Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Democratic Party's Tuesday Debacle

Across the country, from sea to shining sea, Democrats took a shellacking on Tuesday. It was not just the gubernatorial election in Virginia. The Republicans swept to power in most of the other Virginia elections. They now control the state house, the executive suite and the Virginia House of Delegates.

In states where school boards were in play, Republicans did very well indeed. See link. A Republican candidate nearly won the election for New Jersey governor, but another Republican, a truck driver, deposed the Democratic leader of the state senate. Strangely enough, in New York State and in Seattle Republicans did very well indeed.

It was so bad, it was such a flagrant repudiation of Joe Biden that our mentally defective president could not grasp what had happened. In truth, that was one of the reasons it happened. The American people had discovered that they had been duped into voting for demented Joe. And now they were striking back.

And, of course, Donald Trump was not on the ticket. Better yet, thanks to Facebook and Twitter, Trump was largely silenced during the campaign. Dare we say that this state of affairs is thoroughly appalling, and that these tech giants will hopefully soon meet their maker. And yet, with Trump’s twitter feed being silenced, the Democratic strategy of being anti Trump failed to resonate.

Naturally, Trump supporters consider the election returns to be an utter and complete vindication of their favorite president. In truth, by all appearances, the suburban housewives who flipped Virginia into Republican territory were casting a vote for a sane, sensible, non-belligerent, not hostile, comforting candidate. To imagine that they would vote for Trump seems fanciful, at the least.

If anything, and here goes a prophecy, the election results will cause Republicans to think twice or thrice about running another election campaign with Donald Trump at the head of the ticket. Of course, no one can say so, because those who sympathize with Trump, who feel empathy for the brutality of the attacks on him, will only give up their hope for a restoration when Trump himself bows out.

Voters across the country were casting ballots for issues. They were not voting for or against an oversized persona. And they were voting for calm and reassurance and competence. After all, governor-elect Youngkin was not merely sensible and on message. He was not filling the airwaves with Twitter static. Like it or not, the American people were exercising their rational faculties; they were not moved by appeals to emotion, one way or the other. 

A considerable number of psycho theorists believe that manipulating emotion, stirring up emotion, is the best way to persuade anyone of anything. Some people even imagine that incivility is the way to go. After all, Democrats are anything but civil-- fight fire with fire, as the saying has it.

In truth, the antidote to incivility is rationality-- clear, concise, precise, articulate, sensible rationality. Funnily enough, the chorus of hurt feelings that infested MSNBC and CNN showed precisely what was wrong with today’s politics. Those who were shedding tears over the election outcome should, as the saying goes, get a life. They are placing far too much importance on elections. They seem to believe that their only chance for success in America involves voting themselves a living. They do not seem to feel confident that they earned their way, but that they have profited from certain government programs and mandates. They seem to want to brainwash the country into believing that America owes them a living, not for what they have earned, but for what America did to their ancestors centuries ago.

Anyway, the media and the blogosphere is awash in explanations of the monumental Democratic election faceplant. Among the better analyses is that of Bret Stephens in the New York Times.

After remarking that politicians and pundits are insulting everyone’s intelligence by saying that Youngkin ran a racist campaign-- when you are a racist, everything appears to be evidence of racism-- and dismissing the fact that McAuliffe ran a lousy campaign, Stephens mentions in passing the Biden, or, should we say, the Brandon factor.

Joe Biden has shown himself to be so monstrously incompetent that even the media cannot cover for him.

Finally, there’s Joe Biden. He is manifestly inept. He cannot get his party to pass a popular infrastructure bill. On inflation, Afghanistan and the southern border, he has offered benign assurances that have been summarily contradicted by events. No president elected after World War II lost more public support in his first few months of office than he has, according to Gallup. Biden’s losses are particularly steep among independents. If he doesn’t recover this is bound to have down-ballot effects.

But then, Stephens gets to what he considers to be the meat of the issue, the hidden problems that consigned Democratic candidates to defeat. In essence, voters have figured out that today’s Democratic party is a fraud, that it has been misrepresenting itself, lying to the people, pretending to be one thing, while being another.

The last three explanations are true as far as they go. But they don’t sufficiently capture the Democrats’ deeper problem, which is the persistent and justified perception of a party too often composed of fake moderates and dissembling radicals. Middle-of-the-road voters — the kind who still decide elections in purplish places like Virginia — sense they’ve been bamboozled.

The Biden presidency pretended to be sane and sensible, moderate and middle-of-the-road, but has proved to be radically leftist.

Who’s a fake moderate? Biden campaigned as the most centrist Democrat in last year’s primary field. He is trying to govern as the most socially transformational president since Lyndon B. Johnson. Attorney General Merrick Garland looks like a fake moderate, too willing to cite the power of the federal government after angry parents at school board meetings were labeled domestic terrorists. Whatever happened to Democrats as civil libertarians?

Today’s Biden-led Democratic Party is a lie.

Consider the question of critical race theory and whether it should be taught in public schools. Stephens explains:

As for dissembling radicals, note the way in which the controversy over critical race theory is treated by much of the left as either much ado about an obscure scholarly discipline or, alternatively, a beneficent and necessary set of teachings about the past and present of systemic racism in America.

But C.R.T. is neither obscure nor anodyne. It is, according to many of its leading theoreticians, a “politically committed movement” that often explicitly rejects notions of merit, objectivity, colorblindness and neutrality of law, among other classically liberal concepts.

