Tag Archives: midterm election

Let’s wait on the political obit

Before we start dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on President Biden’s political obituary in the wake of the upcoming midterm election, let’s revisit a couple of recent historical events … hmm?

President Clinton won election in 1992. The midterm election occurred in 1994 and you know what happened. Republicans took control of both congressional chambers for the first time in 40 years. They flipped dozens of House seats. Newt Gingrich became speaker.

What happened in the 1996 presidential election? Clinton won re-election in an Electoral College landslide.

OK, now let’s look quickly at what occurred in 2010. President Obama took office after the 2008 election. He had a Democratic Party majority in Congress. Then the 2010 midterm occurred. Republicans delivered what Obama called a “shellacking.” The GOP took control of Congress.

Oh, but wait! The 2012 election ended with President Obama winning re-election. The margin for Obama wasn’t as impressive as the victory scored by President Clinton.

So here we are today. President Biden and Democrats are facing strong headwinds moving toward this year’s midterm election. Republicans are poised to seize control of both congressional chambers. If they do, they will follow historical precedent.

Is that the end of the line for Joe Biden? Nope, not even …

You see, today’s GOP is now populated by election deniers, followers of the Big Lie fomented by the Liar in Chief. The GOP is fully capable of messing up what the voters appear ready to grant them, which is control of the legislative branch of government.

Given the quality of the rhetoric coming from the cultist who leads the Republican Party and the blind fealty to his blathering that his followers exhibit, I am betting President Biden and the Democrats won’t surrender anything.


How bad will it get?

Karl Rove, the man once known derisively as “George W. Bush’s brain,” has laid out what he believes will occur when they count the midterm election ballots in November.

He writes in the Wall Street Journal, “Even Democratic strategists now admit the midterms will be disastrous for their party. “It’s going to be a terrible cycle for Democrats,” Doug Sosnik, one of the party’s best grand strategists, recently told the New York Times. The question is how big the calamity will be. A freeway pileup? Category 5 hurricane? Or Krakatoa with all the attendant consequences?

I do not intend to question the sincerity of Sosnik’s assertion, as reported by Rove, but it kind of begs a question that’s been rattling around my brain for the past few weeks.

It goes like this: Might it be even remotely possible that Democratic strategists are laying out a worst-case scenario with a glimmer of hope that if their losses are less than expected that they can claim a sort of moral victory?

Or, there’s this: Is it possible that the gloom-doom-despair prognosis is hiding some positive outcome, that Democrats actually could retain control of one of the congressional chambers?

I realize that politics can be a cynical game. Politicians and their hired guns — be they Democrat or Republican — look for any angle they can find to suit their agenda.

Since I am perched in the cheap seats out here in Flyover Country, I am nowhere close to the heartbeat of the nation’s political center. I am just wondering whether there could be a bit of gamesmanship being played.

These things do happen. I am just sayin’, man.


Tough to comprehend

I am likely to go to my grave never understanding how a politician can be heard threatening his colleagues over their conduct in the wake of a violent political insurrection can receive — allegedly — a standing ovation when he rises to speak to them in person.

So it was, reportedly, when U.S. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy spoke to his GOP colleagues today. It all comes after media reports — complete with audio recordings of McCarthy — of the pol’s indignation over the 1/6 riot that sought to subvert our democracy.

I mean, you can hear McCarthy talk angrily of his colleagues’ behavior during and immediately after the riot. Then he said something profoundly stupid to them.

He wasn’t talking “publicly” about them, only “privately,” and added that he wouldn’t ever say those things in public.

Why, the House Republican caucus members just stood and cheered their hero, who wants to be the next speaker of the House if his party takes control of Congress after the midterm election later this year.

Go fu**ing figure.


We are headed for catastrophe … seriously!

Excuse my tendency to push the proverbial panic button with regard to the midterm election, but I have to declare my fear that we could be headed for governmental catastrophe if Congress flips from Democratic to Republican control.

Indeed, I am concerned about Mitch McConnell become majority leader if the Senate flips. Today, though, it’s House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy who has earned the bulk of my wrath. McCarthy truly gives me the heebie-jeebies.

McCarthy wants to become speaker. If the House flips to his party, then he stands a good chance — I fear! — of being chosen speaker. What does that mean for those of us who favor good government? It means the House well could launch a torrent of probes designed to embarrass Democrats.

It well could become payback time in the People’s House.

Why do I worry about McCarthy? Because we now have a possibly presumptive speaker who has been recorded on audio saying something he actually well could deny he said, which was that he intended to encourage Donald J. Trump to resign from the presidency in the wake of the 1/6 insurrection.

