There’s a huge takeaway from the so-called “Republican Wave” of 2014 that Republicans aren’t talking about, and probably won’t because it’ll make them look bad. That takeaway is that there was no huge movement that turned blue states into red states, or even into purple states. Indeed, one analysis says that, despite the “Republican Wave,” it looks like the opposite happened, making a GOP victory in the White House in 2016 virtually impossible.
According to Chris Ladd of the Houston Chronicle, the number of states—and electoral votes—that the Republicans can safely count on in 2016 actually dwindled in the 2014 midterm elections. It’s true that he GOP grabbed governorships they never should have won (Illinois), retained governorships they should have lost (Kansas, Michigan), and defeated Democratic Congressional candidates that should have beaten them soundly (Alison Lundergan Grimes (Kentucky), Michelle Nunn (Georgia), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana)), so on the surface, things looks great for them for 2016.
Ladd, however, points out that when it comes to what’s known as The Blue Wall, Republican Senate candidates lost every single race. The Blue Wall is the bloc of states that no Republican presidential candidate can possibly hope to win without a major party realignment.
Furthermore, the governorships that they won behind The Blue Wall were very specific, and those states, of which Illinois is a prime example, did not become red in any other way. In fact, Democrats retained their supermajority in that state’s general assembly, without losing any seats at all. Liberal ballot measures also won big there.
Liberal ballot measures won big in other states, too, including raising the minimum wage in red states. It’ll be interesting to see how Congressional Republicans respond to that when they’re done gloating about their “Republican Wave.” Ladd says that every personhood amendment also failed.
It’s worth pointing out that Chris Ladd is, himself, a Republican. He’s rightly concerned that his party isn’t returning to dominance, but rather, is continuing a trend that can only spell doom for them. What he wants the GOP to do is continue to push their traditional leadership on issues of commerce, as the world’s economy becomes more integrated. He wants to see them make a global economy work for the U.S. at all levels.
Instead, he says the following:
What are we getting from Republicans? Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings. Lots and lots of hearings on Benghazi.
Ladd believes this will continue. Indeed, according to Media Matters for America, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the biggest climate-denier in Congress who also happens to be on track to become chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (stop laughing), said earlier this week that he started finding out in 2003 and 2004 that there are all these scientists who say the science for man-made climate change isn’t there. He’s wrong, but he holds to that.
Republicans and right-wing media decried President Obama’s historic climate deal with China, too, according to the Los Angeles Times. They claim that the deal is bad for business (because everything that doesn’t allow complete monopolies to screw people over is bad for business), and said they will block any regulations needed to make this deal work. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this proves Obama won’t move toward the middle (what middle? There is no middle with these loons). And Inhofe, of course, vowed to rein in the power of the EPA.
Breitbart wrote a piece just yesterday that complained…again…about Obama’s lawlessness. They want this “Republican Wave” to go after Obama on both Benghazi and the IRS scandal…again…despite the fact that repeated Benghazi hearings have turned up nothing, and the IRS investigation is still going on. If Republicans listen to right-wing media (and let’s face it, they must), then they’ll waste a lot more time and money trying to get the answers they want on these two issues, while complaining about the deficit, too.
Knowing today’s Republicans, they will also see their alleged “Republican Wave” as a mandate to prosecute Obama on, well, pretty much everything he’s ever done, including when he chooses to cut his fingernails, or drink a cup of coffee. They’ll also move to repeal Obamacare. Again.
In short, they’ll get nothing done and they’ll make The Blue Wall worse (or better, depending on your point of view). In the end, the takeaway from the midterm election is that the “Republican Wave” was anything but. Their base still dwindles. Their candidates have to work extra hard to win even swing states. This is not to say that Democrats won’t have to pull together a cohesive message and strategy, because they still will have to do those things. But this so-called “wave” was actually nothing of the sort.