There is an episode of Game of Thrones (the TV show, not the novel) where Cersei Lannister, the former queen and the most Machiavellian character in the show, is about to finally get her due. She is going to be tried in public and in the previous episode her brilliant plan to escape justice was thwarted when her enemies banned trial-by-combat, rendering her monstrous FrankenKnight useless.
The hour of the trial arrives and the current queen, Margaery, notices that Cersei isn’t present. She hurries to the High Septon and points this out but he is unconcerned – if Cersei isn’t there the trial will go on and she’ll be found guilty anyway. Margaery presses him, don’t you understand, she knows what will happen if she doesn’t show up and she isn’t here! The High Septon remains nonplussed. At this point Margaery runs for the exit yelling at everyone to get out. Then the fire bombs start to go off.
So, on to Washington, D.C today. The party that wins the White House usually loses seats in Congress in the next election and the Democrats’ margins are razor thin. Add to this the anger over the “irregularities” of the 2020 election and a host of issues that should be very harmful to the Democrats: the border is a humanitarian disaster, a national security threat and a public health nightmare. Gas and food prices are rising. Crime, especially violent crime, is rising dramatically and the Democrats continue to endorse riots. The supposed moderate Joe Biden made a hard left turn that has swing voters with a strong case of buyer’s remorse. Conservatives (and political pundits of all stripes) are thinking that the 2022 mid-term elections are going to be a huge swing back in favor of the Republicans.
I fear that, like the High Septon, they’re missing something. Cersei wasn’t there because there wasn’t going to be a trial. I think the Republicans aren’t going to win back the House and Senate (or the Presidency in 2024) because there aren’t going to be honest elections. The Democrats are pushing hard on numerous fronts to make sure that they can’t lose on the national stage, such as:
· HR 1, a bill that would put the Federal government in charge of elections everywhere and permanently enshrine mail-in voting, no IDs, same day registration, etc.
· Packing the Supreme Court to eliminate a potential obstacle and create a court that will effectively write laws and re-write the Constitution. Given the current Court’s hesitance to intervene in election/voting disputes this hardly seems necessary, but if you’re going all out you shouldn’t leave any trick in the bag.
· Blue states will keep all the “easy voting” laws they enacted in response to Covid locking them down (electorally speaking) forever and making them deeper blue.
· Let’s make Washington, D.C. and possibly Puerto Rico states, adding 2-4 more permanent Democrat Senators.
· And let’s not overlook the potential impact of untold thousands of illegal immigrants who are likely to vote for the party that isn’t just opening the border for them but is providing cash and other benefits and promising citizenship muy pronto.
A number of red states have enacted (or are moving to enact) election reform laws that would presumably curtail a lot of the “irregularities” of 2020. This assumes that these laws will survive the judiciary. An expanded Supreme Court isn’t likely to accept these racist voter suppression laws. Among other tricks, Democrats are very good at timing their lawsuits so that they get a favorable ruling so close to the date of an election that appeals aren’t possible, or at least, a higher court feels it would be unseemly to intervene at the 11th hour. And, seriously, how much good will these laws be when in 2020 courts ignored their state constitutions to re-write voting laws and it was allowed to stand? I’m confident that there will be new crises to justify intervention, Hell, Covid keeps mutating, there may be a new variant in late 2022 that requires mass mail-in voting, your new laws be damned.
I do hope and pray that the consensus political opinion is correct and a major course correction is 18 months away. But like Margaery, I smell smoke. I just wish I knew where the exit was.