Boy, Will I Ever Want To Rub It In If The Democrats Don’t Take The House…

The Democrats deserve to lose these midterms more than any party has deserved to lose since Republicans got clobbered after Watergate. The corrupt Tom Delay-led GOP Congress during the Bush years was pretty bad, but that was just the elected officials. The whole Democratic Party has disgraced itself along with “the resistance,” the news media, Hollywood, academia and social media  for two full years.

This is hardly a new or original interpretation. Lindsey Graham, as close to an ethical member of Congress as I could name, put it pretty clearly squarely in his perfect rant during the Kavanaugh hearing: these people want power so much they will do and say almost anything. Over the past two years, they have relentlessly engaged in fearmongering, while accusing Trump of fearmongering. They have engaged in intimidation, defiance of democratic traditions and institutions, and rejection of core values that are bulwarks of democracy while accusing Trump of being a fascist. By enlisting the mainstream news media as a partisan ally when it is critical that journalists remain objective and neutral, it has crippled the integrity of a crucial component of what makes a democracy work. Graham accurately described this part of the tragedy as well:

“Well, one of the things we’ll learn from Kavanaugh is how in the tank the media really is for the other side. I don’t think they’re the enemy of the people. They’re just allies of the Democratic Party. If a Republican had done to a Democratic nominee what they did to Kavanaugh, it would be front page news everywhere. If Barack Obama’s jobs numbers were anywhere close to what we’re talking about, they would stop the Earth from rotating to make sure everybody heard about it. So the bottom line is it doesn’t work anymore. MSNBC and NBC have become one when it comes to the news cycle. Saturday Night Live is making fun of a guy who lost his eye in Afghanistan. There is a backlash growing in this country from the over the top effort by the left to portray everything conservative as bad and mean and un-American.

The news media deserves to lose the mid-terms, and imagine where we are when that statement actually makes sense.

David French, a NeverTrump conservative pundit from the National Review, pretty much summed up my feelings in one respect:

Ask your Democratic candidate if he or she is willing to publicly condemn New Jersey senator Robert Menendez — tried for public corruption and admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for doing favors for a wealthy contributor in exchange for lavish gifts — the way that so many conservatives condemned (and ultimately rejected) Roy Moore…Look at your Democratic candidate’s actions regarding Brett Kavanaugh. Did they credit facially implausible gang-rape allegations? Did they presume his guilt and declare they “believed survivors” even without substantiation and in the face of contradictory evidence? Did they participate in a campaign to destroy a man’s life and career, only to drop the whole matter the instant he was confirmed?

Democrats decry Republican extremism and alarmism….Ask where your Democratic candidate stands on Hillary Clinton’s rejection of civility, Cory Booker’s call for protesters to “get up in the face of some congresspeople,” Eric Holder’s declaration that “when they go low, we kick them,” or Maxine Waters’s ominous demand that “if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

And while you’re at it, ask your Democratic candidates if the challenge of Donald Trump is so grave that they’re willing to moderate their positions on abortion, immigration, health care, gun rights, or religious liberty even in the slightest to win your support….

I don’t claim that every Democrat fails the test of character and policy, but I do know that the Democrats in general have. They demand public hygiene even as they’re responsible for much of our political filth. They decry extremism even as they stampede to the left. And there are voices — even on the right — who would help this deeply flawed party even as it demonstrates its own profound moral bankruptcy.

In the rest of his column, French makes an argument I have made for literally decades:

I have a simple test for voting: I will vote for individuals of good character who share my political values. If both candidates meet that test (and they rarely do), then of course I vote for the person closest to my views. That means I evaluate the individual whose name is on the ballot, not the president who isn’t yet up for reelection. Nor does the rejection of one candidate lead automatically to a vote for his opponent. Each candidate has to earn your vote, and if no one has, it is entirely acceptable to write in a name or go on strike — to stay home until the political parties can produce a candidate worth your support.

Exactly. Except that there are always exceptions, and I believe that the conduct of one whole side of the political spectrum has been so loathsome, so divisive and so frightening, frankly, that nothing short of complete failure will shock them into changing their current path, which is one that will lead, I fear, to violence and the dissolution of our nation.

