I have written several articles on postings related to politics. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on these political events.
The Democratic House majority emerged from the 2020 election so bruised and emaciated that experts gave it less than three years to live.
In defiance of polling and pundit expectations, Republicans netted 11 House seats in 2020, leaving Nancy Pelosi’s caucus perilously thin. Since World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of 27 House seats in midterm elections. If Democrats lose more than four in 2022, they will forfeit congressional control.
This outlook would be daunting enough by itself. But 2022 won’t just be the first midterm of Joe Biden’s presidency, it will also be the first federal election held after the House map is redrawn to fit the 2020 census. Republicans maintained their dominance of state governments in last year’s election and will therefore have more opportunities to gerrymander than Democrats will. GOP state governments have final authority over the drawing of 187 congressional districts, while Democrats have such authority over just 75. The existing House map was also the product of a Republican-dominated redistricting process in 2011. But between that year and 2018, suburbs across the nation unexpectedly drifted leftward, thereby breaking many GOP gerrymanders. Now, Republicans will have the opportunity to account for this error, and reshape the House map to the contours of their new coalition. What’s more, even without gerrymandering, Republican-leaning states would be poised to add seats from population shifts alone. All told, the GOP could gain as many as eight House seats in 2022, just from the redrawing of congressional maps, according to The Cook Political Report.My Week In New YorkA week-in-review newsletter from the people who make New York Magazine.
If the headwinds facing House Democrats have been clear since November, the preconditions for overcoming those headwinds have also been discernible: The party needed Joe Biden to stay popular, the Democratic base to stay mobilized — and, above all, for Congressional Democrats to level the playing field by banning partisan redistricting.
A little over 100 days into Biden’s presidency, Democrats are hitting only one of those three marks.
Historically, there’s been a strong correlation between the sitting president’s approval rating and his party’s midterm performance. Only twice in the last three decades has the president’s party gained seats in a midterm election; in both cases, their approval ratings exceeded 60 percent.
Biden’s favorability remains far below that threshold; as of this writing, FiveThirtyEight’s polling average has about 54 percent of Americans approving of the president and 41 percent disapproving. Nevertheless, if that polling average is roughly accurate — and Biden were to retain that level of support come November 2022 — then his party would have a fighting chance. That last if is a big one. Presidential approval almost always declines between the hundred-day mark and the midterm elections. Biden’s current favorability is robust in the abstract. But judged by the standards of presidential “honeymoon” periods, it’s relatively low: The only presidents who had lower approval ratings than Biden after 100 days in office were Gerald Ford and Donald Trump. Meanwhile, as David Shor notes, if one assumes that the Democratic Party’s popularity follows the average historical trajectory of an in-power party, then its current advantage in the House “generic ballot” would be too small to keep it from dipping below 50 percent by Election Day 2022.
Still, there are reasons to think that these historical benchmarks are obsolete. If partisan polarization has put a ceiling on Joe Biden’s support, it could also keep his solid-but-unspectacular approval rating steady going forward: The more firmly Americans are divided into separate partisan camps, the less likely emergent events are to change their allegiances. And there are other reasons to think Biden’s standing may hold up better than his predecessors’. Unlike many recent presidents, Biden is not pursuing any controversial legislative objectives. He is not trying to reform the U.S. healthcare system, or launch a ground invasion of a Middle Eastern country; he’s just trying to enact a bunch of popular infrastructure investments and social welfare programs, funded by popular tax hikes on the wealthy. Further, Biden appears poised to preside over the end of a pandemic, and the strongest economic growth that the U.S. has witnessed since 1984. By November 2022, America may well have the tightest labor market it’s seen since the late 1990s.
So Biden’s polling gives Democrats some cause for hope. Or it would, if Chuck Schumer’s caucus uniformly valued their own party’s political success over Senate tradition.
Earlier this year, the House passed a sweeping democracy reform package that included ambitious (though inadequate) restrictions on partisan gerrymandering. And there was some basis for hoping that this legislation would eventually make it through the Senate. Although Democrats only have a bare majority in the upper chamber — which is dependent on the cooperation of Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from one of America’s reddest states — they were able to get a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill into law. Persuading Manchin and other moderate Democrats to abolish the legislative filibuster, so as to pass redistricting reform, was going to be a tall order. But it looked like Republicans were making the left’s task a bit easier: After a GOP president incited an insurrection on Capitol Hill — and Republicans passed a battery of voting restrictions in states across the country — surely moderate Democrats would recognize the high stakes of making federal representation more small-d democratic.
Alas, this hope turns out to have been misguided. In recent days, Manchin has made clear that he took a very different lesson from the January 6 than progressives did. As Vox’s Andrew Prokop reports:
Some filibuster reformers hope that, as the year goes on, the reality of Republican obstruction will become clear to Manchin and he’ll be driven to change his mind—that Senate rules will in the end be just as negotiable to him as the details of Biden’s stimulus bill. For instance, reformers hoped a GOP filibuster of Democrats’ big voting rights bill, the For the People Act, could spur holdout senators to change the rules to pass it, because it’s so important.
Manchin recoils at the very idea. “How in the world could you, with the tension we have right now, allow a voting bill to restructure the voting of America on a partisan line?” he asked. He says that 20 to 25% of the public already doesn’t trust the system and that a party-line overhaul would “guarantee” that number would increase, leading to more “anarchy” like that at the Capitol on January 6. He added: “I just believe with all my heart and soul that’s what would happen, and I’m not going to be part of it.”
Things could change in the coming weeks — and (small-d) democrats should do what they can to change them. But right now, federal redistricting reform looks dead. Senate Republicans aren’t going to vote for a law that directly costs their party House seats, and moderate Senate Democrats (apparently) won’t vote for one that gives their party a fighting chance at keeping Congress.
If redistricting reform does not happen, then Democrats will need a minor miracle to avert a GOP House takeover two years from now. Nothing short of the strongest midterm showing by any in-power party in modern American history will do. One can tell a story about how Democrats pull that off: As the pandemic recedes, America enters a historic economic boom, and the Democrats’ newfound strength with college-educated suburbanites (who reliably turnout for midterm elections) gives them the supper hand over a GOP increasingly reliant on rural, working-class voters (who’ve been disproportionately likely to sit out midterms).
On Saturday night, however, northern Texas put a dent in this dream.
The Lone Star State’s Sixth Congressional District has been in Republican hands since 1983. But as suburban voters in the Dallas–Fort Worth metro area have drifted left, the district has grown purple (or at least burgundy). In 2020, Trump won the area by just three points. So, Democrats hoped to see their party hold its own in the special House election there this weekend.
The election was effectively a “jungle primary,” in which a large field of Republican and Democratic candidates competed to finish in either first or second place and thus, qualify for a decisive runoff election. Jana Lynne Sanchez, a communications professional who ran a strong campaign for the seat in 2018, was the Democrats’ favored candidate, and was widely expected to make the runoff. Instead, she came in third behind two Republicans, ensuring that the GOP will keep the seat. But that isn’t actually the most dispiriting aspect of the election for the Democratic Party. Were Saturday’s loss born of a mere coordination problem — with too many Democraitc candidates splitting the blue vote — then it would have few implications for the party’s 2022 outlook. But the main source of Sanchez’s woes was underwhelming Democratic turnout: The race’s GOP candidates collectively won 62 percent of the vote, while Democrats claimed just 37 percent. As Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University, told the New York Times, “The Republicans turned out and the Democrats didn’t. That’s a critical takeaway.”
Special elections are special. Many idiosyncratic factors influence the outcomes of individual, off-year House elections. Republicans have held this north Texas seat for nearly forty years, and Democrats were unlikely to flip it with Biden in the White House, so Saturday’s election was always likely to function as a de-facto GOP primary. Given this reality, it’s unsurprising that Republican voters participated at a markedly higher rate. There’s no reason to presume that Democratic turnout will be as lackluster in the midterms as it was on Saturday.
If Democrats do not ban partisan gerrymandering, however, they won’t need strong turnout to keep the House in 2022 — they’ll need spectacular turnout to do so. And events in north Texas last weekend suggest that this scenario is as far-fetched as it sounds.
The Democratic Party will either use its tenuous grip on power to democratize House representation, or it will (almost certainly) surrender the chamber in 2023. Barring an epiphany on the other side of the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi should get ready to raise the white flag.
Will Bidenflation Sound The Deathknell For Democrats In 2022?
Inflation has been running hot as a combination of astronomical spending, historic monetary expansion, supply chain woes, and strengthening global demand applies pressure on prices. The U.S. annual inflation rate surged to a decade-high of 4.2%, while producer prices advanced 6.2% to the highest on record. Whether it is buying groceries or purchasing a used automobile, life in America is getting expensive. What implications could this have on the 2022 mid-term elections? The Oval Office and Democrats are reportedly concerned that inflation will diminish the odds of retaining the House next year. The Democrats may want to pray that higher prices and a weaker U.S. dollar are “transitory.”
A 2022 Challenge For Democrats
Will Republicans pick “Bidenflation” or “Joeflation” as their election campaign catchphrase? Will Democrats focus their efforts on the enormous post-pandemic spending on progressive goodies and former President Donald Trump to ensure they stay in power?
