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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#18181 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-May-08, 10:32

View Posty66, on 2021-May-05, 08:39, said:

Is there a case for taxing capital gains differently than ordinary income? Nope.

As I understand it, the justification is to encourage long-term investment, which then fuels innovation and overall progress.

#18182 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2021-May-08, 12:07

View Postbarmar, on 2021-May-08, 10:32, said:

As I understand it, the justification is to encourage long-term investment, which then fuels innovation and overall progress.

This was probably the original intention for the preferential structure (I can, but I'm not going to Google this).

If (e.g.) the lower tax rate on capital gains was incorporated into the tax structure in the '60s or '70s, the landscape of capital markets was significantly different at that time. Long-term investments usually would have meant investing into the economy, into some form of capital investments, and into businesses that generate jobs locally.

I'm afraid this is no longer true of most "investments" that qualify for capital gains tax treatment.
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#18183 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-May-08, 14:34

View Postshyams, on 2021-May-08, 12:07, said:

This was probably the original intention for the preferential structure (I can, but I'm not going to Google this).

If (e.g.) the lower tax rate on capital gains was incorporated into the tax structure in the '60s or '70s, the landscape of capital markets was significantly different at that time. Long-term investments usually would have meant investing into the economy, into some form of capital investments, and into businesses that generate jobs locally.

I'm afraid this is no longer true of most "investments" that qualify for capital gains tax treatment.

Corporations used to invest in R&D but now it’s all about stock buybacks
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#18184 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-May-11, 19:46

Paul Krugman at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a

Has the Republican Party, which has championed the interests of big business and sought to keep wages low since the late 19th century, suddenly become populist? Some of its rising stars would have you believe so. For example, after the 2020 election Senator Josh Hawley declared that “we must be a working-class party, not a Wall Street party.”

But while Republicans have lately attacked selected businesses, their beef with big companies seems to be over noneconomic issues. It bothers them a lot that some of corporate America has taken a mild stand in favor of social equality and against voter suppression.

What doesn’t bother them is the fact that many corporations pay little or nothing in taxes and pay their workers poorly. On such matters the G.O.P. is the same as it ever was: It’s for tax cuts that favor corporations and the wealthy, against anything that might improve the lives of ordinary workers.

The latest example: the Republican push to end enhanced unemployment benefits that have sustained millions of American families through the pandemic, even though unemployment remains very high. Multiple Republican-controlled states have moved to cut off the $300-a-month supplement provided under the American Rescue Plan, even though this means states turning away free money that helps boost their economies — the supplement is entirely paid for by the federal government.

And who has been pushing for a drastic cut in aid to the unemployed? Why, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Tell me again how the G.O.P. has become an anti-corporate party of the working class?

Before I get into the substantive issues here, it’s important to be aware of the historical context — namely, that Republicans have always opposed helping the unemployed, no matter what the state of the economy may be.

In 2011, with the economy still deeply depressed in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, leading Republicans attacked unemployment benefits that, they claimed, were encouraging people to “just stay home and watch television.”

And last summer, as a renewed surge in the coronavirus forced much of the country back into lockdown, Senator Lindsey Graham declared that enhanced unemployment benefits would be extended “over our dead bodies.”

I mention these previous episodes to disabuse readers of any notion that the current assault on the unemployed is a good-faith response to anything actually happening in the economy. The G.O.P. has always been determined to make the lives of the jobless miserable, regardless of economic conditions.

That said, is there actually a case that relatively generous benefits are hurting the economic recovery, because they are discouraging Americans from taking available jobs?

Until last week’s employment report, there was fairly broad agreement among economic researchers that the expanded benefits introduced during the pandemic weren’t significantly reducing employment. Notably, the expiration of the $600-a week-benefit introduced in March 2020 didn’t lead to any visible rise in overall employment; in particular, states with low wages, for whom the benefit should have created a big incentive to turn down job offers, didn’t see more employment than higher-wage states when it was removed.

