Well, obviously my wizard hat is on the fritz, my crystal brain has some kind of wiring issue, and my gut has betrayed me. I expected a red tsunami, and we all know how that worked out.
Many conservatives are now looking for someone to blame, and there are a lot of candidates. Feckless Rinos, lying Dems, Trump, bad GOP candidates, a corrupt MSM, suspicious poll malfunctions in AZ, pollsters who couldn’t pick the winner of a one-horse race, and on and on.
There’s probably some truth in each theory, because there is plenty of blame to go around.
For example, many have pointed to bad GOP candidates, and said Walker and Oz lost (though Walker could still prevail in a run-off) because of their manifest flaws. And yes, if the GOP had nominated better candidates in those cases, they may have won.
But are Rafael Warnock (a phony, unqualified and racist “pastor” who preaches racism while he’s also evicting poor blacks from his shady, church-owned real estate) and John Fetterwoman (a hulking combination of life-long failure, leftist extremism and crippling cognitive dysfunction) better candidates?
The latter is especially hard to understand, because PA has voted for years like a purple state, which means that a moderate – on either side – should get way more votes than an extremist on either side. In which case a mushy moderate quasi-conservative like Oz should get a lot more votes than a far-lefty like Fetterman, even without the stroke.
And if bad candidate quality were the reason so many GOPers lost, how can we make sense of Kari Lake, Tudor Dixon and Lee Zeldin all losing to absolutely awful candidates?
Yes, the pollsters were terrible, again! But for the first time, they were terrible in the opposite direction, over-estimating GOP performance, as in races where Bolduc, Zeldin, and Dixon were supposed to be tied, but lost by close to double-digits.
There is so much in this election to be confused by. But let me suggest a theory that none of us really want to hear: Many, many of our fellow citizens voted for Democrats, despite claiming to dislike the policies that those Democrats have been pushing, and while fully knowing that those Dems have pushed those policies.
I know. That doesn’t make sense to me either. But hear me out.
It’s a core part of human nature to want to blame the other side when things aren’t going well. In years when the federal government is split, with one party holding the White House and the other in charge of congress, partisans easily do that.
Conservatives with a GOP congress blame the Dem president for everything bad, and lefties with their president and a GOP congress blame the congress, and vice versa. It’s an easy and a natural argument to make, for both sides.
But for the last two years, one party has been in total control of the government. And for the last year and a half, including all the way up through election eve, the vast majority of American voters have told pollsters that they hate the results.
Biden’s overall presidential approval is in the low 40s (among the lowest of the last half century), and his approval by independents – the group that has determined election outcomes in the last half-dozen cycles — on election eve was 28%! The other most reliable election outcome predictor is the right track/wrong track number, and that is around 33/66 – again, one of the lowest recorded numbers in more than half a century!
Those two numbers alone should guarantee a disastrous outcome for the president’s party. When you add the fact that the Dems have had total control of the WH and congress, you remove the only reasonable counter-argument for why they would get the slap on the wrist they got, rather than the Tyson-ian beat-down that those numbers should portend.
Tens of millions said that the biggest issues for them were inflation, the economy, crime and the border. And then many of them voted for the party and the politicians who have demonstrably increased inflation, harmed the economy, increased crime and flooded the country with illegals by opening the border.
After a couple days to sift through the data, I still don’t understand it. I’m going to be interested to see what smart people on our side come up with in terms of analysis or explanation, but in the meantime, I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that millions of people who are disgusted by Dem policies gave them only the mildest of rebukes.
But the Simpson coat of arms has a Latin motto on it, which I am not making up: Nil desperandum. Which means “never despair.”
And even though these are the times that try cautious optimists’ cautious optimism, let’s look at the silver linings on Tuesday’s gray cloud.
Three of the most obnoxious Democrat candidates were soundly thrashed on Tuesday. President of Earth Stacy Abrams is once again Governor of Nowhere, Beta O’Rourke became a three-time loser by losing a butt-kicking contest to a man in a wheelchair, and Charlie lost to RDS by 20 points! (I could have lost by less than that, and my closing statement would have been, “Please vote for Ron DeSantis.”)
For the first time in over 40 years, the congressional leader of a party — Sean Patrick Maloney – lost his seat. To make that even sweeter, his seat was in a blue district in the blue state of NY!
