I have been hearing from many readers who are concerned about recent polling and an uncomfortable feeling in the air that things are not setting up well for Democrats at this crucial juncture, just 14 days ahead of the midterms.
What if I told you that Democrats were in a similar place exactly 10 years ago, when President Barack Obama was trying to secure a second term against his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney?
I will not make the case that the stakes are the same because at this moment in history, with our democracy, and the rights of more than half our population under direct attack, they have never been higher.
Still, there’s a story worth telling, and I hope you’ll take heart after hearing it.
Obama and his party were not polling particularly well in the last week of October 2012. The biggest reason was the issue that is generally the most consequential in almost every election: The electorate was concerned about the weak economy.
Only four years before, Obama had inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression from Republican George W. Bush. This, too, was nothing new, because throughout modern history, Republicans have been the party that consistently breaks economies, and Democrats have been the party that consistently makes economies.
There is nothing truer than this in politics, and the numbers back it up.
That Republicans somehow always poll higher on the economy is proof again that when it comes to their alleged superior messaging, lying has always been their secret sauce.
Nearing the end of Obama’s first term in the final week of October 2012, the economy, while sluggish, was markedly better than the one he inherited four years earlier. Progress was clearly being made, but Americans were impatient as always, and the sitting president and his party was slightly behind in most of the polls, just as Democrats seem to be today.
Just 14 days later, and after a grueling 48-hour, nonstop campaign marathon through the battleground states, it was clear voters were going to give Obama another term and the benefit of the doubt.
He roared to a comfortable victory over Romney, and the economy roared to life in the wake of his surprisingly convincing win.
Democrats, who lagged in the polls, also picked up eight seats in Congress and two more in the Senate in that consequential 2012 election.
While once again wagering on Obama, the American people also seemed to be making equally clear they were plenty cool on making another bet on a Republican running our highest office for the time being.
Today, we find ourselves in a very similar place where the economy is concerned, but in far, far more perilous times when it comes to the future of our democracy.
For all the incredibly bad things Bush and his Republicans pulled during those eight catastrophic years between 2000 and 2008, our democracy was still in decent shape when Obama took the helm.
Democrats and Republicans still talked to one another.
I remember leaning into a number of drinks at a bar in D.C. a few weeks before the 2008 election and telling a newspaper colleague, who was a staunch Republican, that I never felt better about the choices for president in my lifetime.
I told him that while I was pulling hard for Obama, I could have lived with his challenger, John McCain, as the next president, despite his desperate and despicable choice of Sarah Palin for his running mate.
(It’s also worth quickly jumping in here to remind everybody that Obama, a man of impeccable taste, picked a future U.S president for his running mate.)
McCain served his country in exemplary fashion, had a long, definable legislative record, and unlike his predecessor, had a brain in his head and a capacity for leadership.
I have thought about that conversation a lot in the past few years, because my colleague did not share the respect for Obama that I did for McCain. That didn’t sit particularly well with me, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin our relationship.
Sounds like a very distant time, eh?
Shortly thereafter, we lost touch with each other when I left the newspaper, but a few years ago, I came across him on Facebook. Turns out, he is an adamant Trump supporter.
The conversation we had in that bar made more sense to me now, and it will likely be our last one.
These days, Democrats, true to their name, are trying to strengthen our democracy, while the Republicans are openly intent on ripping it apart.
Like Obama, Joe Biden inherited a catastrophic economy from a Republican, Trump, and his corrupt, anti-America tongue-waggers in his mess of a political party.
Our country had just been attacked by the outgoing un-president, who was refusing to concede. Worse, he was on the warpath, gathering support from right-wing terrorist organizations and openly trying to incinerate our votes.
Thanks to the fascist Republican Party, we had arrived at the awful place where even the peaceful transfer of power had been murdered in cold blood. Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on the hill” was a smoldering, ransacked mess thanks to this modern-day collection of Republican ghouls.
Joe Biden and the Democrats had to legislate through all this open warfare when they got power less than two years ago.
With but two weeks left until the 2022 elections, just what-in-the-hell is it that Americans are so interested in going back to?
While I am not here to make the case that things have never been better, I am here to make the case that had Joe Biden not defeated the traitor, Trump, there is every chance to believe there would be no case to make.
There is every reason to believe an emboldened Trump would have continued to dismantle our democracy with his pathetic party crawling behind him in tow.
Please consider how subservient Republicans are to the guy who was walloped by more than seven million votes. Can you imagine how brutal they would have been to America if Trump had somehow won?
A Trump victory might well have ensured free and fair elections were a thing of the past. As it is, they are hanging in the balance.
I wrote a few weeks ago, that I am a one-issue voter this year, because I’m just not sure how ANYBODY can stand by while disgusting, bought-off, morally bankrupt vandals try to rip away a woman’s right to choose what she does with HER own body.
I don’t need to see or hear anything else from anybody. I’m with her … and her, and her, and her … and will be voting for Democrats with gusto.
Still, I understand why you are worried. Hell, I am, too, but I am thinking about that 2012 election when the polls were telling us that Obama was going to be a one-term president and our country was once again going to be in the hands of a Republican Party that only four years earlier had proven how completely inadequate it was.
Can we rally in the next two weeks and make a statement like we did in 2012?
Can we rise up, flood the polls, and preserve our democracy and a woman’s right to choose?
Originally published here on Enough Already. Follow @EarlOfEnough.
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