• Is a Blue Wave or a Red Undertow Coming? (Prediction Time!)

    November 1, 2018

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Trump

    There will not be a Blue Wave. Democrats’ goal in the Senate has devolved to limiting losses, not gaining seats, and they are unlikely to take control of the House. Even the Washington Post and New York Times are hedging their bets. Here’s why.

    Midterms are always a question of whether people have a reason to risk change. Historically, incumbents retain their seats over 80% of the time. Recent flips of the House were driven by large-scale demands for change, including concern over the Iraq War and Obamacare, that reached deeper and more broadly into society than this year’s casus belli, Trump Rage. History does show midterm elections generally bring some losses to the ruling party. But all that matters this year is a 24 seat Democratic gain. Anything less – a Blue Dribble – and the House stays in Republican hands subject to party-line votes. Leaving aside everything else, those are rough odds mathematically.

    But the “everything else” part matters a lot. What is the impetus for an Ohioian who went Republican last round, and maybe before that except Obama in 2008, to take another chance on change?

    Though healthcare is the number one issue of concern, there has been little new offered by Democratic candidates. Republicans failed to dilute Obamacare. Things today are basically at status quo November 2016 when candidate Clinton pronounced the system about the best we could hope for and called Bernie Sanders’ general ideas as now roughly endorsed by many Democrats too expensive. Democrats’ current change of heart seems driven more by poor election results than policy stance, so are they to be trusted? Elizabeth Warren says she took her DNA test to restore trust in government, so there’s that.

    People are instead supposed to vote for “Medicare for All,” though please, please don’t ask for details, or how it will be paid for, or what the massive insurance industry Obama allowed to stay in control of the system and now subsidized by the government will have to say about it. Otherwise there are few drivers of change. The economy is doing well. Nobody seems happy with immigration or guns, but as for new Democratic ideas, well there is that the one guy with the ponytail yelling abolish ICE.

    The headlines leading up to the midterms are instead a Kavanaugh hangover (with mumbles still about impeaching him), something bad with the Saudis that does not affect Americans, the Twitter Outrage O’ the Day, the still-unemployed Colin Kaepernick, those transgender bathrooms that keep progressives up sobbing at night, and the crazies, who now include the once-stolid Carl Bernstein and Paul Krugman shouting like so many Chicken Littles fascism, dictatorship, and mandatory Nazi cosplay are imminent. And what happened to those wars with Iran, China, North Korea, and maybe Canada Trump was supposed to have started by now? Anybody heard from Mueller recently? It seems like a lot until you realize in reality it isn’t much of anything.

    And even if you, say, did share concerns over Kavanaugh, you were required to throw away the centuries-old cornerstone concept of innocent until proven guilty or be a gender traitor. Immigration? Sensible talk must wait until concentration camps for infants are torn down. Gun reform? You either are complicit in child murder or a Parkland Kidlet. Same for Maxine Waters encouraging people to scream at Republicans while they eat dinner, not a way to open the tent to more swing voters in places like Minnesota or the Dakotas.

    The Democrats have left precious little middle ground on important issues, and if they want Republicans and independents to shift from their previous voting stance, they need some middle ground for those people to take a stand on. Who wants to join a party when you’re not invited?

    The only driver of change seems to be the Democrat fantasy voters want a do-over on the 2016 election. The problem is a Fox poll shows “rein in Trump” of significant concern to only 10% of voters. An MSNBC poll has nothing of the sort, with the serious issues of healthcare and immigration instead topping a list of voter concerns.

    Polls do consistently show white, educated women favoring Democrats (but even that is only a sort-of-OKish 61%; some 30 million women voted for Trump.) Not much of a change from 2016, where the same feisty, angry, fierce, polarized group failed to elect Hillary. Democrats are still apparently unaware there are few House districts where white, educated women are the majority, and where their husbands don’t vote. Meanwhile, Rahm Emmanuel imagines there’s a new block of voters to turn the tide – “Mea culpas,” those who did not vote in 2016 and feel remorse over the resulting Trump win.

