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GOP candidates win several primaries, while Democrats fragment

Despite positive narrative in the MSM for Dems, reality suggests a splintering of the DNC into liberals and socialists

Seraphim Hanisch

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Republicans and Democrats held primary elections in seven states on June 26: New York, Colorado, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah, South Carolina and Mississippi, the last two states being runoff primaries. Predictions for the November 2018 midterm elections have projected a wave of Democrat victories, perhaps enough to reclaim both the Senate (which only needs two GOP losses) and the House (which needs 30 Democrat victories).

The polling still indicates a likely swing in at least the Senate to Democrat control, but the results of the primaries seem to show something different.

Fox News reported interesting development for both parties. For the Democrat primaries, it reported:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former campaign organizer for Bernie Sanders, pulled off a stunning upset in New York City on Tuesday by defeating Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., a member of party leadership who was considered all but a shoo-in.

Crowley, 56, a 10-term incumbent from Queens and fierce Trump-basher, was a steady fundraiser for fellow Democrats and was thought by some to be a future speaker of the House.

His defeat left no clear potential choice in the House to succeed Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as the party’s leader. Further, it exposed deepening divisions within the party as the liberal wing flexes its muscles in the primaries — pressuring the establishment to back big-government policies like Medicare for All and guaranteed jobs.

Ocasio-Cortez, 28, who is from the Bronx, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and ran a low-budget campaign where she was outspent by an 18-1 margin.

Fox further noted that this race’s outcome revealed a weakness in the establishment structure among Democrats in the same way that Donald Trump radically showed that the GOP establishment has become very lost.

“We have had our country on autopilot and we’ve been accepting what’s been happening,” she told Refinery29 earlier this month. “And what’s happening in this country is indicative that we need new leadership. We need new leadership in the Democratic Party and we need new leadership in the country.”

Her win drew comparisons to when then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican, lost to unknown Dave Brat in 2014, and raised questions for Pelosi.

“In the short term, Pelosi may have crossed another potential challenger off of her list, but the bigger picture can’t be good for the existing Democratic leadership structure,” Jim Newell wrote in Slate.Crowley, for all his accumulated power, just got taken out on the mantra of generational change. This presents an argument, for Pelosi’s detractors in the conference, that the rest of the leadership should follow suit.

Politico wrote that although a rival to Pelosi was defeated, Ocasio-Cortez represents a “reminder of the generational demands for change at the top of the party hierarchy,” and her victory will likely send a “shudder through the moderate wing of the party.”

The GOP has interpreted the rise of an extremely radical left wing to the Democrat Party as a sign that Democrat party unity is failing and that the party is splintering.

However, this phenomenon is not restricted to the Democrats. President Trump’s own rise to the presidency was a similar shock to many people who are both Repubicans and the GOP establishment in DC. President Trump is attempting to use his own outsider momentum to get more GOP primary victories with people that will back his own unique style and policy set.

This map shows that there are 27 seats truly considered “toss up” seats in the November contest. Of these, assuming that the likely and lean GOP elections do indeed go GOP, the number of pure tossup victories needed is eight. The Democrats need 20.

June 21 US House Election prospective map

In other words, this election appears to be quite close. The Fox News map for the Senate shows a similarly close race:

Here with an assumed 48 seats, the GOP must win three Senate elections to retain or increase control over the upper legislative house. The eight toss-up states are interesting, because historically Indiana, Montana, Tennessee, North Dakota, West Virginia and Arizona are all considered “red states”, yet they are considered toss-ups this year.

According to this report, also from Fox News, the GOP primaries revealed that the President’s coattails are effective in helping Republican candidates triumph, but the victory of Socialist Ocasio-Cortez over establishment Mike Crowley suggests ideological fragmentation in the Democrat party. Further, the Fox analysis seems to suggest that the “blue wave” that was forecast looks increasingly mythical:

Primaries Tuesday showed the power of President Trump’s endorsements continued to help Republican candidates triumph, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lost a key lieutenant – Rep. Joe Crowley – in a New York City race that suggests internal divisions among Democrats are more serious than people might think.

