Republicans Think Democrats Are Worse Than Russia

Radio and television host Sean Hannity speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Radio and television host Sean Hannity speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

How can Republicans still support Donald Trump despite there now being proof of collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia?

Several users on Twitter have suggested that the right-wing media would have gone berserk if this story was about Hillary Clinton. I think they’re right. Instead of giving Donald Trump Jr. a softball interview, Sean Hannity would be screaming bloody murder.

We know, because that’s what he did during the phony Clinton email scandal.

And perhaps that’s part of the answer: To some on the American right, Democrats are such a threat that it justifies collaboration with a foreign power. Read more

Election Divides Kingdom as Parties Consolidate Their Base

The Union Jack flies in London, England, September 26, 2010
The Union Jack flies in London, England, September 26, 2010 (Adrián Navarro)

There is still a lot to digest from last week’s British election. The promised Conservative landslide never materialized. Labour gained seats, including in affluent constituencies like Kensington that it won for the first time, but it also fell short of a majority. Theresa May remains in power but has been weakened. She must rely on the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland for a majority, which threatens to upset the delicate balance of power in Ulster.

We can nevertheless say two things with certainty. The first is that the trends spotted in last year’s Brexit vote are accelerating. The second is that the new poles in British politics are consolidating and that leaves the center wide open. Read more

Election Exacerbates Britain’s Blue-Red Divide

A woman looks out over the skyline of London, England, May 13, 2014
A woman looks out over the skyline of London, England, May 13, 2014 (Ray Wewerka)

Britain’s general election result confirms that the political divide in the country has shifted from the traditional left versus right to what I call “blue” versus “red”. Read more

Party Asymmetry in the Age of Trump

Matt Grossmann and David A. Hopkins, Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats (2016)
Matt Grossmann and David A. Hopkins, Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats (2016)

Regular readers of the Atlantic Sentinel will be familiar with Matt Grossmann’s and David Hopkins’ theory of asymmetric politics. I’ve referenced their thesis to argue why Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders, was the proper Democratic candidate in 2016 and how Republican anti-establishment sentiment wrecked American politics.

Now they have put their theory in a book, which goes into greater detail and explains how this asymmetry between the parties manifests itself in other areas, like the media and policymaking. Read more

Republicans Put Party Before Country in Election Hack

Republican senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Republican senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (Bloomberg/Brendan Hoffman)

Since The Washington Post reported on Friday that the CIA believes Russia intervened in the election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, more damning revelations about his party have surfaced.

We now know that President Barack Obama, wary of publicizing the CIA’s findings unilaterally lest it be seen as an attempt to help his chosen successor, Hillary Clinton, summoned leaders of both parties to the White House in hopes of presenting a united front against Russia’s mischief.

Democrats were in favor; Republicans split. Senate leader Mitch McConnell reportedly raised doubts about the intelligence and told Obama he would consider it an act of partisan politics if the administration revealed to the public that a foreign power was manipulating the electorate to the advantage of his party’s candidate.

This is appalling. Read more

Donald Trump Voters Live in Alternate Reality

Businessman Donald Trump prepares to make a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 22, 2016
Businessman Donald Trump prepares to make a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 22, 2016 (Gage Skidmore)

Here is some insight into why millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump: they are convinced things have got worse under Barack Obama, the outgoing president, although the facts say otherwise.

A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling found that two-thirds of Trump voters believe unemployment has increased since Obama came to power in January 2009.

In fact, the unemployment rate has steadily fallen since then: from 7.8 to 4.6 percent.

Nearly 40 percent of Trump’s voters believe the stock market has gone down under Obama. The reality is that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11,000 points since the beginning of his presidency: more than double where it was. Read more

Liberal America Unwittingly Radicalized Trumpland

A portrait of businessman Donald Trump is seen in West Des Moines, Iowa, January 23
A portrait of businessman Donald Trump is seen in West Des Moines, Iowa, January 23 (Tony Webster)

When it became clear Tuesday night that Donald Trump was going to defeat Hillary Clinton in the big industrial states of the American Midwest — Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — I thought of the way Barack Obama had triumphed there four years ago.

His opponent, Mitt Romney, was a decent and thoughtful man who I supported for president. It bothered me at the time that Democrats were portraying him — insincerely, it seemed to me — as a heartless plutocrat. But that’s how Obama won over the white working class in the very states Clinton lost on Tuesday.

I sensed there was a connection between the vilification of Mitt Romney and the victory of Donald Trump, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until I read this quote from a conservative voter in The Atlantic:

Give people the impression that you will hate them the same or nearly so for voting Jeb Bush as compared to voting for Trump and where is the motivation to be socially acceptable with Jeb?

It is now starting to sink in that liberal America unwittingly radicalized Trumpland. Read more