Hollywood celebrities accurately reflect the mindset and rhetoric of  progressives, based on my conversations, reading and experiences on social media. Here are some examples:

  • “Tuesday is my 72nd birthday. I want one great big gift that can only come from you. Vote. Like our lives depend on it. Because they do”

—Sally Field

  • “It will be unendurable and probably the end of the Great Republic…I am 72 years old and won’t be here when the water runs out. YOU’RE GOING TO BE AWFULLY THIRSTY IF YOU DON’T VOTE AS THOUGH YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!! THIS ELECTION AND EVERY ONE IN YOUR LIFETIME!! VOTE!”

—Bette Midler

  • “If Trump wins, he will cast it as a complete endorsement of his most undemocratic behavior. If you’re 18, and that happens, you stand a very real chance of not living in a Western-style democracy for part or all of your life.”

—Bill Maher

The antifa. Restriction of conservative voices on campus. The #MeToo hypocrisy. Never-ending schemes to overturn the election. Demands that freedom of speech be curtailed. Elimination of due process protections of the accused. Coordinated censorship by tech giants. Bullying and harassment of non-conforming citizens in the public square, academia and social media. Big Lies and demonization by race and gender. Name-calling. Escalating denigration of  the Presidency and its occupant That has been the Left’s script for  the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, and they dare to talk as if they have been the victims, when they have been the aggressors.

History says that the Democrats can’t lose this time, as much as they deserve to. If they do lose, however, I will want to write, and shout, and post on social media,

GOOD! GOOD! You asked for this. All you had to do was to be sane, patriotic Americans and level criticism when deserved and praise when appropriate, and you couldn’t do it. You couldn’t be fair, you couldn’t be responsible, you couldn’t be respectful and you couldn’t be ethical. You proved yourself untrustworthy, and now you are untrusted. GOOD Let’s see if you learn anything.

That would be, however, petty and vindictive. It would only serve to inflame and anger, when healing and reconciliation is desperately needed.

So I won’t. I won’t. It would be wrong, and I won’t, that’s all. I’m better than that. I’m better than them.

Then again…

 

 

64 Comments

Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics

64 responses to “Boy, Will I Ever Want To Rub It In If The Democrats Don’t Take The House…

  1. We’ll see.

    Right now (8:50pm CST) it’s looking like the Democrats are doing pretty good.

  2. valkygrrl

    In good news that I very much hope you’ll all consider non-partisan.

    • I’d say that qualifies. Why Oregon????

      • valkygrrl

        Looks like it was a racist ballot measure in 1934 that they’ve never undone.

        https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/non_unanimous_jury_law/#.W-JmUdVKi00

        Independent redistricting measures are ahead in Michigan and Missouri.

        • valkygrrl

          Independent redistricting just won in Colorado, congressional and state level.

          • Glenn Logan

            I wish I had more faith in that, but as we have seen, “independent” usually means a body appointed or controlled by one party’s interests or the other.

            Perhaps Oregon will be different. Here’s hoping.

        • JP

          Currently, at least for MO, redistricting was determined by 5 Rep and Dems for Senate and 8 Rep and Dems for the house. 70% was needed for approval. Now it is all determined by a single person appointed by the state auditor, and the state majority and minority leaders. It seems more likely to stay non-partisan the way it is.

        • Independent redistricting is a must. I’d like to see Canadians and Australians assigned the job.

          • Have you lost faith in the Russians?

          • Oh, dear, no.

            You should remember that a lot of bias is subterranean, with people doing things that seem obvious to them without ever realising that they are missing something. Australians would redistrict just like that, giving you what (say) worked in Queensland because they understand “worked” as “continued blithely”. Distorted Queensland districts were once set up to favour the left for many years, and then demographic change made them favour the right, and all the while those who gained liked it while those who didn’t had no effective voice.

            All outsiders would give you is a job lot of different and unobvious prejudices that would soon take root among you.