The mid-term elections are still more than a year away, but current circumstances have leftists anxious about their chances in 2022. As a result, Democrats are trying to quash or mitigate any negative factor that would further threaten their seven-seat majority.
Even before inflation dominated international business headlines, the GOP’s odds of regaining the House of Representatives were already high. Be it redistricting or post-World War II electoral trends, the right could be a thorn in the president’s side after November 2022 as long as they move on from the disarray and home in on issues Americans care about – not pronouns and declaring everything racist.
In this case, the crucial pocketbook issue would be inflation. Households in swing districts are unconcerned about the drama surrounding Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) or President Biden joking about running over journalists for asking questions. Instead, they want someone or something to ensure they have money in their wallets to survive higher supermarket prices.
President Biden could emphasize how his coronavirus stimulus and relief packages proffer working-class families more dollars in the form of guaranteed income for Americans with children or free college. But, at the same time, the GOP could counter that by arguing that there is no such thing as a free lunch and that the taxpayers are still footing the bill, either by kicking the can down road or the inflation tax.
In the end, it might come down to the age-old question: “Are you better off now than you were a year ago?” Unfortunately, considering that inflation is likely to continue advancing in the months to come, the Federal Reserve might need to raise interest rates, and the economic recovery may not roar as economists would anticipate, many Americans might be worse off over the next 16 months. And that spells doom for the indictment of the Bidenomics doctrine.
But the Biden administration could employ the key ace in its sleeve: Trump.
When In Doubt, Blame Trump?
Should voters refrain from buying his message, President Biden could break the glass in an emergency and pull the lever of blaming his predecessor. Would this be a successful and correct strategy to employ?
Do Trump and the Republicans bear responsibility for the inflationary crisis brewing in America today? They, too, approved enormous spending bills and ran record deficits, adding to the national debt. It was the former president who appointed Fed Chair Jerome Powell to his post. The previous leadership abandoned fiscal responsibility and put together COVID-related programs, such as the paycheck protection program (PPP), that distorted the economy and required central bank support.
Indeed, blaming past administrations is the national pastime for incumbent governments. How often did former President Barack Obama blame the Bush administration? In the early days of his term, Trump routinely stated that he “inherited a mess” from Obama. However, when households are observing that their dollar’s purchasing power is eroding, voters are indifferent to whose fault it is. Americans are smarter than that – and they want it solved without pointing fingers.
This would not bode well for a Democrat brand that is already drowning in unpopular wokeness orthodoxy.
A White House In Denial?
The administration is either in denial or rubbing a genie’s lamp, hoping that inflation will disappear before the mid-term contests. The U.S. central bank has described inflation as “transitory,” and Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse and Press Secretary Jen Psaki have echoed the Eccles Building’s position. Inflation being nothing more than a blip on the radar is wishful thinking at this point. When an institution prints one-quarter of all U.S. dollars ever created in a year and Uncle Sam spends runs record federal deficits, the United States metastasizes into an inflation nation, with the pre-coronavirus expectation of Roaring Twenties of 2.0 quickly mutating into a dreadful sequel of the 1970s.
Can Democrats Avoid a Wipeout in 2022?
Biden’s plan: Go big or go home.
The good news for Democrats who watched Joe Biden unveil a historically ambitious agenda last night is that newly elected presidents have almost always passed some version of their core economic plan—particularly when their party controls both congressional chambers, as Biden’s does now.
The bad news: Voters have almost always punished the president’s party in the next midterm election anyway. The last two times Democrats had unified control—with Bill Clinton in 1993–94 and Barack Obama in 2009–10—they endured especially resounding repudiations in the midterms, which cost Clinton his majority in both chambers and Obama the loss of the House.
The scale of the agenda Biden laid out last night underscores Democrats’ conviction that their best chance to avoid that fate again in 2022 is to go big with their proposals. Counting the coronavirus stimulus plan approved earlier this year, Biden has now proposed more than $5 trillion in new spending initiatives over the next decade—far more than Clinton or Obama ever offered—to be partially paid for by tax increases on corporations and affluent families. On cultural and social issues, Democrats are likewise pursuing a much more ambitious lineup than Clinton or Obama did; Biden is endorsing measures related to a panoramic array of liberal priorities, including election reform; police accountability; citizenship for young undocumented immigrants; statehood for Washington, D.C.; LGBTQ rights; and gun control.
“There’s a very different strategy this time,” David Price, a Democratic representative from North Carolina and a former political scientist, told me. “There’s an openness now to the sense that a bolder plan, ironically, might have greater appeal for independents and others we need to attract than trying to trim and split the difference” with Republicans.
That “bolder plan” from Biden and congressional Democrats is so all-encompassing that historians are legitimately comparing it to the two titanic 20th-century programs that transformed government’s role in American society: the New Deal under Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s and the Great Society under Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s. “This is definitely FDR and Johnson territory, especially in the current age of polarization, where so little gets done,” Julian Zelizer, a Princeton historian, told me.
What makes Biden’s approach especially striking is that he’s pursuing these goals with a tiny House majority and a Senate split exactly 50–50 between the parties. (By comparison, Democratic senators had a 23-seat advantage during Roosevelt’s presidency and a 36-seat advantage during Johnson’s.) Biden’s job-approval rating stands only slightly above 50 percent; most surveys suggest that his base of support hasn’t changed much since the November election, despite a recovering economy and his success at accelerating the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations.
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Republicans believe the magnitude of Biden’s plans will inspire significant backlash from GOP voters in 2022. “Democrats get in trouble when they overreach on spending, taxes, regulating guns, and when the border is a mess,” Bill McInturff, a longtime Republican pollster, told me. “You can see the possibility already [that] all of this could come together in 2022 and create a difficult cycle for President Biden and the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.” Democrats, for their part, are hoping that they “will be rewarded for solving big problems and … Republicans will be punished for sitting on the sidelines and just driving political rhetoric,” John Anzalone, one of Biden’s lead pollsters during the election, told me.
Yet Democrats’ fear of failure may be fueling the ambitions on vivid display last night just as much as their hope of success is. While most Democrats believe that going big offers them their best chance of maintaining at least one of their majorities next year, many quietly acknowledge that, no matter what they achieve, they face long odds of holding the House in the first midterm election after the decennial redistricting process spurred by the census. And given the difficulty of reaching consensus with Republicans, many Democrats think that their window for significant legislative accomplishments will slam shut if the GOP wins either chamber in 2022.
“There is this recognition of this moment and how fleeting it is, and an evaluation that, absent the trifecta of control, it is very hard to move big policy,” said a senior official at one of the party’s leading outside advocacy groups, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal strategizing. “So you have to take your shot. I think that’s part of what undergirds ‘Go big.’”
In one sense, past presidents’ first two years in office offer Biden and congressional Democrats reason to be optimistic about executing their plans. Looked at another way, though, that history is discouraging, dauntingly so.
What’s encouraging is how past presidents have managed to push through important parts of their agenda. Presidents don’t get everything they want during that initial two-year period. Clinton, for instance, failed to pass comprehensive health-care reform, and Donald Trump failed to repeal the comprehensive reform that Obama did pass—the Affordable Care Act. But presidents whose party controls Congress typically do pass some version of their core economic proposals during their first two years, even if it usually happens after some significant remodeling.
Trump and George W. Bush each pushed massive tax cuts through a Republican-controlled Congress during their first year in office. In his first months, Ronald Reagan muscled through a landmark tax reduction, despite a Congress divided between a Republican Senate and a Democratic House. With the support of a Democratic-controlled Congress, Obama signed both a large economic-stimulus package and the ACA, and Clinton, by the narrowest possible margins, likewise enacted his deficit-reduction and public-investment plans.
In each of these cases, the president was compelled to abandon or trim key elements of his blueprint. Congress forced Clinton to jettison his BTU tax (an early attempt to tax energy consumption) and accept the creation of a commission to study entitlement cuts. Dissent from two moderate Republican senators forced Bush to slash his tax cut by nearly one-fourth. Obama was compelled to reduce his stimulus spending to win over Senate Republican votes, and to drop the ACA’s public option to obtain the last Democratic votes he needed. Even Reagan’s watershed reductions in personal-income-tax rates were scaled back. Yet while these concessions were seen at the time as major setbacks, they are now remembered, if at all, as merely smudges on legislative achievements that rank among each of these presidents’ most consequential.
This history augurs well for Congress eventually approving some version of the infrastructure and human-capital plans Biden touted last night, even if the plans are adjusted to win approval from the Democratic Party’s most conservative senators, such as West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. (Democrats can pass most of Biden’s economic agenda through the reconciliation process, which requires only a simple-majority vote in the Senate. His noneconomic priorities face much dimmer prospects of passing in the upper chamber, unless Senate Democrats agree to curtail the filibuster.) Democrats often blame the devastating losses Obama suffered in 2010—he lost more House seats than any president in a midterm since 1938—on his administration’s overly cautious approach, and they don’t want to repeat that mistake. “Trying to placate the Republicans with a bunch of tax cuts and going for a more modest package, thinking that would gain support, turned out to be dead wrong,” Price told me. “You got a weaker bill and no bipartisan support: the worst of both worlds. We are trying to get a stronger bill and assuming the net effect will be to increase pressure on Republicans” who are opposing it.
