GOP's collapse in Michigan stronghold a 'warning light' for Republicans still embracing Trump: report
According to an extensive report from Politico's Zack Stanton, the Republican Party leadership would do well to take a hard look at what has happened in a one once-reliable Michigan district that has increasingly gone Democratic and how Donald Trump has impacted the fortunes of GOP lawmakers there for the worse.
Echoing previous reporting that the Republican Party is increasingly unpopular in the suburbs, Politico's Stanton wrote that a look at Oakland County, Michigan -- home to Republican National Committee head Ronna Romney McDaniel -- and how it has flipped to the Democrats should send up warning flags for the GOP.
Getting right to the point, Michigan GOP strategist Jeff Timmer, who headed up the state party from 2005-2009, explained, "Oakland County was kind of the quintessential suburban Republican stronghold over the postwar period," with Stanton adding, "It was (and is) a huge source of campaign donations for the party and its candidates. It had massive influence in Lansing, and an influential bipartisan delegation in Washington. It was a must-visit locale for every aspiring Republican presidential candidate."
But things have changed.
"Ten years ago, Republicans held two of the four GOP-drawn U.S. House seats in Oakland (the other two were safe Democratic); now, all four are in Democratic hands. Democratic women now represent the Romney family's hometown in the state House, state Senate and U.S. House (Rep. Haley Stevens)," the report states. "Ten years ago, Brooks Patterson, the silver-tongued sun-God around whom all local politics orbited, was county executive, and Republicans held four of the six countywide elected posts; Democrats now hold five of them, including the executive. After GOP-controlled redistricting in 2012, Republicans had a 14-7 majority on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners; now, Democrats have an 11-10 edge and will control the county-level redistricting process for the first time in a half-century."
Calling what has happened in Oakland "a national warning light for the Republicans at the highest levels of the party," the report goes on to state the voters in the district have become more inclusive of others at a time when prominent Republicans -- led by Donald Trump -- have run on divisiveness.
According to Michigan pollster Stanley Greenberg, Oakland "...represents the dominant trend in the country because it combines the most affluent and college graduates in increasingly diverse suburbs becoming increasingly and emphatically Democratic."
Mari Manoogian, a Democrat who represents the 40th District in the Michigan House of Representatives, claims that the GOP's obsession with cultural issues like transgender kids playing sports is turning off voters more worried about schools and quality of living, telling Stanton, "The 'Oakland Hills Country Club set' is changing, or at least having some serious reservations about the current version of the Republican Party. Knocking doors in 2018, … people would say, 'I've voted Republican my whole life, but I'm not voting Republican anymore. … They're not focused on the issues that matter to us. They're focused on these culture-war issues.'"
A former GOP lawmaker agreed and pointed the finger at Donald Trump as a major factor in Republican losses not only in Oakland, but nationally.
Speaking with Politico's Stanton, Martin Howrylak (R), who represented Troy in the state's House until 2018, explained, "It's the opposite of a big-tent party right now. That was really the game plan of Trump: to create lines: 'You're either with me or against me. And if you're not with me, you might as well—politically speaking—die.' And that 'take no prisoners' approach is the antithesis of what's needed here. As long as the party continues to embrace the former president, it's going to have trouble in Oakland County."
You can read more here
Rep. Matt Gaetz -- banned from Fox News -- headed straight to Newsmax Thursday night with a conspiracy theory that's unhinged even by his standards, and that of the network.
"The FBI might have had a role in "organizing and participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot," Newsmax quoted Gaetz as spewing on air to Steve Cortes and Jenn Pellegrino. "The FBI clearly doesn't have objections to selected releases of video and images from these days, but it begs the question: Why is there not more transparency?
"What did the FBI know? And when did they know it?"
To date, the FBI knows it has arrested "approximately 465 individuals on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, including over 130 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing."
Gaetz wrote a letter Wednesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray seeking answers, Newsmax says. He continues to sit on the House Judiciary Committee despite being a known target of an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that it oversees.
Gaetz has apparently decided to go all in against the DOJ and FBI. Here are some excerpts from what he said out loud on the right-wing network:
"The question of whether or not the FBI animated some of the criminal conduct is one that is far more grave…it's reasonable to ask whether or not the FBI is engaged in a playbook where first they infiltrate an organization and then they try to bring that organization to the point of criminal conduct as a mechanism as to try and bring it down.
"The FBI has a long history of this, dating back to even the Civil Rights era, and I certainly hope our premier law enforcement organization is not actually working to violate federal law."
