Portents of Doom… For Republicans

Portents of Doom… For RepublicansAnother special election has occurred that, more than anything, shows what is building for the upcoming November election.

In the soon to be redistricted out Pennsylvania 18 th district, Conor Lamb won the seat as a Democrat for the first time since 2002. Representative-elect Lamb (results are not certified yet) showed that if you match the district to the candidate, you can win. But he needed help along the way.

Republicans gave him that help. Repeatedly.

Republican Help

First by having the former Congressman have to resign due to not simply having had an affair (practically de rigueur [foreign words and phrases should be italicized] for Republicans these days) but
pressuring the woman to have an abortion. As is the norm with anti-choicers, only abortions that don’t affect them are bad. So his pressuring her caused him to have to resign because her abortion didn’t affect the rest of the Republican caucus. That leaves voters distasteful of Republicans to start.

Then they nominated a fairly boring uninspiring candidate which would normally have won the race because he followed the party line to a T(ea party, yes he was a tea partier first running in 2010 where he barely beat his Democrat opponent twice). When your opponent comes off looking like a dynamic, fresh, and talented guy you would like to see marry your daughter, well, it doesn’t help.

The Pelosi Boogeyman

They tried to tie Lamb to Nancy Pelosi. Lamb said he wouldn’t vote for her as the leader (most likely with the party’s blessing). Pelosi’s no fool; she knows Republicans use her as a boogeyman like they have anytime there isn’t an equally competent woman *cough* Hillary *cough* around to bash.

Then the Republicans in the House passed the ACA repeal. Among the many things it did was show how precarious the state of health insurance for people was. Lots of voters didn’t like that.

“Hey! We Lowered Rich People’s Taxes!”

Then the Republicans passed a giant tax giveaway — The Great Tax Scam Bill of 2017 — to corporations and the rich that took money from the middle class in the form of higher health care premiums.

The Great Tax Scam Bill was designed to be signed in 2018 so it would make it politically unfeasible for the Democrats to reverse anything. Instead, the mentally failing Cheato signed the bill right away — in 2017. This caused automatic cuts in popular spending programs like Medicare, which (unsurprisingly) ticked off all the old people.

The House Says Trump Is Honest

Finally, in the days leading up to the final vote, the Republicans in the House released the “final” report on the TrumpRussia issue. To no one’s surprise, they freely admitted they are trying to cover up what happened by saying nothing occurred between Russia and Trump’s campaign. Democrats then released a comprehensive list of what the Republicans refused to do. (Now many of the Republicans on the committee are backtracking.)

You could say that the final factor was actually Cheato himself. But he’s an eternal problem that was there back in the early days of special elections.

Democratic Help

Additionally, Lamb benefited from the rage that is still in many Democratic voters who realized that they were too complacent in 2016. We know, now, that the election was likely stolen. The party has started instituting quiet reforms. And there is a great deal of effort to register, ID,verify, and vote among Democratic activists. All of the Democratic committees and subcommittees are working to get our likely voters registered and verified to vote.

We also are donating in small but consistent amounts. While Lamb had plenty of large contributions, 50% of his financial support came from small donors of $200 or less. There are over a thousand candidates generating excitement (in the case of California, too many candidates because of its “top two” voting system) in the congressional races.

The Takeaway

It’s hard not to see Lamb being helped more by the Republicans than the Democrats. Lamb’s opponent, Republican State Representative Rick Saccone, ran as “Trump before TrumTrump before Trump was Trump.” This might seem like a stupid move, but Sacone didn’t have much choice.

The Republicans have put themselves in a bad situation. Trump is extremely unpopular. But in the Republican Party, he’s very popular. So if Saccone had abandoned Trump, a bit chunk of his Republican voters would have abandoned him. That’s especially true in a special election where it is very easy to decide to stay home.

But this is a problem that Republicans face everywhere. And it will be just as true November 6, 2018. And the Republican Party is freaking out.

This article is cross-posted at Humorless Rants.

6 thoughts on “Portents of Doom… For Republicans

  1. As a baseball fan (and someone still depressed by November of 2016), I always expect my side to improbably lose at the last moment. Still, I’m hopeful here. Unless there’s a war….

    Lamb’s not my ideal congresscritter in some ways, but I really liked that he campaigned hard for union support.

    • I was listening to the radio and apparently, Reagan said that someone who agrees with the party is an honored ally. I thought that was very good. We Democrats tend to focus on where we don’t agree rather than where we do. I’m all for having conservative Democrats in conservative districts and states. What bugs me is when we have conservative Democrats is liberal areas. One of those people is Dianne Feinstein, who I’ve wanted to be rid of for a long time. Another was Joe Lieberman. And I don’t like my representative, Mike Thompson. He’s okay, but considerably more conservative than the district. But in his case, he’s good enough. On the other hand, I never had a problem with Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Although he was way more conservaive than I am, I think he was a great Democrat.

      The same is true of Doug Jones. My problem with him is that he’s stupid. Voting to gut Dodd-Frank is not something that is going to impress conservative voters. They hate Wall Street as much as Democrats do. So I would have been much more forgiving if he voted to restrict abortion rights, because at least he would have been doing something to win re-election in 3 years. What he did was just screw the nation and didn’t help his political chances at all. If he’s going to continue to do that, he might as well be a Republican. (Except, of course, that his holding the seat makes it much more likely the Democrats can control the Senate for 2 years at least.)

      • Yeah, a North Dakota Democrat also voted for that damn bank bill. And North Dakota has the only state-run bank in the US! That’s about the one solid liberal thing you can get away with in North Dakota, is be against the big banks! Hell, run campaign ads with you shooting large animals in front of a flag or whatever it takes. But you didn’t need to kiss financial industry ass. Not in that state.

  2. I was actually planning on letting you know about the Lamb election considering PA is my home state. Should’ve known you’d already be on top of it; you’re way more up on the news than I am. Nevertheless, I think an important lesson can be taken away from Lamb’s victory: a formula for winning in places like rural areas and rust belt towns in the northern half of the country. In my current home city of Erie, a significant portion of the public trends conservative, but not the frothing-mouth-Trump-supporting kind of conservatives. Lamb’s platform reflects the issues of a good chunk of the white voter pool. He ran on gun owner rights and claimed to be personally opposed to abortion, but he also supported unions and his economic policies trended more liberal. That is everything a lot of the electorate wants. It’s not the platform a radical like me wants, but Lamb is a step in the right direction in places like PA. Really, in a sane world he’d be a Republican; however, as we all know, that party is FUBAR.

    • Long time no hear! Elizabeth wrote this. She got me to do some telephone work from him, and I did sign up, but didn’t follow through, I’m very sad to say — especially given how close the election was. Anyway, I’ll respond more later.

      • Oh, my apologies to Elizabeth! I forget you have other contributors now. I do drop by semi-regularly, but it’s sometimes hard to keep up with politics and maintain my sanity. I value your perspective (and that of your contributors) immensely, however, and when I get the urge to read about politics I come here first.

        Also, I’m excited to see that you’ve got a new project with PR. I haven’t read too much over there yet, but so far I really enjoy it. As always, keep up the good work. You’ll always have a loyal reader in me (however intermittent my visits/comments :) )

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