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Midterms DA

1NC
1nc Midterms DA

Dems win the house in 18, it will cause a Russia investigation which is key to
democracy but a lack of legislative wins is keeping the GOP at bay now.
Daily Kos 4/29/17 (Daily Kos, Established News and Politics Publisher. Citing a CNN poll, 538, and Amy
Walter for the Cook Political Report. Democrats can take the House in 2018. April 29, 2017.
https://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/04/29/1657359/-Democrats-can-take-the-House-in-2018)
A new poll from CNN/ORC has results that should make Democrats optimistic about their chances of
taking over the House of Representatives in 2018. Congress has an approval rating of only 24%
compared to a 74% disapproval rating. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has an unfavorability rating of
48% compared to 38% favorability. 55% of voters are more willing to vote for a candidate that opposes
President Trump compared to 41% that prefer a President Trump supporter. 50% said they would vote
for a Democrat compared to 41% that would vote for a Republican. As a Democrat candidate running
against Mia Love (Utah CD4), this news excites me and should give every Democrat optimism moving
forward. This is a national poll and House seats are won on a district-by-district basis. Does this poll
even tell us anything about how likely Democrats are to take the House when it wasnt conducted on
a district-by-district basis? In fact, it does. From Five Thirty Eight (emphasis mine): So if Democrats win
the national House vote by a margin in the low- to mid-single digits, that may not be enough to take
back the House. The median congressional district was 5.5 percentage points more Republican-leaning
in the presidential race than the nation as a whole in 2016, meaning Democrats are essentially spotting
the GOP 5.5 points in the battle for control of the House. And even that may be underestimating
Republicans ability to win a majority of seats without a majority of the vote. Since 2012 (or when most
states instituted the current House district lines), Republicans have won, on average, 51 percent of the
two-party House vote and 55 percent of House seats. If that difference holds for 2018, Democrats would
need to win the House popular vote by about 8 percentage points to win half the House seats.
Temporarily try to ignore the disgusting fact that the district lines are drawn in such a way that
Republicans can win 51% of the popular vote and actually pick up 55% of the actual seats. Instead focus
on that last statement If Democrats can manage to get an 8-point advantage in the House popular
vote, they are likely to win a majority of seats. According to this latest poll, Democrats are sitting at a 9-
point advantage. Democrats need to take 24 seats to win the House in 2018. There are 23 districts with
a sitting Republican that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 (Utahs CD4 is not one of those). Amy Walter of
the Cook Political Report had this to say about 2018: In fact, if you look back at the last four midterm
elections where the party in the White House lost control of one or both houses of Congress, you see
that they share the following traits in common: the president has approval ratings among his own
partisans under 85 percent and approval ratings among independents in the 30s or low 40s. ... Among
independents, strong disapprovers outnumber strong approvers by more than 2-1 (45 percent to 18
percent). An angry voter is an active voter, which in a low-turnout election is bad news for the GOP.
...the current situation of Republican-infighting, a lack of legislative accomplishments and a
President determined to keep stoking political divisions is a very dangerous path
for the GOP. This can happen. Democrats can overcome the gerrymandered district lines and win
enough seats to gain control. There are serious questions over Trumps ties to Russia, the pillars of our
democracy are crumbling, and the ruling party in this country is looking the other way so that they can
focus on their agenda. If Democrats can take the House in 2018, real change can begin to happen.
Democrats could demand subpoenas to assist in the investigation over whether a presidential
candidate colluded with a foreign power in order to win an election. Democrats could introduce
legislation to fight gerrymandering and make our government more representative of its voters. If
necessary, Democrats could begin impeachment proceedings.

Boosting federal support for education is a top priority for a large percentage of voters
--- the plan would allow Trump to change the narrative
Garin and Molyneux 6/26 Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates and chief strategist
for Clintons 2008 campaign, and Guy Molyneux, partner with Hart Research Associates for more than
20 years, 2017 (National Poll Finds Strong Opposition to Trump Administrations Education Priorities
and Budget Cuts, Hart Research Associates, Available online at
https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/memo_poll_ed-budget_62617.pdf, Accessed 7/5/2017)
Overview
By a wide margin of 62% to 15%, voters across the country believe that the federal government today
spends too little rather than too much on public education. Public education is a priority for voters,
and fully half of all voters identify education as the part of the federal budget for which they would
most strongly oppose cuts.
Voters strongly reject the Trump administrations proposal to cut spending on education by 13.5% while
reducing taxes on large corporations and wealthy individuals. Fully 74% of voters oppose this policy,
including 54% who strongly oppose it. Half (48%) of Trumps own voters are in opposition.
Large majorities deem many specific elements of the Trump administrations education budget to be
unacceptable. Cuts to programs and services for students with disabilities, elimination of funding that
public schools use to reduce class sizes, and reduction of funding for career and technical education are
examples of cuts that evoke deep opposition from voters. This opposition is shared across diverse
communitieswith large majorities of urban, suburban, small town, and rural voters saying they are
unacceptable.
Voters also reject the Trump budgets education priorities, and believe that the emphasis by Donald
Trump and Betsy DeVos on vouchers and charter schools to promote school choice is misplaced and
misguided. For example, 76% of voters say it is unacceptable that the Trump-DeVos budget takes away
funding from public schools that serve poor children while increasing funding for private school
vouchers and the expansion of charter schools; 53% say this is totally unacceptable. By 67% to 14%,
voters prioritize funding for public schools to reduce class sizes, improve professional development of
teachers, ensure access to after-school programs, address the needs of students with disabilities, and
support students from disadvantaged backgrounds over funding for private school vouchers and the
expansion of charter schools to give parents more freedom to choose which schools their children will
attend. Only 23% of Trump voters believe that funding of school choice initiatives should be the
priority over investments in public schools.
There are important political implications to these attitudes, as 63% of voters say they would be less
likely to reelect their senator or congressperson if they supported the Trump-DeVos budget cuts
including 50% who are much less likely to vote for their reelection. Only 24% say they would be more
likely to reelect someone who backs Trump and DeVos on these cuts.

Democracy key to check conflict


Cortright 13, David Cortright is the director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies at
the University of Notre Dame, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fourth Freedom Forum, and author
of 17 books, Kristen Wall is a Researcher and Analyst at the Kroc Institute, Conor Seyle is Associate
Director of One Earth Future, Governance, Democracy, and Peace How State Capacity and Regime Type
Influence the Prospects of War and Peace,
http://oneearthfuture.org/sites/oneearthfuture.org/files//documents/publications/Cortright-Seyle-
Wall-Paper.pdf
Drawing from the empirical literature , this paper identifies two underlying pathways through which
state governance systems help to build peace. These are: State capacity. If states lack the ability to
execute their policy goals or to maintain security and public order in the face of potentially violent
groups, armed conflict is more likely . State capacity refers to two significant aspects: security
capacity and social capacity. Security capacity includes the ability to control territory and resist armed
incursion from other states and nonstate actors. Social capacity includes the ability to provide social
services and public goods. Institutional quality. Research suggests that not all governance systems are
equally effective or capable of supporting peace. Governance systems are seen as more credible and
legitimate , and are better at supporting peace , when they are characterized by inclusiveness,
representativeness, transparency, and accountability. In particular, systems allowing citizens to voice
concerns, participate politically, and hold elected leaders accountable are more stable and better able to
avoid armed conflict. Both dimensionsstate capacity and qualityare crucial to the prevention of
armed conflict and are the focus of part one of this paper. Part two of the paper focuses on democracy
as the most common way of structuring state government to allow for inclusive systems while
maintaining state capacity. The two parts summarize important research findings on the features of
governance that are most strongly associated with prospects for peace. Our analysis, based on an
extensive review of empirical literature , seeks to identify the specific dimensions of governance that
are most strongly associated with peace. We show evidence of a direct link between peace and a
states capacity to both exert control over its territory and provide a full range of social services
through effective governance institutions. We apply a governance framework to examine three major
factors associated with the outbreak of warborder disputes, ethnic conflict, and dependence on
commodity exportsand emphasize the importance of inclusive and representative governance
structures for the prevention of armed conflict.
Uniqueness
Uniqueness Dems Will Win

Democrats will take back congress now but its super close our model is predictive
and historically accurate
Enten 6/5 Harry, senior political writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight, 2017 ("Heres The Best Tool
We Have For Understanding How The Midterms Are Shaping Up," FiveThirtyEight, Available online at
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/heres-the-best-tool-we-have-for-understanding-how-the-
midterms-are-shaping-up/, MSCOTT)
So what does the generic ballot show right now? That Democrats are in a historically strong position,
with a 44 percent to 37 percent lead over Republicans. That is an incredible gain from the eve of the
2016 election, when our generic ballot estimate put Democrats up by only a single point, 45 percent to
44 percent.2 Indeed, at no point during the summer or fall leading up to the 2016 election did
Democrats have as large an advantage on the generic ballot as they do now, and the generic ballot was
essentially tied by November. In other words, the political environment seems to have become a lot
worse for Republicans since last years presidential election.
As Ive written previously, the generic ballot, even this early in a midterm cycle, can be quite predictive
of the outcome of the following years House elections. Once you control for which party is in the White
House, the generic ballot about 18 months before a midterm election is strongly correlated (+.78) with
the eventual House result i.e., the share of votes cast for the presidents party versus the share of
votes cast for the opposition party. Heres all the generic ballot polling we have going back to 1942:3
Generally, in the runup to the midterms, the party that doesnt control the White House (now, the
Democrats) generally sees its position on the generic ballot improve or remain stable. Given the
Democrats current 7-point advantage, theyd be expected to win the 2018 national House vote by
about 9 percentage points (assuming, of course, that past trends hold and the forecast is perfect, which
is very unlikely). But sometimes the political environment changes and the party in the White House
makes gains on the generic ballot. Ahead of the 2002 midterms, for example, when George W. Bush was
the president, the Democrats held a small lead at this point in the cycle, but Republicans took back the
advantage after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
As we approach the 2018 midterms, expect the generic ballot to become even more predictive. For the
18 midterm elections that have taken place since 1946, I compared the final generic-ballot polling of the
cycle by Gallup or the final polling average from RealClearPolitics4 with the results of the national House
vote and found that the final polling missed by an average of only 2 percentage points. Thats about as
accurate as the final national presidential polls before a presidential election.

Dems can get the midterms AHCA, low approval ratings special elections dont
matter
Paulson 6/27 Darryl Paulson, Emeritus Professor of Government at USFSP, specializing in political
parties and elections, Florida and Southern Politics, 2017 ("Darryl Paulson: Midterm elections boost
Democratic chances," Florida Politics, Available online at http://floridapolitics.com/archives/240692-
darryl-paulson-midterm-elections-boost-democratic-chances)
Democrats are looking forward to the 2018 midterm election with great hopes of regaining political
control of the House and Senate. Democrats would need to pick up 24 House seats and three Senate
seats to capture the majority.
Democrats hope to pick up anywhere between one and four seats in Florida with the seat of retiring
Republic Ileana Ros-Lehtinen their top priority. Other Republican targets include Carlos Curbelo, Mario
Diaz-Balart and Brian Mast. A three-seat switch would give Democrats majority control of the Florida
delegation.
A big plus for Democrats is that the party controlling the White House has lost an average of 30 House
seats and four Senate seats in the past 21 midterm elections. If the Democrats can achieve the average
midterm gains, they will take control of both houses.
President Barack Obama and the Democrats lost 63 House seats in 2010, with most of the losses
attributed to the passage of Obamacare. Obama and the Dems lost 13 more seats in the 2014 midterm.
The loss of 76 seats in the two Obama midterms gave Republicans their current 241 to 194 advantage.
President George W. Bush gained 8 seats in the 2002 midterm, becoming only the second president in
the past 21 midterms to gain seats. The gain was attributed to public support for the president in the
aftermath of 911. In the 2006 midterm, Bush and the Republicans lost 30 seats.
President Bill Clinton lost 54 seats in 1994 due to a reaction to his failed attempt to pass health care.
Four years later, Clinton became the only other president in the past 21 midterms to gain seats.
Democrats picked up five seats in 1998, a reaction to the Republican overreach in their attempt to
impeach the president.
The largest midterm loss in the past 21 midterms occurred in the 1922 midterm of President Warren
Harding. The Republicans lost 77 seats.
Midterms clearly are bad news for the party controlling the White House, which means Republicans
will confront a major obstacle in 2018. In addition, Trumps low approval rate, 34 percent, is
historically low for an incoming president.
Not only is President Donald Trump unpopular, but so is his major legislative priority, the American
Health Care Act. The public has strongly opposed the Republican plan with 55 percent strongly opposing
the plan in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
It is worth remembering that two of the largest midterm losses were related to health care. Clinton and
the Democrats lost 54 seats when his health care plan failed, and Obama and the Democrats lost 63
seats when health care was approved. Will a similar fate confront Trump and the Republicans in 2018?
Republicans point to the fact that they are five-for-five in winning special congressional elections since
Trump became president. But, special elections have been poor indicators of electoral success in
midterm elections.
Democrats should not be over-optimistic even though almost all political factors favor them. Likewise,
Republicans should not be optimistic because of their success in special elections.
If Democrats fail to win political control in the 2018 midterm elections, look for Democrats to thoroughly
out their leaders, especially in the House, and replace them with younger, more articulate leaders for
the party. The current House leaders have an average age in the mid-70s.
It is past time for new faces and new leadership.

Democrats can take Congress continued leverage over Trump is key


Prokop 17 Andrew Prokop, politics reporter at Vox, March 9th ("It's way too early to speculate about
the 2018 midterms so let's get started," Vox, Available online at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-
politics/2017/5/9/15550314/midterm-elections-2018-democrats-chances-house, Accessed 7/16/2017)
When it became clear that Republicans in the House of Representatives had enough votes to pass the
American Health Care Act last Thursday, their Democratic colleagues broke into a song that they hoped
would foreshadow the 2018 midterms.
Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goo-oodbye, Democrats sang.
Indeed, Democrats have lately felt optimistic that the Trump presidency provides a real opportunity
for something theyd long thought was all but impossible this decade recapturing the House.
Yes, the 2018 midterms are still a year and a half away, and a great deal can change for President Donald
Trump and the country as a whole before then.
But Democrats feel they have the wind at their backs for a few reasons.
The historical pattern strongly suggests that the presidents party is predisposed to face midterm
difficulties.
Trumps approval is remarkably low for a new president, and low approval is associated with poor
midterm performance.
Democrats think their base is energized, which can contribute to recruitment of strong candidates,
fundraising, and turnout.
Yet Democrats also face some very serious challenges in their effort to retake Congress.
The Senate map is so mind-bogglingly awful for them that retaking the chamber in 2018 seems out of
reach. The House map is also slanted in Republicans favor, due in part to gerrymandering and in part to
geography. Finally, the Democratic coalition is composed heavily of younger and nonwhite voters, who
in the past have been less likely to turn out in midterms than the older white voters who vote heavily
Republican.
Are Democrats dreaming too big? Heres how to think about the partys challenges and opportunities for
2018 midterms at this point.
The incumbent presidents party has historically been disadvantaged in the midterms
One starting point for understanding how midterms usually work and why we should expect Trump to
have a hard time is that its been tough for the presidents party to do well.
Historically, this is how the House midterms have gone for presidents:
The mean result for a presidents party in postwar midterms is a loss of 25 House seats. The median
result is a loss of 22 seats. (Next year, Republicans need to lose at least 24 seats to lose the House.)
In 16 out of those 18 midterms, the presidents party has lost House seats.
In those two midterms where the presidents party actually gained seats in the House 1998 and 2002
they gained a relatively small number: five and seven seats, respectively.
Meanwhile, the upper bound for midterm losses for the presidents party in the House has been massive
Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010 and 54 in 1994, while Republicans lost 49 seats in 1974. There are far
more examples of double-digit House losses than there are of single-digit ones.
The most recent three midterm elections 2006, 2010, and 2014 have all been wave elections in
which there was a backlash against the presidents party.
Due to partisanship and the prevalence of straight-ticket voting, Senate and governor results tend to go
in the same direction as House races. Theres more variation there, though, because not all of those
seats are up in every midterm.
Yet while the overall trend is unmistakable, the exact reasons for it arent entirely clear.
Its not as simple as people becoming disillusioned with the new president once hes in office, since
most presidents do go on to get reelected. Perhaps a presidents supporters naturally become more
complacent about the state of things when hes not on the ballot and certain to spend another two
years in office, while his critics naturally become energized and eager to express their displeasure with
the administration in whatever way they can.
In any case, the history suggests an uphill battle for Trump and Republicans in 2018. There are some
years in which the presidents party has effectively managed to fight to a draw or close to it in House
races, but those years have tended to be rare.
Presidents with bad approval ratings usually do badly in the midterms. Trumps approval rating is not
great.
Now, in looking for what separates mediocre midterm years for a president from disastrous ones, one
big factor jumps out: presidential approval.
The historical trend is for presidents with high approval around midterm time to either keep their
partys House losses relatively small or (in two cases) even gain a few seats, per Gallups historical data.
Those two lonely postwar occasions in which the presidents party gained midterm seats were 1998,
when Bill Clinton had 66 percent approval, and 2002, when George W. Bush had 63 percent approval.
The three occasions when the presidents party only lost a single-digit number of House seats John F.
Kennedy in 1962, Ronald Reagan in 1986, and George H.W. Bush in 1990 also involved presidents
with high approval ratings (58 percent or above for each).
One exception here is Dwight Eisenhower in 1954, who had remarkably high approval (75 percent) but
lost 19 seats in the House anyway.
Meanwhile, every postwar president with a sub-50 percent approval rating around midterm time has
lost a double-digit number of House seats, with truly massive landslides being common.
Some presidents approval ratings werent even all that low when they lost so big. In 1974, the newly
sworn-in President Gerald Ford was at 47 percent approval in the post-Watergate midterms, and his
party lost 49 seats.
In 1994, Bill Clinton was at 46 percent approval and his party lost 54 seats.
In 2010, Obama was at 45 percent approval and his party lost 63 seats.
Trumps approval currently about 43 percent on average is well within the range of presidents who
have lost 20 to 50 House seats. So if it stays around there, we should expect a rough result for him in the
midterms.
Importantly, though, these comparisons are to presidential approval ratings at midterm times, while we
obviously only currently know Trumps approval rating 18 months before the midterm. So theres still
ample time for things to change either for the better or for the worse.
For instance, George W. Bushs early 2001 approval ratings turned out to mean little the 9/11 attacks
sent his approval skyrocketing, and it was still strong by the 2002 elections. Meanwhile, Barack Obama
was still quite popular in early May 2009 with a strong 66 percent approval rating, but by the time the
2010 midterms rolled around, it had deteriorated to a weak 45 percent.
Much could hinge, then, on the question of whether Trumps approval is already close to its floor, or
whether even more of his supporters start turning against him in the next year and a half.
Democrats think their base is energized
Third, the Democratic base appears to be energized and enthusiastic, with strong or potentially strong
candidates being moved to run for office in many races the party has barely contested of late.
Democrats and liberals have been able to raise gobs of cash already, and there have been many large-
scale protests against the Trump administration so far too, all of which points toward serious
Democratic enthusiasm.
Perhaps more consequentially for House races, many ambitious Democrats both experienced local
officeholders and fresh faces with attractive bios have calculated that 2018 is likely to be a favorable
year for them to run for office. Strong recruitment matters in House races. Though this is mainly an
anecdotal story for now, the anecdotes are piling up. As Politicos Alex Isenstadt and Gabriel
Debenedetti report:
Republicans are most concerned about growing signs of Democratic intensity. Over the past few weeks,
a series of formidable Democratic candidates have announced bids against Republican incumbents. The
group includes Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, Jason Crow of Colorado, and Chrissy Houlahan of
Pennsylvania. All are running in suburban districts, the kind of areas where Trumps falling political
fortunes could be a weight on GOP incumbents.
Yet Democrats are also fielding serious candidates against Republicans considered to be in safer political
territory. They include Josh Butner, a retired Navy Seal seeking a Southern California seat. Paul Davis, a
former minority leader in the Kansas state House, has launched an exploratory committee for a
conservative Topeka-based seat.
Many of the newly enthusiastic candidates will likely lose. But the sheer number who are already
running or who are seriously considering running make a stark contrast to 2016, when Democratic
House recruiting was strikingly weak. (Democrats have a lot of inexperienced candidates in some pretty
crucial seats, particularly some utter nobodies in seats that might otherwise be key to a majority," Daily
Koss Stephen Wolf told my colleague Jeff Stein before the 2016 election.)
Yet there are some serious challenges for Democrats
But all is not roses for the Democratic Party. They face three very real challenges in their effort to retake
Congress next year, and its unclear whether anti-Trump energy will be sufficient to overcome them.
1) The Senate looks out of reach: Theres an obvious reason Democrats are focusing so much on the
House of Representatives this year the Senate map is horrifically bad for the party.
Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate, and in theory, Democrats only need a net gain of three seats to
take back the chamber. Their problem, though, is that the group of Senate seats up in 2018 is
overwhelmingly their own members. The party will be defending a massive 25 seats, compared with just
eight for Republicans.
Even more frighteningly for Democrats, 10 of their seats at risk are in states Trump won, and five of
those are in states Trump won by 18 points or more. In comparison, only one Republican senator in a
state Clinton won (Dean Heller in Nevada) is on the ballot.
Overall, Democrats would need an extraordinary amount of good political fortune to retake the Senate.
If they manage to hold all their seats, including all those in those very Trump states, and pick off Heller,
Jeff Flake in Arizona, and Ted Cruz in Texas, they can retake the Senate but thats a big if. Considering
how dismal the map is, the party would likely be thrilled to even maintain their current number of 48
seats. (Democrats will have a better shot at the Senate in 2020, when mostly Republican seats will be on
the ballot.)
2) The House map is also tough for Democrats: In the House, all 435 seats will be up, as they are every
two years. If there are no changes of party control in the special elections that have yet to be decided,
Democrats magic number is 24 seats thats the net gain they need to retake control of the House.
Still, Democrats have a pretty big problem here with the map as well. Partly due to gerrymandering
the GOPs 2010 midterm landslide let the party draw the lines for House districts in many states and
partly just due to where voters of different demographics have chosen to live, the House map is overall
tilted in favor of Republicans.
Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by 2.1 percentage points. However, she lost the median
House district by 3.4 percentage points.
Overall, 230 House districts voted for Trump, and just 205 for Clinton.
There are 23 House Republicans representing districts Clinton won, which provide solid pickup
opportunities. However, there are also 12 Democrats representing districts Trump won who would have
to play defense.
So yes to retake the House, Democrats wouldnt have to just slightly improve on Hillary Clintons
performance. Theyd likely have to have their own supporters come out in force, Republican turnout be
depressed, and a significant number of voters newly converted to the Democratic cause.
3) Republican-leaning demographic groups have been more likely to turn out in midterms: Finally, a key
challenge for Democrats in the midterms could be demographics.
The Democratic coalition has been increasingly reliant on younger and nonwhite voters, and historically,
those groups have been less likely to turn out in the midterms than the older and white voters who
make up the core of the Republican coalition.
This is particularly stark when it comes to age. Voters under the age of 30 were 19 percent of all voters
in 2012, but just 12 percent of all voters in 2010, David Wasserman wrote in 2013. Likewise, voters 65
and up were 17 percent of all voters in 2012, but 21 percent of all voters in 2012.
An analysis by the Upshots Nate Cohn prior to the 2014 midterms calculated that the age and racial
differential turnout could cost Democrats a net 3 point worth of support compared with a presidential
race.
Perhaps the vulnerability of an incumbent presidents party, Trumps low approval ratings, and the
energy of the opposition will be enough to overcome all this and indeed, Cohn sees some signs that
Democrats turnout chances could be improving. But we dont yet know for sure whether thats the
case, and we wont know for many more months.

