Saturday, November 3, 2018

Racist Ads and Mid-Term Elections: Who Will Win?

You may recall that current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seethed with rage when during the period that McConnell was Senate Minority Leader, Democrats got rid of the filibuster for confirming most federal judges. McConnell coldly promised that Democrats would regret that decision a lot sooner than they thought. 

He was right about that. In a tit for tat exercise once Republicans had majority status in the Senate again they eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court justices. McConnell also predicted that Republicans would put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court despite solid Democratic opposition. He was right about that as well.  McConnell said that the Democratic approach to Kavanaugh backfired and helped to unify and inspire Republicans. 

“The tactics that were used completely backfired,” said Mr. McConnell. “Harassing members at their homes, crowding the halls with people acting horribly, the effort to humiliate us really helped me unify my conference. So I want to thank these clowns for all the help they provided.”
Rage and fear work well to motivate and unify conservatives and many Republicans. It's why despite the economy doing well by many standards, Republicans in general and Trump in particular aren't making political appeals based on positivity, optimism and economic well being. Instead they are making appeals on racial national solidarity and fear that THOSE people are gonna come get you. The latest Republican created Trump tweeted ad before Tuesday's election goes all in on this fear. 

It remains to be seen if this approach will work or not. I know that it will definitely appeal to some voters in some areas. But to enough of them? I don't know. Right now my best guess is that the Republicans keep the Senate and lose the House. But who really knows. 

The 2016 election results should have shown everyone that predictions are a mug's game. It also should have shown people that illegal immigration is a major, though not primary motivation for Republican voters. The thing that Democrats have going for them in 2018 is that even Republican voters don't want to get rid of ObamaCare or at least its most popular parts. Republican politicians who once boasted of wanting to pull up ObamaCare root and stem are now clamoring to protect pre-existing condition requirements even as many of them have voted to get rid of such protections. So it goes.

Anyway after Tuesday we should have a better idea of whether this ad spoke to enough Americans or not. What wins? Fear of the other or fear of losing health coverage? Or maybe it's fear that the other will take your health coverage?

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