In addition, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee who lost to President Obama, staged a political comeback by easily winning the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah held by the retiring Republican Orrin Hatch. Romney seems headed for victory in November in the heavily Republican state.

Democratic divisions between the leftist insurgents who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in his unsuccessful campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 make it less likely that a big, blue wave is coming that will sweep Democrats to majority control in the House and Senate.

President Trump’s job approval numbers are holding steady somewhere in the mid-40s. The percentage of voters who feel the country is on the right track is now up near 40 percent – double where it was at the beginning of the year.

The only way this feels like it’s a “change election” is on the Democratic side, where younger voters and women seemed determined to “Bernie-fy” the party and have it stand for such things as rolling back the Trump tax cuts, free college for all, Medicare for all and – in essence – a transformation of the United States into a full-blown version of a European-style welfare state.

That pitch might work in the big cities, which seem to be the only power base the party of the Clintons and Obama has left. But it’s not clear that voters in the suburbs and rural areas will vote for candidates on the far left.

And, thanks to the recent outburst from liberal entertainers and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters – who has urged those on the left to harass Trump administration officials wherever they might be found – the Democrats may be in the process of losing whatever advantage they might have had on the civility question. That might actually be one place where President Trump is truly vulnerable.

The 2016 elections showed American that nothing can be trusted to be as it seems. The verdict from the news reports is inconclusive at best. It does not appear that anyone on either side has grounds for complacent confidence.

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Raycomeau

The Democrats have shown their true colors with the Mueller fiasco, So anyone except Democrats should win! Sadly, Hillary should have taken her loss gracefully and disappeared into her witches den!

ghartwell
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‘But it’s not clear that voters in the suburbs and rural areas will vote for candidates on the far left.’ No. No. No. It not ‘far left’ it is real left as opposed to the phone politically-correct left of various victims of perceived ‘oppression.’ Real left defends the welfare state – the use of money from the rich and corporations to provide social services for all. The real left wants less debt for university students, real medical and dental care for all, and real income support for poor and economically disadvantaged. The benefit of the real left’s program is that… Read more »

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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Five Saudis Face Death Penalty Over Khashoggi Killing; Crown Prince Cleared

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime.”

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Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia public prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan al-Shaalan said on Thursday that the kingdom will seek the death penalty for five suspects among the 11 charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, confirming suspicions that members of the murder squad purportedly sent to “interrogate” Khashoggi will now themselves face beheadings as the Saudi Royal Family closes ranks around the Crown Prince, per the FT.

As for Mohammed bin Salman who runs the day to day affairs of the world’s top oil exporter and is the de facto head of OPEC, the prosecutor said had “no knowledge” of the mission, effectively absolving him of any domestic suspicion, if not international.

The charges were handed down after the kingdom dismissed five senior intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi insider-turned-dissident journalist disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents that would have allowed him to marry his fiance. Khashoggi was a legal resident of Virginia.

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime,” according to CNN.

The prosecutor said that the former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.

They were divided into three groups, the Saudi Public Prosecutor said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecutor said.

The Saudis stuck by latest (ever changing) narrative that the Washington Post columnist was killed after a mission to abduct him went awry. The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said. The team killed him after the talks failed and his body was handed to a “collaborator” in Turkey, he said.

Asked whether Saud al-Qahtanti, an aide to Prince Mohammed, had any role in the case, Shaalan said that a royal adviser had a coordinating role and had provided information. The former adviser was now under investigation, the prosecutor said, declining to reveal the names of any of those facing charges.

Al-Shaalan did reveal that a total of 21 suspects are now being held in connection with the case. Notably, the decision to charge the 5 comes after National Security Advisor John Bolton repudiated reports that a recording of Khashoggi’s murder made by Turkish authorities suggested that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was behind the murder plot.

But as long as OPEC+ is planning to do “whatever it takes” to boost oil prices, the US’s willingness to give the Saudis a pass could always be tested if crude prices again turn sharply higher.

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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