On the EDge: Election 2018 a lose-lose situation

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OPINION — There was a time when those who actually study the political scene could make an educated guess regarding how the elections would turn out.

There were real issues, real candidates – well, at least better candidates – and the science behind politics was not some witch’s brew of random ingredients.

Not now.

Oh, on the Southern Utah level, you can pretty well rest assured that anybody who is an incumbent or is a member of the Republican Party will emerge victorious.

That’s a given, especially in Republican-charged Utah where voting may be a birthright, but the DNA of that birthright is soaked in red. The Democrats just don’t have a chance. Some of that, of course, is because they rarely find bright, charismatic candidates who can break through that barrier of Republicanism.

The rest of it is pretty much up for grabs, though.

You never know how the public will respond to propositions on the ballot. It will be interesting to see just how much the Mormon church has manipulated followers into voting against Proposition 2, which once had a very healthy lead in the polls.

But as far as the rest of it? I see only one clear-cut winner as Mitt Romney will, in all probability, be ushered in as Utah’s newest senator. Although his family has Southern Utah roots, he spent most of his life in Michigan and Massachusetts and, thus, is pretty much a carpetbagger who flashes his Mormon credentials whenever he needs to solidify his gig, as he did his figurehead leadership thing during the 2002 Olympics, a decade later when he made his run for the presidency and now in his endeavor to join the United States Senate.

The rest of the ballot is, however, anybody’s guess, particularly in the guessing game regarding the possibility of a Blue Wave sweeping the House and, perhaps, Senate.

Whether we see the seat of Congressional power switch hands won’t be known until much later tonight. Any claims made before the final votes are tallied are simply wild guesses.

We really don’t know if the president carries the influence to keep the Republicans in power or if, indeed, the Democrats have truly had enough and have found a way to inspire their followers to make it to the voting booth.

What about that youth vote? Will the swelling anti-conservative fervor that surfaced after the last tragic Florida killings hold and, as it seemed at one point, engage young voters across the nation?


Or, maybe not.

There are no clear indicators from the electorate.

But, we’ve been through this before. I mean, when the president first declared his candidacy, there were many who thought it was merely a stunt being pulled off by a perennially publicity hungry reality TV personality looking for more headlines.

The longtime pundits didn’t take him seriously, in fact, there are those from the president’s inner circle who didn’t take him seriously.

He started to show up in the polls and built a campaign that was anything but traditional and bulled his way into the convention where he captured the nomination.

But, he wasn’t given much of a chance to win the White House. At least at first.

Clearly, Hillary Clinton would become the next president of the United States, right?

That’s what the pundits told us, what the polls told us, what those who put pencil to paper to figure the odds told us.

And, to a certain extent, they were correct as Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes, but was taken down by the Electoral College tally.

Even the professional oddsmakers weren’t ready for that and those guys make a living by predicting everything from who will win the Super Bowl to the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the real run for the roses, the race for the White House.

Of course, there was the stunner of the FBI making a couple of odd announcements about Clinton at the end of the campaign. We will never know just how much that influenced the final vote and, at this point, is either simply an historical footnote or a reason for continued sour grapes, depending on your perspective.

I do remember writing, in the run-up to the 2016 election, that things were so skewed that I wouldn’t bet on the outcome using somebody else’s money, that things just weren’t adding up. Had I been pushed into a corner and forced to put money on the table, I would have had to wait until the day before the election to make a final guess, which is all it really would have been, and despite all the drama, would have still abstained.

I’ll do so again today.

It is simply impossible to know how voters are going to respond when they cast their ballots.

There has been a lot of discussion about this being the most important election of our lifetime.

Of course, once again, that depends on perspective.

Among Democrats, there is a certain level of urgency, desperation, desire for payback among those aggrieved by the administration.

I don’t know if that is the most honorable way to go into the voting booth, although I can certainly understand the frustration.

Among Republicans, there is a certain smugness that comes from being on the winning side. I don’t know how motivated they will be and I certainly can’t read the tea leaves to figure out how many remain truly in the administration’s camp and how many are ready to jump ship. The data is skewed that badly.

I do believe, however, that whichever way it goes, we are in for more bad blood.

Should the Democrats take back the House and Senate, you can bet that the administration and the Republican Party will make every effort to discount and discredit the election, that the fix was in. You can bet there will be charges of voter fraud, that the Deep State manipulated the whole thing. The discord will make the first two years of this administration look like a tea party.

Should the Republicans retain Congressional control, we will most definitely see the Democratic Party in shambles, searching desperately for a flagbearer to right the ship and pointing shaky fingers of blame for being either too soft, too liberal or too lazy.

Old school figuring would lead to a prediction that the Democrats will win back control of the House tonight and that the Senate will, most likely, be retained by Republicans.

Should that happen, we can look forward to a kind of embattled obstructionism from both sides that will virtually leave us with an impotent government.

So, no matter which way it goes, it all looks pretty grim – a lose-lose situation – for the country and that’s not good.