            P.S., if you really want to avoid deliberate restructuring that favours one group other others, try some variant of cumulative voting for multi-member constituencies, with some constituencies at large for certain key occupational groups – and always have another house with members voted in on an entirely different basis that can block the first house, and only ever resolve deadlocks with new, across the board elections for both houses.

            • Actually, I’m pretty sure that there is no good solution to the district-drawing program. One objective, the need to keep communities in single districts, and the other avoiding lines that isolate voting blocs to give one party an advantage, are often mutually exclusive.

              • Quadruple the size of the House of Representatives.

              • Actually, if those are your priority, you can engineer the issues out, which is why I suggested “some variant of cumulative voting for multi-member constituencies”. With that, and particularly if you add in my further suggestion “with some constituencies at large for certain key occupational groups”, you get to keep constituencies that match people’s sense of identity but you throw out the effects of tuning the concentrations of subsets of them. This is because the roughly proportional effect of cumulative voting causes shifting the subsets to shift the number of representatives from one constituency to another right along with the subsets, so the actual boundaries don’t matter very much. But that only controls for shifting blocs around, not for adjusting the electorate itself via imports, exports and institutional indoctrination. Having those at large constituencies – say, for “public servants other than veterans”, “veterans other than naturalised citizens”, and “naturalised citizens not otherwise allocated to at large constituencies” – prevents or mitigates any such “electing a new people” as opposed to simply moving existing blocs around, especially if those at large constituencies are restricted in how big or small their representatives’ numbers can grow, at least in the medium term. (Compare and contrast New Zealand’s reserved seats for Maoris.)

                There are downsides, of course. The big, practical one is that political animals never saw away the branch they are on that gives them a system they can work to suit themselves (Victoria once briefly tried a public servants constituency, until the public servants brought it down). The subtle and deep one is from the technical issues of Arrow’s Theorem: just as no one map projection can render any map faithfully in every possible respect, so also no electoral system can; I was just describing something that handles the aspects you brought out there, but it loses out in other ways – which is why I suggested something that mitigates that, “another house with members voted in on an entirely different basis that can block the first house, and only ever resolve deadlocks with new, across the board elections for both houses”. (A formal procedure that resolves deadlocks without that, like Australia’s, certainly seems better by being simpler, but it actually just moves the Arrow’s Theorem failure onto the new mechanism; at least a new election somewhat mitigates that by not having a new mechanism, as long as you find the possibility of permanent deadlock a valid outcome.)

                Disclaimer: some twenty years ago I researched many related issues during Australia’s republican referendum campaign. All that research may or may not be a precise fit for other particular cases but it is certainly relevant as food for thought, at the least.

      • valkygrrl

        And Flordia restored voting rights to most felons who’ve completed their sentences.

        Who knows how many will make use of it? Turnout, even today–which was a higher than usual mid-term–is abysmal in this country.

        I assume you didn’t watch all of the day’s irregularities and outright shenanigans? Kept an eye on this feed all day. https://twitter.com/electionland

        • How could it be relevant and important to anyone that a felon be granted the right to vote? The very idea is absurd. Who would want such a thing? And what party has an interest in seeing it happen?

          • The party of freebies, of course. Money for votes

          • Here's Johnny

            From one standpoint, voting is an inherent right of all adult citizens, since all are entitled to have their say in their own governance. There is similar language in the 15th, 19th, and 24th, and 26th amendments to the Constitution that acknowledges that inherent right, stating that “the right of citizens to vote … shall not be denied or abridged … .”
            For felons, or ex-felons as they sometimes are called, it is logical to argue that once they have completed their sentence, they have been rehabilitated, and that, therefore, their rights should no longer be denied. The counter argument is that a felony is so heinous that at least some rights should continue to be denied. (A felony is typically defined as a crime with a sentence of a year or more or death.)
            Who benefits if the right to vote is restored? Well, presumably society does, if in fact there has been rehabilitation, since citizen participation is essential for a functioning democracy. The Democratic Party also might be seen as benefiting since at least one authoritative study in “The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science” showed that most felons register Democratic, in some cases dramatically so (in NY State felons registered Democratic 6-1 over Republican). But, as a practical matter, that study also showed that felons who have the right to vote restored seldom do vote.
            I lean toward restoration of the right to vote, but I would also want some assurance of actual rehabilitation.