That’s no reason to ban teaching it or any other way of looking at the world. But it is dishonest to argue that it is anything less than ideologically radical, intensely racialized and deliberately polarizing. It is even more dishonest to suggest that it exists only in academic cloisters. We live in an era of ubiquitous race-based “affinity groups,” incessant allegations of white supremacy, and pervasive censorship and self-censorship in everything from words that can be said and documentaries that can be watched, to jokes that can be laughed at.

Teaching radical ideology is not why we have public schools. Dare we mention that parents want their children to learn science and math, not leftist propaganda. And they have grasped that teachers have not been teaching, that their children have not been learning, and that the American school system has produced graduates who lag far behind their peers around the world in the skills needed to function in the modern economy.

How many parents were punishing Democrats for colluding with the teachers' unions in shutting down school systems across the country?

Stephens explains that today’s Democratic party has become illiberal. This should not be news. We have been saying as much for quite some time. And we recall that during the Trump presidency more than a few old-style liberals deplored the Democratic Party’s turn toward the radical left, and its rejection of democratic decorum and respect for the Constitution:

But the Democrats’ political problem is either dishonesty about the kind of country they want, a lack of self-awareness, or some combination of both. An America in which group identity takes precedence over individual merit, racial categories become moral categories, success based on achievement is denigrated as “privilege” based on ancestry, blind justice is attacked as systemically biased, and independent thinking risks being treated as heresy, will eventually cease to be a free, fair and just country.

Stephens remarks that Trumpism was another manifestation of illiberalism, but in truth, the problem seems largely to be coming from the left:

Many liberals who have tasted the progressive moonshine get the point. But too many still feel obligated to take sides against Trumpism when the real enemy is illiberalism writ large, whatever the source.


markedup2 said...

In truth, the antidote to incivility is rationality-- clear, concise, precise, articulate, sensible rationality.

I disagree. The Republican establishment has been doing that since at least Regean and it hasn't been effective. "Let's go Brandon!" is clear, concise, and precise, but not particularly articulate or sensibly rational.

We are not rational creatures; we are rationalizing creatures.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

And Trump broke with the Republican establishment by going all-in for incivility. How did that work out?

Bizzy Brain said...

A decent article spoiled by your anti-Trump sentiments.

Sam L. said...

"Joe Biden has shown himself to be so monstrously incompetent that even the media cannot cover for him." Yet, it keeps trying. I have been inoculated against the media. I pooh pooh the media for the fools they be.

"Whatever happened to Democrats as civil libertarians?" They lieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to us. Trust them, I will NOT. Not NOW, not sometime in the future, NEVER!!!

370H55V said...

Note that the photo of Byron Brown's supporters accompanying the NY Times article linked shows them to be almost all men. I wonder what the significance of that is?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

In the category of great minds think alike, consider this, from Ann Althouse's blog:

By the way, don't you think it helped Youngkin that Trump wasn't on Twitter? Maybe one way for Democrats to stage a comeback would be for Twitter (and Facebook) to put Trump back where people are going to see him all the time.

Lance Sterling said...

Hey, Stuart, I just came up with your 2024 dream ticket - Mike Pence and Glenn Youngkin. That would surely inspire the voters much more than mean ole Donald Trump. Lol!

Anonymous said...

I am always surprised that never-Trumpers would rather see their country fail than admit that Trump was a good president AND that the 2020 election was stolen. We all know the election was stolen, massively stolen by perhaps 15 million votes. But we are divided into two groups; those that know it and say it and those that know it and deny it. But it is stunning that an American would be happy that the election was massively stolen by people who are so far left that they have become communist. THAT requires some serious soul searching because it means you hate Trump more than you love your country.

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

Certainly all failures by Democrats, including a failure in elections is reward for Trump followers who will believe they can run the most extreme and out of touch candidates they like, defining reality as confabulation as Trump does - so up is down, left is right, and elections are stolen because Trump says so, no matter the facts, all that is rewarded when the Democrats fail.

Fortunately the insane "Defund the police" movement was killed in Minneapolis this week, even if 90% of Democrats were against it, it risked being their noose. That alone almost helped Trump get reelected. I still think its worse to be a Republican now, but they deserve it.

If voters had rejected Trump in 2020, Republicans would be in a happier place. But now Republicans are basically stuck with Trump 2024, and no one can stand up to him at all, just because no one can say no to him, or anything he does, or not for more than 5 minutes at a time.

Anonymous said...

I get it! You don't like Trump and will make up anything and say anything that makes your position appear to be sane. But have you any idea how your crazed rantings appear to anyone with a few more brain cells? It is so obvious that the election was stolen that it isn't in doubt. Why else would Democrats and the media be hiding it and telling everyone not to speak about it. In five key states about 15 million votes were either switched from Trump to Biden or were fake votes for Biden. 15 million votes!!! The facts are stunning; millions of absentee mail in ballots were processed voting for Biden and were never folded!! The fraudsters were so pressed for time that they couldn't even take the time to make it appear that these fake ballots were ever mailed out and then mailed back. Noooo! They weren't even folded so they would fit in an envelope and 100% of them were votes for Biden. You are of course free to have your opinion about Trump, who cares! But don't make a fool of yourself trying to convince the world that what they all saw with their own eyes never happened. It makes you look foolish.