Political campaigns are all about how you finish. You can be more popular than your opponent is for months, even for years, forever. But if you're less popular on Election Day, you lose.
It's all that matters.
It's a pretty simple truth but it's easy to forget. Democrats may re-learn it the hard way very soon. Up until a few weeks ago, virtually, every Democrat in America considered the upcoming mid-term elections a certain win.
Why? Well, they looked at the numbers. The majority of voters remain unsettled about Donald Trump. And if an election is a pure referendum on him, they believe the Republicans would lose, and lose big.
But what if it's not all about Trump? What if there's another side to the equation? Well, there is. And Democrats have just reminded the country of that. It all began with Brett Kavanaugh.
Democrats had plenty of ideological reasons to oppose his nomination to the Supreme Court. He'd written hundreds and hundreds of decisions, but they barely mentioned any of that.
Instead, in their frenzy to oppose all that Trump endorses, they tarred Kavanaugh as a rapist. They tried to destroy his family and his life.
Evidence and due process were irrelevant, they told us again and again. And if you didn't agree with that, they would scream at you.
And these were not ideological attacks. They were Stalinist attacks, and they horrified normal people across the country, not just right-wingers but people right in the middle.
Ever since then Republicans have been rising in the polls. For the Democrats, the lesson of all, this should have been very clear, keep your crazies under control, at least until Election Day.
But they wouldn't do that or maybe they couldn't do that or maybe they no longer recognize what crazy is. In any case, they refuse to make a rational case for their own program and, therefore, accelerated their own collapse.
Elizabeth Warren led the way in this. In a bizarre self-inflicted injury that she committed on national television Tuesday, much to the confusion of everyone else, Elizabeth Warren released a video trying to show that she really is an American Indian. Here’s what she said in a video featuring a DNA expert as she anointed herself head of the #MeSioux movement:
ELIZABETH ANN WARREN, SENIOR UNITED STATES SENATOR, MASSACHUSETTS: Now, the President likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The facts suggest that you absolutely have a Native American ancestor in your pedigree.
WARREN: I'm not enrolled in a tribe, and only tribes determine tribal citizenship. I understand and respect that distinction. But my family history is my family history.
"I am not enrolled in a tribe," says the lady who's way whiter than you are. Who thought that would work? What consultant came up with that?
Even the Cherokee Nation denounced Elizabeth Warren. And actually even many in the liberal media weren't that impressed either.
Well, some in the press did defend Warren. Of course, they couldn't help themselves. But their case hardly helped the Democratic Party because it was just too crazy.
The New York Times informed us that anyone who questions Warren's story, her ethnic appropriation of Indian culture is, you guessed it, of course, a racist. Mara Gay, from the New York Times editorial board, said this, “In terms of the Elizabeth Warren, the attack on Warren, I believe that was actually about white anxieties among Donald Trump's base about who's white in America.”
Yes. Keep attacking people for their skin color. Maybe that'll work just like it did in 2016. To Democrats, that still seems like a good idea along with a lot of other notions that ordinary voters find scary and repugnant.
Self-described socialists, advocating for abolishing ICE, border controls, effectively eliminating the barrier between us and other countries, and, therefore, eliminating our country. Maxine Waters cheering on the mob or as Don Lemon over at CNN calls them, "People who are angry."
In Arizona, where Democrats assumed they had an easy pickup of a Senate seat, their nominee Kyrsten Sinema has been exposed as a kind of lunatic who opposes all immigration laws. And apparently, she says, finds the Taliban more bearable than her fellow citizens in Arizona. Here’s what she said recently on that topic: “States are the laboratories of democracy. And then my state, Arizona, is clearly the meth lab of democracy. … For the past several years, people have watched what was happening in Arizona, and [they would] be like, ‘Damn, those people are crazy.’ ‘Is it something about the water?’ ‘No, the water's fine. We stole it from Colorado.’”
“The meth lab of democracy.” -- There's a way to get votes. Democrats could probably get away with all of this and more if they at least had an agenda that worked, if they could demonstrate "Our ideas bear fruit that you might want to eat."
But they can't do that, not even close. California, which they run completely, is failing, sadly. While drugs and human waste fill the streets, middle-class people leave because they can't afford homes there.
Portland, Oregon, meanwhile, one of the prettiest cities in the country suddenly looks like downtown Managua with bandana-clad thugs ruling the streets. Meanwhile, the city's impudent mayor, a wet liberal, of course, orders police to stand down.
It wasn't supposed to end this way, as you may know. Loathing of Trump was supposed to be the glue that held all the constituent parts of the Democratic Party together. Instead, it's destroying the party. In their efforts to fight Trump, they have become what they said they hated.
For example, you've heard over and over and over again that Trump hates women. He's a misogynist. And yet, whatever Trump has said, he never created anything as repugnant as the Rapper T.I.'s new video that shows a Melania look-alike stripping in the Oval Office.
Yes. It's the party that cares about women.
It's still three weeks to go until Election Day, and Republicans in Congress remain vulnerable, in some cases, very vulnerable. But at this pace, Democrats may fall far short of what they expected.
What was their mistake? As usual, it was revealing who they really are.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” October 16, 2018.