On June 9 I wrote that the “Blue Wave” was still dead, despite a widening in the Generic Ballot to D+7.6, due to the fact GOP strength at the ballot box was likely to be tied to economic optimism as reflected in and confirmed by the stock market. From my career perch as a money manager, I believed the S&P 500 was set up to eclipse its all-time high set in January in the weeks and months ahead, and that the Generic Ballot would flip to R+ if and when it did. With the S&P 500 currently sitting firmly at an all-time high (~4% higher than its June 9 level), the GOP should be staring down unprecedented midterm success in November (unprecedented for the first midterm following a ‘wave’ presidential election). But it is not. Instead, it is staring down the very real possibility of losing its entire congressional majority…for one simple reason: President Trump’s inability to keep his yap shut.
The closing paragraph of an article in today’s NYT captures perfectly the GOP’s state of losing by yap:
“He won’t allow himself to get credit for the economy,” said James Carville, the Democratic strategist, referring to President Trump. Mr. Carville, who fashioned Bill Clinton’s “It’s the economy, stupid” mantra in 1992, continued: “He’s made himself bigger than the economy. Every conversation starts and ends with Trump.”
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Since the lead up to the Trump/Kim Singapore summit in June – during which Trump and the GOP’s polling position was pointing toward an expansion of the GOP majority in November – Trump has managed to puke up the following strokes of genius:
- Implementation of the entirely legal, yet utterly unnecessary, zero tolerance border policy, which opened the door to “Resistance” idiots such as Joe Scarborough to claim that the Trump Administration was “tearing babies from their mothers’ breasts.”
- On (global)-stage genuflection toward Vladimir Putin while denouncing the US Intelligence Community.
- Incessant badgering of the oh-thank-goodness-it-exists-given-the-patently-obvious-fact-Trump-colluded-with-the-Russians Mueller investigation in the wake of Trump’s personal fixer flipping on him.
- Absurd refutations of Bob Woodward’s book, which simply revealed what everyone already knows: Trump governs by chaos.
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With a booming economy on the back of historic tax cuts and deregulation, material progress being made on shaking up the global trading system, extremely impressive reorientation of the federal judiciary toward highly economic growth-friendly anti-Administrative State judges, and the Democrat Party movement toward a single-payer healthcare/$15 minimum wage/abolish ICE/open border platform, the GOP should be waltzing toward the expansion of its congressional majority.
At present, the weight of the evidence points toward a political meltdown of epic proportions.