When the excuses arrive before the election, cue the “agony of defeat” Wide World of Sports skier.
President Joe Biden, in a divisive Union Station speech on Wednesday, depicted the election as a choice between “dark forces” and “democracy.” Guess which side he’s on. Understanding the way Tuesday’s wind blows, the veteran of 53 years in politics established a post-election narrative (plagiarized in part from his 2020 opponent’s post-election narrative) that depicts extremists of the other party stealing and suppressing votes through violence and intimidation.
“I think that with all of the noise that we’ve gotten in this election season I don’t think that people are really able to grasp [the threat posed by Republicans],” Hillary Clinton told host Joy Reid on MSNBC. “But more importantly, I’m not sure they really understand the threats to their way of life.”
“We’re getting crushed on narrative,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom claimed, as though Democrats, in order to win, need only nudge Americans to see inflation in another light.
Winners look inward when they lose. Losers blame.
Winners offer congratulations. Losers say, “No fair.”
Why will Democrats lose both houses of Congress on Tuesday?
Watching, reading, and listening to Democrats this campaign season, one gleans an impression that they believe Americans care not about inflation, the sputtering economy, crime, the massive debt, a debased position internationally, the epidemic of fentanyl poisonings strangely characterized as overdoses, and a border in name only. Instead, they have marketed themselves as the party best equipped to allow unfettered access to abortion, to save America from QAnon and other dark forces conspiring to steal our democracy, and as thwarters of the Republican plan, made in secret without a single member of the party breaking discipline by publicly touting it, to erode or abolish Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. An analysis included in the New York Times showing the party spending 10 times the amount on abortion commercials than on inflation commercials underscores why they will fail.
Some Democrats called out the folly in the party’s bizarre emphasis on issues obsessed over on MSNBC but largely ignored everywhere else.
An analysis included in the New York Times showing the party spending 10 times the amount on abortion commercials than on inflation commercials underscores why they will fail.
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wonders “why they can’t be more aggressive addressing the issue of crime.” He told WABC owner John Catsimatidis: “And when somebody says, ‘I feel fear. I feel afraid.’ The answer isn’t to say, ‘You are wrong to feel that way.’ That doesn’t work in any relationship.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont questioned why Democrats have emphasized social issues over economic ones.
“Is the abortion issue important?” he asked on CNN last month. “Yes … But we have also got to focus on the struggles of working people to put food on their table.”
Cuomo and Sanders at least understand crime and inflation to be salient to voters. This right message coming from the wrong messengers — the former governor supported New York’s disastrous bail reform in office before rolling back parts of it, and Sanders embodies the runaway spending that caused the Federal Reserve to inflate our money — here sums up why these sensible suggestions would ultimately fail if adopted on a larger scale.
Democrats lack credibility on crime and inflation. Lowering rates of crime and inflation necessarily means repudiating big government and the social-justice-over-criminal-justice approach. In other words, Democrats would have to turn on outlooks that serve as articles of faith for the party faithful.
Given that Biden, Clinton, Newsom, and many other top Democrats hate being in the wrong so much that they craft elaborate pre-election excuses blaming the inevitable loss on matters unrelated to the failed and unpopular policies Democrats embrace, the prospect of leading Democrats pivoting from those policies seems bleaker than their chances on Election Day.
Sure, the math does not allow quite the trouncing Democrats endured in 1994. More importantly, the rigidity does not allow for the pivot that Bill Clinton skillfully pulled off in the aftermath of 1994. Losers receive that gift that defeat presents to them — a road map to future victory — only if they first admit their defeat. That serves as a prerequisite to identifying the changeable factors that led to the loss. (READ MORE from Daniel J. Flynn: Do Republicans Party Like It’s 1994 on Nov. 8?)
It takes a special kind of loser to prepare for losing with the effort that winners reserve for winning. Biden’s Democrats refuse to question the wisdom of the policies or the competence of the titular head of the party. They lash out at political enemies and the electorate. They imitate that loser Luther from The Warriors: “No … no … It wasn’t us, it was them.”
Vinko Bogataj blaming the snow or the ramp or the other competitors for his famous fall would have hurt him more as a skier than the broken ankle he endured. Democrats risk feeling the thrill of victory only when Republicans implode by sticking to failure in offering external excuses for why they lost. We need to agonize over our defeats to rebound from them.
Democrats surely will feel the agony of defeat on Tuesday. Will they agonize over why they lost?