Voters are showing signs of voting for Democrats again --- unpopular education
policies are factoring into their evaluations
Moffitt 6/20 Susan Moffitt, Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for American Politics and
Policy and Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, 2017 ("Poll:
Trumps support declining in swing districts, gaining in Republican strongholds," Brown University News,
Available online at https://news.brown.edu/articles/2017/06/taubmanjune, Accessed 7/17/2017)
A new survey by Browns Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy also finds low confidence in
Congress, widespread support for healthcare for all.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] A new poll conducted by the Taubman Center for American
Politics and Policy at Brown Universitys Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs reveals
evidence of voters in swing districts moving away from President Donald Trump and Congressional
Republicans, while support for the president and GOP in Republican strongholds remains steady.
A deeper analysis into five distinct locales across the country suggests areas that swung from Obama to
Trump appear to be moving back into the blue column, while traditionally Republican strongholds are
solidifying behind the President, said Susan Moffitt, incoming director of the Taubman Center.
The poll, conducted June 10-15, was fielded by RABA Research, a bipartisan polling firm, in collaboration
with Brown University, and is a follow-up to an April survey.
Like the spring poll, the new survey focused on five distinct geographies with different recent voting
patterns including two areas that voted for Obama in 2012 but for Trump in 2016. The five areas
include working class suburbs in Rhode Island, wealthy suburbs in Colorado, rural areas in Iowa, diverse
rural areas in North and South Carolina and upper middle class exurbs in Pennsylvania.
Results underscore that President Trump is losing support in locales like the working-class suburb of
Kent County, Rhode Island, that switched from the Democratic to the Republican column in the
November 2016 election. In Kent County, those responding that President Trump is doing an excellent
job fell from 30 percent to 23 percent.
But the president is gaining support in places that traditionally vote Republican, like rural Midwestern
Iowa, where those responding that President Trump is doing an excellent job rose from 25 percent to
29 percent.
Even more striking are the numbers showing dissatisfaction with Congress, Moffitt said.
Fewer than one in five respondents across all five locales polled said they have confidence in Congress
to act in the best interest of the country. Everywhere but in the rural Midwestern sample in Iowa,
support for a GOP Congressional candidate on a generic ballot has fallen.
In the places that switched from Obama to Trump, net support for a generic Republican relative to a
Democrat slipped six percentage points in Kent County, Rhode Island, and 11 percentage points in the
North Carolina and South Carolina sample. The generic Democrat relative to the generic Republican also
gained five percentage points in the middle-class exurb outside Philadelphia which polled for Romney
and then 2016 Democratic president candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The June poll also questioned voters on healthcare, climate change, education funding, Trumps
immigration executive order, or travel ban, and attitudes about alleged Trump ties to Russia.
Among these, one area of broad agreement is healthcare.
The poll shows a strong majority of Americans everywhere believe that the nation has a moral
responsibility to provide healthcare to all Americans. But there is less consensus about how that health
care should be provided.
Americans seem to share the view that the nation has a responsibility to provide healthcare, a striking
change when you consider the heated debates around healthcare during Obamas first term. But
partisan divides continue to play a strong role in influencing voter opinion, Moffitt added.
Voters are increasingly opposed to proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but they are
powerfully influenced by whether the existing health care law is referred to as the ACA or by its
nickname, Obamacare.
While a plurality of Iowan voters responding to the Taubman Centers April poll supported getting rid of
the ACA, a plurality in June now opposes the same proposal.
But when the phrase Affordable Care Act is switched out for Obamacare, support for repeal grows
often dramatically. While only 36 percent of these Iowa voters support getting rid of the Affordable
Care Act, 54 percent support getting rid of Obamacare.
On the question of whether the president has ties to Russia that threaten Americas interests,
respondents from areas that switched from red to blue, like Chester County, Pennsylvania or blue to
red, like diverse rural areas in North and South Carolina, between 2012 and 2016 answered that the
narrative had gained credibility in the last two months, while respondents in reliably Democratic or
reliably Republican areas were either convinced or unconvinced, respectively.
The poll also found broad consensus on questions relevant to education and climate change.
School voucherswhich the survey described as proposals to give parents taxpayer money to help pay
for their childrens private and perhaps religious school are unpopular everywhereeven places that
voted for President Trump.
And a plurality of voters in every type of community responded that they believe that humans are
causing climate change.
Despite the partisan divides that shape political discourse, certain issues pierce red and blue bubbles
and reveal common ground among Americans, Moffitt said.
Uniqueness Dems Momentum

Dems are positioned to take midterms donations and momentum


Kim and Robillard 17 Seung Min Kim, assistant editor who covers Congress for POLITICO, and
Kevin Robillard, Campaigns reporter for POLITICO Pro, April 18th ("Dems show surprising strength at
start of brutal 2018 midterm," POLITICO, Available online at
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/senate-democrats-fundraising-2018-237300, Accessed
7/21/2017)
Though no one denies Senate Democrats are in for a rough 2018 midterm election, a host of their
vulnerable incumbents just posted some eye-popping fundraising numbers a sign the party wont
easily cede more ground to Republicans next year.
Of the 10 Senate Democrats up for reelection in states Donald Trump won last fall, six brought in at least
$2 million in the first quarter of 2017. Most Democrats far outpaced fundraising compared with the two
Senate Republicans being targeted by Democrats next year: Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake of
Arizona, both of whom raised $1.4 million during the first three months of the year.
And on average, Senate Democrats in competitive races outraised GOP incumbents at the same point in
the 2016 election cycle.
Democrats are heavy underdogs to win back the Senate because they have to defend 25 seats versus
just nine that Republicans are trying to keep in their column. But the Democratic senators blockbuster
first-quarter numbers buoyed by liberal grass-roots opposition to Trump are giving them an early
shot of momentum heading into the midterms. Strategists also hope the numbers will scare off
potential GOP challengers at a time when Republicans are struggling to recruit candidates.
Republicans say its too soon to sweat the Democratic incumbents fundraising. Though the first
midterm election of a new presidency is typically a referendum on the commander in chief and favors
the party out of power in the White House, no one knows how Trump will be perceived 18 months from
now. Its also noteworthy that the Republican Senate campaign arm outraised its Democratic
counterpart.
Still, Democrats are cautiously optimistic that they can, at least, stanch additional hemorrhaging in the
Senate after a 2016 election in which the party was widely expected to win control of the chamber.
I think were seeing a lot of evidence for a check-and-balance electorate, said J.B. Poersch of Senate
Majority PAC, the main super PAC for Senate Democrats. These senators have worked hard to be well-
defined and well-liked in their states. Despite a challenging map, these incumbents have a strong chance
at reelection in 2018.
With a $2.8 million haul, Sen. Claire McCaskill shattered fundraising records in Missouri, raising more
than any other senator or Senate hopeful in her state during the first quarter of an off year. So did Sen.
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, whose $1.6 million sum was the best first-quarter figure for a Senate
candidate in that state in a nonelection year.
Two other Senate Democrats in ruby-red states also had strong quarters: Jon Tester in Montana raised
more than $2 million and Joe Donnelly brought in $1.3 million in Indiana.
Some Democratic strategists credit a revved-up liberal base motivated to fight Trump at every turn
and pressuring senators to do the same for the spike, though others downplayed Trumps influence
on fundraising.
I dont think it has a whole lot to do with Trump, said Justin Barasky, campaign manager for Ohio Sen.
Sherrod Browns reelection bid. I think it has to do with the depth of support that Sherrod has
throughout the state. People in Ohio and elsewhere know what Sherrod is up against.
In other states where Democrats are defending Senate seats, Brown raised $2.4 million; Bill Nelson of
Florida $2.2 million; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin $2.2 million; Bob Casey of Pennsylvania $2.7 million;
and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan nearly $1.3 million.
The one exception to the Democrats massive fundraising haul this quarter was Sen. Joe Manchin (D-
W.Va.), who raised just under $553,000. Still, Manchin, whose state Trump won by more than 40 points,
has nearly $2.2 million in the bank.
GOP challengers? Not so much
Potential Republican challengers collected middling amounts by comparison. Indiana Rep. Luke Messer,
who is considering a challenge to Donnelly, raised just over $700,000. Rep. Todd Rokita, another
potential Donnelly opponent, raised a mere $320,000. By comparison, Sen. Todd Young raised $1 million
in the quarter following GOP Sen. Dan Coats retirement announcement in March 2015.
Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, who has a reputation as a prolific fundraiser dating back to her days as a
Republican National Committee co-chair and state party chair, raised $800,000 for a potential bid
against McCaskill. (Wagner was also working in a finance position for the National Republican
Congressional Committee, which set fundraising records with a $36 million haul over the first three
months of the year.) North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, talked about as a potential Heitkamp challenger,
raised $322,000.
Still, the National Republican Senatorial Committees $16 million first-quarter haul should relieve
worried Republicans. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which consistently outraised the
NRSC last cycle, raised just under $14 million.
And in Ohio, two Republicans posted impressive totals. State treasurer and 2012 candidate Josh Mandel
raised $1.2 million, while Rep. Pat Tiberi, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, banked
almost $1.4 million. But some of that cash is almost certainly destined for a contested primary.
Senate Republicans at this point in 2015
Two years ago, the Senate map was essentially a mirror image of the 2018 cycle: A host of GOP senators
were up in blue and purple states, while Democrats had few seats to defend.
While six Democratic senators raised more than $2 million in the first quarter of 2017, just three GOP
senators had banked at least that amount at this point two years ago: Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey
of Pennsylvania and John McCain of Arizona, all prolific fundraisers. No other Republican incumbents in
key 2016 races had raised more than $1.4 million during the first quarter of 2015.
But two years ago, a handful of Republicans had war chests that far outpaced the cash-on-hand totals of
Democrats this year. For instance, Portman already had $8 million at this point in 2015, while Toomey
had reported nearly $7.3 million cash on hand. This year, in those two states, Brown has a $5 million war
chest, while Casey is reporting $3.8 million cash on hand.
McCaskills $2.8 million haul is nearly triple that of Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who raised just under $1.1
million during the first quarter of 2015. But both reported similar cash on hand totals after the first
three months of the cycle: $3 million.
Boost in small-dollar donations
In Ohio, Browns average contribution was $38. About 85 percent of Testers donations were $100 or
less. And McCaskills campaign boasted that it had more than 5,500 new Missouri donors, while the
average donation was $59.
Democrats are particularly ebullient about the smaller contributions, since that means donors are far
from being maxed out and can keep donating as the midterms get closer. And they believe the
controversies coming out of the Trump White House will give them no shortage of fundraising
opportunities.
Our base is motivated and the small-dollar donations are the latest sign that they are engaged early
headed into 2018, DSCC communications director Lauren Passalacqua said.
The uptick in online donations isnt unique to Democrats; the NRSC has also gotten a boost in online
fundraising. But Democrats have a built-in advantage with ActBlue, the online fundraising portal for
Democratic candidates, that gives donors one clearinghouse for online contributions. Theres no ActBlue
equivalent for Republicans.
They know how to fund us, but we dont have the same system where theres just one website, one
GOP official said. We just dont have it.
Big 2018 numbers for potential 2020-ers
Two Democratic senators in seemingly safe blue seats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Chris
Murphy of Connecticut posted massive numbers in the first quarter, with Warren pulling in $5.2
million and Murphy banking $3 million. Warren and Murphy are considered potential 2020 presidential
contenders but first need to win reelection.
Warren and Murphy may not need their cash to keep their seats, but both could build chits by spreading
the wealth. Senators can give an unlimited amount to the DSCC, and Murphy has already said he will use
some campaign funds to build up anti-Trump groups in his home state.
Former Democratic vice presidential nominee and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine raised $2.9 million. Kaine
represents a blue-trending swing state thats further down the NRSCs target list.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is occasionally mentioned as a presidential nominee, raised $1.5
million. Another potential 2020 candidate up for reelection in 2018, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand,
raised $4.4 million in the first three months of 2017.

Dems have momentum now theyre peeling off GOP voters, but only if
their message is clear
Yglesias 6/21 Matthew Yglesias, Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, 2017 ("The
overall message of 2017 special elections is that Republicans are in trouble," Vox, Available online at
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/21/15846464/republicans-are-in-trouble)
Rank-and-file Democrats are, reasonably, disappointed with a loss in what seemed to be a winnable
special election in Georgia. Even my colleague Andrew Prokop warns that Democrats shouldnt
sugarcoat the result, which is bad news for the party.
But step back from the specifics of the race and look at all four special elections in red districts held
since Donald Trumps election, and a more optimistic story emerges. Democrats have successfully
transferred Hillary Clintons gains in well-educated districts to their down-ballot candidates, even while
succeeding in making up some of the ground she lost in white working-class ones.
The Democratic Partys leaders seem to have believed they could improve on her margins in a place like
the Georgia Sixth District while being unreasonably pessimistic about the partys chances in situations
like the South Carolina and Kansas races. That speaks somewhat poorly of their judgment and strategic
acumen, but the underlying reality revealed by the four elections taken as a whole is actually more
bullish for Democrats than the one the partys leaders thought they were in. If the basic pattern holds
up with Democrats pocketing Clintons gains and the GOP not consolidating Trumps they are
well positioned for the future.
The switcheroo
The 2016 presidential election featured a substantial reworking of the underlying demographic map of
American politics. Clinton did about 10 percentage points better with white college graduates than
Barack Obama had done four years before, offset by doing about 14 percentage points worse among
whites without college degrees. Since college graduates vote at a higher rate than non-graduates, this is
a decent swap in popular vote terms but was deadly to Democratic fortunes in the Electoral College.
An important question going forward was how much that vote swapping would stick. And the answer of
the special elections thus far seems to be fairly optimistic for Democrats. We see in the Georgia race
that Democrats have successfully transferred Clintons gains with white college graduates into down-
ballot races. But we see in the other three races that Democrats have partially made up ground in white
working-class areas where Clinton underperformed. That wasnt good enough to win any of the four
seats that have been on the ballot, but those were all seats the GOP won comfortably in 2016.
Democrats are overperforming everywhere
David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has a table comparing the results of each election to the
districts Partisan Voting Index, essentially a synthetic measure of where each district would be expected
to land in the case of a national 50-50 race.
As you can see, Democrats are doing better than expected across the board. Thats what you would
expect with Donald Trump being unpopular, and Democrats did especially well in Kansas, where the
Republican governor is also unpopular.
Cook Political Report
In the wake of the Georgia outcome, there is a lot of grousing about moral victories and Democrats
have to win somewhere, but this is fundamentally misguided.
These are all races for open seats that Trump deliberately created by appointing incumbent House
Republicans to his Cabinet. He didnt create any vacancies in swing states. Its true, obviously, that to
win a House majority, Democrats need to win somewhere. And the way to do it would be to generate a
national swing of 4 or 5 points that nets them lots of seats that have a 2- or 3- or 4-point pro-GOP lean
(due to gerrymandering, Democrats need to win Republican-leaning states) rather than an 8- or 15-point
one.
How Democrats misread the trends
What is true is that these results show the partys leadership having misread the larger electoral trends
somewhat. The Georgia race was for a seat that Republicans have traditionally won overwhelmingly but
that Trump only carried narrowly. The Montana race was in a district where down-ballot Democrats
have often succeeded but Trump was dominant. The South Carolina race was for a seat that Democrats
actually held until the 2010 midterms but where Trump did very well.
The calculation behind the all in on Ossoff theory was that these trends would continue and Atlantas
northern suburbs would go from R-leaning to D-leaning, while Montana and the South Carolina seat
would continue to slip out of grasp.
The results show that neither of these things seems to be true. Ossoff did about as well as Hillary
Clinton, which means he did better than any House Democrat in forever, but he didnt improve on her
performance. But Democrats in places where Trump was very strong have managed to improve on her
results. This actually paints a fairly positive portrait of Democrats overall fortunes. The party seems to
be consolidating Clintons gains with white college graduates to a much greater extent than the GOP is
consolidating Trumps gains with non-college whites.
Mentally setting the baseline as the results of the Trump-Clinton election seems to have led Democrats
to overrate their odds in Georgia and underrate their odds everywhere else. Based on the Cook PVI,
which takes a longer view of the situation, their odds were really no better in Georgia than in South
Carolina but their overall performance is very strong.
The Panera Democrats plan had fatal flaws anyway
Democrats would feel better today if their baselining theory had been correct. Winning Georgia
narrowly even while losing South Carolina in a landslide would have been perceived as a huge blow
to the GOP and a rebuke of the Trump agenda.
But an electoral strategy based on accentuating the demographic trends unleashed by the 2016 election
former Hillary Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallons Panera Democrats was fatally flawed in a
number of ways.
For starters, these demographic trends are exactly how Clinton wound up losing the Electoral College
despite a healthy popular vote lead in the first place. And the state-based math is even more punitive in
the Senate. California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois all have below-average white populations,
which means that the vast majority of states have above-average ones. Even in the best-educated
states, most white voters dont have college degrees.
Simply put, there is no possible route toward a Democratic Senate majority that doesnt involve a
stronger-than-Clinton performance with white voters who dont have college degrees. Democrats dont
need a majority of those voters, but they do need to do better than Clinton did, because no number of
Latinos in San Antonio or college graduates in the Dallas suburbs can make up for the Senate seats in the
Midwest and the Plains.
Consequently, the actual outcome of these special elections showing that Democrats are not doomed
to Clinton-level performances in white working-class areas is good news for the party. And while
Republicans are rightly happy to have held on in Georgia, they should consider it sobering that they
didnt manage to win back the white college graduates that Trump lost there.
Republicans are on thin ice but have fundamental strengths
All of which is to say that the fundamental political conditions in the United States continue to be
unfavorable for Republicans. Donald Trumps approval rating is bad, and the generic congressional ballot
favors Democrats. Incumbent parties almost always lose seats in midterm elections, and there is
absolutely nothing about the current state of public opinion to in any way suggest that 2018 will be an
exception.
But Republicans also have considerable strengths. The shape of House Districts means that even if a few
more people vote for Democratic House candidates, the GOP can easily maintain its majority. To win,
the Democrats need a lot more votes than the Republicans. To do that, Democrats need to appeal to
some right-of-center voters without watering down their message so much that they annoy and
demobilize their base. Its objectively difficult to pull off, especially in the face of whats likely to be an
entrenched Republican advantage in outside spending and a more ideologically coherent message.
All that said, the basic message of these special elections is entirely consistent with a polling outlook
that looks bad for the GOP. Trump pulled many new voters into the GOP coalition, but many of them
are willing to drift back to the Democrats at least with Trump not on the ballot. But he also repulsed
many traditional Republican voters, and they dont seem to be coming back home.
Uniqueness GOP Agenda Unpopular Now

Democrats have leverage now current GOP agenda items are hugely unpopular
Kane 7/8 Paul Kane, The Washington Post's senior congressional correspondent and columnist, July
8th ("Republicans thought they could force 2018 Democrats to cut deals, but Trump keeps sliding in
polls," The Washington Post, Available online at
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/republicans-thought-they-could-force-2018-democrats-
to-cut-deals-but-trump-keeps-sliding-in-polls/2017/07/08/283ea444-6350-11e7-a4f7-
af34fc1d9d39_story.html?utm_term=.bfc2e930b09a, Accessed 7/10/2017)
Senate Republicans began this year thinking that they had leverage over some Democrats, particularly
the 10 up for reelection next year in states that President Trump won in the fall.
Those Democrats, some GOP strategists believed, would want to work with the president to appeal to
enough Trump voters to win their states in November 2018.
That didnt happen. Instead, Trumps standing has slipped in many of these states. The president has
faced legislative gridlock and a deepening investigation of his campaigns connections to Russia. His
focus, in public appearances and on social media, has regularly drifted away from the policy agenda on
Capitol Hill.
Thats left Senate Democrats feeling stronger than they expected to be eight months after their highly
disappointing showing in 2016, which left them in the minority and heading into 2018 defending 25
seats compared with Republicans eight.
If Trump had spent his first six months increasing or even maintaining his popularity in these states, he
might have struck enough political fear in these 2018 Democrats to compel them to support some of his
initiatives.
During a luncheon in his home state of Kentucky on July 6, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-
Ky.) said the private health insurance market is imploding and that delaying the health care
replacement doesn't work. (Reuters)
Thats looking more and more like the sort of negotiation that will happen only if Democrats can
command a good deal in return.
McConnell says GOP must shore up ACA insurance markets if Senate bill dies
The dynamic is sure to test Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the months ahead,
particularly if Republicans fail to muster the votes solely from their side of the aisle to repeal chunks of
the Affordable Care Act. McConnell has warned that such an outcome will force him to work with
Democrats to shore up imploding insurance markets.
No action is not an alternative, McConnell said Thursday while in Kentucky.
Beyond the health-care fight, McConnell has also made clear that there are many other agenda items
that will require the traditional 60-vote threshold to choke off filibusters, meaning he needs at least
eight Democrats to move legislation such as annual government funding bills and an increase in the
governments borrowing authority.
But the bargaining table is different now.
Take Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), whose state delivered a critical victory for Trump, the first by a GOP
presidential nominee since 1984.
A staunch liberal, Baldwin began the year expecting her 2018 reelection bid to be a 50-50 prospect. Her
state had voted Republican three straight times for governor and in two of the past three Senate races.
Trump has used the presidential bully pulpit to focus on the Badger State, making three trips there since
November. But his visits have done little to boost his standing.
Just 41 percent of Wisconsin voters approved of Trumps job performance in late June, while 51 percent
disapproved, according to a poll by Marquette Law School.
On basic popularity, Trump is easily the most disliked politician among Wisconsin voters, with 54
percent holding an unfavorable view of him and 40 percent a favorable one.
Baldwins image is not great, but it is far better in Wisconsins eyes than Trump: 38 percent have a
favorable view and 38 percent unfavorable.
Its the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania, both states Trump narrowly won. In Michigan, just 35
percent of voters approved of his job performance in a late May poll conducted by EPIC-MRA, with 61
percent disapproving. In Pennsylvania, 37 percent supported his job performance while 49 percent did
not, according to a May poll by Franklin & Marshall College.
The good news for Trump is that his image in Pennsylvania improved a little from earlier in the year. The
bad news is that his image in Michigan got a bit worse. The really bad news is that Trumps image is
battered enough that neither Sens. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) nor Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are
feeling much pressure to work with Trump in the run-up to their 2018 reelection bids, unless its on their
terms on a critical issue for their state.
For senators who hail from states where he is completely underwater, there is no political reason to
work with him unless its on an issue where they have something to gain, said Matthew Miller, a
former aide to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Infrastructure was Trumps shot at a bipartisan deal, but he left Democrats waiting by the phone
Its not just Trump who is unpopular; so is his partys health-care proposal.
Late last month, two liberal super PACs, Priorities USA Action and Senate Majority PAC, released a poll
of the 10 states Trump won where Democrats face reelection next year. It showed that 60 percent of
voters in those key battlegrounds want the Senate to start over on a health-care plan, while only 25
percent support its passage.
The super PACs did not release Trump-specific data, but several sources familiar with the poll said that
the Democratic groups also privately tested the presidents standing with voters in those 10 states. Only
in the most conservative of those states, such as West Virginia and North Dakota, did Trump have a net
positive approval rating, but even there his approval was only a handful of points higher than his
disapproval.
Trump won West Virginia and North Dakota by 42 and 36 points, respectively. Under normal political
circumstances, Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) should be trying at every
turn to work with Trump much as Southern Democrats supported Ronald Reagans early agenda
when the Republican icon swept that region in 1980.
After initial meetings with Trump during the transition, during which their names were floated as
potential Cabinet members, Manchin and Heitkamp have kept a respectful distance from the president
on most issues. Unless Trump can regain his strong popularity in these conservative states, the two are
unlikely to feel the pressure to support the president, particularly when hes pushing very
conservative agenda items.
You have to demonstrate that you respect the office and are willing to work with him, but hold firm to
your principles on core issues, Miller said, describing Manchin and Heitkamps approach.
During the spring negotiations over 2017 government funding, Democrats held firm against most of
Trumps priorities, including money for a Mexican border wall. Republicans got very few conservative
wins.
If Trump isnt careful, this dynamic might start repeating itself for the foreseeable future.

