Even Democrats are noticing how their Kavanaugh stunts are poisoning their blue wave

From polls to politicians to even NeverTrumps climbing onboard with Trumpsters, even the smarter elements of the left are getting nervous.

October 4, 2018
By Monica Showalter

The left can be pretty amazing in its refusal to learn from history. Witness socialism. More specifically, there's its hopes for its own blue wave for a congressional takeover in the November midterms. Its series of stunts around the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh – and the incredible one-sided bias of its media lackeys – is starting to suggest a conclusion for leftists similar to what the left dealt itself during the Clarence Thomas hearings at midterms: a loss of nine congressional seats. These people don't learn.
But some of them do notice problems going on. The smarter ones in the lefty press are noticing falling Democrat fortunes in polls. Meanwhile, Democratic politicians most likely to lose their Senate seats are suddenly warning to a pro-Kavanaugh vote. Call it getting religion, or death concentrating the mind. And of all things, the NeverTrump neo-cons (often former Democrats) are actually coming out for Kavanaugh.
Bottom line: The GOP is silently accumulating power, and many Democrats can feel it slipping through their fingers. As Rick Moran noted at Pajamas Media, it's the "Kavanaugh Effect." Center-left Axios calls it the "Brett bounce."
Here is the conclusion from the lead item in today's Axios by Jonathan Swan and Mike Allen, which also calls this shift an "October Surprise":
Be smart: Steven Law – a former McConnell chief of staff who runs the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC – warned that hard data is limited so far. But he said "a broad bitstream of calls, emails, cabbie conversations and other inputs from non-D.C. sources ... suggest a strongly negative reaction that is building far beyond the Beltway to where the Democrats and the media have taken this."
That even Axios noticed this is something. The center-left news site tends to focus on reassuring Democrats they are winning, bringing them good news however they can come up with it. Obviously, something has really changed, then, and they don't want to be caught flat-footed. Axios cites the behavior of embattled Democrats seeking re-election and, most importantly, this NPR-Marist poll, which comes from hardly a right-wing outfit:
An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released yesterday found that the "wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared," NPR reported.

  • "In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans saying the November elections were 'very important.' Now, that is down to 2 points, a statistical tie."
Then, as Rick Moran has noted in several pieces in American Thinker as well as his PJMedia piece, Senate Democrats in vulnerable seats really are scurrying for cover.
Call it the "Kavanaugh Effect." We are seeing it in red states where Democratic incumbent senators are trying to hang on to their seats. In North Dakota, Senator Heidi Heitkamp has fallen 10 points behind her GOP challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, in the last two weeks, indicating a surge as a result of the attacks on Kavanaugh. The Missouri Senate race between Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley is dead even and in Nevada, the GOP's most vulnerable incumbent, Senator Dean Heller, is holding his own against his Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen.
It stands in stark contrast to earlier polls quickly declaring Kavanaugh toast among female voters. Based on how Democrats are now reacting, those polls aren't something they're betting the farm on.
As a sizzling little lagniappe, Democrats also notice that Salena Zito, whom most of them grudgingly respect for her correct calls on the 2016 election, is noticing the red ripples, too.
Then there's the amazing convergence of George Bush-linked NeverTrump neocons (often former Democrats) and ordinary Trump-supporting conservatives around the issue of supporting Kavanaugh. The rift there is closing.
The Wall Street Journal, which had been a bastion of NeverTrumpery for a long time, has a terrific powerhouse editorial speaking of the uniting of the right over Kavanaugh because of what this Kavanaugh struggle is really about, concluding:
The media sometimes profess to be puzzled that more than 80% of Republicans across the country tell pollsters they support Mr. Trump despite his personal flaws. The Never Conservatives are the reason, and the assault on Judge Kavanaugh is the latest showcase of their methods. Republicans have figured out that if the left can willfully, even gleefully, destroy a man as distinguished as Brett Kavanaugh, they can and will do it to any conservative who threatens their grip on power.
Republicans are well aware of Mr. Trump's excesses and falsehoods. But they have also come to understand that the resistance to him isn't rooted in principle or some august call to superior character. They know Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton in 2016 despite her history of deceit. Voters know this is about the left's will to power by any means necessary.
Republicans across America can see, and certainly their Senators voting on Judge Kavanaugh should realize, that the left hates them as much or more than they loathe Mr. Trump. Conservatives understand that, for the American left, they are all deplorables now.
That would explain a lot of the emerging Republican enthusiasm that Democrats are noticing. It makes sense, because the Journal and likely the NeverTrumps must recall that Kavanaugh was a Bush guy – not part of Trump's New York menagerie, and not a Bannon creature, as the Journal disdainfully notes, and to their credit, they stuck with him. Even President Bush lobbied for him. Up until Democrats realized he would sail through confirmation, he was also seen as a nice guy, a niceness that tended to make voters of all stripes sympathetic. Yet Democrats were stupid enough to test that niceness with their series of character-assassination stunts, not realizing he, too, despite his Bushie credentials, could Go Trump on them and fight back. The fight back united all sides – Trumpsters, NeverTrumps, voters, and pols – putting Democrats on their back foot, and many of them know it.
As Sen. Lindsey Graham noted in the finest moment of his political career (up until then, he was hardly a Trumpster): "Boy, you all want power. God, I hope you never get it." Democrats these days may just be watching this nightmarish condemnation come to life.
Image credit: Lorie Schaull, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.