Price, Anzalone, and other Democrats cited several reasons to feel confident that the party can pass a sweeping agenda and avoid the big losses that Obama and Clinton suffered early on. For starters, compared with 1994 and 2010, the party isn’t defending as many conservative-leaning House or Senate seats: In 2022, the party will not be defending a single Senate seat in a state that backed Trump, and will have to protect only seven Democratic lawmakers in House districts that he won. Another key difference: For all of his other ambitions, Biden isn’t trying to remake the health-care system, as both Clinton and Obama were in their first two years. Nothing in Biden’s agenda “so touches the intimate lives of the American public” as health care or provokes as impassioned a reaction, Sean McElwee, a pollster for progressive Democratic candidates and organizations, told me.
Without health care on the table, Republicans haven’t been able to mobilize the kind of uprising from powerful business interests and grassroots conservatives that coalesced against both Clinton and Obama. (The Tea Party emerged during Obama’s first two years.) The absence of such sustained opposition—key business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have in fact praised many of Biden’s proposals—may help explain why public polls have been in Biden’s favor: They’ve consistently found a substantial majority of Americans supporting Biden’s stimulus plan, and a narrower but still consistent majority backing his infrastructure proposal. “That’s in large part because there has not been a coherent message against Biden’s plan or a large mobilization against his agenda,” McElwee said.
Most of the key elements of the American Families Plan that Biden laid out last night—such as the expanded tax credit for children, universal pre-K, and paid family leave—poll well too, as does raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for them. The Republicans’ “problem is they can’t scare Americans anymore on this,” Anzalone said. “These are things Americans want at the 60 and 65 percent level, so scare away and see if that works.” Voters, Anzalone insisted, are “going to reward action and solving the problems America faces.”
Yet even with all these potential differences, electoral history still looms heavily over Democrats. Midterms don’t typically produce significant losses for the president’s party in Senate elections, but they are very much the rule in the House. Assuming there are no surprises in any of the pending special House elections, Republicans can win back the lower chamber if they gain five seats next year. In a recent analysis circulated among Democratic activists, Michael Podhorzer, a senior official at the AFL-CIO, calculated that in the 41 midterm elections held since 1870, the president’s party has kept its House losses to fewer than five seats only five times. Even most presidents with approval ratings that exceeded 50 percent (as Biden’s average rating does now) lost more House seats than that, Podhorzer calculated. Further compounding the risk: 2022 will be the first election after a redistricting process in which Republicans will control the drafting of many more districts than Democrats will, because of the GOP’s dominance in state legislatures and governor’s mansions. That alone could cost Democrats several House seats.
Republicans see a conventional midterm dynamic developing. “I can already tell you GOP intensity and turnout will be through the roof in 2022,” McInturff, the veteran GOP pollster, tweeted this week. In the latest national NBC News poll, which McInturff’s firm conducts with a Democratic partner, the share of Republicans who strongly disapprove of Biden’s performance now roughly equals the share of Democrats who strongly disapproved of Trump in 2017, ahead of the 2018 Democratic wave (about three-fourths in each case).
The prospect that Democrats can gin up strong enthusiasm among their base is the party’s biggest source of optimism. The Democratic voter-targeting firm Catalist has calculated that some 92 million Americans voted Democratic in at least one of the past three elections; to hold one or both chambers, the party might need only a little more than 50 million of them to turn out next year.
Biden last night showed one approach to mobilizing those voters: underscoring what he will do for them in his first two years. But if Democrats are to avoid the midterm deluges that submerged each of their past two presidents, some in the party believe an even more urgent task may be one that Biden, with his emphasis on bipartisanship, hasn’t really begun: showing Democratic voters what Republicans will do to them if they regain power in Congress next year. In the meantime, Democrats are racing the clock to pass an agenda that rivals FDR’s and LBJ’s—in a country and a Congress divided far more closely between the parties than when those presidents made their indelible marks on history.
The Democrats Have to Fight for Our Democracy Because the Republicans Won’t
Wisconsin-based reporter John Nichols co-chairs the National Commission for Voter Justice, an organization committed to promoting citizen participation in our elections. He’s had a front row seat as his state’s governor has taken the lead in a national effort to suppress voter turnout, particularly among left-leaning groups and demographics.
Gov. Scott Walker and his cronies have worked hard to tip the balance against competitive elections in Wisconsin — with extreme gerrymandering, restrictive voter ID requirements, schemes to limit early voting, and an assault on the independence and integrity of the former Government Accountability Board.
Walker has emerged as a national leader in the corporate-sponsored push to upend practices and procedures that are designed to make voting easy. This has put the governor and many of his closest allies — including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville — at odds with Wisconsin’s historic commitment to high-turnout elections.
Not every Wisconsinite Republican has been willing to along:
Former state Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz broke with the Republican caucus in 2014 on voting rights issues, telling Wisconsin radio hosts Mike Crute and Dominic Salvia: “I am not willing to defend them anymore. I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this.”
“It’s just sad when a political party has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics,” explained Schultz, who did not seek re-election that year. “We should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.”
After the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in their 2013 Shelby County v. Holder ruling, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner tried to rectify the situation:
The official biography of one of Wisconsin’s senior Republicans, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, proudly declares: “Throughout his tenure in Congress, Jim has fought to protect the gains made during the civil rights movement. As Judiciary Committee chairman, he introduced the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006. After approximately 20 hearings, the measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. However, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of this law. After, Jim introduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014, a bipartisan, bicameral modernization of the original 1965 law that ensures Americans’ most sacred right is protected.”
Sensenbrenner continues to advocate for the revitalization of the Voting Rights Act — along with Congressional Black Caucus members such as Milwaukee Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Georgia Congressman John Lewis.
Sensenbrenner does not have many Republican co-sponsors for his legislation. But he is undaunted. “Ensuring that every eligible voter can cast a ballot without fear, deterrence and prejudice is a basic American right,” he explained several years ago. “I would rather lose my job than suppress votes to keep it.”
But Sensenbrenner has been stymied by his colleagues in the House of Representatives. The Republicans (state and federal) have moved full steam ahead to gain every ounce of advantage they can out of the Holder v. Shelby ruling. Meanwhile, recent Supreme Court rulings have gone even further to help Republicans game elections through racially motivated gerrymandering and voter purges.
Last week, Stanford political science professor Adam Bonica wrote a column for the New York Times that helped explain both why the Republicans are so motivated to mess with people’s voting rights and why the Democrats would be well-advised to fight back as forcefully as possible.
The simplest way of explaining this is that the demographics and voting preferences of the electorate have developed in such a way that higher voter turnout helps the Democrats and hurts the Republicans. This is unfortunate for two reasons. First, it gives the Republicans a strong motivation to discourage civic engagement and participation, and to go after people’s voting rights and all efforts to make voting easier and more convenient. Second, it makes the Democrats look like they’re being partisan when they promote civic engagement and participation and work to protect people’s voting rights. From the Republicans’ point of view, easier registration, more days of early voting, more voting machines/shorter lines, vote-by-mail, etc., are all partisan efforts to take away their jobs and their majorities. And, the thing is, it’s simply true that they’ll generally do worse if more people vote.
There’s two conflicting values at play here. It’s a seriously dangerous development that one party is so threatened and frankly disadvantaged by voter participation that they (with a major assist from the Supreme Court) are systematically looking to roll back voting rights and reforms. The more the Democrats push back, the less consensus on the basic American value of representative democracy there will be. Yet, if the Republicans are the only ones willing to use their power to shape electoral law, they will ultimately succeed in their quest to destroy our system of government and the values that underpin it.
That’s why the July/August issue of the Washington Monthly is dedicated to convincing the Democratic Party to take up the banner of civic participation and voting rights. Our editor-in-chief explains the game plan in Winning Is Not Enough and he also discussed it in a The Hill television interview (watch here) yesterday with Krystal Ball. Some of his ideas are echoed in Prof. Bonica’s piece, including statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington DC, and universal vote-by-mail.
At the conclusion of his argument explaining all the ways that Democrats can benefit from higher voter participation, Prof. Bonica offered the following rationale:
This is not about weaponizing electoral institutions for partisan gain; it is about delivering on the promise of American democracy. The nation is at its best when democracy is on the rise. Many of our most celebrated figures — George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez — fought to enfranchise the disenfranchised and left a more inclusive republic as their legacy. Let’s finish what they started.
It’s a genuine problem that things have developed in such a way that “delivering on the promise of American democracy” by encouraging people to participate in our civic life and protecting their right and ability to do so is synonymous with partisan gain for the Democratic Party. But that’s where we are. Fighting to win elections has become fighting to have meaningful elections at all.
I’d argue that young voters will eventually get older and participate at higher levels, and given their strong distaste for the Republican Party, that will wipe away the Republicans’ ability to undermine our democracy. But there’s the rather large matter of the Supreme Court. It is setting up to have a strong conservative majority for the next few decades, and that’s going to mean that this war will not end on favorable terms anytime soon.