Democrats have leverage over GOP policy now lack of public credibility
Harwood 17 John Harwood, American journalist who is the chief Washington Correspondent for
CNBC, May 25th ("Democrats feel their influence rising as Trump and GOP-led Congress struggle," CNBC,
Available online at http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/democrats-feel-their-influence-rising-as-trump-
and-gop-led-congress-struggle.html, Accessed 7/10/2017)
Beyond the blur of daily events, an unexpected shift is slowly coming into focus: the struggles of all-
Republican governance have handed Democrats growing leverage over how policy gets shaped.
Eroding Republican strength has long since dashed initial hopes for enacting a new health-care plan to
replace Obamacare by Easter and a new tax system by August. But four months into Donald Trump's
presidency, his party faces growing skepticism that it can resolve major issues, which in turn would force
concessions to Democrats in return for votes.
Consider the breadth of GOP problems:
President Trump and his associates face FBI and congressional investigations into their interactions with
Russia. Trump is hiring outside counsel, and aides are preparing a White House "war room" to cope with
the storm. Major Republican reforms on issues such as taxes or health care require strong, focused
leadership from a Republican president.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the House-passed health bill would leave 23 million
fewer people with coverage, and destabilize insurance markets in areas serving 1 in 6 Americans. Just 20
percent of the public supports it, a new Quinnipiac University national poll shows. Senate Republicans
are meeting privately to craft a more politically viable approach, but haven't produced one yet.
The White House has opposed a critical piece of the House GOP tax plan, but neither the White House
nor the Senate has produced a plan of its own yet. On Thursday, Trump Cabinet officials Steve Mnuchin
and Mick Mulvaney gave contradictory accounts of the administration's intentions. Moreover,
congressional rules prohibit Republican majorities from enacting tax reform under the expedited
procedures until they complete action on health reform using those same procedures and pass a new
budget.
Trump's budget proposal, which contains priority shifts that would require Democratic backing in any
event, has been declared dead on arrival by fellow Republicans. Internal splits over the extent and
targeting of spending cuts threaten their ability to reach consensus not only on the budget, but also on
an increase in the federal debt ceiling that the Treasury says it needs within a few months in order to
avoid default. The House Freedom Caucus announced Wednesday it will not support an increase until its
austerity demands are met, bolstering the likelihood that the White House and GOP leaders will be
forced to obtain Democratic support.
These and other setbacks have diminished Trump's already-low political standing and rattled Republican
confidence about holding their House majority in 2018 midterm elections. His approval rating in the
Quinnipiac poll was 37 percent; only 28 percent strongly approve of the president, while 49 percent
strongly disapprove, foreshadowing a 2018 gap in Republican and Democratic voter enthusiasm. For the
same reason, the Democratic candidate in Georgia's special House election next month has a chance to
win what the Republican candidate's pollster calls "a close race that shouldn't be."
Those stumbles give House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and her Senate counterpart Charles
Schumer greater ability to influence policy in Washington that anyone expected as Trump took office.
The principal question is where they can bring that influence to bear.
Steve Bell, a longtime Senate budget aide now at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said the GOP's
simultaneous predicament on the debt limit and health care could produce a Senate compromise with
Democrats on both. On health care, that would mean legislation closer to Obamacare-repair than
Obamacare-replace.
Spokesmen for GOP House and Senate leaders dismissed that possibility as fanciful. But not all
Republican lawmakers do.
"A bipartisan health bill is a possible outcome, though no one in leadership wants to admit it," said Rep.
Charlie Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican.
GOP splits give Democrats an opening to influence other initiatives, too. Veteran Republican
communications aide Kevin Madden, who now advises businesses at Hamilton Place Strategies, said that
could mean tax reform that gives more to the middle class and less to the wealthy, and an infrastructure
plan relying more on cash outlays and less on tax credits.
"The business community has always recognized that the major issues are going to require some level
of Democratic buy-in," Madden said. That expectation, he added, "has become more pronounced."
One indication of heightened pressure on Republicans came with Wednesday night's bizarre incident in
the special House election in Montana, where the Democratic candidate has been surprisingly
competitive in a GOP-friendly state. Law enforcement authorities charged Republican candidate Greg
Gianforte with assaulting a reporter after the reporter pressed him to comment on the House GOP
health bill.
Uniqueness Trump Support Low

Support for Trump is eroding now


Taylor 6/28 Jessica Taylor, 6-28-2017, "Trump Fails To Reach Beyond Base As Independents'
Disapproval Grows," NPR.org, http://www.npr.org/2017/06/28/534602973/trump-fails-to-reach-
beyond-base-as-independents-disapproval-grows
President Trump's support among independent voters has eroded since he took office. Though he still
clings to a loyal base of supporters, his overall disapproval among Americans has reached record highs,
according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
Just 37 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing just over five months into his tenure,
while 51 percent disapprove. Forty percent of those polled strongly disapprove of Trump's performance,
twice the 20 percent who strongly approved.
The most pronounced swing seen in the poll was among independents. Over the past four months, their
approval of the president has dissipated. In February, 40 percent of independents said they approved of
the job Trump was doing, with 51 percent disapproving. Four months later in June, just 31 percent say
they approve of the president with 59 percent of independents disapproving a 17-point net-
negative drop.
Despite almost full employment nationwide, independents are particularly dissatisfied with Trump on
the economy. That's likely driving much of their overall disapproval. Just 31 percent of independents say
they have confidence in Trump's ability to improve the U.S. economy, while 49 percent doubt he can do
so. Just three months ago, 44 percent thought Trump could turn around the economy, while 38 percent
didn't a whiplash-worthy 24-point swing.
Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said the scope of the shift
over the past few months among independents should cause "alarm bells to go off" at the White House.
"Independents were certainly willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt when he entered office,"
Miringoff said, "but on issues like the direction of the country and the economy, they've really soured on
him. It's hard for someone like him to make a second impression. Independents have come to the
conclusion that what you see is what you get."
The good news for Trump is that his base hasn't abandoned him even as he has faced mounting
investigations. Eighty percent of Republicans still approve of the job he is doing, including 91 percent
who identify as strong Republicans. Trump has an 89 percent approval rating among those who voted
for him last November. He has a 65 percent approval rating among white evangelical Christians, though
almost a quarter disapprove of the job he is doing.
Still, there are some warning signs for the president among some of his key demographic groups. Only
52 percent of white, non-college-educated Americans approve of the job he's doing, though just 37
percent disapprove. And that is higher than most other subgroups. More worrisome for the president,
among older Americans, 60 and older, he's underwater 47 percent disapprove, while 43 percent
approve.
Overall, Americans' outlook under Trump is dismal. Almost double say the country is on the wrong track
as those who think it's on the right track, 61 percent to 31 percent, a gap that has nearly doubled since
February.
More people say they feel worse off 40 percent since Trump took office, than better off 34
percent. There is a deep partisan divide on that question, of course 73 percent of Republicans say
they're better off, while 67 percent of Democrats say the opposite. Among independents, far more 44
percent say they're worse off, compared with just 27 percent who say they're better off.
Americans also think Trump has hurt the country on the global stage. Fifty-eight percent say the
president has weakened the United States' position abroad, while 34 percent say he has strengthened it.
In addition, by a 24-point margin, Americans believe former President Barack Obama was, by far, a more
effective leader in comparison to Trump, 58 percent to 34 percent. Among independents, there is an
even more pronounced 36-point difference, 65 percent to 29 percent.
A narrow plurality do think Trump is keeping his campaign promises (48 percent who do and 45 percent
who don't), but most people disagree with some of the president's recent decisions. Fifty-three percent
of those surveyed said they opposed Trump pulling out of the Paris climate accord earlier this month,
while just 30 percent supported it.
Just over half of Americans also think the Supreme Court should rule against Trump's travel ban, which
would curtail the entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries, while 43 percent say the high
court should rule in the president's favor and allow him to proceed with one of his key campaign
promises. A slim majority of independents (52 percent) also think the court should strike down the ban.
There is a cloud of suspicion that hangs over the president as well, with mounting questions about his
business ties that are only compounded by his continued refusal to release his tax returns. More than 6
in 10 Americans say they believe Trump has either done something illegal (33 percent) or unethical but
not illegal (28 percent). Just 31 percent say they believe he has done nothing wrong.
One place where Trump is losing GOP support is over his Twitter habit. Sixty-nine percent of Americans
say Trump's use of Twitter is "reckless and distracting," while only 21 percent say it's "effective and
informative." Even among Republicans, only a narrow plurality (43 percent) say the president's use of
Twitter is positive, while 42 percent agree it's reckless and distracting.
And while Americans have a sour view of Trump, their opinion of Congress both Democrats and
Republicans is no better. Congressional Republicans have a 33-point net-negative approval rating (28
percent to 61 percent) while congressional Democrats are not much better with a 27-point net-negative
approval (30 percent to 57 percent).
"Nobody is benefiting in Washington from what is going on," Miringoff said.
Looking ahead to the 2018 midterms, registered voters say they're more likely to vote for a Democratic
member of Congress over a Republican one by a 10-point margin, 48 percent to 38 percent.
But, with a gerrymandered congressional map that benefits the GOP, that double-digit advantage is less
imposing than it may seem and may not be enough to help Democrats win back the House.
What's more, as they learned in last week's special-election loss in a Georgia House race, making the
election too much about Trump isn't necessarily a silver bullet, either.

Millennials are turning on the Trump administrationstudies prove


McClennon 17 Sophia McClennon, Professor of international affairs and comparative literature at
Pennsylvania State University. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our
Nation? Mockery and American Politics, April 17th (Trump's Got a Big Millennial Problem, Alternet,
Available online at http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/trumps-millennial-problem, SR)
Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, have become the generation the right loves to hate.
Only days after the November election, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News
Channels Hannity to discuss the outbreak of anti-Trump protests. Rather than take seriously the
issues that voters were protesting, Conway chose to use this as an opportunity to denigrate young
voters: We are just treating these adolescents and millennials like precious snowflakes.
Accusations of being snowflakes, entitled, whiners and slackers have constantly been leveled at our
nations young adults. Theyve even been described as the lamest generation. But the attacks on
millennials by those on the right have been especially vicious. Back in 2015 Breitbart ran 7 Reasons
Millennials are the Worst Generation.
The right-wing attacks on millennials arent just vicious; they are old and tired. In fact, Trump supporter
Bill OReilly gets credit for being at the forefront of these assaults. Well before his recent scandal,
OReilly had trouble attracting the younger demographic to his caustic punditry. His viewers traditionally
skew to seniors. Rather than think about why younger viewers didnt want to tune in to his show, he
referred to young viewers who preferred Jon Stewart as stoned slackers.
There is nothing new about older generations insulting the young; even the so-called Greatest
Generation was criticized for being over-mothered. But the attacks on millennials do have a new edge
and intensity to them. Political scientist Russell Dalton argues that millennial Americans may be the
most disparaged generation of young people in our nations history.
But heres the catch. In 2015, millennials became the largest voting bloc in the nation, overtaking baby
boomers. And, despite the hype, millennials are voting. Even more, they are protesting and organizing
and making their voices heard. And one thing they are saying is that they dont like the Trump
administration.
It isnt news to say that the GOP has a millennial problem. In fact, millennials have long expressed
disgust in the two-party system in general, but they have been especially wary of a Donald Trump
administration. Leading up to the election, there was a sharp division between millennials of color and
white millennials. Polls showed that 67 percent of black youth and 36 percent of Latino youth were
scared of the possibility of a Trump presidency.
Despite the fact that the general myth is that millennials are lazy, selfish and unengaged, overall turnout
in the 2016 election was slightly higher than 2012. And overall political engagement by millennials is
higher than we have seen for young people in decades. Unsurprisingly, most of the millennials who
voted for Trump were white. While Trump drew more millennials than had been expected, he still only
won one-third of young voters.
But those few millennials who did support Trump are turning on him. A new study by GenForward
shows that 57 percent of millennials see Trumps presidency as illegitimate, including about three-
quarters of blacks and large majorities of Latinos and Asians.
Overall, only 22 percent of young adults approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 62
percent disapprove. GenForward polls further show that across all racial and ethnic groups the
majority of millennials disapprove of Trump. With 71 percent of African-Americans and even 55
percent of whites against him. They are overwhelmingly negative on his policies and his demeanor.
Those who study millennials knew that even if Trump pulled out a win in 2016 his insular appeal to his
preponderantly white coalition has exposed the party to a clear long-term risk. As the Atlantic reported
before the 2016 vote, Win or lose, all evidence suggests Trump is further alienating a Millennial
generation that is already cool to the GOP and is poised to become the electorates largest cohort in
2020.
During the campaign Trump tried to appeal to millennials by running an ad with his kids. It was a
stunning failure.
The ad featured a photo of his three millennial-aged children and suggested that a vote for Trump was a
vote to change the system. The response to the ad offered the Trump team a special dose of millennial
snark when it turned into the meme of the week. Jokes compared the Trumps to Batman v Superman,
Children of the Corn, The Purge, American Psycho, Harry Potter antagonist Draco Malfoy and
many other pop culture references.
Ivanka has also failed to appeal to our nations young adults. Millennials, especially females, were
supposed by wooed by Ivanka Trump, who was repeatedly billed as the moderate who could keep her
dad in check. That, of course, was before it became clear that she doesnt even understand what the
word complicit means.
A new poll shows that only 21 percent of young women have a favorable view of Ivanka and only 32
percent of millennial males like her. She draws approval from only 9 percent of millennial women who
identify as Democrats.
While that survey indicated that young women are basically unhappy with the whole Trump team, the
low numbers for Ivanka suggest that the millennial demographic isnt buying the idea that she supports
issues that matter to them: If these women continue to have a negative impression of her, Ivanka may
need to rethink her strategy for convincing them that she is serious about her mission of
empowerment.
What may be more astonishing is the idea that anyone ever thought that Ivanka could be a champion
for working women. Millennials have a special knack for seeing through bullshit and their one common
personality trait is skepticism. So it is little surprise that they dont trust the Trump team and they see
through the Ivanka artifice.
Democrats refuse to cooperate with the Trump administrationnon-compliance with
voter data proves
Clark 17 Dartunorro Clark, a reporter/producer for NBC News, July 5th (Forty-four States Refuse to
Give Voter Data to Trump Panel, NBC News, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/forty-
four-states-refuse-give-voter-data-trump-panel-n779841, SR)
Forty-four states and the District of Columbia are mounting a bipartisan rebellion against President
Donald Trumps commission on vote fraud by either declining to release any of the requested data or by
providing only limited information to the panel.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity's request for extensive personal information
about voters has ignited a firestorm in many states, including from both Republican and Democrat
officials who oversee elections.
The panel is seeking "dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social
security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status,
cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration
in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information."
Eighteen states both red and blue and D.C. are flat-out refusing to comply with the request, citing
privacy concerns and some claiming the 15-member vote fraud panel is politically-motivated.
Twenty-six states said they plan to only hand over only what is deemed public information by their
respective state laws, while six states have yet to receive the commission's request or are still reviewing
it, according to a count by NBC News.
Many officials have expressed disbelief and outrage at the commission's call to hand over a staggering
amount of voter data, some of which they say is confidential or sensitive.
Im appalled that they even included that in their (letter), Jim Condos, the Vermont Secretary of State,
told NBC News. They should know better.
Condos said he will provide no information about Vermont voters to the commission.
The panel was created by Trump through executive order in May. It is chaired by Vice President Mike
Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a strict voter identification law advocate, who wrote
the letter last week to all 50 states and Washington, D.C., seeking the data.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, on Wednesday directed his secretary of state to not
release any sensitive information to the panel.
The request is simply too broad and includes sensitive information of Arkansas voters, Hutchinson said
in a statement.
Democrats have also refused to provide information to the panel, saying the move could lay the
groundwork for voter suppression and perpetuate the unfounded claims by Trump that millions voted
illegally in the 2016 election.
Uniqueness No Legislation Now

Republicans cant legislate now


Binder and Spindel 4/26/17. (Sarah Binder is a professor of political science at George Washington
University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She has authored or co-authored four books
on legislative politics, and she has a mild obsession with congressional rules, the history of Congress, and
the Fed. Mark Spindel is founder and chief investment officer at Potomac River Capital, a Washington-
based investment firm. Monkey Cage Analysis This is why Trumps legislative agenda is stuck in neutral.
April 26, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/04/26/this-is-why-
trumps-legislative-agenda-is-stuck-in-neutral/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.084ece410f0b)EM
How does Trump compare with recent presidents? Political capital is built on public support and post-
election momentum and often peaks in a presidents first few months in office. Most presidents
leverage their electoral boost to push through major initiatives and proposals blocked by their
predecessor. After President Bill Clintons rocky start, Democrats swiftly enacted a first-ever family leave
law vetoed by President George H.W. Bush. The second President Bush made quick progress on a
multitrillion-dollar tax cut, as well as landmark education reform. Within a month, President Barack
Obamas Democratic Congress delivered a record-size fiscal stimulus, soon followed by pay equity and
childrens health reforms that President George W. Bush had vetoed. Before and after the November
election, Trump outlined a menu of ambitious offerings including immigration and tax restructuring,
infrastructure spending, trade renegotiation, his oft-emphasized southern border wall, as well as
Affordable Care Act repeal and Wall Street deregulation. The Senate has confirmed Neil M. Gorsuch as a
Supreme Court justice, albeit only after nuking the need for Democratic votes. And via the Congressional
Review Act, a seldom-used, fast-track law, Republicans quietly overturned more than a dozen late-term
Obama rules loosening regulatory limits on oil, gas, coal and telecom industries, among others.
Ongoing Republican efforts to repeal and replace the health-care law have been far more visible. Even
with tactics designed to cut out the Democrats, House Republicans remain at odds with their Senate
colleagues, the White House and one another over how to unwind an increasingly popular law, wasting
precious legislative floor time in the process. In turn, without offering any substantive proposals,
Trump has bounced between advocating action on health care, taxes and infrastructure.
Coincidentally, the federal spending authority expires on the eve of Trumps 100th day in office. A
government shutdown looms should Congress and the president fail to strike a budget deal this week.
This is why Republicans struggle to legislate But the Republicans governing difficulties run deeper
than an unpopular president backed by inexperienced advisers pursuing deeply polarizing proposals.
A view inside the Capitol suggests why. In the figure below, we use lawmakers ideological scores to
place every House majority party since 1901 along two dimensions. (When Republicans hold the White
House and Congress, the start of the Congress is marked in red; periods of unified Democratic control
are marked in blue; a divided government shows up in gray.) As you can see, the 2017 House is nearly
the most polarized in more than a century. And among the years under unified Republican control,
2017 stands out as the most polarized. The current House is unusual in another critical way. Along the
Y-axis, we map each Congress based on the relative ideological breadth of the two House parties. When
the score is high, it means that Republicans are more divided than their Democratic opponents. When
the score is low, Republicans were the more cohesive party. Todays GOP House stands out in the upper-
right quadrant. The parties are extremely polarized, and Republicans are far more fractured
ideologically than the Democrats. Thats what we saw in the Republican stalemate over Obamacare, in
which the far-right Freedom Caucus rejected anything but flat-out repeal while the moderate Tuesday
Group sought improvements. Such stalemates may well recur when Republicans turn to tax
restructuring and other Trump proposals. Unless Republicans can overcome their extreme internal
divisions, Ryan will be challenged to corral his conference and move major legislation. We see a more
mixed bag in the Senate, as shown in the chart below. Like the House, the Senate is deeply polarized,
meaning that Republicans will continue to have a hard time bringing Democrats on board. Republicans
are also more divided than Democrats, but these GOP cleavages are not nearly as sharp as they are in
the House. This suggests that the GOP agenda may gain more traction in the upper chamber. Ideological
disagreements between the parties surely shaped Republicans legislative strategy this year: Anticipating
that Democrats would oppose Trumps agenda, the GOP leaned heavily on procedures that eliminated
the need to court Democratic votes. But those tactics backfired. Yes, they enabled the GOP to quickly
repeal some Obama regulations. But using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process
highlighted internal Republican Party disagreements over how to restructure health care. It threatens
to do the same for tax restructuring, as well. In other words, ironically, the GOPs parliamentary
strategy limits what Trump and Congress can achieve. A more popular president with a more
disciplined and fully staffed administration might have had more success herding these fractured
Republican majorities. But Trump attracts so much popular opposition that the divided Republican
majority cant come together to make the compromises needed to legislate. As David Jones wrote here
at The Monkey Cage yesterday, presidents can recover from slow legislative starts. But the road is likely
to be uphill for Trump and his unruly Republican Congress.
AT: Healthcare Thumper

Healthcare is not the key issue


Morrissey 17 (Ed Morrissey, Cotton: AHCA will end the GOP House majority, cannot pass in Senate,
3-13-17, http://hotair.com/archives/2017/03/13/cotton-ahca-will-end-the-gop-house-majority-cannot-
pass-in-senate/)EM
Republicans agree that the American Health Care Act will have a big impact on the 2018 midterm elections, but they have widely divergent
ideas on how. The White House, including President Donald Trump himself, argues that a failure to pass the AHCA will
infuriate voters who have been waiting for seven years for Republicans to take some meaningful action against ObamaCare, a point that
Paul Ryan and House GOP leadership have emphasized as well. Yesterday, Senator Tom Cotton pushed back. The conservative
Republican warned that House Republicans are about to walk the plank for a bill that has zero chance of passage in the Senate, and that the
resulting failure could end up BTU-ing the Republican majority: I would say to my friends in the House of Representatives with
whom I serve, Do
not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that
vote, Cotton told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. On This Week, Cotton said, I just do
not think that this bill
can pass the Senate, and therefore I think the House should take a pause and try to get as close as we can to a good result before we
send it to the Senate. When pressed by Stephanopolous to clarify if he was suggesting that House Republicans who vote for the bill are going
to pay the price without getting any benefit, Cotton noted that Republicans have other agenda goals in addition to
health care reform. We have majorities in the House and the Senate and the White House not only to repeal Obamacare and get
health care reform right, but to reform our taxes and our regulations and build up our military and accomplish many
other things, Cotton said. And I dont want to see the House majority put at risk on a bill that is not going to pass
the Senate. Thats why I think we should take a pause, try to solve as many of the problems on both Medicaid and the individual
insurance market in this bill in the House and then allow the Senate to take its work up, Cotton said. The bill probably can be fixed,
but its going to take a lot of carpentry on that framework.
AT: Uniqueness Outweighs

The plan flips the script --- Democrats are capitalizing on Trump now terrible budgets
for the working class especially in the context of education
Rubin 17 staff at The Washington Post, March 16th (Jennifer, How Democrats can capitalize on
Trumps betrayal of his base, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-
turn/wp/2017/03/16/how-democrats-can-capitalize-on-trumps-betrayal-of-his-
base/?utm_term=.d992c9b1c257)
President Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, putting together a collection of evangelical
Christian, rural and working-class voters who felt betrayed by government. He was the outsider,
agitating for an agenda that did not promote corporate profits at the expense of workers and vowing,
for example, to leave entitlements alone. His vision was nativist, nationalist, protectionist and
paternalistic. Big government for the little guy, in other words.
His two biggest initiatives so far health-care reform and his budget tell a vastly different story.
This is old-style right-wing politics on steroids. Transfer wealth to the rich via Medicaid cuts for the poor
and tax breaks to the rich. Deploy health spending accounts, where 70 percent of money comes from
those making more than $100,000.
The budget is even less generous to Trumps base. The Post noted that the listed of abolished programs
included the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which disburses more than $3 billion
annually to help heat homes in the winter. It also proposed abolishing the Community Development
Block Grant program, which provides roughly $3 billion for targeted projects related to affordable
housing, community development and homelessness programs, among other things.
President Donald Trump has proposed halting funding for rural clean water initiatives and reducing
county-level staff, for a 21 percent drop in discretionary spending at the Department of Agriculture
(USDA), according to a White House budget document.
The $4.7 billion in cuts would leave USDA with a budget of $17.9 billion after cutting some statistical and
rural business services and encouraging private sector conservation planning. Farm groups warned that
farmers and rural communities could suffer. The budget proposal would save $498 million by eliminating
a rural water and wastewater loan and grant program that helps fund clean water and sewer systems in
communities with fewer than 10,000 people. Other areas targeted for cuts include staffing at county-
level USDA service centers.
If you are an industrial worker, you might be concerned about a 21 percent cut in the Labor Department,
which will impact worker safety and training programs.
As one might expect, the AFL-CIO issued a blistering statement from its president, Richard Trumka:
Working people in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didnt vote for a budget that
slashes workforce training and fails to invest in our nations infrastructure. President Trumps
proposed budget attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families. The $54 billion cut to
programs that benefit working families is dangerous and destructive. Huge cuts to the departments of
Labor, Education and Transportation will make workplaces less safe, put more children at risk and make
improving our failing infrastructure much more difficult. The administration can and should do better.
The budget abandons the futureslashing investments in workers, communities, young people,
protecting our environment and building democracy. There are major cuts in job training, education,
health programs, the environment, the arts and foreign aid. Research programs in science and medicine
are slashed. Sixty-two government programs/agencies are slated for elimination.
The budget, like the health-care plan, strikes at the heart of Trumps campaign promises, which did not
envision a libertarian evisceration of government. Trump leaves the details to others, but the details
undermine his appeal to working-class voters, his core support. Either he never meant to be a different
kind of Republican or his team has used his rhetorical routine to mask a budget that is less populist than
any other in the modern era. Democrats would be wise to start analyzing the budgets real-world impact
quantifying cuts to each state and to programs that serve people making, say, less than $75,000.
What expenses are shifting onto the backs of working-class and middle-class people? What protections
are eliminated? This is not going to match up with the beneficent image Trump tried to cultivate.
Trump hired a right-wing Cabinet, so its no surprise a right-wing budget and health-care plan emerged.
Democrats would do well to focus on the clash between Trump, protector-of-the-little-guy, and Trump,
friend-of-the-rich-and-powerful. The former was simply a sales pitch for the campaign; the reality should
be a rude awakening for all those new GOP voters who might be amenable to a true populist
economic message from the other party.

