Red Harvest, 2018
It may take until November 7 for Democrats to realize they have accomplished what many thought impossible: wrest from the GOP the title, “The Stupid Party.”
“All politics is local,” supposedly opined the late House Speaker, Tip O’Neill. True perhaps in his day, before the advent of cable TV and social media. An updated adage might read, “All politics is local, except when it’s nationalized.” Case in point: Democrats have made the upcoming midterms a referendum on Trump and Judge Kavanaugh. They may regret doing so.
For months, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have been giddy about their chances of taking the House and possibly the Senate on November 6. That confidence was bolstered by the ongoing Mueller probe and then the Kavanaugh hearings, with Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats assuming, whatever the outcome, their posturing as truth-seekers unmasking evil would energize the base and play well even in Peoria.
But political calculations are often self-delusional constructs born of wishful thinking. For example, in 2008 I believed the far-left community organizer would lose to the elder statesman/military hero, John McCain. But a personable and well-spoken Obama appeared thoughtful and open to views from all quarters. Media complicity and McCain’s deferential campaign assured voters’ ignorance of Obama’s actual political bent, so they took a flyer on a blank slate. Unfortunate from my point of view, but understandable.
I was dumbfounded four years later when Obama was reelected. A center-right country, you say? Hogwash. I gave up on the American electorate to get it right, or to just show up, even when the truth was plain to see.
When the deplorables put Trump over the top in 2016, halting in its tracks the Europeanization of the U. S., I began to hope again. Now we face another test about who we are and where we’re going.
At first glance, the Democrats’ seem poised to flip the House. The epic failure to block Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Supreme Court enraged their base, which sees midterms as an opportunity for payback. The left’s media flacks dutifully continue to hype the coming blue wave to boost Democrats’ optimism and depress Republican turnout.
But a funny thing happened on the way to next month’s rout of the GOP and rebuke of MAGA. In their singleminded crusade to destroy Kavanaugh, Democrats and their media allies became tone deaf in their tactics, failing to consider the possibility the beleaguered judge might emerge from the ordeal a sympathetic figure and Trump’s steadfast support of the nominee attract skittish Republicans to his side.
In fact, millions of Americans watched Democrats debase themselves and the institution of the Senate during the hearings. They heard the screamers in the Senate gallery and saw the mob banging on the doors of the Supreme Court. And in their millions, they were appalled.
It’s always about turnout. Democrats are betting their base’s rage over Trump, Kavanaugh, the GOP -- almost everything -- will drive them to the polls, along with hordes of voters outraged over the Republican scheme to place a compromised and belligerent judge on the Supreme Court despite heroic efforts by Feinstein and her colleagues to expose the scoundrel and defeat the nomination.
That’s their bet. On November 6, I’m betting:
- Trump voters show up at the polls in massive numbers to signal they are still rock-solid for the Donald and do not want Congress to spend the next two years persecuting the president as he’s trying to run the country and lead the free world. They do not want government paralysis masquerading as oversight.
- Millions of independents who watched the Kavanaugh hearings will make their disgust with the Democrats’ tactics known by voting Republican, punishing the new Stupid Party for turning a solemn Constitutional ritual into a spectacle. A related part of their reasoning: sparing the country and Trump from two years of harassment by would-be Democratic House chairs Jerry Nadler and Elijah Cummings, with the sole purpose of hobbling the administration in all matters, foreign and domestic. Think of the Kavanaugh hearings on steroids.
- More voters than ever now understand that all House Democratic candidates are doomed to become Nancy Pelosi’s automatons upon taking office. They know a promise to be an independent voice in Congress is worthless. Pelosi’s troops vote the way they’re told or find themselves in her doghouse.
- The Democrats’ intention to impeach Trump for fuzzy reasons should they retake the House has people from everywhere on the spectrum wondering what two years of a distracted and paralyzed administration would mean, domestically and internationally.
- It is clear to everyone not living in a cave in the Gobi that the far left takeover of the Democratic Party is a fact, that socialism is the party’s religion, and that anyone elected to Congress as a Democrat -- no matter what he/she said as a candidate -- will be a foot soldier for the radicals who want to remake America.
- A majority of Americans agree with President Trump about the necessity of securing our borders and will keep the thought close when they step into the voting booth.
- The “My-vote-doesn’t-matter-so-why-show-up?” crowd on both sides make an exception this time because of the stakes, but the right-leaners -- those who hang up on pollsters and disdain politics -- far outnumber their counterparts on the left.Low-information voters could not escape some exposure to the Kavanaugh circus, and while many sit out elections because they are clueless about current events, this time is different: a sizable portion will show at the polls to give Democrats a thumbs-down on their behavior.
- Credit for the booming economy accrues to Trump and tips many voters to support the candidates who support him.
- The #Walkaway Movement, with Democrats jumping ship over their party’s extreme left turn, will be a more prominent factor in midterm outcomes than pollsters imagine.
- Hispanics and Blacks vote in surprising numbers for the party whose President came through on his promise of prosperity and opportunity for all. The Sharptons, Jacksons, and Perezes will find a more skeptical audience for their usual victimization fare.
- With Kavanagh confirmed, conservatives’ anger at the GOP for their legislative fecklessness has been redirected at Democrats for their perfidy in the hearings and on the Hill.
- Fraudulent voting won’t be widespread enough to offset the red wave.
- Women are not massively aligned with their pussyhatted sisters in monolithic outrage over the hearings and various grievances related to gender. They did not all flock to the mob’s banner during Kavanaugh, partly because they weren’t sure of Christine Ford’s veracity and also because of their concern for sons and brothers and fathers in a society where men are guilty until they prove their innocence.
Predictions (and yes, they are optimistic): Democrats lose 15 seats in the House (sparing the country of Speaker Pelosi) and the GOP gains 7 in the Senate.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Steve Grammatico is the author of You Hear Me, Barack? PC-Free Conservative Satire. He blogs at You Hear Me, Barack? A Repository of Conservative Satire.