- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2018

All aboard that proverbial Trump train? Behold, there’s some clear evidence that a more united Republican Party has emerged after the confirmation of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — and just in time. The party is “edgier, more rugged, and more relentless” in the aftermath of the unprecedented brawl on Capitol Hill, says Brad Todd, a columnist for The Federalist.

“Confronted with a liberal self-styled ‘resistance’ movement — whose very name reeks of the virtue-signaling that galls the right — President Trump responded in kind. Left-wingers march in the streets and chase prominent conservatives out of restaurants; he bows his back and marches Kavanaugh onto the bench for a lifetime. Liberals feel better for a weekend; pragmatic conservatives get to feel vindicated for decades,” Mr. Todd writes.

“If you were a Never Trumper Republican who longed for the predictable and polite days of Bush-ism, you now must confront the reality that Trump and only Trump was tough enough to beat back the loony left on this occasion. And if you were an Only Trumper who loved him because you disdained the fecklessness of cocktail party pachyderms, you now must admire the fortitude shown by Mitch McConnell’s patrician Senate majority. Trump’s insensitivity will continue to consternate his allies. But after Kavanaugh, both wings of Trump’s coalition now must admit they are in this together, that their Democratic opponents’ ferocity can be met only with even greater vigor,” Mr. Todd says.

There are numbers to back up that vigor.

“A record-high 59 percent of Republicans say it is better for the president and majority power in Congress to be from the same political party than for Congress to be controlled by a party different from the president’s,” reports Gallup analyst Lydia Saad. “That is the highest percentage of Republicans or Democrats favoring one-party control of the federal government in Gallup’s trend since 2002.”

The finding is also up by 17 percentage points since 2016.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey, meanwhile, finds that 64 percent of Republican voters describe themselves as “very angry” about the treatment of Justice Kavanaugh during the Senate hearings, and another 62 percent say the events have made them very eager to vote in the midterm elections.

“Democrats’ five-point lead on the weekly Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot has vanished. The two parties are now tied with less than a month until Election Day. We’ll be watching to see if this is the beginning of a post-Kavanaugh trend,” the pollster said.

OFF TO KENTUCKY

President Trump journeys to bluegrass country Saturday, bound for a jumbo Make America Great Again rally in Richmond, Kentucky — some 25 miles south of Lexington. It is his fourth rally this week. The president just misses former Vice President Joesph R. Biden, in a nearby town for a community fish fry and campaign rally.

Mr. Trump will continue with his muscular get-out-the-vote message and shore up support for Rep. Andy Barr, currently facing a challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath. The rally itself will be staged at the Eastern Kentucky University coliseum, which has its own advice on the event.

“We encourage our University community to be informed and engaged in the political process. However, we understand this election season has been filled with a number of passionately debated issues, and we encourage our community to remain civil and respectful of differing political opinions in the discourse surrounding the rally,” the university noted in a statement.

MCCARTHY’S BORDER WAR

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is the pointman behind new legislation which provides full funding of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, a favorite of both President Trump and conservatives. It’s complicated. Politico has implied the California Republican is in the process of “rebranding” himself as a hard-liner on immigration now that the jousting to replace outgoing House Speaker Paul D. Ryan grows nigh.

In the meantime, Mr. McCarthy has been touring the area near El Paso, Texas, with the U.S. Border Patrol to see things for himself.

“The 2,400 agents who defend this 268-mile stretch of border have a dangerous job. They make more than 150 arrests a day in the fight against drug smuggling, human trafficking, and violent gangs. I came away from this meeting awed by the magnitude of the border and the bravery of the officers who patrol it,” Mr. McCarthy says.

“I also came away with greater conviction of the need to support these officers by giving them the resources they need: More agents, technology, and most importantly the wall,” he says, noting that in 2017 alone, agents apprehended over 300,000 people along the southern border, interdicted 857,888 pounds of marijuana and 6,174 pounds of cocaine, and rescued 3,221 would-be immigrants from imminent peril.

THE POTATO ADVOCATES

In time for autumnal rights and football season: The Idaho Potato Commission has notified Inside the Beltway that it now has 1,512 potato recipes ready and waiting for eager chefs.

A quick scan of the “tailgate” section reveals the how-to for Smoked Idaho potato salad, bacon blitz potato skewers, Buffalo potato wedges, barbecue potato chips and potato crackers, which somehow sound intriguing. Find the industry group’s offering at IdahoPotato.com.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Greenfield Inn, a classic Colonial-style mansion built in 1806 on three acres in Greenfield, New Hampshire. Ten bedrooms, seven baths, owner’s quarters. Multiple gathering rooms and fireplaces, country kitchen, grand wrap-around rocking chair porch, “rich history” and “quaint hospitality.” Close to ski and hiking tails, mountain views. The inn was once a favorite of Bob Hope. Priced at $285,000 through PetersonsRealEstate.com; find the inn here

POLL DU JOUR

74 percent of Americans say they “definitely” will vote in the midterm elections; 80 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 74 percent of Democrats agree.

11 percent overall say they “probably” will vote; 8 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

8 percent overall say they “might” will vote; 7 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

8 percent overall say they “definitely” or “probably” will not vote; 6 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 7-9.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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