Democrats can win the midterms, but they need anti-Trump leverage giving him
legitimacy usurps that
Kilgore 17 Ed Kilgore, Managing Editor of The Democratic Strategist, an online forum, and a Senior
Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, April 2nd ("Heres What Democrats Need to Do to Take
Congress in 2018," Daily Intelligencer, Available online at
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/04/what-democrats-need-to-do-to-take-congress-in-
2018.html, Accessed 7/9/2017)
Democrats emerged from the 2016 election confused, depressed, and virtually powerless. But it hasnt
taken long for them to regain their psychological mojo, aided as they have been by a combination of
fear, anger, and Donald Trumps inept first few months in office. The resistance started at the
grassroots, taking visible form in protests at events held by Republican members of Congress in their
home districts. After the GOPs initial plan to repeal Obamacare was scrapped in March, the excitement
spread to Washington, D.C. When Florida senator Bill Nelson, a mild-mannered centrist, announced he
would filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, it was clear that Democrats had found a
new spirit of unity and defiance.
The expected postelection struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party has now been replaced by
optimism that the party might actually make a comeback in the next election. Theres a storm thats
going to hit Republicans in 2018, Representative Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, told the New York
Times. The only question is if it is going to be Category 2 or Category 5.
Thanks to a highly adverse Senate landscape in 2018 Democrats must defend 25 seats, ten in states
carried by Trump the House offers the best opportunity to disrupt the GOPs congressional
stranglehold. Democrats will need 24 seats to win a majority there 23 if Jon Ossoff wins his special
election in Georgia later this month. In February, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
announced it was putting full-time organizers on the ground in 20 GOP districts as part of a midterm
strategy it calls March Into 18. The plan will attempt to channel the resistance into election
campaigns especially in the 23 House districts represented by Republicans that Trump lost to Clinton
in 2016.
Will Anti-Trump Fury Help Flip the Electoral Map for Democrats?
House Republicans will not give up their majority easily. The GOP continues to benefit from district maps
aggressively gerrymandered after it picked up six governorships and 20 state legislative chambers in
2010. In 2012, the first cycle after the redistricting, the GOP won 234 House seats despite actually losing
the national popular vote. In states like Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, GOP House
delegations continue to be far larger than the partys statewide popular vote would suggest. Aside from
defending its own seats (the National Republican Congressional Committees Patriot Program is
dumping money into the races of ten Republican incumbents it perceives as vulnerable), the GOP will go
on the offensive against ten House Democrats who represent districts carried by Trump. Another
presumed advantage for Republicans is in turnout patterns: Young and minority voters rarely participate
proportionately in non-presidential elections; the whiter voters who have been trending bright red do.
But precisely because the Trump presidency is not normal, Democrats have reason to believe
Republicans wont benefit from their normal advantages. Trumps brand of conservatism, if thats what
it is, has turned off many college-educated white voters, who tend to turn out in midterms. That may
pose a particular problem for suburban moderate Republicans, like Peter Roskam, who represents
suburbs west of Chicago, and Erik Paulsen, whose district on the outskirts of Minneapolis went for
Clinton over Trump by nine points.
Democratic base enthusiasm is becoming a tangible asset. Grassroots volunteer activity is up sharply, as
reflected in the 2,000 canvassers working for Ossoff in Georgias Sixth District special election.
Democratic fund-raising expectations were initially low after the 2016 results, when some large donors
openly questioned their return on investment and demanded an autopsy of what went wrong. But
there has been an astonishing upsurge in small contributions to Democratic and progressive causes,
much of it online. Initial candidate recruitment for tough races is also looking good, especially among
women newly mobilized for public service by the global marches of January.
The Democrats also have one trend on their side: Midterm elections are mostly referenda on the
occupant of the White House. Barring exceptional luck or exceptionally good conditions, almost all
presidents lose popularity by the midterms. Of the last 20 midterms, the presidents party lost House
seats in 18 (the exceptions were in 1998 and 2002, when presidents Clinton and George W. Bush,
respectively, had unusually high job-approval ratings).
Trumps approval ratings are famously low for a new president, and if they continue to lag, Republicans
are going to lose House seats in 2018. In 2006, the same George W. Bush whose party did so well in
2002 lost 30 House seats and control of the chamber after he limped into the midterms with a job-
approval rating of 37 percent, roughly where Trump is today.
The steady trend toward straight-ticket voting means it will be difficult for House Republicans to
separate themselves from an unpopular president. But its too early to tell just how much the taint of
Trump will spread or if it will be enough for Democrats to win a majority. The possibility that
enthusiasm, unity, a more favorable mix of voters, and Trumps misdeeds could produce a turnout
revolution for Democrats will get early tests this year in Georgias special congressional election and the
off-year state elections in New Jersey and Virginia.
The March Cook Political Report race ratings list only 23 highly competitive seats, and 12 of them are
held by Republicans. Cook shows 25 districts as likely Republican. Democrats will need to flip a
number of the long shots to get to their magic number. But there is certainly a recent precedent for
that. At this point in 2009, Cook showed only 23 House seats held by Democrats as being vulnerable.
By Election Day in 2010, that number had swollen to 101, and the GOP made a net gain of 63, with 52
Democratic incumbents losing. Tsunami elections like those Democrats are hoping for in 2018 often
build slowly. But across the country anti-Trump activists believe they can see big waves gathering. We
may hear their distant thunder very soon. Ed Kilgore

Democrats in red-leaning states are willing to cooperate with Trump social services
are the determining factor
Brownstein 7/6 Ronald Brownstein, national political correspondent and columnist for the "Los
Angeles Times," He has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of both the 1996 and
2004 presidential elections, 2017 ("Will the 'Trump 10' Pay a Price in 2018?," Atlantic,
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/will-the-trump-10-pay-a-price-in-2018/532710/)
Apparently, no one has informed Bob Casey and Claire McCaskill that they should be running scared.
Casey and McCaskill are among the 10 Democratic senators facing reelection next year in states that
President Trump carried in 2016, often by commanding margins. After that performance, many in both
parties assumed they would be the Senate Democrats most vulnerable to White House pressure. During
the transition, almost all of the Trump 10 declared their willingness to cooperate with the new
president. There are probably a number of areas where we can work with him, Casey told MSNBC
shortly after Trump narrowly carried his home state of Pennsylvania.
It is an understatement to say the relationship between the president and the Trump 10 hasnt worked
out that way. In recent interviews, both McCaskill and Casey made clear the White House has done
almost nothing to solicit their input or enlist their support. I will be optimistic and hope that moment
comes, but not yet, Missouris McCaskill told me.
Instead of being tugged toward Trump, both Casey and McCaskill have been propelled toward resolute
resistance of his agenda. In that, they are the rule, not the exception, for the Trump 10. The group also
includes Ohios Sherrod Brown, Floridas Bill Nelson, Wisconsins Tammy Baldwin, and Michigans
Debbie Stabenow in swing states that tilted toward Trump; and Montanas Jon Tester, North Dakotas
Heidi Heitkamp, Indianas Joe Donnelly, and West Virginias Joe Manchin in more conservative states
where the president romped.
Their opposition took root early in Trumps tenure. None of the 10 backed confirmation for Betsy
DeVos as education secretary. Just Manchin, Heitkamp, and Donnelly voted to confirm Supreme Court
Justice Neil Gorsuch. And, more recently, all 10 have signaled opposition to the evolving Senate
Republican legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
This pattern of resistance has forced Senate Republicans to try to squeeze more of their agenda into the
reconciliation process, which requires fewer votes to pass legislation. Its also framing what could be the
pivotal question in next years Senate midterm elections: Will these Democrats pay a price for
consistently opposing Trump in states that voted for him only last year?
They had better hope the king is dead, said Pennsylvania-based GOP consultant John Brabender, and
that a year from now Donald Trump isnt being seen, on the core issues he promised to these [voters],
that he has delivered.
So far, though, both Casey and McCaskillalong with their colleagueshave been emboldened to
oppose Trump precisely because they believe his agenda hasnt met those voters needs. McCaskill
said she respects Trump voters and their choice to pull the pin on this grenade [to] see if we can
upset the status quo. But she argued that Trumps agenda would deliver a gut punch to [the] rural
Missouri communities where he ran bestthanks to a health-care plan that would raise premiums for
older and small-town consumers; proposals to shift federal funding from public to private schools
through vouchers; and an infrastructure plan centered on promoting private investment and adding toll
roads, both of which are more likely to benefit urban areas.
Casey pointed to similar risks in the congressional GOP proposals to severely cut Medicaid, which he said
could destabilize both the physical and economic health of rural Pennsylvania. (In over half of
Pennsylvanias rural counties, he pointedly noted, the local hospital is either the largest or second-
largest employer.) Add in the toll-focused infrastructure plan and proposed reductions in community-
development grants and home-heating assistance for low-income seniors, Casey said, and I dont think
thats what people in his base thought they were getting in their communities.
Just as striking as the substance of the Trump 10s criticism is its style. No one has ever used the word
firebrand to describe Casey, a soft-spoken former state auditor with a centrist pedigree. (Hes one of
the last prominent Democrats to oppose legal abortion.) Yet, since Trumps victory, Caseys defining
image came when he rushed, still in formal white tie, from a Philadelphia Orchestra ball to join an
airport protest against the presidents first travel ban in January.
Links / Internal Links
Link Public Education

Millennials dont support Trump now but fixing school education would help win their
support--studies prove its a major issue for them
McGrane 16 Victoria McGrane, a national political correspondent for the Boston Globes
Washington DC bureau. She joined the Globe in May 2016. She has covered policy and politics from the
nations capital since 2006, including six years as a reporter with The Wall Street Journal, covering
banking policy, the roll out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, the Federal Reserve, and
economics. 8/20/16, Is Donald Trump alienating young Republicans?,
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2016/08/20/gop-critics-say-donald-trump-alienating-new-
generation-republicans/E1sTMY1MWWXQ81u48DI9CL/story.html, SR)
The 33-year-old communications professional worked for the Treasury Department under George W.
Bush. He believes in free trade, less government involvement in the economy, and a strong foreign
policy.
But the rise of Donald Trump and the Republican Partys embrace of the real estate mogul have driven
DeSouza away from the GOP.
I would say at this point I am a man without a party, said DeSouza, who plans to vote for Democratic
presidential nominee Hillary Clinton this fall though hes not joining the Democratic Party. I hold certain
values that I deem to be conservative, but the party where it is now, I dont even know where it is. Its
some reactionary force to generational trends that are so against what I find to be important in terms of
values and policy positions.
Trump is losing millennials in droves, recent polls show, and some party leaders are deeply worried that
trend has dangerous implications for the partys future beyond the 2016 election.
Clinton has an almost three-to-one advantage over Trump among younger Americans in the latest
polling. The former reality TV star could lose the youth vote by the largest margin in modern political
history if the current trend persists.
For many millennials eligible to vote in their first presidential election, Trump is their introduction to the
Republican Party and to presidential politics.
In interviews with the Globe, some right-leaning millennials said they were turned off by what they saw
as his bullying style and divisive comments toward women, Muslims, and others. Some of his central
policy positions, they said, such as building a wall between Mexico and the United States to keep out
illegal immigrants, are disturbing or preposterous. They said they dont think he has the character or
temperament to be president.
I dont really take any of Donald Trumps policies seriously, said Miguel Undurraga, a member of the
Harvard Republican Club, What I take more seriously is the kind of person who makes those
comments.
The risk for the Republican Party is that Trump, and all that young voters dont like about him, becomes
inextricably linked with the image of the party in millennial minds.
The country that Donald Trump talks about is not in any way in line with the experiences of young
voters right now. They dont see the world the way he sees it at all, said Tim Miller, a top adviser to Jeb
Bushs primary campaign and outspoken Trump critic. That disconnect is so stark that it is turning them
viscerally away from him in particular and also the party, and thats a problem.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump greeted the crowd Saturday as he arrived to speak at a rally in Fredericksburg, Va.
The millennial generation, loosely defined as Americans born between 1980 and 2000, is a key prize for
both major parties. More than 69 million members of this generation are of voting age, making them a
potential voting bloc almost as large as that of the baby boom generation, according to the Pew
Research Center, although they have so far consistently turned out to vote in lower numbers than older
voters.
Their views and votes will only matter more in the years ahead: In April, their total numbers surpassed
those of the baby boomers to become the largest living generation.
And an awful lot of them seem to hate Donald Trump.
Clinton is thrashing Trump 56 percent to 20 percent among Americans under 35, according to a USA
Today/Rock the Vote poll released last week.
Clinton has her own millennial concerns. Her Democratic primary rival, Bernie Sanders, crushed her
among younger voters by a 78-to-21 average, according to exit poll data compiled by Tufts Universitys
Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
Polls suggest that many of these young Sanders followers are inching their way toward embracing
Clinton but not necessarily with the same enthusiasm.
For Republicans looking beyond the top of the ticket, and beyond 2016, the numbers in the USA Today
poll are more troubling: Half of those surveyed said they identified with or leaned toward the
Democratic Party, while just 20 percent identified with or leaned toward the GOP.
Veteran GOP strategist Barry Bennett rejected the notion that Trump was somehow hurting the
Republican Party among younger voters. The truth is, they turn out in abysmally small numbers, he
said of millennials, in keeping with young voters of previous generations.
When they get older, they will vote in higher numbers, but by then their attitudes will have changed
drastically and they will be more conservative, he predicted.
Many millennials are angry at the government because they cant find jobs and feel as though their slice
of the American Dream is slipping away; that provides an opening to Trump to win over some of them
if he focuses his message, Bennett said. He can speak to that.
But others in the party are very worried.
His campaign paints the picture of all Republicans being misogynists and racists, and obviously that isnt
true, but when youre young and youre an undecided voter trying to align with a party, Donald Trump
as the face of the Republican Party isnt very beneficial, said Sapna Rampersaud, 19, a member of the
Harvard Republican Club, which publicly declared it was not supporting Trump earlier this month, the
first time in its over 125-year history the group hasnt backed the partys standard-bearer.
Rampersaud says she will probably vote for one of the third-party candidates but is still a Republican.
Fellow club member Undurraga, on the other hand, changed his California voter registration to no
preference the day after Trump effectively clinched the nomination so he could vote for Clinton in his
states primary, and he plans to vote again for her this fall. The 20-year-old considered taking a job doing
Latino outreach for the Clinton campaign in Ohio, but ultimately decided against it because hed have to
take off a semester of school. He said he will volunteer once hes back on campus in the fall.
She is more stable, she has the experience, and whats most important for me, in an era where
Washington is just so plagued by partisan gridlock, we need somebody with big tent policies and the
ability to compromise, said Undurraga.
Trump spoke to supporters Friday in Dimondale, Mich.
Forces within the GOP are trying to help the party respond to its millennial problem. In June, the
College Republican National Committee published a report, based on polling and focus groups with
Americans aged 18 to 29, that concluded young voters dont believe Republicans care
about many of the issues that matter most to them. Their top issues included
fixing troubled schools, promoting clean energy, reducing the national debt, and addressing
poverty.
The report was part dire warning, part game plan for how to win over the millennial generation. That
playbook included having Republican candidates show themselves as empathetic, pursuing policies that
demonstrate the GOP cares about people from all walks of life a value that emerged as paramount
among the millennials surveyed.
The authors also said their research indicated millennials are attracted to market-based solutions to
problems, a core Republican belief but one that the party needs to communicate better to younger
voters. Candidates should cast their policy approach as modern and innovative, after the fashion of
Uber, and cast the other side as an old, yellow taxi-cab company, the report said.
Though Trump was not mentioned by name, the implication about his candidacy was clear.

Congressional Democrats are leveraging unpopular education initiatives to pave the


way for midterm gains
Kilgore 17 Ed Kilgore, Managing Editor of The Democratic Strategist, an online forum, and a Senior
Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, February 7th ("Red-State Democrats Not Rushing to Help
Republicans Just Yet," Daily Intelligencer, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/02/red-state-
democrats-not-rushing-to-help-republicans-just-yet.html)
The strategy for a 2017 Republican legislative blitz once the GOP controlled the White House and both
congressional chambers was very clear: Cram as much controversial stuff as possible into one or two
budget-reconciliation bills that could be enacted without a single Democratic vote, and then exert
pressure on the 10 Senate Democrats from states carried by Donald Trump who are up for reelection
in 2018 to get them to 60 votes on everything else. Both avenues for legislation depended on relatively
high levels of unity among Republicans. The latter would require in addition defections by eight
Democrats.
Its early days yet, but the blitz is not looking formidable at present. The budget-reconciliation bill that
was supposed to repeal Obamacare (along with a few other tasty treats for the GOP conservative base,
like defunding Planned Parenthood) is already past due, without any sign of resolution of the massive
problems associated with trying to get rid of and replace the Affordable Care Act. Even if Republicans
come up with a consensus scheme, its now no longer certain they can stop congressional defections of
conservatives who are impatient with the pace of change on health-care policy, or those GOPers who
are worried about disruptions of existing insurance. To the extent Obamacare repeal-and-replacement
cannot be accomplished within that one budget reconciliation bill (and almost nobody believes it can),
then Republicans are miles away from 60 Senate votes. And the Democratic senators they would need
to get across the finish line will all come to the table with demands that are sure to infuriate the right
and perhaps mess up the closely interrelated features of a new plan that are necessary to make it work.
One central miscalculation that is complicating plans for Obamacare replacement and other
controversial Republican efforts is the assumption that red-state Democratic senators would just roll
over and begin voting with the GOP. It is beginning to become apparent that they are in fact looking for
unpopular Republican initiatives to oppose, for the abundantly smart reason that voters need a
reason to prefer them over their 2018 Republican opponents. This dynamic is obvious with the two
most vulnerable Senate Democrats, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota (a state Trump carried 63-27) and
Joe Manchin of West Virginia (Trump carried his state 69-26). Both senators were conspicuously
considered by Trump for cabinet gigs; both have made billing and cooing noises at the new
administration and talked about the need for bipartisanship. Both, however, went out of their way to
announce opposition for any GOP move to privatize or otherwise reduce funding for Medicare, an
objective beloved by conservatives nearly as much as the Obamacare repeal. And in the most
controversial Trump cabinet confirmation fight, involving Education secretarydesignate Betsy DeVos,
all Senate Democrats are holding fast in opposition, for the simple reason that teachers are more
important to their reelection prospects than any gold stars for helping out Trump.
This surprising solidarity may extend to other GOP priorities where Democratic votes are essential, and
where Republican proposals are unpopular, especially among Trump voters. One example right on the
horizon is the repeal of Dodd-Frank, a great white whale for the Wall Street types who have come
pouring into the Trump administration but not necessarily congenial to white, working-class voters in
West Virginia or North Dakota. As a report from Bloomberg explains:
Senate Republicans would need to woo at least eight Democrats to join them on a bipartisan Dodd-
Frank overhaul, but they dont even have a starting point for any negotiations. Having 10 Senate
Democrats facing re-election in states Trump won theoretically gives Republicans a chance for bipartisan
action, but making life easier for bankers isnt high on the to-do list of any of those Democrats.
That is the problem with many GOP initiatives. And it reflects the more general problem that big parts of
the congressional Republican agenda are terribly unpopular, and not part of some 2016 electoral
mandate. Legitimate congressional fears that President Trump could undermine them at the drop of a
tweet add to the general atmosphere of fear and confusion. And the absence of Democratic support
means less bipartisan cover for dangerous positions.
So it is beginning to look like Republicans need a reboot for their 2017 legislative strategy. Ultimately
they and their president will have to decide whether to trim their sails or go bravely into the
high winds of public opinion to do what they really want to do. If they choose the latter direction,
they may find their crew diminishing in size and enthusiasm.

DeVoss education policy will sink GOP now --- plan rescues them from that narrative
Klein and Grim 17 Rebecca Klein, education reporter for HuffPost, Ryan Grim, the Washington
bureau chief of HuffPost, February 7th ("OK, Betsy DeVos Is Now Education Secretary, But The Fight Over
Her Agenda Has Just Begun," HuffPost, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/betsy-devos-education-
agenda_us_589a3611e4b040613139f992)
WASHINGTON Betsy DeVos was confirmed on Tuesday, by a razor-thin margin, after an extraordinary
outpouring of opposition. That means she will serve as the secretary of education.
When it comes to implementing her agenda for public education, however, the battles have only
started.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who backed DeVos and is a major proponent of the voucher movement, told
reporters after Tuesdays vote that there isnt much she can do on her own. Over 90 percent of funding
for schools comes from state and local resources, he noted, so the federal government controls only a
small slice of education spending.
DeVos has long championed voucher programs that allow kids to attend private schools using taxpayer
money, even though those schools are often religious. Her new boss, President Donald Trump, has made
the expansion of voucher programs his signature education plan, proposing to repurpose $20 billion in
existing federal funds to help subsidize students going to private schools.
Asked what DeVos confirmation means for that $20 billion proposal, Scott said not much. It means it
still has to get through Congress, he said. The secretary of education cannot unilaterally make any
decisions on her own. She needs to be empowered by Congress, and the fact of the matter is that were
going to need eight Democrats, according to the current means of the Senate, in order to get anything
done. Thats going to be very difficult.
DeVos needed only 50 votes to get confirmed, but any legislation will need 60 votes to overcome a
Democratic filibuster in the Senate. After calls opposing her nomination flooded into Senate offices,
lawmakers are well aware that pushing forward on the DeVos agenda will trigger a similar uprising,
one that members of Congress would rather avoid heading into midterm elections.
Link Legislative Win

The threshold for the link is low Trump needs any bipartisan victory
Cook and Dawsey 7/19 Nancy Cook and Josh Dawsey, White House reporters for POLITICO, 2017
("Tax reform becomes a must-win issue for the White House," POLITICO, Available online at
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/19/tax-reform-becomes-must-win-for-trump-240691,
Accessed 7/21/2017)
With President Donald Trumps effort to undo Obamacare derailed by opposition from Republican
senators, the White House has turned its attention to its next big shot at a big win: tax reform.
The long-held GOP goal of re-engineering the U.S. tax system has now become a political imperative for
the Trump administration, which has yet to deliver any major legislative victories despite Republican
control of the White House and both houses of Congress.
They know they could really use a win, said Larry Kudlow, an informal economic adviser to the Trump
campaign, who met with Trump last week. The president, from the get-go, has been much more
comfortable with tax cuts than health care.
Donors and influential Republicans are particularly eager to see tax reform completed before the 2018
midterms both for their own bottom lines and because it will be harder for Republicans to hold on to
Congress without policy accomplishments, White House advisers and outside supporters fear.
If Republicans fail to repeal or at least substantially roll back Obamacare, it raises the stakes
dramatically to pass into law a big, bold tax-reform plan, said Tim Phillips, who leads Americans for
Prosperity, the political group backed by the Koch brothers.
On the political side, the biggest problem that Republicans could face in 2018 is not a partisan battle.
It's a sense of incompetence and inability to govern that will be most painful, said Josh Holmes, a
longtime McConnell adviser and former chief of staff.
Unless they can figure out how to reverse this quickly, you can see where this cascades into more
issues past health care, Holmes added.
But consensus on the political value of achieving tax reform ahead of the 2018 midterm elections does
not equal agreement on the policy details and that could bedevil Trumps next big policy push, just as
the health care effort was undermined by insurmountable differences between moderates and
conservatives in the Republican Caucus.

