Well, this isn’t exactly going according to the game plan that the GOP had set up for the 2018 midterm Super Bowl . A few weeks ago, I found it kind of odd when reporting stated that the GOP “message” going into the 2018 midterms was going to be to run almost solely on their massive corporate giveaway tax cut law. It struck me as funny that after 14 months of total governmental control, the only positive accomplishment that the GOP could point too was giving a secretary in Paul Ryan’s district an extra $1.50 a week.
Well, if the wheels have come off of the GOP jalopy, they just opened the trunk to find a flat spare tire. Politico is reporting that apparently the GOP seems to be on the verge of ditching their constant touting of their vaunted tax plan in the upcoming midterms;
Instead, GOP groups that once proudly declared the tax law would be the central fight of the midterms are now airing ads on so-called sanctuary cities and attacking Democrat Conor Lamb’s record as a prosecutor as they try to drag GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone over the finish line in Tuesday‘s election.
The report went on to point out that in the weeks of February 4th and 11th, ads touting taxes accounted for approximately 2/3 of the total GOP ad buys…Two weeks later, that split had dropped to 14%, and in March they have been almost non existent.
This could be a critical problem for the GOP heading into November, for one simple reason. In the House, the Republicans are incumbent heavy, but in trouble. There appears to be much stronger voter enthusiasm in Democratic circles than on the GOP side. Incumbents, especially GOP incumbents need a strong central party message, especially since the House has had a GOP majority for 7 years now. They need accomplishments to run on. And all the GOP has to show for 7 years of House control is their vaunted tax law. Not only don’t GOP incumbents know what their constituents think or want, since they don’t cut 5 and 6 digit contributions, they don’t give a shit what their constituents think. Since they talk at their constituents instead of to them, they need something to blather to the sheeple.
Now, contrast this with the situation on the Democratic side. Ever since November 9th, 2016, pundits have been screaming like a newborn at 3 am about the lack of a coherent national Democratic message. And what has happened since then? We’ve flipped 39 GOP held state seats in special elections, swept the VA statewide offices, and gave the GOP a shave-and-a-haircut in the House, put a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion in New Jersey, flipped a Senate seat in AL, and hopefully tonight will flip a House seat in PA. How, with no coherent national message?!? That’s the point. They are not spouting some master message.
In a large part, these candidates are not the chosen, anointed ones of the state of national Democratic party. They went door to door, collected signatures, and filed to run as Democrats. Virginia’s first transgender delegate won in part by running on potholes in the district’s main thoroughfare. Doug Jones was running on local issues, ignoring the scandal engulfing Roy Jones long before the DSCC finally started ponying up. And Conor Lamb approves of Trump’s tariffs, and has stated that he doesn’t support Nancy Pelosi in her leadership position.
Face it, people hate congress. Period. Full stop. They’ve hated it for years, but at least it pootled along in inoffensive, well rehearsed incompetence. But with the current horror show regime of Trump, people are really fed up. I said it last week, if Beto O’Rourke pills off the upset against Ted Cruz, he won’t do it with a slogan, he’ll do it because he’s showing up in towns to listen where they haven’t laid eyes on an actual candidate since Adam was a lad. Would you rather vote for a face on a billboard, or a human being who at least shook your hand and asked you a question, even if you don’t agree with him on every little thing?
Democrats in “safe” districts can run against Trump to their hearts content. But for these challengers, the DCCC and the DNC need to just siddown and shaddup. Give these candidates the money and support they need, and let them run their campaigns. Every parent learns that at some point you have to let go of the back of the seat and let them ride. Last year in Illinois, we flipped a couple of state and local seats that had never had a Democratic ass resting in them. In Virginia we flipped seats that had gone uncontested cycle after cycle. Texas is going to have a Democratic name in every slot on the ballot. As Pink Floyd so famously sang, “Hey! Hey! Hey! Leave them kids alone!”
The GOP incumbents are in deep kimchi. With Teas heralding the first pitch in the 2018 midterm primary season, congress is going to lurch to a standstill. If GOP incumbents were going to hang their hats on their tax plan, and that message is falling flat on its face, there are going to be no triumphant accomplishments coming down the pike to replace it. Democrats incumbents can run against Trump, and on their resistance, saving healthcare, and Democratic challengers have already honed their local messages by the time they filed their paperwork. First rule of cooking. Don’t open the damn oven door when the souffle is rising.
A note from the author: If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy my e-book, President Evil: A common man looks at Trump and the 2016 GOP primaries.