Let The Blame Games Begin? By Victor Davis Hanson for American Greatness
For Republicans either different leaders or different strategies—or both—are needed to ensure different results
Who or what was responsible for the Republican nationwide collapse in the midterms? After all, pundits, politicos, and pollsters all predicted a “red tsunami.”
Moreover, the average loss of any president in his first midterm is 25 House seats. And when his approval sinks to or below 43 percent—in the fashion of Joe Biden—the loss, on average, expands to over 40 seats.
Barack Obama in 2010 lost 63 seats. Is Biden, therefore, more charismatic or more energetic than Obama? Was his agenda more successful and popular?
Given such high Republican expectations, the blame game for the loss is as strident and confusing as was the election itself.
Here are some of the most common targets of criticism.
Donald Trump is being blamed on various counts. Before the midterms, he strangely attacked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. And he loudly hinted that he would run again.
Those histrionics supposedly took attention away from Republican candidates. Trump turned off some DeSantis fans from Trump-endorsed candidates, and energized Trump-hating left-wingers to go out and vote to stop the momentum for a second Trump presidency.
Yet the idea that Trump was erratic or reckless was not really new and surprised no one on either side of the political divide.
Two, Trump promoted many losing candidates, often on the narrow basis of whether they had accepted his charges of a rigged 2020 election. His critics countered that while his MAGA candidates won primaries in states like Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, they had little chance of going on to win general elections.
Yet, some important Trump-supported candidates did win, including J. D. Vance in Ohio and Ted Budd in North Carolina. At the same time, many centrists and moderates, such as Joe O’Dea in Colorado, lost.