Trumps lack of capital gives Dems leverage to make gains in the midterms --- he has
to find a way to create the perception that he is a deal maker
Graham 7/18 David A. Graham, Staff Writer at The Atlantic, 2017 ("It's (Still) Never Trump's Fault,"
Atlantic, Available online at https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/its-still-never-
trumps-fault/534066/, Accessed 7/21/2017)
Not that the president was ready to accept any blame. Just as he did after the Houses first attempt at
repeal failed in March, Trump blamed Democrats:
This makes no more sense than it did in March. Democrats are a minority in the Senate, and both the
repeal-and-replace and the clean-repeal plans failed because the Republican caucus couldnt unify. The
Democrats were never a factor in the debate. Thats not surprising: Why would any Democrat work to
repeal the partys signature policy achievement of the last decade in order to replace it with a plan that
would leave tens of millions of people uninsured and increase premiums for many? The broadside
against Dems came only about 10 hours after promising that they would work together to replace
Obamacareand an a hour and a half before Trump called for the Senate to invoke the nuclear option
and totally eliminate the filibuster.
Meanwhile, Trump wants credit for almost not failing. Essentially, the vote would have been pretty
close toif you look at it48-4. That's a pretty impressive vote by any standard, the president said at
the White House on Tuesday, referring to the basic standard of reaching a bare majority of votes
required for all legislation as impressive, a bravura act of bar-lowering. (Indeed, most bills these days
require 60 votes, and it was only thanks to the reconciliation process that this bill needed only 50.)
Trump has the answer: He needs voters to send him a supermajority in the Senate:
The bad news for Trump is that presidents typically lose seats in Congress during their first midterm
election. That rule holds even for presidents who are not as historically unpopular as Trump is (a
situation his failure to deliver repeal is unlikely to help); some forecasters believe 2018 could produce a
Democratic wave.
The president has one more idea. Let Obamacare fail, he said Tuesday. It will be a lot easier. And I
think were probably in that position where well just let Obamacare fail. Were not going to own it. Im
not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it.
Perhaps he is right, but it wouldnt be surprising if he were wrong. Given unified control of the House,
Senate, White House, and Supreme Court, as well as several failed attempts at repeal, the Republican
Party will have a hard time convincing voters it doesnt own the bill. (Dont ask me, though. Ask Donald
Trump, who in September 2013 tweeted, NO GAMES! HOUSE @GOP MUST DEFUND OBAMACARE! IF
THEY DONT, THEN THEY OWN IT!)
Although the collapse of the Senate bill echoes the March collapse of the Houses health-care bill
closely, Trump doesnt seem to have learned much from it. Perhaps the successful resuscitation of the
House bill convinced the White House that the hands-off strategy worked well. The demise of the
Senate bill shows, just as President Obama before him learned, that there are dangers in deference.
One notable difference this time was that no one expected Trump to contribute meaningfully to passing
the bill. As the climax of the House bill neared in March, members of the House leadership team took to
talking about Trump as the ultimate closer. There was no such talk from Senate leaders this time
around.
As I wrote when the bill collapsed, Trump seemed to be overestimating his ability to bounce back from
defeat. The president didnt bring policy experience, or governing know-how, to Washington. What he
brought was a reputation as an effective dealmaker. Once squandered, that reputation is difficult to
reclaim, and his irrelevance to the Senate repeal-and-replace effort demonstrates that. One can
understand, given Trumps shaky salesmanship so far, why congressional Republicans would be
reluctant to let Obamacare collapse and trust that Trump would successfully pin that on Democrats.
In the business world, Trump could quietly walk away from a deal, even if it meant taking a loss of
millions of dollars. In New York real-estate, a few big losses were survivable, even if it meant lighting
money on fire. Politics doesnt work that way.
It is possible that McConnell, whose reputation for wiliness is bruised but not broken by the health-care
collapse, will find some way to revive repeal, but Trumps failures of marketing, strategy, and tactics on
Obamacare repeal are the equivalent to lighting political capital on fire. If that was unwise in March,
its foolhardy now, when Trumps position is, thanks to the Russia matter, weaker than ever.
Six months into his presidency, the president has squandered his reputation as a dealmaker and spent
away whatever political capital he had at the start of his presidency. Even worse, he has no major
legislation to show for it.
Link Cooperation with GOP

Any cooperation with the GOP devastates Democrats


Snell 17 Kelsey Snell, reporter for The Washington Post, April 1st ("Democrats have a new and
surprising weapon on Capitol Hill: Power," The Washington Post,
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/democrats-have-a-new-and-surprising-weapon-on-
capitol-hill-power/2017/04/01/e2ba46c0-16e3-11e7-ada0-
1489b735b3a3_story.html?utm_term=.debccc3ef9ec)
Democrats in Congress have a new and surprising tool at their disposal in the era of one-party
Republican rule in President Trumps Washington: power.
It turns out that Republicans need the minority party to help them avoid a government shutdown at the
end of April, when the current spending deal to fund the government expires. And Democrats have
decided, for now at least, that they will use their leverage to reassert themselves and ensure the
continued funding of their top priorities by negotiating with Republicans.
I think we have a lot of leverage here, said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). Republicans are going to
need our help putting together the budget, and that help means we can avoid some of the outrageous
Trump proposals and advance some of our own proposals.
The fact that Republicans need Democrats to vote for a temporary spending measure to avoid a
shutdown gives Democrats leverage to force the GOP to abandon plans to attack funding for
environmental programs and Planned Parenthood. And it also allows Democrats to block Trumps top
priority the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border which the president seeks to factor in to this latest
round of budget negotiations.
It comes at a time when Republicans on Capitol Hill are badly divided and President Trumps ambitious
agenda a health-care overhaul, his 2018 budget blueprint, a tax proposal and an infrastructure
program has yet to get off the ground.
Since the failure of the House GOPs health-care plan, Trump has signaled he may work with Democrats
to achieve major goals. Coupled with the negotiations over the spending measure, such a statement
could foreshadow a major and unexpected power shift in Washington in which the minority party has
far more influence in upcoming legislative fights than was initially expected.
I think most of our caucus wants to work with them, said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer
(D-N.Y.) in a recent interview, referring to the GOP. But it requires working in a compromise way.
But cooperation with their GOP counterparts and possibly even with Trump is a risky move for
congressional Democrats, who are being pressured by the more liberal wing of their party to obstruct
the GOP and Trump at all costs. Part of that energy is playing out in the Senate over the nomination of
Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, as Democrats have vowed to block his confirmation,
potentially leading to an explosive fight next week to change Senate rules.
Hill Democrats are betting voters will view any attempt to compromise on spending as further evidence
that the fractured GOP is unable to govern. If the talks fail and a shutdown approaches, voters might
then blame Republicans for failing to keep the government open despite their control of the House,
Senate and White House, several Democratic aides reasoned.
There is a sense among many Democrats that bipartisanship isnt necessarily toxic, even in an
environment in which ardent liberals continue to protest at town hall meetings. House Minority Leader
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats think voters see Democrats taking steps to defend existing
policies such as battling the American Health Care Act or blocking funding for a border wall and
understand the big picture.
Compromise isnt an option reconciling with Trump ruins any chance for progressive
change and ensures midterm losses
Faris 17 David Faris, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Roosevelt University, where he teaches
Egyptian and Middle Eastern Politics, February 3rd ("How to save red-state Democrats," The Week,
Available online at http://theweek.com/articles/677430/how-save-redstate-democrats, Accessed
7/7/2017)
The time for compromise, civility, and moderation is over. This is political war.
Earlier this week, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) made the simple and seemingly non-controversial
statement that she supports hearings for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. "We
should have a full confirmation hearing process and a vote on ANY nominee for the Supreme Court," she
tweeted just hours before the nomination was announced.
Liberals across America subsequently exploded with rage.
In simpler times (before Republicans cynically iced the Merrick Garland nomination), McCaskill's would
have been an uncontroversial stance. Until recently, this was precisely how the Senate worked. But the
Democratic base, righteously infuriated that the GOP's six-year ransacking of D.C. resulted in a total
takeover of American government, is in no mood for compromise. In response to outrage from the
freshly mobilized left, McCaskill backpedaled, reiterating her support for the filibuster and stating that
Gorsuch will need 60 votes to clear the Senate.
McCaskill's wavering is symbolic of a larger problem: The 2018 Senate map is abysmal for Democrats,
who will be defending far more seats than the GOP, mostly in hostile territory like Missouri and North
Dakota. But any attempt to save these endangered Democrats by currying favor with Trump and his
voters can only end one way: in estrangement from the Democratic base, humiliation by Trump, and
then defeat in 2018.
Instead, McCaskill and Co. need to Google Map their spines, dig in, and fight like hell.
You can sympathize with their basic dilemma. Democratic senators like McCaskill, North Dakota's Heidi
Heitkamp, and Montana's Jon Tester represent states that are far more conservative than the average
elected Democrat. A strategy of positioning themselves to the right of the Democratic caucus makes
some intrinsic sense. Conservative voters inclined to reject anyone with a (D) after their name might
take a second look at someone who supports gun rights, for instance, or who capably represents the
ideological preferences of their actual constituents. It's an age-old gambit in the Senate: Establish your
maverick bona fides and glide to victory as a respected independent.
Unfortunately, there is zero evidence that this strategy actually works anymore. The instinct to pursue
moderation and compromise with the Trump administration is deeply misguided. The only thing that
can save McCaskill is a big, beautiful tsunami of Democratic votes in 2018.
Political memories in this country seem to be pretty short, but we've been here before, way back in the
halcyon days of 2014. In that year's midterm massacre of Senate Democrats, those who lost their seats
were almost exclusively Democrats representing red states, like Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Pryor
of Arkansas (the 2014 Mark Massacre also claimed Mark Udall of Colorado and spared only Virginia's
Mark Warner).
Most of these senators had made concerted efforts to distance themselves from President Obama.
Pryor voted against an expansion of background checks for firearms sales, vocally opposed same-sex
marriage, and talked about Jesus in ways that would have made Jerry Falwell proud. He was still handed
one of the most epic defeats ever suffered by a sitting senator, losing to Tom Cotton by 16 points.
Louisiana's Mary Landrieu was one of the biggest thorns in the side of Democratic leadership during the
debate over the Affordable Care Act, joining with Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson to help spike the
"public option," and spent her last days in office crusading pitifully for the Keystone pipeline. She still
lost by 12 points.
There was really nothing that these doomed red-state Democrats could have done to avoid the partisan
undertow of a Republican wave election. After all, the same dynamics have slowly eroded the number of
Republicans representing blue states. In today's partisan environment, dressing yourself up as a
moderate doesn't do much to save your skin. Just ask former Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) or former
Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman (R) or former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R). Voters can see right
through the ruse, and are starting to understand that senatorial maverick-y-ness is less important than
whether or not your team controls the chamber and how popular the president is.
Wave elections, in fact, are how this new crop of endangered senators got or held their seats in the first
place. Tester was lucky to run in the 2006 Democratic wave and then squeaked by with 48 percent of
the vote on President Obama's coattails in 2012. Heitkamp also won a razor-thin race in 2012. Their
presence in the caucus is valuable, of course, but Democrats need to be realistic about how it happened.
This isn't neuroscience. And the sooner the Democratic leadership processes and understands this basic
reality, the better the chance that they will actually be able to hold some of these endangered seats in
2018. Instead of protecting the McCaskill wing of the party by looking the other way while they stab the
base in the back, Chuck Schumer and his allies must do everything in their power to forge a unified front
opposing everything from executive orders to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Senators who
wander off the reservation are going to be abandoned by the base or challenged in primaries.
Ruthless, unapologetic obstruction must then be coupled with a plan to nationalize the 2018 elections
and to turn every single race in the country from the bloodest red Congressional district in the Meth
Belt all the way up to McCaskill's Senate seat into a referendum on our odious president and the
Vichy Republicans providing covering fire for him.
This should be easiest thing Democrats ever have to do.
The Trump administration has thus far been an appalling fiasco. While his abominable Muslim ban might
split the country down the middle politically, the administration's plans on other fronts, like selling off
national parks to oil speculators, are extremely unpopular and should benefit rural senators like
Heitkamp and Tester. The scale of the inbound economic destruction from throwing millions of
people off their health insurance to the coming spike in consumer goods prices that will result from
Trump's idiotic trade wars should do all the work necessary to make the Republican Party radioactive.
McCaskill's unpaid interns should be able to throw together a capable mashup of footage tying her
opponent to the corrupt president and his cabal of white nationalists and granny-starvers.
Trump's approval ratings are already abysmal, rivaling the low points of George W. Bush's post-Iraq
favorability. And this is the honeymoon period! McCaskill and the Democrats have only one choice: Band
together, fight, and win or at least go down with their dignity intact.
Internal Link Turnout Key

Dems can take the midterms increased turnout is the critical variable
Cohn 4/5 Nate Cohn, writer for the New York Times, 2017 ("Democrats Are Bad at Midterm Turnout.
That Seems Ready to Change.," New York Times, Available online at
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/upshot/democrats-are-bad-at-midterm-turnout-that-seems-
ready-to-change.html, Accessed 7/21/2017)
Donald J. Trumps low approval ratings and the palpable enthusiasm of progressives nationwide have
Democrats dreaming of a big win in next years midterm elections. But to pull that off, theyll need to
overcome one of their biggest challenges of the last decade: low turnout in off-year contests.
The Democratic turnout in those elections has been extremely weak worse than many public analysts
have suggested. Democrats have depended on young and nonwhite voters, two groups that produce
low turnout in midterm contests. Nationwide, Republicans were more than 20 percent likelier to vote
than Democrats (defined by party vote history and registration) in 2010 and 2014, according to an
Upshot analysis of voter file data from the company L2.
But there are early signs this could be changing. If it does in 2018, it will be consistent with a longer-term
trend in which the party out of power benefits in midterm elections, seemingly from a stronger
turnout.
Democrats have fared well in recent special elections, and they have turned out in strong numbers in
the four contests where complete turnout numbers are now available: a relatively uncompetitive special
election in Iowas 45th State Senate district in December, two January contests in Virginia, and
Delawares 10th State Senate district race in February.
In Delaware, the turnout for Democrats and the unaffiliated matched 2014 levels, while Republican
turnout was five percentage points lower. In the end, the partisan composition of the electorate was
about the same as in 2016, and Democrats won the race. (For a special election in a state senate race,
simply matching previous turnout levels is an impressive feat.)
In Iowa, Democratic turnout was far higher than Republican turnout, improving the Democratic share of
the electorate by 14 points since the last midterm election. The turnout data is harder to interpret in
Virginia, where voters do not register with a party. But Republican primary voters outnumbered
Democratic primary voters by a somewhat smaller number in both contests than they did in the 2014
elections.
The trend toward higher Democratic turnout appears to be continuing in the April 18 special election for
Georgias Sixth Congressional District, where early voting has recently gotten underway. So far, the
partys turnout is running about twice as high as it did at this point in 2014, while Republican turnout is
about half what it was.
It would be unfair to judge Republican voters too harshly for their low turnout at this stage they are
trying to decide among 11 candidates. (I wouldnt have voted yet, either.) But the higher Democratic
turnout is striking, and if it holds it suggests that the Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff will benefit from
stronger party turnout than in the past.
A few elections arent enough to prove that turnout is really shifting. But there are other signs of higher
Democratic enthusiasm, like the millions who marched and protested a day after Mr. Trumps
inauguration, or the abundant fund-raising for Mr. Ossoff.
Parties out of power have long tended to do very well in midterm elections. It has been less clear why
maybe because of turnout, or because voters swing across parties to check the president.
If its because of turnout, the Democratic midterm turnout problem might just solve itself with a
Republican in the White House. If its not because of turnout, Democrats might be disadvantaged by an
unfavorable electorate, even in the sort of election theyre supposed to win.
The available evidence is limited, but it suggests that the party out of power enjoys stronger turnout
than the party holding the White House. The best evidence comes from Iowa, which has voter turnout
data by party registration going back to 1980. It tells a fairly consistent story: Democrats usually have
worse turnout in midterm elections, but the Republican edge is greatest when Democrats hold the
presidency. The Democratic turnout disadvantage is smaller or basically nonexistent when
Republicans hold the White House.
On average, Republican turnout has been just 6 percent higher than Democratic turnout in midterm
elections when Republicans have held the White House, like in 1982, 1986, 1990, 2002 and 2006.
Republican turnout has been 17 percent higher than Democratic turnout in midterm elections when
Democrats have held the presidency like in 1994, 1998, 2010 and 2014. The same pattern shows up in
the lower-quality data available elsewhere.
Its far too early to say whether Democrats can return to the relative parity they enjoyed in the Bush and
Reagan years, especially since the Democratic coalition is younger and more diverse than it was then.
But the history of midterm turnout, the recent special elections, the protests, the donations and the
early vote all seem consistent with the same story: The Democrats might be fixing their midterm
turnout problem.
Impact Investigations / Democracy /
Investigations
2nc Impeachment Impact

Dems winning midterms is key to impeach Trump


Goldberg 6/14 Jonah Goldberg, Senior Editor at the National Review, 2017 ("Trump will probably be
impeached if Republicans lose the House," AEI, http://www.aei.org/publication/trump-will-probably-be-
impeached-if-republicans-lose-the-house/)
The 1998 midterm election was a debacle for Republicans, particularly then-speaker of the House Newt
Gingrich. Since Reconstruction, no president had seen his party gain seats in the House in a midterm
election six years into his presidency. Gingrich, who made the election a referendum on impeaching
President Bill Clinton, resigned after the loss. Clearly, voters had sent the signal, Dont do it.
The White House thought it had dodged a bullet. But one morning, over Thanksgiving break, thenWhite
House chief of staff John Podesta was running in Washingtons Rock Creek park when it hit him: GOP
leaders are not going to let their members off the hook. Theyre going to beat and beat and beat on
them until they vote for impeachment.
It fell to Podesta to tell the still-celebrating White House staff that the midterms meant nothing, that the
push to impeach the president in the House was a runaway train that could not be derailed. This
thing is rigged, Podesta announced at a Monday-morning staff meeting. We are going to lose.
President Trumps White House could use a John Podesta about now. Because no one seems to have
told Trumps team that the Democrats are every bit as committed to impeaching Trump as the GOP
was to impeaching Clinton. The difference, of course, is that the Democrats dont control the House
yet.
If they did, as the Washington Examiners Byron York rightly noted recently, impeachment proceedings
would already be underway. And if the Democrats take back the House in 2018, it wont matter to most
members whether the country as a whole supports impeachment, because the voters who elected them
and the donors who supported them will be in favor of it. (A recent Public Policy Polling survey
found that 47 percent of Americans support impeachment while 43 percent oppose it.)
Personally, I think it would be folly to impeach the president given what we know now. But thats
meaningless. The phrase high crimes and misdemeanors notwithstanding, the criteria for
impeachment have little to do with criminal law and everything to do with politics. If 218 members of
the House think it is right or simply in their political interest to impeach the president, he can be
impeached. Whether two-thirds of the Senate decides to remove the president from office is also an
entirely political decision. Given the likely composition of the Senate after the next election, however,
that remains unlikely.
Then again, who knows? Given how Trump responds to criticism and political pressure, would you want
to bet that the tweeter-in-chief would be a model of statesmanlike restraint during an impeachment
ordeal? So many of his current problems are the direct result of letting his ego or frustration get the
better of him. What fresh troubles would he mint when faced with removal from office? What might he
say under oath to the special counsel? Clinton, recall, was impeached and disbarred because he
perjured himself in a deposition.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has cautioned against making the midterms a referendum on
impeachment. But that is an electoral strategy, not a plan for when she gets the speakers gavel. And
even if she declines to go straight to impeachment hearings on Day One, a Democratic-controlled House
would still be a nightmare for the White House. Any hope of passing a conservative agenda would die
instantaneously. Worse, once Democrats gained the power to subpoena documents and compel
testimony from members of the administration, the Hobbesian internal politics of todays White House
would look like a company picnic by comparison.
In short, the only hope for the Trump presidency is for the GOP to maintain control of the House.
According to various reports, the GOP thinks it can hold on by running against the media in 2018. As
pathetic as that would be, it might work. Though I doubt it. A better strategy would be to actually get
things done.
And the only way for that to happen is for both houses of Congress to get their act together. Voting bills
out of the House may be enough to justify a Rose Garden party, but it will do little to sway voters
whove been told for years that the GOP needs control of all three branches to do big things. Trump
wont be on the ballot in 2018, but his presidency will hang in the balance.

