There were those special elections held this week to fill Congressional vacancies in Georgia and Kansas, and Dem political operatives are eager to see signs of future victory – even though Democratic Party candidates didn’t win in either place.
WE’RE HEARING TALK of strategic victories because they showed Democratic candidates can be competitive in districts that typically lean Republican because there is great uncertainty about the stability of the Trump administration.
In the Georgia election (the Atlanta suburbs, to be exact), the Democrat actually came close to winning outright a bid to replace a Republican congressman who gave up the seat to become a Trump cabinet member. A runoff election will decide the outcome.
While in Kansas, Republican Ron Estes will be sworn in to his new post later this month.
These particular areas are political districts that lean so typically Republican that they’re usually not the kind of places that Democrats spend time trying to win elections. Meaning that areas where Democrats are more competitive are more likely to provide Dem victories in future elections.
OR AT LEAST that’s the analysis the Washington Post gave to the two elections on Wednesday.
Yes, we’re getting the political fantasies of a 2018 election cycle in which the national electorate repudiates Donald J. Trump and sticks him with at least a Democrat-led House of Representatives – if not an entire Dem Congress!
That would be hysterical to watch, because you just know Trump would go ballistic nearly every day if he had a government with the authority to be openly defiant of his absurd whims. As it is, what makes the current government scary is that it is more than willing to indulge Trump’s whims, so long as they reinforce their own authority within the federal government.
But strategic wins aren’t wins unless you actually get more votes!
WHICH MAY BE the lesson we learn from the recent Bolingbrook mayoral election. That’s the suburb in Will County where the mayor, Roger Claar, had to go shooting off his mouth last year about how wonderful Donald Trump was.
He even went so far as to organize a Trump fundraiser for Trump at a time when Illinois Republican political operatives were desperately trying to avoid having anything to do with The Donald. His opponent was a commissioner on the Will County Board, and she used Trump against Claar big-time during her campaign.
Finally, this week, all the provisional ballots were counted and we can now say definitively that Claar won re-election to a ninth term in office with 151 more votes than his challenger.
So is the lesson to be learned here that Claar probably would have had an overwhelming victory (in the past, he has often ran unopposed) if he had only eased up on the Trump talk and kept his support down to merely voting for him?
I KNOW SOME political operatives have tried claiming similar lessons from Claar’s case as they’re now trying to see in the congressional elections – there are significant numbers of voters who feel contempt for the current occupant of the White House who can be used to support candidates who oppose the thought of the Trumpster.
But as noted earlier, we don’t have Democratic victories in Georgia or Kansas. And I’m pretty sure Claar is going to forevermore think of this election cycle as the one in which he had to endure some political harassment, but came out ahead in the end.
Could it be that in the end, people will put aside their distaste for the president and not let it impact their future votes? Or are too apathetic to get that worked up?
It’s all about the spin one wants to put on the issue. Actual truth gets lost in the shuffle.