Meet the Other Resistance: The Republican One – The New York Times

Meet the Other Resistance: The Republican One
President Trump is overwhelmingly popular with his base, but a handful of dissident Republicans think they know how to defeat him in a primary contest. Are they wrong?

By Mark Leibovich
April 24, 2019

105
William F. Weld is not likely to become our 46th president. But he was here in New Hampshire, no other Republicans were and that was something.

“I think it’s important to at least call out the current incumbent of the White House on his simply amazing behavior, and for the pettiness, his vindictiveness and the unreconstituted meanness he displays,” Weld was telling the crowd who had turned out to see him on a rainy Sunday afternoon in March at a house party in the town of Dover. Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the state Republican Party, was hosting the gathering in his honor.

Weld, a two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts more than two decades ago, is 73, tall and slim with a mop of orange hair and a face the hue of Pepto-Bismol. A Harvard and Oxford graduate, Weld worked in the Reagan Justice Department but quit over a series of ethics scandals involving his boss, Attorney General Ed Meese. He ran briefly for governor of New York after leaving Massachusetts, endorsed Obama in 2008 and raised a bunch of money for Romney in 2012. He has written thrillers, dabbled in historical fiction and was last heard from in 2016 as the vice-presidential running mate to the Libertarian nominee, Gary Johnson. He sets off some dilettante alarms.

But he was the only Republican candidate who had announced his exploratory plans — he would officially declare his candidacy in April — to run against Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primary. This made him the lone official vehicle for the aspirations of a persistent group of Never Trump Republicans. For the better part of two years, they had waited for a premium primary challenger to come along from a fantasy field of Nikki Haleys, Ben Sasses and Mitt Romneys — all of whom eventually opted out of running. Even Weld seemed disappointed by this. “I have been astounded that no one else has stepped forward,” he told the assembled guests.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
Interesting article, but also very disappointing. I thought I was going to learn a lot about William Weld, and the last 3/4 of the article was about much less relevant stuff and gossip. Weld has a history, too bad we didn’t learn about it. And abhorent to me, is that Mark Leibovich called Weld a dillitant, because he has authored books. I have nothing but expletives deleted for that low brow shot.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth Century Vietnam” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com. He performs a folk concert of songs and stories about Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction.

 

From Wikipedia:

Governor of Massachusetts[edit]

Weld with President George H. W. Bush in 1990

Governor Weld presenting a grant to the City of Lowell in 1994

Governor Weld announcing the revival of “The Shoe” at Cummings Center with Cummings Properties president James McKeown and founder Bill Cummings.

In 1990, Weld announced his candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts, to replace the out-going Michael Dukakis.[12] Although Republicans made up under 14% of the Massachusetts electorate and a Republican had not won the gubernatorial election since 1970, Weld’s liberal stances on social issues made him a viable candidate for office in the heavily Democratic state.[13] At the state Republican convention, party officials backed Steven Pierce over Weld, and initial polling had Pierce ahead by 25 percentage points.[14] Weld gained enough support to force a primary, and in an upset election, Weld won the Republican nomination over Pierce by a 60–40 margin.[15]

In the general election, he faced John Silber, the president of Boston University. Polls showed Weld anywhere from a statistical tie to trailing by as many as ten points.[16] Voter dissatisfaction with the state’s Democratic majority gave Weld support for his promises to reduce the state deficit, lower the unemployment rate, and cut taxes.[17] On November 6, 1990, he was elected as the 68th Governor of Massachusetts by a 50–47 margin, to become the first Republican governor of Massachusetts since Francis W. Sargent left office in 1975. Governor Weld is generally considered to have been a moderate or liberal Republican Governor.[18][19][20][21] He is fiscally conservative and socially liberal.[22][23]

