Ezra Klein, who hosts one of my favorite podcasts, recently interviewed forecast modeling guru Nate Silver. The result was a fascinating conversation about the 2016 election and the upcoming midterms, during which Silver offered up an explanation of the GOP governing strategy that resonated with me.
One of the most confounding aspects of the Trump era has been how meek the GOP rank and file have been in responding to the President’s…buffoonery? I’m paraphrasing, but essentially he posits that the party knows its current hold on the executive and legislative branches is likely fleeting, and that it needs to get while the getting is good. Rather than act as a party with a wafer-thin majority in the Senate, the GOP has decided to cash in its chips. Massive tax cuts, two conservative justices, and a near miss at an Obamacare repeal are wins that the party can hang its hat on for a long time.
This is incredibly cynical, but there’s a logic to it. That portion of the conversation starts around 13:45, but the whole interview is worth listening to if you’re a data geek like me.