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The Grand Realignment

Salena Zito has an article out in the Washington Examiner that’s worth your time. The whole notion that “The Republicans have lost the suburbs” is way overstated. If that were true, the Dems blue wave would have materialized as they expected, rather than being a historically ho-hum midterm performance for the party out of power. But that’s not to say I think the Republicans are playing all the right moves. The Dems are doing a far better job of selling to wealthy suburbanites than the GOP is doing of selling to working class voters. What you’re seeing now is wealthy suburbs shifting hard for Democrats, while working class suburbs that have been traditionally democratic are shifting more slowly.

The GOP will find its home not necessarily just with blue collar workers: there’s whole classes of educated, middle-class voters out there who are working professional jobs, but aren’t rich enough to afford the wild redistributionist schemes of the progressive left. We aren’t going to pay for universal health care and free college by taxes on the wealthy. You and I will pay for those things, and if you think they’re expensive now, wait until they’re free. If I were running the GOP, here’s what I’d tell them:

  • Forget the Chambers of Commerce. Let the Dems have them. A lot of the small business people are in that “not quite rich enough” category, so you’re not going to lose them by telling the chambers to piss off.
  • Forget free trade. Smacks of globalism, and whether you like it or not, Trump has positioned the GOP as a nationalist party that believes in borders and trade agreements that benefit the American worker.
  • You’ve lost the rich to the Dems, so why promote corporate friendly policies and tax structures that benefit them? They are begging to pay more in taxes. So have it!
  • Use the immigration issue to crack into the black working-class vote. You might also find that latinos who are already here aren’t keen on wage competition with new arrivals either. You want to break tech workers away from their oligarchical overlords? Run on ending the H1B program. Sure, your donors will squeal, but you need votes more than donors.
  • Front candidates who are talented at retail politics, and who get what that means in the 21st century. You can win elections on the cheap if you know what you’re doing. The great conceit of all the consultants is that they can take the most Quasimodo of political candidates and make them winners. That is an exhausted model that takes a lot of money, which needs a lot of donors. You can get donors by kissing ass to wealthy elites, but at the cost of votes from your base. Trump defeated Hillary on a shoestring budget. Sure, Hillary had more money to showcase the country how awful she was, but that’s not to say Trump didn’t do a lot of things right.
  • Religious, but not too much. The wear your religion on your sleeve model of politicking is as dead as a doornail. This will vary from region to region, but if you want the rust belt states, you’ll scare them with too much overt religiosity. Trump should have shred to pieces the notion that you can’t win the Jesus vote without praising Jesus publicly and loudly.

I’d note that a lot of these aren’t my preferred position: if you’ll notice, economic libertarianism is the loser in this realignment. But it’s not like it really had a home before. This is where I see all this going. The overall realignment, and not just here but globally, is between nationalists and globalists. Globalism will probably win in the end, but the fight is going to be over whether globalism happens democratically, with nation-states in voluntary cooperation, or whether we continue creating international institutions controlled by the wealthy for their own benefit.

Where do guns end up in all of this? The ruling classes have never been in favor of the peasants being able to shoot back. Unfortunately, I do not see the Democratic Party coming back to gun rights any time soon. Our home will be with the Republicans for the foreseeable future. What we have to hope for is that even when the Dems take control, they can never take enough control to really push the worst. We’re also playing the court game very well, and that could provide a firewall against the Dems’ worst excesses.

What will the Dem coalition look like? A party of wealthy elites is a losing party. The Dem coalition will be between the wealthy and urban and suburban poor. You see this in California. The wealthy will provide the money, from both themselves, but also from their political opponents in the working class, to provide benefits for their poor coalition members.

Is Anyone Really Surprised?

The new Dem house is going to make gun control a priority. Here are the stakes: next time the Dems control everything we’re getting gun control out the ass. A new and worse ban on “Assault Weapons” is almost a guarantee. And yes, this will give the GOP an excuse to take us for granted and not do anything for us.

We’re back on the defensive, folks. How do you people who laughed Bloomberg off feel now?