The business community reacted strongly to Weld’s leadership. In a 1994 survey of chief executives conducted by the Massachusetts High Technology Council, 83% of those polled rated the state’s business climate as good or excellent—up from only 33% at the beginning of his term. Proponents might claim that Weld’s leadership changed the minds of 50% of the CEOs surveyed while others would note the national economic trends or other factors might play a part. Weld also reaped the benefits of the 1990s’ prosperity, as the state’s unemployment rate fell by more than 3 percentage points during his first term, from 9.6% in 1991 to 6.4% in 1994. As a result, Weld received grades of A in 1992,[24][25]B in 1994,[26][27] and B in 1996[28][29] from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, in their biennial Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors. In 1993 he supported adoption of a gun control bill in Massachusetts that included limits on gun purchases under age 21, as well as prohibiting certain types of weapons, which was not ultimately passed.[30] He has since renounced this proposal.[31] Weld is pro-choice and helped to introduce legislation to make it easier for women to access abortion procedures.[32] As Governor, he supported gay and lesbian rights. In 1992, he signed an executive order to recognize domestic partnership rights for same-sex couples.[33] In 1993, he signed into law legislation protecting the rights of gay and lesbian students.[34] He also said he would recognize same-sex marriages that might be performed out of state following a court decision in Hawaii.[35][36] During his term, he launched a successful effort to privatize many state’s human services, laying off thousands of state employees.[37][38] He also worked to expand Medicaidaccess by requesting more federal funding and, then, allowing more residents to qualify for the plan to both solve budget problems and increase access to health care in the state.[39] After cutting state spending year-over-year for his first two years, the Republican Party lost its ability to sustain a veto in the legislature due to losses in the Massachusetts State Senate, forcing Weld to make greater concessions to Democratic legislators.[40]

In 1994, Weld won reelection with 71% of the vote in the most one-sided gubernatorial contest in Massachusetts electoral history.[citation needed] Weld carried all but five towns in the whole state, even carrying Boston.[citation needed] Following his landslide victory, Weld briefly considered running for the presidency in 1996.[citation needed]

Opinion | There’s a Bigger Prize Than Impeachment – By Joe Lockhart – The New York Times

By Joe Lockhart
Mr. Lockhart served as White House press secretary from 1998 to 2000 for President Bill Clinton.
“I fully understand the historical imperative of holding the president accountable for his behavior. I also share the sentiment of so many Americans who want to punish him for what he’s done to the country. But I believe there is something bigger at stake.

Allowing Mr. Trump to lead the Republican Party, filled with sycophants and weak-willed leaders, into the next election is the greater prize. Democrats have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realign American politics along progressive lines, very much like Ronald Reagan did for Republicans in the 1980s.”

DL: In other words, the Blue Wave implementing the Green New Deal, will be a much bigger success after the election of 2020, if we let the damaged GOP dangle under the leadership of the pathetic con-artist at their head.

Opinion | The Mueller Exposé – By Ross Douthat – The New York Times

By Ross Douthat
Opinion Columnist

April 20, 2019, 774

“Roughly four thousand, two hundred and twenty-seven Trump-era news cycles ago, there was a rather famous book called “Fire and Fury.” The author, Michael Wolff, used an interesting tactic to gain access to the Trump White House: He allowed his subjects, the president included, to believe that he was going to write a positive account of the Trump administration, and then used that access to produce an account of an administration in constant chaos, and a president who was understood by everyone around him to be unfit for the job.

One way to approach the Mueller report, if your sense of civic duty requires you to approach it, is to see it as a more rigorous, capacious version of “Fire and Fury.” Mueller’s exposé was backed by subpoena power rather than just sweet talk, but ultimately it delivers the same general portrait: Donald Trump as an amoral incompetent surrounded by grifters, misfits and his own overpromoted children, who is saved from self-destruction by advisers who sometimes decline to follow orders, and saved from high crimes in part by incompetence and weakness.”

Opinion | Impeach Donald Trump? – By Charles M. Blow – The New York Times

By Charles M. Blow
Opinion Columnist

April 21, 2019, 419

“The Mueller report has been released, with redactions of course, and it is a damning document. Not only does it detail Russian efforts to attack our election to help the Trump campaign and the Trump campaign’s eager acceptance of that help, it paints a picture of Donald Trump as an unethical man with no regard for the rule of law.

In this report, we see a president who doesn’t deserve to be president. We see attempts over and over to obstruct justice, which in some cases succeed.

The question is: What are we going to do about it? Obstruction of justice is a crime. If Trump committed that crime, he’s a criminal. Are we simply going to allow a criminal to sit in the Oval Office and face no consequence? Are we simply going to let the next presidential election be the point at which Trump is punished or rewarded?

It is maddening to think that we are at such a pass. But, my mind is made up: I say impeach him.

