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On the roster: New Deal Republicans - I’ll Tell You What: Together again - Trump told Mexican prez wall was about politics - Inside the McMaster-Bannon war - ‘Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit’
NEW DEAL REPUBLICANS
President Trump today travels to the very heart of his coalition as he heads to Huntington, W. Va.
He is also traveling to the center of one of the poorest regions of the country.
Southern West Virginia, Southeastern Ohio and Eastern Kentucky have had hard times for so long that fighting poverty there has become a fixture of presidential politics.
Trump’s promise differs from some of his predecessors in that he is promising to create jobs by aiding employers rather than by offering new government programs, but his political lineage in this trip stretches back almost 90 years.
Before Bill Clinton offered hope, before Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty, before John Kennedy promised residents of the region “help me, and I will help you,” this was ground zero for Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
As Trump heads into Central Appalachia, he is punctuating one of the most remarkable pivots in American politics of the past 50 years: The Republican inheritance of Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition.
Conservative Republicans have tended to be very unhappy about Trump’s policies. He favors activist government in many cases and rejects long-held views on the right about entitlements and welfare.
But it should not surprise members of Trump’s adopted party that as they have absorbed the descendants of the longtime Democratic core, the GOP would look different, too.
Trump’s critics on the left often marvel that so many people from so many poor regions of the country have embraced Trump. Much of the analysis has suggested that the rich man from New York is exploiting racism and cultural anxiety to convince downscale voters to cast ballots against their own economic self-interest.
When Trump is done rallying his supporters in Huntington, he will set off for an extended vacation at his ritzy country club in New Jersey. “Some populist,” they will say.
The same tastemakers presumably find nothing so jarring as the idea of patrician Roosevelt summering in his New York estate, wintering in Georgia and living an upper-crust life while his fellow Americans waited in breadlines.
Economists still disagree about whether Roosevelt’s policies were effective in combating the Great Depression or whether they actually made it worse. One could certainly argue that the residents of central Appalachia who voted four times for FDR were voting against their own economic interests, too.
Historians, on the other hand, are not divided on Roosevelt’s political accomplishments. Downtrodden voters were drawn to the swagger and confidence of a child of privilege who overcame adversity and convinced his fellow Americans to be brave in the face of economic collapse and then a war that threatened the very existence of the nation.
Now, Trump is no FDR. But it does not take much discernment to see why the grandchildren of Roosevelt’s voters are now backing Trump with the kind of fervor we have not seen in the region for any candidate in decades.
He promises hope, economic restoration and, most of all, the return of pride for people who have a strong tendency to think even less of themselves than their countrymen do.
It is convenient for people unfamiliar with the region to correlate support for Trump with racism or xenophobia. But that gives too little credit to voters who, after being neglected for so long, finally feel they have a champion.
The reversal of the two major party’s coalitions continues, as Republicans become the party of working-class white voters and Democrats seek to expand with more affluent, college-educated suburbanites. And so the politics of both parties will continue to change.
A populist electoral base for Republicans, will produce more populist policies. Maybe it won’t happen in this Congress, but it is not unreasonable to think that the party that inherited the New Deal coalition from the Democrats will embrace the same combination of social conservatism and governmental activism that was the core of the Democratic Party for years.
Democrats are wrestling with the question of how willing they are to reach out to voters Republicans are leaving behind in their move to cater to voters in places like Southern West Virginia. It may prove harder for liberal Democrats to reach out to fiscally conservative, socially indifferent suburbanites then it has been for Republicans to raid the neglected former Democratic base.
Whatever shape it takes, however, the political inversion of our era may well end up being just as profound as the one Roosevelt ushered in in 1932.