What’s certain is that the Democratic Party can’t avoid this fight.
Why Democrats may defy history and win the 2022 midterms
Democrats have to defy history to hold onto the House in the 2022 midterms. As I’ve noted before, the president’s party almost always loses House seats in the midterms. History, though, is a guide, not a fortune teller.
This week’s special election in New Mexico’s 1st congressional district is part of a larger trend that shows us that if President Joe Biden remains as popular as he is now, Democrats have a fighting chance to maintain House control.
Democrat Melanie Stansbury beat Republican Mark Moores by 26 points in the special election to replace Deb Haaland, who represented the district until she joined the Biden administration as interior secretary earlier this year. She did so in a district that Biden won by 23 points in 2020, Haaland took it by 16 points that same year and Hillary Clinton won by 17 points in 2016. In other words, Stansbury didn’t just match but slightly exceeded the baseline Democratic performance in the district.
- Of course, this was just one special election. But there have been a slew of special elections, mostly on the state legislative level since Biden became president, that seem to indicate something similar. Look at these specials using the past two presidential elections (giving more weight to 2020) as a baseline.
Democrats seem to be doing 2 points to 5 points better than you’d expect in a neutral political environment, depending on whether you look at all special elections involving at least one Democrat and Republican or those taking place with only one Democrat and one Republican.
This 2 to 5 point Democratic advantage matches pretty much what we saw in the national congressional generic ballot. It is also pretty much identical to the results we witnessed in last year’s election. Biden won by 4.5 points nationally, and Democrats were victorious in the national House vote by about 3 points.
The common thread through these special elections is that Biden is popular. His approval rating has been north of 50% throughout his entire presidency. When we limit ourselves to only polling that asked voters (i.e. not all adults), Biden’s approval rating is still above 50%.
Presidential approval ratings aren’t all that matter during midterm elections — but they do matter. There have been six presidents who have lost House majorities during a midterm in the polling era. All but Dwight Eisenhower (a war hero who always seemed to do worse politically than his approval rating indicated) had an approval rating below 50%.
Put another way, the presidents whose parties lost the House in midterm elections were almost all more unpopular than Biden is right now.
Now, that may not save Democrats next fall because all but the most popular presidents have lost seats in midterms, even if their party didn’t lose House control. The Democrats have almost no room to spare as they won a slim majority in the 2020 elections.
The potential saving grace for Democrats is the relationship between midterm voting patterns and approval of the president has only increased over time. Since 2006, the president’s party has won at least 86% of those voters who approve of the job the president is doing. They have never lost more than 90% of voters who disapprove of the president’s job during the same period.
The bottom line is that if you approve of the president, you’re very likely to vote for his party, and if you disapprove, you’re very likely to vote for the opposition in this polarized era.
In 2018, Republican House candidates won 88% of those who approved of Donald Trump’s job performance and lost 90% who disapproved. Republicans lost the House because more voters disapproved of Trump (54%) than approved (45%).
Biden, at this point, is inverse of this with an approval rating in the mid 50s and a disapproval rating in the low 40s.
Again, history suggests that Biden and particularly the Democrats’ position should fade. I have pointed out that the White House party’s position on the generic ballot from this point to the election should get worse. Additionally, special election results sometimes can get worse for a party the further we get from the beginning of the presidential term.
But Biden has one thing going for him that acts as a counter to the normal cycle: an approval rating that is steadiest for any president since World War II through this point in his term. He didn’t experience a big honeymoon in his approval rating after his inauguration, and he hasn’t seen a decline either. Biden’s current approval rating looks awfully similar to the 52% who held a favorable view of him in the 2020 exit polls.
If Biden doesn’t lose ground going forward, the 2022 midterms may prove to be an ahistorical event.
Good policies alone won’t win 2022 elections for Democrats
Democrats need to turn the midterm elections into a referendum on the Trump cult and GOP sycophancy toward his assault on democracy.
Many Democrats are leery about the party’s ability to retain control of Congress in 2022. The incumbent president’s party normally loses ground in midterm elections, and Democrats have little margin for error.
Lose a half-dozen House seats, and the Biden administration will find itself stymied. Lose the Senate, and total paralysis will set in: zombie government personified by Sen. Mitch McConnell.
It’s been reported that President Joe Biden believes that when people understand all that Democrats have done for them — bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control, restoring the U.S. economy, bringing unemployment down, passing long-delayed, badly needed infrastructure repair — things will take care of themselves at the polls.
With all respect, if Biden thinks that, he’s dreaming.
What got Biden elected, what drove the voter turnout that won him an extraordinary 81 million votes, was the majority’s revulsion and fear regarding Donald Trump. If Democrats want to prevail in 2022, good government won’t be enough. They need to turn the midterm elections into a referendum on the Trump cult and GOP sycophancy toward his alarming assault on democracy.
“Here in the U.S., there’s a growing recognition that this is a bit like [WWE] — that it’s entertaining, but it’s not real,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said recently. “I think people recognize it’s a lot of show and bombast, but it’s going nowhere. The election is over. It was fair.”
Would that it were so.
Anyway, only a bit like the World Wrestling Entertainment? Not for nothing is Trump a member of the pro wrestling Hall of Fame. As I pointed out in 2016, he basically stole his whole act from Dr. Jerry Graham, the bleach-blond supervillain of 1950s TV rasslin’ at Sunnyside Gardens in Trump’s native Queens. The swaggering, the boasting, the pompadour hairdo — “I have the body that men fear and women adore,” Graham used to say — it’s all the same.
Asked the subject of Graham’s doctorate, his manager once confided, “He’s a tree surgeon.” Smashing rivals with balsa wood chairs, bleeding copiously from chicken blood capsules, the Graham Brothers drew 20,000 fans to grudge matches in Madison Square Garden. Riots broke out among those naive enough to believe the mayhem was real.
But few confused pro wrestling with a real sport. In the eighth grade, I thought it was the funniest thing on TV. Trump appears to have drawn a different lesson: The bigger the lie and the more flamboyant the liar, the more some people will believe it. Hence his “Stop the Steal” rallies this summer. And yes, most of the costumed bumpkins in the red MAGA hats believe Trump’s preposterous falsehoods about his landslide victory.
He’s turning the GOP into an anti-democratic cult of personality. Precious few Republicans have the political courage of a Mitt Romney, a Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., or a Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. Trump’s doing his best to purge any Republican who’s ever crossed him. This is providing Democrats with a political opportunity not to be missed.
Polls show that upward of half of GOP voters believe that “audits” like the farcical spectacle under way in Arizona will reverse the 2020 election; fully 3 in 10 expect that Trump will somehow be “reinstated” as president this summer. It’s beginning to appear that the Big Man with the bouffant and the diseased ego may actually believe this fantasy, too.
Two thoughts: America being America, some form of ritual violence will almost surely result. Something like Jan. 6, except with guns. Second, 3 in 10 Republicans amounts to maybe 10%, give or take, of the national electorate. (The party’s been shrinking since Trump took over.) That’s roughly the same proportion that pollsters say subscribes to the QAnon delusion that Satan-worshipping pedophiles control the Democratic Party.
No doubt there’s significant overlap.
So they say they want a culture war? Democrats should give them one. Have you noticed that for all the determination of Georgia Republicans to suppress voter turnout, nobody has seriously challenged the accuracy of that state’s two 2020 U.S. Senate races?
That’s because once the Big Loser and his surrogate candidates turned the runoff into a referendum on Trumpism, Democrats and Independents turned out in record numbers to defeat them. Fear and anger drove them. If that can happen in a Deep South state like Georgia, what’s apt to happen in swing districts across the country?
So by all means, run on good government bread-and-butter issues. Remind people of the good things the Biden administration has done for them.
But also nationalize the election: Blanket the airwaves with TV ads showing before-and-after footage of GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and McConnell first condemning the Jan. 6 insurrection, then making weasel-worded alibis for Trump’s role in it. Tie bizarre figures like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz around their necks like anvils.
Give voters a clear choice: Trumpism, or democracy?
Democrats’ massive rewrite of America’s election laws dies in GOP filibuster
Democrats’ sweeping attempt to overhaul the nation’s election system fell to a whimpering defeat Tuesday, dealing President Biden his first major legislative loss.
While the immediate cause of death was a Republican-led filibuster, the legislation, which sprawled across more than 800 pages of text and would have overridden state election laws across the country, collapsed under the weight of its own liberal tilt.
All 50 Republicans voted to derail the bill, leaving it 10 votes shy of the 60 needed to overcome the filibuster.
Democrats labeled the bill the “For the People Act,” but the strictly partisan debate belied that ambitious name. Each party accused the other of trying to rig elections in their favor.
Party leaders also billed it as a way to overturn election laws adopted this year in Republican-led states. Critics said the laws would make it harder for minorities to vote, hurting the chances of Democratic candidates.
The bill’s demise was a devastating loss for the left.
“Voter suppression has become the official platform of the Republican Party,” an angry Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said moments after the vote. He vowed that Democrats will continue to try to undo voting laws enacted by states.
