Tuesday, in a Congressional special election in Arizona, Republican Debbie Lesko beat Democrat Hiral Tipirneni 53-47%. This was a seat the Democrats were hoping to pick up to bolster their “coming blue wave” narrative. But since no win for the Republicans is ever really a win, the media spun it as confirmation of the “blue wave” narrative anyway, since Trump won that district by 21 points in 2016 and Lesko led by only 6 points (or as I’d call that: “a win.”)
There’s a lot of giddy talk from the left today about how if the Democrats improve their margins by that much in every close district in November, they’ll take over the House for sure. Nancy Pelosi is already talking about what they’ll do when she’s Speaker again (Spoiler alert: it involves more gun control, more spending, less immigration enforcement and higher taxes. Oh, and they’ll create a lot of jobs and stimulate the economy using the same formula that miraculously only started working once Obama was out of office).
Since there are far too few farmers in Congress, I guess they’ve never heard that you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch (Hillary certainly never heard that.) While it’s true that Tuesday’s election should put Republicans on alert that they need to fire up their base to counter the over-caffeinated anti-Trump Democrats, special elections are not a reliable predictor of general elections. They often hinge on local issues or personalities (like the Democratic Senate win in Alabama, which was rocked by last-minute sex allegations against Roy Moore, who still lost by only 1.5%.) They may be skewed by tons of media attention or outside money that won’t be a factor in November when hundreds of races are being decided at once. And turnout in special elections tends to be driven by the most politically-engaged voters, not the much larger sample of the general population that votes in November.
That’s certainly not to say Republicans should get complacent. They need to fight like the future of America depends on it, because it does. But if they listen to the type of analysis that blames depressed GOP turnout on “Trump being toxic,” they’re missing the real point. Trump hatred may be driving the Democrats, who have no other policies that aren’t proven failures, but I don’t believe most Republicans are as turned off by Trump as the media would have us believe (this week’s Gallup poll shows his approval rating among Republicans is at 82%.) But they are turned off by establishment Republicans who failed to keep their promises and who seem to think it’s better to show the media how well-bred they are by attacking Trump than to defend their own principles and support the policies Republicans elected Trump to enact.
If the GOP wants to get voters to the polls, its politicians need to stop forming circular firing squads, pass as much legislation and confirm as many conservative judges as they can, and start reminding voters of how bad things were under the Democrats until very recently, and how much better they already are, in terms of economic growth, job creation, trade deals, crushing ISIS, controlling the borders, lowering taxes, ending the North Korean nuclear threat, defending religious liberties and many other areas. Instead of attacking Trump, try taking a lesson from him. They might think Trump is gauche, but at least he knows how to sell his own product.
In that spirit, here’s today’s must-read op-ed. William McGurn in the Wall Street Journal, which has hardly been a pro-Trump paper, has started to notice what’s long been obvious to many grassroots Republicans: that the very elitists, both left and right, who keep accusing Trump of being a “danger to democracy” are fighting that (so far undetectable) “danger” by ripping down every tentpole of democracy themselves – and in the process, scrapping every last vestige of a civilized, intellectually diverse society.
Just look over the list McGurn has compiled of all the weapons they’ve employed to stop Trump from “endangering democracy” – jettisoning the ideal of objectivity by the press, weaponizing federal agencies, violating privacy rights and due process, ridiculing people for their looks, calling their political opponents “Hitler” or “Nazi,” shouting down and shaming and threatening those who support Trump, encouraging Americans to reject the results of a fair election, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of a President who won 30 out of 50 states, and on and on.
Meanwhile, how has Trump “endangered democracy”? By reducing executive power and federal regulations? Reversing Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders and returning those issues to Congress, where they belong? Or is it because he says mean things in his tweets? Has he ever called anyone “Hitler”? Because that would really be beyond the pale.
Read it and ask yourself: Who is really jack-hammering the foundation of American society?
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