- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 16, 2017

Here comes the cautionary tale. The Republican Party controls the House, the Senate and the White House — a promising phenomenon which would suggest the Grand Old Party is industrious, optimistic and united. Wrong. American voters are under the distinct impression that Republicans are losers despite their winning status.

“Most voters think it’s probable Republicans will relinquish control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, and even a sizable number of GOP voters agree,” reports a new Rasmussen Reports survey, which finds that 6-out-of-10 voters — 59 percent — now say it’s likely Republicans will lose control of Congress next year.

About a third say that scenario is not likely to happen, while only 11 percent say it won’t come to pass.

The public is also under the impression that Republicans are the bad guys. This may be the result of hostile media coverage, public spats within the party, plain old dithering, peevish GOP pushback against President Trump — or all four. A new Quinnipiac University poll reveals that 79 percent of Americans disapproved of Republicans’ job performance, compared to 63 percent who said the same of the Democratic Party. The poll also found that 52 percent would vote for the Democratic candidate in House or Senate races if the midterm election were today, while 39 percent opted for the Republican.

Republican redemption could be set into motion, though. The House managed to pass their “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” on Thursday. Will the Senate follow suit with their version? Uh, well, they better make it happen.

“President Trump and Republicans in Congress are keeping their promise to give workers a raise, support American businesses, and grow our economy. The Senate must now do the same by passing its own tax bill and working with the House to prepare a final plan for the president,” advises Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.

THE NEWS MEDIA IN 26 WORDS

“Just watched MSNBC for one hour. 59 minutes of coverage of Roy Moore’s accusers and 30 seconds on Al Franken’s accuser. Talk about Fair and Balanced,” tweeted nationally syndicated talk radio host Mark Simone following revelations Thursday about the Minnesota Democrat’s groping episode with broadcaster Leeanne Tweeden in 2006.

And by the way, the aformentioned Quinnipiac poll also found that 58 percent of voters disapprove of the way the news media has covered President Trump. That includes 91 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and even 3-out-of-10 Democrats. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

‘UNHINGED’ LIBERALS LOSING TOUCH

While lousy public opinion polls should prompt cranky Republicans to get their family act together, Democrats are not without fault. They too have a cautionary tale to face.

“Do Trump’s liberal critics seem increasingly unhinged?” asks James Bovard, an opinion contributor to The Hill, who cites agitated media coverage and calls from activists and some Democrats that President Trump be impeached.

“Anti-Trump fervor is making liberals far more illiberal,” Mr. Bovard writes.

“Many Trump opponents are the same type of zealots who, in the late 1700s, proudly labeled themselves ‘Friends of Government.’ In their eyes, Trump’s greatest sin is tarnishing the majesty of the presidency and the federal government. Trump is exposing the sham of a Leviathan Democracy which pretends that presidents will be philosopher kings — instead of merely talented vote catchers. However, Trump cannot be blamed for destroying Americans’ trust in Washington. This was already achieved by presidents such as George W. Bush and Barack Obama who the media occasionally exalted to the skies,” the columnist says.

“Hysteria remains the 2017 political badge of honor,” Mr. Bovard ultimately concludes. “Last Wednesday, thousands of people gathered across the nation to shout at the sky to protest the anniversary of Trump’s victory. But righteous rage is no substitute for focusing on the real perils that Trump and any other president poses to our rights.”

He advises those prone to rage “to keep their intellectual ammo dry.”

THE GOOD BOOK BOOKSTORE

The amazing 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible opens on Friday, just four blocks from the U.S. Capitol, and already is generating a fair amount of curious, often laudatory news coverage. There are 40-foot bronze doors, thousands of revered objects to behold, a grand theater. But the museum has also added a literary outreach.

Yes, there are Museum of the Bible books to consider, offering readers a chance to “see the Bible in a whole new light.” Offered through Worthy Publishing, the collection can be found at MuseumoftheBiblebooks.com.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Tom Petty’s lakefront villa, built of local fieldstone in 1931 on Lake Sherwood, near Malibu, California. Three bedrooms, three baths, great room with hand carved fireplace and soaring, beamed ceilings; 5,300-square feet. Original wood and stone floors and extensive woodworking, wrought iron staircase. Multiple terraces and balconies, chef’s kitchen, game room, deep water dock, magnificent lake and mountain views.

Priced at $5.8 million through Compass.com; find the late rock and roll star’s home here.

POLL DU JOUR

• 58 percent of U.S. voters disapprove of the way the news media has covered President Trump; 91 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats agree.

• 38 percent overall approve of the media’s coverage of Mr. Trump; 8 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

• 57 percent of voters does not believe the news media “makes up negative stories” about President Trump; 17 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 85 percent of Democrats agree.

• 39 percent overall say the media does make up these negative stories; 78 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

• 53 percent overall say the media “focuses too much” on negative coverage of Mr. Trump; 91 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

• 42 percent overall say there is an “appropriate amount” of negative coverage about the president; 6 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,577 registered voters conducted Nov. 7-13.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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