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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/19/22

The GOP is Dead Serious About Taking Back Congress

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A recent network news headline blared "The Democrats could lose 70 House seats." That was staggering and shocking. However, that headline though extreme and grossly exaggerated was just another of the steady drumbeat of articles that are writing the epitaph for the Democrats chances in the November midterms. That's a lot of doom and gloom predicting for an election that's still months away.

Yet, the incontestable fact is that the GOP has a game plan in 2022 for taking back Congress which it openly espouses. The plan centers on reviving the cultural wars it used to devastating effect in the 1980s and 1990s. The contentious issues then were abortion, gay rights, and affirmative action. In 2022, the current issues were an alleged crime surge, critical race theory, and transgenderism.

Take Critical Race Theory. Here's what an Economist/You Gov Poll in June 2021 found:

 86 percent of Democrats expressing a favorable view of the theory

 94 percent of Republicans expressed an unfavorable view

 76 percent of Independents expressed an unfavorable

 55 percent of respondents overall said it was bad for America

 75 percent of African Americans said it was good for the country

The GOP aimed to exploit the political fault lines, polarize, and inflame its core voters, the less educated, white rural, blue-collar, and evangelicals prodding them to storm the polls in anger and revolt on midterm Election Day. The January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection gave a bitter and ominous preview of the potential for revving up legions of Trump and rightist voters to swing into political action.

To the GOP's horror, this also posed a potentially damaging problem for the party in the 2022 midterms. Several GOP candidates for congressional offices either participated in the takeover rally or refused to back away from support of the rally's stated bellicose aims. Democratic party leaders were unabashed in waving the January 6 insurrection before voters; reminding them that more than a few House Republicans backed the lawless rally that preceded the takeover, and that lots of GOP House members refused to condemn Trump for inciting the mob.

In May 2021, GOP House lawmakers had a second chance to show their disdain of the Trump incited Capitol riot. House Democrats had gotten what they thought was GOP agreement to fully back the establishment of a select committee to investigate the causes of the pandemonium of January 6. The deal quickly unraveled when masses of Trump and GOP backers voiced outrage at the committee idea. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who initially agreed to name GOP members to the committee, reneged on the agreement.

He didn't stop there. He publicly thundered that House GOP members would totally boycott the committee. Meanwhile in the Senate, McConnell and GOP senators didn't even bother going through the motions and discussing conducting a January 6 riot investigation. There would be none.

This more than suited one man to a tee. In a tweet at the start of the committee hearings, an unbowed Trump ridiculed what he branded "the unselect committee" and railed that "January 6th was not simply a protest, it represented the greatest movement in the history of our Country to Make America Great Again. It was about an Election that was Rigged and Stolen, and a Country that was about to go to HELL..& look at our Country."

The good news for Democrats is that in some polls by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have found that this kind of Trump and the GOP's cheerleading of lawlessness has turned off a lot of voters in the must-win battleground states. The polls claim that voters in these states told pollsters that they have serious doubts about GOP lawmakers after hearing that those members "helped spread Trump's lie about the election." Let's hope those polls were right.

Many Democrats hope that the GOP might aid and abet the Democrats in the 2022 midterms by putting up another motley pack of borderline political kooks, cranks, and misfits. This would make independents and even some Republicans gag in disgust and stay home or vote for a Democrat.

That happened in the 2010 midterms when they lost two Senate seats in Delaware and Nevada, they seemed almost shoo-ins to win. In each state, the GOP brushed aside established party regulars with solid political and vote gathering credentials. Instead, the party-backed two Tea Party far out, borderline eccentric, stalwarts for the Senate races.

The GOP did it again in a special Alabama Senate election in 2017. It backed Judge Roy Moore, whose wacko comments, lascivious conduct, and thinly disguised racist rants, assured that a Democrat would do the politically impossible and win a general election race in the deep-Red State of Alabama.

It is always possible that the GOP might slip again and do the same in some 2022 midterm races. However, it is risky business to depend on the political enemy to beat themselves. The Trump win in 2016 was the ultimate proof of that.

The 2022 midterms are still months away. Anything can happen in politics and the country to determine how voters will vote. The great peril, though, is that the GOP is working night and day to make sure that the vote is given or rigged for them. The Democrats have been warned.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His forthcoming book is. The Midterms: Why They are so Important and so Ignored (Middle Passage Press) He is the host of the weekly The Earl Ofari Hutchinson Show 9:00 to 10:00 AM on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network. His political affairs commentaries can be found weekly on thehutchinsonreport.net

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 
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