Each party has reasons to crow, as D.C. power realigns, analysts say Democratic and Republican strategists came together at Harvard Kennedy School on Wednesday to unpack the election results at a session called “Midterms 2018: What Just Happened?” Both parties trumpeted victories, and the panelists agreed that political cooperation may get even rarer in the next two years.“I don’t think it was a wave election,” said Douglas Heye, a Republican strategist and CNN commentator. “I see it as an unfortunate continuing of a realignment. So much of what we saw indicates that urban and suburban areas are going blue, and rural areas are going red, and there is a lot of ugly rhetoric on both sides. There is virtually no Republican Party in California, and no Democratic Party in Mississippi. The country is coming to a place where we don’t trust each other and we don’t like each other anymore. Where I have a problem with the president is in his rhetoric, which doesn’t help things.”Moderator Margaret Talev, the Bloomberg News White House correspondent and Fall Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics (IOP), asked the panel what effect the midterms might have on President Trump’s agenda and style.“He’ll definitely go full speed ahead,” replied Marc Lotter, the former press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence. Trump, he said, is “not governed by ideology. He is willing to negotiate. He thinks in terms of delivering on the promises that he’s made. So the question is: Will there be a willingness [from returning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats] to give him something he can sign?” Related But the midterms were above all a victory for checks and balances, said CNN political commentator and IOP Spring 2018 Fellow Symone D. Sanders. Arriving late after a delayed flight, Sanders first noted an “untold story” of the midterms: “Many folks have said that the Democratic Party has forgotten the Midwest, but they just picked up a lot of Midwestern seats.”She also promised a number of investigations after the House flips over. “Come January when the next Congress is sworn in, I think we can absolutely expect that there will be questions on Trump’s tax returns. The Democrats ran on checks and balances across the country, and you have to exercise your oversight. I want to know how we failed in dealing with Puerto Rico.”Still, Sanders warned that we probably won’t be seeing Trump’s taxes anytime soon. “You have to go to court to get those,” she said. “And the next court, and the next court,” Heye added.The atmosphere occasionally got lively, especially after Lotter suggested that Democrats’ animosity toward Trump far surpasses that of Republicans toward previous President Barack Obama. “Republicans may have opposed Obama’s policies, but they didn’t hate him as a man. They didn’t wake up every day questioning the legitimacy of his presidency,” he said. Some viewers disagreed.Heye said that both sides can shoulder some of the blame. “A lot of the rhetoric that is used toward the president I find to be very unfortunate. And some of the rhetoric [toward Obama] was blatantly racist. When a president is asked a hundred times to show his birth certificate, by what turns out to be his successor, that turns out to be a problem.”The panelists also warned against jumping to any conclusions about the 2020 election. Noting how quickly things can change, Sanders said, “Hillary Clinton in 2016 lost in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and last night we picked up seats in those states.” Lotter said that Trump will be in a favorable position as long as the economy remains strong. “After the Gulf War, no serious Democrat would run against President George H.W. Bush. But then we went into recession.”One telling moment came at the end of the panel, when Talev posed four questions as the news broke that Trump had fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Who will be the next Attorney General? Will it matter? Will the Robert Mueller investigations continue? And is something crazy about to happen?The other panelists nodded in agreement as Heye answered the questions in order: “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, yes.” And the winner is: Who you think it is
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope said his group has appealed to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to intervene.“Chief (William) Bratton has a habit of shopping for the leaders who agree with him, rather than reaching out to the community,” Ali said. “We want him to understand how offensive this is to all communities.”Ali said he hopes is hopefulVillaraigosa will make changes to the LAPD plan.“He was once president of the (American Civil Liberties Union) and he should realize what this means,” Ali said.“And if he doesn’t, we will bring the point home to him with vigils and demonstrations.” Amid growing nationwide controversy, Islamic leaders called on the Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday to abandon plans by its counterterrorism bureau to create a map detailing Muslim communities across the city.The plan, revealed earlier this week, has drawn accusations of racial profiling and concern that it could be used with other communities, even as LAPD officials have said their efforts are being misinterpreted.“As an African-American, we know what it is to be profiled,” said the Rev. Eric Lee, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles.“We have been fighting profiling for years. We don’t see the LAPD mapping out skinheads. We don’t see the LAPD mapping out neo-Nazis. We don’t see the LAPD mapping out corporate criminals. This is an effort to profile people based on their race.” The controversy erupted after LAPD Deputy Chief Mike Downing testified before a U.S. Senate panel late last month that the department iswas joining with an academic institution and looking for a Muslim partner to develop the mapping project.Islamic groups to meetIn his testimony, Downing said the project would detail the Muslim communities in the city, along with demographic data and information on social interactions.While LAPD officials said the goal is to identify groups that might be having difficulty integrating into society, butMuslim groups and the ACLU have decried the move.Leaders of several Islamic groups are scheduled to meet Thursday with Downing, head of the Counter Terrorism Division, to discuss the concerns it has raised among the 500,000 Muslims who live in Los Angeles.Villaraigosa said he hopes is hopeful the Thursday meeting will lead to better understanding. And he said he has been briefed by Bratton and has received assurances that it is not intended to violate civil and human rights.“But he also has personal concerns about the LAPD policy and wants to assure the Muslim community that it has a full seat at the table and that the policy reflects their concerns,” Villaraigosa spokesman Matt Szabo said.LAPD seeks ‘partnership’For its part, the LAPD said it believes too much attention is being focused on the use of the word “mapping,” and that that is taking away from its goal to improve understanding.LAPD officials have said the move is not an effort to profile a community but an effort to thwart radicalization.Lt. Mark Stainbrook of the counterterrorism division said officials are trying to get more information about the program out to the public and the groups involved.“This was initiated with the idea we need to partner with the Muslim community,” Stainbrook said. “The only project is to have a partnership.“Chief Bratton has made it clear we cannot do this on our own and need feedback from the Muslim community. The whole point is to get people involved.“If there is a problem with the words we use, we are prepared to change them. That’s the easy part. What we need to do is raise understanding by the department and the community as to what it is we do. We cannot do this alone; we need the community involved.”But Ali said the LAPD should focus more on the terror created by Los Angeles street gangs and gang violence against African-Americans.Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council said the LAPD program has drawn concern across the country.“People are concerned on the purposes this will be used for,” said Sharif Mourassay of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “This mapping project says that Muslims are more prone to violence than any other faith.“It is ill-advised and deeply offensive as well as constitutionally questionable. All this does is generate fear and mistrust and looks like you are trying to gather intelligence based on religion and ethnicity.”[email protected] 213-978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!