Blue Wave Turning Into A Blue Ripple
The clearest sign that the much-anticipated Blue Wave may not materialize this fall is that Democratic officials and strategists are already preparing excuses for disappointing results. As reported by the The Hill two weeks ago, Democrats are expressing concerns that a strong economy will help Republicans, if not retain control of Congress, then at limit their losses. There is no question that GDP growth has increased – although well short of the 3% to 4% predicted by the supply-siders – and unemployment numbers are at lows not seen since the 1970s. However, if Republicans do well this fall, it won’t be because of the economy.
Nearly two years ago, I wrote a piece arguing that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign had taken to the national level the same electoral strategy as Wendy Davis’ losing 2014 campaign for Governor of Texas. Both Hillary and Wendy pinned their hope for victory on women and turning out a record number of Latino voters. To achieve their objective, both relied on portraying their respective Republican opponents as misogynist, bigoted, and simply too extreme to govern. I concluded my article by raising the question of whether Hillary would suffer the same fate as Davis, and she did. Remarkably, the Democrats have decided that the surest way to win control of Congress this year is to adopt the same tactics, rhetoric, and policy positions that have delivered two losses. Will the third time be the charm? Doubtful.
On paper, the strategy to rely on women and Latino voters looks solid, and - given the demographic change the country is undergoing - in a few decades the Democrats may be able to simply rely on winning non-white voters. In the short term, however, the Democrats need to win a majority of white women voters. The problem the Democrats have created for themselves is that the rhetoric and policy positions they use to attract and motivate Latino voters repel the very white women voters they need.
Immigration is the primary issue Democrats use to appeal to Latino voters and portray Republicans as bigots. To drive up the Latino vote, Democrats have adopted a series of extreme and indefensible positions. There is no reason for the Democrats to oppose building a wall along our southern border -- a position they held a decade ago. Even more detrimental for the Democrats is their embrace of sanctuary cities. Advocating for the release of individuals who have committed criminal acts in addition to violating immigration laws is extreme, irresponsible, and endangers public safety. The continuous efforts to smear Republicans as bigots often land Democrats on the losing end of rhetorical battles. The net result of the Democrats' approach to the issue of illegal immigration is to drive away white, suburban women who would otherwise support amnesty for illegal immigrants and a more generous immigration policy.
Hillary's effort to paint Trump as a misogynist led her to talk more about Alicia Machado than what she planned to do to raise the wages of American workers. This campaign cycle, the Democrats have decided to replace Machado with Stormy Daniels and promote the #MeToo movement - both actions spectacularly backfiring. Prominent Democrats such as Al Franken - thought to be a presidential contender in 2020 - and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman - one of the most vocal supporters of the #MeToo movement - had to resign their positions because of sexual harassment allegations. Democrats have tried to save the day by arguing that - unlike Republicans who stand by Trump - they throw out their bums. However, as more and more Democrats have allegations raised against them, either the party drops the #MeToo movement or will have a very thin bench.
Stormy Daniels may very well be the reason the tide has turned against the Democrats. Parading Daniels around has only reinforced the view that Democrats have nothing to offer except pure hatred for Trump. The alleged affair took place when Trump was a private individual and not a president -- he didn't prey on an intern in the Oval Office and then send out his wife to attack the intern. And this what Democrats need to realize for the good of the country: whatever moral authority the party had over the issue of sexual harassment was lost when the party decided to defend Bill Clinton.
November is months away, and there is still time for Democrats to change tactics and regain the upper hand. Stormy Daniels and her repulsive lawyer will not gain Democrats any voters. The constant attacks on Trump and his family will only motivate Republicans to rally around the president despite their disappointment over the wall not being built. The Democrats claim to be the responsible party interested in governing this country. Time to prove it. Drop the porn star, build the wall, and don't talk so much about MS-13 members being children of God.