Earl Ofari Hutchinson
The constant chatter is that the much talked about Blue Wave may be nothing more than just talk. That’s a stunning turnabout from what was touted as virtually a political article of faith for months before that the Democrats were poised to take back the House and with some luck maybe the Senate. This was all based on the notion that women, Blacks, Hispanics, young persons were so furious at Trump and the GOP that they’d storm the polls on November 6 in the couple of dozen up for grabs contested congressional districts. That swell of voters would be more than enough to tip those districts to the Democrats.
The white-hot battle over the Kavanaugh confirmation, and the insults heaped on women who told their harrowing story of sexual abuse, sealed the fate of the GOP. So, what changed all of this to make anyone think that the Democrats have suddenly come unraveled? In reality, nothing has. Yes, Trump’s supposed untick in popularity and an alleged GOP voter base backlash over the beat down of Kavanaugh by Democrats is cited as the prime reasons for the reversal of Democratic fortunes.
However, this is mostly self-serving media and GOP talk. There’s no evidence that there’s been any fall-off in Democratic anger at Trump, let alone that hordes of Democratic voters will stay home on Election Day. The stakes are simply too high for that and Democratic voters know that. The intense voter registration drives, the massive amount of small donor donations that have poured into Democratic candidate’s coffers, and the willingness of top Democrats to finally take off the gloves and urge Democratic candidates to get down and dirty with Trump and the GOP are good signs that Democrats do understand that this mid-term election will tell much about the immediate future direction of the country.
Trump and the GOP understand that too. They are working overtime to stymie any Democratic surge on November 6. Trump has reached back into his stockpile of racist, inflammatory, incendiary, and scare rhetoric and tactics from name calling immigrants to loud heap of praise on a thuggish congressman who body slammed a reporter. And then he piled that on with a hysterical trash of anyone who votes for a Democrat as “crazy.” This stuff worked to an extent in 2016 with some frustrated, angry, and fearful non-college educated, blue collar and rural white males, in the handful of must win states, Trump hopes it will work again.
It’s not just Trump dropping his usual incendiary bombshells to whip up GOP voter mania ahead of November 6. The GOP has dug deep into its bag of dirty tricks to pull out all stops to damp down the vote. The most outrageous is in Georgia where it has scrubbed tens of thousands of mostly Black voters from the voting lists on the flimsiest of excuses. However, there are variations of the GOP’s vote suppression ploy in other states.
The GOP didn’t stop there. It went even lower in the gutter and dredged up a phony, front group called Black Americans for the Presidents Agenda. It bankrolled a series of insanely ludicrous radio ads screaming that a vote for the Democrats will lead to “lynching” Blacks in a few states. This is on top of the usual king’s ransom of cash that GOP affiliated PACS, the Koch Brothers, and other fat cat right wing corporate donors have ploughed into GOP campaigns nationally.
Trump has played one other card. He finger-pointed the GOP for losing the House—not himself- even before one mid-term vote had even been counted. This was less a blame than party ploy than an effort to whipsaw the GOP and his base to even greater heights or depths to beg, borrow or steal the election and ward off any defeat.
Trump and the GOP bank that this is more than enough to continue to fuel media talk and Democratic doubts about the outcome of the election. The great horror of the GOP is that a Democratic surge would stop the GOP dead in its tracks in its drive for total domination of national and state governments in the country, not just now but for decades to come.
So, the latest tact is to talk and write a lot about a blue wave trickle rather than a flood sweeping over the country on November 6. This fits neatly into the GOP aim to do and say anything that will keep as many Democratic base voters as possible away from the polls. Now that the theme of a blue wave bust has become a popular talking point expect that talk to accelerate in the run-up to November 6. The best answer to that is to ensure that this is nothing more than what it is, namely scare talk.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of Make a Democratic Blue Wave More than Talk (Amazon) He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.