Trump causes extinction nuclear war, climate change, disease, and prolif
Baum 16 Seth, is executive director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, a nonprofit think tank
that Baum co-founded in 2011. Baums research focuses on risk, ethics, and policy questions about
major threats to human civilization, including nuclear war, global warming, and emerging technologies,
December 9th ("What Trump means for global catastrophic risk," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
Available online at http://thebulletin.org/what-trump-means-global-catastrophic-risk10266, MSCOTT)
In 1987, Donald Trump said he had an aggressive plan for the United States to partner with the Soviet Union on nuclear non-proliferation. He was motivated by, among other things, an
encounter with Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafis former pilot, who convinced him that at least some world leaders are too unstable to ever be trusted with nuclear weapons. Now, 30 years
Trumpfollowing a presidential campaign marked by impulsive, combative behaviorseems poised to
later,

become one of those unstable world leaders. Global catastrophic risks are those that threaten the
survival of human civilization. Of all the implications a Trump presidency has for global catastrophic
riskand there are manythe prospect of him ordering the launch of the massive US nuclear arsenal is by far
the most worrisome. In the United States, the president has sole authority to launch atomic weapons. As Bruce Blair
recently argued in Politico, Trumps tendency toward erratic behavior, combined with a mix of difficult geopolitical

challenges ahead, mean the probability of a nuclear launch order will be unusually high. If Trump orders an
unwarranted launch, then the only thing that could stop it would be disobedience by launch personnelthough even this might not suffice, since the president could

simply replace them. Such disobedience has precedent, most notably in Vasili Arkhipov, the Soviet submarine officer who refused to authorize a nuclear launch during the
Cuban Missile Crisis; Stanislav Petrov, the Soviet officer who refused to relay a warning (which turned out to be a false alarm) of incoming US missiles; and James Schlesinger, the US defense
secretary under President Richard Nixon, who reportedly told Pentagon aides to check with him first if Nixon began talking about launching nuclear weapons. Both Arkhipov and Petrov are
now celebrated as heroes for saving the world. Perhaps Schlesinger should be too, though his story has been questioned. US personnel involved in nuclear weapons operations should take
the only
note of these tales and reflect on how they might act in a nuclear crisis. Risks and opportunities abroad. Aside from planning to either persuade or disobey the president,

way to avoid nuclear war is to try to avoid the sorts of crises that can prompt nuclear launch. China and
Russia, which both have large arsenals of long-range nuclear weapons and tense relationships with the
United States, are the primary candidates for a nuclear conflagration with Washington. Already, Trump has increased
tensions with China by taking a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. China-Taiwan relations are very fragile, and this sort of

disruption could lead to a war that would drag in the United States. Meanwhile, Trumps presidency could create some interesting
opportunities to improve US relations with Russia. The United States has long been too dismissive of Moscows very legitimate

security concerns regarding NATO expansion, missile defense, and other encroachments. In stark defiance of US
political convention, Trump speaks fondly of Russian President Vladimir Putin, an authoritarian leader, and expresses little interest in supporting NATO

allies. The authoritarianism is a problem, but Trumps unconventional friendliness nonetheless offers a valuable opportunity to rethink US-Russia relations for the better. On the other
hand, conciliatory overtures toward Russia could backfire. Without US pressure, Russia could become aggressive, perhaps invading the Baltic

states. Russia might gamble that NATO wouldnt fight back, but if it was wrong, such an invasion could
lead to nuclear war. Additionally, Trumps pro-Russia stance could mean that Putin would no longer be
able to use anti-Americanism to shore up domestic support, which could lead to a dangerous political
crisis. If Putin fears a loss of power, he could turn to more aggressive military action in hopes of bolstering his
support. And if he were to lose power, particularly in a coup, there is no telling what would happen to one of the worlds two largest
nuclear arsenals. The best approach for the United States is to rethink Russia-US relations while avoiding the sorts of military and political crises that could escalate to nuclear
war. The war at home. Trump has been accused many times of authoritarian tendencies, not least due to his praise for Putin. He

also frequently defies democratic norms and institutions, for instance by encouraging violence against
opposition protesters during his presidential campaign, and now via his business holdings, which create a real prospect he may violate the
Constitutions rule against accepting foreign bribes. Already, there are signs that Trump is profiting from his newfound political position, for example with an end to project delays on a Trump
Tower in Buenos Aires. The US Constitution explicitly forbids the president from receiving foreign gifts, known as emoluments. What if, under President Trump, the US government itself
becomes authoritarian? Such an outcome might seem unfathomable, and to be sure, achieving authoritarian control would not be as easy for Trump as starting a nuclear war. It would require
government officials are
compliance from a much larger portion of government personnel and the publiccompliance that cannot be taken for granted. Already,

discussing how best to resist illegal and unethical moves from the inside, and citizens are circulating
expert advice on how to thwart creeping authoritarianism. But the president-elect will take office at a time in which support for democracy
may be declining in the United States and other Western countries, as measured by survey data. And polling shows that his supporters were more likely to have authoritarian inclinations than
supporters of other Republican or Democratic primary candidates. Moreover, his supporters cheered some of his clearly authoritarian suggestions, like creating a registry for Muslims and
An authoritarian US government would be
implying that through force of his own personality, he would achieve results where normal elected officials fail.

a devastating force. In theory, dictatorships can be benevolent, but throughout history, they have been responsible for
some of the largest human tragedies, with tens of millions dying due to their own governments in the
Stalinist Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Maoist China. Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, an
authoritarian United States could wield overwhelming military and intelligence capabilities to even
more disastrous effect. Return to an old world order. Trump has suggested he might pull the United States back from
the post-World War II international order it helped build and appears to favor a pre-World War II isolationist mercantilism that would have the United
States look out for its unenlightened self-interest and nothing more. This would mean retreating from alliances and attempts to promote democracy abroad, and an embrace of economic
Such a retreat from globalization would have important implications for catastrophic risk.
protectionism at home.

The post-World War II international system has proved remarkably stable and peaceful. Returning to
the pre-World War II system risks putting the world on course for another major war, this time with
deadlier weapons. International cooperation is also essential for addressing global issues like climate
change, infectious disease outbreaks, arms control, and the safe management of emerging technologies.
On the other hand, the globalized economy can be fragile. Shocks in one place can cascade around the world, and a bad enough shock could collapse the whole system, leaving behind few
complete rejection of
communities that are able to support themselves. Globalization can also bring dangerous concentrations of wealth and power. Nevertheless,

globalization would be a dangerous mistake. Playing with climate dangers. Climate change will not wipe
out human populations as quickly as a nuclear bomb would, but it is wreaking slow-motion havoc that
could ultimately be just as devastating. Trump has been all over the map on the subject, variously supporting action to reduce emissions and calling global
warming a hoax. On December 5th he met with environmental activist and former vice president Al Gore, giving some cause for hope, but later the same week said he would appoint
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who denies the science of climate change, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Trumps energy plan calls for energy independence with
If his energy policy puts more greenhouse gas into the
development of both fossil fuels and renewables, as well as less environmental regulation.

atmosphereas it may by increasing fossil fuel consumptionit will increase global catastrophic risk. For
all global catastrophic risks, it is important to remember that the US president is hardly the only important actor. Trumps election shifts the landscape of risks and opportunities, but does not
change the fact that each of us can help keep humanity safe. His election also offers an important reminder that outlier events sometimes happen. Just because election-winning politicians
have been of a particular mold in the past, doesnt mean the same kind of leaders will continue to win. Likewise, just because we have avoided global catastrophe so far doesnt mean we will
continue to do so.
Investigations Failing Now

Current investigation is failing


Kriner and Schickler 4/27/17. (Douglas L. Kriner and Eric Schickler, Washington Post. Why wont
Congress really investigate the Trump campaigns ties to Russia? April 27, 2017.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/04/27/why-wont-congress-
investigate-the-trump-campaigns-ties-to-russia/?utm_term=.3fa98396d41a)
But Congresss feeble efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election may be an even
more startling and serious institutional failure. The House inquiry has been plagued by infighting and
missteps. The most notable so far was the clandestine meeting to share intelligence between chief
investigator, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and the White House he was charged with investigating. While
the Senate investigative committee has pledged a thorough probe, its done little so far. It has held no
high-profile hearings. Until very recently, it had no full-time staff, and its few part-time staffers have no
investigative experience or expertise with Russia. That investigative standstill is worrisome. Whats at
stake is the integrity of the U.S. electoral process. But its not surprising. The same party controls the
presidency and both houses of Congress. And in recent decades, members have shifted their time
from committee work to efforts to stay in office, with frequent trips home and ongoing fundraising.
Dodd Frank
Impact U.S. Economy

Dodd Frank repeal destroys the economy removes supervision and consumer
database
Lazarus 17 David Lazarus, American business and consumer columnist for the Los Angeles Times,
April 18th ("Revised GOP bill would destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," La Times,
Available online at http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-gop-at-war-with-consumers-
20170418-story.html, Accessed 7/16/2017)
In his first draft of the CHOICE Act, introduced last year, Hensarling proposed replacing the CFPBs
independent director with a more easily influenced bipartisan committee. His new version calls instead
for a single director removable at will by the president.
Under current rules, the bureaus director is appointed for a five-year term and can be ousted only for
cause, which is defined as inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.
Hensarlings bill also would allow for the CFPB deputy director to be appointed and removed by the
president. At present, that job is filled by the director. Both these changes would ensure that the
president has full control over the agency.
Gone would be the bureaus authority to monitor the day-to-day activities of financial firms. CHOICE
Act 2.0 stipulates that the CFPB would be an enforcement agency only, without supervision
functions.
What that means is the bureau would be stripped of its current supervisory role, which allows it to
audit firms practices and access internal documents. As an enforcement agency only, its authority
would be limited to cracking down on corporate malfeasance only after it comes to light.
Kind of like a judge being demoted to a security guard.
Moreover, the bureau no longer would be able to go after corporate practices it deems unfair, deceptive
or abusive, such as a payday lender with unusually onerous terms. Hensarlings bill, incredibly, specifies
that the CFPB would have no such authority of any kind.
And because the delicate feelings of companies are so easily bruised by criticism, Hensarlings revised
bill would completely do away with the bureaus database of consumer complaints, which contains
more than 700,000 searchable listings.
The first version of his bill throttled the effectiveness of the database by requiring that all complaints be
verified before being posted online. The new version simply says no consumer complaints can be
publicly aired. So there.
Clearly, none of these changes represent improvements, at least for consumers. Every one of them
either weakens the CFPB politically or reduces its ability to effectively prevent financial firms from
preying on customers.
In fact, Hensarling would give the bureau a whole new name: the Consumer Financial Opportunity
Agency, which tellingly eliminates protection from the equation.
Sarah Rozier, a spokeswoman for the Financial Services Committee, said in a statement that Hensarling
plans to reintroduce his amended bill by the end of the month.
Our plan, which will be released in the next few weeks, is a bold and visionary plan that protects
consumers by holding Wall Street and Washington accountable, ends bailouts and unleashes Americas
economic potential, she said.
Im not sure how Americas economic potential has been shackled by a consumer agency thats
overseen a revamping of mortgage rules, proposed new regulations for payday lenders and held dozens
of firms accountable for fiscal misdeeds. The bureau says it has recovered about $12 billion for
consumers since 2011.
Marcus Stanley, policy director for the advocacy group Americans for Financial Reform, said Hensarlings
revised bill makes regulators even weaker than they were before the financial crisis.
If this bill passes, he told me, it would turn the CFPB into an ineffective agency.
Score that a big win for financial firms after years of filling Hensarlings pockets with money.
You get what you pay for.

Repeal devastates the economy sends us into recession


Dayen 17 David Dayen, contributing writer to Salon and The Intercept and a weekly columnist for the
New Republic and the Fiscal Times, June 7th ("Republicans Cant Really Repeal Dodd-Frank," The Nation,
Available online at https://www.thenation.com/article/republicans-cant-really-repeal-dodd-frank/,
Accessed 7/16/2017)
House Republicans will go into work tomorrow and pass a bill designed to strip away virtually everything
of value in the last round of President Obamas 2010 financial reforms. And then everyone will get on
with their lives, because the bill has no chance whatsoever of becoming law.
House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling, aficionado of industry-paid junkets, knows
this. House Speaker Paul Ryan knows this. Not a soul in Congress believes that the CHOICE (Creating
Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) Act, the Houses Dodd-Frank
overhaul, will see the light of day. But theyre passing it anyway.
And thats the difference between Republican and Democratic conceptions of legislative power.
Lets start by pointing out that the Choice Act is a bad bill. The acronym of the title suggests banks would
have to make a choice: suffer under the allegedly burdensome financial regulations we have today, or
maintain a ratio of liquid assets to overall debtknown as a leverage ratioof 10 percent. Higher
leverage ratios give banks the ability to absorb losses in case of catastrophe. Theres a germ of an idea
here; simple requirements like leverage ratios are easier to enforce than the maddening complexity of
much of Dodd-Frank. And if bankers are responsible for their own mistakes with their own money, you
could imagine a lighter regulatory touch.
But heres the problem: Theres no penalty for violators of the leverage rules. Under the act, if leverage
ratios fell below the threshold for a regulatory exemption, a bank would get a year to rewrite its capital
plan. So you could easily envision banks jumping back and forth, reaching compliance with leverage
rules and then falling out, facing no sanction for doing so. A rule without enforcement isnt a rule, and
the only choice for Wall Street in the Choice Act is to do whatever it wants.
Added to this false choice is a dismantling of Dodd-Franks biggest features. The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau would be gutted, with its jurisdiction constrained and its budget subject to
congressional meddling. Tools to unwind banks in a crisis would be repealed. Enhanced supervision of
systemically important financial institutions would be eliminated. Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) registration for hedge funds and private equity firms would be jettisoned. Stress-
test methods would be publicly disclosed, allowing banks to prepare for these examinations of their
balance-sheet health. The Volcker rule, preventing big banks that take deposits from gambling with
customer funds, would be ditched.
House Republicans mainly dont talk about these features, preferring to focus on regulatory relief for
community banks and credit unions; the CHOICE Act exempts these institutions from most Dodd-Frank
rules and reporting requirements. Thats literally the only thing you hear about from the House GOP,
that Dodd-Frank unfairly caused the premature death of Main Street banks (which have been dying for
decades amid the same market concentration afflicting the rest of the economy, with Dodd-Frank
neither accelerating or decelerating that trend).
Incredibly, Republicans are selling this community bank relief feature as their version of Glass-Steagall.
That famous regulation concerned the separation of commercial and investment banking, but in
Republican hands, it just means unburdening smaller banks more than the already unburdened mega-
banks. They are using the name of one of the historys prominent bank regulations to sell deregulation.
There was an outside shot than an actual Glass-Steagall restoration, sponsored by Democrat Marcy
Kaptur and Republican Walter Jones, would get a vote along with the CHOICE Act. But Republicans on
the House Rules Committee quickly shot that down, and so Thursdays vote will just be on the CHOICE
Act.
The Senate has a CHOICE Act too: Its about education scholarships. Thats how much the CHOICE Act is
disrespected on the other side of the Capitol, where they have no interest in or ability to pass such an
overhaul. Any legislation of this type would need eight Senate Democrats to overcome a filibuster,
which is about eight more than this kind of package could attract. The CHOICE Act is purely a framework
in theory, and will never exist in practice.

Dodd Frank repeal is a disaster results in a recession


K@W 17 Knowledge@Wharton, online business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania, February 10th ("Repealing Dodd-Frank: Whats the Likely Fallout?,"
Knowledge@Wharton, Available online at http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/repealing-
dodd-frank-whats-the-likely-fallout/, Accessed 7/18/2017)
In a move that generated widespread concern last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive
order that aims to repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Even
Dodd-Franks strongest supporters acknowledge that parts of the law could be tweaked to remove
excessive financial regulation and made simpler. But they worry that in the process of such reforms,
much of what is good in Dodd-Frank will be undone.
The Trump administrations vehicle to repeal Dodd-Frank is the Financial Choice Act, a failed 2016 bill
being reintroduced by Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling, who is chairman of the House Financial
Services Committee. The bill gets its new traction from Trumps presidential order, signed on February 3,
which lists seven so-called Core Principles to regulate the U.S. financial system. The order directs the
treasury secretary to consult with the heads of the member agencies of the Financial Stability Oversight
Council and report within 120 days if existing laws and regulations support those principles.
According to Michael Barr, University of Michigan Law School professor and a key architect of the Dodd-
Frank Act, the Choice Act would imperil the interests of the middle class, retirees and investors. It just
seems like a recipe for a huge disaster, he said. [Dodd-Frank] put in place real guardrails against re-
creating the kind of financial crisis we saw in 2008. It is inexcusable that the administration has
targeted the most vulnerable people in our society to be the ones that bear the brunt of their
ideological push.
Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics Peter Conti-Brown does not expect an easy
passage for the Choice Act. He said he is intrigued by the game plan of the administration in its pushback
against Dodd-Frank. Describing the Republicans in Congress as a coalition that includes rightwing Rust
Belt populism that is hostile to international trade, for example, he noted that they should similarly be
profoundly skeptical of most provisions of the Choice Act. It would be very hard to sell to those who
voted for radical change and call for an end to protections for average workers, consumers and
investors.
It just seems like a recipe for a huge disaster. Michael Barr
Gains from Dodd-Frank
Barr faulted the argument that Dodd-Frank hinders the growth of the banking industry or the economy.
He said the U.S. financial system is incredibly healthy in comparison to both its state in 2008 and its
counterparts in other countries. He credited that to Dodd-Frank and its requirements for higher capital
and safeguards for investors and consumers.
Barr listed several gains from Dodd-Frank for the U.S. financial system. One is the creation under the act
of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which he said has already returned $11.7 billion to
people who were taken advantage of in the financial system. Another is the ability to implement an
orderly winding down of big firms that get into financial trouble without taxpayer-funded bailouts.
Others included regulation of shadow banking practices such as payday lending; measures to protect
retirement savers from abuse; disclosure requirements on derivatives and for oil companies on their
payments to foreign governments; and the ability for people to report complaints of errant practices.
All of these things are now at risk, Barr said. Thats not about increasing lending, but about giveaways
to the financial sector.
Flawed Objectives?
Both Barr and Conti-Brown also took issue with a proposal in the Choice Act titled Eliminating Excessive
Government Intervention in the Capital Markets that seeks to repeal the department of labors
fiduciary role in overseeing the conduct of brokers and dealers. Changing [that] fiduciary role is pretty
breathtaking, said Conti-Brown. It says you can go and find whatever financial advisor you want
including ones who have conflicts, but those advisors have to disclose those conflicts. He viewed that
as a means to allowing financial advisors to profit by selling products at the expense of unsuspecting
consumers. Selling that politically is impossible, but they are steamrolling it, and that is stunning.
Barr emphasized the basic intent of the labor departments fiduciary role. We should be looking out for
the interests of workers and retirees, not for the interests of the people who are selling them products,
he said. The whole financial system is based on trust. If you cant trust the basic advice that you are
getting in your retirement savings, where does that leave you? He described that proposal as an
ideological assault not one that is empirically-based on the idea of caring about workers and
retirees.
It would be very hard to sell to those who voted for radical change [to] call for an end to protections
for average workers, consumers and investors. Peter Conti-Brown
Conti-Brown said the political strategy in seeking to remove the labor departments fiduciary role is
unclear. He also did not see it as a sop to Wall Street, pointing out that many Wall Street firms have
voluntarily embraced the fiduciary standard.
Barr also attacked the plan to repeal Dodd-Franks provision requiring oil companies to disclose their
payments to foreign governments. He wondered how removing that provision and allowing oil
companies to make secret payments to foreign governments is in the interests of anybody in the U.S.
other than oil and gas companies. He also criticized another move to have the Securities and Exchange
Commission stop requiring companies to disclose the gap between CEO salaries and the median salary
of their employees.
In addition, Conti-Brown criticized the proposal in the Choice Act to grant payday lending a five-year
exemption from regulations if a state or a tribe seeks such a waiver. That is only about making sure
payday lending stays in the shadows and consumers dont get the federal protection that the law says
they should have, he said.

Dodd Frank is key to the economy CFPB oversight prevents massive recessions
Zonta et al 17 Gregg Gelzinis, Michela Zonta, Joe Valenti, and Sarah Edelman, March 27th ("The
Importance of Dodd-Frank, in 6 Charts," Center for American Progress, Available online at
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2017/03/27/429256/importance-dodd-
frank-6-charts/, Accessed 7/16/2017)
Introduction
This week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and House Financial
Services Committee both hold hearings on topics that involve the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and
Consumer Protection Act. Dodd-Frank, as the act is commonly known, was passed in direct response to
clear and unmistakable lessons learned during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Thanks to Dodd-Frank,
today the nations financial system is more stable and consumers are better protected from toxic
financial products than before the financial crisis. However, in what can only be described as a fit of
historical amnesia, some Republican members in Congress want to roll back Dodd-Franks vital financial
stability and consumer protections. Below, we offer six charts that demonstrate the need for, and
positive effect of, financial reform.
The financial crisis destroyed jobs and middle-class wealth
The 2007-2008 financial crisis, caused by the build-up of consumer abuses and unchecked financial
sector risk, precipitated the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. Workers lost
their jobs, millions of people lost their homes, and families saw their wealth vanish. It is against this
backdrop that Dodd-Frank was passed. The act aimed to establish a safer marketplace for consumers
and bolster the financial stability of the U.S. economy. Since the end of the financial crisis, and Dodd-
Franks passage, the U.S. economy has steadily recovered, although the scars of the Great Recession
certainly remain.
The Great Recession has had a profound impact on the U.S. economy. Between 2007 and 2009, 8.6
million jobs were lost, resulting in a sharp increase in unemployment rates. In 2010, the average
unemployment rate was more than double that reported in 2007: 9.6 percent versus 4.6 percent. The
U.S. economy has added millions of jobs since the economy bottomed out in 2009; today, the
unemployment rate stands at 4.7 percent.
Furthermore, nearly 8 million families have lost their homes since 2007 due to foreclosures. The
foreclosure crisis was largely the result of the unscrupulous practices by under-regulated mortgage
lenders who sold predatory mortgage products to any investors who would take them in the private
label security market. In the meantime, the market share of traditionally safer mortgages, such as those
purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and those insured by the government, shrunk. This directly
refutes the claim that the mortgage crisis was driven by Fannie and Freddie.
Home equity represents the main resource for wealth accumulation. Therefore, the losses suffered
during the foreclosure crisis are likely to impact American families for generations. Researchers
forecast that the typical white family will have 31 percent fewer assets by 2031 than they would were it
not for the Great Recession. Typical black families, on the other hand, are likely to experience a 40
percent cut to their total wealth.
Financial reform: enhancing financial stability and consumer protection
The financial crisis made clear that consumers were not adequately protected from the dangers of toxic
financial products. Dodd-Frank sought to fix this problem by creating the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau, or CFPB, a first-of-its-kind agency designed to protect consumers in the financial marketplace.
Since its inception, the bureau has been an unmitigated success. For every $1 of funding, the CFPB has
returned approximately $5 to victims of financial wrongdoing; to date, it has returned nearly $12 billion
to 29 million wronged Americans.
Consumers have also benefited from decreases in high-cost mortgages. Dodd-Frank created standards
for safe mortgages and established the CFPB as a new cop on the beat to make sure Americas families
arent stripped of their wealth again by predatory companies. High-cost mortgages, as a share of total
mortgages, have declined significantly since the financial crisis.
Financial reform in the credit card market has protected consumers without increasing costs or
constraining access. According to the Federal Reserve, total revolving creditmoney that consumers
can borrow and repay at their discretion, such as credit cards and lines of creditapproached $1 trillion
at the end of 2016, showing a return to pre-crisis levels. Meanwhile, the costs of credit have decreased.
The average interest rate on credit cards was 12.4 percent at the end of 2016consistent with the rate
when the CFPB opened its doors in 2011 and down from 13.3 percent when the Credit CARD Act of 2009
was signed into law to address abusive credit card practices. Personal loan rates, too, fell by more than 1
percentage point over the same period. The CFPB estimates that, between 2011 and 2014, reforms
under the CARD Act lowered the total cost to creditinterest and fees combinedby nearly 2
percentage points for borrowers, resulting in credit card holders saving $16 billion.
Dodd-Frank also increased capital requirements and other banking standards to protect the financial
stability of the U.S. economy. In the lead-up to the financial crisis, the financial sector was highly
leveraged and undercapitalized. This meant that, when losses piled up in the sector, banks did not have
sufficient equity capital to bear those losses and either experienced devastating bankruptcies or were
bailed out by the government.
While advocates of Wall Street deregulation argue that lending has been negatively impacted by these
vital financial stability enhancements, the data prove otherwise. Dodd-Frank increased banks loss-
absorbing cushions of equity capital and added other regulatory enhancements, such as strengthened
liquidity rules and stress tests. Advocates for lower capital requirements argue that increased capital
leads to less lending. Several different studies show this is not the casebetter capitalized banks lend
more over an economic cycle. It shouldnt be a surprise then that Dodd-Frank did not hurt lending; look
at Figure 5banks have significantly increased overall lending and business lending since the bills
passage. Credit card loans, auto loans, and mortgage lending have all also increased since Dodd-Franks
passage.
Community bank health
Community banks are a key piece to a vibrant and healthy economy. They provide lending to small,
local businesses and have built strong relationships with their hometown customers. The claim that
community banks are suffering under the burdens of Dodd-Frank has been a familiar refrain trumpeted
by many as a reason to roll back financial reform. But since the end of the financial crisis and the
passage of Dodd-Frank, community banks have increased their lending and profitability. In the past 12
months, community bank loan balances grew more (9.4 percent) than loan balances at noncommunity
banks (6.5 percent). Furthermore, an FDIC study found that the core return on assets for community
banks has remained stable since 1985; net income for community banks in the third quarter of 2016 was
up 12.9 percent from the third quarter of 2015.

