The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Running with Trump

Rich Galen

Monday August 5, 2019

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  • Over the past couple of weeks I've watched about eight hours of Robert Mueller's testimony and just last week, I watched 20 Democratic candidates for President being questioned by three CNN reporters/anchors, over two nights for well over seven hours.

  • Donald J. Trump, over that same span, has taken to Twitter well over 200 times to tell us of his feelings about four female Democratic House Members of color, one Black House Committee Chair from Baltimore, and the City of Baltimore generally,

  • Trump also watched Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tx) interview Mueller for five minutes and decided that, like a 1950s advertisement for Duz laundry soap (which apparently has become Trump's regular yardstick) played well enough on TV to announce Ratcliff's nomination to be the Director of National Intelligence.

  • A few Google searches later and it was determined that Ratcliffe had lied about his national security chops and was as qualified to replace current DNI, Dan Coats as the TV pitchman for a box of Duz.

  • In addition to all that, according to the House Press Gallery, so far in 2019, 11 Republicans and three Democratic Representatives have announced they will not be seeking reelection next year.

  • As of this writing the 435-Member House division is:
    235 Democrats
    197 Republicans
    1 Independent, and
    2 Vacancies

  • According to
    In the 2018 mid-terms, "there were 52 seats where the incumbent was either retiring or otherwise not seeking reelection-18 Democrats and 34 Republicans."

  • So, we may have a blast of retirements as the filing deadlines get closer.

  • Most recent retirement was Will Hurd (R-Tx) who is the only Black Member of the GOP House Conference and whose west Texas district is nearly 75 percent constituents of color including more than 68 Hispanic.

  • Dems picked up about 40 seats (North Carolina is still has one vacancy - NC-09) but that was an election when, historically, the party of the president loses about 29 seats in a first term mid-term.

  • If you are wondering whether Donald Trump at the top of the ticket be a help or a hinderance to Republicans' reelection chances, don't be too quick to answer.

  • Step into the WayBack machine to the 1972 elections.

  • Richard Nixon was running for reelection, and in the House, the Democrats went into the cycle holding a 75 seat majority, 255-180.

  • George McGovern, the Democratic nominee, ran on a platform of immediate withdrawal from Vietnam and a guaranteed minimum income for all Americans.'

  • In spite of what you might have heard about Nixon's reelection campaign, he won 49 states. Fourty-Nine, Mrs. Bueller.

  • And Republicans picked up a net 12 seats in that midterm.


    In this era of great handwringing about gerrymandering U.S. House seats, the Democrats, while losing House seats actually outpolled Republicans nationally by a margin of 52 percent to about 46.5 percent: 37 million to 34 million. Yet, the GOP picked up those 12 seats in Congress

    NOTE: I couldn't easily find the makeup of state legislatures in 1972, but in 1978 Democrats controlled at least one chamber in 34 of 49 legislatures. (Before you send me a "You Moron" email reminding me there are 50, not 49 states, Nebraska has a non-partisan unicameral legislature.)


  • Remember that after winning 49 states in November 1972 (George McGovern won only Massachusetts and DC), Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

  • BUT WAIT! There's more.

  • In the next mid-term, 1974, with Gerald Ford in his third month as the GOP President which daily reminded the electorate about Watergate, Republicans lost 48 seats giving the Democrats a whopping majority of 147 seats.

  • So the 186 Republicans in the House who have not publicly announced they are retiring, have an interesting choice: Run with or run against Trump.

  • It may depend upon how many terms they intend to serve. Republicans might do quite well in the 2020 Congressional elections but, beware the elections of November 2022.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today: A link to a 1950s Duz detergent commercial, to the Wikipedia entry for Will Hurd's enormous Texas Congressional district, to the Congressional election of 1974, and to the House Press Gallery's current list of retirements.

    The Mullfoto is a rare double license combo plate.

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