On Friday, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the U.S. economy added only 266,000 jobs in April, far short of consensus expectations that we’d gain around a million new jobs. Was this evidence that the economy really is being held back because we’re “paying people not to work”?

No. For one thing, you should never make much of one month’s numbers, especially in an economy still distorted by the pandemic. For example, that low reported number was “seasonally adjusted.” The economy actually added more than a million jobs; however, the bureau marked that down because the economy normally adds a lot of jobs in the spring. That’s standard and appropriate practice — but are we having a normal spring?

Also, if unemployment benefits were holding job growth back, you’d expect the worst performance in low-wage industries, where benefits are large relative to wages. The actual pattern was the reverse: big job gains in low-wage sectors like leisure and hospitality, job losses in high-wage sectors like professional services.

I don’t want to make too much of this, since other things have been going on as life gradually returns to normal — although the job number actually reports the situation in mid-April, too soon to reflect the sharp recent progress against the spread of the coronavirus. But on the face of it the data don’t support an unemployment-benefits story.

So what actually happened? We don’t know. Maybe it was a statistical aberration, maybe a variety of factors ranging from computer chip shortages to lack of child care were holding the economy back. The sensible thing is to wait a few months for more evidence, not rush to cut off a crucial financial lifeline for millions of families.

But punishing the unemployed is what Republicans do, whenever they can, whatever the economic circumstances. The G.O.P., posturing aside, is still a corporatist party.

The GOP is a corporatist party not a workers party? Say it ain't so Josh.
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#18185 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-May-11, 19:59

Over 100 Republicans, including former officials, threaten to split from G.O.P. by Zach Montague at NYT

Hate to see it.
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#18186 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-11, 20:18

It's a cleverly worded headline.
It works as click-bait because the reader thinks that a group of Republicans that ARE elected officials are on the verge of forming a new political party.

Sadly (from my perspective), the story referees to a motley assortment of old-timers - and some "young fogeys" that are cross with the current party.

The calculus (as journalists pompously term arithmetic) makes no sense.
74 million people voted for Trump. 100 are 'threatening' to split from the party. This means that you are more likely to get a cavernous sinus thrombosis than you are likely to find one of these charming non-misogynistic, anti-racist, pro-LGBTQI republicans.

I'm sure Senator Slime is laughing all the way to Cancun over this report.
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#18187 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-May-11, 22:18

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-May-11, 20:18, said:

It's a cleverly worded headline.
It works as click-bait because the reader thinks that a group of Republicans that ARE elected officials are on the verge of forming a new political party.

Sadly (from my perspective), the story referees to a motley assortment of old-timers - and some "young fogeys" that are cross with the current party.

The calculus (as journalists pompously term arithmetic) makes no sense.
74 million people voted for Trump. 100 are 'threatening' to split from the party. This means that you are more likely to get a cavernous sinus thrombosis than you are likely to find one of these charming non-misogynistic, anti-racist, pro-LGBTQI republicans.

I'm sure Senator Slime is laughing all the way to Cancun over this report.


Here is the truth about the Republican Party in the U.S. - it has transformed itself into an active enemy of liberal democracy worldwide. It is a threat that must be crushed.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18188 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-May-12, 07:20

View Posty66, on 2021-May-11, 19:59, said:



I find this more encouraging than the above responses. We might all be equal, at least supposedly, under the law but we are not all equal in influence. If I were to change from Dem to, say, Independent no one would follow me out and few would much care. If Jaime Raskin, my representative in Congress, were to say he has had enough of the Dems and split, that would shake things up.

