Rob Portman

Republican Skeptics On Ryan Health Care Plan: John Kasich, Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Darrell Issa, And Many Others

The Republican Party has an increasing number of skeptics about the Paul Ryan alternative bill to ObamaCare, which has now been scored on its effect on the budget by the Congressional Budget Office, and it is a total disaster.

All of the following are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, as it is, but warn against the House sponsored plan:

Governor John Kasich of Ohio
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Congressman Darrell Issa of California
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado
Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Senator Dean Heller

But also there are the right wing extremists, the Freedom Caucus House Republicans who oppose the Ryan bill, as do the following groups:

Freedom Works
Club For Growth
Heritage Action

And the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the American Association Of Retired Persons, and many other groups are also totally against the legislation.

So in the midst of control of both Houses and the White House, the Republican Party is in a crisis as to how to appeal to their base, as they work to deny them health care–elderly, sick, disabled, and poor.

Congressional Republicans Growing Unease About Donald Trump

Less than two weeks in office, Donald Trump is starting to see growing unease among some Congressional Republicans about his independent, go it alone, style of leadership.

Trump clearly feels he was elected without true party unity, and intends to govern in an authoritarian manner, but there are Republicans who are unhappy with his style and manner.

These include:

Arizona Senator John McCain
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham
Ohio Senator Rob Portman
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse
Maine Senator Susan Collins

Also, some Congressmen are also speaking out, so Trump may be a President without a party, and to find that, one must go back to the 19th century, where two Presidents, who succeeded a President who died, had massive headaches trying to deal with the party that had accepted them, members of the opposition party, as their Vice President, due to the wishes of the Presidential nominee, but with no expectation that the President wold die in office.

I am referring to Democrat John Tyler, who ran on the Whig Party ticket with William Henry Harrison in 1840; and Democrat Andrew Johnson, who ran on the Republican “Union” Party line with Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

Both Tyler and Johnson would have never ending headaches with their adopted party, with major battles over Supreme Court and Cabinet appointments, and a threat to impeach John Tyler, and an actual impeachment trial for Andrew Johnson.

Could Donald Trump be on the way to similar resistance and possible impeachment? He is alienating Congress by being a “lone wolf”, showing his disdain for Congress and the party line he ran on.

One must recall that his victory for President was the worst ever in popular vote loss to his opponent, and seventh lowest percentage ever, but with all those Presidents with lower percentage of vote, having had two or three opponents who gained electoral votes, instead of just one opponent.

Most Crucial Trump Cabinet Member To Resist Is Jeff Sessions, Attorney General Nominee— A Danger To Civil Rights And Civil Liberties!

The Trump cabinet choices are overall horrific, but the most that might be expected is to stop maybe one or two of the nominees.

It is so hard to judge which are the worst of all of them, but clearly, after reflection, the record of Senator Jeff Sessions disqualifies him for the position of Attorney General.

This is a man who has displayed racism, misogyny, nativism, and homophobia, and was opposed to extension of the Voting Rights Act, and he was already rejected for a federal judgeship in 1986 by a Senate with a majority of his own Republican Party.

In an age when civil rights and civil liberties are in danger from Donald Trump and his mentality, to put Jeff Sessions into the Justice Department would set back the Bill of Rights tremendously, as Sessions is no different than if one were to select former Alabama Governor George Wallace, or former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, or former South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond to be Attorney General.

These were the worst of all Southern politicians who undermined civil rights, and there is no evidence that Jeff Sessions is any different in 2017.

All that is needed is for a few Republican Senators to show courage, and vote against their own colleague, replicating the Republican Senate of 1986, as then Arlen Specter and Charles Mathias blocked Sessions from a federal district court judgeship, a very rare occurrence.

Pressure must be brought on Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona to show the same kind of courage now, within the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Otherwise, it is essential that such Senators as Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska, John McCain of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Dean Heller of Nevada be appealed to, to reject Sessions.

Republican “Firewall”, Added To Democratic Opposition In US Senate, Gives Some Hope To Control Trump Appointments And Initiatives

Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona
Cory Gardner of Colorado
Marco Rubio of Florida
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Susan Collins of Maine
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Dean Heller of Nevada
Rob Portman of Ohio
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Mike Lee of Utah
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

We must realize that Donald Trump is not really a Republican or a conservative, and is impossible to figure out what his agenda is, so that means that there will be a “firewall” of Republicans in the US Senate, who at least in some cases, can be added to Democratic opposition in the Senate, and give some hope that there will be control over Trump appointments and initiatives over the next few years.

