Subscribe to the IHARE Blog

Republicans versus Trumpicans: A New York State Case Study

In 1861 after winning the presidential election, Abraham Lincoln traveled by train to Washington, D.C. from Springfield, IL. His journey took him through New York State.

On February 18, he arrived in Albany. A riot ensued. While all this fuss was occurring over the arrival of the President-elect and he was dining at the Executive Mansion, the drama “The Apostate,” was staged at the Gayety Theater on Green Street. During the performance, the 23-year-old male lead who held a dagger accidentally fell and stabbed himself. He lived. The actor’s name was John Wilkes Booth. What if the wound had been more severe? There is no indication that Booth and Lincoln met then although obviously the former was aware of the latter.

So how did the new Republican Party fare in the Empire State?

In 1860 Abraham Lincoln won New York State with 35 Electoral College votes.

In 1864 Abraham Lincoln won New York State with 33 Electoral College votes. Confederate states did not participate in the election. Who knows what would have happened if they had voted and sent electors to be counted. After all, according to Lincoln, the Confederate states were legally still part of the United States. Another “what if” question.

In 1904, New York Republican Teddy Roosevelt won New York State with 39 Electoral College votes.

In 1948, New York Republican Thomas Dewey won New York State with 47 Electoral College votes.

In 1980 Republican Ronald Reagan won New York with 41 Electoral College votes.

In 1984 Republican Ronald Reagan won New York with 36 Electoral College votes.

That was the last time a Republican Presidential candidate won New York.

In 2016, New York was down to 29 Electoral College votes.

There was even a time not so long ago when both New York State Senators were Republicans. Then it became one. Then it became none.

The 21st century has not been good for Republicans in New York State. Once upon a time Republican New York State governors were national figures who became President or who tried to become President. When George Pataki sought national office he barely registered on the Presidential Political Richter scale. For that matter the Democrats have not done much better. Since the days of Al Smith and Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic New York presidential candidates have been a carpetbagger and former Democrat and Clinton supporter who attended future Democratic Governor Andy Cuomo’s bachelor party and used the Republican Party instead to become President before moving to Florida.

So where did things stand now for Republicans in New York State?

No Republican can win a statewide election in New York. The best one can hope for is around 40%. Consider the example of Marc Molinaro. In an earlier time period, he was the type of person who had future in the Republican Party at the state level and therefore perhaps at the national level. Now he has neither. He tried once at the state level and was victim of the 40% rule. He could try again for a state-wide position but why?

Molinaro could aim smaller and run for Congress, but why? First, his background is in executive positions so he would be a fish out of water in Congress. Second, he would be in a minority party which in the House of Representatives means you have no power whatsoever. Third he would be obligated to constantly travel both in his geographically-large Congressional district and to Washington. Fourth his district probably would change after the 2020 census and for the worse for him. Finally, does he really want to settle for making a name for himself like Elise Stefanik? For what purpose? Is that all there is?

During his gubernatorial campaign, Molinaro stated that he wrote in Republican former Congressman Chris Gibson for the 2016 presidential election. The father of a daughter with developmental disabilities, said that Trump mocking a disabled journalist, Serge Kovaleski of The New York Times, during a late-2015 campaign rally was the tipping point. Therefore even if elected to Congress, the non-Trumpican would have no standing within the Trumpican Party. So here he is in what should be the prime of his political life ready to make the big move like a Roosevelt or Dewey and instead he has nowhere to go.

Note: Since I first wrote these words, Molinaro has announced he will not be a candidate for Congress.

The Republicans continue to be irrelevant in the Legislature as they have been for years.

In 2018, the Senate Republicans experienced the full onslaught of the vaunted red wave the Trumpican President had predicted. For decades the Republicans had been able to retain control of the Senate despite the statewide changes. Finally all the maneuvering and lack of Democratic unity came undone. Now the Republicans are struggling to maintain a 1/3 position in the Senate. There is no constructive purpose even talking about it becoming the majority party again.

The trends are running against the Republicans. The most recent news from the Census front is that New York is the biggest population loser in the country. As one headline in USA Today put it, the new motto is “I LEAVE NY.” Roughly 1.4 million left from 2011-2018, a huge number of people equaling about 7% of the 2010 population. In the past, New York had been losing both upstate Republican and downstate Democratic population. The difference was that when people left upstate, no one replaced them; when people left downstate, they were replaced by Americans who wanted to relocate to New York City and by immigrants.