Dodd Frank is key to protect investors, the environment, and excessive risk-taking
prevents economic collapse
GA 17 Green America, nonprofit membership organization based in the United States that promotes
ethical consumerism, June 8th ("The Financial CHOICE Act Is the Wrong Choice," Green America,
Available online at https://blog.greenamerica.org/2017/06/13/the-financial-choice-act-is-the-wrong-
choice/, Accessed 7/16/2017)
From rejection of the Paris Climate Accords to rejection of financial safeguards that were put in place
following the 2008 financial crisis, US policies are increasingly a threat to people and the planet.
On June 8, 2017, the House of Representatives voted along party lines, 233-186, to roll back vital
financial protections in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. These
protections are needed to:
Protect millions of Americans, through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, from
financial ruin due to abusive, fraudulent, and deceptive financial products and services;
Safeguard our economy from excessive Wall Street risk-taking especially as taxpayers are
expected to bail out banks that fail;
Allow average investors not only the very largest to bring issues of concern before
corporate management and other investors using the shareholder resolution process.
The vote on the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, HR 10, was clearly a choice to further enrich and
empower the wealthiest at the expense of the publics well-being. It is a poor choice for the long-term
economic health of our country.
Green America mobilized our members to oppose the bill which represents a major set-back to the
green economy we work to build. Key protections under attack by Republicans were put in place
following the 2008 financial crisis in order to prevent the recurrence of that economic nightmare for our
nation. The Dodd-Frank provisions have certainly helped our nation and need to be further
strengthened, not repealed. The Dodd-Frank protections have limited excessive speculation by the
mega-banks; reigned-in unscrupulous mortgage lenders; and tackled problems with payday lenders that
purposefully trap people in debt.
A number of Republicans have cast their opposition to the Dodd-Frank reforms as being hurtful to small
banks. But rather than work constructively to make any needed changes, they seek to dismantle the
protections for all of us except Wall Street. Interestingly, Republicans are not interested in revisiting,
let alone dismantling, regulations that they have promoted that hurt small banks. Why not revisit
money-laundering and Patriot Act provisions that small banks struggle with?
Another problem with the Financial CHOICE Act is its goal of taking away the power of all but the largest
investors. The shareholder engagement process with corporate management, in place through the
Securities & Exchange Commission, has served our nation well since 1934. The number of shareholder
resolutions filed on social and environmental issues has grown over the years, thanks to engagement by
concerned investors. They force Corporate America to confront its impacts on human rights, worker
rights, climate change, environmental issues, the advancement of women and minorities, corporate
political spending and lobbying, and many other issues. Republicans would limit the shareholder
resolution process to a handful of the very largest investors. And no surprise they have not been the
ones to champion social, environmental, and corporate governance improvements at companies.
Members of Congress who supported this wrong Choice Act are giving megabanks and predatory
lenders the green light to financially exploit hard-working Americans, further expanding the chasm
between the rich and the majority. Green America advises the Senate to defeat this short-sighted bill
based on Wall Street greed, not a green economy for all of us. All Green Americans should contact their
Senators to urge them to uphold and strengthen the Dodd-Frank financial protections; support the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and maintain the current shareholder resolution process to hold
companies accountable on their social, environmental, and corporate governance impact.
Impact EU Economy

Collapses European banks and causes financial instability


Srivastava 17 Spriha, CNBC Staff, February 8th (Heres how the roll-back of Dodd-Frank could
impact European banks, CNBC, Available online at http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/08/trump-dodd-
frank-us-brexit-europe.html)
European banks have seen their stocks fall to all-time lows due to a number of factors such as
uncertainty surrounding the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union, weak earnings and low interest
rate across the globe. Now with the roll-back of Dodd-Frank a number of European analysts are
wondering if this could create further risks for the European banking system.
Daniel Stewart's Winter explained that the danger for European banks in a Dodd-Frank roll-back is they
may be lured back into riskier business because it is easier to do so, alongside the U.S. banks and get
caught out again.
"I think this is the danger Mr. Draghi is concerned about as European governments are neither willing
nor able to bail-out their banks to any great extent."
The law, passed to prevent a repeat of the global financial crisis, subjects banks to greater oversight and
expands regulation of derivatives. Supporters say it has made the financial system stronger, while critics
say it has entangled corporations in regulation that hurts the economy.
Nicolas Roth, a fund manager at Reyl & Cie, told CNBC via email that Congressman Jeb Hensarling, a long
time enemy of Dodd-Frank, had proposed a new form of legislation called the Financial Choice Act in the
summer of 2016. The proposed act is expected to dismiss the Volcker rule, allowing banks to re-engage
in speculative activities with the bank's own money.
"Congressman Hensarling advocates that the Volcker rule is a significant factor in the draining of
liquidity from the market over the last few years,"
But Roth argued that although improving liquidity would be good for the market, dismantling the
Volcker rule would allow banks to return to a pre-2008 business model where a number of them acted
as hedge funds with their balance sheets.
"Conflicts of interest would resurface, such as when banks traded on their own account while also
advising their customers."

Repeal devastates the EU banking system


Keefe 17 John Keefe, IBI Times Staff, February 10th (Wall Street Reform: Trump Executive Order
Could See US Firms Shut Out Of European Union, EU Leader Warns, IBT Times, Available online at
http://www.ibtimes.com/wall-street-reform-trump-executive-order-could-see-us-firms-shut-out-
european-union-2489713)
The E.U. could block some U.S. financial firms from operating in the European market if President
Donald Trump repeals financial regulations, a senior EU official said Friday.
Valdis Dombrovskis, the E.U. financial chief and vice president of the European Commission, warned the
stability of the international banking system could be threatened by one country rolling back
regulations implemented after the global financial crisis, Reuters reported.
"Lax regulation in one country can create conditions for inadequate regulation and contagion
throughout the world," Dombrovskis said during a speech in London.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Treasury secretary
to review financial regulations, which many believed was the start of Trump's campaign promise to
repeal Dodd-Frank, the 2010 law that overhauled the U.S.'s financial regulatory regime.
U.S. financial institutions are allowed to operate in the Eurozone because the E.U. has judged the U.S. to
have financial regulations "equivalent" to E.U. rules. The E.U. has a formalized process for applying the
"equivalent" designation to countries seeking to do business in the E.U. The European Commission can
withdraw equivalency status with a month's notice if countries fail to meet equivalency conditions.
"If these conditions change, we will have to reassess the situation," Dombrovskis said. "We are sensitive
to talk of unpicking financial legislation which applies carefully negotiated international standards and
rules."
Undermines regulatory cooperation unravels effective responses to financial crises
Taylor 17 Mark Taylor is a Senior Reporter at Law360, February 17th (Dodd-Frank Tinkering Risks
Global Stability, EU Warns Trump, Law360, Available online at
https://www.law360.com/articles/888793/dodd-frank-tinkering-risks-global-stability-eu-warns-trump)
President Donald Trump's intention to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act risks unbalancing global regulation
and threatens financial stability achieved since the banking crisis, the European Commission told
Law360 on Monday.
The blocs executive is studying the executive order Trump signed Friday directing the secretary of the
U.S. Department of the Treasury and other regulators to review Dodd-Frank and determine a plan for
revising the 2010 law, which was passed in response to the financial crisis of 2008.
Senior figures within the commission believe the move could even unravel the international regulatory
framework for bank standards, the nonbinding rules known as Basel III.
Our view is that international cooperation is vital in the area of financial regulation, commission
spokeswoman Vanessa Mock told Law360. We want to see this continue, and this would be our
message to the newly appointed U.S. administration.
On Saturday morning, Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president of the commission and portfolio holder for
financial stability, tweeted his disapproval of Trumps move.
International regulatory cooperation was vital for effective response to the financial crisis and should
continue, he wrote. No financial stability = no growth #EU #US.
Impact U.S.-EU Coop

Regulatory harmony is key to US-EU cooperation


Schindelhaim 14 Eytan Schindelhaim, Product manager at Addepar, (Transatlantic Cooperation in
Financial Regulation Post-2008, Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European
Union, Available online at
http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1080&context=urceu)
The 2008 crisis shook the very foundation of the global economy, bringing American and European
financial markets to their knees. The subsequent need for a new international regulatory structure
presented a major test for transatlantic relations. The ability of American and European policymakers
to construct an effective regulatory system bears directly on the future of cooperation between the
two regions. Their capacity to restore the proper functioning of financial markets will likely indicate the
potential for a sustained economic partnership as well as shed light on the feasibility of prospective
initiatives such as a US-EU free trade agreement.
Aff Answers
Uniqueness
Dems Cant Win Senate

Dems cant retake the Senate bad map and empirics


Byler 17 David Byler, Real Clear Politics Staff, May 09, 2017 ("How Bad Is the Democratic Senate Map
for 2018?," Real Clear Politics,
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/05/09/how_bad_is_the_democratic_senate_map_for_
2018_133823.html)
Right now, the stars seem aligned for Democratic gains in 2018. President Trumps approval rating is
low, Democrats lead in the House generic ballot and special elections show Republicans losing ground
with some voters. Its still a long way to the midterms and Trumps approval might change drastically,
but almost all of the early tea leaves seem positive for the out-party.
Except for the Senate map.
Every political junkie knows the Senate map is bad for Democrats. Over half of the Democratic caucus
will be up for re-election, and some of these incumbents represent highly red states such as Montana,
North Dakota, West Virginia, Indiana and Missouri. No party would want to go into a midterm
defending a map like that.
But exactly how bad is it? Is it better or worse for the Democrats than recent maps (which have
produced stalemates, historic losses, massive waves and everything in between)? And does this map
completely obliterate Democratic chances to retake the upper chamber?
To get a better handle on these questions, I updated a state-level partisan strength index that I created a
couple years ago. It shows that the 2018 Senate map is bad for Democrats but not unprecedented. It
also suggests that Democrats arent favored to win back the upper chamber -- but they have to perform
reasonably well in maps like this if they want to win control in later cycles.
This Is a Really Bad Democratic Map -- But Its Not Unprecedented
Theres more than one way to think about the 2018 map, but this is my preferred way:
[graph omitted]
This graphic shows the partisan lean of each state with a Senate contest (special elections omitted) from
1986 to 2018. Each point is a Senate election (color indicates which party holds the seat), and the
vertical location shows the partisan index of the state. The partisan index is simple: Its the sum of two
numbers -- a measure of the presidential and state-level partisan leanings of each state.
The presidential component takes the statewide results from the last two presidential elections,
subtracts them from the national popular vote, averages them and gives the most recent presidential
election 75 percent of the total weight. The intuition here is that subtracting out the national popular
vote will control for wave elections (e.g. President Obama barely won Indiana in 2008 but he won
nationally by seven points, so the state should still be counted as deeply red) and that the most recent
election is important but not the only relevant data. Note that this formula is borrowed from
FiveThirtyEights Harry Enten.
The state-level component comes from state legislative results. I subtracted the Republican seat share in
the last state legislative elections from the average result across all states. This controls for waves and
gives us a sense of which state-level party is stronger.
The average of these two numbers, our partisan index, then gives us information about both the
national-level and state-level strength of both parties. Since both national and state conditions matter in
Senate elections, this gives us a nice baseline for each states partisanship.
Basically the graphic shows that Democrats are in a bad but not unprecedented situation. They are
defending a number of seats in highly red states. Theyre also running in a number of swing states,
including Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
When a party has a map like this one, they often lose seats. In 2014, Democrats were defending a
number of seats in such strongly Republican states as Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, West Virginia and
Arkansas while dealing with challenges in swing states Virginia and North Carolina. Republicans swept
all of those seats except for Virginia. In 2004, Democrats had to defend red states Louisiana, South
Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Arkansas and both Dakotas. Republicans ended up taking four of those seven
and netting a total of four seats that year. The 1994 and 2010 Senate maps were also challenging for
Democrats, and they ended up losing seats.
The pattern is no different for Republicans. In 2008, they had a tough map and ended up losing eight
seats, with defeats in blue states Minnesota, Oregon and New Mexico as well as swing states Virginia,
Colorado and New Hampshire.
The GOP has controls Dem swing states no chance of winning midterms
Hopkins 16 Jason Hopkins, editorial coordinator for TownHall, November 17th ("The 2018 Senate
Map Is Beautiful ," Townhall, Available online at
https://townhall.com/tipsheet/jasonhopkins/2016/11/17/the-2018-senate-map-is-beautiful-n2246835)
If Democrats thought it couldnt get any worse than 2016, they hopefully wont look at the 2018 Senate
map looming ahead. In total, 33 Senate seats will be in play. Of those 33, only eight are held by
Republicans. Democrats will be defending 25 (two are independents who caucus with Democrats).
These Democrats were elected (or re-elected) during the 2012 presidential campaign and will now have
to face the rougher terrain of a mid-term election.
Here is a breakdown of the races most likely to flip the Republicans way.
Indiana: Democrat Joe Donnely is up for re-election. Many analysts said Donnely lucked out with an easy
win when former Sen. Richard Lugar (R) was primaried and a weaker GOP candidate ran against him in
the general election. Donnely probably wont have that luxury next go-around. Indiana just elected Rep.
Todd Young (R) by a ten-point margin.
Montana: Democrat Jon Tester is up for re-election. He knows a thing or two about running races. He
lead the 2016 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He will need that experience fighting for his
job in Montana, a state that voted for Trump by a 21-point margin. However, Montana has a penchant
for electing Democrats statewide. While voting for Trump, Montana voters also chose to re-elect
Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock.
Florida: Democrat Bill Nelson has run many races in the Sunshine State and now hes asking voters in
Florida again to send him to D.C. Hes a known entity there, holding office since 1972. However, Florida
did just elect a Republican president and overwhelmingly voted for Republican Marco Rubio by an
almost 8-point margin over Rep. Patrick Murphy. Rubio performed strongly in Latino districts that
typically vote Democrat. A lot of candidate options are on the table for the GOP: Rep. David Jolly, Rep.
Ron DeSantis, or outgoing Gov. Rick Scott. Judging how Rubio performed against Murphy, Florida GOP
should consider another Latino as that voting base shows stronger preferences for fellow Latinos, even
when the candidate is a Republican.
Missouri: Democrat Claire McCaskill is up for re-election again. Her continual hold on the seat is a
testament to how many times the state GOP has screwed the pooch. Rep. Todd Akin was polling ahead
of her until his legitimate rape comments finally burned his chances in 2012. Missouri is a red state.
Voters there chose Trump by 19 points, re-elected Sen. Roy Blunt by 3 points, and flipped their
governors seat by electing Republican Eric Greitens by almost six points. McCaskill should be done if the
Missouri GOP plays their cards right.
Ohio: Democrat Sherrod Brown has done well in Ohio. Hes held office there for over 20 years and won
election to the Senate twice. However, if there is a year to oust him from power, the time is now. Ohio
pivoted strongly to the GOP in the 2016 election. Trump won the largest margin in Ohio than any
Republican in the past five elections. Republican Sen. Rob Portman won his re-election by an astounding
21-point margin. The Rust Belt looks to be turning red and it could spell the end for Sen. Brown.
North Dakota: Its a little perplexing how Sen. Heidi Heitkamp even got elected in North Dakota. It surely
is a testament to the Republicans' bad showing in 2012. Nonetheless, the state has been returning to its
blood-red roots. Voters there went for Trump by 36 points and voted for Sen. Hoeven by a 68-point
margin You read that correctly. North Dakota voters preferred Republican Hoeven 78.6 to 17 against
the Democrat challenger.
Wisconsin: Democrat Tammy Baldwin is up for re-election. No state shocked the country more than
Wisconsin. It hadnt gone for a Republican since Reagan in 1984. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) came back from
the dead to win re-election against Russ Feingold. Johnson clawed his way from a double-digit deficit in
the polls to a 3-point victory on Election Day. Gov. Scott Walker also has an impeccable operation in the
Badger State winning election three times in a row despite a union onslaught. This will be an
interesting stat to watch.
West Virginia: Once a Democrat stronghold, West Virginia is now ruby-red. Coal country is Trump
friendly and voters in this state voted for the president-elect by a 42-point margin. Their legislature and
majority of their House delegation has gone Republican. However, it will be quite difficult to oust Sen.
Joe Manchin. West Virginia residents still appreciate their blue-dogs. Despite choosing Trump, they
voted to elect Democrat Jim Justice to the governors mansion by a wide margin. Sen. Manchin is
perhaps the most conservative Democrat in the Senate. This seat may not go red until he retires, but
anything is possible when his national party brand is as hated as it is in the Mountain State.
Pennsylvania: This is last of the three major Rust Belt States in play in 2018. Sen. Bob Casey has been
involved in Pennsylvania politics for quite a long time. Its actually a family affair- his father held office
before him. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey proved all the polls wrong by winning against his Democrat
challenger in 2016. On top of that, Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win the
Keystone State since 1988. This is a light-blue state that may be turning red with the Rust Belts.
Thumper Healthcare

Healthcare overwhelms its tied to the GOP education doesnt matter


Taylor 17 Jessica Taylor, lead digital political reporter for NPR, May 5th ("Health Care Vote Could
Threaten Republican House Majority," NPR, Available online at
http://www.npr.org/2017/05/05/526969730/health-care-vote-could-threaten-republican-house-
majority, Accessed 7/17/2017)
As soon as the House approved the GOP health care bill on Thursday, Democrats were working on using
it against Republicans in next year's midterm elections.
"They have this vote tattooed on them. This is a scar they carry," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
declared just after the American Health Care Act passed the House.
Just to rub it in, many Democrats on the House floor began singing "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"
to their colleagues across the aisle after the vote, a moment of schadenfreude as they hope for the
same fate many of their own suffered after the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was
passed in 2010.
Democrats need to flip 24 seats to win back the House in 2018, and the congressional vote to repeal
and replace Obamacare may well have made that a much easier task. Some of the most vulnerable
House Republicans voted in favor of the GOP health care plan on Thursday. No Democrats voted for it,
while 20 Republicans opposed it, and it only eked by with 217 yay votes one more than it needed to
pass.
Even members who bit the bullet and voted yes, on what they admitted was an imperfect bill, sounded
anything but certain about the vote they had just cast.
Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo who represents a Miami district Hillary Clinton won in 2016 by 16 points
made a "game-time decision" to vote for the legislation, his spokeswoman told the Miami Herald, and
now will be looking to the Senate to smooth out some issues with the bill.
"Today's vote is just a step in the legislative process for this bill not the end of it," Curbelo said in a
taped statement. "We have worked hard to improve the legislation, but we have a long way to go."
The bill has yet to be scored by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to determine how much
the bill will cost or how many people could lose coverage. A CBO report in March on an earlier iteration
of the bill predicted that 24 million fewer people would be covered.
Atop Democratic target lists for 2018 are the 23 Republicans who sit in districts that were won by Hillary
Clinton last November. Of those members, 14 ended up voting for the bill, with just nine opposing it.
One of those no votes, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, announced earlier this week she wasn't seeking
re-election, so that's one open race Democrats are feeling hopeful about.
Many of the Republicans who voted against the bill cited concerns that the legislation didn't do enough
to protect people with pre-existing conditions echoing a major attack line that Democrats are already
using and will surely stick with over the next 18 months.
Moderate New Jersey Republican Tom MacArthur worked with members of the conservative Freedom
Caucus to come up with an amendment to the GOP's American Health Care Act that allows states to
seek waivers from Obamacare requirements, including on coverage for people with pre-existing
conditions.
Further changes put more money toward so-called "high-risk pools" to help defray costs for people with
pre-existing conditions. But NPR's Alison Kodjak reported that "an analysis released Thursday by
consulting firm Avalere Health concludes that that amount would be inadequate for providing full health
coverage for the number of people who now buy insurance in the individual market and have medical
problems."
"At this time, I cannot support the AHCA with the MacArthur amendment because I'm concerned that a
small percentage of those with pre-existing conditions may still not be protected," Colorado Rep. Mike
Coffman, who sits in a district Clinton won, said in a statement explaining his decision.
For Democrats, it's a pronounced turn of events since Obamacare passed in 2010. With Republicans
riding high on the public opposition to the law, the Democrats' majority in the House was decimated
that year, with 63 seats and control of the House lost.
But sentiment has changed on Obamacare, with Gallup Poll finding this month that 55 percent now
approve of the ACA.
The AHCA faces a much tougher road in the Senate, and if it dies there, some of those vulnerable GOP
members may have made what ends up being a futile vote.
But there's another side to consider, too. For Republicans who have made the refrain "repeal and
replace Obamacare" their mantra for seven years now, not acting on their signature campaign promise
could risk depleting enthusiasm among their core voters, who they also need to turn out in November
2018 to combat a Democratic base that is energized against President Trump.
And after the first attempt at repeal failed in an embarrassing fashion, House Republicans and Trump
badly needed a win. That's why they took a victory lap in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday
afternoon, even though the bill is far from becoming law.
"The American people expected us to deliver on the promises we've made and that's what House
Republicans have just done," National Republican Congressional Committee communications director
Matt Gorman wrote in a memo after the vote.
Republicans have pointed out that more insurance companies are pulling out of state-run exchanges,
and the GOP bill will cut about $765 billion in taxes over the next decade, NPR's Scott Horsley reported,
though mostly for wealthy Americans.
Some Democratic operatives were already gloating on social media that the Rose Garden event provided
great footage for attack ads against House Republicans next year.
Ultimately, for the most vulnerable House Republicans, this may be a vote they won't be able to escape
over the next year and a half even if it never becomes law.