        • Glenn Logan

          I’m undecided on this. The libertarian in my likes this, because it moves us closer to the idea that when you’ve paid your debt to society, you can rid yourself of all civil disabilities and become a full citizen.

          On the other hand, would I like to see firearms rights restored on the same basis? It’s only fair that they should be, because just like the franchise, they are a fundamental right of American citizenship. But there are times when this would probably be a bad idea, I think most of us can agree.

          I’d rather see states go to a model where something like a parole board examines felons who’s rights have been disabled review their case every so often and decide if they’ve proven to have earned them back, either partially or completely. And no, I wouldn’t give their victims a seat at the table — I’d want the decision to be based on facts, not feelz.

    • Glenn Logan

      That is good to see. Thank you!

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that. BUT, it looks like the GOP ran the table in the Senate. Now we just have to wait for Ginsburg to leave the Court…

  4. Boon

    David French does not write for The Federalist, as far as I can tell.

  5. The President’s party over the past 21 midterm elections has lost an average 30 seats in the House, and an average 4 seats in the Senate. Looks like tonight’s gains will be a bit more than average in the House, but a net loss in the Senate. In other words, no “blue wave,” just the usual mid-term gains, or a little worse, for Democrats. Imagine how well they might have done if they hadn’t yielded to the crazies.

    • Imagine how well they might have done if they hadn’t yielded to the crazies.

      Doesn’t it stand to reason that they accomplished what they accomplished because they worked the hysteria angle? If they hadn’t, it seems to me possible that they might not have ‘mobilized their base’ as the newspapers say.

      They have the capacity to rouse their base by working the fear and loathing angle, and this base *agrees* to go along with them because they sense, viscerally, that their ultimate interests will be served.

      Now, from what I have just glossed reading the Times, the general hysterical approach will only continue. Now that they have the power to *investigate* those investigations will amount to another octave of the hysterical-political approach. The hysterical tactic will not now diminish, but will be increased. That is how they operate, that is how they get things done.

      I gather that, in fact, the larger segment of the US population tends in the Democrat-Progressive direction. Whoever makes up the Republicans is, viewed historically, a class that is not gaining power but losing power. It is a numbers game, a game of time, and one that has a great deal to do with demographics. Democratic demographics indicate greater future gains; Republican demographics eventual losses. I can’t see any way round this.

      • They’ll convince themselves of that, but it will be self-delusion. Mid-terms are always examples of regressions to the mean. Everyone once thought that the GOP would lose both Houses and the White House in the last election. Trump behaves like a baboon, even while his policies are working, People like me are embarrassed to have an ass like this representing the country. The Left’s tactics didn’t work; they played into Trump’s hands. Heck, the GOP might have traded the House for a bigger margin in the Senate, if you could barter seats. Pelosi really seems to be suffering from dementia—having her in front of the cameras daily will make Trump look like Winston Churchill.

        • Everyone once thought that the GOP would lose both Houses and the White House in the last election.

          It seems to me that if they’d have had an even reasonable candidate — Hillary was disliked by so many, held in contempt really — they would not have lost the last election. But this only means that they did not have the right candidate. They had the numbers.

          Therefor, it would seem imperative that they find the right person (I was going to say ‘the right man’, a convention of language!) to run against Trump in 2020. I wonder if they will be able to do this? My sense is that they won’t. They need to select a middle-road person, likely a man, but they are really working the diversity angle and who knows what they will send out?
          I agree with you about the way Trump acts and looks. Yet I have noticed that he has been improving when he gives discourses on his policies and other issues. He does not seem to have changed much in his campaign rally presentation, but he does seem more *thoughtful* in his speeches.

          If he really does improve and rise to the occasion in the following months, it seems this will strengthen the Republican position a great deal.