“We will not let it go. We will not let it die,” he said.
Republicans said there was never a chance of passage in a 50-50 Senate, and Democrats didn’t make any serious overtures to work with Republicans on a bipartisan bill. Instead, Democrats’ goal was “a transparently partisan plan to tilt every election in America permanently in their favor,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.
Sen. Susan M. Collins of Maine, one of the chamber’s centrist Republicans, said the partisan bloviating over the bill revealed what the legislation was all about.
“This is a bill that was introduced to enhance partisan messaging, not to enhance participation in our elections, as the over-the-top rhetoric around this bill highlights,” she said in a floor speech before the vote.
Ms. Collins and other Republicans blasted the idea of Congress overruling states’ ability to decide how to conduct their elections and which anti-fraud measures to adopt, such as strict voter ID requirements.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, another centrist Republican, said the country’s governing institutions are at “a very weak moment” and it’s all the more reason why the hard-left approach was wrong.
“Americans need to have faith in our institutions. They need to know that our elections are fair, that they are easy and accessible for all. And we can’t instill that trust with a wholly partisan effort,” she said.
The bill would have been a complete overhaul of how campaigns are run and elections conducted, setting standards that track with the laws in the most liberal states.
Voters would be ushered into automatic registration if they use a government service, and states would have to adopt same-day registration. Voting by mail was a required option, and ballots could have been counted even if they arrived after Election Day. The legislation also would limit states’ efforts to purge names from voter rolls.
It did not ban voter ID laws but imposed a national workaround for those without ID that is more lenient than laws in most of the 30 states that require identification. It also created an optional government-funded system for congressional campaigns.
Democrats were working on last-minute changes to try to keep their lawmakers unified.
A version of the bill passed the House earlier this year, and some Democrats pondered using the “nuclear option” to change the Senate’s rules and defang the filibuster to get the bill passed and onto Mr. Biden’s desk.
But several Senate Democrats have said they won’t go along with that plan, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.
Mr. Manchin is the lone Senate Democrat not to have co-sponsored the elections bill, and he was demanding last-minute changes. Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, he announced that he would at least support bringing the bill to the floor for debate.
“Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues refused to allow debate of this legislation despite the reasonable changes made to focus the bill on the core issues facing our democracy,” he said.
It was not clear what changes he won.
Liberal activists said Mr. Biden should have done more to back the bill, including using the power of the White House to raise its visibility and rally public pressure.
“Where is the president?” Ezra Levin, founder of the liberal activist group Indivisible, tweeted Monday. He said Mr. Biden did not twist arms in the way President Obama did to pass the Affordable Care Act or President Clinton did to get the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress.
“Is saving democracy a priority for this Administration or not?” Mr. Levin tweeted.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Mr. Biden had been working to win Mr. Manchin’s support and has been public in his backing for voting rights, including at an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre.
“That’s hardly being silent. That’s hardly being on the back bench,” she said.
“This fight is not over. Whatever the outcome today, it will continue,” she told reporters before the vote.
Mr. McConnell said this week that Democrats intended for the bill to fail as part of a plan to eliminate the filibuster, a defining feature of the Senate that allows the minority party exceptional say in which legislation passes.
Democrats, who flexed the filibuster repeatedly when Mr. Trump was in office, now call it a “racist” relic that must be expunged.
Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Tuesday’s vote meant the bill never even got to the chamber floor for amendments and debate.
“We just want to debate these things, and they won’t even do that because they’re so afraid,” Mr. Schumer said. “It’s not about election integrity. It’s about voter suppression.”
He said the new laws in Republican-led states that limit some of the expansive opportunities for voter registration and casting ballots would disproportionately affect minority voters.
“They want to sweep it under the rug because they don’t want Americans to even hear about it,” he said.
Mr. O’Connell said that raising left-wing issues time and again will make the ideas in the bill seem less radical to voters. He said Democrats likely will use the vote to accuse Republicans of racism.
“If they don’t get their way, they’ll use blame and shame,” he said.
Democrats Want to Free Criminals, Open Borders and Lock Up Guns
Passing gun laws they won’t enforce to stop the criminals they won’t arrest.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Senator Schumer began his pitch for gun control by falsely claiming that, “hundreds of thousands — maybe millions — of people walking the streets today because we passed [the 1994 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act] would be dead.”
The country hit an all-time high of 24,703 murders three years before the Brady Bill and even assuming that number had held steady in all the years since, we would be nowhere close to Schumer’s millions. Senator Schumer’s false claim that he saved millions of lives with his mostly useless background checks is typical of the lies that drive Democrat gun control hysteria.
Then Schumer topped that howler with an even bigger howler when he argued that, “We didn’t know there would be an internet, so we didn’t prohibit internet sales without a background check.” Not only did the internet exist at the time, but Schumer had voted for the bills that had helped fund the development of the internet. If only he had known what he was voting for.
“No more hopes and prayers, thoughts and prayers. A vote is what we need, a vote, not thoughts and prayers,” Schumer sneered. No one ever accused Schumer of wasting time on thoughts and prayers when there was a camera or a vote. But what we need isn’t a vote.
What we need is for Democrats to stop freeing criminals and then complaining about guns.
The USA Today network unleashed stories of shootings surging across the country through its local papers. The stories blame the increase in shootings on unemployment, inequity, and gun sales, not on the push by Democrats and the media to free criminals to save them from the coronavirus and the racist inequity of locking up murderers, rapists, and robbers behind bars.
The vast majority of shootings are carried out by gang members and other criminals associated with organized crime. Indeed, one of the USA Today stories noted that in Washington D.C., wearing masks had led to shootings because gang members couldn’t recognize their enemies.
“Those context cues are not visible with masks, so you don’t know who’s up on you until they’re right there. In neighborhoods with a lack of safety, that sort of fear leads to a lot of people carrying guns,” a member of a black community group explained.
Maybe Schumer can introduce a bill banning masks instead of trying to ban guns.
In 18 days, 416 people were shot in Chicago in two neighborhoods involving 6% of the city’s gang factions. A sociology professor was able to predict the likelihood of who would be shot next by using data from previous arrests. But Chicago Democrats had banned that sort of predictive science in favor of screaming about inanimate object violence even though their own police data shows that, “in 95 percent of cases where CPD was able to identify the possessor of the crime gun, that individual was not the original, lawful purchaser of the firearm.”
Obviously, what’s needed in Chicago is another background check bill from Chuck Schumer.
A Los Angeles Times board editorial from September 2020 described a mass shooting at an illegal marijuana farm as a “sign of the times” and blamed the “presence of guns”.
It didn’t occur to the Times that the presence of criminals and drugs might have had a little to do with the shooting spree. Guns don’t tend to transport themselves to mass shootings. As the Times’ own reporting documented, the killing of 7 people by multiple shooters while leaving behind a thousand pounds of pot valued in the millions was the work of organized crime.
The region, in the words of the Times, is “favored by drug traffickers” and offers “a pool of potential couriers, and the U.S.-Mexican border — across, over and beneath which drugs and the proceeds of their sale flow”. If only there were some sort of barrier there: perhaps a wall.
Mexican drug cartels don’t have any difficulty getting their hands on guns or heavy firepower. In Mexico, cartel gunmen with machine guns mounted on trucks had defeated the Mexican army in a battle that lasted for hours. If only Mexico had its own Schumer and more background checks.
Mexico has only one gun store and gun owners are only allowed to sell their guns back to the government. Licenses are fantastically expensive and hard to come by. But somehow, in the gun control utopia south of the border, criminals have machine guns mounted on trucks without any background checks. And they’re carrying out mass shootings in an America without walls.
The bad Democrat habit of only paying attention to crime involving guns, and only then to argue for tighter gun control, would be bad enough in an ordinary year, but is especially cynical in a year when its elected officials championed defunding the police and setting the criminals loose.
In San Francisco, progressive Soros DA Chesa Boudin boasts of never having prosecuted a single case. His office has managed to secure only 16 convictions since he took office, two of them for burglary, 2 for sexual assault, and he tried and failed to secure a conviction for a gun felony. Meanwhile his office racked up zero homicide convictions for a city with 47 murders.
Pro-crime prosecutors like Boudin in San Francisco, George Gascon in Los Angeles, and Larry Krasner in Philly backed by big lefty donors like Soros are the wave of the Democrat future,
In Philly, Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, blasted Krasner, the Soros DA, for refusing to prosecute criminals who violate gun laws.
“We need more people who are carrying guns on the street illegally and carrying guns with a record to be segregated from the community because that’s the reason why our shooting spike has happened and that’s why our homicide spike has happened,” Kenney complained.
“There has to be teeth. There needs to be consequences,” Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, a black woman who had been hounded out of her job in Portland by Antifa, complained.
What’s the point of passing gun laws that won’t be enforced anyway? Just like in Mexico, these laws won’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but will keep people from being able to defend themselves against the criminals. Schumer isn’t about to get on the wrong side of Soros, of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, or other big lefty donors to pro-crime DAs who protect criminals.