To borrow a little from Churchill, this is not the end, it is not the beginning of the end, and here this is not even the end of the beginning. But possibly it might, I can hope, be the beginning of the beginning. A guy might be skeptical of big government, might favor a traditional R approach to problems, and still find Trump orders of magnitude more repulsive than Biden. There might be a sizable share of the electorate ready for what the cited 100 are speaking of. .Or maybe not. But I do not rule it out.
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#18189 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-May-12, 11:34

View Postkenberg, on 2021-May-12, 07:20, said:

I find this more encouraging than the above responses. We might all be equal, at least supposedly, under the law but we are not all equal in influence. If I were to change from Dem to, say, Independent no one would follow me out and few would much care. If Jaime Raskin, my representative in Congress, were to say he has had enough of the Dems and split, that would shake things up.

To borrow a little from Churchill, this is not the end, it is not the beginning of the end, and here this is not even the end of the beginning. But possibly it might, I can hope, be the beginning of the beginning. A guy might be skeptical of big government, might favor a traditional R approach to problems, and still find Trump orders of magnitude more repulsive than Biden. There might be a sizable share of the electorate ready for what the cited 100 are speaking of. .Or maybe not. But I do not rule it out.


How does one explain the 74 million votes for Trump? And how does anyone explain this?



Quote

More than 120 retired US military leaders have signed an open letter appearing to advance a false conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was rigged, and questioning President Joe Biden's mental capacity to rule.

"Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the 'will of the people' our Constitutional Republic is lost," said the letter released Tuesday by "Flag Officers 4 America," and signed by 124 former admirals and generals.




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18190 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-May-12, 13:02

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-May-12, 11:34, said:

How does one explain the 74 million votes for Trump? And how does anyone explain this?




Ah, the mysteries of life. Why did Sister Sarah go to Havana with Sky Masterson, and why did Sky insist that they catch the flight back after Sarah noted that "People miss planes, it happens". The rum flavored milkshape? Maybe.
Can 100 serious Republicans have such an effect? Maybe.

We often think of a fork in the road as offering two paths, this or that. This country is at a fork and I am thinking, at least I am hoping, that some paths might appear that are not yet clearly marked.

Suppose, for the sake of fantasy, that in 2024 the Rs nominate someone who Geroge Bush, Mitt Romney, and Liz Cheney could enthusiastically support. That person would lose some of the Trump voters. My guess is that such a candidate might also win back some votes of those who voted for Biden.

My crystal ball is cloudy. We will have to wait and see.
Ken
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#18191 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2021-May-12, 13:07

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-May-12, 11:34, said:

How does one explain the 74 million votes for Trump? And how does anyone explain this?






Obviously the Repugnants, aka Red America, want to establish an Unconstitutional Monarchy with Dear Leader twice impeached one term Manchurian President Trump in charge for life, with his descendants next in line for the crown. Forget free elections. GOP leadership will determine the nominees and winners of all elections.

The only question is why Blue America would have any objections to cutting out a malignant cancer and let all the GOP counties secede.
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#18192 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-May-12, 13:51

Peter Wehner at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....pgtype=Homepage

Declaring fealty to a lie has become the single most important test of loyalty in today’s Republican Party. Everyone recognizes this, but from time to time we need to stop to register its true significance.

“It’s a real sickness that is infecting the party at every level,” Barbara Comstock, a Republican who represented Virginia’s 10th Congressional District before Mr. Trump’s unpopularity in the suburbs sunk her chances in the 2018 election, told Lisa Lerer of The Times. “We’re just going to say that black is white now.”

This should come as a surprise to exactly no one. For more than five years, the Republican Party and its leading media propagandists embraced and championed Mr. Trump’s mendacities, conspiracy theories and sociopathic tendencies. As a result, their brains became rewired, at least metaphorically speaking; the constant accommodation Republicans made to Mr. Trump caused significant cognitive distortions.

As a result, they have detached themselves from reality. The expectation that once Mr. Trump left office the Republican Party would become a normal party again was wishful thinking from the beginning. There is no post-Trump fight for the “soul” of the Republican Party. At least for now, that battle has been decided.