At the Congressional level, the result after the 2020 census will mean the loss to the state of another Congressional seat. It will probably be a Republican one although it keeps getting harder and harder to find one. The Democrats are advised not to flip all the Republican congressional seats. Leave at least two in proximity to each other so they can be combined into one district.

At the state level, the number of Senators and Legislators will remain the same. What will change is the allocation. As downstate grows to be an increasingly larger percentage of the total state population, the number of districts will grow accordingly. That change won’t go into effect until the 2022 election but the handwriting is on the wall. Already, Republican State Senators are dropping in droves. As the headline in City&State New York blared:

The state Senate is hemorrhaging Republicans
Life in the minority has some GOP incumbents getting out of Dodge.

Nine and counting with others at risk even if they run as incumbents or drive into a ditch.

So what is the New York State Republican Party going to do? At the national level, the Lincoln Project represents an attempt to restore the place of Lincoln in the Republican Party. Good luck with that. Polls show that Lincoln has lost favor with Republicans. That was true even before the 2016 elections. It is only because the party of Lincoln already was dead [R.I.P. Party of Lincoln (1856-2016), March 12, 2016] that it could become the Trumpican Party. So far this cycle, 26 Congressional Republicans are leaving the House. Soon only Trumpicans well be left.

As more and more evidence emerges during this interim between House impeachment and Senate acquittal, the transformation of the Republican Party into the Trumpican Party becomes more and more obvious. Consider the example of Mike Pompeo. He did not fight for his people in the State Department against the President. Why should the people of Kansas believe he will fight for them when he runs for Senate there? Why should they believe him period, about the Ukraine, about Iraq and Iran, about anything? Do you think he would tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth if he did testify? How much of party can you build on that?

In the Westmore News, my local weekly newspaper, there was a column by Dick Hubert entitled “The Republican political divide in our community.” He wrote about how the Republicans (Hubert does not use the term “Trumpicans”) oppose the effort of Wilson and Conway to save the Republican Party. He cited the example of New York State Trumpican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy urging political warfare against anyone even questioning Trump. Hubert quoted a media release from December 18, 2019, by Langworthy:

Neither the voters nor history will not (sic) look kindly upon this political hit job….[The] Democrats who went along with this sham will be held accountable.

It is unlikely that the new evidence further documenting the attempted extortion and cover-up will have any impact on a true Trumpican.

Hubert quoted Rye Town Republican Chairman Dan Panicia as being more forthcoming than the Westchester County Republican Chairman Doug Colenty who did not respond to this inquiry:

As far as impeachment, this has been purely political theater from the start, the sooner it is over the better. What a waste of time. Congress needs to focus on passing legislation that will benefit Americans.

This claim ignores the hundreds of bills the House has passed including on a bipartisan basis that the Senate has yet to consider.

These Trumpicans are fiddling with the Trumpican Party burns. Hubert noted the party professionals and volunteers who worked on the various campaigns of Republican former Rye Town Supervisor and Congressional candidate Joe Carvin who have informed Hubert that they have left the Party in disgust and/or cutoff communications with the Trumpicans.

At the national level, it is well known that white, college-educated, suburban Republican women have abandoned the former Republican Party in droves when it became the Trumpican Party. When Molinaro ran for Governor, his Lieutenant Governor candidate may have been just such a person. Julie Killian, former Rye City Councilwoman, declined to state for whom she voted. Her refusal to declare her loyalty means she has no future with the Trumpican Party. Not that the Trumpican Party has a future here. Republicans cannot win a county-wide race in Westchester and has been practically obliterated in the County Legislator. It has become difficult enough to find people to run yet alone who can win as Republicans or Trumpicans. When our Congressional Representative Nita Lowey decided not to run for re-election (she is older than the leading Presidential candidates), she created a once-in-a-generation opportunity. So far 8 Democrats have announced their candidacy; the Democrats have a deep political bench. BY contrast, although the Republicans do have an announced candidate this time, he comes from business wealth and not a political bench: there isn’t one.

Hubert ends his column with a dismal depiction of the Trumpican Party future in New York State.

Altogether, it’s not a pretty picture. Like the fate of Humpty Dumpty, it’s not at all clear the pieces can ever be put back together again….
Locally, at least, a safe prediction would be that policy and political disputes may be settled in our environs by Democratic primaries and the possible emergence of new parties.

Hubert’s conclusion echoes my own comment that Wilson and Conway would be better served trying to create a new party based on Lincoln than on trying to transform the Trumpican Party back to a party that admires Lincoln.

