I was in the lunchroom trying to eat my soup before it got cold. A pretty young woman who is a political junkie as much as I am smiled an even prettier smile and asked me oh-so-sweetly, “Jeff, do you think there’s any chance the Democrats can win in Ohio in November?”
I could have gone into the gory details at excruciating length, but I kept it short. “Not a hope in hell.” Her smile flipped over into a frown. I didn’t want to dash her hopes, but I couldn’t lie either.
The suffering is nearly over for the Democrats. They knew going into 2014 with the sour mood of the voters and the uncanny ability of the Republicans to successfully make all the Democrats fault, they are standing on the eve of a major wipe-out in November. The pain is coming and blood will flow with the President and his party on the receiving end of most of it.
Though I’m on the Do Not Call registry, I get hit up by the Democrats for campaign cash because I’ve given in the past. I get a call tonight for some kid trying to support Democratic candidates for governor and he starts reading from his script.
“Good evening sir, there’s good news for Democrats. Our candidates for governor are up or close in several states. Charlie Crist is leading Rick Scott in Florida. Mary So-and-So is tied with Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Democrats are on the move, but we need your generous support.”
I interrupted the kid’s feel-good, happy talk before he could get to the part where I’m supposed to drag out my credit card and send him $50 bucks. “Well, that’s great for you guys in Florida and Wisconsin, but I live in Ohio and here in Ohio the zombie running for governor is losing to John Kasich by 20 points. If Kasich died between now and November, they could run Kasich’s dog against Ed FitzGerald and still win by double-digits.” You could melt steel with the acidic disdain dripping from my lips.
Dead silence. Sadly for this poor kid nobody prepped him in dealing with an irritated contributor. He tried to regroup and continue the sales pitch of fairy dust and unicorns pooping rainbows, but I wasn’t trying to hear any of that noise and shut him down quick.”
“Look, I know you’re just trying to do you job and raise some money for the Democrats, but you’re not going to get me to believe things are all sweetness and light,” I said. “The Democrats aren’t even trying in my state and when FitzGerald goes down in flames next month he’s going to take the whole ticket of other candidates down with him. They are going to go down hard and lose big.”
It didn’t have to be this way.
Two years ago when President Obama was running for reelection, I couldn’t go more than a day or so without somebody from the campaign calling, emailing or knocking on the door making sure they got out the vote and more importantly got the base fired up to vote. Now here we stand less than a month away from an election that will decide the balance of power in Congress as well as statehouses across the nation and the blase indifference of the Democrats is frankly stunning to behold. Nobody’s knocked on my door. I barely see any yard signs. Only the Republicans seem to have bought any commercial time to tell me how wonderful life is since Kasich became governor. What’s the response from the other side? Damned if I know. They aren’t even making enough of an effort to even be considered embarrassing.
It’s as though the Dems have resigned themselves to getting worked by the Repubs. Yeah, we’re gonna get bitch-slapped. Going over the cliff. Driving down a dark country road at midnight with no headlights. Playing Russian Roulette with five bullets in the chamber. No sense trying to fight fate.
There’s no shame in losing. The shame is in not even trying to win. If the Democrats have a plan to avoid being humbled and humiliated it will take a far better political prognosticator than I to figure out what it is.
I don’t see any effort. I don’t feel any sense of urgency. I don’t have any feeling the Democrats are going to pull off a last minute save and deny the Republicans almost complete control.
And they have plans for you and you and me too. Lots of plans, and all of you who didn’t care today will care a lot tomorrow and tomorrow and the tomorrow after that. If you’re a woman they have plans for your reproductive organs. If you’re in a labor union they got plans to bust unions. If you’re unemployed don’t look for any extensions of benefits. If you’re a college student you’ve got no relief coming from those student loans. If you’re Black there’s more prisons and less affirmative action coming your way. If you’re gay they’re coming to shut down that marriage equality stuff. There are lots of folks who are going to get what’s coming to them and the GOP is going to give it to them good and hard.
Sometimes shit has to get really bad before it can get any better and trust me when I say this: when there’s nothing between the plans of the Koch Brothers and ALEC and all those other incredibly wealthy, incredibly greedy and incredibly vindictive bastards whom have been patiently waiting and plotting and planning for this moment, oh, what you got coming!
Just you wait…