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • DRT November 6, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Ed, you and I both know that the only reason to go into politics today is for personal gain. Nobody in their right mind would go into this boiling cauldron of acid that is politics, for altruistic reasons.
    Politicos only do it for personal gain. Whether it is for money, (which is doubtful on the local level,) or personal power, (which is obvious on the local level,) it is not for the general good of the people.

    • Carpe Diem November 6, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Well, the Clintons and their Foundation would stand as a shining example of that money thesis. Bill got GF’s as a bonus. By selling influence and uranium while SOS… how is she not in prison? Our system has failed us.

      • Comment November 6, 2018 at 6:30 pm

        Ofc we know all republican politicians are completely altruistic and would never dream of going into politics for personal gain–angels on earth, basically…

        • Carpe Diem November 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm

          Look, you nearly elected Hillary Clinton, the star crook of all time. Everyone else’s crimes pale next to that pro.

          • bikeandfish November 7, 2018 at 2:37 pm

            What a lame, vicious cycle partisans have us in.

            Republicans foamed at the mouth for years about Hillary and Obama, they continue to do so. Both were never charged with anything despite hearings and investigations.

            Now that Republicans have power they go to grear lengths to claim their man is nothing compared to Trump.

            Now that democrats are the minority thet are foaming at the mouth. Instead of waiting for the Mueller report and pending lawsuits to be finalized they pre-emptively want to start impeachment proceedings, etc. The rhetoric is way ahead of the facts here.

            I doubt they’ll let up even if Mueller comes back with a summary of no findings of collusion (which is the best assumption at this part and the legal default). They have invested so much in those claims they won’t just back away. Too much political capital invested to turn back.

            Its just a nasty, death spiral of BS. It wasn’t always like this, ie the perpetual goal to impeach the president. We need more independents in this country and to create parties that are about substance and not just campaign rhetoric and hating the other team.

            Doesn’t mean we stop critiquing when President’s cross a line (Obama deserved it and so does Trump). It just means we need to hold lines that favor universal lines over party/individual allegiance. We need to end this cult of personality.

          • Comment November 7, 2018 at 6:27 pm

            pretty much agree, bike

  • Carpe Diem November 6, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Beto drew 70 million from places like New York and Hollywood… for a Senate seat in… Texas? Cleary, Democrats are desperate. Too bad Beto doesnt have a good message or plan. It’s going to have been a lot of wasted money, just like Hillary when she smoked a Billion Dollar pile of money. Strategy… message… energy… character… put it in a bottle and shake it up… pour it out… you came up short!

    • commonsense November 8, 2018 at 7:36 am

      When “hate Trump” is your only message, even money can’t buy votes. Dems want power and use violence and deceit to get it.

  • Carpe Diem November 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Oh, and the note above Trump “bulled his way into the convention ” (or is it bullied you meant?) Regardless, it was HILLARY who BULLIED her way to the DNC, burying Sanders with money paid to fuel a very nasty conspiracy.

    ‘Trump’ was BULLIED by the MSM, starting most notably by Me-Again Kelly, (recently fired) but even today, a full two years after the election, he is still hammered with fake news and nasty negative attacks on a daily basis. Its a national shame. Democrats own it though, and double down on it daily.

    • bikeandfish November 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      That’s an interesting rewrite of the Megan Kelly history. Now she’s the villian? Didn’t expect that revisionism but I shouldn’t be shocked by anything now.

      • Comment November 6, 2018 at 6:28 pm

        She became a villain to the nutters as soon as she left their precious foxnews.

  • Comment November 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Repubs and dems are both filth. As far as they’ve sunk I’ll continue to vote dem (still the lesser evil). I know what the repubs are all about and I know they haven’t changed since the days of Baby Bush. The only thing that’s changed is Trump, and the repub establishment filth will ride that bandwagon so long as it brings them more power.

    I wish I thought trump could actually clean up the immigration problem, but, on the national level, with the population of public school students being nearly 50% hispanic, I’m afraid the illegals have solidly colonized this country beyond the point of no return. Anything trump does might be too little too late, unless a full-scale roundup is put into the works.

    I do believe the whole appeal of the trump movement to his supporters is a form of ethno-nationalism. You have no borders you have no country. The traitorous dems have still not figured this out, or do they simply not care? Well, they still got my vote, but not w/ a happy face. They’re just a little less bad than the R-party establishment filth.

    Oh, and congratulations senator Romney. All the anti-Romney whining from you Trumpers didn’t do a lick of good, because all you clowns will be TRUMPED by the LDS vote. Works every time. The LDS are good sheep and do as they’re told. Did you people forget what state you live in or what?

    • bikeandfish November 6, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      “on the national level, with the population of public school students being nearly 50% hispanic”

      That claim isn’t remotely accurate. They only make up roughly 23% of school students.

      “unless a full-scale roundup is put into the works.”

      Is that something you support?

      Neither party is “traitorous”. Good grief. The rhetoric gets more inflammatory by the day.