Liz Cheney understands that only a decisive break with Mr. Trump will stop the continuing moral ruination of the Republican Party. But her break with the former president, while courageous, came too late to change anything. She is trying to rally an army that doesn’t exist.

It doesn’t exist for two reasons. The first is that many grass-roots Republicans, having been fed a steady diet of fabrications and disinformation for the last half-decade, are deluded. They believe Mr. Trump’s conspiracy theories, in large measure because they want to believe them, and now they are addicted to them. And addictions are hard to break.

The latest CNN/SSRS survey found that 70 percent of Republicans believe the false allegation that Joe Biden did not defeat Mr. Trump; a mere 23 percent said Mr. Biden won, despite the Trump administration’s admission that “the November 3 election was the most secure in American history.”

These Republicans believe they are truth-tellers and patriots, sentries at freedom’s gate. They are utterly sincere; they are also quite dangerous. They are taking a sledgehammer to pillars of American democracy: confidence in the legitimacy of our elections, the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power.

Most Republican members of Congress, on the other hand, don’t believe President Biden was illegitimately elected. Kevin McCarthy, Elise Stefanik, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham aren’t deceived. They are play acting in ways that are unethical and cynical, but they are not stupid. They’re fully aware that the cancerous lies have metastasized — they each played a crucial role in spreading them, after all — and to refute those lies publicly would put targets on their backs.

Many of the most influential figures in Republican politics have decided that breaking with Mr. Trump would so alienate the base of the party that it would make election victories impossible, at least for the foreseeable future. That’s essentially what Senator Graham was saying when he recently went on Fox News and posed this question to his Republican colleagues: “Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no.”

This means that the new Republican establishment will accede to pretty much anything Mr. Trump demands in order to keep good relations with him. And we know what the former president’s main demand is — insisting he was cheated out of a second term.

So we have reached the point where a member of one of the Republican Party’s leading families, a person of unquestioned conservative credentials, is now less popular with the Republican base and more reviled by the House leadership than the onetime QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene, who just before the Jan. 6 insurrection referred to that day as Republicans’ “1776 moment.”

Ms. Cheney was stripped of her leadership post because she committed the unpardonable sin in 2021’s Republican Party: She spoke the truth about the legitimacy of the 2020 election results and refused to back down. Whatever she was before, she is a voice of conscience now, reminding her colleagues of their Faustian bargain with their peculiar Mephistopheles, Donald Trump. It enrages them even as it haunts them.

Today the Republican Party is less a political party than a political freak show. It is being sustained by insidious lies. And people who love America, starting with conservatives, should say so. Otherwise, if the Republican Party’s downward spiral isn’t reversed, it will descend even further into a frightening world of illusion.

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#18193 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-May-12, 14:02

Caligula II: Emperor’s Revenge
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18194 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-May-12, 14:30

Quote

But while Republicans have lately attacked selected businesses, their beef with big companies seems to be over noneconomic issues. It bothers them a lot that some of corporate America has taken a mild stand in favor of social equality and against voter suppression.

What doesn’t bother them is the fact that many corporations pay little or nothing in taxes and pay their workers poorly. On such matters the G.O.P. is the same as it ever was: It’s for tax cuts that favor corporations and the wealthy, against anything that might improve the lives of ordinary workers.

This isn't that hard to understand. "Hey, we gave you those lucrative tax cuts -- why aren't you giving us a pass on our voter suppression policies?"

#18195 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-May-12, 17:18

On November 1, 2024, Mr. Trump tells his supporters to go to Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukie, and Philadelphia "to prevent voter fraud from happening".

Thus begins the Second Civil War, which ends with most of the former United States burned to the ground and some of it nuked.
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#18196 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-May-14, 08:36

I am wondering if I should be taking notice of the infighting taking place in the Republican Party. I want to ignore it as dying gasps of a dying party then I remember that 74 million voted for Trump , 70+% of them believe the stolen election lie, and the state Republican governments are even wackier than the national party.

