Good Friday Morning, especially to World Series Champion Atlanta Braves! The Braves won a World Series for the first time since 1995. The Braves’ last World Series was 1999, which is also the year the Titans were in the Superbowl. I’m taking this as a sign that everything is trending up for all my sports teams. If you need something to watch, I recommend Jorge Soler’s out-of-the-park home run to open the scoring for the Braves. I can’t believe an Atlanta team pulled it off.
As I was in the middle of writing this edition on the election results, it’s now being reported that Democrats are pushing for votes on the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better legislation in the House on Friday. I will dig into the election results from Virginia and New Jersey below, but I’ll note that on the podcast last week, I said that the election results could determine what the Democrats did on a vote. After the election results, they’re scrambling to pass anything.
The panic is so evident in the House that they’ve unlinked the two bills. Remember, progressives held the infrastructure bill hostage to get what they wanted in the BBB legislation. That’s allegedly gone out the window, and there’s no apparent deal in the Senate with Manchin/Sinema, who have more power than they did last week. I don’t know what will end up passing until the votes clear. However, it’s unquestionably true that the week after the election, fear has struck the heart of Democrats, and they’re scrambling to get anything so they can run on it in 2022.
In 1994, Republicans won 54 House seats and 10 Senate seats. In 2010, Republicans won 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats. That’s the size wave both Democrats and Republicans are thinking right now. Congress is divided evenly, meaning a red wave election would produce a massive majority for Republicans in 2022. We’ll get into why below — Links to follow.
Where you can find me this week
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Biden’s inflation threatens to turn into stagflation – The Conservative Institute.
Virginia governor’s race is tight, and Democrats are panicking – The Conservative Institute.
The Virginia/New Jersey Shellacking.
In the first Star Wars prequel movie, The Phantom Menace, there’s a scene where a fish attacks the underwater ship. Everyone is saved because while that’s happening, a much larger fish appears and eats the fish trying to eat the smaller vessel, leading Qui-Gon to quip, “There’s always a bigger fish.”
He’s right. There’s always a bigger fish. And there’s always another election, and coalitions and majorities are never permanent. These facts are why I typically don’t get that worked up over elections (unless I’ve got a personal stake in a campaign). America holds elections every two years. Progress, reforms, and political change are a marathon, not a sprint.
In 2004, a couple of Democratic academics wrote a book called, The Emerging Democratic Majority, predicting a demographic coalition of voters that would make Democrats unassailable in electoral politics. James Carville followed that up with his own book in 2009 called “40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation.” Here’s James Carville now, speaking about that same generation:
James Carville knows exactly why his party lost so badly on Tuesday: “Stupid wokeness.”
That’s the blunt diagnosis of the man who famously guided Bill Clinton to the White House in the early 1990s.
“Don’t just look at Virginia and New Jersey,” Carville told PBS’ Judy Woodruff. “Look at Long Island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis, even look at Seattle, Washington. I mean, this ‘defund the police’ lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools. I mean that — people see that.”
This is not a new view for Carville.
Back in July, in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Carville said the party’s emphasis on “woke” issues was endangering its ability to keep its House and Senate majorities.
“We’re letting a noisy wing of our party define the rest of us. And my point is we can’t do that,” Carville told Cuomo. “I think these people are all kind of nice people. I think they’re very naive, and they’re all into language and identity. And that’s all right. They’re not storming the Capitol. But they’re not winning elections.”
Carville’s argument is that by focusing on removing statues or defunding the police or on proper pronouns for transgender students, Democrats are talking too much about issues that matter less to a broad swath of Americans than, say, the economy.
“Some of these people need to go to a ‘woke’ detox center or something,” Carville told Woodruff. “They’re expressing a language that people just don’t use, and there’s backlash and a frustration at that.”
Carville predicted that all is not lost for Democrats but pleaded with them to begin talking “about things that are relevant to people” and “get rid of this left-wing nonsense, this claptrap I hear.”
”But we have got to stop. We have got to get off of this. These people have got to understand they’re not popular around the country. People don’t like them. And they’re voting because that’s the only way that they can express themselves and how much they disagree with this,” Carville said, adding later, ”People don’t want to ride in the car with you. They don’t want to ride next to you in the subway.”
Carville is not alone on the left. Back in the spring, I highlighted a piece by John Judis, one of the emerging Democratic majority thesis authors, who was warning about the British Labour Party’s collapse in 2019 and how it portended bad losses for Democrats in the United States. His warnings went unheeded.
In short, the emerging Democratic majority is dead. It’s been dead for years, but with each passing election, it’s clear the demographic dynamics Democrats thought they had in 2004 are no longer operative.