    The whole midterm hopey-changey thing instead depends on producing historical turnouts from millennials and blacks loosely attached to the electorate, though there doesn’t seem to be much of a plan for that other than Social Media! and having the undead Hillary proclaim an end to political civility until her side finally wins an election. Meanwhile, Republicans rely on demographics that do turn out, in numbers such that Democrats need to motivate four millennials to actually produce one vote, while Republicans will likely get more than three for four. Actual turnout for age 65+ is 82%, dropping to 26% for those 18-29.

    There are other factors. Trump’s overall approval rating continues to rise, a bad sign for a Democrat party framing the midterms as a referendum on him. Some 75% of Republicans want their congressional candidates to fall in line with Trump’s agenda. Republicans vote in midterms in higher percentages than Democrats. A group Democrats magically hoped would support them because they are not white, “Hispanics,” apparently don’t see themselves that way.

    Depending on people who don’t vote, Democrats run the risk of internalizing losses. There are too many reasons to lose again already teed up: If it’s not the Russians, it’s voter suppression, gerrymandering, racism or the proportional representation system people just seemed to notice 230 years after it started. They mean to anger people into voting, but it can easily have the opposite effect.

    The deck is stacked against us can seem disheartening to voters, and may leave as many sitting home drinking as heading out to the revolution. Already a quarter of millennial students found the 2016 election so traumatic they claim to have PTSD. In psychology, this is known as “catastrophizing,” driving yourself into depression envisioning ridiculous outcomes beyond even a real-world worst case scenario. It can lead to suicide. It’s becoming the core Democratic strategy for the midterms.

    Many millennials seem to believe all they have to do is retweet hashtags, sign online petitions, and protest on school days. It created Beto mania, but it didn’t defeat Kavanaugh. This result is a black wave of false hope when social media driven movements fail to cross over into the real world, the appearance of a novel, seemingly authentic movement/moment creating the illusion of action and change. See, for example, the current progressive superhero Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose victory was replacing a Democrat with a Democrat, all based on a 13% turnout, only about 27k people from a densely populated district caught sleeping through a primary. A trick play that only works once.

    The Democratic party is held back most of all by mistaking an exception for a trend. About a year ago my dog came upon a full box lunch left on the sidewalk. She gulped it down before some sorry construction worker came back, and ever since she stops at that spot, certain one of these days there will be another meal waiting. The year 2008 was historic in American politics, when a near 100% desire for change following an exhausting eight years of Bush drove record turnouts in front of one of the best campaigning politicians since the Greeks invented democracy. The real lessons for the future were missed in the weaker victory over a mediocre opponent in 2012.

    Obama could have been FDR. He could have gotten a real healthcare solution but settled for the expedient. He could have saved middle class homes with a New Deal-style mortgage bailout, dramatically reducing economic inequality, but further enriched the One Percent instead. He could have pulled out of Bush’s Middle East mess but instead gave us Iraq War 3.0, and the humanitarian disasters of Syria, Libya, and Yemen. He failed at change, and those swing voters from 2008 know it, even if Democrats now try to push the Obama years as ones of social justice aplenty as a way of countering what they naively think matters most to most people about Trump.

    Unless and until Democrats recognize their failures as most Americans lived them and offer change that might happen on the things that really matter, no Blue Wave in 2018. And don’t ask about the Red Undertow of 2020.

    BONUS: Meanwhile, while WaPo admonishes us “Democracy Dies In Darkness,” it is owned by a CIA contractor and the richest man on earth. Democrats are trying to sell people that this is some kind of bulwark against corporate fascism when it is the very vanguard of corporate fascism. Best if the millennial freedom fighters don’t figure that one out until after the midterms.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      “Democrats’ goal in the Senate has devolved to limiting losses, not gaining seats, and they are unlikely to take control of the House.”

      So relax Repugnicans. No need to vote this time. Stay home and watch the election results on FOX and the videos of our brave troops beating the shit out of those dangerous migrants.

