The political chatter on television these days is that the much ballyhooed Blue Wave may be nothing more than just talk.
That’s a stunning turnabout from what was touted for months as a virtual article of faith by Democrats poised to take back the House and, with some luck, the Senate.
The idea of a Blue Wave occurring in the Nov. 6 election is based on the notion that women, blacks, Hispanics and young people are so furious at President Trump and the GOP that they will storm the polls for a few dozen contested congressional districts and tip them to the Democrats.
The white-hot battle over the Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, and the insults heaped on women who told their harrowing stories of sexual abuse, appeared to have sealed the fate of the GOP.
So what now makes anyone think that the Democrats have suddenly come unraveled?
In reality, nothing has changed.
Yes, Trump’s recent uptick in popularity and an alleged GOP voter base backlash over the beat down of Kavanaugh by Democrats is cited as the prime reasons for this alleged reversal of Democratic fortunes.
However, this is mostly self-serving media and GOP hype. There’s no evidence that there’s been any reduction in Democratic anger at Trump, or that Democratic voters will stay home on Election Day. The stakes are simply too high for that to happen, and these voters know this. The intense voter registration drives, the massive amounts of small donor donations to Democratic candidates, and the willingness of top Democrats to urge candidates to get down and dirty with Trump and the GOP are good signs that Democrats do understand what this election means to the direction of the country.
Trump and the GOP also understand this. That’s why they are working overtime to stymie any Democratic surge on Nov. 6. Trump has even reached back into his stockpile of racist, inflammatory and scary rhetoric — from calling immigrants names and heaping praise on a thuggish congressman who body slammed a reporter to claiming anyone who votes for a Democrat is “crazy.” These tactics worked to an extent in 2016 with some under-educated blue collar white males in a handful of must-win states, and Trump hopes they will work again.
But this time it’s not just Trump dropping bombs to whip up Republican voters. The GOP has dug deep into its own bag of dirty tricks to tamp down the vote. The most outrageous example of this is in Georgia where GOP leaders have purged tens of thousands of mostly black people from voter rolls. Not surprisingly, there are variations of the GOP’s vote suppression ploy occurring in other states, namely Texas, North Dakota, Arizona and Wisconsin.
But the Republicans didn’t stop there. The Grand Old Party went even lower into the gutter, dredging up a phony front group called Black Americans for the President’s Agenda. It bankrolled a series of ludicrous radio ads claiming a vote for the Democrats will lead to “lynchings” of blacks. For his part, Trump has played one other card. He preemptively points his finger at the GOP for losing the House — even before the vote. This is an effort to whipsaw the GOP and his base to beg, borrow or steal to ward off defeat.
Trump and the GOP believe this is more than enough to continue fueling right-wing media noise and Democratic doubts about the outcome of the election. The great fear of the GOP is that a Democratic surge would stop Republicans in their drive for total domination of national and state governments, not just now, but for decades to come.
The latest tactic is to talk and write about a Blue Trickle rather than a flood sweeping over the country on Election Day. This fits neatly into the GOP aim to do and say anything that will keep as many Democratic voters as possible away from the polls. Now that the theme of a Blue Wave bust has become popular, expect that type of talk to accelerate in the next few days.
Just remember that the best way to ensure this bogus rhetoric remains nothing more than talk is by voting on Nov. 6.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a political analyst and the author of “Make a Democratic Blue Wave More than Talk” (Amazon). Along with being a weekly co-host of “The Al Sharpton Show” on Radio One, he also hosts “The Hutchinson Report” each week on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.