You have to understand the emerging Democratic majority has been the belief of Democratic politicians for more than 15 years. Only recently has faith in that theory been shaken, and then only in those who understand elections. Conservative and libertarian thinkers have poked holes in it for decades. For instance, Sean Trende’s 2012 Lost Majority is possibly the most prophetic elections analysis of the past 25 years.
2020 showed how 2021 could happen.
I reread my analysis post-2020 election, and I was wildly optimistic about Republican chances heading forward. I don’t disagree with any of it:
So, when I say I’m wildly optimistic for the next few years of Republican politics, this is what I mean. The Republican Party is coming out of this election more unified than ever. If you haven’t, I recommend reading last week’s issue, where I predicted the fierce in-fighting on the way for Democrats.
Here’s what’s about to happen. Democrats are about to take every wrong lesson from 2016 and 2020. The progressive left, looking at this bloodbath down the ballot, and being the only group left in-tact, will want power. The moderates within the coalition, weakened by losses and the prospect of losing the majority in 2022, are livid at Pelosi and the far-left. They want control over the party too.
The progressives/socialists are going to say, “The Party lost all these races playing a moderate card. We need to stop hiding who we are! Look at Stacey Abrams, she’s made Georgia a thing for Democrats! We need to do the same everywhere!” I’ve already seen this line of thought from prominent journalists on the left. They think Stacy Abrams is now the national model. They’re missing how that exact model, pushed over this past summer and fall, single-handedly is going to cost them this election. The rioting and far-left activism/progressivism may energize the base; it repels everyone else.
And so, the Democratic Party is going to toy with doing the same that happened under Reagan and George H. W. Bush, nominating the most radical parts of their coalition. The Republican Party will become a multi-ethnic working-class party that wants none of the craziness. They want a focus on jobs, trade, and a more economically populist platform.
Is it possible for this to fall apart? Sure. Nothing is static in politics, and both parties can change. And events will, unquestionably, drive much of these things. But I suspect these lines will hold, primarily because the hard-left and the press that fluffs them will want those progressive policies. And the in-fighting in the Democratic Party will divide these factions apart, making it easier for the broader GOP coalition to win.
That’s effectively what happened. Congress is consumed in infighting, Democrats don’t have a platform, they’ve lost Trump as a boogeyman, and Republicans are expanding on a growing coalition. Events are driving things, inflation and Biden’s approval numbers, but the political fundamentals riding those events are playing out.
The real issue for Democrats: the trendlines that help Republicans are growing.
A Fox News exit poll of Virginia showed Youngkin winning the Hispanic vote in Virginia 55% to 44% — an 11 point lead with Hispanics that is seismic if it holds. Donald Trump performed outstandingly well in Texas with Hispanic voters, which led Matt Yglesias to warn progressives in 2020 that they should rethink their messaging and coalition. Youngkin’s lead with Hispanic voters will have to get cleared through further analysis of voter files. Still, early exit numbers like that are astounding for Republicans, who have long wanted things like 30-40%.
Even worse, if the 2022 midterm elections move in a similar direction as New Jersey or Virginia, the results are disastrous for Democrats, according to Dave Wasserman:
To put yesterday in context: in NJ, GOP legislative candidates outperformed the ’20 Biden/Trump margin in their districts by a median of 10.8 pts.
If that swing were superimposed nationally, Rs would pick up 44 House seats in 2022 (before even factoring in redistricting).
In VA, GOP House of Delegates candidates outperformed the ’20 Biden/Trump margin in their districts by a median of 12.3 pts.
If that swing were superimposed nationally, Rs would pick up 51 House seats. That’s how awful the political environment is for Dems right now.
FiveThirtyEight’s analysis matched this prediction and is already suggesting a red wave election is on the way. All of this is based on Biden’s approval numbers right now — he can sink lower. And this is only looking at the House; the Senate is just as bad.
The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics immediately flipped four key races into Republicans’ direction. Mark Kelly in Arizona, Raphael Warnock in Georgia, and C. Cortez Masto in Nevada (all Democrats) are now in toss-up races. Republicans are favored to retake the Senate at 64% odds by some other prognosticators. And none of this counts New Hampshire, North Carolina, or Maryland, which are races Republicans could quickly make competitive (Mitch McConnell will be beating down the doors of Chris Sununu in NH and Larry Hogan in Maryland, telling them to run).
My personal predictions line up with a Republican wave. I’m already leaning towards Republicans winning 40+ seats and taking 4+ Senate seats. I don’t believe Biden’s numbers will improve, and the brutal six months for Democrats will extend into next year. It’s remarkable how unresponsive Biden has been to the crises happening around him — and it’s going to cost Democrats.