I know all the arguments against.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT comment.
Practically, impeachment by the house is only a good thing, if it helps elect a Democrat in 2020, and turn over the senate. It makes absolute sense to investigate this president and his cronies, to bring his crimes and misdemeanors to light and embarrass thoughtful Republicans and his base. But it is important to try and see through various scenarios. If the house does impeach, then the senate, in a surprising move, could remove Drumpf, and replace him with Pence. My hunch is that it will be easier to defeat a badly exposed and wounded, con artist and hyper narcissist, than Mike Pence, or someone who might beat Pence in a GOP primary.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth Century Vietnam” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com. He performs a folk concert of songs and stories about Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction.

GOP Kills Bill That Would Extend Agent Orange Benefits To US Navy Vietnam Vets – The Intellectualist

JakeThomas
by
JakeThomas
Feb 24
“Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming—who voted for tax cuts—objected to the bill on the basis it would increase deficit spending.

Two Republican senators killed a bill on Monday that would provide benefits to American veterans who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and now suffer the effects of Agent Orange.

The reason? Extending benefits to those veterans would constitute deficit spending.”

Source: GOP Kills Bill That Would Extend Agent Orange Benefits To US Navy Vietnam Vets – The Intellectualist

Opinion | A Case for a Market-Driven Green New Deal – The New York Times

By Amory B. Lovins and Rushad R. Nanavatty
Mr. Lovins and Mr. Nanavatty work at Rocky Mountain Institute, which is focused on creating a clean, low-carbon energy future.

April 18, 2019

A wind farm in Pomeroy, Iowa.
Credit
Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“The best thing to come from the Senate’s floor debate on the Green New Deal late last month may have been these eminently sane remarks, calling on lawmakers of both parties to “move together” in order “to lower emissions, to address the reality of climate change, recognizing that we’ve got an economy we need to keep strong, that we have vulnerable people we need to protect, that we have an environment that we all care about — Republicans and Democrats.”

Who said it? A Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who leads the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “My hope is we get beyond the high-fired rhetoric to practical, pragmatic, bipartisan solutions,” she said on the chamber floor.

The path is there, if our leaders will only choose to take it. In 2011, Reinventing Fire, an energy study by Rocky Mountain Institute, where we work, showed how a business-led transition could triple energy efficiency, quintuple renewables and sustain an American economy 2.6 times larger in 2050 than it was in 2010 with no oil, coal or nuclear energy, and one-third less natural gas. The net cost was $5 trillion less than business-as-usual — or even more valuable if a price was put on carbon emissions.

Any serious energy transformation effort — whether the Green New Deal or “pragmatic, bipartisan solutions” called for by Senator Murkowski — will need to harness America’s immensely powerful and creative economic engine, not dismantle it. This means unleashing the market in sectors where we already know how to profitably reduce emissions (electricity, transportation, buildings), creating markets for solutions in areas where there aren’t yet enough answers (heavy industry, agriculture) and fixing market failures (unpriced carbon, for instance, or rewarding utilities for selling more electricity rather than cutting your bill).

Here’s how:

First, we should let competition and flexibility rule our electricity system. Abundant market data show that a renewably powered future would cost less than our current system. Electricity providers have gotten the memo, even if Washington hasn’t. To save their customers money, utilities in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado and Utah are phasing out old coal and nuclear plants and replacing them with wind and solar. Clean energy portfolios — including affordable battery storage and other flexible resources — are starting to displace natural gas in California and New York.

Concerns about round-the-clock availability of electricity from a highly renewable grid, a common fear, are mostly misplaced. The Department of Energy has assessed that renewables “that are commercially available today,” combined with a more flexible electric grid, can reliably supply up to 80 percent of our electricity in 2050 (and these technologies are advancing every year). Four European countries with modest or no hydropower get from 46 percent to 71 percent of their electricity from renewables, with grids more reliable than those in the United States.

In America, Iowa and Texas are leading the way on wind. Over 35 percent of Iowa’s electricity is wind-generated. This has provided a second source of income to farmers whose lands host turbines and given Iowans among the lowest power prices in the nation. Over all, the estimated $476 billion needed to build a flexible grid that integrates renewables would yield $2 trillion in saved energy and reliability benefits.

