Republican "Nightmare": Midterm Risk Rising


The US steel industry is pleased with Trump, but few other industries. Many Republicans are in open defiance of Trump.

CNN Money reports Steel Industry 'Happy with Tariffs'.

I will not link to articles that have autoplay ads that cannot be shut off so let's move on to the rest of the story.

Nightmare Policy

Regarding Trump's alleged "one time" farm aid bill Sanford says "It's a Nightmare"

Rep. Mark Sanford, a fiscal conservative from South Carolina, said the farm aid was "destructive" and "doubling down on bad policy." He added that it calls into question what Republicans stand for these days.

Sanford said it's likely that other industries would also be seeking help.

“The logical questions is, if it’s good enough for the farm sector, why wouldn’t it be for other sectors?" he said. "I think there are going to be a lot of ‘me too’ questions that are going to be raised in light of this package."

From a fiscal point of view, he described the situation as a "nightmare."

“It’s a nightmare, because not only are you increasing taxes — because a tariff is a tax — now you’re doubling down on harmful taxpayer effect in that not only are you increasing taxes, you’re increasing spending as well with the aid package.”

Five Republicans Senators Chime In, One Calls it 1929

It's not just Sanford, Other GOP Lawmakers Upset with Trump's Trade Policy.

  1. “I want to know what we’re going to say to the automobile manufacturers and the petrochemical manufacturers and all the other people who are being hurt by tariffs,” said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. “You’ve got to treat everybody the same.”
  2. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said the plan would spend billions on “gold crutches,” adding, “America’s farmers don’t want to be paid to lose — they want to win by feeding the world. This administration’s tariffs and bailouts aren’t going to make America great again, they’re just going to make it 1929 again.”
  3. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said the proposal was raised a month ago when senators visited the White House for a broad discussion on trade. He said the lawmakers told the president “that our farmers want markets, and not really a payment from government. And he said, ‘I’m surprised, I’ve never heard of anybody who didn’t want a payment from government.’”
  4. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who has been critical of the president in the past, said the tariffs “are a massive tax increase on American consumers and businesses, and instead of offering welfare to farmers to solve a problem they themselves created, the administration should reverse course and end this incoherent policy.”
  5. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, whose family operates a farm in eastern Iowa, said the administration’s move was “encouraging for the short term” but farmers needed “markets and opportunity, not government handouts.”

Farmers Protest

U.S. Farmers Gave Trump's plan a cool reception: ‘Trade, Not Aid’ the farmers said.

Bipartisan Bill to Delay Auto Tariffs

On July 25, Senators Unveil Bipartisan Bill Meant to Delay Trump Auto Tariffs.

In one aspect, the point is moot because Trump never would have signed such a bill. Also, Trump agreed to a trade escalation truce with the EU.

Yet, the point still stands as Republican senators were willing to deal with Democrats in open warfare on Trump's trade policy.,

Republican Fears Not Erased

Even after Trump backed down with Europe, the Administration Has to Ease Republican Worries About Trade Fights.

Trump advisers got an earful from angry lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who blasted the administration’s approach, criticized the Europe pact as weak, demanded faster relief for ailing constituents and pledged to ramp up efforts to tie Mr. Trump’s hands in shaping trade policy going forward.

“There was a lot of pushback on the strategy,” said Rep. Andy Barr (R., Ky.), following a closed meeting between House Republicans and two administration officials—Lawrence Kudlow, head of the National Economic Council, and Peter Navarro, a White House trade adviser.

Mr. Barr is one of 24 GOP representatives whose re-election this November is rated a toss-up by the Cook Political Report, and he complained that bourbon makers in his district were being hurt by European retaliation for U.S. steel tariffs. “We want to know when we’re going to get a solution.”

With Republicans growing increasingly worried about losing control of the House this fall, fears aggravated by polls showing the unpopularity of Trump trade policies, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R., Mich.) read aloud to the White House advisers a text from a tool-and-die maker in his district who was facing higher raw-material costs because of the aluminum and steel tariffs. “I was making sure that they heard the message that this is not just uncomfortable—it’s painful and it’s damaging,” Mr. Huizenga later told reporters. He said that because his district also includes farmers, who are getting squeezed by the retaliatory tariffs, “we’re getting it coming and going in western Michigan.”

Why Trump Backed Down

Trump backed down with his trade war with the EU only because enough Republican Senators were willing to publicly call him out.

Trump gained nothing from that back down other than further adding to trade war stupidity.

Mind the Independents

Die hard Republicans and Democrats will vote for their party. The midterm elections will depend on what the swing voters will decide.

Trump's tariff policy will hurt Republicans.

That has been my contention since the beginning. A recent NBC/WSJ Poll suggests the same thing.

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Senate and House at Risk

It is widely understood there is nearly always mid-term risk in the House.

These stats emphasize the point.

House Map

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I am sticking with my assessment that Republicans are at risk of losing the House and even the Senate over Trump's absurd trade policy.

All it will take for the Republicans to lose BOTH the house and Senate is a sustained economic downturn and/or a collapse in the stock market.

I can hear sarcastic chant now "That's all? "

Yes, that's all. Both are possible. Housing looks as if it has peaked, the Fed is hiking, and technology is not acting well to say the least.

