The predicted “blue wave” appears this week to be a wave of bad news that would make a Democrat “sing the blues.”
On October 12, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth used the words “shocked” and “dumbfounded”when he boldly accused career State Department officials of trying to stop a series of Freedom of Information Acts (FOIA) law suits concerning Hillary Clinton’s email server and the Benghazi attacks by filing affidavits that were “clearly false.” Judge Lamberth said he was glad he had not dismissed the lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch to gain information because during the pretrial “discovery” lawyers discovered that contrary to what was stated in sworn affidavits signed by State Department officials, there were a lot of documents that had not been turned over as was required by FOIA.
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is feeling the effects of a hung jury in his federal bribery trial last fall. His lead over Republican and Marine veteran Bob Hugin has slipped to as low as two points in a state that Hillary Clinton carried by 14 points in 2016.The Democratic Party is running scared. They are pouring millions into the campaign trying to shore up support for Menendez. (That is money they cannot now use in other states.) Hugin is campaigning on the theme that the people of New Jersey deserve better than a senator whom the Senate Ethics Committee says “violated federal law,” “abused the power of his office,” and “disgraced the Senate.”
And in North Carolina, federal immigration officials have subpoenaed over 20 million documents as they look into alleged voting fraud. This comes not long after 19 foreign nationals were charged by the Justice Department with filing false claims of citizenship in order to vote illegally. Getting rid of fraudulent voting will certainly hurt Democratic turnout. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall any Republican operatives being indicted on voter fraud charges.
But North Carolina has serious problems with potential voter fraud. The state legislature passed the “Voter Information and Verification Act” in 2013 with the idea of reducing voter fraud. Key points were the requirement for a photo id to vote, reducing the time for early voting from three weeks to two, and eliminating “same day registration,” which allowed people to register to vote at the polling place and then vote that same day. A federal district judge in Greensboro upheld the law, and instead of the bemoaned suppression of the black vote, there was actually an increase in participation by African-American voters. But then a three-judge panel (one Clinton appointee and two Obama appointees) of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the law.
The legal wrangling in North Carolina might not seem like bad news for Democrats, but North Carolinians are fed up with the situation, and there is a proposed constitutional amendment on this year’s ballot to require photo id. Polls show that two-thirds of North Carolina voters approve of photo id’s for voting, so perhaps some sanity will return to the process.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz (a Democrat) famously castigated President Trump for not doing enough for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island – even though a number of shipping containers of supplies provided by the federal government were locked up in guarded areas on the island and were never distributed to the people of Puerto Rico. And just this week the FBI raided San Juan’s municipal offices– including the office of the mayor – as part of an investigation into possible fraud and obstruction of justice by the city government.
And then we had the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing debacle. I think swing voters, and even some Democrats are getting sick of Democrats.
We Republicans need to be careful. We can’t assume that the blue wave will only be a splash on the beach. We have to take seriously the millions of dollars pouring into these campaigns in order to sway uninformed voters. Yet we have reason to believe that if we are diligent in our own efforts to elect our conservative candidates – by getting conservative voters to the polls and convincing undecided voters of the value of our positions – that we will prevail in keeping both the Senate and the House in Republican hands.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.