Who Is a Real American?: Why the Needle Has Not Moved

Who Is a real American? Who is not? (

As the year draws to a close, I end with a confession. I was as wrong anyone can be. I was so wrong that I am not even going to provide the link to the blog where I was so wrong. I really believed there would come a time when Republicans stared into the ugliness of Donald Trump and would be so repelled that they would abandon him in shock, revolted over having being conned by a scam artist of such minimal mental necessities who was incapable of telling the truth.

I share the feelings of Michelle Goldberg who wrote:

At the start of this administration, many who are horrified by Trump thought that at some point the Republican fever might break, leading to conservatives in Congress to check a dictator-worshipping buffoon for the sake of the Constitution. I’ve become ashamed of my naïveté… (The New York Times, December 22, print).

To be fair to Little Donee Waney calling him a “dictator-worshipping buffoon” ignores the reality that he is an immature child who never was able to man up but desperately wanted to. His worship and submissiveness is not based on any political beliefs or values. The explosion of hissy fits tweets during this current interlude between impeachment and trial is testament to the threat the immature child feels as the adult world closes in around him. He is not fit psychology to function as an adult and the more he his forced to operate in the adult world, the more off the rails he will act.

It should be noted that some Republicans have acted against the longtime Democrat and Clinton supporter who subsequently hijacked the Republican Party in a brilliant exploitation of Republican fears and insecurities. But the efforts of Rick Wilson and George Conway (in the world’s strangest marriage) are not likely to prove fruitful. The Republican Party died a long time ago [R.I.P. Party of Lincoln (1856-2016) from March 12, 2016]. It exists merely in name. Republicans have been transformed into Trumpicans, the path they were already on, before the con artist had the skill to exploit it for his own needs. [A case study on the Republican and Trumpican parties in New York will the subject of a future blog.]

So what then were Trumpicans concerned about? Eventually I did realize what Little Donee Waney knew in his gut. The answer is that Trumpicans see THE DONALD as America’s last best hope against the Politically Correct, the triumph of identity politics, and the control over Real Americans by, you know, those people.

Skeptical-about-Trump conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage asked his listeners about their support for Trump. Here is one response:

Dave in North Carolina asked how anyone could blame Mr. Trump when he is fighting so many enemies at once. “He’s not just fighting the Democrats. He’s fighting the deep state. He’s fighting the cabals. WITHOUT HIM, WE HAVE NOTHING (capitalization added).” (NYT, June 19, 2019).

The idea that Savage represented a “a small crack in the foundation of Trump loyalists” seems absurd over six months later. It’s like thinking an editorial in a Christian evangelical publication represents another small crack as well. [Will white evangelicals see the light will be the subject of a future blog as well.] The excited urgency and passion of the caller Dave speaks to belief in the LORD AND SAVIOR, THE CHOSEN ONE, BLESSED BE HIS NAME.

This past July 4 was not without a politically correct scandal either. It seems that Kate Smith in her pre-“God Bless America” day, sang popular songs on the vaudeville circuit that were demeaning to blacks. As a result she has been yanked by the Yankees. In response, the Kate Smith Commemorative Society (I did not know there was one) issued the following statement in opposition to an action it characterized as

yet another example of the harmful excesses of the questionable concept of ‘political correctness,’ and the unfair and all-too frequent tendencies to judge events of the past by the standards and sensibilities of the present. (NYT, July 4, 2019).

A few days later on July 7, The New York Times printed some responses to a survey taken of Trump voters as to their preferences in 2020. Here are some of the responses.

1. Based on the debates, Democrats have learned nothing in the last two years. Democrats believe that identity politics is a winner. Wrong.

2. I did hear (from the Democratic candidates) about decriminalizing lawlessness [meaning immigration] (and) a healthy dollop of identity politics.

3. The Democrats want to give illegals just about anything they want. What part of illegal do they not understand?

On the other hand, some Trump voters had seen the light.

1. Mr. Trump was preaching as if he supported populism and “draining the swamp.” He failed to live up to both miserably.

This person would support Sanders, Yang, Warren or Gabbard. The Democrats should be able to capitalize on Swampbuilder having the most corrupt and incompetent Cabinet in American history. [One should note that competent Secretaries may implement policies you detest but that does not make them corrupt or inept.]

