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It’s November 8, 2022, Election Day. The pre-election polls have been all over the place, but the general consensus is that Republicans will take over Congress. (House and Senate.*) The consensus is also that voters want Republicans to fix the economy and lower inflation. But here’s a prediction, one I’ll check some time after the election. Those Republicans will ignore the time-honored “it’s the economy, stupid” and spend their time and political capital on other things.
Like threatening to shut down the Government, threatening to default on the national debt, pressuring Biden to abandon Ukraine, spending time and money investigating Hunter Biden, and wasting even more time and money impeaching Biden. (With scant chance of success, requiring 67 votes, and which might lead to the first directed verdict in impeachment history.) And if Republicans do impeach Biden, he might end up more popular because of the impeachment. (Like what happened when the Republicans impeached Bill Clinton back in the 1990s.)
For another example, back in 2010 the Republicans also got control of both houses of Congress. But they then ignored the economy, and threatened to default the national debt, and did shut down the government. Result? In the 2012 U.S. elections, the Democrats regained control of the Senate – and gained seats – while President Obama was re-elected to a second term.
Then there was the election surprise of 1948. It happened two years after Republicans took over Congress for the first time in 14 years, and started creating headaches the Harry Truman, the Democratic president. Nobody gave Truman a snowball’s chance in hell of being re-elected, but he came through, largely by attacking the “Do Nothing” Republican Congress. (“Truman ran more against the 80th ‘Do Nothing’ Congress than he did against Dewey.”)
All of which could end up being good news for Biden.
So much for predicting the future. How have I done making such predictions in past posts?
In August 2019 I posted “Why it might be better…” (Gasp!) As in, why it might have been better if Trump had won the 2020 election. One big reason: He wouldn’t be eligible to run again in 2024. On the other hand, if he lost, in the intervening four years – with a Democrat as president – “he might just wreak more havoc to American democracy than he could as president.” (And some would say that prediction came true.) Another reason? Why not get it over with? If he did get re-elected in 2020, he would immediately become a lame duck. “The official is often seen as having less influence with other politicians due to their limited time left in office.”
Then too, if he had won in 2020, he would now be facing the challenges that are giving Biden such fits, and it would be the Democrats threatening to sweep Congress in the mid-terms. (Come to think of it, that might have been a whole lot better all around.)
But getting back to Election Day. As always, the best course – for either party, in any election, and for life in general – is Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst. And for this scenario, let’s make two assumptions. First that the Republicans will take over Congress, and second that that would be “the worst.” (Purely to illustrate and explain the idiom, you understand.)
For one thing, we may see a rise in Christian nationalism. Which could present a problem: “nationalist governments tend to become authoritarian and oppressive in practice. (What Is Christian Nationalism? | Christianity Today.) See also Christian nationalism isn’t Christianity. It’s spewing hate in ‘the name of Jesus’ “Christianity is grounded in Christian scriptures where Jesus teaches love, peace, unity and truth. Christian nationalism preaches hatred, violence, separation, and disinformation.” Which – again – could present a problem.
I’ve written that there’s now more than ever a very good reason for more Americans to read and study the Bible: Political self-defense. Today’s Christian Nationalists get a lot of political power from the fact that their pointy-headed Liberal opponents just don’t know the Bible. They can’t tell when those on the Far Right misquote, misuse or abuse the Bible.
So in preparing for the worst, I plan to do a lot more Bible-citing – on Facebook, my blogs and elsewhere – in an effort to keep Christian Nationalists and the like on the straight and narrow. Citations like Matthew 5:43-44, “What part of ‘love your enemies’ don’t you understand?” Or 1st John 4:20, “if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we can see?” To simplify it even further:
Play the Jesus Card. It’ll drive “those people” crazy!
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The upper image is courtesy of Predict Future Images – Image Results. See also The best way to predict your future is to create it, including “If you want to predict your future, then start dreaming. You can invent your own future if you can live your dream. Start dreaming and make it your reality. Remember one thing your dream can be a reality in the future if you start working for your dreams.” But see also, FACT CHECK: Did Abraham Lincoln Say, ‘The Best Way To Predict, etc. The verdict? False: “The first known instance of the saying appeared roughly a century after Lincoln’s death.” Which is a reminder: Check your sources!