THE RULEBOOK: PICK YOURSELF UP, DUST YOURSELF OFF…
“Whatever efficacy the union may have had in ordinary cases, it appears that the moment a cause of difference sprang up, capable of trying its strength, it failed.” – Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Federalist No. 19
TIME OUT: TEAM OF RIVALS
Paris Review: “Once a famous beauty, by the late 1950s Dagmar Godowsky found herself subsisting on caviar, cake, and tales of the past. Typecast as a vamp in the silent-screen era of the early 1920s, she had ‘hissed her way through a thousand scenes.’ … It was her storytelling that lured Sandford Dody. A struggling playwright, Dody became witness to Dagmar’s spiel one night at a party. In a remarkable error of judgment that launched an entire, regrettable career, Dody offered to ghostwrite Dagmar’s autobiography – an endeavor that, he was sure, would be both profitable and easy. It was neither. Published as First Person Plural in 1958, the memoir takes us from the present day into her childhood, and then back, replete with cameos from the Fitzgeralds, Dorothy Parker, Adolf Hitler, Emperor Franz Josef, and just about all of golden-era Hollywood.”
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Trump net job-approval rating: -19.8 points
Change from one week ago: down 1.8 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.]
I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: TOGETHER AGAIN
In this edition of I'll Tell You What, Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt run through General Kelly’s first week as White House Chief of Staff, break down the new immigration policy and the duo takes a look at the I'll Tell You What mailbag. Plus, in a shocking turn Dana and Chris find common ground on country music. Yee-haw! LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE
TRUMP TOLD MEXICAN PREZ WALL WAS ABOUT POLITICS
WaPo: “President Trump made building a wall along the southern U.S. border and forcing Mexico to pay for it core pledges of his campaign. But in his first White House call with Mexico’s president, Trump described his vow to charge Mexico as a growing political problem, pressuring the Mexican leader to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay. ‘You cannot say that to the press,’ Trump said repeatedly, according to a transcript of the Jan. 27 call obtained by The Washington Post. Trump made clear that he realized the funding would have to come from other sources but threatened to cut off contact if Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto continued to make defiant statements. … He described the wall as ‘the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.’ The heated exchange came during back-to-back days of calls that Trump held with foreign leaders a week after taking office. The Post has obtained transcripts of Trump’s talks with Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.”
INSIDE THE MCMASTER-BANNON WAR
Weekly Standard: “General John Kelly may be trying to institute military-style discipline in the West Wing, but that hasn’t put a stop to the civil war happening over President Donald Trump’s National Security Council. If anything, the dawning of the Kelly era may have accelerated that war. The national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, has removed three NSC aides loyal to Trump aide Steve Bannon in the last three weeks. Bannon allies inside and outside the administration have fired back, starting rumors that McMaster is on his way out the door and documenting the Army general’s deviations from President Trump. The latest move against Bannonites came Wednesday when McMaster fired the NSC’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick. McMaster’s previous attempt to remove Cohen-Watnick from the staff had been blocked by Bannon and Trump himself. … Meanwhile, Bannon’s allies outside the White House are trying to put the squeeze on McMaster. On Wednesday, radio host Laura Ingraham tweeted a months-old article from the New York Times about McMaster’s ‘break with the administration on Islam.’”
Trump reportedly fumed to generals over ‘losing’ Afghan war - NBC News: “President Donald Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his advisers tasked with crafting a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and recently suggested firing the war's top military commander during a tense meeting at the White House, according to senior administration officials. During the July 19 meeting, Trump repeatedly suggested that Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford replace Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war, the officials said. Trump has not met Nicholson, and the Pentagon has been considering extending his time in Afghanistan. Over nearly two hours in the situation room, according to the officials, Trump complained about NATO allies, inquired about the United States getting a piece of Afghan’s mineral wealth and repeatedly said the top U.S. general there should be fired.”
Trump considering Perry for Homeland Security - Bloomberg: “Energy Secretary Rick Perry is among the candidates being considered to replace John Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security, according to three people familiar with the deliberations. … White House officials are considering others for the position, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing a personnel matter. It’s not clear Perry even wants the job. ‘Secretary Perry is focused on the important mission of the Department of Energy. He’s honored to be mentioned, but he loves what he’s doing,’ said Robert Haus, director of public affairs at the department.”
