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On the roster: Chicago highlights Dem perils on immigration - Pence blasts NYT report about 2020 ambitions - Rosenstein holds the line - Tax cuts face narrow window for passage - Hey, you would be nervous too
CHICAGO HIGHLIGHTS DEM PERILS ON IMMIGRATION
A decade ago, Rahm Emanuel was instrumental in helping Democrats to retake the House of Representatives, in part by helping the party get back in touch with working-class white voters.
It is strangely fitting now that Emanuel, who went from head of the House Democratic campaign arm to a stint as White House chief of staff before becoming mayor of Chicago, is now one of those helping drive a wedge between Democrats and those very voters.
It may be good local politics for Emanuel to be taking his case against the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration to court. Chicago has a large immigrant community and Emanuel understandably would believe that maximal defiance of President Trump also helps his standing with more affluent, liberal residents. Given the problems with crime and economics that plague Chicago, Emanuel needs something to keep voters fired up.
But as Peter Beinart smartly points out, the shift on immigration policy on the left has come with jarring speed at considerable political costs.
Beinart reminds us that Emanuel’s former boss and fellow Chicagoan, Barack Obama, as a senator wrote of his “patriotic resentment” at seeing Mexican flags at pro-immigration rallies and his “frustration” at needing a translator to complete even basic tasks.
These would not be welcomed sentiments in much of the Democratic Party today, to say the least.
So how did we get from a place where Democrats’ platform was explicit about the fact that “those who enter our country’s borders illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of the law,” to a moment where Emanuel and other mayors are expending considerable resources to fight for illegal immigrants?
Some of it has to do with what happened on the Republican side when the previously mostly pro-immigration party flipped on the subject. You can draw the clearest of lines between the GOP revolt against a plan for amnesty in exchange for increased enforcement during the second term of George W. Bush.
When the GOP took a turn against immigration, Democrats moved the other way.
But there are other factors at work here, not the least of which is Democratic overreliance on political demography. The overwhelming belief among Democrats that future success is assured based on the rising number of minority – especially Hispanic – voters has led to some huge blind spots on the subject.
For Democrats, illegal immigration is increasingly treated as a social issue – a matter of principle – rather its long-standing status as an economic issue. When Democrats were still ardently pursuing middle-class white voters from industrial and agricultural regions of the country they made some of the same arguments that the Trump White House uses to support not just the crackdown on illegal immigration, but curbs on immigration itself.
When Emanuel and others defend protected status for those in the country illegally, including those working off the books and low wages, what must downscale voters who have seen little in the way of wage growth think?
Democrats make few arguments in defense of immigration, legal or illegal, but instead denounce Republican efforts to curb abuses. Centuries of varying success in America assimilating immigrants reveals one constant: Individuals in the most economic peril tend to be among the least accepting of immigration.
And the Democratic brand is supposed to be about individuals in economic peril, right?
By including an ardent defense of illegal immigrants in their evolving platform, Democrats are losing their chance to make the case to the broader electorate for not just legal immigration, but also their party’s effort to reengage with voters on the economy.
THE RULEBOOK: ‘UNCANDID IMPUTATIONS’
“Distrust naturally creates distrust, and by nothing is good-will and kind conduct more speedily changed than by invidious jealousies and uncandid imputations, whether expressed or implied.” – John Jay, Federalist No. 5
TIME OUT: INSCRIBED ON OUR HEARTS
History: “On this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General
George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the ‘Badge for Military Merit,’ a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for ‘any singularly meritorious action’ and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree’s name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a ‘Book of Merit.’ Washington’s ‘Purple Heart’ was awarded to only three known soldiers during the Revolutionary War: Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissell, Jr. The ‘Book of Merit’ was lost, and the decoration was largely forgotten… On February 22, 1932, Washington’s 200th birthday, the U.S. War Department announced the creation of the ‘Order of the Purple Heart.’”
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Trump net job-approval rating: -18.6 points
Change from one week ago: down 1.6 points
[President Trump’s score is determined by subtracting his average job disapproval rating in the five most recent, methodologically sound public polls from his average approval rating, calculated in the same fashion.]