  6. An interesting point that I just read is that all the Democratic Senators in states rated as toss-ups who voted against Kavanaugh…….lost. And Manchin won his race.

  7. Greg

    The lesson that the Democrats have learned is the opposite of what you hoped, Jack. They’ve learned that the lies, hysteria and violence all work. Get ready for two more years of even worse.

    The press’s propaganda campaign worked. They flipped 34 Congressional seats, mostly in white suburbs where people watch and read the news most heavilyand take the press seriously. I don’t think it’s possible for the press to be any worse, but they’ll try.

    The Justice Department and the FBI successfully defied Congressional subpoenas until the clock ran out, just as the Obama administration ran out the clock on Congressional investigations of its many scandals, all substantially unreported by the press. The House will soon be issuing floods of subpoenas designed to gin up phony scandals, each of which will receive breathless, round-the-clock press coverage. Expect the press to inform the public that stonewalling a Congressional subpoena is unprecedented, a high crime and misdemeanor and one of the many, many grounds for Trump’s impeachment.

    • They’ve learned that the lies, hysteria and violence all work.

      Would Republicans also resort to lies, hysteria, and violence?

    • As I already noted, though, 34 flips is no big deal, especially given the media bias. There was no Blue Wave even with the pollsters rigging the polls to excite the Democratic base. If Trump could have restrained his idiotic tweets just a bit since his election, the GOP might have kept the House, which would have been miraculous.

      All the hate, all the anger, all the boycotts and obscenity, all the fake news, all the legal harassment, all the Sally Yates/James Comey sabotage, all the judicial partisan blocking, all the one-way ridicule on the comedy shows and the bullying on social media, all the Republican retirements, all the NeverTrump tantrums from people like Flake, McCain, George Will and others, the late attacks and threats by right-wing wackos—all of that, and the Democrats picked up a lousy 35 seats or so, with a President who (probably) has an approval rating under water?

      Astounding. And losing the House to these lunatics might well help the GOP in the long term. Pelosi and Waters are genuinely loathsome, and can’t restrain themselves.

      • I was curious and looked back at some of the earlier midterms. We generally hear of the 2006 results as a ‘blue’ wave, but they actually only picked up 31 seats in the House, although they did also take control of the Senate, picking up 6 seats there.

        Wikipedia refers to it as a ‘sweeping’ victory and the only one in U.S. history where the winning party didn’t lose a single seat. 2010 was truly a ‘wave’ election, on the order of 2010, 1994 and many others.

        So it looks like the Democrats will have about a 20-25 seat majority in the House, and the Republicans an 8-10 seat majority in the Senate. Given that slender margin, I would think they would want to be somewhat cautious in pursuing Trump. Whether they can restrain themselves — we’ll see. However justified, the Republicans impeachment of Clinton was a political blunder and I suspect that it would be likewise for the Democrats now. Clinton could always run rings around the Congressional Republican leaders — and I suspect Trump will be able to pretty much do the same.

        We’ll see.

  8. Bad Bob

    You, sir, are my hero. Great clip.

    Not germane to the post, but I think as a nation we’ve lost something captured in most all John Wayne movies, and are the poorer for it.

  9. Chris Marschner

    When I read the title I thought don’t do it. I am glad you won’t.

    This post reflects my thinking entirely. There is one issue that perhaps others with more grey matter than I can resolve for me.

    For 2 years we have heard nothing but speculation, conjecture, and questionable stories on how the Russians manipulated and influenced the 2016 election thereby allowing Trump to be elected. So many believe him to be illegitimately elected. This raises several questions:

    1. If our electoral soverignty is something to be protected so that no outside forces manipulate the process for benefit of themselves, why does this only translate to foreign nations? Why do we accept that some billionaires in NY or California can spend millions of dollars to influence the outcome of an election of representatives, senators or governors in another sovereign state in which they do not reside?

    2. How do those that believe that our national sovereignty is paramount reconcile claims that such sovereignty pertains only to electoral processes but not to actual laws, barriers, borders, or treaties. In short, why is nationalism good only for elections but not for general policy issues?