Second, correcting our biggest market failure by putting a price on carbon by taxing it and then rebating the revenues equally to all citizens would be “the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the necessary scale and speed,” according to a recent statement signed by more than 3,500 economists, including 27 Nobel laureates. Combining carbon pricing with border tax adjustments and rebates for citizens would ensure we didn’t export our emissions or hurt working-class Americans. Clearer price signals could drive cheaper and cleaner practices if we eliminated market barriers that are obstacles to efficiency and clean energy.

For sectors with fewer market-ready substitutes and less sensitivity to fuel prices, like industry and agriculture, we need other approaches. Hence our third point:

We need to take advantage of the world’s most successful research and development organization — the federal government — to solve our remaining technology challenges. Government R&D helped develop the internet, the Global Positioning System, fracking, many vital drugs and, more recently, breakthrough battery technologies. The government now needs to apply its early-stage investment muscle, in concert with private enterprise, to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in these harder-to-abate sectors.

Failures should outnumber successes, as in any sound early-stage investment portfolio. But just a handful of big wins can deliver potentially incalculable value to our economy and planet. Which brings us to our final point.

We should base investment decisions on net value, not cost alone.

Green New Deal critics often look at only one side of the accounting ledger. A columnist for The Wall Street Journal, for example, recently pointed to the $400 billion estimated cost of retrofitting American buildings without mentioning the $1.4 trillion net value (retrofit costs minus saved energy costs) of doing so.

Much of this value can accrue to working Americans who need it most. Nationally, the average energy burden for low-income families is three times greater than for the rest of the country. Low-income families tend to rely more on expensive heating fuels, and have older, less efficient furnaces, appliances and homes. They are likelier to get sick from living near fossil fuel production. Consequently, they can benefit the most from lower-cost renewable energy, phasing out fossil fuels and improved buildings.”

We Asked the 2020 Democrats About Climate Change (Yes All of Them). Here Are Their Ideas. – The New York Times

By Lisa Friedman and Maggie Astor
April 18, 2019
16
“For Democrats vying to unseat President Trump, acknowledging climate change is easy. Deciding what to do about it is the hard part.

Among the 18 declared candidates, there is no broad consensus on taxing polluters on their carbon emissions — a measure most experts say is needed to slow global warming. And when it comes to building new nuclear power plants or adding federal regulations, there is even less agreement.

Those divisions were apparent in the candidates’ responses to a new climate policy questionnaire from The New York Times. They unanimously supported remaining in the Paris Agreement and restoring Obama-era policies that Mr. Trump has abandoned. But scientists are clear that preventing catastrophic climate change will require going well beyond those policies.

While the candidates agreed with that assessment, few offered detailed strategies for getting it done. Some have supported the Green New Deal in principle, but that congressional resolution was more a statement of ideals than a plan of action.”

David Lindsay:  Huh, Corey Booker scored higher in my book than Pete Buttigieg, because he is for nuclear energy, which is probably a requirement of short term, transitional success.

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT

@David Lindsay Jr. I might have to amend my comment based on the following piece in the NYT today A Market-Driven Green New Deal? We’d Be Unstoppable By AMORY B. LOVINS and RUSHAD R. NANAVATTY April 18, 2019 Any serious energy transformation will need to harness America’s powerful and creative economic engine. The New York Times These writers report that for the Tax and Dividend idea, 3500 economists have signed a declaration that the dividend should just go to all Americans, to stop opposition to the bill. Also, several States in the US are decommissioning older nuclear plants, and replacing them with cheaper Wind and solar. I will need to see more data support, but that is their report. Does wind always keep the lights on at night? In Scotland, they are keeping the light on with under water tidal turbines.

1 Recommended

Here is a comment I liked:

Theresa Quain
Naperville, IL

Thanks for giving some honest and rational voices a hearing. My own experience confirms that everyone is very happy to support “clean energy” but very few politicians or business leaders are willing to do the exact thing we must do, which is to restrict fossil fuel use. Your subheading, “Some economic pain is inevitable” is questionable, however, and risks feeding the policy skepticism that seems to be universal among NYT journalists. In my opinion, this policy skepticism is even more damaging than the missteps of the press in covering the 2016 campaign. Economists have studied revenue-neutral carbon taxes and found very minimal impacts on GDP. With some designs, the impact is positive (though small). Yes, coal miners and coal barons will need to find other jobs, just like the farriers and buggy makers of yore, but resisting this policy will be vastly more expensive (in terms of life as well as money) than adopting it. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R.763) is a very smart policy that threads the needle, providing a strong price signal to incentivize decarbonizaiton and innovation while also providing a monthly dividend that more than compensates low- and moderate- income families from rising prices. Maggie Astor and Lisa Friedman, please consider learning more about this bill and featuring it in future pieces.