Gun control stopped being anything other than an obscene farce once Democrats entirely threw out the idea of fighting crime. The Democrat plan is to free criminals, open up borders, and then pass gun regulations to stop the influx of gang members coming out of prison and across the border from being able to buy the guns with which they plan to shoot each other.
Unexpectedly, criminals have ways of illegally getting hold of the things that they’re officially not supposed to have. Some might even say that’s the essence of their criminal profession.
Gun control is coming from the same Democrats who insist that banning drugs won’t prevent people from buying them anyway, but believe that banning guns will get them off the street.
It hasn’t worked in Mexico or Mexifornia, but somehow it’s going to work in America.
Democrats want to pass gun laws they won’t enforce to stop the criminals they won’t arrest. And then they sneer at “thoughts and prayers” as ineffectual compared to their awesome bills.
If police are evil and prisons are awful, then what are the new gun laws meant to accomplish?
Pelosi and Schumer would be better off finding a church and synagogue that won’t cause them to burst into flames when they try to pass its threshold and try a few prayers instead.
And then they can abandon their flirtation with criminals and stand with their victims instead.
Gun violence didn’t surge or spike, depending on which media buzzword you go with, because guns were somehow more available in the plague year. There was no gun surplus in 2020. If anything firearms and ammunition became more expensive. But there was a surplus of criminals unleashed by Democrat officials and prosecutors in cities across America.
The vast majority of serious crimes are committed by career criminals who have not been previously caught or charged, or by repeat offenders who have been in and out of prison.
Increasing the supply of guns doesn’t significantly increase crime because there are only a limited number of criminals or potential criminals out there. That’s why Switzerland and Israel, or Colonial America, aren’t and weren’t picking bodies off every street corner the way that Chicago is. But when you increase the supply of criminals, then you naturally get a lot more crime.
Democrats increased the supply of criminals by opening up prisons and the border. They tried to defund the police and they stood with pro-crime rioters against their own police forces. Their elected officials decriminalized everything from theft to drugs while their prosecutors pled down crimes and then watched as the criminals walked away thanks to criminal justice reform. They eliminated bail or fundraised to bail out criminals and then watched while they went on killing.
Pelosi and Schumer shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss thoughts and prayers. Considering how many people have died, were beaten or raped by the criminals set loose to terrorize cities, their souls could use a lot of those thoughts and prayers. Even more than those of their victims. .
Democrats’ open border strategy is to flood America’s southern border with millions of migrants
So, here’s the Democrats’ plan: Flood America’s southern border with millions of illegal aliens, hook them on government aid and eventually turn them into voters. It can’t be more obvious anymore.
Use the courts to strike down any attempts to secure the border. Have judges rule against election integrity laws like voter ID or even the commonsense question about citizenship in the 2020 national census. Once the census count is in, grant more congressional districts and federal funds to jurisdictions swelled with illegals. Meanwhile, prevent Congress from approving money for border security or even to accommodate the massive crowds. Promise free, unlimited health care for everyone, including illegal aliens. On June 27 during the Democratic debate, all the candidates raised their hands to support this insane proposal that is sure to be heard loud and clear south of the border.
Having created the crisis by opposing all efforts to address it, Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are making trips to the border for photo ops, lamenting the poor conditions caused by the crush of humanity and blaming the Trump administration for creating “concentration camps.”
This is like taking a hammer to a store window and then blaming the storekeeper for people getting cut while ransacking the place. And, by the way, when you see those heartbreaking photos like the one of the father and daughter who drowned, keep in mind who’s luring these poor people into harm’s way.
Since October 2018, when the fiscal year began, more than 593,000 illegal aliens have been apprehended at the border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In May, 132,887 illegals were apprehended. Because of the Democrats’ mau-mauing over “family separations,” the Border Patrol is encountering a surge of “family units,” many comprising non-relatives, including kidnapped children.
Some 332,981 of the nearly 600,000 illegals consist of “family units.” Because they can neither separate them nor keep them in custody long enough for asylum hearings, the Border Patrol has to release them. Most of them scatter around the country, never to return for their hearings.
Under current rates of entry, the United States will be inundated over the course of 12 months by nearly 1 million illegal aliens by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. And you thought the caravans with a few thousand illegals were shocking a couple of years ago? This is a well-executed and mysteriously funded invasion.
Again, this is the Democrats’ playbook: Replace American citizens with illegal immigrants in order to turn the nation into a one-party state like California, which has automatic voter registration and millions of illegal residents. Another tactic is sheer bribery. Want the student vote? Promise to forgive all student loans and stick the taxpayers with the bill. Same for “free” college tuition, “free” child care and “free” health care. Want to juice up the black vote while aggravating racial resentment? Call for taxpayer-funded reparations for slavery.
Kamala Harris proposes eliminating private health plans, which now insure 150 million Americans. This would leave no escape from government-controlled medicine. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed Accountable Capitalism Act would force large corporations to obtain a federal charter allowing the government to take effective control.
The Democratic field also unanimously supports the oxymoronically named Equality Act, the greatest legislative threat to religious liberty and freedom of conscience in American history. That bill, which passed the Democrat-led House but is stalled in the Republican-led Senate, would insert “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into federal civil rights law. It would criminalize traditional morality, equating it with racism, and wipe out any sex-based distinctions, from restrooms to women’s sports teams. Use the wrong pronoun for a man dressed as a woman and go to jail.
But wait. There’s more. Beto O’Rourke wants all current border barriers torn down and has compared President Trump to the Nazis. He and fellow presidential contender Julian Castro support Nike’s withdrawal of a patriotic shoe with Betsy Ross’ 13-star American flag on it, calling the flag “hurtful.” That flag was hanging prominently at Barack Obama’s second inauguration. What a racist.
Mr. Castro, perhaps trying to outdo Mr. O’Rourke, calls for decriminalizing illegal entry into the United States. Democrats also support “sanctuary cities” where officials refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This free pass has allowed thousands of criminal illegal aliens, including MS-13 gang members, to go free and commit more crimes.
The Democrats have moved so far left you have to wonder whether they’ve abandoned the effort to persuade “everyday” Americans to join them and are counting on something else to ensure victory.
As they flood key states with illegals, they’re also trying to eliminate the Electoral College via the Popular Vote Interstate Compact. If they succeed, they can stuff ballot boxes in Democratic strongholds like New York, California and Chicago, and not worry about the rest of the country.
In late June, the Communist Party USA’s convention embraced Democratic positions. A pre-convention article on the CPUSA website called on “party members to place the struggle for racial, gender, and sexual orientation equality at the forefront of their work.” The party is expected to endorse whichever candidate the Democrats nominate.
The CPUSA’s ultimate goal has not changed: Overthrow our self-governing republic and replace it with an atheistic Marxist regime by any means necessary — including mass illegal immigration and sexual anarchy.
I think that I have covered many ways that the Democrats are trying to do to maintain power in the United States. We know what they have done in the past gain power, from corrupt election practices, and illegal and amoral impeachment trials and phony conspiracy theories and coup attempts by our Justice System. Politicians have become a blood sport. Kind of reminds me of the Movie Gangs of New York and its portrayal of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall*. Lets hope we don’t plummet to these levels of corruption.
ymag.com, “Democrats’ Odds of Keeping the House Are Slimming Fast,” By Eric Levitz; theamericansun.com, “How Progressives Swallowed the Democrats and Can Do It Again,” by HENRY DELACROIX; libertynation.com, “Will Bidenflation Sound The Deathknell For Democrats In 2022?,” By Andrew Moran; theatlantic.com, “Can Democrats Avoid a Wipeout in 2022? Biden’s plan: Go big or go home”, By Ronald Brownstein; washingtonmothly.com, “The Democrats Have to Fight for Our Democracy Because the Republicans Won’t,” By Martin Longman; townhall.com, “Here’s How You Know Democrats Rigged and Stole the 2020 Election,” By Wayne Allyn Root; cnn.com, “Why Democrats may defy history and win the 2022 midterms,” By Harry Enten; chicagosuntimes.com, “Good policies alone won’t win 2022 elections for Democrats: Democrats need to turn the midterm elections into a referendum on the Trump cult and GOP sycophancy toward his assault on democracy,” By Gene Lyons; washingtontimes.com, “Democrats’ massive rewrite of America’s election laws dies in GOP filibuster,” By Kery Murakami; washingtontimes.com, “Democrats’ open border strategy is to flood America’s southern border with millions of migrants,” By Robert Knight; frontpagemag.com, “Democrats Want to Free Criminals, Open Borders and Lock Up Guns: Passing gun laws they won’t enforce to stop the criminals they won’t arrest,” By Daniel Greenfield; thecinessential.com, “In Context: The Five Points,” By Alex Moore;
Tammany Hall was a New York political organization founded in the late 18th century as part of a larger fraternal organization under the Tammany Society. Oddly enough, while the organization grew to hold significant political power in New York by the mid-19th century, it was initially founded as a social club focused on the enjoyment of all things Native American. That didn’t last long, in Manhattan at least. By the start of the 19th century, Aaron Burr had developed the New York Tammany Society, now known as Tammany Hall, into a notorious political machine. As early as 1802 Tammany Hall was known as a center of political corruption. By the 1850s, Tammany Hall made significant inroads with the immigrant population, particularly Irish, trading votes and allegiance for basic welfare services.
