I usually love elections and writing about them. This year is different. While I don’t think the national picture for Democrats is as bad as the Conventional Wisdom, it’s not good. Unlike the CW, I don’t believe that off-year wave elections are inevitable. History is more mutable than that, but the country has been in a bad mood for years.
I don’t blame Joe Biden for everything. Following Trump has been difficult. The extent to which he and his followers left their stink on everything is becoming clearer every day. It’s beyond the mess Team Bush left for Team Obama. It’s the messiest mess any president has inherited since FDR followed Hoover. Unlike Biden, FDR had decent majorities in Congress. The obstructionism would come in his second term. It’s become a way of life in the 21st Century.
The legacy media continues to cover the GOP as if it were a normal political party instead of a cult. A normal party would look at the Impeached Insult Comedian’s electoral record and say, “thanks but no thanks.” Herbert Hoover hoped to return to the White House, but his party wanted no part of it. He was a loser.
The voters have their share of the blame. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, our political system has been kneecapped by the lack of civics education. Low information voters rule the roost, which is a major reason why the system runs around like a decapitated chicken.
Democrats won all three elected branches in 2020, but don’t have a working majority in the senate. That made passing the entire Biden agenda difficult. People have a tough time understanding that because they don’t know how the system works. Teaching students how a bill becomes law seems to be passé. If it’s not on a standardized test, it’s not taught. Where have you gone, Schoolhouse Rock?
Because of egregious gerrymandering by Republican controlled state leges, holding the House is going to be tricky. The people’s House has been sabotaged by the minoritarian party. My fingers are crossed that Dems can pull an upset because of the Dobbs mishigas but I’m just:
Democrats should run on a freedom agenda focused on democracy and abortion rights. I mentioned squeamishness on abortion in yesterday’s entry about the man mountain of malakatude. The post-Dobbs freak show has made the right to choose more popular than ever. There’s nothing conservative about forcing a pregnant teenager to carry her rapist’s baby to term. There’s nothing conservative about the BIG LIE and clamping down on voting rights.
Josh Marshall has proposed a winning formula for the senate. His goal is to get Democratic senators on the record as being ready to ditch the filibuster on an abortion rights bill. That way a clear and coherent plan can be offered to voters in the fall: if you add two Dems, we can get this done. Senators hate being pinned down, so there’s still resistance to this notion.
The Sinematic Senator is not the only problem: it’s folks like Maine’s Angus King and Virginia’s Mark Warner who prefer to keep their options open. If anyone reading this lives in either of those states, please call, email, and pester your senator. Keeping one’s options open could lead to Mitch McConnell’s return as majority leader.
The good news for Democrats is that Republicans are running some dreadful candidates like J.D. Vance in Ohio, Herschel Walker in Georgia, Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, and the entire field in Arizona. It reminds me of 2010 when the GOP ruined their chances in the senate by running teanuts like Christine O’Donnell, Ken Buck, and Sharron Angle.
I am cautiously optimistic about Georgia and Ohio in particular. Warnock and Abrams are teaming up in the Peach State to turn out voters and Tim Ryan is a helluva candidate in the Buckeye state. I think that gaining two senators is possible. Anything that would sideline the Man of La Manchin is a good thing. Bad faith thy name is Joe Manchin.
A special note of praise for John Fetterman’s social media strategy against Dr. Oz. Bringing trash teevee to bear against the trash teevee carpetbagger was brilliant:
Hey @DrOz 👋
JERSEY loves you + will not forget you!!! 🥰 pic.twitter.com/YmaXfMpzUK
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 14, 2022
2018 was when I started using Harold Lloyd hanging on for dear life in Safety Last as the featured image for my campaign notes posts. We’re still hanging on for dear life in the face of national crankiness and the Trump cult. The GOP deserves to be beaten like a drum in this midterm election but that’s unlikely to happen. Sometimes muddling through is the best you can do.
The last word goes to Steve Winwood: