OK, a couple of assumptions going in. Big majorities of Americans recoil at political yelling/screaming, and attempts to intimidate with references to violence; politicians respond to those who write campaign checks; and words mean things.
The first two are related. For years the Left has used rhetoric to shame and intimidate voters, judges, and opposing politicians. Claims of racism, gender discrimination, homophobia, climate change Armageddon, and income inequality have been favorite examples, most in the pursuit of social change. Generally speaking it has worked, more often than not in various realms of society, and eight days a week in academia.
But the months surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation have taken this to a brand new level, as even members of the DEM establishment have joined the chorus. You could see it coming for those DEM members on the Judiciary Committee whose primary goal was to differentiate themselves from the vast and growing roster of 2020 presidential hopefuls. There is a finite amount of campaign money and support floating around, so the actions of folks like Cory “Spartacus” Booker and Kamala Harris surprised no one. But I will admit to some raised eyebrows over the despicable conduct of senators like Dianne Feinstein and Sheldon Whitehouse. It was clear that the progressive DEM checkbooks saw Kavanaugh as a potential existential threat that had to be destroyed at any cost, and their Senate lackeys followed up with personal attacks, unsupported accusations of sexual assault, and rejection of due process — even to the point of hailing the CPL (that would be the creepy porn lawyer) as a savior of democracy and judicial integrity.
They also unleashed, and either by overt support in the name of First Amendment, or tacit acknowledgement by refusing to condemn, an army of screaming juveniles and in-your-face thugs to disrupt what should have been serious proceedings, and try to intimidate the decision makers by mob tactics and physical threats. It was a shocking and disgraceful display, but in line with the decades old DEM playbook; and like the football team that keeps running off tackle and gaining eight yards a clip, there has been no incentive to change. They had to know that this could be a turnoff to large numbers of commonsense American voters, but I’m sure the thinking was that the GOP/Kavanaugh/Trump would cave, and the voters would follow the strong horse, and/or abandon the weak one.
But this time, there was push back, and the DEM effort failed. But rather than admit their strategy was wrong, DEMs doubled down on the rhetoric and physical intimidation. We had renewed calls for DEMs to “get in their face”; advice to “kick” them when they go low from Eric Holder, a guy who if my memory is correct used to be the chief law enforcement officer of the country; and an urging to reject “civility” from none other than Hillary Clinton (more on that in a sec). The polls continue to reflect significant damage to DEM midterm candidates as the regular folks in both parties head for the DEM exits. With nothing else to run on, DEMs have no choice but to ignore the old adage that if you are in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.
Why anyone cares what Hillary says these days remains a mystery to me, but I have a theory on her motivation for chiming in the way she did: it has something to do with the words-mean-things assumption. With the energy and money in the DEM party dominated by social issue progressives, DEM pols, even the establishment ones, have no choice but to tilt further left, or get dropped. But the establishment types also realize that if the progressive wing snatches defeat from the jaws of victory in three weeks, the DEM party could well implode. Granted it could become even more violent and vitriolic, but it could also accept reality and back off a bit. In the hope (even utterly misplaced hope) springs eternal category, I think Hillary is counting on the latter. Sure, it could simply be her trying to gin up interest in her Bill/Hill memory lane tour, but she could also be trying to position herself as the last person standing for 2020 if the progressives crash and burn Any comeback hopes are toast anyway if they win.
That might explain her use of the word “civility,” which Webster’s defines as a “formal politeness in behavior and speech.” It allows Hillary to have it both ways. She can claim to be true believer in the progressive mob since many will equate lack of civility with aggressive, even violent, resistance if they win; but claiming only to have supported a less than “formal politeness,” if not. OK, maybe this is a reach. But it is exactly what the Hillary focus-group machine spends all of its time on, and she has nothing else but running for president and milking the party faithful and bet-hedgers for quid pro quos — it’s what she does.
In an even more stunning example of words meaning things, I give you Kanye West. No question that his train of thought is at times a tad hard to follow, but essentially he has come out supporting Donald Trump because he sees Trump as a fighter who actually wants to do something (rather than just say something) about key issues facing the black community, and near and dear to Kanye’s heart. Those include minority jobs, prison sentencing, family structure, and inner city violence. He alludes to a lack of male influence as he was growing up as another reason he is attracted to Trump as a possible father figure, but the net result is that you have a prominent successful black entertainer with a huge following, worth hundreds of millions, backing Trump.
Because the DEMs, depending on which district or state you are looking at, need something like 85% plus of the black vote to win, you might think they would try to find a way to give Kanye a pass. But no, the progressive need to demand racial purity had every prominent DEM minority spokesperson out trashing the guy, using one of the ultimate racial insults calling him a “House Negro.” For the uninitiated, this is a reference to slaves who compromised their solidarity with those slaves who worked in the field, to get cushy jobs inside the “house”; and it’s a not-so-subtle dig at Kanye for abandoning the party line and siding with the enemy. Never mind it’s because the enemy is proposing real solutions, not patronizing rhetoric. You can’t find a more stark example of the midterm panic that is settling in among the DEM hierarchy.
I have no idea how polls work these days, but it is common sense that those in the black community, and those lower-income folks who are benefiting from the robust economy and declining unemployment rates, and have been considered unlikely voters in the past, are being under counted — perhaps wildly so. Still, the polls are moving in the GOP direction. Three weeks is a lifetime to maintain the kind of enthusiasm that the combination of the GOP win in the Kavanaugh matter, and the DEM loss in being seen as an unruly unprincipled mob, prompted. But toss in the almost mind-boggling stupidity of the DEMs doubling down — thank you Hillary and Holder for promoting violence, and the DEM black leadership for dissing Kanye — and you have more reason to be cautiously optimistic next month. Keep it up guys.