We are into silly season for the election. We “could” be having a substantive national conversation about the Senate races. But that’s a more-than-two-horse race and requires explanation. Besides, when was the last time we actually had a “substantive national conversation?” So its time for weird polls and wild theories. The story of the moment? Hillary might actually lose! Stay tuned! Keep watching! Please we need the ad dollars!
Hillary is still going to win.
Why? Look at how today’s disaffected will line up come Nov. 6.
- Disaffected Democrats will still show up. Lefties shifting to the center. They are energized, angry, and (rightfully) suspicious of Hillary’s bona fides. It is telling that the Koch brother prefer Hillary to Trump… But they will still show up to vote for her. They have a sense of civic engagement. They fear Trump. And Bernie and Elizabeth Warren will have camped out in those Senate swing states getting out the vote. With the powerful message that a Democratic Senate is the best way to keep Hillary’s crony capitalist Davos buddies in line. A powerful message because it is largely true….
- Disaffected Republicans will stay home. Centrists who’d rather lose than endorse the extreme. Remember the Sarah Palin effect? A LOT of Republicans just couldn’t bear that vote on their conscience. The courageous, civic-minded ones voted for Obama. The other 95% (grin) just found something else to do on election day… Trump will have the same effect. Suburban, college educated, non-partisan Republicans (especially women) will abdicate and let their districts tip Democratic. The Republican establishment will be begging them to turn out in those same Senate swing states. But who’s the Bernie or Liz of the Right? Who rallies the troops…. Paul Ryan? Hah! He can’t even rally the House….
Actually, the Republican elite’s pivot to a defensive stand for the Senate validates the above in three ways.
- The smart money has already given up on the Presidency.
- Senate control is the real key to control of the national agenda…
- The elites preference for Hillary + a Republican Senate validates the Bernie supporters’ mistrust of her. And the argument for a Senate overthrow.
Point 3 is a subtle one, but I’d expect it to be made over and over again by Bernie and Elizabeth. Make sure we’re there to keep her and her cronies’ feet to the fire. Sander’s base is educated and activated enough to grok that.
The opposite argument – vote Republican to save the crony capitalist oligarchies! – doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Vote to keep those lefties out! would work better. But it risks energizing/validating the left’s turnout efforts. And vote for gridlock! probably doesn’t play well after the last 8 years of increasingly churlish obstructionism.
As a final factor, there are Trump’s lumpenproletariat supporters.¹ One thing that probably does come out of the next few months’ news cycle is something truly despicable , ignorant, and viral that slumps “thinking Republican’s” even deeper into despair. Although arguably Trump’s been delivering that for some months now…. But it can always get worse.
So take a break for the next few months. Watch the Olympics! Amateur sports!
Clean, noble, un-corrupted by elites and rivers of hidden cash… Hmmm. Scratch that…
¹ “Lumpenproletariat is a term that was originally coined by Karl Marx to describe the layer of the working class that is unlikely ever to achieve class consciousness and is therefore lost to socially useful production, of no use to the revolutionary struggle, and perhaps even an impediment to the realization of a classless society.