It’s no great mystery why only 2 incumbent Presidents’ have gotten a shave-and-a-haircut in their inaugural midterms. Actually it’s simple political physics. The party in power is basking in the glory of winning control, and knows they have 2 more years left to get shit done, they get complacent. The party out of power is white hot pissed, and wants some of their own back, and show up in droves. And the small, and dwindling number of true independents have a midterm motto, Throw the bums out! Having no party loyalties, they feel free to hate whomever is in power, not matter how things are going. Basically they’re spoiled brats.
Let’s be honest, the only reason these midterms are still even interesting is because the 6 far right radicals in the SCOTUS overturned Roe v Wade. That decision transcended age and gender, infuriating women that their own rights to bodily autonomy now belonged to older, rich, white GOP politicians. And the Democrats have been the beneficiary of the SCOTUS’s stupidity. Right now, The Cook political Report is predicting that the GOP will pick up 12-25 seats next Tuesday. Without Roe, I would have predicted that the GOP would pick up 35-50 seats. With Roe, I’m not so sure that Charlie Cook doesn’t have his head up his ass.
But now let’s get into the political weeds a bit, and I’ll show you what I’m talking about. Politics is above all else, a matter of timing. If the presidential election had been held in 1991 instead of 1992, George HW Bush would have won in a walkover. In 1991, his popularity, coming off of a successful Operation Desert Storm was at an incredible 91%. But the economy experienced a post war recession, Bill Clinton was smart enough to throw his hat in the ring, promising to fix the economy and balance the budget, and Pappy Bush was toast.
Likewise, if these midterms had been held in November of 2021, The Democrats would have expanded their majority in both the House and the Senate, and already be off to the races on their agenda. After all, back in 1991 I don’t remember anybody who wasn’t a GOP incumbent that was screaming and yelling at Biden and the administration cutting them $1600 stimulus checks, adding $600 a week to their state unemployment benefits, and overseeing an uber successful vaccine rollout and distribution operation that pulled the country out of the Covid crisis. All while the GOP fought kicking and screaming over bodily autonomy for vaccinations. But not for a woman’s uterus, huh?
It is what it is. The Democrats will win or lose next Tuesday, but we have to look at the terrain they’re fighting on. In 2022, the Democrats are running on a solid list of accomplishments, and more plans and an agenda to move on going forward. The GOP is running, when they can bother to impose a little message discipline, on the economy and inflation, blaming Biden and the Democrats for the national ills. And it just might do the trick. The Democrats have a solid list of accomplishments to run on, and it may not be enough.
But what happens if the GOP wins next Tuesday? The GOP will take control of either the House or the Senate, or both. And what is their agenda to move the country forward? well, how about this? According to the rabid dogs in the GOP House caucus, they will spend the next 2 years trying to impeach Biden, VP Kamala Harris. Oh yeah, and according to rich shitheels like Senator Rick Scott in Florida, and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, they’ll raise federal taxes on the poor and lower middle class, gut Medicare and Social Security, and hold a series of show votes to give huge, unpaid for tax cuts to corporations and uber rich shitpoke donors.
But even worse, the GOP has once again let its Freudian slip show. There is plenty of public reporting out there to show that the GOP, and its rich donors actually want economic upheaval in 2023 as a way of using it to hammer Biden going into 2024. That is the genesis of the GOP plan to hold the debt ceiling hostage in return for draconian social spending cuts. In fact, McCarthy is already bragging about it.
And as past history has shown, if there’s one thing that Wall Street hates, it’s uncertainty. And McCarthy is already threatening to rattle that saber as often as possible. And every time he rattles that saber, and the Democrats hold firm, the stock market tanks, and American citizens see their previous 401k accounts go down the shitter. Which is fine for McCarthy and the GOP, because they think this gives them campaign leverage going into 2024.
But here’s the thing. If the Democrats win next Tuesday, then McCarthy and McConnell can obstruct on raising the debt ceiling and blaming the Democrats, because they’re in the minority! But if the GOP retakes either the House or the Senate, then they’re in the majority! It is going to be their responsibility to become a part of the solution, and not the problem. And the Democrats can hammer them with that.
Former conservative radio show host, and now the executive editor of The Bulwark, Charlie Sykes, summed up the 2022 Republican party when he said on MSNBC that The current national GOP is nothing more than a 24/7/365 outrage machine. They have no plans, no agenda, no vision, the only purpose of the RNC and GOP is to build outrage and white grievance in the base. And that will only take them as far as their Trump base, because nobody else will buy into it.
One last thing to consider. Whatever the outcome of next Tuesday, the 2024 GOP presidential primaries are going to be a Gobsmack mosh pit of far-right insanity. It’s already starting. Traitor Tot is already in open warfare with his former toady, GOP Governor Ron Pissantis. They’re both pissed, and they’re both trading blows. Beyond that, there is nobody from the sane wing of the GOP that is going to jump into this Thunderdome, other than possibly the delusional Mike Pence. Trump or no, you’re going to have bottom-of-the-kitty-litter-box candidates like Calgary Teddy Cruz, Lone Star Greg Abbott, Dusty Doug Ducey, and Mount Rushmore Kristi Noem. And while they flay each other alive with Trumpian insanity, the Democrats run on their record for the first 2 years, and on their plans for the next 4 years. I can’t imagine a contrast starker than that.
8 more days to go. Get out and vote, Teri and I have. But when you look at things in a sane political light, it would be better for the GOP to actually narrowly lose next Tuesday. Because in the minority it would allow them to use that status to obstruct the Democrats, and hold the debt ceiling hostage to their advantage. But if they’re in the majority, then it is incumbent on them to actually govern. I swear to God, you can’t make this lame shit up.