As Republicans Push Far Right Agenda, Stakes for Midterms Couldn’t Be Higher

The 2022 midterm elections are approaching with a sense of dread that is almost cosmic. This time, the stakes are enormous: How we deal with a war in our country and its global consequences, a pandemic that is not over yet, the global climate crisis, and so on will all be determined by who wins these contests. It ain’t about getting the potholes filled this time.

My usual child-at Christmas anticipation is to ride sidecar with dread. I believe that the last place where the people have a say in the type of federal government we have is the primary elections and the midterm elections. Although presidential elections are the most talked about, the nature of Congress, as we saw with Senator Joe Manchin, tends to determine the direction this country will take, if at all.

The entire thing becomes a gigantic television show when the voting process reaches general election/GOP vs. Democratic nomination stage. The Big Money will be at the top of the table and the whole thing, regardless of how right it started, will continue its inexorable march to the right. The plunderers and liars who fancy themselves “The Adults” in U.S. politics will be in charge again, and another bi-annual opportunity for actual change will have been pissed away.

The primaries, and especially the midterm primaries, though … man, it’s just Wide open, isn’t it? An open House seat in Florida will draw contestants ranging from the staid, solid political veteran to a guy with live ocelots on his head who happens to have some pretty incredible ideas about rent control and water usage, and you’re free as a bird to support whichever one you like. A midterm primary election will give you more power in your political life than a general election.

Unfortunately, very few people today are ready to take advantage of this opportunity. Turnout for midterm primaries, as well as midterm elections, tends to be gruesomely low when they don’t take place during a presidential election year. The parties’ bases are the people who can be counted on to show, and the Republican base is made up of far more reliable voters than the Democrats. You are invited to discover why things are the way they are.

My fear for this year is more than the results. People are panicking like horses caught in a storm. There has never been an election like this. One example of gravity suddenly failing is encapsulated in a Politico/Morning Consult pollSince last week. It is reported that 46 percent of voters intend to vote for a Republican House candidate, despite the fact that the popular child tax credit was eliminated by Republicans.

“So if this poll is right, the same voters who benefited from this popular program are apparently rewarding the party that killed it with their votes,” writesTaegan Goddard is a political analyst. “Perhaps this is just another major messaging fail by Democrats. But with Republicans around the country pursuing a far-right agenda — including outlawing abortion, restricting gay rights and making voting harder — there seems to be little connection between what voters want and what Republicans do. And they’re not being punished for it — at least not yet.”

COVID 19, the insurrection, tub-thumping racism on display in Congress, and an entire political party in thrall to a defeated former president who fancies himself an electoral kingmaker… these are the ingredients for the kind of stew that would make a herd of billy goats vomit into their beards, yet here we sit waiting for daylight. Even though voting is still weeks away, this confluence has already produced races that are better suited for Saturday morning cartoons rather than functional government.

Georgian ex-NFL player Herschel Walk is seeking to reclaim the seat Raphael Warnock was awarded in the amazing two-race victory in 2020. Walker is avoiding audiencesHe is a businessman who does everything he can to make it a success.

It’s a great tactic to have, if such a record exists. “Those claims include running the largest minority-owned food company in the United States,” reports The Daily Beast “owning multiple chicken plants in another state; and starting and owning an upholstery business which was also, apparently, at one point in his telling, the country’s largest minority-owned apparel company.”

Also in Georgia, David Perdue has fashioned himself the avatar of Trump’s election justice by trying to knock off Republican Governor Brian Kemp because Kemp would not help Trump steal the election. Kemp currently leads Purdue in double-digits. Perdue must only return home with enough votes for a runoff vote to cause real trouble. Purdue is also one of the big tests of Trump’s endorsement; to date, that precious endorsement hasn’t been worth all that much for him.

There’s Alaska, where Don Young was a Republican Representative. (!!!) were 48 candidates. Sarah Palin is the only person who can fill the seat. shares a leadAl Gross was in the race. There really isn’t much to say here that hasn’t been said repeatedly since Palin was plucked from Wasilla in 2008 by John McCain and became another of our long national nightmares. These extreme right times seem like a great fit for Palin and she might win.

We will continue to add more fascinatingly bent primaries. Get some sleep and eat healthy food while you wait. I believe this election season will not only be good, but it will also be better than the stuffing.