Jackass Factor

I share emails every day with about six people,. One of them has been a staunch Republican for something like forever. That person is now so sick of Trump's "jackassedness" that he or she is now contributing to Democrats.

This is just an anecdote, and anecdotes do not constitute data, but I cannot help but think of independents and the above poll.

Yes, polls and opinions can change, but they can also change for the worse (for Republicans), and I believe that will happen.

Once again, I voted for Trump and would do so again. I am merely sharing an opinion that many Republicans are sick of this guy and his tactics. If you disagree please explain the open defiance by six Republican senators.

I admit I cannot stand Trump's trade policy, but if there was public approval, I would not be making these mid-term calls.

Regardless, it's still early. Only the November election counts.

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (26)
No. 1-13

Nonsense on all counts.

Dems, not the GOP, are the party in existential crisis. GOP is likely to add, not lose, seats.

All the hyperventilating over tariffs is scenery for the tourists... negotiation tactics, and it's working.

Want to understand the new paradigm? Watch all of this... you too, Mish.


Only a Dem controlled Congress can neutralize Trump while also ensuring that the various investigations and lawsuits against Trump don't get derailed. With a Dem controlled Congress, they can let put Trump in a corner and let him do what he likes most - lay around the WH eating fast food and getting fatter, watching porn and Twittering BS all day long.


Even if Trump made it national policy to eat childrenburger for breakfast, contributing to Democrats, ISIS and other of that ilk is still nothing but pure evil and stupidity.


Height of Insanity to for anyone to vote for ANTI- CHRIST TRUMP, for more war, more trade non-sense and alienated partners, infrastructure coming apart (maybe a good thing/ flyover/ coastal separation?), domestic instability, ....and did I say more war. But thats what Repubs/Libertarians WANT...a WINNABLE war...that how empires come to life and DIE....without war Repubs/Libertarians really have no moral bearings. Touting all men are equal and freedom for the individual and still restricting at every HAND is what defines Repubs and Libertarians, right? But WAR is the answers for both friend and foe alike....the US just got to WIN one outright. ANTICHRIST TRUMP IS THE ANSWER for the decline of the US. He masks it perfectly with bluster, and no VISION.


The only reason I would want More Democrats in Congress/Senate is to be blamed for the failure to mange the next financial crisis. That might be the end of the left as we know it. Donald Trump is RINO (Republican in Name Only) so the Republicans won't suffer that damage in 2020.


You are doing the same thing the establishment media does - use a bunch of establishment Republicans as "proof" Trump is out of touch and losing. These Republican hijackers are no different than the neocons and other establishment hacks who want to stop Trump from ending their rigged gambit. Trump's tactics expose the self-interested traitors, and the sooner they lose their elections the better. It's called de facto term limits.


"It's a nightmare"

60,000 closed U.S. factories has become a nightmare. The thing about pendulums, is that when they swing far in one direction, they reach an inflection point, the end of their swing and begin to move back to the other extreme.


Have you ever been on a beach watching the tide come in? A wave laps up (Perot), and then the water runs back. Another wave laps up (Tea Party), and then the water runs back. The next wave takes the level of the tide higher still (President Trump). There will be many more waves after President Trump. Eventually, the tide is going to rise high enough to drown those preening "Republican" Senators who have never balanced a budget. There is a reason that the overwhelming majority of US citizens have nothing but contempt for Congress.


I know a few die-hard pro-Trumpers, and trust me, they love this guy. A close relative is a good example: she wants factories returned to the US and tariffs, she wants everyone who isn't the same skin color sent somewhere else (behind a wall), she wants to keep her guns away from Hillary, and she wants to nuke Syria then bring the troops home with a traditional ticker-tape parade.

And since Trump is a Republican, she is going to vote Republican. If he switched to the Green Party tomorrow, she'd vote party-line Green. It is not about policy. It is about personality and perception. I think for a lot of people it is hard to fathom the emotional investment tens of millions of Americans have in this guy. And I don't think trade policy is something people outside the pro-Trumpers care about that much.


Going back to Reagan in 84, I'm batting 1.000 in presidential elections. I'm a registered democrat who voted for Trump. I thought for sure my streak would end in 2016, but it didn't. I'm not beholden to any party. I vote for who I think is the best candidate. I hope in 2020 the democrats put forth a decent candidate because Trump is pretty bad. I would vote for Trump over a socialist, but, other than that, I'm likely voting democrat.

Even if the pubs lose the house and senate, can anything be done about the tariffs? Seems Trump doesn't need congressional approval to impose tariffs..


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you tax-and-spend conservatives. Everyone can STFU now.


It is normal for the president's party to lose 20 or so House seats and a few Senate seats during mid-term elections. It doesn't make the slightest bit of difference who controls the Senate - except for Rand Paul, Republicans in the Senate are no better than Democrats. Trump won't be removed as a result of impeachment.

Trump's tariffs are more bark than substance, so far, and some of his domestic policies are better than Obama's - like getting rid of the healthcare mandate and requiring 2 regulations be removed for each new one.

The economy is going to turn down big but probably not before November. In the mean time, Democrats are still wasting there time on Russian collusion.


The system is setup to always create the next disaster. Both parties are guilty of governing as if they have a mandate. They don't. Trump will surely be impeached if the house and Senate control both houses. He might even be removed. I think he will resign if this happens. Another Nixon.

Global Economics