Gaetz offered no evidence to support his tirade, but the Newsmax mikes remained open:
"Gaetz said he fears a political weaponization of the FBI and the Justice Department, adding it is "an agency that has a whole lot of swamp left in it and needs to be drained."
"I do not think we are dealing with a small group of bad apples. I think that the FBI has morphed into a political opposition research organization and a political activism organization more than a law enforcement organization.
"Law enforcement is done best at the state and local level, not with a bunch of folks in Washington, D.C., who are addicted to the coverage that they receive from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN.
"Gaetz said he has a pretty strong gut and his feeling is the FBI infiltrated the Jan. 6 protesters that stormed the Capitol, and he wants answers about it."You can wade through more here.
‘Talking points he was given by Putin’: Ron Johnson slammed for suggesting Biden is compromised by Russia
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" Thursday night and suggested President Joe Biden is compromised by Russia.
Host Sean Hannity laid out a scenario, attacking Biden for deciding to not sanction a Russian oil pipeline. "Maybe Joe thinks that Russia has him compromised?" he told viewers, despite no evidence to support that claim.
"Well, you wouldn't be wrong to be suspicious that maybe that's the problem there," Sen. Johnson replied.
Many on social media responded with outrage, noting that Johnson's nickname became "Russian Ron" when he flew to Russia in 2018 and spent the Fourth of July in Moscow. After that trip many say his demeanor changed.
In March The New York Times labeled Johnson "an all-access purveyor of misinformation on serious issues such as the pandemic and the legitimacy of American democracy," and, "the Republican Party's foremost amplifier of conspiracy theories and disinformation."
It also called him "the leading Republican proponent of a revisionist effort to deny the motives and violence of the mob that breached the Capitol."
Johnson's "drumbeat of distortions, false theories and lies reminds some Wisconsin Republicans of a figure from the state's past who also rarely let facts get in the way of his agenda: Senator Joseph McCarthy," the Times charged.
Many are furious, saying that the Trump-defending Johnson appears to have ties to Russia himself, just like the former president he has so passionately protected at all costs and by all means.
Among them, noted political scientist Norm Orenstein:
Ron repeating the talking points he was given by Putin
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) June 18, 2021
Why use a mirror as a shield? Every. Single. Time. https://t.co/E3mCOkE549
— John Ales AF (@IAmJohnAles) June 18, 2021
— Clayre 🏜 (@ClayreInTucson) June 18, 2021
There literally is no reason to go to Moscow for a meeting like this unless you were discussing topics that would get you arrested for treason here.
— JTHawks (@J12Hawks) June 18, 2021
2018, Ron Johnson spent the 4th of July in Moscow with seven other Republican traitors to pose for propaganda photos with Russian officials.
— ➡️𝕋𝕙𝕚𝕤𝔾𝕦𝕪⬅️ (@ShitzN_Giggles) June 18, 2021
From the guy who literally - I mean LITERALLY -- went to fucking MOSCOW for 4th of July. https://t.co/C9BzwQa6C7
— HawaiiDelilah™ -- Fully Vaxxed -- (@HawaiiDelilah) June 18, 2021
Guy who spreads Russian talking points and visits Russia on July 4th has thoughts about "compromised." Unreal. https://t.co/E81FhsRQxn
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 18, 2021
They are just all out of their minds trying to make Biden what Trump actually was. Clearly was. Obvious what he was. https://t.co/D99Uuv03O4
— Todd Poirier (@todd_poirier) June 18, 2021
Did he say it in Russian or English? https://t.co/jUBr7BuB7z
— techweenie 🌊 (@techweenie) June 18, 2021
This is some Grade A gaslighting all right. And considering the source, I suspect it's also projection. https://t.co/MYKy0sjGc8
— Khashoggi's Ghost (@UROCKlive1) June 18, 2021
How do you say projection in Russian https://t.co/5zZxB8VCmE
— Baligubadle (@Baligubadle1) June 18, 2021
Next week Ron Johnson will claim Joe Biden wants to build a luxury hotel in Moscow. https://t.co/f1KtPitgVk
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) June 18, 2021
Ron Johnson must be desperately trying to hide his profiting from his connections with Russia. HE was in Russia on July 4th meeting with Putin. HE supported TFG's obsequious, traitorous dealings with Russia. Biden was/had been in the USA NOT making corrupt deals with Putin. https://t.co/xngjNbN1pK
— Christine Adams (@ChristineAdams3) June 18, 2021
Biden compromised? These two are definitely projecting. Definitely accusing the president of which they are guilty. Johnson went to Russia for _______ on the 4th of July. Hannity, his whole show is scripted by Putin. It probably would be better if it were in Russian
— Gioto (@jtopper49) June 18, 2021
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