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“Donald Trump Has Enough Fingers To Handle A Pen”: That’s Good Enough For Paul Ryan

In 2012, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist argued that the only thing the GOP needed in its next president was “enough working digits to handle a pen.” More specifically, Norquist wanted a president who would use those digits to sign Paul Ryan’s austerity budget. On Thursday, the Speaker of the House endorsed Norquist’s argument — by (belatedly) endorsing Donald Trump.

In an op-ed for his hometown newspaper, Ryan announced that the House GOP caucus would spend the next month “introducing a series of policy proposals that address the American people’s top priorities.” The Speaker does not detail the proposals, but from his thumbnail sketches they appear to entail cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor, repealing Obamacare and most environmental regulations, and repeating the words radical Islamic terrorism until ISIS spontaneously combusts. Anyhow, after touting his party’s innovative policy vision, Ryan asks himself what kind of president would be most likely to sign off on his wish list.

“One person who we know won’t support it is Hillary Clinton,” Ryan concludes. “To enact these ideas, we need a Republican president willing to sign them into law.”

Enter Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump and I have talked at great length about things such as the proper role of the executive and fundamental principles such as the protection of life … But the House policy agenda has been the main focus of our dialogue,” Ryan writes. “Through these conversations, I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives. That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall.”

Trump’s digits might be short (and he might be an authoritarian demagogue with transparent contempt for the norms of liberal democracy), but those stubby fingers can handle a pen. For Paul Ryan, that’s enough.

 

By: Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magazine, June 2, 2016

June 3, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Grover Norquist, Paul Ryan | , , , | 1 Comment

“Uber Drivers And E-Cigarette Users”: Grover Norquist’s Plan To Stop Hillary…Seriously

Over the last few years there has been a lot of discussion about the Rising American Electorate (unmarried women, millennials and people of color) that Barack Obama tapped into in order to win two presidential elections. Back in November, Stan Greenberg cautioned that these voters weren’t being engaged in the 2016 election. But in a more recent poll, he found that things had changed.

The disengagement pall has been lifted. Our focus groups with white unmarried women, millennials and African Americans showed a new consciousness about the stakes in November. In this poll, the percentage of Democrats giving the highest level of engagement has increased 10 points.

The result is that the country might be heading for an earthquake election in November.

Rather than embrace the recommendations of the RNC autopsy report following the 2012 presidential election, the response of Republicans has typically been to drill down on the idea that there are millions of white voters they can tap into who didn’t show up to vote for Mitt Romney. But even Sean Trende, whose original article spurred that discussion, says that there aren’t enough missing white voters available to swing an election.

Into this breach comes Grover Norquist with…what can I say…a “creative” solution. He has identified six new voting blocs that have developed over the last 30 years that won’t want Hillary Clinton in the White House. Between the lines, his contention is that she is just so out of touch with what is happening in the world that she’s missed them.

Either this revelation is so ground-breaking that no one in the political world is as in-touch as Norquist, or it’s a load of huey put out by someone who is desperately grasping at straws rather than face the fact that his predictions about a “permanent Republican majority” are drowning in a bathtub.

Here are Norquist’s six voting blocks that will challenge the Rising American Electorate:

1. Home schoolers
2. Charter school supporters
3. Concealed-carry permit holders
4. Fracking workers
5. Users of e-cigarettes and vapor products
6. Uber drivers

I kid you not! Those are the voting blocs Grover Norquist said the Republicans can tap into in order to stop Clinton in November. We could spend some time deconstructing each one. But that would give this nonsense from Norquist more attention than it deserves. I merely point this out in order to show how vacuous Republican attempts are these days to deal with the fact that they are in the midst of alienating large swaths of the American electorate. If the best they’ve got to combat that reality is mobilizing people like e-cigarrette users, you know they’re in big trouble.

 

By: Nancy LeTourneau, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, April 11, 2016

April 13, 2016 Posted by | Electorate, Grover Norquist, Hillary Clinton | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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