Healthcare is the controlling issue swamps the signal of the plan


Cornwell 3-21-17 (Susan Cornwell, Trump Warns Republican Lawmakers of Backlash for Healthcare
Failure, 3-21-17, https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2017-03-21/trump-to-address-
republican-lawmakers-in-latest-healthcare-push)
U.S. President Donald Trump warned Republican lawmakers on Tuesday that voters could punish them if they do
not approve a plan he favors to dismantle Obamacare, as pressure grew on the businessman-turned-politician to win the first major
legislative battle of his presidency. In one of the few visits he has made to the U.S. Capitol since taking office, Trump told fellow Republicans in
the House of Representatives they would face "political problems" for opposing the bill that takes apart Obamacare and partially replaces it.
"The president was really clear: he laid it on the line for everybody," House Speaker Paul Ryan, the leading proponent of the bill, told reporters.
"We made a promise. Now is our time to keep that promise ... If we don't keep our promise, it will be very hard to manage this." While
Republicans control both chambers of Congress, the party's leaders face a difficult task in uniting their members behind the
healthcare bill, just the first of a series of reforms that Trump has promised including overhauls of the tax system and business regulations. U.S.
stocks turned sharply lower on Tuesday, led by a fall in financial shares, as investors began to question how quickly the Trump administration
can implement pro-growth policies. Sectors that could benefit from policies of lower taxes and fiscal stimulus were weaker as investors
perceived those plans may take longer to implement if the Trump administration has to expend more time and energy to get a healthcare plan
passed. Some conservatives believe the healthcare bill does not go far enough, while moderate Republicans worry it
goes too far and that millions of Americans will be hurt by dismantling the 2010 Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama's
signature healthcare legislation. Party leaders hope to move the bill to the House floor for debate as early as Thursday. But the administration
and House leadership can afford to lose only about 20 votes from Republican ranks or risk the bill failing since Democrats are united against it.
Repealing and replacing
Obamacare was one of Trump's main campaign promises and has been a goal of Republicans since it
was enacted. Trump, who took office two months ago, has yet to push any major legislation through Congress. Republican Representative
Walter Jones said Trump told lawmakers in a closed-door meeting that if the Republican bill does not pass, they would face "political
problems." Jones said he thought Trump meant lawmakers could lose their seats. While Trump predicted that Republicans
could face
challenges in primary contests ahead of the 2018 midterm elections if they do not gut Obamacare, there is also danger
to them in doing so. Millions of voters might lose their healthcare coverage if the Republican bill is passed.
Thumper Jobs
Jobs overwhelm all other issues
Lillis 7/6 Mike Lillis, senior report for the Hill, July 6th ("Dems divided on Trump attack strategy for
2018," TheHill, http://thehill.com/homenews/house/340754-dems-divided-on-trump-attack-strategy-
for-2018)
Rep. John Larson (Conn.), a former chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said the 2018 midterm
elections will hinge on a single issue: jobs. And everything else including the Republicans efforts to
repeal ObamaCare and the ongoing investigations into Russias meddling in the presidential election
will be overshadowed by the degree to which voters feel financially secure.
With that in mind, Larson said, the Democrats need to do much more than simply attack Trump. They
need an aggressive economic message that resonates with marginalized voters who want help from
Washington.
Whether its Russia or whether its the healthcare proposal those are all going to work themselves
out, he said. But when you go back to your district, the overarching thing is: Where are the jobs and
whats your solution?
It wont be enough just to resist you have to have a solution.
The divide over the Democrats strategic approach to the polarizing president has resurfaced after a
string of recent special elections in Kansas, Montana, South Carolina and Georgia.
Although all four contests involved deeply conservative districts won easily by Republicans in the past,
the races were also viewed as an early referendum on Trumps rocky first months in office, and many
Democrats were hoping to steal an early win or two heading into the 2018 midterms.
Link
Link Turn Increases Turnout

The plan allows Democrats to find an issue to inspire its voters to turn out
Phillips 7/18 Steve Phillips, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, 2017 ("Democrats
Are Trying to Win the 2018 Midterms in All the Wrong Ways," Nation, Available online at
https://www.thenation.com/article/democrats-are-trying-to-win-the-2018-midterms-in-all-the-wrong-
ways/, Accessed 7/19/2017)
It is quite possible that Democrats are going to spend nearly $1 billion trying to solve a problem that
doesnt exist. By buying into a myth about why they lost in 2016, they are ignoring the underlying math
about what really happenedmisspending huge amounts of money, while setting themselves up to lose
again in the critical contests to come.
Many progressive politicians and pundits have bought into the notion that millions of people who had
voted for Barack Obama in 2012 defected from the Democrats and voted for Donald Trump in 2016. The
strategic premise flowing from this conclusionthat the Democrats can prevail in the congressional
and presidential races to come by winning those voters backis influencing how tens of millions of
dollars are being spent and will continue to shape the spending of hundreds of millions of dollars in the
midterm elections next year. But as my colleagues at Democracy in Color and I point out in the new
report Return of the Majority Progress Report: Another Billion Dollar Blunder?, the premise driving
this strategy is ill-founded and incorrect.
The popularity and persistence of the myth was encapsulated in a recent New York Times column by
Thomas Edsall, The Democratic Party Is in Worse Shape Than You Thought. Edsall devoted
considerable attention to Obama-to-Trump voters and cited estimates based on exit polls in which
voters were asked whom theyd voted for in 2012 and 2016. That polling quantified the ranks of said
voters as ranging from 6.7 million to 9.2 million people. The viewpoint has been popularized to the point
where it is now accepted as fact and drives major Democratic decisions such as where to hold the
Senate Democratic caucus retreat (West Virginia), to whom to feature in the response to the State of
the Union (white people in a Kentucky diner), to how to spend $19 million in advertising in the Georgia
special election (targeting Republicans rather than rallying Democrats). The primary problem with this
approach is that the math underlying the myth is perplexing, at best, and just flat wrong at worst.
The inaccurate arithmetic is most evident when looking at what happened in Wisconsin, one of the
three narrowly decided states that led to Clintons losing the Electoral College despite prevailing handily
in the national popular vote. The conclusion that large numbers of Obama voters switched their
allegiance to the Republican is undercut by the fact that Trump got fewer votes in Wisconsin than Mitt
Romney did four years earlier. If Trump got a big infusion of previously Democratic votes, why did the
Republican vote total go down? But look even more closely, at county-level data. In the 23 counties that
flipped from Democratic in 2012 to Republican in 2016, the data show that it is likely that there were
just as many Obama-to-third-party voters as there were Obama-to-Trump voters (an increase of 23,117
third-party votes, as compared with 20,662 additional Republican votes in those counties). And the
biggest problem in Wisconsin was the fact that 60,000 fewer people voted in heavily black Milwaukee,
contributing to Clintons losing the state by 23,000 votes.
The myth also lacks mathematical support in a state like Florida, where there was an actual surge for
Trump, with him picking up 450,000 more voters than Romney received. That increase, however, didnt
come from disaffected Democrats. Clinton got more votes in 2016 than Obama did in 2012. What
happened in Florida is that large numbers of whites who sat out 2012 rallied to Trumps racial-solidarity
appeals and came out in significantly larger numbers.
While the data from Wisconsin and Florida undermine the myth about what happened in specific
strategic states, the aggregate data throw the entire premise into question. The most inconvenient fact
for the proponents of the Obama-to-Trump migration theory is that Clinton got very nearly the same
number of votes as Obama did nationally. Itd be like being told someone has taken 10 percent of the
money out of your bank account, but when you check your balance it shows you have the exact same
amount of money. If 10 percent of the funds went away, where did the 10 percent come from to backfill
the account?
The other problematic point for the 7 million-lost-votes figure is that Trumps total vote number
increased only by 2 million over what Romney secured in 2012. If there are 7 million Obama-to-Trump
voters, why didnt Trumps vote total increase by 7 million? Its conceivable that a ton of Romney voters
defected from Trump and were replaced by Obama-to-Trump voters, but there has been precious little
analysis of that possibility. The focus for most Democrats begins and ends with wooing the Obama-to-
Trump voter.
The numbers that arent in dispute are the figures for black voters and Stein voters. Recently released
Census data shows that African-American voter turnout dropped precipitously, falling below the rate of
the 2004 election. In Pennsylvania, according to national exit-poll data, the black turnout dropped by
137,000 people, and Clinton lost by 44,000 votes. In Michigan, the problem was Obama-to-Stein voters,
with Stein getting 30,000 more voters than she did in 2012, and the Democrats losing the state by just
11,000 votes.
Certainly some voters did defect from Obama to Trump, and, conversely, some Romney voters moved to
either Clinton or Johnson, complicating the calculations all around. Digging into data is important, but,
unfortunately, thats not where Democratic leaders are focusing their analytical attention. Rather than
accurately assess the numbers, they have let the myth take on the status of legend, and tens of millions
of dollars are being allocated based on faulty data.
Perhaps the most pernicious part of the myth is that it reinforces the absolutely incorrect mind-set that
progressives are in the minority in America. Democrats won the popular voteand not by a little, with
Clintons 3 million vote margin surpassing the largest figure ever recorded by someone who didnt win
the Electoral College. In the critical states that enabled the Electoral College lossMichigan, Wisconsin,
Pennsylvania, and Floridathe progressive vote splintered, allowing Trump to slip through with less
than a majority of the votes in each of those states.
This minority mindset leads to timid tactics and tepid politics that are no match for the audacity of the
rights racist, xenophobic assault on multiracial America that is occurring every day. Fear of alienating
the unicorn of the white swing voter mutes Democratic responses when the only proper response to
what is happening in America is unapologetically fighting back by every means availablepushing for
impeachment, conducting sit-ins to block the buses deporting people, and issuing full-throated
denunciations of a judicial system that sanctions the police murders of unarmed black people. As
Obamas successful elections showed, Democrats win only when their voters are inspired to turn out in
large numbers, and a bold, courageous, hopeful platform is essential to generating voter enthusiasm.
In order to carry ourselves with the confidence to act with that kind of decisiveness requires the
conviction that we are in fact the majority of people in America. If we look at math and not myths, we
can straighten our backs, raise our voices, and do what is necessary to bring about the return of the
majority in America.
No Link No Concession

Democrats wont ever concede to Trump theyre desperate to maintain their


credibility
Martin and Burns 17 Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, national political correspondents for
the New York Times, February 23rd ("Weakened Democrats Bow to Voters, Opting for Total War on
Trump," New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/us/democrats-dnc-chairman-trump-
keith-ellison-tom-perez.html)
WASHINGTON Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in
two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of
rebuilding the partys depleted organization. But senior Democratic officials concede that the blueprint
has already been chosen for them by an incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war
against President Trump. Immediately after the November election, Democrats were divided over how
to handle Mr. Trump, with one camp favoring all-out confrontation and another backing a seemingly
less risky approach of coaxing him to the center with offers of compromise.
Now, spurred by explosive protests and a torrent of angry phone calls and emails from constituents
and outraged themselves by Mr. Trumps swift moves to enact a hard-line agenda Democrats have all
but cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House. Instead, they are mimicking the
Republican approach of the last eight years the party of no and wagering that brash
obstruction will pay similar dividends.
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said there had
been a tornado of support for wall-to-wall resistance to Mr. Trump. Mr. Inslee, who backed a lawsuit
against the presidents executive order banning refugee admissions and travel from seven majority-
Muslim countries, said Democrats intended to send a stern message to Mr. Trump during a conference
of governors in the nations capital.
My belief is, we have to resist every way and everywhere, every time we can, when Mr. Trump
offends core American values, Mr. Inslee said. By undermining Mr. Trump across the board, he said,
Democrats hope to split Republicans away from a president of their own party.
Ultimately, wed like to have a few Republicans stand up to rein him in, Mr. Inslee said. The more air
goes out of his balloon, the earlier and likelier that is to happen.
Yet Democrats acknowledge there is a wide gulf between the partys desire to fight Mr. Trump and its
power to thwart him, quietly worrying that the expectations of the partys activist base may outpace
what Democratic lawmakers can achieve. They want us to impeach him immediately, said
Representative John Yarmuth, Democrat of Kentucky. And of course we cant do that by ourselves.
Some in the party also fret that a posture of unremitting hostility to the president could imperil
lawmakers in red states that Mr. Trump won last year, or compromise efforts for Democrats to present
themselves to moderate voters as an inoffensive alternative to the polarizing president.
Rarely have Democrats been so weakened. Republicans control the White House, both chambers of
Congress and 33 governorships, and they are preparing to install a fifth conservative, Neil M. Gorsuch,
on the Supreme Court. Further, because of changes to Senate rules that were enacted under Democratic
control, the party has been unable to block Mr. Trumps cabinet nominees from being confirmed by a
simple majority vote.
Democrats, in other words, have few instruments at the moment to wound Mr. Trumps administration
in the manner their core voters are demanding. Still, a mood of stiff opposition has taken hold on
Capitol Hill, with Democrats besieged by constituents enraged by Mr. Trumps actions and
lawmakers sharing their alarm.
We have to fight like hell to stop him and hopefully save our country, said Senator Jeff Merkley,
Democrat of Oregon, echoing the near-apocalyptic stakes liberal voters are giving voice to at crowded
town hall meetings. Senator Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, a middle-of-the-road Democrat up for re-
election in 2018, cautioned that loathing Mr. Trump, on its own, was not a governing strategy. He said
he still hoped for compromise with Republicans on infrastructure funding and perhaps on a plan to
improve or repair the Affordable Care Act.
There is this vitriol and dislike for our new president, Mr. Carper said. The challenge for us is to
harness it in a productive way and a constructive way, and I think we will.
But Mr. Carper said the deliberations over Mr. Trumps cabinet appointments had woken up Democrats,
recalling that he had heard from thousands of voters about Scott Pruitt, Mr. Trumps Environmental
Protection Agency administrator, and Betsy DeVos, his education secretary. Virtually every message
expressed seething opposition, he said.

Progressives have refused everything that Trump has doneits not necessarily
because of his policies but because of him
Davidson 17 John Davidson, a senior correspondent at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in
the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Texas Monthly, First Things, the Claremont Review of Books,
The LA Review of Books, February 1st (Why Are Progressives So Angry? Trump Defeated Their
Messiah, The Federalist, Available online at http://thefederalist.com/2017/02/01/why-are-
progressives-so-angry-trump-defeated-their-messiah/, SR)
The consternation and outrage weve seen in response to President Trumps executive order on
immigration has little to do with the policy as such. Restricting immigration from certain countries is
nothing new; President Obama did it, as did presidents Bush, Clinton, H.W. Bush, and Reagan.
Rather, it has everything to do with the elevation of progressive politics to the status of a religiona
dogmatic and intolerant religion, whose practitioners are now experiencing a crisis of faith.
Forget the executive order itself. Progressives have reacted with moral indignation and hysteria to
everything Trump has done since taking office. His inauguration was enough to bring out hundreds of
thousands of protesters across the country. In the 12 days since then, we have witnessed yet more
demonstrations, boycotts, calls for resistance, comparisons to the Holocaust, media witch-hunts, the
politicization of everything from Hollywood awards shows to professional sports, and real tears from
New York Sen.Chuck Schumer.
One is hard-pressed to think of something Trump could do that would not elicit howls of outrage from
the Left. On Tuesday, Senate Democrats boycotted confirmation hearings for Steven Mnuchins
nomination to serve as treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Prices nomination to be secretary of Health
and Human Services, while continuing to try to block the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for education
secretary and Sen. Jeff Session for attorney general. Even before Trump announced his Supreme Court
pick on Tuesday night, Democrats had already announced they would filibuster the nomination, no
matter who it was.
The obstinacy of Senate Democrats reflects the mood of their progressive base, whose panicked anger is
the natural reaction of those for whom politics has become an article of faith. Progressives, as the terms
implies, believe society must always be progressing toward something better. Always forward, never
backwards. After eight years of Obama, they believed progressive politics in America would forever be
on an upward trajectory.
Trump shook that faith. But his election also unmasked the degree to which progressivism as a political
project is based not on science or rationality, or even sound policy, but on faith in the power of
government to ameliorate and eventually perfect society. All the protests and denunciations of Trump
serve not just as an outlet for progressives despair, but the chance to signal their moral virtue through
collective outrage and moral preeningsomething that wasnt really possible under Obama, at least
not to this degree.
Impact
No Impeachment

Impossible also requires 67 senators


Cesca 17. (Bob Cesca, established contributor to Salon. Forget impeachment: Donald Trump can be
driven from office, but probably not that way. January 31, 2017. www.salon.com/2017/01/31/forget-
impeachment-donald-trump-can-be-driven-from-office-but-probably-not-that-way/)
The upshot is this: The Democrats need a majority in the House to impeach someone. They also need
votes of 67 senators to convict a person. (For that matter, they also need provable high crimes or
misdemeanors before anything else happens.) Without a multitude of Republican votes, the entire
scenario is a nonstarter even after a possible Democratic sweep of the House in 2018.

Democrats wont push for impeachment --- evidence and blowback


Politico 17 (Gabriel Debendetti, Democrats seek to quell Trump impeachment talk,
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-impeachment-democrats-235184)
Just a month into Donald Trumps presidency, Democratic Party leaders are trying to rein in the talk of
impeachment thats animating the grass roots, the product of a restive base demanding deeper and
more aggressive investigations into Trumps ties to Russia.
Democratic officials in Republican-dominated Washington view the entire subject as a trap, a
premature discussion that could backfire in spectacular fashion by making the party appear too
overzealous in its opposition to Trump. Worse, they fear, it could harden Republican support for the
president by handing his party significant fundraising and political ammunition when the chances of
success for an early impeachment push are remote, at best.
We need to assemble all of the facts, and right now there are a lot of questions about the presidents
personal, financial and political ties with the Russian government before the election, but also whether
there were any assurances made, said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Permanent
Select Committee on Intelligence. Before you can use the I word, you really need to collect all the
facts."
The I word we should be focused on, added Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle, is 'investigations.'"
The problem for party lawmakers is that the hard-to-placate Democratic base has assumed a stop-
Trump-at-all-costs posture. At a recent town hall in Albany, Oregon, Sen. Ron Wyden faced three
questions about the issue. Rep. Jim McGovern, who was also confronted with the impeachment
question at an event in Northampton, Mass., told his constituents it's not the right strategy for the
moment, according to local reports. In California, a real estate broker has launched a challenge to
Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher using a new Impeach Trump Leadership PAC.
But its not just furious rank-and-file Democrats who are raising the idea. A handful of Democratic House
progressives among them California Rep. Maxine Waters, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin and Texas Rep.
Joaquin Castro have already publicly raised the specter of impeachment.
Waters has said she thinks Trump is marching himself down the path to impeachment, while Raskin
whose office was presented last week with a petition carrying more than 850,000 signatures calling for
impeachment has repeatedly brought up the prospect of voting for impeachment "at some point" in
rallies and interviews. Castro has said Trump should be impeached if the president repeatedly instructs
Customs and Border Protection officials to ignore federal judges' orders.
Some have read New York Rep. Jerry Nadlers resolution of inquiry that could force the Department of
Justice to share information about Trumps Russian ties and conflicts of interest as a way to further lay
the groundwork for impeachment.
You see immense energy from people who want to resist the president. And thats affecting the
Congress, said California Rep. Ted Lieu, who has said that a Democratic-controlled House of
Representatives would impeach Trump. "A recent poll came out saying that 46 percent of Americans
want the president impeached, and certainly members of Congress take notice."
Still, most congressional Democrats insist on drawing a line that stops far short of using the loaded term.
Responding to Waters' impeachment chatter this month, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "When
and if he breaks the law, that is when something like that would come up. But that's not the subject of
today."
They believe that even if they did have enough evidence to start impeachment proceedings which
they dont, since a number of investigations are still in their early stages, and Democrats cant just
impeach a president because they dont like him they wouldnt have anywhere near enough votes as
long as Trump-sympathetic Republicans control the majority.
Neither party leadership nor the campaign committees have circulated talking points or suggested ways
to respond to impeachment questions that are starting to appear. But they are already aware of the
potential electoral blowback to the party.
The mere mention of impeachment on the left has already kicked off a fundraising frenzy on the
Republican side, with both the GOP House and Senate campaign wings raising cash off it much like
Democrats did under President Barack Obama when Republicans speculated about the prospect.
No president has EVER endured the level of disrespect shown to President Trump. (Its sickening)
Unprecedented obstruction from the left on his cabinet nominees. Mockery and scorn from the liberal
media. And now the liberal elite are calling for his impeachment IN HIS FIRST MONTH, reads a
National Republican Senatorial Committee email from last week.
Since 12 House Democrats sit in seats won by Trump while 23 House Republicans serve districts won by
Hillary Clinton, party operatives eyeing gains in the chamber fear that crossover voters could turn
against Democrats if their party is perceived as reckless in its pursuit of Trump.
Nonetheless, the pressure to stand in Trumps way has amped up on the ground in the days since the
resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, say party officials, and Democratic voters appear
poised to pounce on any further revelations.
The energy right now is really on Congress and trying to get some Republicans to find some backbone.
As we see the Flynn stuff and the question of who asked him to make the call, that could change as it
develops, said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper, whos been touring his state in a series
of town hall meetings. But for the moment people are focused on the most productive avenues for
their frustrations, like Call Pat Tiberi or 'Tell Rob Portman to vote against Scott Pruitt."
Rather than pursuing impeachment, most Hill Democrats are focusing their energies on persuading
colleagues across the aisle to publicly support or join their investigations, viewing that as the most
productive path forward. The brewing voter anger can only help them reach that goal, they believe.
Current Investigations Solve

Current process solves the internal link


Goldsmith 3/15/17 (Jack, former assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, is
a professor at Harvard Law School and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Yes, Trump Is Being
Held Accountable, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/opinion/yes-trump-is-being-held-
accountable.html)
Many critics of President Trump, including a sizable number of Democrats in the Republican-controlled Congress, are wary about the incipient
congressional investigations of Russias interference in the 2016 presidential election and the possibly related Russian entanglements with the
Trump administration and campaign. They suspect that an independent investigation from outside the government is the only hope for
checking a president who seems oblivious to press criticism, whose party controls Congress and who has the executive branch under his thumb.
These worries are understandable but misplaced. There might be a time when an independent investigation becomes
necessary, but we are not nearly there yet. For now, our constitutional system is working well to ferret
out the truth and to hold Mr. Trump and his subordinates accountable. The most important checks on the Trump
presidency come from inside it. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly conducting at least
three investigations related to Russia, the election and the administration. Whatever one thinks about his pre-
election maneuvers, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey (a former colleague of mine at the Justice Department), has proved to be an
independent actor, and he has every interest in pursuing the cases wherever they lead. Mr. Trump could
fire Mr. Comey on a whim, but that would not kill the F.B.I. investigation. Rather, just as President Richard Nixon
hastened his impeachment with the Watergate-related firings known as the Saturday Night Massacre, canning Mr. Comey would only
heighten the publics and Congresss suspicions about Mr. Trumps guilt and increase pressure on the
F.B.I. and others to get to the bottom of the Russia matter. Many worry that even if the F.B.I. were to conduct an
investigation that warranted criminal proceedings, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, a close ally of the president, would squelch them. But
after examining the departments rules and consulting its ethics experts, Mr. Sessions
has recused himself from any existing
or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the United
States. Those investigations will now be supervised by Rod J. Rosenstein, soon to be the deputy
attorney general, who is a career prosecutor of undoubted independence and an expert on national
security and public corruption. Another reason to think the existing process is working to keep the president in check are the
plentiful leaks from the executive branch that have revealed a great deal about the Russian imbroglio.
Leaks of this sort are a predicable response to a perception of illegitimacy or overreach inside the executive branch. It is hard to know at this
point which leaks are justified and which are illegitimate. But overall they
function as a significant constraint on this
presidency. The leaks have also shown the strength of the press, belying worries that journalists would be chilled by President Barack
Obamas crackdown on leaks and Mr. Trumps unusual attacks on the news media. The Fourth Estate is covering the Trump presidency with
unusual critical vigor, reporting concrete and damning details as if it had a seat inside the Oval Office. Finally, there are the investigations
by Congress. Prominent Republicans such as Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have
questioned the presidents honesty on the Russia matter. The Senate Intelligence Committee is
conducting an independent review and has already been briefed by Mr. Comey. The House Intelligence
Committee will begin hearings next week. A subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee is also
investigating the matter and has pledged to ensure that the F.B.I.s work is free of all political
influence. While there is no doubt that partisan politics will inform what many in both congressional parties do in this matter, one should
not overlook what is truly remarkable here: In the second month of a new presidency, several bodies in a Congress
controlled by the presidents party are conducting high-profile, politically fraught and hard-to-control
investigations that potentially implicate current and former administration officials and former
campaign officials. All of these actors and institutions are holding the Trump presidency to account. They
are endeavoring to uncover the truth about the manifold Russian mysteries. And they can, if they see fit,
take action with effects ranging from publicity and embarrassment to political damage with electoral
consequences to criminal prosecution to impeachment if appropriate.
Impeachment Bad Pence Worse

Pence is way worse than Trump legislative experience really screws democracy and
enables agenda passage
Dolack 5-26-17 (Pete Dolack writes the Systemic Disorder and has been an activist with several groups
- Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump - https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/26/why-
pence-might-be-even-worse-than-trump/)
The thought of Donald Trumps monstrous ego being swiftly turned out of office because of his
incompetence and corruption cant help but give us a warm feeling of schadenfreude. Yet contemplating
his possible impeachment gives full meaning to the idea of being careful of what you wish. The
complicating factor here is that an impeachment and removal from office would elevate Christian
fundamentalist Mike Pence to the presidency. That would be truly a horrifying development. Not only
because Vice President Pence is more of a true believer in the extreme Right agenda than is President
Trump but as an experienced legislator and governor, hed likely be far more effective in steering bills
through Congress. With some of the most ideological Republicans in control of all three branches of
government, and given that the Democratic Party has shown no sign whatsoever of learning from last
years electoral debacle, hoping for relief from traditional politics seems even more hopeless than it is
ordinarily. What to do? Even the ongoing campaign to Refuse Fascism by driving out the
Trump/Pence regime has a controversial element to it. Although appropriately aimed at both while
targeting the system that could elevate such horrors to the apex of political power, this sort of campaign
spreads confusion by equating what is a particularly nasty manifestation of capitalist formal democracy
with full fascism.