- The Washington Times
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Democrats are still blinking in disbelief over Karen Handel’s victory over Jon Ossoff in a much ballyhooed special election in Georgia on Tuesday. Republicans observers mark that victory as more evidence that both Democratic strategists and the news media continue to ignore the authentic grass-roots appeal, which has been percolating in the Grand Old Party since the 2016 election.

Applause is also due for the practical side of the GOP, which does not rely on mawkish feelings, melodrama, outrage or grandiose claims to motivate voters. Boots on the ground and clear messaging matter. Unwavering support for President Trump matters. And importantly, Republicans have steel-clad infrastructure that could carry them through the midterm elections.


“In Georgia, we had a robust ground game. We had 2 million voter contacts. We were knocking doors every day. We knew our voter universe, and we are going to continue to do that,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel told Fox News in the aftermath of Mrs. Handel’s victory.

“We are already building an infrastructure in these states where we think we can pick up Senate seats in 2018, and we are ready to compete in House seats across the country. What the media needs to recognize is that Donald Trump’s message is resonating. When he is saying, we need to improve our economy and add jobs and wages and fix the health care system that is falling apart and crumbling every day — that is what’s resonating with voters,” Ms. McDaniel continued. “They are sending Republicans to Washington to help the president, and they’re going to continue to do that as they see him working on behalf of the American people. Democrats have no vision. Obstruction and resistance is not a vision and it’s lost for them these last four elections.”

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

“Dems aren’t losing because ppl DON’T understand their message — they are losing cause ppl DO understand and want no part of it.”

Mike Huckabee, in a tweet Wednesday.

MEANWHILE IN RUSSIA

A new Pew Research Center reveals that 87 percent of Russians now have confidence in President Vladimir Putin to do the “right thing” when it comes to global affairs.

While Russians are concerned about the economy and employment like everyone else on the planet, 6-out-of-10 also say their nation plays a more important role in the world than it did a decade ago. See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

THE REPUBLICAN TREASURE CHEST

The aforementioned Republican National Committee raised a record-setting $10.8 million in May, a new post-presidential record. Since the beginning of 2017, the organization has raised $61.9 million. Finance Chairman Steve Wynn says the donations coming in are both “unprecedented” an “unwavering.”

And some applause for frugality: the committee also has zero debt, he says.

Things are not so jubilant elsewhere, however. The Democratic National Committee raised $4.3 million in May, compared to $12.3 million in May 2016, $19.9 million in May 2012.

SULLIVAN Vs THE TRASH VORTEX

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the garbage vortex — there are multiple names for gargantuan collections of trashy marine debris floating around the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and even the Great Lakes, made up of degrading garbage, Styrofoam, plastic bottles and lost cargo of every description. We’re talking athletic shoes, hockey pads, fishing gear, rubber duckies — this according to the National Geographic Society, which has tracked this phenomenon for decades.

And now it’s time for a oceanic garbage patch a hearing on Capitol Hill.

On Thursday, Sen. Dan Sullivan — Alaska Republican and chairman of the Commerce subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard — convenes a hearing appropriately titled “Efforts on Marine Debris in the Oceans and Great Lakes.” Mr. Sullivan is in search of solutions to “the marine debris crisis.”

On hand to have their say: David Balton, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries; and Nancy Wallace, director of NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. See a live stream of the hearing at 10 a.m. EDT at commerce.senate.gov.

THEY CAN’T DENY IT

A new CBS News poll has predictable partisan divides on President Trump’s job performance and favorability. Republicans continue to stand staunchly by their man, Democrats cringe, and independents linger somewhere in the middle for the most part. There is one area they all agree on, however.

“Positive views of the economy have been inching up since last fall, and 64 percent of Americans now say the economy is in good shape, the highest percentage since May 2002. Majorities of all partisan stripes rate the nation’s economy positively,” the poll analysis says.

And the numbers: 78 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents agree.

LADIES ON A MISSION

College-age conservative women gather at the Heritage Foundation in the nation’s capital for the three-day Network of Enlightened Women conference. There will be some enlightened women in attendance, including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Judicial Crisis Network chief counsel Carrie Severino, and some savvy journalists, authors and columnists who include Mercedes Schlapp, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Genevieve Wood, Mary Katharine Hamm and Mona Charen.

Find this ambitious group at EnlightenedWomen.org.

POLL DU JOUR

87 percent of Russians have confidence in President Vladimir Putin to “do the right thing regarding world affairs.”

85 percent say a “strong Russia” is necessary to balance the influence of the West.

73 percent say traditional Russian values “conflict with those of the West.”

59 percent say Russia plays a more important role in the world now than it did 10 years ago.

59 percent say the dissolution of the Soviet Union has been a “bad thing” for Russia.

56 percent say Russia should be “more respected around the world.”

Source: A Pew Research Center Global Attitudes survey of 1,002 Russian adults conducted face-to-face from Feb. 18 to April 3 and released Tuesday.

Complaints and clever asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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