Are the Democrats at Death’s Door?

In spite of the enthusiasm the Democrats claim to be exploiting ahead of the midterm elections, the party is not in good shape. Noting Democratic Senators’ despicable behavior during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and considering that red state Democrats are poised to suffer poor results on November 6, the survival of the party may be in jeopardy.

That isn’t necessarily good news.

America has progressed politically mainly because we have one party whose views tend to be right of center and the other party whose views are left of center. As long as neither party moved to extremes, a consensus was possible and progress was made. Today the Democrats have moved far to the left. They have resorted to underhanded tactics in an effort to thwart a duly elected president. And they pulled out all the stops in an attempt to prevent a decent man from taking a seat on the nation’s highest court.

When it came to Kavanaugh, the Democrats vowed to stop his nomination even before any hearings began. Protesters were ready to march even before President Trump announced Kavanaugh’s name.

There is a civil way to resist and an uncivil way. Democrats chose the low road.

It’s understandable that the Democrats would not want another conservative on the Supreme Court. So much of the Democrats’ social and political agenda would not have been possible without the help of liberal jurists. But they should have presented logical arguments. A few moderates such as Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), or Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) might have been persuaded to vote no.

But after days of hearings and hundreds of questions, they realized that Kavanaugh’s nomination could not be stopped through logical argument. So they waited until very late in the process to introduce Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that the judge sexually assaulted her in high school, some 36 years earlier. Senate Democrats put on a terrible display of partisan politics designed to derail Kavanaugh and drag his good name through the mud.

The Democrats went low. Very low.

When Ford’s claims began to wither under scrutiny, other women appeared. But their allegations were even more vague and ultimately incredible.

Each said that Kavanaugh had attempted to sexually assault them more than three decades ago. The Democrats forged ahead, even in the absence of corroboration. In the end, sanity prevailed and Kavanaugh was confirmed.

What effect will that have on the November elections?

In spite of what the polling may say, the Democrats are going to be hurt badly next month. The party line is that the Kavanaugh confirmation has energized voters as never before. But the failure to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination will result in some Democrats becoming so dejected with constantly losing, that they will simply refuse to vote.

Many Democratic voters may feel they are going to lose anyway, so what is the sense of voting? This would represent another in the long string of losses for the Democratic Party.

These losses started in 2010 when the GOP gained control of the House of Representatives by picking up a whopping 63 seats. This was the largest midterm election loss of a sitting president’s party since 1938.

Although Barack Obama was re-elected president in 2012, his party’s losses continued. In 2014, the Democrats lost control of the U.S. Senate. In 2016, Democrats lost the presidency. Since Trump’s election, the Democrats keep vowing to “resist,” yet—with the notable exception of the Obamacare repeal—they lose every major policy decision.

What will happen in 2018?

The Democrats are likely to suffer more losses. Republicans are running on a record of a vibrant economy, a more secure world, and lower taxes for all Americans. The Democrats are running simply to stop Trump. While the polls may show that Trump is unpopular and has a low personal approval rating, the president’s policies are actually quite popular. Ultimately, those polls do not reflect how Americans will vote.

A more fundamental problem with the polls is they tend to use samples that are not representative of the population. Nearly all give too much weight to Democratic voters. This is what happened in 2016 when the polls indicated there was almost no way Trump could win the presidency.

My prediction: the midterms will end with 57 or 58 Republican U.S. Senators, though depending on how a couple of key races break, the GOP could have as many as 60 seats when it’s all over. The House will be more of a challenge, but the Republicans will maintain their majority and Democrats will feel even more disgusted with their party.

The Democrats will become the party of losers. Insisting on policies that remedy perceived social “injustices” instead of concentrating on economic issues that benefit the majority of Americans will continue to erode their base. The name-calling and disdain for a president whose policies have galvanized the economy around after eight years of Obama stagnation will erode the base even further.

America could use a healthy Democratic Party. But it’s doubtful this dysfunctional party leadership will change its priorities any time soon. If that’s indeed the case, we could be witnessing the Democrats’ death throes.

About Michael Busler

Michael Busler, Ph.D., is a public policy analyst and a professor of finance at Stockton University in New Jersey, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in finance and economics.

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