Tuesday Was Underwhelming But It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way
Underwhelming is, perhaps, the most polite way to describe the midterm election results for Republicans. Around 70% of the public believe that the country is going in the wrong direction. Inflation has stripped thousands of dollars out of everyone’s wallet. Alphabet soup sexual insanity has completely disgusted most people. And yet, as of this writing, it’s not certain that Republicans will gain ground in the Senate. Many supposedly competitive races simply…weren’t.
Harris Faulkner commented on November 9 that her election night focus group largely agreed with the above list of voter discontent, but didn’t vote Republican because “We weren’t sure what you [Republicans] were going to do for us.” My wife puts it a bit more graphically, saying, “Republicans promise they’ll do wonders and poop cucumbers. When they get elected they do nothing.”
Mostly, my wife has been right. Then, my governor, Ron DeSantis, showed up. He didn’t run to get elected. He ran to do good things for Florida.
David Horowitz presents more detail, but a nugget or two should be sufficient. Four years ago, in several parts of Florida, Ron DeSantis either lost or won by a whisker. In this election, most of those places swung a full twenty points in his favor.
There’s one simple reason: Governor DeSantis keeps his promises. He looked at the data, consulted with experts familiar with the data, and opened Florida for business while most other states were cowering in irrational fear of a virus they could not see, could not avoid, and that was unlikely to injure them. With Florida open for business, half a million people left blue states for the Sunshine State, seeking freedom and opportunity.
Image: Ron DeSantis. YouTube screen grab (cropped).
DeSantis was just as bold on legal and social issues. When Attorney General Merrick “Javert” Garland said he’d send election monitors to Florida, DeSantis told him those unlawful intruders would be ushered out, in cuffs if necessary. When the Hillsborough County State Attorney refused to do his job, DeSantis revoked his paycheck and computer password. Local school boards introducing the sexual perversion of the day into elementary classrooms were met with a new statute introducing them to the crossbar hotel if they continued. Media labels like “Don’t Say Gay” went nowhere because the statute had nothing to do with being homosexual. The governor would not back down. When he was accused of political favoritism because Publix supermarket pharmacies were chosen for COVID vaccine distribution, the reporter learned that it was important to do her homework. Even Democrat officials shut her lies down.
In short, my Governor takes no prisoners. He doesn’t mean tweet like Donald Trump. Instead, he’s a master communicator and a great troll on social media. If you cross him on a matter of importance, you’d better be ready to take the heat. His willingness to stay up front and center with service to Floridians won him a second term in a walk.
For decades a lot of people knew that the Democrats are bat-crap crazy. But instead of presenting a real alternative, historically most Republicans have tried to be “electable.” We recall how much that benefited John McCain and Mittens Romney. And if some managed to get elected, they tried to stay “electable,” leading to a strong impression in the base that…. Oh…wait. My wife already said it.
When politicians act like politicians, they destroy any credibility that might attach to their campaign promises. And because the Republican Party is led by such stalwart chameleons as Mitch McConnell, it has proven the validity of this assessment. It should be no surprise that the stench rubs off on everyone, even true patriots ready to take up arms against the entrenched power brokers.
In Arizona, a weak response to the flood of illegals and obvious election shenanigans by Republican Governor Doug Ducey unfairly tainted Kari Lake, leading to a razor-thin race with Katie Hobbs, the Secretary of State who obstructed the Maricopa County 2020 election audit. Lake had no track record in office, so to the average voter, she wasn’t much of a contrast to either Ducey or Hobbs.
The same dynamic happened again and again. MAGA candidates won a handful of House races, but most of the time they had no track record to show that they could keep campaign promises. Those who had kept their promises, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, won handily, even when there were scandalous allegations. Jim Jordan won in another blowout because he has constantly been out front defending America.
The real problem here is that you must get into office to create a record in office. And in deep blue states like New York, that can be a problem. As a conservative, your native constituency is rapidly relocating to the Free State of Florida, so you don’t have the voter base. Lee Zeldin needed the hundreds of thousands of expats who are now enjoying freedom and sunshine. But if currently elected Republicans actually stand up to the Dems, they can start to create an impression that will sell.
Donald Trump is the exception to this theory. He got a lot done, but with the Russia hoax and incessant media lies, very little of his accomplishments were public knowledge. With the GooFaTwit monopoly blocking anything good about Trump and anything bad about Brandon, the electoral middle didn’t see anything different about Trump when compared to W. He probably won the lawful vote in 2020 even with that impairment, but he would have had a historic victory without the blindfold on voters.
In short, Republicans needed to paint in bright colors, both on what is wrong about the lunatic Left and what is right about the Right. Without a record to run on, many Republicans started with one foot in quicksand. If they tried to be “electable” rather than preaching freedom and opportunity, their chances of victory faded. DeSantis showed how to do it. It’s unfortunate that many others claimed to be MAGA but did not explain in clear language what that meant.
The cadre that we will send to DC needs to change the Republican Party. Mitch McConnell must be retired. We can give him the consolation prize of “Republican Parliamentary Tactician.” Should that be unacceptable, then Governor Beshear is obligated to appoint a Republican in his place. In the House, it may be wise to let Kevin McCarthy be Speaker, but the Turtle’s departure would be a warning that McCarthy needs to support the American people vigorously.
Republicans need to adopt Admiral Farragut’s “Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead” approach. Democrats can’t coopt it, and it will show America that our elected representatives are actually “fighting for them.” Then the Red Tsunami will come in 2024.
Ted Noel MD is a retired Anesthesiologist/Intensivist who podcasts and posts on social media as DoctorTed. His DoctorTed podcasts are available on many podcast channels.