I think it is critical not to make the same mistakes history has proven fatal by discounting a vocal minority whose vitriolic message has suddenly become mainstream .
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18197 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2021-May-14, 12:05

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-May-14, 08:36, said:

I am wondering if I should be taking notice of the infighting taking place in the Republican Party. I want to ignore it as dying gasps of a dying party then I remember that 74 million voted for Trump , 70+% of them believe the stolen election lie, and the state Republican governments are even wackier than the national party.


Yes, those twice impeached one term Manchurian President stooges are a loyal bunch.

‘I Wanted Trump to Win’: Husband Charged in Wife’s Murder Also Used Her Name to Vote

Didn't Repugs warn America that there was widespread vote fraud in the 2020 election??? I guess they were right.

Quote

Five months after Suzanne Morphew vanished without a trace while out on a bike ride last Mother’s Day, the Chaffee County Clerk’s Office in Colorado received a bizarre notification: a mail-in ballot for the 2020 election had been submitted under her name.

When a Chaffee County sergeant went to the clerk’s office to check out the ballot, he saw that it had been handwritten and dated Oct. 15, 2020—and included the signature of her husband, Barry Lee Morphew, on the witness line.


Quote

“I wanted Trump… to win,” Morphew told FBI agents when questioned about submitting his wife’s voting ballot. “I just thought, give him… another vote. I figured all these other guys are cheating.”

Morphew added that he knew his wife “was going to vote for Trump anyway” and insisted he didn’t know you couldn’t vote on behalf of “your spouse.” Investigators also noted in the affidavit that Morphew submitted his own mail-in ballot at the same time.

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#18198 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-14, 17:02

View Postjohnu, on 2021-May-14, 12:05, said:

Yes, those twice impeached one term Manchurian President stooges are a loyal bunch.

'I Wanted Trump to Win': Husband Charged in Wife's Murder Also Used Her Name to Vote

Didn't Repugs warn America that there was widespread vote fraud in the 2020 election??? I guess they were right.


It's hard to believe they caught him. Wasn't he wearing the juice? http://bit.ly/WheelerJuice
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#18199 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-14, 17:02

View Postjohnu, on 2021-May-14, 12:05, said:

Yes, those twice impeached one term Manchurian President stooges are a loyal bunch.

'I Wanted Trump to Win': Husband Charged in Wife's Murder Also Used Her Name to Vote

Didn't Repugs warn America that there was widespread vote fraud in the 2020 election??? I guess they were right.


It's hard to believe they caught him. Wasn't he wearing the juice? http://bit.ly/WheelerJuice
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18200 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-May-14, 21:40

Elizabeth Benjamin at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....pgtype=Homepage

The rapid rise of Representative Elise Stefanik of New York to the post of chief pro-Trump messenger in the ongoing battle for the soul of the G.O.P. has sparked a flurry of media reports about how a supposed onetime moderate Republican metamorphosed into a full-fledged fire-breathing far-right conservative.

But for those who have been following Ms. Stefanik’s career since she emerged on the political scene in the 2014 battle for an open congressional seat in New York’s North Country, her embrace of Trumpism and elevation on Friday to the No. 3 role in the House G.O.P. don’t come as any big surprise.

The reality is that Ms. Stefanik has always been a shape-shifter, driven more by the political zeitgeist than any strongly rooted ideology.

Her single-minded drive to succeed has long been well known, starting from her first congressional run, at the age of 30, when she successfully sought to be the youngest woman elected to the House at the time. Her ambition, a trait for which her male colleagues are frequently praised, sparked routine — and frankly sexist — comparisons to Reese Witherspoon’s cutthroat student politician character Tracy Flick in the 1999 film “Election.”

Ms. Stefanik has a well-established track record of recognizing opportunities and seizing them, molding herself and her message to fit the moment. When her Democratic predecessor Representative Bill Owens abruptly announced in January 2014 he would not seek re-election, she was already six months into her campaign — positioning herself as a fresh-faced newcomer who would usher a new generation of Republican leaders, especially women, into office.

