Rule Five America Suffering Friday

I stumbled across this piece of election recap over at The American Spectator, an article by Scott McKay, who I’ve read and discussed before.  I thought it worth a mention.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

This should have been a massive wave election. Given the low job approval ratings of the sitting president in his first midterm election, and given the favorable generic congressional ballot numbers, this should have been a plus-five wave in the Senate and a plus-30 wave, or bigger, in the House. It also should have resounded down to statehouses, and yet the GOP turns out, apparently, not to have been able to beat abysmal Democrat gubernatorial candidates like Katie Hobbs, Kathy Hochul, and Gretchen Whitmer.

There are so many utterly horrid Democrats who will remain in office after this election that it should be offensive to average Americans. It’s tempting to fall into the trap of believing there must be wholesale corruption in American elections, but the problem with going there is that there must be proof before it’s actionable.

Until some is presented, we’ll have to deal with something very unpleasant. Namely, here’s the truth that we on the Right are going to have to accept: the American electorate in 2022 is awful.

And the axiom about the cycle that involves weak men and tough times is a real thing, and we are in the worst quadrant of that cycle.

I might point out that I’ve been saying that last bit for a few years now.  The cycle referred to is this one:

  • Hard times make tough people.
  • Tough people make good times.
  • Good times make weak people.
  • Weak people make hard times.

And, yes, we’re on the last phase of that.  It’s interesting, because we only have to go back to my parents’ generation to find the second; the children of the Great Depression, who lived through WW2 and turned the U.S. into a global powerhouse.  Their children, the Boomers – my generation – frankly gave rise to the third phase.  (I proudly exempt my own kids from that.  They are all tough, productive and proficient.)

And here come those hard times:

But gas prices will skyrocket thanks to the Biden administration’s running out of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The true shortage of both crude oil and refined petroleum products will soon become unmistakable.

And it’s going to be a cold winter in America, and a rough time coming.

You only think it’s rough now. You have no idea how bad things can get. When the diesel fuel runs out and the trucks don’t move, and the shelves go empty, and the layoffs come, perhaps you’ll think of 2022 as the good times.

But will they vote accordingly?  Color me skeptical.

The trouble is that the Republicans are also performing manifestly awfully, and if the voters were only willing to deliver a mild rebuke, at best, of the Democrats, they do appear willing to deliver one to the Republicans as well.

The voters took a look at the Republican Party and they don’t prefer Mitch McConnell to Chuck Schumer — or, if they do, not by a lot. They don’t prefer Kevin McCarthy to Nancy Pelosi — or, if they do, not by a lot.

And they didn’t see much of anything out of the GOP that they thought was worth voting for, even if they thought the Democrats were no better.

Of course.  Again, as I’ve been saying for years, when one party is Thelma-and-Louiseing us off a fiscal cliff just a little slower than the other, what choice?  The destination is the same either way.  But Mr. McKay holds out for a bright spot:

Objectively, it’s clear that DeSantis is the future of the GOP. The talk about Lake as potentially overshadowing him can now be put to bed.

What we’ll have to discover is whether, rather than the future of the party, DeSantis must become its present. Because what he’s done in Florida in turning it definitively from purple to red in just four years is the single most impressive thing in Republican politics.

Frankly, it might be just about the only impressive thing in Republican politics now.

Republicans should study DeSantis and emulate him. He’s the standard. And as America turns bleak over the next two years, he might be the only inspiration the party has left.

Here’s where I’m skeptical.  Sure, there are bad times coming, and yes, if there is any sanity left in the country, the Dems will be held to blame for it.  But the rock upon which I founder in this assessment is the statement “…if there is any sanity left in the country.”  I’m having a hard time convincing myself that the electorate in general are much smarter than sheep.

But I might be wrong.  There’s an story about a young man buying a mule from an old man, who assured the buyer that the mule was “…the most biddable creature ever birthed.  Just tell him what you want him to do and he’ll do it.”  So the young man pays for the mule, takes hold of the headstall and says, “OK, come with me.”  The mule doesn’t budge.  “Come on,” the buyer says, pulling harder.  “You’re coming with me.”  The mule ignores him.  Then the old man says, “Oh, wait.”  He picks up a nearby two-by-four and shatters it across the mule’s skull.  The mule looks up and starts to follow the buyer.  The old man calls after them as they leave, “He’ll do anything you want, but first you have to get his attention.”

The coming few years may be enough to get the American people’s attention.  And it may take that metaphorical two-by-four.