Democrats are now scrambling for a vote on their massive spending plans on Friday. We’ll see if it happens, but I don’t think it matters. We have an inflation issue at the moment with a supply-chain crisis, and Biden and Democrats want to increase demand by increasing spending. It’s the most tone-deaf idiocy I’ve ever seen. They’re failing to see the obstacles in front of them, focusing only on their wish list.
If it were me, the clever political play would be to gut the infrastructure bill and restructure it to deal directly with the supply-chain crisis. It’s bewildering to me that Biden, Pelosi, and the rest haven’t even considered it. They’re honed in on passing their spending plans and nothing else.
The old Democratic playbook is dead.
It’s also readily apparent Democrats aren’t prepared to deal with these shifting coalitions. In Virginia, beyond Glen Youngkin, Virginian Republicans elected Winsome Sears, who is both the first woman and Black woman to win a statewide race in Virginia’s history. Additionally, Jason Miyares got elected as the first Hispanic to statewide office in state history as Attorney General.
The reaction of Democrats on cable news has been unhinged. They are committed to the only reason Republicans win is *drum roll* racism. Here’s a quote from MSNBC:
They want credit for having hair in the morning or getting up and brushing their teeth. ‘Look, I’ve made an achievement that should be noteworthy.’ No. You are doing what all political figures what must do: make choices. The problem is here they want — they want White supremacy by ventriloquist effect. There is a Black mouth moving but a White idea through the — running on the runway of the tongue of a figure who justifies and legitimates the White supremacist practices. We know that we can internalize in our own minds, in our own subconscious, in our own bodies the very principles that are undoing us. So to have a Black face speaking in behalf of a White supremacist legacy is nothing new. And it is to the chagrin of those of us who study race that the White folk on the other side and the right wingers the other side don’t understand.
Charles Blow in the NYT wrote a piece entitled, “White Racial Anxiety Strikes Again.” The left is fully ready to deny agency and humanity to anyone that disagrees with it, even denying racial identity. That’s where we are. It’s a complete and utter meltdown. Republicans are winning working-class voters across the board, the Hispanic vote is shifting, and minorities are winning races in the Republican Party.
The New York Times editorial board was blunter, “Progressives notched some notable wins for mayor in Boston, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. But progressive wins in deep-blue cities aren’t evidence of broad, national support.” If the NYT can be that blunt, why can’t anyone else in the Democratic Party’s base do the same?
The emerging Democratic majority was less a thesis than a religious belief system. Now that it’s being proven false, they’re calling everyone else heretics. That’s why. They can keep hammering that playbook all they want. It’s proving to be toxic and benefitting Republicans in every race. John Podhoretz hammered this point well:
And that’s where Youngkin’s effectiveness as a candidate came in. He made it clear he stood in opposition to the self-satisfied status quo of the Democratic Party. The airy dismissal of parental concerns both on the content of schooling and the handling of schoolchildren during COVID showed McAuliffe to be spectacularly out of touch.
And don’t think Biden’s ghastly handling of the Afghanistan pullout didn’t play a factor in a state that is home to 127,000 active-duty members of the military (and, in the case of many, their spouses).
What this means is that Democrats now face a crisis when it comes to what exactly they will run on in 2022 when it comes to a positive message — and how they will cope in a world in which the Trump bank shot is likely to fail, as bank shots usually do.
Someone go give Joe Biden an ice-cream cone. He probably feels pretty bad right now.
Democrats will claim their legislative victories will give them something to run on — maybe? What if increased spending exacerbates inflation and supply-chain issues? What if they worsen the economy? They’re passing a wishlist of items, not focusing on the issue Americans are dealing with right now.
And I do think more significant events are on the way. China’s real estate crisis is still bubbling. Inflation is still running hot. The supply-chain crisis is still ongoing. Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan. Housing is still cost-prohibitive for people. Public schools are driving parents insane. The border is still a mess.
Only one party is engaging on those issues. Democrats are talking about January 6 and Donald Trump.
Links of the week
Authorities Arrest Analyst Who Contributed to Steele Dossier: Igor Danchenko, a Russia analyst who worked with Christopher Steele, the author of a dossier of rumors and unproven assertions about Donald J. Trump, was indicted as part of the Durham investigation. – NYT
McAuliffe’s Abortion Attack Was a Dud – John McCormack, National Review
Twitter Thread(s) of the week
Satire of the week
Dems Announce Plan To Call People Racist Even Harder – Babylon Bee
Thanks for reading!