PENCE BLASTS NYT REPORT ABOUT 2020 AMBITIONS
Politico: “Calling it ‘disgraceful and offensive,’ Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday denounced a New York Times report that he is quietly building his own shadow campaign for 2020. ‘Today's article in the New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team,’ Pence said in a statement Sunday. ‘The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration.’ … The article said Pence has worked to build an independent power base — mentioning Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) as adopting similar tactics in light of the current administration's struggles. … Pence's statement expressed support and confidence in President Donald Trump. … White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on ABC's ‘This Week’ that there was ‘zero concern’ about Pence setting up a shadow campaign.”
Kelly moves quickly to tame Trump’s tweets - Bloomberg: “Trump resisted attempts by [John Kelly’s] predecessor, Reince Priebus, to stop White House staffers from popping in unannounced to see the president -- dropping news articles on his desk that he would love or hate, sharing ideas for tweets, or just getting valuable face time with the boss. Trump, who’s known to be easily distracted, would wave in the visitors, even as his scheduled appointments sometimes backed up. Kelly has insisted that anyone who wants to see the president must now go through him. While Kelly isn’t vetting every presidential tweet, Trump has shown a willingness to consult with his chief of staff before hitting ‘send’ on certain missives that might cause an international uproar or lead to unwelcome distractions, according to three people familiar with the interactions. Kelly has been ‘offering a different way to say the same thing,’ one person said.”
Trump’s unique messaging tactics carry legal risks - AP: “For the third time in six months, President Donald Trump is on the hunt for a new communications director. But in practice, the job is filled. It’s Trump who’s the White House’s leading expert and the final word on what and how he communicates with the public. …he has inserted himself into the White House’s press operations in an unprecedented fashion for a president. Trump has dictated news releases and pushed those who speak for him to bend the facts to bolster his claims. He has ignored the advice of his legal team and thrown out carefully planned legislative strategies with a single 140-character tweet. His direct, hands-on style helped him win the White House and still thrills his supporters. It also, however, poses increasing political and potentially legal risks. The clearest example is his involvement in crafting a statement for son Donald Jr. about a meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer. … Trump has struggled to find a communications adviser that meets his approval.”
ROSENSTEIN HOLDS THE LINE
WaPo: “Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said Sunday that the expanding investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is continuing apace, even as President Trump dismissed the probe as ‘a total fabrication.’ Rosenstein said special counsel Robert S. Mueller III can investigate any crimes that he might discover within the scope of his probe, but the deputy attorney general would not discuss which individuals are the subject of their inquiry. The interview comes days after Trump said he believes it would be inappropriate for Mueller to dig into Trump family finances. ‘The special counsel is subject to the rules and regulations of the Department of Justice, and we don’t engage in fishing expeditions,’ Rosenstein said when asked about the probe in an interview on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ Rosenstein declined to comment on reports that Mueller is using a grand jury in a court in Washington to aid in his investigation but he said that such a step is a routine part of ‘many investigations.’”
Tillis pushes plan to protect Mueller - Fox News: “Sen. Thom Tillis on Sunday defended his bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller and made clear the measure was to protect Mueller from being fired by President Trump in his investigation… Still, Tillis made clear the measure goes beyond Trump and Mueller. ‘This is about the Department of Justice,’ the first-term senator said. ‘This is about my confidence in the attorney general and my confidence in a Department of Justice to move forward in an appropriate manor. … We don't want to restrict the administration’s authority or the Department of Justice from removing a counsel. We just want to make sure to the American people they can be convinced it was done for the right reasons.’ The bill has yet to receive a date for a committee hearing or vote, but has a good chance of passing in the Senate because of its bipartisan support.”
US to respond to Russia's ouster of diplomats - Fox News: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday the U.S. will respond by Sept. 1 to Russia’s move to make a major cut in American diplomatic staff in response to former President Barack Obama’s decision to expel Russian diplomats for Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Tillerson, speaking to reporters during a regional security summit in the Philippines, said he told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of the deadline when the two met Sunday. Tillerson said he told Lavrov that the U.S. still hasn't decided how it will respond. He added that he asked Lavrov ‘several clarifying questions’ about the act of Russian retaliation.”
TAX CUTS FACE NARROW WINDOW FOR PASSAGE
Politico: “Republicans acknowledge that the aggressive timeline they have set up for overhauling the tax code this fall leaves them little room for error. There could be one problem with that: Obamacare isn’t going away. President Donald Trump has dropped hints that he might stop the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction payments… At the same time, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the health committee chairman, is working with Democrats on potential measures to shore up the health care law. That’s left key Senate tax writers frustrated that there’s potentially another issue to take precious time away from their tax reform efforts. Senators left Washington on Thursday for a month long recess and will return to a September already overloaded with legislative deadlines. With key Trump administration officials and some congressional leaders having said they want to get a tax revamp signed into law this year, tax writers believe they’ll need to make serious progress starting next month.”