William “Boss” Tweed, played by Jim Broadbent in the film, became head of Tammany Hall in 1858. Until his downfall in the 1870s, he solidified Democratic party power in the city by dispensing jobs on city related projects to his poor, mostly immigrant supporters. He used this influence to further solidify his power and enrich himself and his inner circle. It’s estimated that Tammany Hall siphoned between 75 and 200 million dollars of New York taxpayer money between 1865 and 1871.
Interestingly, Tammany Hall, as a building, still stands today on Union Square in Manhattan. You can still identify the building by the Tammany Logo, a red hat on a light blue background, that adorns the building’s pediment.
How Progressives Swallowed the Democrats and Can Do It Again
Easy to say commie insurgents took over Dems, FDR won and we’re living under commie control. They won in 1932, set the system up and blah blah blah. What is the blah blah blah? How did it happen? What were mechanisms to the progressive takeover of the Democrats? How did the commies who used FDR come to exert power over a nationwide network of Ds? Capturing the White House for a decade and flexing USG muscle over its land was key. Borrowing massive amounts of money during the depression to buy off anyone and everyone was key. Amity Shlaes mention of interest groups is important, but so is reshaping how Ds voted and who controlled them. Unions and the union machine replacing the old city machine bloc voting secured D control for progressive ideologues, not McKinnon, Giacomo and Siekirkov (stand in ethnic names). Control centralized and in hands the old party hacks did not like.
We can sit here in 2020 thinking how the New York Times is the main megaphone and evil incarnate, issuing marching orders for the ruling class but it was not always the case. Adolf Ochs bought the NYT in 1896, and it was considered an independent Democrat paper. It was not a party rag or organ, and had a reputation of even handed reporting. This changed over time, and quickly, as the paper took up cause with many reform minded individuals. It might have been reform at the state level or at the city level, but the idea of cleaning things up was widespread in the intelligentsia and well to do. A giant in New York named Robert Moses as a young man wrote his dissertation on reforming government, the civil service and how to get things done. He felt the civil leadership should harvest from the best schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton), and American governments should model themselves on the aristocratic flavor of British civil service and control. Reform individuals loved this but city machines hated it as it attacked the patronage system. This went nowhere until Moses linked up with Al Smith and changed nearly everything about New York state government.
The Democrats at that point were a collection of northern city machines and political bosses with the Solid South (the white power structure). The GOP trounced the Democrats consistently, where even Wilson’s re-election in 1916 would have been denied had 30 votes switched in New Hampshire and 2,000 in California. That close shave reveals their vulnerability as a party when an incumbent president in a growing economy barely earns a second term. Being the oft beaten losers, they were ripe for overtaking. Similar to the DLC and Wall Street takeover of the Democrats starting with ’92, the path would be with winning the White House. The election of 1932 would offer the Democrats the perfect opportunity.
The election of 1932 was as close to a guaranteed challenger win as America will ever see. Democrats lined up their coalition forces for the convention. FDR, similar to President Hoover’s already failed attempts, was pushing more government spending, federal intervention and farm aid to bring in the Midwest and Western vote. FDR also tricked Huey Long just enough for support (later Long died at the hands of a “random” assassin). Lined up against him were the city machine bosses, who were pushing former Governor Al Smith once again. There was animosity between Smith and FDR as Smith had used the governorship to transform New York, help the poor, and build parks, roads and parkways for the people while FDR was using the governorship as a stepping stone to the presidency. FDR took over as governor from Smith and had cleaned out all Smith’s men while retaining just one (Robert Moses). FDR would get the White House victory that eluded Al Smith four years earlier.
Once in control of the White House, how do you maintain your control while fending off the old party? How does one kill off opponents while simultaneously feeding the constituencies that brought you there and reaching out to the old machine constituencies? Can you replace the old machines’ voters? A trend working in prog’s favor was that, in the words of Mike Royko, “all across the country, city machines were falling apart“. Why were they dying? The Depression had destroyed tax revenues. Income taxes, business taxes, and property taxes were all devastated by the crash and subsequent slow motion collapse in business. Those taxes funded the patronage system that was the lifeblood of the city machines.
In a twisted way, the machines were responsive to their people in ways the modern prog system can never be. Because the power came from the voters straight to city leaders and wardmen who in turn had to provide jobs, the voters could raise concerns and local issues that would need to be addressed in order to get those votes. In a one man, one vote system, the real power lay with those who provided the votes. This is wonderfully captured in another Royko passage where he quotes an angry Chicago kingmaker, black Congressman William Dawson. Berating the sitting mayor, Dawson says, “Who do you think you are? I bring in the votes. I elect you. You are not needed, but the votes are needed. I deliver the votes to you.” These machine capos and leaders still needed to answer to their people to buy the votes. The New Deal progs needed to find a way to retain the votes but create a separate power structure to carve out the old city machine crews.
FDR’s administration and the bureaucracy they built would set up a multiple front attack. The progs set up the federal agencies, set up social welfare programs like Social Security, passed the Wagner Act, borrowed massively on the future earnings of taxpayers and looked for new construction projects similar to what Hoover started in his term. The extent of borrowing cannot be understated. Below is the total public and private debt since 1900.
The borrowing is listed as a percentage of GDP. While private debt collapsed after 1929, note how the government debt rose and stayed firm through the depression. While GDP contracted significantly after 1929, it did resume growth in the ’30s. The problem was the debt overhang and playing catch up to close the potential GDP gap. By staying firm as a percentage of GDP, the federal debt was actually growing. This is a better graph to use than the often cited mountain peak in ’33 debt chart (below). Total debt decreased due to private defaults and banks slowly writing off the debt. As that debt contracted, the feds spent wildly.
In the form of public works, this spending became the patronage system for cities that FDR needed. The New Deal crew could specifically use Mayor LaGuardia and his Fusion administration to freeze out Tammany Hall and starve them to death. While nominally a Republican, LaGuardia became valuable to the White House because he had Robert Moses with plans ready to employ thousands of men but in a manner that excluded the Tammany gang. Public works in themselves are impressive to voters, are visual proof of progress and their ability, and they employ many men, feeding many families. Tammany was a power source and had their patronage network, but it became nothing in the ’30s and early ’40s due to the New Deal channel of money. New Deal money was the only game in town.
This does not solve everything because the networks of the city machines lay dormant but ready if the economy turned around and when FDR or reform minded mayors left office. This is where the Wagner Act comes into play and the joining at the waist of unions and the Democrats. The old Democrats were full of conservative, Southern power brokers who disliked the union men. The Wagner Act and subsequent moves by FDR’s administration, gave unions a huge boost. It also set up American unions in a manner that centralized power for easier control via universities. The unions were not the German set up with union leadership being local, having a say in how a firm was run, and even having representation on corporate boards. Our American set up created specific negotiators, and limited if not erased autonomy and variation among the wide network of manufacturing in America. This played into the progressives’ hands by not having local, connected men running the union and directing members, but some Marxist educated graduate from Cornell’s school of Industrial Labor Relations. The Marxist theory of labor is still taught there today to all incoming freshman.
Unions have huge advantages for political reasons in having a common identity, pooling resources, slush funds of cash for campaign season, cars and sound equipment for GOTV measures and group pressure for voting the right way. This offered an alternative to the old city machine’s ground game on election day. You can laugh now in 2020, but the media made a big deal of union guys on television talking about how they were going to cast a vote for Reagan in 1980. The unions boosted by FDR’s work in the ’30s won prestige a decade later. The great strike wave of 1945-1946 was where the unions won their workers massive gains. Capital had to negotiate; no other nation had a manufacturing base left.
Legislation at the federal level further played into the unions hands. Taft-Hartley legislation was supposedly to weaken unions in America. What it really did was weaken the shops themselves and strengthened the centralized power of the union leadership. Wildcat strikes, which are on the spot strikes usually due to specific shop circumstances, were outlawed. Everything must be negotiated and handled by trained experts, often Ivy trained labor lawyers. Urban renewal is something moderns associate with failed mid-20th century projects, but this had bipartisan support to rebuild our cities after World War Two. Urban renewal carried forward what the old New Deal programs had started; “money honest” interest group buying by the progressives.
Money honest is an idea that Mayor Richard Daley supported as did the post-WW2 NYC Democrats. Per Mike Royko’s book on Daley, Daley said, “Don’t take a nickel; just hand them your business card“. Money honest meant that one did not take outright cash bribes, but you could send contracts one’s way to secure loyalty. The NYC machine after LaGuardia left office saw a return of Tammany but in a different flavor. They were money honest, but bought off through construction contracts. Tom Shanahan of the Federation Bank and Trust Company might as well be labeled the Tammany banker, Democrat grease man and nexus of money, power and votes. One placed their money with him, and magically, things happened for his company for government business. The New Deal and Urban Renewal contracts were so special because they could employ thousands of men for years, were huge, were multiyear, fed the unions and recycled money back into Democrat campaign funds. Another unique thing was that the foot soldier voters in the unions were not directly living there like the old machine. These men were tied together in economic interests. these men took their guidance and marching orders from union reps, lawyers and national leadership aligned with new deal commies. This eradicates the old NYC machine and builds a new one.
