when asked to comment on a speech by Ms. Waters, the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said on Tuesday morning: “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.” Facing a storm of criticism, he later apologized.
But then it was quite a week on Fox -- even by Foxian standards. The network brought Judge Andrew Napolitano back on air, even though he repeated the claim that led to his suspension -- that Obama wiretapped Trump. Also, two black women sued Fox News, claiming racial discrimination. And the Financial Times reported that a former Fox C.F.O. is cooperating with prosecutors investigating payments to women allegedly harassed by Roger Ailes, the network’s former chairman. Prosecutors are no doubt investigating payments that were not disclosed to shareholders, as is required by law.
So are Fox’s frequent controversies costing it viewers? Quite the opposite. In a press release, the network announced that, led by Mr. Reilly’s program, it had delivered the highest-rated quarter in cable news history.
Fox viewers see a double standard in almost everything. Maxine Waters’s hair was no different. The Real Erin Cruz @WAGNERGIRLE, with 39k followers, summed up the right’s argument:
What We’re Noticing:
And talking about hair double standards: When news broke yesterday that Ivanka Trump is taking an official (albeit unpaid) post in the White House, the Blue Twittersphere painted a picture of nepotism run amok. No surprise, the Red Twittersphere defended her as a powerful, accomplished woman. However, we could not help but notice that beauty was a sub-theme in the red tweets, with suggestions that liberal women don’t like Ivanka because she is more beautiful then they are.
Here is pretty much the typical take, from Stock Monster @StockMonsterUSA, with 50k, followers:
Congrats Ivanka Trump!!— STOCK MONSTER (@StockMonsterUSA) March 30, 2017
Unlike the jealous left we ADORE you!! Your Strength, Beauty & Courage are Empowering Millions throughout the World pic.twitter.com/Vu6TxCro4p
Myliljury @myliljury wrote:
Next to two pictures comparing a haggard Hillary Clinton to a freshly blown Ivanka, @Immigrants4Trump tweeted:
Congrats Ivanka Trump! The Left Is Afraid Strong, Successful Women, Thank God! Hillary Will Never Set a Foot On The White House, Ever Again
Congrats Ivanka Trump! The Left Is Afraid Strong, Successful Women, Thank God! Hillary Will Never Set a Foot On The White House, Ever Again pic.twitter.com/84mzrIJMry— Immigrants☆4☆Trump (@immigrant4trump) March 29, 2017
4. E.P.A. and Sanctuary Cities = Red Relief
Trump watchers have long expected him to undo Obama’s climate policies and crack down on immigration. But the two announcements this week related to these issues were nicely timed distractions from the failure of Repeal and Replace and the drip of further Russia revelations.
These are the administration's red meat issues, and the base gobbled them up greedily.
While the Mainstream Media did a fairly thorough job of explaining how the rollback of the Clean Power Plan will damage efforts to stave off climate change, the Red Media was celebrating, in Breitbart’s words, a new era of “EPA Originalism.” That’s a reference, of course, to the popular judiciary philosophy that focuses on the framers’ intent. In an interview with Breitbart, Scott Pruitt, the head of the E.P.A., argued that Trump was not so much cutting the agency’s critical science functions as it was restoring the E.P.A. to its original boundaries:
“We’re going to roll it back, those things that were unlawful, we’re going to roll back those things that were an overreach, we’re going to roll back the steps taken by the previous administration,” Pruitt said in an interview with Breitbart News inside his office at the EPA federal building in Washington D.C. The enormous federal building is right across the street from the Old Post Office building, recently renovated into the Trump International Hotel.
Meanwhile, there seemed to be a race to the bottom on being mean to Sanctuary Cities. On top of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Federal government would withhold Justice Department grants to cities that remained sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, The Daily Caller drew attention to policies that would go one step further:
A Colorado state representative announced a bill Monday that would allow victims of certain crimes committed by illegal immigrants to sue state and local politicians who defy federal immigration authorities seeking to enforce the law, multiple news outlets are reporting.
Republican state Rep. Dave Williams, who is Hispanic, said he wants to strip the “immunity” from Democratic politicians who “place Coloradans in danger because of the sanctuary city policies that they created and continue to implement,” the Denver Post reported.