The midterms are behind us, and it appears that the dems will re-take the house. Sane people rejoice!
But I would argue that the news is not all that great. Why? Consider the bone headed and divisive politics that the republican party indulged in over the last period of time. Despite that, you can’t say that the midterm results evidence a repudiation of those tactics. Not really. Folks turned out for republican candidates. And that is troubling.
You might argue that the repudiation will come in slow motion. That unless the republicans reform, they will be turfed out of the White House and the Senate. I don’t believe that. There are two reasons why
- voter memory is selective and short. Back in 2010, you might have thought that voters would remember that republicans presided over the 2008 recession, and that Obama and the dems turned things around. Nope. That was forgotten, and voters reacted instead to BS about “death squads” and Obamacare. Good governance got a nasty spanking in the 2010 midterms.
- the fusion between conservatives, hard right, and evangelicals is stronger than you might think. At least for the foreseeable future, these groups see that the only way to keep a hold on power is by sticking together and voting for republicans.
In other words, after we get done celebrating that the dems now control the House, and we don’t need to watch 200 more votes to repeal Obamacare, we need to think strategically how to broaden and strengthen the democratic party coalition.
A quick follow – looking at the dem governors’ races flips, a trend is faintly visible. Dems who ran as the “adult in the room” did well. I am thinking, for example of how Kelly beat Kobach in Kansas promising a fresh start from the mess made by former GOP governor Brownbach. Also Whitmer beat Schuette in Michigan on “… fixing the damn roads”. In Maine, voters went for dem Mills over OP candidate Moody after the populist t LePage was termed out.
This may be a strategy to break the republican coalition of crazies joined together at the hip. Put adults back in control!
… one of the major lessons for Republicans may be that they need to embrace Trump’s style even more. A blue wave for Democrats never really materialized because Republicans were able to energize their own voters through a campaign full of racial anxiety and culture war items.
Embrace Trump more? Yuck!
So being the “adult in the room” does not mean being soft and conciliating to the nutcases who play he “Trump is ok”game. I means calling them out for what they are — opportunists, charlatans, and dangerous! We should not be thinking about going back to Obama firs term, Mr. Nice Guy tactics. You don’t negotiate with folks who cannot e trusted. You have to fight them. The only question is how to do it effectively.
Not convinced? Then throw your min back a few months, and ask what was the republican strategy to win the midterms? Don’t remember? It was the tax cut for the rich! And it was stupid – a budget buster that actually hurt aerage folks who could no longer deduct state taxes on the federal returns. This was surely a no adults in the room type of thing. And, it didn’t work. My question — will this unfortunate exercise in folly sink into the primordial goo that is Trump era politics? Or should republicans pay for their cynical stupidity?