She’s a strategic adviser in President Donald Trump’s West Wing. He’s a lobbyist who moonlights as the head of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — a key gathering for Trump supporters.
.. Mercedes and Matt Schlapp, a power couple tailor-made for Trump’s Washington... , Mercedes Schlapp — known as Mercy — is among the leading candidates to become communications director after the resignation last week of Hope Hicks... The move, said to be favored by White House chief of staff John Kelly.. Other internal candidates under consideration include Treasury spokesman Tony Sayegh and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who could take on a dual role, as her predecessor, Sean Spicer, did... Schlapp, a former Fox News contributor.. Schlapp is also well-liked by the president, in part because her husband is so often on television defending him... A veteran of the George W. Bush White House and the Koch brothers’ Washington operation, Matt Schlapp was elected chair of the American Conservative Union.. “Matt has successfully been representative of the conservative movement and been able to defend Trump without looking like a sycophant.. in 2017, when Schlapp invited alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.. This year, the conference hosted a range of speakers from what were once the fringes of the Republican Party, and even hosted French nationalist Marion Le Pen.
.. “The sort of personality cult aspect of the Trump presidency … have caused people to have sort of a fire sale on long-established conservative principles,” Goldberg said.
.. “Those conservatives who are dubious about President Trump’s approach have withered down to next to nothing,”
.. “It’s not CPAC’s change of attitude toward Trump, it’s the American conservative activists who have changed their attitude toward Trump. … By the way, we agree with them.”
.. Schlapp’s lobbying firm, brought in more than $1 million in revenue in 2017 — up from $640,000 in 2016 and $600,000 in 2015.
.. “He has professionalized the conservative movement to be the backbone of the Republican president in power,” Lanza said. “I think he would have been equally successful if it were President Jeb or President Cruz
In 2018, party strategists fret, they’ll face a tough electoral landscape—and a bumper crop of fringe candidates... “What’s the lesson here?” one GOP consultant asked me on the eve of the Alabama election, on condition of anonymity so as to speak with candor. “Don’t entrust our nominations to loose cannons? We’ve been fighting this battle since 2010 and no one learns anything from it. Did we not learn that from Christine O’Donnell? Did we not learn that from Sharron Angle?”.. the dynamics that made it possible for Moore to win the Republican primary in Alabama are unlikely to change by 2018—and the consequences of the GOP nominating a slate of toxic standard-bearers could reverberate well beyond the midterms.
Doug Jones’s defeat of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election is yet the latest signal that the accommodators of Donald Trump, those who have normalized and bolstered him, the gutless, schismatic conservatives who abandoned principle to follow a pariah, will have hell to pay in 2018.
Yes, Roy Moore was defeated, but it can never be fully erased from history or memory that he was endorsed by this president and supported by the Republican National Committee. All of Roy Moore’s sins are their sins, and they will wear that scarlet R straight into the midterms.
.. Moore still won the Republican vote and the white vote and, yes, the “white born-again Christian” vote. These people contorted their faith to support a man accused of unthinkable transgressions.
They made a mockery of Christian faith and moral fidelity.
.. they are motivated and insistent that the past will not defeat the future.
.. black voters, particularly black women, have been summoned to save America from its worst impulses and to establish that they are the most loyal and crucial constituency of a Democratic Party that still doesn’t grant them enough respect or deference
.. The Resistance has its own Southern Strategy.
.. It proved that Trump was a fringe candidate who tapped into an American ugliness and rode it to a fluke victory with the help of a foreign adversary.
.. Republicans must brace for the reckoning. If the Resistance can maintain its intensity — and there is no sign of it weakening — the midterms may well amount to a purge.
Contrary to Trump’s threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: “There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”
.. “To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”
.. Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me.
.. First, to the extent that most of the opponents of Bannon’s China trade strategy are other Trump administration officials, it’s not clear how reaching out to the left helps him. If anything, it gives his adversaries ammunition to characterize Bannon as unreliable or disloyal.
.. He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism — it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”
“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.
.. “The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”