By Ilene at Phil's Stock World
Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shares her thoughts on the political landscape with us in a follow up to our August interview.
Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscowcontinued into June 2016?
Cheri: Cohen's claims appear to be backed up by irrefutable evidence, indicating that the main (if not the sole) reason Trump ran for President was to benefit his businesses. The only way Trump was going to be able to have Trump Tower Moscow was to borrow the money from a Russian bank sanctioned by the U.S. Those sanctions had to be lifted in order to achieve this objective. And as president, Trump could make that happen. There were apparent quid pro quo maneuvers to complement that deal, such as forcing softer language favoring Putin into the RNC platform regarding Ukraine. And with the new Democratic House, Trump's free ride will likely come to a screeching halt.
Ilene: Is there a take-home message from election results of 2018?
Cheri: Yes. No political party can survive when it appeals to only one demographic. The GOP has ignored all of the lessons of recent elections that showed they needed to appeal to African-Americans, Latinos, and women.
Ilene: Do you feel the Democrats were successful?
Cheri: There are still a couple of House races to be called, but it looks like 38-40 net seat pickup for Democrats, which can only be described as a “blue wave” despite the deniers. Demographic groups that tend to vote Democrat, but that often skip midterm elections, showed up, making it the 3rd largest gain by any party in 40 years.
The historic 1994 midterm elections where Republicans won control of the House for the first time in 40 years, was Newt Gingrich’s “Republican Revolution” with a net gain of 54 seats, often referred to as an electoral “tsunami”. If 54 seats constitute a tsunami, then certainly 40 seats are a wave.
Ilene: What should the Democrats be doing now in preparation for 2020?
Cheri: Democrats need to address the Trump scandals and that of his Administration early, and with force, controlling the political agenda these next two years heading into a presidential election season. Don’t blink. Don’t hesitate. Don’t go soft. Also, be clear that he and some in the GOP Congress are racists. Start by censuring white supremacist Cong. Steve King (R-IA) on day one, thereby forcing his Republican colleagues to either join Democrats in attacking racism head on, or voting to support the white supremacists in their ranks. Show the minorities who turned out to vote in the midterms that they didn’t waste their time, and that they should vote Democrat again in 2020.
Ilene: Did Trump’s firing Jeff Sessions one day after the election and installing Matthew Whitaker in his place surprise you? What do you think of that?
Cheri: It should not surprise any of us that Trump will do all he can to obstruct justice. He’s running scared. But his sycophants (of which Whitaker is one) feel he is untouchable. They believe Trump is Teflon, and by proxy, they, too, can get away with crimes as it appears (for now) Trump has. George Papadopoulos is rescinding his guilty plea from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Paul Manafort is reportedly no longer as cooperative as he once was, and Trump mouthpieces are routinely on cable TV news, arrogantly parroting Trump lies. Whitaker obviously believes he is above the law and can obstruct justice to his heart’s content.
Once the indictments start raining down, Whitaker and others may change their tune.
Ilene: You believe obstruction won't succeed?
Cheri: Obstruction cannot and will not succeed. I’m confident Mueller’s team already has this covered. But the way to stop the obstruction efforts is to start indicting and arresting people for obstruction now.
Ilene: Is there any reason for Republicans to stop supporting Trump, now that elections are out of the way?
Cheri: Yes. If Trump fires Mueller, House Democrats will likely have public hearings, airing all that Mueller has. They will impeach Trump. And the GOP-led Senate will be in the position of having to hold a vote on the conviction of Trump. That’s not where they want to be in 2020 with 22 GOP Senate seats to defend, compared to Democrats’ 12.
I’ve a hunch there are efforts underway to talk Trump into finding an exit ramp — and soon.
Ilene: After Trump revoked Jim Acosta’s press privileges, Philwrote:
“It's news when the POTUS uses [an intern’s interaction with Acosta] as an excuse to revoke press privileges from a reporter he doesn't like. It's intimidation aimed at the whole press corps for people who think it's okay to ask the President difficult questions. For Acosta, his network will be behind him but, for a lot of reporters, they will lose their jobs if they stand up to Trump.”
That reminded me ofyour experience. How did Trump’s attack affect you?
Cheri: I was a canary in the coal mine. Trump needed to silence me about that super PAC he had in the primary and lied about, until the Washington Post outed him. He was able to get his good friends Roger Ailes and Jeff Zucker to ban me from FOX and CNN respectively, as a way to ensure voters did not know about the super PAC, outside of those who read the Washington Post. Trump defamed me in tweets to further harm and silence me. [See follow-up also.]
That Trump continues to do this, and now is targeting the very entities that once helped him silence me and other critics, is not unexpected. The media gave him his power, and now he is using that power against them. However, Acosta altered the landscape and now it may not be as easy for Trump to silence a reporter. Standing up to Trump doesn’t always work, but we have to do it, relentlessly.
Visit Cheri’s blog, A House United, to read all of Cheri's articles.