Not all of the above list will cooperate and collaborate together on all issues, but they all seem to be likely to fight Trump on some issues, and if three or four work together with a united Democratic Party in the Senate, Trump will be unable to accomplish all his goals, and he is likely to bitterly denounce these Republicans, and cause, by his language, more stalemate and gridlock, and prevent the most grievous nominees and parts of his agenda.

The most likely to oppose Trump are the following: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Rob Portman in that order.

However, Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, as strong conservatives, are also likely to try to limit Trump Administration goals if they find them objectionable.

The others–Dan Sullivan, Cory Gardner, Dean Heller, Pat Toomey, Lamar Alexander, and Shelley Moore Capito–may, occasionally, join with the members of this group.

Remember that seven of this group—Murkowski, McCain, Rubio, Paul, Portman, Toomey, and Lee have a new six year term, so are not threatened by Trump as far as their Senate seat is concerned.

Only Flake and Heller face election contests in 2018, while the other seven –Sullivan, Gardner, Collins, Sasse, Graham, Alexander, and Capito face election in 2020.

So 16 Senators out of 52 Republicans, fully one third, could stand in the way of Donald Trump, and if he went too far in abuse of his powers, could, potentially, join in a possible move to promote impeachment, although even if all 48 Democrats joined in, would still fall short of the 67 needed to convict and remove him by three votes.

Which Republican Senators Might Stop Republican Agenda On Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid And Other Issues In Domestic And Foreign Policy?

With the Republican Party in full control of both houses of Congress again, although with smaller margins, one wonders what Republican Senators might ignore party lines at times, and fight against Donald Trump on changes in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other issues, including nominations, and domestic and foreign policy actions that are feared by many people, including not only Democrats but moderate conservative Republicans and some conservative intellectuals.

All that would be needed to stop actions would be three Republican Senators, along with the 48 Democrats in the Senate, with the filibuster a weapon that could be used by Democrats under Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Which Republicans might be willing to buck the party and Donald Trump on specific issues?

At the top of the list would be Susan Collins of Maine, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Others who might join these two women would be Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The problem is that there is no certainty that any of these nine Senators will prove to be a “profile in courage”.

“Coattails” Vs. “Split Ticket”: Which Will Occur In November?

Now with two weeks to the election, speculation is rising that Hillary Clinton may win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, and that she might have “coattails”, help to carry in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

The Senate part of this equation seems very likely, but to gain the House of Representatives majority will be very difficult, with the Republicans having a 30 seat majority right now, greater than at any point since 1928.

The last time a President coming into office had the effect of switching both houses of Congress was 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower brought in Republican majorities, which, however, were lost by 1954.

After that, the House of Representatives did not fall into Republican hands again for 40 years, until 1994!

The Senate, however, did fall into Republican hands with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, only to be reversed in 1986.

So best bet is that the House majority will be knocked down a great amount, maybe 20 seats gain, but short of a majority for the Democrats.

On the other hand, the Senate seems likely to turn over, and Hillary Clinton could help to switch the states of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, as well as Indiana, and keeping Nevada, the only contested Democratic seat, meaning a eight state gain for the Democrats, from 46 seats to 54, and including the likely defeat of Marco Rubio and John McCain.

Missouri, a less likely state for Hillary Clinton, but within reach, could also see Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee, defeat Senator Roy Blunt, but not seen as such, unless Missouri reverts to being a bellwether state which it was for a century, but not so in 2012.

Iowa and Ohio seem more likely to keep Chuck Grassley and Rob Portman, even if Hillary Clinton wins their states.

So the idea of a “split ticket”, only 11 percent in recent election years, seems only likely in those two Midwestern states, and maybe in Missouri and Indiana, but Hillary likely to carry other states listed above and help to make the Senate Democratic majority.

Middle Class “Rust Belt” Voters (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin) Favor Hillary Clinton Over Donald Trump

Many Republicans seem to think that middle class “Rust Belt” voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin will abandon their strong support for Democrats in Presidential elections and vote for Donald Trump in 2016.

That is totally delusional, as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin have been strongly “Blue” for the past six Presidential elections, and will not change this November.

Ohio is a different story, as it is the ultimate “Swing” state, and that is why Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democratic Senator, might be selected as Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate.