    • Upwards of 100 million lost when Beto tanked. The only winners are those who advertised with that money.

      • dragin_dragon

        Looks like I won our bet, slick. The cute little 29-yr-old socialist won in New York State.

        • We will have to coordinate you prize, dd.

        • It was obvious she was going to win.

          Now, the real bet is just how does the Media plan to run interference for her for her all intents and purposes lifetime appointment? She’s a very stupid person and every time she speaks she makes that plainly obvious.

          What strategy and tactics will the media use to ensure this starlet looks like the best thing ever?

      • Chris Marschner

        SW. that could be considered moral luck. At issue is the logic that permits persons who live outside the boundaries of a jurisdiction influence the hearts and minds of people within a jurisdiction using propaganda designed to advance their interest if the person is a US citizen but not if they are foreign nationals. To me there is no difference.

        • I was just observing that the rich outsiders spent a lot of money in vain… no other point was intended.

          The short answer to your question is: citizens have certain rights that foreign nationals do not, in practice if not in law.

      • philk57

        I don’t know about that slick – would the congressional seats that flipped have done so without Beto raising the enthusiasm level for the democrats?

        • You will have to tell me about that effect out of Texas. Here, the GOP lost some state house seats, and 2 Congressional seats.

          Pete Sessions lost due to the out of state transplants turning his district purple under him. He also opposed marijuana legalization, and big bucks were spent to unseat him.

          John Culberson was also unseated by a district going purple.

          Makes me want a sanity test for out of staters moving here. /snark

          I still think the 100 plus millions spent by Democrats and progressives here in Texas gave a poor return on investment.

    • This has bothered me for a while, I’m not sure individuals should be able to donate to candidates running for districts outside the donating individual’s district.

        • That’s compliance dodge.

          This is ethics. I don’t think it’s ethical whether or not the system protects the conduct.

          • I didn’t say it was ethical. You said it should be forbidden, at least that’s what “shouldn’t be able” means to me. All I’m saying is that it can’t be forbidden. Lots of things protected by the Bill of Rights are unethical.

            • Chris Marschner

              But Jack, if we have freedom of speech how can we bar foreigners from speaking freely themselves; especially if they are physically in our country when they speak.

              • Are foreigners in the country legally barred from political contributions? If so, someone should challenge that. I think it is a First Amendment breach.

                • Chris Marschner

                  This begs the question, how does Mueller indict certain foreign nationals who place ads with American firm, from their homeland, on a global information platform? I can see how he can prosecute those that financially gain from a prohibited transaction but on what authority can he prosecute those foreign nationals? If the origin of the influencing information was within the US then the 1st amendment applies.
                  This is really just a logic question not a legal one

                  • He can’t prosecute them. His indictments are just grandstanding.

                    • Chris Marschner

                      Bingo. If it is grandstanding then that suggests the investigation is politically motivated and not out to find truth.

                    • dragin_dragon

                      Well, of course, Chris. The only reason he brought the indictments in the first place is that he knows he won’t have to prosecute them with bupkus evidence.

                    • Why did not the court sua sponte quash the indictment?

                    • I’d have to research it. There must be a precedent. No harm, no foul? The Russians just laughed at it.

                    • Courts have limited jurisdiction, only over cases and controversies arising from the law.

                      it is well established that a court could dismiss a complaint sua sponte if it concludes it lacks subject matter jurisdiction, whether or not any of the parties challenge the court’s jurisdiction.

                      A law that is repugnant to the Constitution is void in abnitio. As such, a court woulsd lack Article III jurisidiction to decide the emrits of a complaint arising from an unconstitutional law.

                      If this indictment is based solely on the expression of opinions, then the court lacks jurisdiction to issue the indictment, and would have an obligation to quash it.

                  • He can’t.

                    The indictment should have been quashed to the extent that it claims that mere publication of opinions constitutes a crime. Such a claim violates freedom of speech, and a court would lack Article III jurisdiction to decide the merits.

                • That depends on if political donations are considered protected activity.

              • We can not.

                We could prohibit them from donating money directly to a political campaign.

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