He said as much to Rep. Liz Cheney. Then he denied saying it — until an audio recording surfaced.

This guy is a coward. So is Mitch McConnell, to be candid. Both of these individuals blamed Donald Trump for “provoking” the Capitol Hill riot on 1/6. Then McCarthy voted against impeaching Trump and McConnell voted to acquit him in the Senate trial that commenced after the second impeachment.

Will any of this occur? The tides are moving toward a GOP blowout on Election Day. That the president’s party would suffer a congressional election setback is not unusual. It is usually the case. Both legislative chambers have razor-thin Democratic majorities, so it won’t take much for the GOP to take control of the legislative branch of government.

I just worry for the sake of good government, though, that the next speaker of the House could be a cowardly liar who backed away from his condemnation of what the world saw occur on 1/6 and then sucked up to the Insurrectionist in Chief.

I don’t want the catastrophe to occur. Nor should anyone who values this democratic process of ours.


Low turnout on tap … oh, joy!

As if the Texas legislative Republican caucus needed reasons to suppress voter turnout in this state. Early indications from the state elections office tells us turnout for this year’s midterm primary election is going to typically abysmal.

As of this past Thursday, only 2.7% percent of eligible voters had cast their votes early.

Just so you know — as if you need reminding — we’re going to vote on a whole array of statewide offices. The governor’s contest is the main event. Texans so far are showing little interest in casting their votes in either party primary.

OK, just so you know: I am going to wait until Election Day to cast my votes. I detest early voting and since we will be around on March 1, we’ll vote on the day of the election.

I keep yapping about this every election cycle, so forgive me for repeating myself.

I am weary of reading about hideously low voter turnout in this state. We’re likely to have single-digit percentage turnouts in both party primaries. That’s ridiculous, as in the cause for ridicule. Do you get my drift? People around the world are dying for the chance to vote. We get the chance to cast our ballots to have a tangible voice in what our government should do on our behalf, and we look the other way.

We leave these decisions to the folks next door, or to the strangers at the grocery store, or the guy at the other end of the church pew.

That isn’t how representative democracy is supposed to work.

I do not want to get the government that the other guy chooses.


Prepare for shellacking

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Dear Mr. President … it’s been a while since I’ve addressed you in a blog post, but here comes a warning for you.

Prepare for an electoral “shellacking,” to borrow a phrase, in the midterm election later this year. President Obama called a similar event in the 2010 midterm that cost y’all control of Congress; Republicans seized control of the legislative chamber. But I don’t need to remind you of that.

Nor do I need to remind you what happened in 2012, when you and the president got re-elected.

The shellacking you can expect to take this year doesn’t portend political doom for the administration you lead. Yes, I am aware your polling doesn’t reflect lots of good cheer for you.

Bear in mind, though, that the liars on the other side of the great divide continue to keep outshouting the truth-tellers.

The economy is recovering at a brisk pace; I feel it and sense it. We have been hit once again by another variant spawned by the coronavirus pandemic, but my gut tells me we’re going to end 2022 in much better health than we are entering it. We have some challenges around the world with which you must deal, but I will continue to have faith in your own legislative leadership experience that I believe will guide you as you confront them.

Much depends, surely, on whom Republicans nominate for the presidential run in 2024. I am sure you heard what Sen. Lindsey Graham — the guy who once described you as one of the “most decent men God ever created” — said about Donald Trump. He said the next election is “Trump’s to lose.” I am maintaining my faith in Americans’ good sense that we won’t go down that path again.

Then again, I also am going to cling to my skepticism that Trump actually runs again.

So, I wish you well in this new year, Mr. President. I stand with you.

I just want you to prepare early for the remarks you will have to give when they count the votes for the midterm election. A “shellacking” appears to be coming your way. Don’t feel you’re the only POTUS to suffer such an indignity. Others have been dealt serious defeats during their first term in office.

Don’t surrender. There well could be a revival at hand, too.


It’s a never-ending cycle

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It never ends.

We finish an election cycle and the next one begins. Immediately. There is no cooling off. No respite from the rhetoric. No rest for voters or for those of us who comment on these cycles.

As much as I enjoy being able to offer these comments, I admit that it wears me out.

I am not sure when it began to wear me down and out. Maybe it began with the 2000 election cycle. Or perhaps when social media began to take a firm hold on our attention, providing so much information and pseudo-information. It only has accelerated over the two decades since that time.