2. I absolutely will not vote for Donald Trump again. I regretted it as soon as he started up with the inauguration nonsense. If his mouth is open, he’s telling lies….Our institutions and democracy are at stake, and four more years of Mr. Trump will be disastrous and ruinous. Mr. Trump has to go.

This response provides Democrats with two possible avenues of attack:

1. Can You Count? – Can you count the number of people in the inauguration parade? Can you count that 63 million is less than 66 million? Can you count that 306 Electoral College votes are not a landslide?

2. The American Revolution 250th – How can we celebrate the anniversary of removing a king from rule over us when we have a President who wants to rule over us as a king above the law and with no checks and balances?

Here’s what renowned Trumpican Maureen Dowd wrote on July 28, 2019, in an op-ed piece entitled “Spare Me the Purity Racket”:

The progressives are the modern Puritans. The Massachusetts Bay Colony is alive and well on the Potomac and Twitter.
They eviscerate their natural allies for not being pure enough…The politics of purism makes people stupid. And nasty.

In an article on “How Lying and Mistrust Could Take a Lasting Toll,” Robert Shiller wrote:

In talks with strong supporters of Mr. Trump, I have found that they are often willing to admit that he has “rough edges.” They suggest that all politicians have to play politics, and like Mick Mulvany, the acting White House chief of staff, they sometimes say we need to “get over” that. Being caught in lies seems to them to be no great shame. The greater picture, they say, is that the president has freed himself from the constraints of “political correctness” to state unpopular truths, and to fight for the interests of forgotten Americans. That view seems to show no diminution of a basic sense of the importance of honesty. (NYT 11/10/19)

My ongoing series of blogs on Columbus Day versus Indigenous Peoples’ Day are part of this same conflict. The weaponization of terms like “native” and “indigenous” by politically- corrected people were acts of war. Non-college-graduate whites were able to figure out that they were the target of this alternate vocabulary.

As long as the Trumpicans accept the con that Little Donee Waney is really THE DONALD fighting for them against the Politically Correct they will stand by their immature child president. Saudi Arabia knows that THE DONALD is an act but Trumpicans have not yet been exposed to that truth.

I was enlightened to the truth of the concerns of the Trumpicans in response to my recent blog on a “Prayer for America.” I have posted that blog before but this time I added “Prayer for Pelosi” to the title. Just prior to my posting and partly a cause of my resending it, Nancy Pelosi had stated she had prayed for the President. Subsequent to my posting it, he had responded disputing her claim to have prayed for him. Obviously Pelosi’s praying for the President does not mean she is a partisan of the President. Readers of my prayer blog sometimes were unable to understand that and/or did know Pelosi had said she had prayed for him. The mere appearance of “Pelosi” in the title with the word “Prayer” was enough to ignite Trumpicans.

Here is one response that I think goes to the heart of the divide in America:

Are you kidding me! What the hell is wrong with you sending out this email! Your prejudice is unbelievable. Do you realize 63 million people voted for President Trump. You are supposed to be a historical organization not a partisan hack org! I am going to post this email all over social media and expose your organization!

This reader opened the blog 39 times which I understand to mean it was forwarded 38 times to social media. A challenge to identify what in the prayer was partisan was unanswered.

Focus now on the use of the “63 million people who voted for President Trump.” Why mention a loser number? It was not the majority. It was not a plurality. So why call attention the loser number instead of the winner number of 306 Electoral College votes? The same may be asked of Congressional Trumpicans and Media Trumpicans who continually cite this number. What does this number mean to Trumpicans?

The answer in part goes back to Sarah Palin. She called on supporters to “take back the country.” To take it back from, you know, those people. In this scenario, who are the “we”? Who are the people for whom the country is being taken back? The answer is the 63 million in 2016 numbers. They are a minority of the voters but a majority of the Real Americans. It was at this point when longtime Democrat and Clinton supporter sensed an opportunity in his gut, a way to be the center of attention, a path to power. Barack Obama was a foreign-born Moslem. That claim rocketed the con artist to national standing. Real Americans were deeply afraid and emotionally distraught over the prospect of having their country being taken over…AND BY PEOPLE WHO WERE HERE ILLEGALLY BUT STILL TO BE TREATED AS IF THEY HAVE THE SAME IF NOT MORE RIGHTS THAN REAL AMERICANS. Real Americans needed a savior and Little Donne Waney was ready to fill that role. More than ready. And nothing that has happened since 2016 has changed that view because for these “Real Americans” the problem still exists and there still is no alternative to him.