Republicans Have No Other Ideas

Jonathan Chait: “The last time Republicans had control of government, they explained that cutting taxes would not get in the way of fiscal responsibility. Not only would tax cuts produce faster growth, they argued, they would also force Congress to restrain spending. Their strategy utterly failed. Not only did the tax cuts fail to produce higher growth, they also failed to encourage spending restraint…”

“And so there they are, back to the exact same policy they tried in 2001: Pass a huge tax cut and hope somehow it leads to cutting spending. That this policy is now being carried out by the same people who rose to power by denouncing the failure of the exact same policy last time tells you everything you need to know about the state of economic policy thought in the Republican Party now.”

What Will Bannon’s ‘War’ Actually Look Like?

BuzzFeed: “Steve Bannon has sucked up gobs of political oxygen with his budding operation to take down establishment Republicans in next year’s elections. But his political army, and the secretive financiers backing it, so far are just loosely organized upstarts in an ecosystem dominated by well-established groups.”

“As the GOP appears to be on the verge of another civil war and reports of Bannon’s 2018 plans dominate headlines, the big question Republicans are still trying to figure out is: Beyond a photo op, what does Bannon’s support actually mean for Michael Grimm and several other candidates he is backing?”

Asked that question directly, a close Bannon ally responded: “It’s actually still TBD.”

Not What Republicans Expected

Susan Glasser: “It’s tough to be a Republican in Washington these days. You’d think that winning the White House and both houses of Congress in an unexpected upset would have been good for the Party’s morale. But it has not turned out that way. In between beating up on Hillary Clinton and Mexicans and the ‘enemies of the people’ in the press corps, the President has taken on members of his own party with particular relish.”

“Back in January, the conventional wisdom had been that Trump, a Washington novice with a clear disregard for the details, would leave the governing to Congress, making Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell perhaps the capital’s most important player. Now, Trump and McConnell are barely on speaking terms, and tensions within the Party are proliferating.”

Republicans Can’t Fail on Tax Cuts

New York Times: “Given the swirling tumult, one political and legislative reality is suddenly becoming crystal clear: Republicans must deliver a tax cut or face an epic backlash that would pose a significant threat to their governing majority and long-term political health.”

“After Republicans were unable to fulfill their longstanding promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the tax cut proposal is the only remaining game in town for the struggling majority and its allies on K Street. The inability to enact a tax cut — an idea that nearly all Republicans support in theory while differing on the details — would represent a monumental failure.”

“The party would have virtually no argument for re-election in 2018 and Senate and House incumbents would be wide open to challenge from both the right and the left.”

Small Donors Help Fill the GOP Coffers

Washington Post: “In giving to support Trump, his backers are pouring tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of the Republican National Committee, which has raised more from small-dollar contributions at this point in the election cycle than the national party has collected in more than a decade.”

“The low-dollar donations are helping fuel a massive fundraising advantage for the RNC, which has pulled in nearly twice as much as its Democratic counterpart this year.”

“The GOP’s success with small donors illustrates how the Republican Party, long a center of the political establishment, has managed to turn Trump’s anti-Washington message to its advantage.”

Poll Shows Growing Dissatisfaction with Republicans

A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll finds that voters’ assessment of the Republican Party has plummeted to 62% unfavorable/23% favorable, significantly changed from the 55% unfavorable/32% favorable registered in a June poll.

The Democratic Party recorded a 48% unfavorable/37% favorable rating in the most recent poll.

Said pollster David Paleologos: “The Republican Party is in freefall. In March the GOP had a 48% unfavorable rating, in June the negative swelled to 55%. Today the GOP unfavorable is 62%. What’s next?”

Trump’s Foreign Policy Splits the Republican Party

A new Chicago Council on Global Affairs poll finds that President Trump’s “most fervent supporters solidly support his foreign policy views, but Republicans with less favorable impressions of the president are far less enthusiastic and are more closely aligned in their attitudes with the overall population.”

“The survey also underscores the degree to which Trump, despite the bully pulpit of the White House, has been unable to shift public opinion in his direction on foreign policy issues. In fact, the opposite has occurred. Public attitudes have moved away from a number of the positions he espoused during his campaign and since.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“If the party can’t be fixed, I’m not going to be able to support the party. Period. That’s the end of it… But have I given up? No.”

— Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), in a CNN interview, saying a time could come when he no longer supports the Republican Party.

The GOP’s Nightmare Scenario

Mike Allen: “Some conservative Republicans worry about a ‘nightmare scenario’ for the party: no health care repeal, no tax reform — and the party’s top two accomplishments of this Congress are a ‘bailout’ for insurance companies (fixes to the Affordable Care Act), and ‘amnesty’ (Dreamer legislation).”

“That would depress Republicans and excite Democrats — the surest formula for the GOP to blow its majorities.”