For those of you in Montana: have you lost your minds? We can’t afford a state like Montana having a guy like John Tester in the Senate. I can’t believe Montana has been californicated to that degree. You can do better. Now we have six years before we get another shot at him.

Everyone was cheering the meme that “The blue states are losing population! Worst thing ever for the Dems!” Yeah, maybe that would be true if they were leaving the country, but that’s not what’s happening. They are moving to other states and ruining those places too.

Challenging Doctors Was a Smart Move

Whoever thought to do this at NRA deserves some credit for smart populism, getting people talking about the issue, and forcing their opponents to engage in a never-ending stream of elitism:

I think the controversy that has ensued sums up the debate nicely. I like things that work on many levels. As Glenn Reynolds notes: “The thing is, doctor’s ‘special insight’ into the gun issue is the not-exactly-genius-level observation that being shot is bad for you.

Key Elements of Fitz’s Victory

I’m seeing a lot of articles pointing to our Congressional race as the rare GOP hold in a district that went for Hillary.

By contrast, look at the few districts where House Democrats fell short of expectations. Despite Democratic domination in the Philadelphia suburbs, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was one of the few Clinton-district Republicans to prevail. He was running against Scott Wallace, a wealthy self-funder with tenuous ties to the district who held out-of-the-mainstream views on law enforcement and foreign policy.

The other suburban districts all fell to the Dems. This is mostly due to the Dem-controlled PA Supreme Court gerrymandering those districts to favor Democrats. But it’s worth taking a look at Fitz, and understanding the key elements of his win.

  • The PA Supreme Court decided to preserve the tradition that Bucks County must be contained within a single Congressional district. To make the numbers work, we’ve always had a small part of another county added to us. Once it was part of Philadelphia. Then they remove part of Philly and added a few Montco exurbs to make it a little safer for Republicans. The PA Supreme Court, to make the district lean more Democratic, moved the part of Montco that completes our district in closer to the city to make it more Dem leaning. But Bucks County is now the most red of the ring counties, so they didn’t have the free hand to completely rewrite the political map that they had with other congressional districts. It went from slight GOP lean to slight Dem lean.
  • His opponent was a loon, and he wasn’t. The Bucks County Dems have usually made the mistake of running loons against the incumbent. All they had to do this time was not be crazy, and they couldn’t even manage that. Fitzpatrick might be a squishy RINO, but he’s not crazy.
  • Fitz embraced more traditional Democratic positions than may Republicans in the area. He won the endorsement of the AFL-CIO. I probably don’t want to know what he had to promise to get that, but it was a smart move on his part to woo the unions.

Understand that in the ring counties (and I include Chester County in this even though it’s not technically a ring county), the upper to upper middle class hoity toity were the loyal base of the Republican Party. That loyalty has flipped, and the GOP isn’t getting them back. But too many of the GOP candidates and leadership around here don’t get that: they stick to the old messaging and act as if the coalition hasn’t changed. They want to blame Trump for their losses, but aren’t looking at the coalition that brought Trump to power and how different it looks than the one they think is still viable.

For the foreseeable future, the GOP has lost the hoity toity, and they need to find voters to replace them with. There’s no path forward for the GOP here that doesn’t involve seducing the working class vote, which you aren’t going to do by embracing hoity toity issues like gun control. I only have two NRA endorsed candidates left in the area, and both did better than the candidates that did not carry endorsements. My state rep won with a comfortable margin. Tomlinson, my State Senator is holding on to a razor thin margin, and he’s probably going to a recount. It’s a squeaker, but he’s in the lead as of now. He had a strong challenger.

I’ll be honest, as long as Nancy Pelosi is taking the gavel, I couldn’t have cared less of Fitz lost his seat to a nutty Dem. We might have a chance at unseating a nutty Dem in a better year for Republicans, but I don’t see things getting better for Republicans around here with the current crop of dopes and dinosaurs that are running the party.

Lame Duck Session

Seeing a meme go around social media about passing National Reciprocity or SHARE in lame duck, just like Obamacare. Facts:

  • National reciprocity already passed the House. The House was never our problem. The Senate is our problem. The Senate is now less of a problem because we flipped at least one “no” vote (McCaskill) to a “yes” vote, but we don’t get that Senate until Nancy Pelosi takes back the gavel.
  • Obamacare did not pass in lame duck session. It became law in March of 2010, well before the midterms where Dems took a “shellacking.”
  • SHARE could pass the House in lame duck, but the problem is still the Senate.