Report: Kelly called Sessions to say job is safe - AP: “New White House chief of staff John Kelly, in one of his first acts in his new post, called Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reassure him that his position was safe despite the recent onslaught of criticism he has taken from President Donald Trump. Kelly called Sessions on Saturday to stress that the White House was supportive of his work and wanted him to continue his job, according to two people familiar with the call. The people demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about a private conversation. Kelly, who was appointed to the post the day before, described the president as still miffed at Sessions but did not plan to fire him or hope he would resign.
TRUMP OUTPACES PREDECESSORS ON JUDGES
Fox News: “President Trump has outpaced his immediate predecessors when it comes to having his choices for federal judgeships confirmed. The Senate this week approved a fifth Trump nominee, placing Trump on a faster pace for approvals than either President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush. Most recently, Alabama lawyer Kevin Christopher Newsom was confirmed to a seat on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on a 66-31 vote, with 16 Democrats joining the GOP on the affirmative side, the Washington Times reported. Newsom was the third Trump pick for circuit judge to be approved so far. Combined with one district judge and the Supreme Court appointment of Neil Gorsuch, the Trump administration and the Republican-led Senate are well ahead of the normal pace for judicial approvals. … Obama had no judges confirmed during his first six months at the White House… Bush didn’t have three picks … confirmed until August of his first term.”
GOP clash looms over debt ceiling hike - Politico: “Republican congressional leaders are quietly preparing to pass a ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase, according to multiple senior GOP sources — setting the stage for a high-risk showdown with rank-and-file Republicans this fall. Trump administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are imploring Congress to raise the $19.8 trillion debt limit with no strings attached by the end of September. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan — well aware they need Democrats to pass any debt bill through the Senate — are on board, albeit begrudgingly so. But beyond the leadership, there are few Republican takers, at least so far.”
Lawyers, lawmakers leave Trump admin in limbo on Obamacare subsidies - Politico: “President Donald Trump has told advisers repeatedly he wants to end Obamacare cost-sharing subsidies that are crucial to the marketplaces continuing to work, and he has publicly said it would make sense to blow up the system, put the blame on the Democrats and force a negotiation. But after the inability of Republicans in Congress to repeal and replace the law, the White House is not expected to immediately end the subsidies, officials said, even as Trump stews in the legislative defeat. And they could remain in place indefinitely, some officials said.”
TRUMP AGREES WITH MEDVEDEV: IT’S CONGRESS’ FAULT
Fox News: “President Trump on Thursday accused Congress of bringing relations with Russia to an ‘all-time & very dangerous low’ after sending him a sanctions bill which he reluctantly signed a day earlier – legislation that prompted a furious response from Russia’s prime minister. ‘Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!’ Trump tweeted. The accusation came after Trump signed the sweeping package of sanctions, which had passed both houses of Congress with a veto-proof majority. In signing the bill, Trump issued a written statement complaining that Congress was overstepping its constitutional bounds and impeding his ability to negotiate with foreign countries. The sanctions were answered with a stinging rebuke by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He tweeted that the administration had shown ‘total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way.’”
Bipartisan bill would protect Mueller - CBS News: “Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are moving to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's job, putting forth legislation that aims to ensure the integrity of current and future independent investigations. Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware plan to introduce the legislation [today]. The bill would allow any special counsel for the Department of Justice to challenge his or her removal in court, with a review by a three-judge panel within 14 days of the challenge. … The Tillis and Coons bill would allow review after the special counsel had been dismissed. If the panel found there was no good cause for the counsel's removal, the person would be immediately reinstated.”
The Judge’s Ruling: Above the law?
Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano raises questions about the way Congress and the rest of the federal government stretches the Constitution to facilitate mass surveillance: “What if a basic principle of constitutional law is that Congress is subject to the Constitution and therefore cannot change its terms or their meanings?” More here.