McConnell says he would consider continuing insurer payments - AP: “A week after an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’d consider a bipartisan effort to continue payments to insurers to avert a costly rattling of health insurance markets. McConnell told reporters Saturday there is ‘still a chance’ the Senate could revive the measure to repeal and replace ‘Obamacare,’ but he acknowledged the window for that is rapidly closing. The Kentucky senator noted Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is working on ‘some kind of bipartisan approach’ that would involve subsidies for insurance companies.”
Members of Congress face health care pressures from constituents - WSJ: “Pressure from constituents over health care could make it hard to focus on a tax overhaul. Congressional Republicans plan to use the next four weeks away from Washington making a public case for a sweeping rewrite of the tax code, an ambitious legislative undertaking they hope will heal divisions that opened when the party’s signature health-care bill collapsed. But at home in their districts, they face pressures that could make it hard to focus on taxes. Many of their constituents and party activists blame Congress, more than President Donald Trump, for the health-care stalemate…”
DEMOCRATS VS. THE MAP
FiveThirtyEight: “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 the House majority and lose five Senate seats. This is partly attributable to the nature of House districts: GOP gerrymandering and Democratic voters’ clustering in urban districts has moved the median House seat well to the right of the nation. Part of it is bad timing. Democrats have been cursed by a terrible Senate map in 2018: They must defend 25 of their 48 seats while Republicans must defend just eight of their 52. … Today, it would take even more cataclysmic events under GOP rule to propel Democrats to a supermajority over the next six years. (Of course, those events sometimes happen, particularly given a long enough time frame.)”
Upcoming gubernatorial races will determine the party’s future - WaPo: “For Democrats, the rapid loss of power in the states is both cause for alarm and some reason for hope. Republicans posted enormous gains in the states and in Congress in the midterm elections of 2010 and 2014. If it happened for the GOP, Democrats ask, why couldn’t it happen for them? Midterm elections for a new president generally result in losses, sometimes substantial losses, and Trump currently suffers from the lowest approval ratings of any new president at this point in a first term. That’s compounded by the fact that the president and congressional Republicans have so far failed to enact a health-care bill, which could dampen enthusiasm among many GOP voters.”
Dem party battles over abortion foes - WashTimes: “California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday that the Democratic Party should be open to abortion foes, dealing another blow to the pro-choice movement as it struggles to hold the line against pro-life candidates. ‘I’d say, look, even on the abortion issue, it wasn’t very long ago that a number of Catholic Democrats were opposed to abortion,’ Mr. Brown said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘So the fact that somebody believes today what most people believed 50 years ago should not be the basis for their exclusion.’ Rep. Ben Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, touched off an uproar last week when he said that ‘there is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates,’ referring to abortion.”
Under Trump, coal mining gets new life on U.S. lands - NYT
Fight over Trump wall could lead to shutdown - Axios
House representatives leaving the Hill for governor spots - Politico
“There has always been a section of the left, which I call the whiny party — the party that doesn’t really wanna win, they just wanna be pure, and if they go down swinging purely, then that’s fine.” – Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, said in an interview.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“I can’t believe the person who writes this stuff is the Chris Stirewalt I see (and like) on TV! (Perhaps it is not; I see Brianna McClelland is back ‘contributing.’) ‘The underlying argument is that she probably did something even worse…’ No, in point of fact, the underlying argument is that we have clear evidence that she and her entourage of traitorous leftist crooks did lots that was worse. This was aided and abetted by Comey, who in taking both sides of every issue looking for limelight managed to unconstitutionally usurp the role of the compromised AG Lynch and made the decision himself not to prosecute Hillary after publicly announcing a litany of her guilt. Even if he’s sold condos to Russkies, Trump did not profit from selling 20% of our uranium too…” – Howard Bartlett, Casselberry, Fla.
