In the wake of the controversy over Brett Kavanaugh's elevation to the Supreme Court, much has been said and written about The Year of the Woman. And that's good. It's a truly uplifting story, as far as it goes. After all, women represent a majority of our population. That they should strongly influence electoral politics is only fitting and proper. But, at the end of the day, as we finally review the results of the mid-term elections on November 7th, the only thing that will count is the bottom line, who won and who lost!
I think we all know that the primary motivation for the rise of the Year of the Woman is the Presidency of Donald Trump. Therefore it's only logical that the mid-term elections serve as a wonderful opportunity for opponents of the President to harness their anger and rage and put it to some useful purpose. While it's true that the President isn't on the ballot this year, the mid-terms offer a marvelous opportunity to take away from Republicans that which they prize the most, POWER!
After all, power is the name of the game. That's what the Kavanaugh controversy boiled down to. Republicans held 51 Senate seats. They had the votes, especially since Harry Reid invoked the "nuclear option" and effectively eliminated the filibuster as a strategic tool for a Senate minority. It didn't matter what the American people wanted. Brett Kavanaugh could have polled at zero percent and Mitch McConnell would have found some way to force him onto the Supreme Court because he had the power to do so.
The question before the house then is, what will the Political Left do about it? They didn't have the power to stop a vote. They didn't have the votes to win a confirmation battle. The only thing the Political Left can do is take the power AWAY from Republicans. But WILL they? I don't know, I have my doubts. That's the strange thing about the Political Left. They get beaten and stomped on by their political opponents who are willing to use whatever tactics and stratagems their power-mad brains can devise. And the left ends up just taking it. What I hear so often from leaders of the Political Left is that they don't want to sink down to the level of their opponents. All well and good if you happen to be running for Pope, but not so effective when you're running for the Senate in, say, Missouri. The irony is that the left doesn't HAVE to become the mirror image of its conservative opposite number. What they HAVE to do, however, is actually show up on Election Day and VOTE in huge numbers. And, as easy as that may sound, I'm not entirely sure the Political Left if up to the task.
I believe political power, REAL political power, scares the devil out of honest-to-goodness liberals. They are thoughtful and philosophical, contemplating the meaning of life. They like to see BOTH sides of an argument and love to give the other side the benefit of the doubt. In many ways, they just can't fathom what they would DO with real political power. When confronted with the question, they look down at their feet, they hem and they haw, they temporize and find all sorts of excuses and, in the end, they either capitulate or do nothing. That's what I fear the Political Left is about to do this coming Election Day, NOTHING!
I know it sounds horrible to admit this, but there's something to be said for ruthlessness. No question but that Mitch McConnell is an SOB of the highest order. I wouldn't doubt he's had to buy a dog just to say he has a friend in Washington. But there is a single-minded determination to him. He is willing to do anything, to screw anyone, in order to get his way. That particular gene seems to be lacking in the leadership of the Democratic Party. You can say whatever you want about his management skills, but he gets the job done. And frankly, that's the way we ultimately measure leadership ability.
I may turn out to be wrong in my analysis. Perhaps you don't HAVE to become an SOB in order to succeed in Washington politics. I genuinely hope so. I hope women and young people come out to vote in record numbers on November 6th. But I have this dark foreboding that not enough of them will show up on Election Day to make a difference, that they will cite every excuse in the book to atone for their lapse of resolve to do whatever is needed to be done on Election Day, specifically voting. I hope I'm wrong, I really do. But I'm not convinced that this will turn out to be the Year of the Women, that instead it will the year of the middle aged white guy.
Filed under: Politics