Alexander Hamilton puts his money on Republican midterm wins

Alexander Hamilton argues, in Federalist 77, in favor of the Constitution's protocol for selecting and confirming nominees for the Supreme Court.  According to that established and continuing protocol, it is the role of the Executive to select nominees for the Supreme Court, and the Senate's role is to confirm or reject the nominees.

"The blame of a bad nomination would fall upon the President singly and absolutely," Hamilton writes.  However, the "censure of rejecting a good one would lie entirely at the door of the Senate; aggravated by the consideration of their having counteracted the good intentions of the Executive."

In Hamilton's time, this might have signified a more delayed reaction of the people to rebuke the Senate for their having "rejected" a "good" Supreme Court nominee and "having counteracted the good intentions of the Executive."  According to the original Constitution, federal senators were elected by state legislatures, meaning that the people of a given state who wish to rebuke their senator must first vote to cast out the state legislators who sent the "censured" senator to Congress.  Today, the Seventeenth Amendment has provided the people of the states a populist express lane to cast out its Senate representation via immediate popular vote.

I'd wager that most Democrats know nothing about Hamilton's warning, but some of them are undoubtedly feeling its effect right now.

Consider Democrat Robert "Beto" O'Rourke of Texas, whom Democrats have long hoped would be the embodiment of the Blue Wave crashing over and swallowing the Republican stronghold of Texas by defeating Ted Cruz.

The chances of that outcome were far better a month ago, before "[l]iberals set out to cast [Judge Kavanaugh] – amiable, well-credentialed, mildly conservative – as a demon," writes Sohrab Ahmari at the New York Post.  He continues:

In the process, they have reminded GOP voters and all but the most stubborn Never Trump intellectuals that there are worse things than Donald Trump's outbursts and the ineptitude of Congressional Republicans.

Whatever disputes we have on our own side, the thinking on the right now goes, we have to set them aside and stop a politics of personal destruction, fueled by a moral panic and an uncritical mainstream media that sees itself as an adjunct of the anti-Trump resistance.

The very worst thing that could happen for Democrats in Texas would be an angry, unified Republican base hyper-sensitive to national politics.  That's precisely what Democrats have created.  Ahmari continues: "Republicans are now more fired up about the November midterm elections than Democrats," citing an NPR report that shows that in July, "there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans saying the November elections were 'very important.'  Now, that is down to 2 points, a statistical tie."

The odds of Democrats flipping Senate seats in red states like Texas have certainly diminished, but that's not their biggest problem.  Their biggest problem is keeping the Senate seats they currently have in red states.

There are ten Democrat senators running for re-election in states that Donald Trump won, and some of them are extremely vulnerable.

Take Claire McCaskill, who is running for her third term as a Senate Democrat in Missouri.  The race is a dead heat according to the most recent polls, but among "the 28 percent of voters who say they could still switch candidates, almost twice as many say McCaskill voting against Kavanaugh would make them less inclined to back her."

In North Dakota, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp trails Republican Kevin Cramer by 12 points.  Last month, he was up by four points.

Montana Democrat incumbent Jon Tester is up by three points in the latest polls.  Indiana incumbent Joe Donnelly holds a two-point lead, according to Fox News's most recent poll.  These are statistically insignificant leads, and an awakened, angry, and engaged Republican voting base does not help the Democrat senators in the slightest.

With the now completed FBI investigation having failed to produce damning evidence against Kavanaugh, and Democrats' star accuser Christine Blasey Ford having been thoroughly compromised and discredited by a complete lack of any practical substantiation to her waffling and inconsistent story (along with having potentially raised the specter of a felonious perjury offense), Democrats have presented themselves to the American people as nothing short of deceitful in obstructing the confirmation of the eminently qualified Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.  And Republicans and independents across the nation have noticed that this is all being done by Democrats in order to further a radically progressive ideology that is anti-due process, anti-constitutional, and anti-American at its core.

There's something deeper to be observed here than the various polls we're seeing.  Polls are notoriously unreliable, especially when there's a national partisan energy that the media and pollsters prefer not to notice (see November 2016).  Fundamental observations such as Hamilton's are more reliable. 

Senate Democrats like California's Dianne Feinstein may be safe in their leftist bastions as they seek re-election in this political climate.  The others, vying for votes in middle America, which voted for Trump are facing the firm rebuke of Americans for their having deviously and maliciously "counteracted the good intentions of the Executive" whom they elected.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.