[Ed. note: Anything you read and do not like in this political note is never the fault of Brianna. She is a force for decency and deadlines, as well as functioning URL links. She is the readers’ loyal advocate. As for the substance for the argument that misconduct by Trump/and or his campaign could be excused by even greater corruption from the Clintons is an impossibly dangerous one. John Adams’ phrase, “a government of laws, not of men,” is aimed at exactly these situations. All people are created equal and endowed with the same rights, but all people, even the most powerful, are subject to the same laws. That doesn’t mean ONLY when other people obey laws or do the right things. It is true that sometimes exigent situations test the fealty to law of even the best men. We debate even to this day the Constitutional shortcuts Abraham Lincoln took during the Civil War. Reasonable observers conclude that Lincoln was on the side of the Constitution and law, and credit him with remaining within the spirit of the founding, even as he took a shortcut here or there in a bid to preserve the Union. It would not have done for Lincoln to have said that the Confederate states, having breached the Constitution, he was then free to become a tyrant himself. Lincoln would be no Oliver Cromwell and there would be no Interregnum. If you allow your standards to be set by what you perceive as the lowest threshold of your rivals misconduct, then there are no more standards. Further, one would think that everyone in American political life would know if you are making an ethical argument based on the conduct of the Clintons, you have found yourself in a very dark place.]
“I certainly think we need to protect our elections to come. I also don't like the way Trump treats our intelligence agencies in his denials and the way he cozies up to Putin every chance he gets. I don't like him trying to push back against our constitution about freedom of the press. I don't believe anyone should be above the law. I also believe he is using the presidency to gain wealth for himself and his family when he should be there as a public servant working for all of us. If he has no guilt then he should have no worries about investigations.” – Lynn Porter, Lenni, Pa.
[Ed. note: Most Americans, Ms. Porter, agree with you very much. The point of our discussion on Friday was that too many people, especially Democrats, somehow believe that the truth will set them free from Trump. In the previous great scandals of modern political history, especially Watergate and Bill Clinton’s perjury, both presidents had die-hard supporters who stayed with them until the end. In the case of Richard Nixon, however, he resigned office rather than subject himself and the country to the pain of an impeachment and likely conviction and removal. Clinton made the opposite calculation, determining that by smearing the special prosecutor on his case and casting the impeachment as a rankly partisan abuse of legislative power, he could ride it out. He was right. We have no way to know what Special Counsel Robert Mueller has found or will find, but probably for a quarter of the country, even if it went all the way to the top and was explicit collusion with a hostile foreign power to steal an election, they would stand by their man. When the president talks about a “phony” investigation that is trying to thwart the will of the people, he is implicitly saying that his election should cover all sins in this way. As we discussed just above, that’s a dangerous idea. But Democrats and fair-minded others who want, as you do, the truth to all come out and justice be served, should remember that there is a substantial minority in the country that disagrees.]
“In response to two quotes from one of your Bleacher Fans you responded with the following aphorism, ‘Americans get about the government they deserve. Our system is failing, it’s true. But the responsibility for that rests in the hands of the voters who seem willing to accept less quality, great deviance and always more dishonesty from their leaders. You can lead a citizen to decency, but you can’t make him vote.’ But you failed to attribute the source of these wise words. Please do tell. And thank you for the heads up on the biography for Ole Stachmo, it befuddles me how anyone can fail to see Louis as one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. I look forward to reading his life's story.” – Steve Bartlett, Greenville, S.C.
[Ed. note: Who deserves credit for first saying that citizens of nations with democratically elected leadership get the government they deserve is a matter of some dispute, but the consensus view is that Joseph de Maistre a French political philosopher gets the credit. De Maistre was a counter revolutionary seeking to restore order in the wake of the French revolution. He was not paying a compliment when he said, “every nation gets the government it deserves.” The rest of that passage is mine and mine alone. Don’t sully the legacy of Monsieur de Maistre by laying it on him.]
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HEY, YOU WOULD BE NERVOUS TOO
Durango (Colo.) Herald: “A bear that broke into an SUV early Friday in Durango took it for a short ride, rolling it out of a driveway and crashing it into a mailbox. The commotion woke Ron Cornelius and his wife, who found the trashed Subaru in their yard on Timberline Drive in Timberline View Estates. ‘Usually, I don’t get up at 5 o’clock unless there is a bear driving a car down the street,’ Cornelius joked. After the bear broke into the car, it likely released the parking brake somehow, he said. The couple didn’t see the bear leave the SUV and called 911 after the crash... The car rolled backward from a neighbor’s home into Cornelius’ mailbox and over some utility boxes, he said. La Plata County Sheriff’s Office deputies determined a bear was to blame, because it defecated in the car, likely because it was nervous, Cornelius said.”
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.