This does not fix everything. The machines and their power sources could still challenge the eggheads. The presidency and federal funding mechanism was all important. This was laid evident in the ’48 re-election of Truman. If only the Southern power brokers had a clue that one day they’d be eaten by the commies. To further secure its footing of the new system, the Democrats went after their own with the Kefauver committee. Kefauver went after the mob after media attention given to the mob problem in the late ’40s. Why they did not go after the Mob in the ’30s after prohibition? We’ll never know, shucks. While mobs were found among many ethnic groups and all over the nation, there were political victims as the mob-city political connections were made. Some of those pols went down, and others were given the message that overt connections were bad news. Get in line with our new union system, boys!
Side note: all ethnicities in cities were found to have mob issues. Italians just did it with more style and panache, plus the Jewish mob had their best boy from Cleveland Lew Wasserman running Hollywood, so they hid the Jewish mob for years. Only Francis Ford Coppola fictionalized it with Hymen Roth in Godfather Two.
Consider two of the biggest targets: Chicago and NYC. Kefauver could scare off that wing of Democrats in cities; the very same cities that had blocked FDR in ’32. Truman lost NY state and barely won Illinois, worth a combined 75 electoral votes. The two city machines were, and still are, responsible for statewide comfort margins for Ds. How long did the Daley father-son empire shape Illinois and even national politics with their machine? How many tight NY state races were decided by that 500K voter edge in NYC being tweaked here or there? The slime from the Kefauver committee hurt the Democrats so bad that Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas lost in an upset in Illinois. This was a combination of the Mafia stink and Chicago election politics as the “World’s Richest Cop” hurt the entire slate of candidates in Chicago itself.
This is all just the result of the sick immigration games of the late 19th century. The frontier was closed, Indians dead or on reservations, and farming was strong. Business trusts needed bodies to help keep wages down. The trusts wanted more. The GOP machine helped them. Sadly this stuffed our cities with far more people than they could handle. Most cities were not ready for the flood of new people on top of natural growth. Most of those urban renewal projects and massive public works would have had no need had we not opened the door so wide. The city machines, and how they were used as voting weapons for first Wilson and then FDR, allowed the commies to take control. It was city vs. country then, and it is city vs. country now. Nativist vs. foreign themes then, and nativist vs. foreign themes now. Cheap labor then, cheap labor now. No one learns. Besides democratic politics, it is also the problem of a proposition nation creating a loyalty to profit over a loyalty to community.
The progressives behind the new deal had to build their own institutions, use money and control important nexus points to make this switch stick. Tammany could make or break a man, as Tammany gave its voters and capos the head shake to help defeat Samuel Seabury out of NY’s governorship in 1916. Leaving machines like Tammany in place would allow for savvy, deal making Republicans to find a way to peel them off from the red and pink Ds that rode into DC with FDR and did not understand the little guys in NYC and Chicago. Without the massive federal bureaucratic changes, centralization of power in the ’30s and massive borrowing by the US feds, a GOP candidate would have done the Nixon in ’68-’72 white ethnic and rightist-statist approach earlier.
The progressives did not let a crisis go to waste. They built new institutions and new structures to play the same river of meat game in our democratic republic. The old machine might have bought your vote through the local guys you knew all growing up fixing you up with a job or your ma with a widow’s pension. The new guys in an Ivy League suit would tell you who to vote for since they let you put a hard hat on for the next 5 years and promised even more work in the future if you just voted for them. When they couldn’t buy voters off anymore in the name of economic redistribution, they just brought new ones into the game in the south and later imported entirely new ones from abroad.
The opportunity in front of them today is the Woke Capital alliance. The covid crisis continues to destroy small and medium sized businesses, concentrating more marketshare into the hands of the cartels at the top of all sectors of the economy. The last twenty five years has seen near zero anti-trust enforcement, allowing for nearly every slice of the economy come to be dominated by a handful of firms for an overwhelming piece of the market and then niche pieces for smaller players. Corona allows them to destroy whatever remaining independent players there are. The indoctrination angle has worked for staffing the bureaucracies of corporations, the advocacy system that threatens them with lawfare and the banks and rating agencies that handle their debt.
This is only one piece of the puzzle. The other piece is that the Democrats could implement new programs such as UBI to make the vassalage complete. This works wonders because there is no middle man. No union to see patronage leakage, nor any government employees that have to be funded to siphon off money from allocated dollars. It is pure bribery. Another piece of the puzzle is the idea of stakeholder capitalism being pushed as a way for corporations to become more for the people. This will really mean more donations to NGOs for woke causes, more sinecures for a cream of the woke crop, and maybe race related discounts and favorable treatment. We can already see trial runs for this in 2020 as the summer of St. George (pbuh) inspired corporations to make exceptions, grant benefits, donate billions to NGOs and push black owned businesses over all others. This is explicit discrimination but allowable because it fits the DNC platform and rewards clients of the DNC patronage network.
This is the game. Power seeks greater centralization, and new technologies will be used to further this centralization. The horrible underlying problem of this all is that these moves with long term, national implications were taken to secure one small group’s power within the system. There is no recourse and there is no long march through the institutions to change this. This will not last forever. Another empire centralized with aggression. Another empire was a hodge podge of identities. Another empire even pushed a modified version of ‘diversity is our strength‘. People still live in Austria. People still live in Hungary. No one lives in the Austro-Hungarian Empire anymore.
Here’s How You Know Democrats Rigged and Stole the 2020 Election
Let me put this in terms even Democrats can understand.
Let’s say a white police officer killed a black man who did nothing wrong. Unlike George Floyd, this man had not committed any crime, did not resist arrest, didn’t have fentanyl in his system and had no record of violent crime. Assume this poor guy was a law-abiding, taxpaying, churchgoing American and that the cop killed him for the crime of “driving while black.”
How do the police react? They say the shooting was righteous. They refuse to investigate. There is bodycam footage, but they refuse to release it. And get this: They refuse to allow anyone to even talk about it. If any cop talks about it, he loses his job. If anyone in the black community talks about it, social media will suspend them or ban them for life.
What would all of that mean to you? Guilty as charged, right? The police must be covering up a crime. No one who’s innocent acts like that, right?
Guess what? That’s equivalent to the reaction (or, should I say, overreaction) of liberals, Democrats and assorted socialists and communists when Republicans make accusations of massive voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
I thought we’re all allowed to have our opinion in America. I thought we have free speech. I thought we have a right to investigate. I thought we have a right to see the videotapes. I thought we have a right to forensic audits.
I was wrong.
The fix is in. It’s crystal clear to me now that not only was the election rigged but so is everything post-election. It’s simple psychology. Just look at the absurd reaction, or overreaction, by Democrats.https://fac020637b4c589c538f69c5c0b5beff.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlCARTOONS | AF BRANCOVIEW CARTOON
Would anyone dare ban the right to discuss a possibly racist police killing? Can you imagine the reaction by liberals, black activists and the American Civil Liberties Union? What if the Minneapolis police were to permanently ban any discussion of George Floyd’s death? What if every black American trying to give his or her opinion on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube were banned for life?
Who would react like that? Only guilty people.
Here are the questions I want answered.
— If Democrats didn’t rig and steal the election, why are they so afraid of forensic audits in key battleground states, specifically the current audit in Arizona?
— When Trump was an 8-to-1 landslide favorite with bettors around the world late on election night and clearly headed toward a landslide electoral victory, why did five states suddenly announce they would pause counting for the night? And how come Biden was suddenly ahead by morning?
— How come Michigan apparently had a dump of 149,772 votes at 6:31 a.m. on Nov. 4, 96% of which went to Biden?
— How did Wisconsin count 149,520 votes for Biden from 3:26 to 3:44 a.m. on Nov. 4?
— How come Philadelphia vote counters were so desperate to keep witnesses out of the counting room? Why did they refuse entry to witnesses (to Republicans) until those witnesses had a court order in hand?
— Why were the windows in a vote-counting location in Detroit covered with cardboard so nobody (no Republican) could see inside?
— There are videotapes filmed in Detroit of vans pulling up in the middle of the night with what obviously look like boxes of ballots. In Atlanta, there are videotapes that clearly show ballot containers appearing at a vote-counting location after a fake water main break was used to force all GOP witnesses out of the counting room. Why can’t we discuss these videotapes?
— How come Twitter banned me for life over mentioning these videotapes?
— How come the Arizona Senate’s liaison for the vote audit says Maricopa County hasn’t complied with the subpoena by turning over passwords to Dominion voting machines?
— How come the Biden DOJ suddenly wants to stop the Arizona audit?
These are all valid questions. Why do we get backlash for asking them and posting them on social media? What are Democrats hiding? What are they so afraid of?
In the end, that’s the proof Democrats rigged and stole the 2020 presidential election. The truth is in their ridiculous, heavy-handed overreaction. They’re desperate to stop you from looking into or even talking about this.
Democrats are guilty as sin.
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