If Donald Trump was able to convince Ohio Governor John Kasich or Ohio Senator Rob Portman, to be his running mate for Vice President, the odds of the Republicans winning Ohio would be vastly improved, but there seems to be zero chance of either Ohio Republican office holder taking up such an offer.

Polls so far make it clear that Hillary Clinton is strongly favored to carry all four “Rust Belt” states.

Republican Party Split Begins Around Presumptive Nominee Donald Trump!

The Republican Party is deteriorating before our eyes, as they face the threat of Donald Trump.

George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham all reject him.

So does Erick Erickson, Bill Kristol, most of the Weekly Standard and National Review conservatives, and most US Senators and Congressmen of the party.

Others such as John McCain and Susan Collins and Kelly Ayotte are steering clear of him, while not repudiating him.

Many Republican Senators running for reelection are in a no win situation, including McCain, Ayotte, Rob Portman, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, and Mark Kirk.

Many Wall Street Republicans, and much of the Wall Street Journal group, and even elements of the Fox News Channel crowd, reject Trump’s candidacy.

Neoconservatives in the party are infuriated with Trump’s foreign policy views.

Social conservatives cannot accept Trump’s support of limited abortion rights and LGBT rights, including transgender bathroom issues.

And Speaker of the House Paul Ryan stating his inability to support Trump at this point is totally stunning!

There is a sense of desperation, and the belief we are in the midst of a revolution in the party system!

Final Decision On Democratic National Convention Due: New York, Philadelphia, Or Columbus, Ohio?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, will be announcing sometime this month where the 2016 Democratic National Convention will be held in the summer of 2016.

The finalists are New York City, Philadelphia, and Columbus, Ohio.

Many might say having the convention in the number one city in America (New York City), or in the city representing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia), would be the best choice.

However, realize that both New York State and Pennsylvania are strongly “blue” states in Presidential elections, and therefore, nothing electorally is gained by choosing either city.

On the other hand, selecting Columbus, Ohio, the capital city of the Buckeye State, is a strategically very smart move, particularly with the fact that the Republican National Convention is to be held in Cleveland.

Ohio is the ultimate swing state, having been with the winner every election since 1964, and it is, certainly, one of only five truly “swing states” up for contention.

The Democrats could win the Presidency without Ohio, but with the GOP in Ohio, and the strong possibility that either Governor John Kasich or Senator Rob Portman could be the Vice Presidential running mate for Jeb Bush or others, and that Kasich himself could run for President, it would be extremely smart and sensible to compete for Ohio in the convention situation, along with the Republicans in Cleveland.

So the Democrats should seriously make the decision to go for Columbus, and make Ohio a true rivalry for party support, and if Ohio went to the Democrats, it would clinch for sure the winning of the Presidency by any Presidential nominee, no matter who it was!

So my prediction is that the Democrats will see the reasoning suggested in this blog entry, and will choose Columbus, Ohio, over New York City and Philadelphia. We shall see how my prediction works out in the next month!

I remind my readers that I correctly predicted Tampa, Florida, as the convention site of the Republicans in 2012!

Jeb Bush and Rob Portman Are Lost Causes! Where Is John Kasich As The Alternative For The Mainstream Conservative Republicans?

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says, if he runs for President, that he will NOT kiss the ring of the extreme Right Wing of the Republican Party!

Well, Jeb, forget it then, as you will never win the GOP nomination, being that you are part of the so called “Establishment”! The Tea Party Right Wing extremists will fight you tooth and nail to prevent you being the GOP Presidential nominee!

Being more sympathetic to immigration reform will hurt Bush, as well as support for “Common Core” education, and just being a Bush will hurt as well!

Meanwhile, one of the most viable GOP potential nominees, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, has decided not to seek the Presidency in 2016, and instead run for reelection.

Portman would have had trouble anyway, being George W. Bush’s Budget Director as the deficit swelled; and also for the fact that he has come out for gay marriage, after his son revealed himself to be gay, making Portman one of only four Republican Senators to endorse gay marriage so far! But being from Ohio and being NOT a looney candidate, as so many potential Republicans are, he would have been a far better choice for President than many of them!

So we have lost two potential mainstream conservatives to the race for President–Bush, by his statements that he will not cater to the extremists; and Portman, for showing his belief that it would be unlikely he could win the nomination, and desirous, instead, of keeping his Senate seat!

So again, the question is: Is Governor John Kasich of Ohio ready to take the plunge, and give respectability to the GOP battle for the Presidency?