What if Republicans Threw a Party and Nobody Came [Updated]
Margarine Taylor Greene is Pouring Peach Whiskey but Nobody’s Drinking
Imagine a house party. I never went to any while I was at the University of Alabama; I spent my time contemplating Scripture and studying, but I heard about them. Parties have a vibe. Some parties are rowdy and some are chill. There’s small parties where everybody knows everybody and big ones that are monetized with door charges. After a little while, you start to understand the general mood of different parties, especially the recurring ones.
What’s the Democratic Party like? Before you show up, you might want to know “who all is going to be there?” The Democratic festivities are kind of a hodgepodge. There are white-collar professionals who just think the Democrats seem nicer, AOC/Bernie leftists who are waiting for a fight to break out, Joe Manchin center-righties who have been there the whole time even after all the other mine workers headed out, women who feel like it’s the safest party, black folks who are pretty conservative but the mood is way too threatening over at the other party, etc. These are just some of the folks partying with Democrats. There’s not much that keeps them together except Democrats offer really eclectic food and drinks. Just tell them what you want and somebody will make it for you. Not much of a theme over at the party on the left; they just want you to like them, and they’re willing to pander a little to make that happen.
Then there’s the party across the street: the Grand Old Party. Paradoxically, this party is newer but they like to say they party the way the Founders partied (they don’t. Washington and Hamilton could drink a modern American under the table and then write a Constitution after). Who’s at the party on the right? A bunch of good folks who went over there because they don’t charge as much in taxes for you to get in, Christians who think we should all party the way they believe Jesus partied, folks who like guns and trucks and just don’t want to hear all the condescension from the Democrats, and a bunch of people who went over there because they’re friends with people who were already there. I know these people at the Republican Party. I grew up with them, they coached my Little League teams, I work with them, go visit them at Christmas, my kids go to school with their kids, and I genuinely like them. Also, Abraham Lincoln started their party, and I love Abe. But.
They let some other people into the Republican Party. These malcontents left the Democratic Party after they let in Black folks and LGBT folks. These other guests are picking the music, pouring the drinks, and cheating at beer pong. When they lose, they flip the table and spray beer all over everybody until all the Republicans stink like stale Miller Lite. These are the Republicans fighting in the front yard, hitting curbs while swerving drunkenly, and shouting until the neighbors call the cops. These are the racists, the election deniers, the anti-LGBT bigots, the gun-toting fake patriots. When you look at the Republican party, they’re the loudest and most visible jerks. You wouldn’t even know there’s some mighty fine people inside the party because the loudmouths are raising hell outside. But.
What if Republicans threw a party and nobody came? What if for one or two elections, all those good people I know at the Grand Old Party just didn’t go. Honestly, I’d like it if they came over to the Democratic Party; they used to be over here and they’re still welcome. Plus, we’ve got way better music and food now that we let in LGBT Americans and Americans of Color (you ever had chorizo or baklava? Diversity really is our strength). But even if they don’t come party with us, what if they just skipped it? What if they sent a message that they’re not going back to the Party on the Right until the haters get the boot?
A good party is all about attendance; if the GOP has to choose between decent Americans and haters, they’ll choose the larger group – the decent conservatives I know and respect. If the party loses a few election cycles (this metaphor has fallen completely apart), they’ll straighten up and fly right. Pun intended.
[Update] Republicans Threw a Midterm Party and Got Hammered
With the Georgia Senate run-off called for Raphael Warnock, the verdict is clear: Republicans threw a party, and it was lame. The party of the current president almost always loses Senate and House seats during midterm elections. It’s the lay-up of federal electoral politics. The party not in the White House runs a fairly unified strategy that amounts to “we’re not those idiots.” Some new idiots win, and they pop champagne. That’s not really what happened in 2022. So, what did happen?
There were no real surprises in red states. In Alabama, a state as crimson as the Tide, Republicans won everywhere they always win and Democrats won where they usually win. Damned fool idealistic Democrats in red districts got beat like rented mules. Redistricting resulted in one blue legislature seat going red and one red seat going blue. No real change. The same is true of newly-red Ohio, Utah, and everywhere else that typically goes for the Republicans. Swing states and light blue states delivered the real surprises. Every single incumbent Senate Democrat won re-election. But aren’t incumbents basically always re-elected? Is it really a surprise they kept their jobs? Yes and yes, dear reader.
The party of the president has lost at least one incumbent in every single midterm since 1934. Every midterm except for 2022. The party of Joe Biden just pulled off something not accomplished since the party of FDR. If you’re not up on presidential history, FDR was the most popular president of all time. 122 million people lived in the US in 1930. FDR won 122 million votes in the 1932 election. He won every single man, woman, and child. Newborns chanted “FDR, FDR, FDR” with their first breaths. Democrats outnumbered Republicans in the Senate 96-0. There were no Republicans elected anywhere in America. This is all true; don’t bother googling it.
That’s what Joe Biden’s Democrats just pulled off. They’re moderately popular with Democrats and pretty middling with “independents.” So, how’d they do it? How did Democrats’ bench player come out looking like Lebron “Magic” Jordan? In a nutshell, they ran as pocket-protector dweebs who will write laws and get bad haircuts – y’know, politicians. Republicans ran as monster trucks who will crush the Constitution and own the libs. Turns out, a very very slight majority of Americans want lawmakers to make laws. Thank God.
The new Republican House majority is gassing up Libdigger for the rally on January 3rd. Tuesday! Tuesday! Tuesday! Let’s see if Republicans think up some new party ideas or if they just keep doing donuts on the front lawn.