      11/1/18 8:09 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Who is going to pay for one payer health care? Apparently you are a minority of one. No one cares. Debt is good. We need to double the military budget too, fund missions to Mars, get that Wall done, and less taxes for EVERYONE! Such a Party Pooper.

      11/1/18 9:19 AM | Comment Link

    • traven said...

      3

      The Dem Party has been neutered like a dog owned by the Clintons.They are now very obedient to their masters,the banks and Wall Street.
      It is much too easy to look only at the dark side of our battered democracy. Things will get very nasty as we drift more and more into an authoritarian state. But if you love and respect justice for all and democracy yuo msut be ready to fight for it, not jsut bemoan it’s loss with snarky cynicism. That changes nothing.

      11/1/18 1:33 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      4

      Traven- I agree. But, we seem to be headed full steam- not drifting- towards a corporate fascism as PVB noted and perhaps that is inevitable when a population’s ethos is personal safety at any cost. Whatever entity promises that elusive grail gets to rule. The Pentagon’s protection shakedown racket seems unstoppable since it is funded by obligatory taxes which no one dare challenge.

      Victor Marchetti died yesterday. He tilted against the CIA. The Supreme Court in cahoots with the National Security juggernaut refused to hear his appeal when he lost his case. Marchetti told his daughter late in life that he regretted his publishing actions which cost him and his family personally. His book changed changed nothing just like PVB’s book. The beat (war drums) of the National Security Empire goes on!

      11/1/18 4:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Karl Kolchak said...

      5

      I love the bit about Rahm Emmanuel and the “remorse voters,” since as Sanders supporter who who stayed home in November I’m one of the ones he is apparently counting on. Yet every day when I wake up I immediately think that even though things still suck with the country, at least Hillary Clinton will never be president.

      11/1/18 4:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      A blue wave or red undertow? None of the above. Me thinks Demented will piss in the pool and everyone will have to get out. Election called off because of the “invasion.”

      Trump on migrant caravan: “Anybody throwing stones, rocks where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico, we will consider that a firearm, because there’s not much difference”

      What, Me Lie?

      11/1/18 5:15 PM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      7

      “Beto Mania” nice one PVB! What will the Dems say when he loses and spends double his opponent? Hire Podesta ?

      11/2/18 7:28 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      8

      Karl Kolchak: I wish I was as certain that Hillary will never be the POTUS. She might divorce Bill after renouncing his lecherous ways and run as an out lesbian which would be seen as a bold move by tens of millions whose respect for her would increase.

      11/2/18 10:07 AM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      9

      @PVB: You missed one – Trump was also supposed to have staged a coup by now too.

      Have you ever been on the Jimmy Dore show? Never seen you there, but you two seem like you’re made for each other.

      Here’s hoping everyone votes (intelligently?) next week – democracy in action!

      11/2/18 6:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      Joe,

      The coup happened a very long time ago. The military industrial surveillance complex has been in control (read : Deep State) and Demented does what he is told. The rest of US, keeping paying our taxes and shut the fuck up.

      “Government is the entertainment division of the MIC.” – Frank Zappa.

      11/3/18 8:19 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      MIC: That’s right. Or we will mail you some more anthrax letters. The only flag you salute is a false one.

      11/3/18 8:21 AM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      12

      The Blue Wave is a Con job, just like the D and R’s.. Iraq? Iran? Israel? Empire building? PigsR

      11/3/18 2:20 PM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      13

      Peter, Tweet me! Merica, Get er Done, Change, Hope ,Believe…Blue or Red wave of the Corps and the MIC? BDS Free Asange and others….

      11/3/18 3:30 PM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      14

      See Caitlin Johnstone and Chris Hedges today, 11/5. I approve of this message.

      11/5/18 8:48 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      Down here in Florida the rich in their beachfront property are experiencing a red tide courtesy of the Repugnicans sweet deals with the sugar industry- and that dumbass Waaserman Schultz. Maybe the blue wave will get rid of the red tide and the shit that made it worse.

      11/5/18 9:07 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      The number one concern may be health care but you wouldn’t know it listening to Demented.

      Demented: Go out and vote so they don’t impeach my corrupt ass.