Barring some real long-shot reversals, we are going to have a majority in the house, which means that we’ll have a check on Biden’s worst impulses, and in January we’ll get to see the Speaker’s gavel torn from the desiccated mummy hands of Imhotep Pelosi.
And then there’s Florida, the state the tsunami did not forget.
How do I feel about my adopted home state of over 30 years, you ask?
If I may paraphrase the Canadian national anthem, “O, Florida, our home and native land, true patriot love, in all thy sons command!”
Not only did RDS and Rubio beat their opponents like rented mules, we also turned Miami-Dade red, added 4 house seats (single-handedly giving the GOP a big chunk of their congressional margin of victory nationwide), and achieved super-majorities in both state houses.
After barely edging out a meth-head, gay-hooker-enthusiast opponent by only 30K votes four years ago, DeSantis won this time by 1.5 million votes!
THIS is how the entire national election was supposed to look.
Which brings me to some closing thoughts on a debate that has begun among those of us at CO nation, and around the country: Trump or DeSantis in ‘24?
Since this column is getting long, I’m going to save my thoughts on that for Monday.
I closed my column this past Monday by referring to our long, dark night of the political soul, and hoping that the dawn would begin to break on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, the demented Fetter-biden staggered out of his fetid cave and saw his shadow. So while I still believe that springtime is coming, it looks like we may have two more years of winter.
In the meantime, we’ve got to gather around our digital campfire, bind our political wounds and comfort each other, and keep that fire burning until 2024.
And with the powers vested in me by the great and powerful CO, allow me to deputize you all as honorary Simpsons (malfunctioning wizard hats and all) with these solemn words:
Nil desperandum, people!
4 thoughts on “My Mid-Term Election Post-Mortem (posted 11/11/22)”
I’ve not heard any of the conservative pundits address the possible effect Roe had on the elections. It’s the elephant in the room and I believe a significant contributor to the abysmal outcome. Not one GOP candidate addressed the issue other than to say “we are going to stop killing babies.” This despite ads saying women who have miscarriages will be investigated, and would be required to carry a dead fetus full term or be prosecuted among other draconian threats. Not one candidate said anything to reassure people. or offer a reasonable alternative opinion. It’s an issue and it isn’t going away. For the record I voted straight Republican. U
You have a great point, Sherry. I’ve made a few notes on the topic, and will be writing about it in a future column. I listened to Ben Shapiro talk about this, and he wrapped it into a larger phenomenon: married women voted GOP by around +14%, but single women voted Dem by around +30%. Which makes sense to me on several levels: less financially secure people generally vote for bigger gov’t b/c they think they’re more likely to need subsidies from others, and the majority of single women are less financially secure. They’re also (generally) in more uncommitted relationships, which makes an unplanned pregnancy more daunting, both because of the lack of the father’s financial and emotional support, and b/c of the financial costs associated with having kids.
I know retired women who felt they’d worked hard to get Roe vs Wade passed and feel very angry to be diminished again. And also believe some of the rhetoric that birth control is next. They don’t seem to understand how our court system works ie lobby your state legislators not the Supreme Court Justices. It’s also very clear to me that even some of the most well-educated among us haven’t a clue about economics. “Well can’t we just keep printing money?” In the meantime, god help me, I sent Herschel money. And I’m a Gamecocks fan. Too little to late apparently. 😩
A brief dose of reality: women who “felt they worked hard to get Roe vs Wade passed” are talking out of their… (fill in the blank as befits your own imagination.) Roe v Wade was not “passed,” no legislature voted on it. It was the gift of a “supreme” court. The supreme court is not in the business of either making or passing laws. Operating to about the level of a piss-poor bowling team from Memphis, which is how I shall forever think of them, they did it anyway. Even Ruth Ginsberg, who never understood the job and never should have been in it, spoke – and on more than one occasion even wrote – that Roe was crap reasoning, crap writing – which she recognized despite that she herself was an execrable writer – and had the court doing something that was no part of the job: making law. But, though she said that often enough, she didn’t challenge it, because she agreed with the outcome. So the hell with America, the hell with the separation of powers, and the hell with the damage it did to both the court and the country: she agreed with it, ipso facto it was fine. (Which tells you all you need to know about her personal probity, and what kind of person she was.)
Women who feel they did that are like Biden saying that he got the student loan deal passed by one or two votes. (Yes, he did: he actually said that.) No, he didn’t. Nobody voted on it, it’s an executive order. Something you did all by your little self. Zero legislation, no votes. But he doesn’t know the difference.