The GOP lost more than the House on Tuesday night. They lost their favorite talking point too.

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The thrill is gone baby, the thrill is gone away     BB King

Just because I haven’t been writing for the last three days doesn’t mean that I have been idle. Far from it. I’ve been laying on the sofa, kicking my feet in the air, giggling like a two year old being tickled, and running around the room high fiving myself almost constantly. After two years of the darkness of Trumptopia, it feels good to have the sunlight on your face again, doesn’t it?

Look, Beto O’Rourke aside, let’s call it what it was, shall we? A good old fashioned, no holds barred, don’t-tell-mama ass kicking. We flipped somewhere between 32-41 House seats, minimized the Senate losses for 2020, took over 6 Governor mansions, flipped almost 400 state legislative seats, and gave both the Democratic party and the country enthusiasm and confidence going into 2020. All in all, a pretty good might.

Cast our mind back to the first of the year. What was the greatest danger facing the Democrats heading into the midterm elections? If you listened to the talking head nabobs of the media, it was that the Democrats had no arching national message to run on. I screamed to the heavens at the time that this was nonsense, simply because midterm elections are decided on local issues, not a national agenda. Nut wadda I know, I don’t get paid to spout pap and nonsense.

Turns out that we had the mother of all issues, healthcare, but we ran it on the local level to victory. But what about the Republicans? Hell, they were stuffed with issues. There was the economy, the tax cuts, Trump’s big, fat, New York mouth. And what did they end up running on? Caravans of homicidal asylum seeking women and children.

It turns out that the GOP lost more than just the House on Tuesday night. They also buried, once and for all, their favorite nemesis. For 10 years now, the Republicans have had a built in advantage to motivate their base. Evil incarnate, the Devil wearing Prada, the liberal leech on the soul of the nation, the Nosferatu of American politics. Yep, Nancy Pelosi.

I won’t speak for the whole country, I’ll let the comments chime in, but here in Nevada, Nancy Pelosi was omnipresent. A large part of this may have been due to the fact that most of the GOP candidates in Nevada ran almost no ads of their own, letting the PAC’s do the dirty work. Jacky Rosen, running to oust Dean Heller, was a one term House member, but the attack ads the GOP ran mentioned Nancy Pelosi’s name as often as Rosen’s. Rosen was a Pelosi stooge, voting 90% of the time in lock step with Pelosi. One ad even showed pictures of the two women, with the narrative, “Jacky Pelosi and Nancy Rosen, it’s almost impossible to tell them apart!”

Susie Lee was a first time candidate for congress, running against perennial loser Danny Tarkanian, desperately trying to turn personal corruption into a full time profession. But lee was painted in the ads as a Pelosi in training, and ads creamed about the “California dark money millions trying to steal a Nevada seat!”

But it didn’t work. Lee beat Tarkanian, and Rosen stomped Heller. The feared and vaunted “Pelosi factor” turned out to be just about as effective as the Trump tax plan. I guess that if a goddam librul will let them go to the doctor without having to take out a second mortgage, people will put up with kale and Beach Boys tunes. Go figure, huh?

This is going to be a problem for the GOP going into 2020. When you are reduced to having to run on fear, you must have something for the people to fear, that’s just the way things work. And while chants of “Lock her UP! Lock her UP!” may still be a standard part of Trump rallies, even Trombies have figured out by this time that Hillary Clinton just isn’t that much of an existential threat anymore. It’s actually kind of nostalgic, like humming along to a Bee Gee’s song in the car. And personally, I think that Trump and the GOP banking on another caravan of asylum seekers trudging up out of Honduras in the fall of 2020 might be a rather flimsy basket to put all of those eggs in.

That’s the whole problem with governing by fear. t requires new, fresh terrors to keep everyone desperate for your leadership. Just as in the bedtime story, you can only cry “Wolf!” so many times before people just stop listening. My biggest fear is that His Lowness will go to the extreme of actually starting a new, bloody conflict to ramp up the fear again. Let’s just hoe that Jim Mattis keeps his head down, and his powder dry.

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1 Comment on "The GOP lost more than the House on Tuesday night. They lost their favorite talking point too."

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Rick Bevilacqua
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Rick Bevilacqua

Can we start taking on the naked treachery of McConnell and the other abject cowards in the Republican Senate? Trump is harmless without their complicity. They have to be made to know that they won’t come out of this unscathed. Which is their obvious belief, or they wouldn’t act this openly corrupt. They do have to exit their sanctuaries at some point? Let them know we’ll be waiting. It’s not only elephants (GOP) who have long memories.