Today Is A Great Day For Democrats, And We Should Say So
Philadelphia, November 5, 2022Credit: Getty Images
November 8, 2022

I'm still not comfortable agreeing with Bill Kristol, but he's making a good point here:

Twenty years ago, in 2002, George W. Bush still carried the afterglow of his rhetorical response to 9/11. Then the Republican Party scheduled a vote on authorizing war with Iraq in the fall of that year in order to embarrass and divide Democrats. It worked. Republicans gained 8 seats in the House and 2 in the Senate.

But in subsequent midterms, the president's party suffered significant losses: 31 House seats and 5 Senate seats in 2006; 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats in 2010; 13 House seats in 2014, but a whopping 9 Senate seats; and 41 House seats in 2018 (although Republicans gained 2 Senate seats).

There are currently 212 Republicans in the House and 50 in the Senate. If the FiveThirtyEight forecast is correct, Democrats will lose both houses, which sucks -- but their net Senate loss will be one seat, while the most likely House loss will be 17 seats.

I don't blame you if you find Kristol's tone obnoxious, or feel the same way about a response from another famous Never-Trump Republican:

These guys don't gnash their teeth after a loss because they spent years as Republicans in good standing, which means they never developed the habit of endlessly shouting about their own side's deficiencies -- something Democrats, particularly prominent Democrats, do all the time. Our favorite news sources tell us we're awful, frequently echoing the talking points of Republicans, who tell us we're really awful. So we beat ourselves up. We let critics and haters live rent-free in our heads. (Yes, I'm guilty of this.)

We need to stop. Unless the results are much worse than expected, the Democratic line should be what Kristol says in the tweet. Say it and don't back down. Show some self-respect.

And yes, I know: democracy could really suffer serious damage tomorrow, as could abortion rights (and healthcare, and climate, and...). But we'll need to keep fighting, and announcing that the pro-democracy party did better than expected will make that fight less difficult. Saying we got shellacked will help the forces of darkness.

Republished with permission from No More Mister Nice Blog.

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