For the foreseeable future, our agenda at the federal level isn’t going anywhere. Bloomberg has successfully halted our momentum and pushed us back to a defensive position. What we have to hope for are judicial confirmation, lots of them. I also have to say, I wish RGB a full recovery, but maybe it’s time for her to retire and look after her health. I know I wouldn’t still want to be working at 85.

Irish Bobby Will Be Back

I agree with Miguel’s co-blogger on this count: we haven’t seen the last of Robert “Beto” O’Rourke. The Dems never really had a chance of flipping a Texas Senate seat, but they came closer to Cruz than they had any right to. O’Rourke is a phenomenal fundraiser and strong campaigner: probably too good at fundraising for the Dems in this year’s Senate races. He sucked a lot of Dem donor money into a lost cause. But he’s a personality to keep an eye on. I said the same thing about Obama when they first put him in front of a national audience, and I was right about him too. He’s not going away. Not by a long shot.

As a Nation, We Like Ourselves Some Gridlock

As far as I’m concerned, having Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, and still having to listen to Brian Fitzpatrick say “bipartisan” every other word is a double whammy. But I expected it. He basically ran as a Democrat with an R after his name who wasn’t insane, which contrasted him with the real Democrat who was.

Anyways, I’m not particularly happy or unhappy with the results. Cocaine Mitch will get to pack the federal judiciary with more constitutionalist judges for the foreseeable future which we’ll need if we are to secure the Second Amendment through the courts.

I am very happy to hear from Miguel: “Now, if I am not mistaken, all NRA-endorsed candidates for Executive positions won (we are using the NRA as guide to see who is pro-gun only) and that tells us Gun Rights is not a dead of an issue as they tried to sell, although they almost pulled it.” This was a really important election to win in Florida. They cannot be allowed to push Florida into the anti-gun column, like they have successfully done with Washington. Ballot measures will tend to go to whoever spends the most money, and unfortunately we cannot compete with Bloomberg on ballot fights in a state as blue as Washington.

Glenn Reynolds has some good commentary on the “purple puddle.” Also, from The Hill, “The blue wave ran into Trump’s red wall.

Don’t Forget to Vote

#GunVote 11/06/2018

That is all.

A Victim of Their Own Success?

I think there might be something to this WSJ article.

The left had important achievements. It did rescue America from an unsustainable moral illegitimacy. It also established the great menace of racism as America’s most intolerable disgrace. But the left’s success has plunged it into its greatest crisis since the ’60s. The Achilles’ heel of the left has been its dependence on menace for power. Think of all the things it can ask for in the name of fighting menaces like “systemic racism” and “structural inequality.” But what happens when the evils that menace us begin to fade, and then keep fading?

Read the whole thing. I’m not saying there’s no racism anymore, but I do get the sense that the Democratic coalition has been rocked by its own success in the culture wars, and has been desperately looking for issues to hold their coalition together.

Attempts at Gun Voter Suppression in North Dakota

The North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party created a Facebook page on Halloween to stir up some election tricks.

They created a “Hunter Alerts” page to use as a platform for buying Facebook ads to target at hunters and gun owners. As you can see in this image from NRA created from screenshots of the page details and ads they are running, they are trying to convince any hunter who might hunt out-of-state that they will lose those licenses if they show up to vote.

If these tactics show any sign of working at all – if there is any drop in gun owner participation in the North Dakota election whatsoever – this will be copied around the country to try and keep gun owners from turning out to vote. They know that we turn out in very high numbers to protect our rights, so now they are trying to use our rights and lawful activities against our voters to convince them not to vote.

Also, if you see any paid ads like this at all in your social media feeds, make sure to get screenshots and drop a message to the NRA page. They can take a look to investigate further. Getting the word out to the voters they are lying to can hopefully give NRA & local gun rights leaders the chance to respond so that the goal of keeping these voters home doesn’t work.

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