Democrats are in a frenzy. They’ve finally nailed the blueprint for defeating Republicans in Trump Country.
“If we’re going to take the majority, it’s going to be because we win districts like that,” Texas Democrat Rep. Filemon Vela said in a Beltway news story that claims incoming Democratic Rep. Conor “Lamb’s success could provide a blueprint for other Democrats in tough races.”
The Democrats, to be sure, will win seats in the midterm elections, and might even take the House, but not the way they took Pennsylvania 18.
The “blueprint” goes something like this: Run a young, handsome Marine, make sure he’s pro-Second Amendment, make sure he’s anti-Nancy Pelosi, make sure he’s quiet on plans for amnesty, make sure he says he’s personally against abortion but runs like hell from any specific questions, and make sure he’s quiet about Democrats’ anti-energy agenda.
Sound unlikely in today’s Democratic Party? It’s preposterous. That might not seem apparent to giddy D.C. election consultants, so of course it didn’t dawn on the gossip-mongers of Washington’s press corps, but three things –Democratic leadership, the party’s faithful, and the man in the White House — conspire to ensure this blueprint never happens on any kind of national scale.
For sixteen long years, Nancy Pelosi has led the Democratic Party. Her first partner was Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle, who voted to ban partial-birth abortion in 2003, but lost his seat (and his post in Senate leadership) to Republican Sen. John Thune a year later. After Daschle, Pelosi led alongside Sen. Harry Reid, who entered the post with a 20 percent rating from abortion cheerleaders NARAL and a 69 percent from the NRA, but ended his career with a 100 from NARAL and a perfect score for expanding background checks from the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.
Today, the two leaders of the Democratic Party, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, are far more pure than the slow, politically motivated converts who came before. Since advocacy groups began their rating systems, the two have hovered between a 0-percent and 7-percent rating from the NRA, and neither has dropped from below a 100-percent record with the abortion lobby.
And the party machine has taken the cue. In 2016, the official party platform called “unequivocally” for “legal abortion.”
The year after that, the DCCC, the party’s congressional campaign coordinator, broke with precedent and declined to endorse one of its own, seven-term Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, against a challenger from the left. Lipinski’s sin is he is anti-abortion and a member of the all-but-extinct moderate “Blue Dog Coalition,” while his challenger is an abortion enthusiast endorsed by a whole host of fellow travelers, including sitting Democrats in the House and Senate. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee isn’t an outside, progressive organization or a single politician, it’s “the official campaign arm of the Democrats in the House of Representatives” and “the only political committee in the country whose principal mission is to support Democratic House candidates every step of the way to victory.”
Unless, it appears, that Democratic House candidate strays from the one true faith.
But then Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb prepared to win a House seat in a Trump +20 district supporting late-term abortion but publicly saying he thought it was bad. As his win approached, the DCCC changed it’s tune, and a week before the Pennsylvania special election they decided to remember Lipinski and support their embattled colleague.
“CONGRATULATIONS are in order for @ConorLambPA and Pennsylvania Democrats — they just made history and FLIPPED #PA18, a district Trump won by 20 points!!!” the DCCC tweeted upon victory. “RT if you’re ready to repeat this victory, district by district, all across the country!”
But no amount of retweets can change the trajectory of the Democratic Party this year. Why?
Schumer and Pelosi may be in charge, but like nearly all politicians, they don’t truly lead: They follow the loudest “progressive” voices, and in the months before the DCCC’s initial decision to excommunicate, the hard-left column belching loudest was clear in its demands.
“If the Democratic Party cares about economic issues, it must make reproductive choice fundamental to its platform,” the assistant editor for opinion news at U.S. News & World Report declared. “Progressives wouldn’t stomach a Democratic candidate who questioned the necessity of Brown v. Board of Education,” she continued, equating Christians and Hindus with segregationists, “so why might we make an exception when it comes to women’s economic well-being?”
“Ignoring women’s fundamental freedoms and equality to win elections is both an ethically and politically bankrupt strategy,” apparent moralist and NARAL President Ilyse Hogue tweeted.
“It’s short-sighted and dangerous to pave the path to victory in 2018 at the expense of women,” Destiny Lopez, co-director of abortion-promoters All* Above All, chimed in.
“The core concern is that the party would errantly move away from a commitment to women’s human rights as it tries to rebuild,” Erin Matson, a former vice president of the National Organization for Women, told The Atlantic.
To say otherwise, a writer for Teen Vogue tweeted, “is a betrayal of every woman who has ever supported the Democratic party.
Abortion is far from the only demand on the base’s menu. Right above its demands on abortion, the Womens’ March’s website has a list of “LGBTQIA RIGHTS” non-negotiables. In 2016, Sen. Bernie Sanders nearly won the nomination as an open socialist. Democratic leaders like Sen. Liz Warren loudly call for gun-control while CNN cheers on. Pelosi stood for eight hours to protest not for VA reform, not for the opioid epidemic, but for illegal immigrants. Coal, oil, fracking and most other types of energy and industry are out. Pipelines? Who needs ’em. “All Lives Matter” is racist, men are oppressors, Republicans are Nazis, and masked vigilantes from Boston to Berkeley burn buildings and attack Trump supporters with bats and chains while the Democratic Party can barely muster a mumble in protest.
President Donald J. Trump
President Trump has driven his opponents mad. In the coastal states and in major cities, old friends, neighbors and businesses post signs about “love” and “respect” that offer the dual function of signaling virtue while telling Trump supporters they aren’t welcome. Middle-class mothers and daughters who months before had booked non-refundable hotels and airlines to see Hillary Clinton’s inauguration parade instead find themselves donning “pussy hats” and beating drums in the street. College professors are drawing up lists of unapproved media like 15th century inquisitors. Entertainers pose with the decapitated head of the president and call for blowing up the executive mansion. A gathered congregation of working professionals and parents cheer it all.
Former colleagues decry Sen. Jeff Sessions as a Klansman and a Kremlin agent, depending on the day. Liberal platforms against free trade are discarded once the White House agrees. Democratic tenets like Jerusalem-as-capitol are jettisoned once the current president agrees. Not a single elected Democrat backed tax cuts for the middle class.
Newspapers from The New York Times on down have declared objectivity in the age of Trump a moral hazard. “Media critics” and “White House correspondents” from major networks condemn objectivity on wildly popular off-the-record “media” panels. Television news cheers at each new Russia conspiracy, no matter how implausible, and display no signs of shame when those inevitably deflate. A drunk and unstable former Trump associate’s total breakdown is aired for hours before anyone even wonders if there’s been a moral or ethical breakdown in the media. The first among them to wonder if it was right are punished with the type of scorn reserved for religious heretics.
There ain’t no settling down. Not this time. No coming back from the brink on this race. The base is alit with religious conviction, and they will not be tolerating dissent.
And even if they do calm down — and they won’t — President Donald J. Trump can whip them up in a moment. With an eyebrow cocked, and a smirk on his face.