Ms. Stefanik ran as a self-described “independent voice,” even though she was strongly backed by the national G.O.P. — from the House speaker at the time, John Boehner, on down. She espoused conservative positions on a host of litmus test social and fiscal issues: opposing most abortions, the complexity of the tax code, gun control and the Affordable Care Act.

She also ran on an anti-establishment platform — declaring that she understood “firsthand that Washington is broken” (sound familiar?) — despite the fact that she was steeped in the establishment. She previously served in George W. Bush’s White House and was a campaign adviser for the former vice-presidential candidate and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Ms. Stefanik’s path to victory in 2014 was made easier by the fact that her Democratic opponent was unusually weak — Aaron Woolf, a documentary filmmaker who was a first-time candidate, like Ms. Stefanik, and a transplant to the district. Ms. Stefanik routinely touts her significant margins of victory in that race and each of her re-election bids, but the reality is that the national Democrats have never truly made ousting her a top priority.

Ms. Stefanik criticized Donald Trump on personal and policy fronts in 2016 and in the first years of his administration, but she read the political tea leaves — not only the rightward shift of her district but also the full tilt of the House G.O.P. to a pro-Trump caucus.

As she chose the Trump side in the national G.O.P.’s internal power struggle, a similar intraparty battle has been taking place in her home state at a time of political flux. Multiple scandals and investigations plaguing Gov. Andrew Cuomo present the Republican Party with its best chance to regain the Executive Mansion since the last standard-bearer to hold it, George Pataki, departed at the end of 2006.

As recently as late April, Ms. Stefanik was reportedly considering a challenge to Mr. Cuomo in 2022, with a senior staff member releasing a statement touting her status as the “most prolific New York Republican fundraiser ever in state history” and insisting she would “immediately be the strongest Republican candidate in both a primary and general gubernatorial election.”

Yet Republicans are coalescing around a pro-Trump challenger to Mr. Cuomo, Representative Lee Zeldin of Long Island. And a 2022 race for governor is looking tough for any Republican, given how New York is leaning steadily leftward and democratic socialist candidates are expanding the left’s electoral power by attracting new progressive voters.

With Republican registrations dwindling across the state, Ms. Stefanik’s political options back home are increasingly limited. Against that backdrop, a short-term gamble that propels her up the D.C. food chain is a classic Trumpian power grab — one requiring that she cast off the moderate mantle she was perceived to wear.

New York has a long history of shape-shifting elected officials who willingly and even eagerly changed their positions — and in some cases, their party affiliations — based on how the political winds were blowing.

Mr. Pataki, for example, was elected on an anti-tax, pro-death penalty platform, defeating Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo, a national liberal icon, in 1994. Over his 12 years in office, Mr. Pataki shifted steadily leftward, embracing everything from gun control to environmental protection to assure his re-election by the increasingly Democratic-dominated electorate.

Another prime example: Kirsten Gillibrand. She was once a Blue Dog Democrat infamous for touting how she kept two guns under her bed. But when former Gov. David Paterson tapped her, at the time an upstate congresswoman, to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, Ms. Gillibrand quickly changed her tune. Critics accused her of flip-flopping, much the way a different set of critics is currently targeting Ms. Stefanik.

Ms. Gillibrand at the time said her evolution signaled political courage and a willingness to “fight for what’s right.” Ms. Stefanik, by contrast, has thrown her lot in with a former president who was impeached not once but twice and consistently sought to undermine — if not outright overthrow — the very democratic foundation of this nation. It is no doubt a dangerous game for the up-and-coming congresswoman, and one that could well cut short her once promising political career in a re-election bid in New York. But given her history, was this choice surprising? Not in the least.


Ms. Benjamin is a former reporter who covered New York politics and government for two decades.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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