The only thing more laughably disingenuous than Donald Trump claiming he doesn’t like to tweet is a Fox host demanding that Democrats be more helpful to Trump – and pretending it’s for their own good.
Subbing for Bill O’Reilly Friday night, Jesse Watters opened a discussion about “Democratic obstructionism” by saying, “The party of Pelosi is trying to block every initiative President Obama wants to institute. But will that backfire?”
Democrats are “doing everything they can to delegitimize the president,” Watters complained. “It gets to a point where they’re just not doing their job.”
Political science professor Jeanne Zaino, one of the two guests, did a great job. She responded by saying that Democrats are actually doing their job by trying to block Trump.
“If you look at the latest polls," Zaino said, "the president is doing many things that the American public and Democrats, in particular, find to be wildly unpopular and un-American and un-Constitutional." As an example, she cited Trump's “Muslim ban.”
Watters interrupted to argue that 57% of likely voters “agree with the temporary travel ban.” He was citing a Rasmussen poll which was taken late last week, before the national protests over the ban. But Zaino pointed out that a more recent Gallup poll shows about 60% disagree. More recent polls from CBS News and CNN/ORC also show majorities of Americans oppose Trump’s order.
Faced with the refutation, Watters suddenly decided he didn’t care about polls: “OK, well, listen. You know what? The polls said that the election, they were all wrong. So let’s throw the polls away.”
Watters turned his attention to the other guest, Kelly Riddell, of the conservative Washington Times. Watters asked about the Democrats, “If they continue to obstruct and yell and scream and name call, they’re in real trouble in these next midterms. Do you agree with me?”
Why, yes, she did.
Watters also correctly noted that the Democrats face difficulties in 2018. But what’s pretty clear right now is that things look pretty bad for Trump. On top of the disapproval of his “Muslim ban,” he has got historically low approval ratings, businesses are not thrilled with him, his administration is leaking like a sieve, the Obamacare repeal is not going so well and Republicans are revolting over Trump’s plan to build a border wall.
But none of that got discussed. Instead, Watters pretended he was just looking out for us – albeit with a sneer.
WATTERS: You have Pelosi and crying Chuck Schumer now as the face of the party. And not only that, you have people like Madonna saying she wants to blow up the White House and Sarah Silverman, this comedian or something, saying that we need a coup to take down Trump. These faces of the party are really hurting the brand.
His concern is touching, eh?
Zaino replied that “the face of the Democratic party” is also the “millions of women and men” that have been out marching. She said the growth among Democrats is coming from the bottom up, “And that is a good place for a party to be.” The Republican Party, on the other hand is moving from the top, she said.
Watters dismissed that, saying he didn’t think that mattered. He claimed it was a matter of “not reaching across the aisle” because, the newly-minted poll-dismisser said, “I think that’s what the country wants.”
Of course, he didn’t seem to think the Republicans needed to do any of the reaching.
Watch Watters’ B.S. below, from the February 3, 2017 The O’Reilly Factor.
The Senate is another story. My instincts say that the palpable anger at the GOP and Trump across the country for their bullying and viciousness is going to result in a very different midterm than smirkers like Jesse Watters are hoping to see. The Senate will be a tough lift, but I do think it’s possible that you could see the Dems retain their seats and potentially pick up 3 more. That’s all they need to stop the nonsense with the various appointments, policies and SC nominations, particularly after McConnell gets rid of the filibuster next month.
Following the redistricting, the GOP only lost 8 seats, even with Obama at the top of the ticket (dropping from 2010’s 242 seats to 234), then added 13 in the 2014 elections, and only lost 6 seats this past election (putting the GOP just 1 seat below where they were in 2010). And if it weren’t for those pesky requirements for majority-minority districts, you can be sure the GOP legislatures would’ve made sure to split up heavily minority areas to lessen Democratic votes even more.
‘my number one priority is making sure president Obama’s a one-term president.’
Going with the polls first – Watters frantically cites Rasmussen as showing great approval for Trump. Rasmussen has absolutely no credibility. They predicted a firm Romney win in 2012 and were totally discredited – to the point that they had to farm out their polling work. Rasmussen has always been known for its GOP bias. Their MO has usually been to keep a GOP thumb on the scale all the way up to the final few days of a campaign, and then take the thumb off and have super accurate polling at that time, hoping that they’ve tipped the situation in the GOP’s favor. (Their hope is to fire up the GOP voters to get out there and to discourage and dishearten everyone else.) In 2012, Rasmussen, along with Gallup, doubled down at the end to try to buttress what was left of the Romney campaign. They never took their thumb off the scale. Result – Rasmussen can no longer be cited. The fact that Fox News is trying to once again rehab them is fun, but no – they are not a credible source.
Gallup is a slightly different matter. Gallup at least has a decades-long history of getting their polling done in an unbiased manner. They absolutely got 2012 wrong and were also forced to change up their methodology. But again, their history is not one of trying to push-poll or trying to tip an election the way they’d like it to turn out, as Rasmussen’s is. If I had to choose between the two services for reliability, I’d probably go with them. Personally, I wish Zaino had cited any of the dozens of other organizations’ polling that consistently show Trump’s policies bombing badly and show him to be the most unpopular and unfavored early days president we’ve ever had. But she is correct to note that Gallup is agreeing with all the other services. She could also have noted that Rasmussen is an outlier and not a reliable service, but that would have derailed the discussion and her actual comment served its purpose.
Watters’ fast backstep on that one was hilarious – he wants to cite polling if it agrees with his bias, but not if it doesn’t.
As for Watters’ contention that the Dems are somehow obstructionists and could be in big trouble if they don’t “reach across the aisle”, that was the howling, rolling on the floor laughing moment. I’m very curious to know about all the times that Fox News gave this lecture to the GOP during the first year of President Obama’s first term. I’m curious to know all the times in 2009 that Jesse Watters or his boss Bill O’Reilly told the GOP, which was engaging in REAL obstructionism and was even challenging Obama’s legitimacy as a Christian and as a President, to “reach across the aisle” for fear of angering the public and losing more seats in 2010.
The actual facts show that the GOP was in lockstep to oppose every single thing that the Dems attempted, and that Fox News cheered this viciousness on from the beginning. But at that time, this was viewed as patriotic defense of the country from this terrible Democrat President, and was used to fire up the GOP base for the 2010 midterms. Of course, Fox News wouldn’t happen to be concerned that the Democrat base might be getting really angry about how vicious the GOP is behaving these days, would they? Fox News wouldn’t happen to be worried about how the 2018 midterms may wind up looking a lot closer to the 2006 midterms, when voters handily tossed out many GOP congresspeople and gave the Dems a majority in both houses?