Reply17 Recommended

2020 Democrats Seek Voters in an Unusual Spot: Fox News – By Michael M. Grynbaum and Sydney Ember – The New York Times

By Michael M. Grynbaum and Sydney Ember
April 17, 2019, 29

“There is an unlikely new hot spot for Democratic candidates: Fox News.

President Trump’s favorite network is increasingly playing host to hopefuls from the Democratic presidential field, eager for exposure to the vast Fox News audience — even as they risk a backlash from others in the party who view the network as an ideological menace.

The expedition into what many liberals consider enemy territory picked up this week after Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont appeared at a town hall on the network, drawing the biggest television audience of any 2020 Democratic candidate so far — more than 2.5 million people — while pitching himself to Trump-leaning viewers who may be willing to cross party lines next year.

On Wednesday, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said she had agreed to a Fox News town hall-style event next month. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., is in advanced talks with the network. Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, is close to signing on, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey say they are open to the idea.

The debate over whether to appear on Fox News reflects in some ways a larger divide in the party as it ponders how to retake the White House: Should Democrats focus on expanding and mobilizing the various coalitions that make up their base, or seek inroads with the millions of Americans who supported Mr. Trump in 2016?” ”

David Lindsay:

Fascinating article,  thank you Michael M. Grynbaum and Sydney Ember.

I feel a very negative reaction to any Democratic candidate for President who doesn’t have the chops to meet Fox News and speak to their viewers. These viewers are Americans, and Democrats are crazy to ignore them or write them off. I’m disappointed that Elizabeth Warren, who is supposed to be so smart, can’t figure this out. To not accept a chance to speak to these people about climate change, environmental degradation,  income inequality, health care and the effect a green new deal can have on job creation, is beyond cautious, it’s dumb. I get that Fox News opinion mongers are tilted towards white supremacy, male chauvinism and  a fascist’s carelessness with the truth and science, but to not speak to these people and their audience won’t convince any of them of the integrity of our ideas or policy positions.

Opinion | To Nurture Nature- Neglect Your Lawn – By Margaret Renkl – The New York Times

By Margaret Renkl
Contributing Opinion Writer

April 15, 2019

403
Wildflowers and weeds in lawns attract pollinators.
Credit
Getty Images

Image
Wildflowers and weeds in lawns attract pollinators.CreditCreditGetty Images
NASHVILLE — “Nothing is so beautiful as Spring,” the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, “When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush.” I say that poem to myself every day now because I can’t think of any place more beautiful than the American South in springtime. The flowering trees — dogwoods and redbuds and serviceberries, the crab apples and peaches and cherries — are in full glory, and the woody shrubs, cascading with blossoms, are like something out of a fairy tale: forsythia and quince and lilac and bridal veil spirea. Every time it rains here, the streets are paved with petals.

But the flowers I love best are the tiny ones, so tiny they’re mostly invisible from a car window. Exquisite little flowers, most of them smaller than my pinkie fingernail, are blooming all around my house right now, and they have wonderful names: woodland violet, spring beauty, daisy fleabane, pitcher’s stitchwort, bird’s eye speedwell, yellow wood sorrel, purple dead nettle, creeping Charlie, stickywilly, dandelion and a host of others I can’t name.

Most people call them weeds. Unlike Hopkins, most people don’t love them.

A few of these flowers aren’t native to Tennessee, and some of the non-natives can be invasive. Those I pull up or mow under, but the others are beneficial, early-blooming wildflowers that pollinators love. Long before my actual pollinator garden is lush with cultivated flowers, the flowers I didn’t plant are blooming, an ankle-high meadow growing in the place where most Americans grow grass — or try to grow grass. Wildflower seeds are carried on the wind, on the coats of wild animals and in the digestive tracts of birds. Anybody who’s paying attention would see them for the gifts they are: flowers that arrive, through no effort at all, to feed the bees and the butterflies.

But Americans generally aren’t paying attention. Too enraptured with the idea of a lawn that unrolls from the street to their very door, a carpet of green that remains green even when grass is supposed to be dormant, they see these homely little wildflowers as intruders, something to be eradicated.”