      11/6/18 10:05 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      17

      Regardless of the outcome of today’s vote Hillary seems determined to run in 2020. Michael Jackson was compelled to dance and perform. Hillary seems compelled to become the POTUS. Calling Dr. Conrad Murray, Calling Dr. Murray………..

      11/6/18 3:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      18

      Orange you glad you voted? The Orange Clown is getting measured for his orange jumpsuit.

      11/6/18 10:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      19

      Trumpie: Tremendous success tonight!

      And the women elected tonight will grab you by the balls, you pussy.

      11/6/18 11:24 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      20

      Let’s jump ahead to 2020. Peter you still owe me a Russian Imperial stout after you allowed me to double down. I said Hillary would not run in 2016 and lost but you gave me a second shot. I then said if she ran she would lose. If Hillary runs in 2020 there may not be a faux competitor such as Sanders and then the battle for the nomination could set back the Democratic party for years. Sander was a total fake but some ambitious younger woman or male may want to become POTUS even more than Hillary and not put up with the shenanigans of the party.

      11/7/18 9:46 AM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      21

      Will Whitiker investigate possible DNC etc., Killary crimes? Corporate and MIC Dems elected? The market is up! “We came We saw…”. The blue wave.

      11/7/18 2:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      22

      Trumpie: ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll just figure it out.'”

      Putin is offering political asylum.

      11/7/18 8:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      23

      Peter,

      Your bookie has been calling asking where you are.

      11/8/18 10:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      24

      Trumpie declaring war on the Dems who have taken over the House is as funny as Hitler declaring war on the Russians as they advance on the bunker. He could flee to Brazil and join his psycho twin.

      11/8/18 11:00 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      25

      Brazil extradition – its constitution forbids the extradition of foreigns for political crimes.

      11/8/18 11:03 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      26

      “Midterms are always a question of whether people have a reason to risk change. Historically, incumbents retain their seats over 80% of the time. Recent flips of the House were driven by large-scale demands for change, including concern over the Iraq War and Obamacare, that reached deeper and more broadly into society than this year’s casus belli, Trump Rage.”

      Guess 307 mass shootings so far this year don’t count as large scale.

      11/8/18 6:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      27

      The red tide in Florida is still here but Red Tide Rick may be going away with a Blue Wave.

      11/9/18 10:18 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      28

      It may be that the blue wave boogie boarder -Stacey Abrams- in the Georgia Governorship election may contest Kemp’s minuscule and highly shady apparent win. She’s young -she could concede and run again and have an easy victory but for personal safety reasons I’d hold off on any Georgia vacation plans until the mess sorts itself out.

      11/9/18 11:08 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      29

      While we are in prediction time, Trumpie resigns next year rather than be humiliated by the Dumbocrats, allowing Pence to pardon him for a long list of crimes. Unfortunately for Demented, New York State dumps on his ass another long list of crimes.

      11/9/18 9:20 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      30

      If the Democrats wanted a good shot at a win (Abrams could still muster a run off) they would have run a svelte, married with children black woman who wasn’t behind on her taxes and with daunting credit card debt. She has her explanations but why run a candidate with such damning baggage along with being obese? Any idea of why the Democrats seem to want to give the Republicans an advantage?

      11/10/18 4:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      31

      The only chance the Repugnicans have is if Hillary runs again. Hell, if she dies before then, Pence will resurrect her so he has a chance to win. The guy has the charisma of a used condom.

      Of course, pardoning Trump will kill any chance he has.

      11/10/18 4:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      32

      Trumpies photo either means he is looking to take a hike or he has two thumbs up his ass. The asshole couldn’t stand the rain to attend the ceremony to honor our fallen soldiers, so it must be his thumbs up his ass. SAD.

      11/10/18 5:13 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      33

      Rich,

      He probably didn’t want to go to the ceremony because he thought it was an unfair memorial. After all, there were good people on BOTH sides in WW1.

      11/11/18 4:13 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      34

      Teri,

      Trumpie didn’t go because his side lost.

      11/11/18 10:03 AM | Comment Link

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