We finished the 2020 election cycle, which was a blessed event for those of us who wanted the presidential campaign to end the way it did. But now …

Lo and behold, the 2022 mid-term election campaign has begun. Republicans want to take back Congress from them nasty Democrats before turning their sights on the White House in 2024.

In fact, the 2024 campaign rhetoric already is getting ginned up. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is seeking to obstruct President Biden’s nominees at every turn, offering pointed and wrongheaded criticism of Biden.

Give me a break … will ya?

It’s only going to ratchet up more rapidly as Election Day 2022 approaches and then, by golly, we’d better batten ’em down in preparation for the 2024 election.

Are you ready? I clearly am not! I had better get ready … or else!

Do elections have consquences? Yep, they sure do!

You’ve heard it said that “elections have consequences.”

Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States demonstrates it; he has appointed two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, swinging the court balance to the right. Yes, the 2016 election has consequences.

So does the 2018 midterm congressional election. We saw the consequence of that election today. Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterm election.

And today, the Democrats convened a hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and received the testimony of Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, who then proceeded to tell the world that the president might have broken the law. How? By writing a reimbursement check for what might have constituted an illegal campaign expenditure relating to the payment to an adult film actress who allegedly had a fling with the future president.

We would have heard none of this today had Republicans maintained control of the House in the midterm election. They didn’t. The Democrats took control. They have the chairman’s gavels now.

Let there be no doubt that elections have consequences.

At times those consequences can be profound. I believe we witnessed one of those profound events today.

Once solidly GOP county portends a sea change?

This is a map of a southern California county that President Reagan once said was the place where “good Republicans go to die.”

The image on the left shows the county with all but one congressional district represented by Republicans; the image on the right shows the county after the 2018 midterm election. It’s all blue. Every single CD in Orange County now is represented by Democrats.

Is this a bellwether of what is happening to the national political landscape? I am not smart enough to answer that one directly. Although I would venture to suggest that President Reagan, wherever he is, would be mighty displeased at how this map demonstrates the chameleon-like nature of a once-faithful Republican stronghold.

I strongly doubt the Democrats who seized control of Orange County, Calif., are of the pinko/socialist variety of, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young woman elected to represent a New York City district in the next Congress.

Still, the new congressmen and women coming from Orange County are going to align with the party that opposes Donald John Trump’s agenda — whatever it entails. You see, I have difficulty wrapping my arms around the president’s agenda, because it changes daily, if not hourly. Which is what happens when a party is led by a man without a semblance of a political philosophy or moral grounding. But … that’s another story for another day.

Pundits nationally are wondering if Orange County portends a sea change for the 2020 election cycle, the campaign for which began the moment the results came in on the 2018 midterm election.

The U.S. House has flipped from GOP to Democratic control. As more races are settled in districts around the country, the Democratic grip on the House keeps tightening just a little more. The U.S. Senate is nominally more Republican than before the election; Democrats, though, made a fight of it in places where they weren’t supposed to do well … such as in Texas!

I believe the map shown on this blog post just might signal a result that illustrates a rejection of Donald Trump’s leadership, no matter what the president might say to the contrary.

That, I also believe, is a good thing.

Ga. governor candidate ends bid, but doesn’t ‘concede’

Stacey Abrams’s decision to end her bid to become Georgia’s next governor concluded with one of the more, um, interesting non-concession speeches in modern political history.

The Democratic candidate said this week she is ending her campaign to defeat Republican Gov.-elect Brian Kemp, but that she will continue to fight his election in the courts.

I have to agree with the defeated candidate. She deserves the right to have he court system determine whether there was sufficient voter suppression hanky-panky to affect the outcome of the bitterly fought campaign for Georgia governor.

Kemp had served as Georgia’s secretary of state until he resigned the office after the midterm election. I found the timing of his resignation to be, shall we say, a bit dubious.

There were questions raised about the manner in which Kemp managed the voter registration process leading up to the election, such as his decision to essentially disqualify thousands of voters, most of whom happened to be African-American — the same ethnicity as his Democratic opponent, Abrams.

Kemp, quite naturally, denied any wrongdoing, saying he was following the law.

However, the idea that the secretary of state who administers a state election system running for governor of that state does raise conflict of interest questions.

So, Abrams is done running for governor this time around. I suspect we might see her again in the future, given that she lost this race by the narrowest of margins. Her hope was that the final ballots being counted would bring Kemp’s total to below the 50-percent plus one vote margin needed for outright victory, forcing a runoff election between them.

It wasn’t to be.

So now she is seeking legal recourse, which is her right.

Let’s allow the court system to decide this matter once and for all.