Re: “Republicans will take over Congress.” As of Thursday, November 10, they may still do so, but the results for Republicans have been underwhelming. See What Happened to the Red Wave in the Midterm Elections? And What Happened to That Red Wave? The Midterms Will All Make Sense – In Hindsight. The short and sweet post-mortem? I woke up Wednesday to a pleasant surprise, to be discussed further in my next post.
Citations used in the main text: Republicans are making no secret of their plans to shut down, Bullish on a House takeover, GOP’s investigative plans on Hunter Biden and others pick up steam, Opinion | Republicans will impeach Biden in 2023, and Republican gains in Congress would pressure Biden on Ukraine and Iran. For a more optimistic view, see When Republicans took over Congress, they promised to govern, from 2015.
Also on a Biden impeachment, see What would a Republican Congress look like? A lot of investigations and maybe impeachment (Detroit Free Press, 11/7/22): “Such a move would garner high media attention and could backfire if voters disapprove. Several [Republicans] were in office during the 1990s, when the GOP impeachment of Bill Clinton led to the loss of some GOP congressional seats and boosted the president’s popularity.” Also, “Even if Biden were impeached, the Senate would hold a trial that would require a two-thirds majority to convict Biden, a near-impossible task.”
And more about that waking up Wednesday morning to a pleasant surprise. I had all kinds of smarmy remarks to share in the next two years, such as “Looks like the voter suppression worked!” And “I guess that gives the lie to the vast conspiracy that ‘stole’ the 2020 election. If it was so powerful, why didn’t it help in this election?” But after further thought, I’m glad I don’t have to use them. Also, I considered saying something about Democrats storming the Capitol to overturn the 2022 results. Which brings up point of clarification about January 6, 2021. Various sites including Fact checking claims January 6 say the events that day were not – technically – an insurrection, as some Democrats claimed, but was rather a riot. “The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘insurrection’ as: ‘an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence.'” (Can you say hypertechnical?) Instead the rioters – most agree on that term – were more like a dog chasing a car. (No idea what to do if they caught up to it.) See also How Many Died as a Result of Capitol Riot? – FactCheck.org. Answer: One source said at least seven people “lost their lives in connection with the Jan. 6 attack.” The seven included Rosanne Boyland, who died “in a crush of fellow rioters during their attempt to fight through a police line, according to videos reviewed by The Times.” (Boyland — “an avid Trump supporter who subscribed to Q Anon conspiracy theories — had collapsed while standing off to the side in the Capitol rotunda.”) USCP Officer Brian Sicknick “suffered two strokes nearly eight hours after being sprayed with a chemical irritant during the riot.” Four other police officers committed suicide in the days and months after the riot.
The full “isn’t Christianity” cite: Ahrens: Christian nationalism isn’t Christianity. It’s spewing hate in ‘the name of Jesus.’
The 1st John 4:20 quotation is from the Contemporary English Version. See also the GNT: “If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen.” Traditional translations use the word “brother,” which could enable Christian Nationalists to try and wriggle out of Jesus’ command. The word “brothers” clearly includes “enemies.”
The lower image is courtesy of The Election of 1948 | Harry S. Truman (Truman Library).
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Here are some other notes I considered using but didn’t put in the main text. A post from January 10, 2021 – right after January 6 – “You DO understand that Trump is temporary.” (Or maybe not?) Which featured one ostensibly positive note: That the reaction to Trump’s presidency “can provide the foundation for an era of democratic renewal and vindicate our long experiment in self-rule.” (See GOP Rep. Mace: Trump’s legacy ‘wiped out’ by Capitol riot.)
Later, in November 2021, I posted Donald Trump – the newest “Undead Revenant?”
So, assuming a Republican sweep in this election, a lot of Trump supporters will be asking why others don’t like him. I’ve struggled with how to answer that question, beginning with the fact that he thinks he is above the law. But in dealing with those supporters, you have to keep it simple, like they do. (Put another way, you need to dumb it down.) The answer I finally came up with, as to why I don’t support Trump: “He doesn’t follow Jesus!” From there you can cite the words and actions of Jesus, then compare and contrast them with Donald Trump.
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