What Democrats did right; what Republicans did wrong
The 2022 mid-term elections were touted as a “Red Wave” by many. And that was the case until early summer when the Supreme Court decided to put a wrench in the machine by declaring Roe v. Wade null and void and sending it back to the states to adjudicate. Though polls indicated that abortion was not as significant an issue for voters as the border, the economy, inflation, etc., many on the Left thought it could be a game changer. As it turned out, it was one of many game changers.
Indeed, Republicans looked at the Biden catalogue and saw through-the-roof gas and food prices, a crashing stock market, open borders leading to a flood of illegals and Fentanyl, a bungled Afghanistan withdrawal and figured, hey, no way we can lose. They bet the house on the voters punishing Democrats. They were severely disappointed.
What the Democrats did right
The aforementioned abortion issue was terribly underestimated by the Right. For many women (and men) this issue moved to the top when the SCOTUS ruled it out and sent it back to the states. Many Democrats in tight races campaigned heavily on this and reaped the benefits. This includes John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, Raphael Warnock in Georgia and others. The SCOTUS did the GOP no favors here.
Likewise, President Biden’s feckless and naked vote pandering ploy of canceling up to $20,000 of student debt paid huge dividends for the Democrats. Never mind that all concerned (including me on these pages) predicted that it would be ruled illegal and kicked out by the courts. This is exactly what happened, a whole three days after the election. After the election. I recall “Dirty” Harry Reid, onetime Senate Majority Leader being cited on his constant lying about Romney not paying taxes in the 2012 election. Reid’s response? “So what. We won didn’t we?” Score another one for the liars on the Left.
What the Republicans did wrong
The GOP continues running candidates that while highly electable in a primary, are remarkably unelectable in a state-wide election. Let me start with Dr. Mehmet Oz, seen by both sides as a non-Pennsylvanian carpetbagger, who swooped in just in time to be elected to the senate. Never mind that this strategy worked great for Hillary Clinton. Oz is not Hillary.
He’s not even Oprah Winfrey, his old mentor who proceeded to stab him in the back.
Fetterman, Oz’s opponent, was a stroke victim, severely afflicted, unable to string together two sentences. And Oz couldn’t take him out. Not after both Biden and Obama showed up to tell us that, hey, yeah sure, Fetterman is struggling, but he has a good heart and means well. They left out that he’ll be a tacit “yes” vote for Democrats, but we already know that.
Other unelectable candidates were Trump endorsed Doug Mastriano for governor in Pa., Trump endorsed Don Bolduc for senate in New Hampshire, and Trump endorsed Blake Masters for senate in Arizona. In Masters’ case, ex-governor Doug Ducey, eminently electable, was ignored by Trump for his endorsement in payback for what Trump saw as election slights in 2020. All of these candidates lost.
If one good thing comes out of this election (well, the retirement of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House has to count here as well), it will be the ending of the political careers of two Democrat “rising stars”: Francis Robert, aka Beto, O’Rourke and Stacy Abrams. These two windbags lost their governors’ races to Greg Abbott and Brian Kemp, respectively. That’s now three (count them, three!) losses in a row for Beto. Between his senate and governor’s campaigns, Beto has wasted $140 million in Democrat fundraising. Likewise, the Democratic party used $105 million in Abrams’ race for governor.
Turns out running unelectable candidates is not the exclusive purview of the GOP.
Both Greg Abbott and Brian Kemp, who summarily dispatched the two “superstars” above, have to be considered big winners. These were governors who shined during the Covid shutdowns, always staying ahead of the shutdown crowd and keeping their state economies moving forward.
Far and away the biggest winner of the night was Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who trounced careerist hack Charlie Crist. For DeSantis this was yet another round of vindication for defying the COVID-19 shut down crowd and standing up to President Biden multiple times.
DeSantis also stood up repeatedly to the “woke” mob who called for his head on a regular basis.
And he survived Trump’s childishly snarky, “Ron DeSanctimonious,” comment three days prior to his election, proving yet again that Trump is nothing remotely close to a team-player, unless the team has the name Trump embroidered on both the front and the back of the jersey.
Biden took a victory lap after the election and boasted that he would not change a thing over the next two years. Alrighty. I guess in his addled mind, he thinks he has another mandate.
That said, if the GOP wants to win in 2024, it needs a more focused approach, eschewing fringe and unelectable candidates for more mainstream candidates that will appeal to independents. After all, winning is good. In fact, winning is better than losing. All day.
Speaking of which, the GOP needs to part ways with a man who criticizes winners on the GOP side (more recently Virginia’s governor Glenn Youngkin), while attempting to boost his own standing and ego along the way. That man is of course Donald Trump.
I wholeheartedly acknowledge that he did numerous great things for Americans during his four years as president. But he’s since become an anchor, and any future campaigns he’s allowed to engage in will be filled with rancor, constant bickering and distraction. He’s unable to stop litigating the 2020 election which most voters, myself included, have left behind. Since he’s unwilling or unable to move forward then he needs to step aside and allow the non-septuagenarian and emerging leaders in the GOP to carry the torch.
Dr. Otto Hernandez is a long—time resident of Hammonton.