We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

I can’t wait for the midterms, and I said this before Texas went full fascist

1 0 0

Remember way back when, say, in August, when Republicans were sure that the Afghanistan evacuation would be the top issue for them in the 2022 midterms? Sensible people knew that ending an unpopular 20-year war wasn’t going to stain Biden’s legacy for long—I just didn’t count on it happening so soon. After deliberately helping to spread the pandemic, followed by a direct assault on voting rights, Texas decided to go full Gilead regarding women’s health, as well. Not only is reproductive freedom effectively outlawed in Texas, but government officials have now deputized private citizens to become bounty hunters. There was even a website that allowed people to snitch on their fellow citizens, just like they do in other authoritarian states.

Republicans are doing everything they can to downplay their march toward fascism by hyping phony concerns such as “cancel culture,” masks, and critical race theory. It hasn’t been working. Keep in mind that the huge margins we saw in 2018 were due to the extreme anger against what the GOP was doing to their fellow citizens. As a result, Democrats came out in droves, and an unprecedented number of women were elected to office—almost all of them Democrats. This year, the attack on women in Texas is far worse than anything that happened three years ago.

The GOP is counting on low Democratic turnout in the midterms, and if that fails, voter suppression and gerrymandering—which admittedly we need to do a much better job of fighting. Yet, even before Democratic enthusiasm skyrocketed, there were quite a few factors with this election and this electorate that put the quest of self-declared “moron” Kevin McCarthy to become House speaker in serious peril. Doom-and-gloom Democrats are dreading the upcoming midterms, but I am actually looking forward to them. There are many reasons to be optimistic, and I’ll point out a few of the races I’m anxious to help.

I always enjoy “analysis” pieces like this one, which says, “Democrats should write off the midterms.” The problem is that Democrats, who admittedly have a predisposition toward pessimism, sometimes turn these silly attacks into self-fulfilling prophecies.

Before the Texas abortion law, I just wanted to hold the House. Now, I want more seats. What I really want is for Democrats to add two more seats in the Senate so we can finally get the desperately needed reform done that Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin have prevented. So here are a few things to get excited about:

As far as gerrymandering goes, Democrats are right to be pessimistic but likely blowing the effects way out of proportion. The fact is, the red states being gerrymandered have already been gerrymandered to their breaking points. “There are states that can’t get worse, like Michigan and Ohio,” said Ali Lapp, the founder and president of House Majority PAC. She raised $160 million for the Democrats in the 2020 election cycle. Pointing out states like New York and Illinois, where Democrats have control, she said, “I think the national result of all these states will be a wash.” In fact, the recent Cook Political Report just downgraded the Republican gain by redistricting alone to netting only one or two House seats.

States like Texas, which have been gerrymandered to death for the past 16 years, have to figure out what to do with all those new liberals moving into their cities. They have to go somewhere. However, a state like New York was last redistricted when the GOP was in control of the state Senate. This year, the Democrats are in firm control and could take five to seven seats from the Republicans. New York Governor Hochul has already said she has no problems with gerrymandering the hell out of the Empire State to make up for the GOP assaults elsewhere.

Ironically, the Republicans might have had more seats to play with if not for their blatant racism. The Commerce Department, which conducts the census, did the bidding of Trump’s white nationalists to undercount minority votes—especially with the Latinx population. The thinking here is that counting them would help the Democrats. Unfortunately, this racist strategy meant they undercounted in states like Florida, Arizona, and Texas. This means that these states aren’t getting the seats they deserve, and since the Republicans have the trifecta in these states, they aren’t available for the GOP to gerrymander. Oops.

The Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot here as well. The assumption they run with has always been that if you make voting more accessible, it will inevitably benefit Democrats. Donald Trump admitted as much when he stated that allowing early and absentee voting options means “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

Yet that just isn’t the case. When the National Voter Registration Act—known as the “Motor Voter Act”—was signed into law in 1993, Republicans cried that it would kill their party. It didn’t. They won the majority the following year. If you make registration and voting more straightforward, all that happens is that the pool of less partisan people is more likely to vote, which cuts both ways.

The biggest target of the GOP’s war on democracy is getting rid of, or at least significantly curtailing, mail-in voting. Yet, a recent study conducted by a team at the Public Policy Institute of California found that while it increased turnout, it didn’t make........

© Daily Kos

Get it on Google Play