2018 map favors Dems on governor races - Center for Politics
AUDIBLE: (it wasn’t)
“I didn't dump the nachos on him or anything, which was an option.” – Gov. Chris Christie said about confronting the Chicago Cubs fan who heckled him at a game.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“I was reading an article today about all of the spending cuts President Trump proposed in his recent budget - followed by notations on how much Congress actually increased spending for many of the departments, regardless of what the President requested. Since all of the department heads are nominated by Trump and I presume serve at his pleasure - what's to stop him from telling them he only wants them to spend the amount he proposed in his budget - and nothing more? I wouldn't think Congress can force department heads to spend what Congress allocates, but since they report to the President I would think he could force them to not spend it? (Otherwise, You're Fired). I'm sure I'm missing something - and you will let me know.” – Steve Gingras, Orefield, Pa.
[Ed. note: Certainly you’re quite right, Mr. Gingras. There is no law that says departments must spend all that is allocated to them. But, Congress has more to say about how administrative agencies carry out their duties. Congressional oversight is all about the money. When agencies do not act in accordance with their congressional mandates, lawmakers can do more than just drag department chiefs to the Hill for hearings, they can cut off other money for programs or issue new directives. Yes, the president can veto legislation, but that could end up being politically quite costly and time consuming. When it comes to spending, the legislative branch reigns supreme in our system of separated powers. But it would be fun to see what would happen in your scenario!]
“Re Trump referring to the White House as ‘a dump,’ while he may have been facetious it was close to being literally true when President Truman took office. He once wrote in a letter to his sister: ‘The engineer said that the ceiling in the state dining room only stayed up from force of habit!’ One summer's day in 1948, a leg on the piano that the Trumans moved into the White House for their daughter Margaret fell through the floor of her room. Such was the disarray that the present White House's entire interior had to be rebuilt and was expanded over four years of the Truman presidency.” – Bob Foys, Chicago
[Ed. note: Great point, Mr. Foys! Truman’s remaking of the White House, particularly the addition of the balcony on which we are now so accustomed to seeing presidents and their families smiling and waving, was a big deal indeed. We owe the Palladian design of the building to Irish architect James Hoban, who got the gig after George Washington saw his work at the court house in Charleston, S.C. We owe the interior design style to Francophile President James Monroe. But Truman certainly gets credit for being the one to refashion the building as what it is now: The most important office building in the world, with rooms upstairs for the boss and his family.]
“This, I'm sure has no reality to it but it stays in my mind just the same. My fantasy scenario begins with the President calling an old friend. ‘Hey buddy, I need a big favor. Can you spare two weeks of your precious time to come down and shake up the troops in the West Wing and maybe get rid of some dead wood that's not performing well? I'll make it worth your while and will even give you a title. It’s only for two weeks, tops, promise…’” – Manny Lekkas, Winston-Salem, N.C.
[Ed. note: And with that, the Mooch slipped back on his sunglasses and left town…]
“Can you recommend a good biography on President Coolidge?” – Bill Hodges, Oakland, Calif.
[Ed. note: That is an easy one, Mr. Hodges! Amity Shlaes’ 2013 “Coolidge” is truly wonderful. The book does a fantastic job of dealing with Coolidge’s presidency and policies, but also fitting that into the life story and character of the man himself. It has taken almost a century for the quiet heroism of the 30th president to come into full relief.]
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‘ONCE YOU LEARN TO QUIT, IT BECOMES A HABIT’
WLUK: “The Green Bay middle school named for the most famous Green Bay Packers coach won’t offer football this season. ‘I was really looking forward to playing for them this season,’ said Alex Coniff, an 8th grade student at Lombardi Middle School. ‘It makes me mad that they don't have them, but I can still play football, so that’s good.’ … Coniff estimates Lombardi had about 55 students on its two football teams last season. In a letter to parents, Lombardi principal Jim Van Abel writes the school had been advertising coaching vacancies since last April and have not had anyone apply to the positions. He also writes with the time it takes to hire quality people, interviews, reference, and background checks, the school has simply run out of time.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“We should be doing what Canada and Australia are doing and cashing in on the fact that the world wants to come in. This is so obvious it's almost amazing we haven't done this. And that I think is the core of the issue.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
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.