Things Could Be Worse But They Also Could Be Way Better
The voting rights intra and inter-party kerfuffle was bad. Bringing votes to the Senate floor that you know you’re going to lose hurts the majority party, in this case the Democrats! Failed votes signal conflict, extremity, and dysfunction, all of which hurt Democrats since they’re the party more interested in government action than Republicans, whose main policy goals are judges and tax cuts, which they can do with a simple majority. Partisan conflict without success leads to perceptions of gridlock, which hurts Democrats more than Republicans since the Democratic base is smaller than the Republican base and moderates and independents punish government overreach and hyper-partisanship. And the worst part is, Biden and Schumer wasting all their political capital to pass voting rights legislation isn’t even going to lead to any tangible measures of success! It’s all pure virtue signaling that decidedly won’t help Democrats not get blown out of the midterms. This article about summarizes it.
Relatedly, don’t insult people’s intelligence by pretending that breaking the filibuster would have ended with voting rights legislation like we all know it’s a slippery slope and basically everybody who’s advocating to nix the filibuster for voting rights wants it gone entirely! So many arguments for abolishing the filibuster are contingent on Democrats never again being the minority party in the Senate but the reality is that Dems can’t win statewide in half the states and voters in half the remaining really love their “moderate” Republicans. In 2024, if educational polarization and almost zero ticket-splitting during presidential elections holds, Dems are likely to lose at least 3 and as many as 6 Senate seats if we have a repeat of 2016. At that point, Dems will wish the filibuster was still in place! There are arguments to keep and get rid of the filibuster but we need to be clear-headed about it. Democrats aren’t going to suddenly win 60 seats if the filibuster is gone because we aren’t losing Senate races in almost half the states by double digits due to voter suppression! Making it easy to vote is imperative but making it easy to vote is going to help Republicans as well as Democrats and there’s no way getting around winning voters that disagree with us. That’s all I’m saying.
Relatedly, Biden-Collins voters in Maine don’t regret their votes, and Democrats are getting annihilated with non-college white people which is really bad! Democrats becoming the party of the college-educated is biting us in the ass because something like 35% of this country has a college degree which means that 65% doesn’t, and even more so in swing states we need to win. 21% of Wisconsin’s population has a college degree! That means if we cancel student loan debt, that 79% will absolutely revolt and Dems are going to lose Wisconsin, and given that we already lose 25/50 states on the presidential level, we can’t risk losing any more.
There is zero reason that the Democratic Party should be adopting the insane activist “Asians are basically white” rhetoric and using the BIPOC (which I’m told means Black-Indigenous Person of Color and not Bisexual Person of Color but that may be fake news) and “Latinx” terminologies. Mark my words, in addition to bleeding Hispanic voters like we already are, Democrats are going to also start losing Asian voters en masse if they publicly endorse elite high schools (such as Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County, Virginia) and colleges discriminating against Asian students instead of doing merit-based, race-blind admissions. Affirmative action measures failed abysmally in California for a reason!
I think the biggest failure of Democrats and Democratic politicians is that they forget that Republicans are people even if they're not good people and relatedly, Republican politicians are able to level with voters in much better ways than most Democratic ones. We just look supremely elitist! Like, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), who gives off peak “let’s stuff him in a locker” vibes, never shut up about the Kansas City Chiefs around the 2019 Super Bowl and meanwhile, Kamala Harris, the senator from California, barely talked about the San Francisco 49ers who were also playing and people notice that kind of stuff! That's partly why Josh freaking Hawley (who went to Stanford) is regarded as more in touch with American voters than Kamala Harris even if that’s unfair.
I’m glad Democrats hold both Georgia Senate seats but I think winning the runoffs in January 2021 made Dems really complacent like between the suburbs around Atlanta hurtling left, Stacey Abrams registering >1 million new voters since 2018, and Donald Trump yelling that elections were rigged and diminishing turnout of his base, we got very lucky in Georgia and we simply don’t have that infrastructure elsewhere in the Sunbelt. White suburbanites around Atlanta vote well to the left of white suburbanites around Phoenix!!
Relatedly, as a bonafide numbers freak, leftists and liberals proclaiming that Arizona flipped blue in 2020 because of Native American and Latino turnout will never stop annoying me. Hillary Clinton got an equal percentage of the Native American vote as Joe Biden and Latinos shifted double digits to the right from 2016, with Hillary getting about 10% more of the Latino vote than Biden did in Arizona (and nationwide). However, since Joe Biden was best friends with John McCain and endorsed by Cindy McCain (who’s also an Anheuser-Busch heiress), he squeaked out a 10k vote win. In other words, the reason Arizona flipped blue was because white moderates in Maricopa County voted for their former Republican war hero senator’s bestie with his widow’s endorsement! Also, on the Senate level, Kyrsten Sinema uses John McCain’s desk in the US Senate, Mark Kelly visited John McCain’s grave the day after he was elected like Arizona Democrats’ desire to keep the McCain family happy isn’t subtle!
On a final and much lighter note, Nathan Scott from One Tree Hill looks way too much like Paul Ryan (former Republican Speaker of the House) for comfort. My personal headcanon is that after retiring from the NBA, Nathan runs for Senate in North Carolina as a Democrat and definitely doesn’t pull a Cal Cunningham since he’s a good husband and also, Haley would kill him.