        • Comment November 6, 2018 at 6:26 pm

          The issue of illegal aliens is what got the donald elected, so it obviously means a lot to a lot of people. A roundup would seem a bit, what’s a good word, cruel perhaps? But at some point laws have to be enforced and borders have to be enforced. Where do you even really start when something has been so laxly enforced for the last 30, 40 years? I’m told over 1/3 of california’s population are illegals. Maybe even a lot more than that. Do those sound like legit stats?

          • bikeandfish November 6, 2018 at 7:20 pm

            Not sure on California. But the number doesn’t seem statistically possible; there an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in all of the US while California has a population of 39.5 million. For your number to bbe possible California would need to be home of 100% of all illegal immigrants. Not close to reality at all.

            Trump got elected for exaggerating the truth about immigration. There was nothing lax about Obama’s policies. He deported more immigrants than any president before him and was the equivalent of several presidents of the modern era. Illegal immigration from the southern border was on a steep decline. But you would never know that from Trump’s ethno-nationalist fear mongering.

            Trump’s rhetoric requires people to not know the truth. The fact is illegal immigration on the southern border was being dealt with since Bush and aggressively by Obama. Presidents of our era have always enforced immigration law. But the reality is the executive branch has always used discretion in how to do so.

    • Happy Commenter November 6, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Fabulous brainfart!

  • Blaine November 6, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Pundits from the Left are an awfully bitter bunch. As usual, Kociela doesn’t disappoint in that regard.

    • Happy Commenter November 6, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Drinking that progressive punch will do that to you!

  • Carpe Diem November 7, 2018 at 7:19 am

    Good thing Obama campaigned for Gillum and Nelson in Florida. They really needed some star power! Even though they fell flat. It felt good.

  • ladybugavenger November 7, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    It should work out well.

    I’m sure Democrats want to lower our taxes, right? Should be a majority vote.

    I’m sure Democrats want people to come here legally, right, Should be a majority vote.

    We all love people from other countries. We all love people that come here legally. What about the illegals already here, you ask? Well, if there wasnt so much wall blocking (pun intended) to get your way to legalize them without a secure border, then you would see 1. a border can be controlled 2. the people here would get citizenship.

    But a smart Presisent would never let it be known that that is his plan. To control the border, get tougher on illegal immigration and then a pathway to citizenship. There is so much hate and bitterness and stonewalling that they *the democrats* are blocking the legalization of people already here. So it’s a good thing the democrats got the house. Maybe now they will stop hating the President so much and stop blocking the illegal immigrants from getting citizenship while securing the border.

    Only time will tell if the Democrats are going to be for the people or are they just going to continue to be against the President at any cost. The cost being me and you

    • bikeandfish November 7, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Nice spin. Its a post hoc justification for Trump’s failed border wall plan. He couldn’t even get it through the RNC trifecta control of the Federal government.

      And no, its not the democrats blocking a path to legal citizenship. That’s a gross rewrite of history. First, it was Trump who ended DACA. Second, it was a failure of Congress, controlled by the RNC for 8 years (?), to find viable legislation. Democrat are only a part of that Congressional reality.

      But at the end of the day it was Trump who ended the only available option for illegal immigrants to seek citizenship. Which he has the power to do (given DACA was an EO) but supporters like you don’t get to talk out of both sides of your mouth about that choice.

      And “me and you” are not on the same page at all. There are times when being against Trump is about standing up for liberty and fellow citizens.

      The lengths fanatics go to justify Trump’s haphazard governing crack me up. I’m supposed to be a “smart president” doesn’t have a transparent immigration plan? Talk about fortifying the swamp.

      • ladybugavenger November 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        I was not spinning anything. My goodness, I was being hopeful. So much animosity from you.

        • bikeandfish November 7, 2018 at 4:34 pm

          Sorry but your original comment was dripping with the same animosity you claim I have. For example:

          “Only time will tell if the Democrats are going to be for the people or are they just going to continue to be against the President at any cost. The cost being me and you”

          • ladybugavenger November 7, 2018 at 5:17 pm

            No animosity in that.

            Because you challenge me with me having animosity. Are you saying, Democrats are not or have not been against the President?

            Are you saying I have anomicity because you think what I said is not true?

          • bikeandfish November 7, 2018 at 5:37 pm

            No animosity in making your false allegations against the “democrats”?

            Definition:a feeling of strong dislike, ill will, or enmity that tends to display itself in action:

            Your original comment reaks of the same “feeling of strong dislike” you claim I wrote with. Do you really not see that? :

            “There is so much hate and bitterness and stonewalling that they *the democrats* are blocking the legalization of people already here.”

            I mean not only is the statement patiently false (as I previously have shown) but your entire argument is building up to a strawman in which democrats are so full of hate and bitterness that they must not have true care for immigrants and don’t mind hurting most Americans via their opposition to Trump’s agenda.

            You can see how I don’t buy your claim about being hopeful, right? If not, I sincerely think you need to better understand how arguments are constructed and supported because your first comment doesn’t provide the argument you think it does.

          • ladybugavenger November 7, 2018 at 11:37 pm

            I’m actually not trying to get you to buy anything. I mean I do work on a salesfloor and I would tell you how great getting our credit card would be. How it can save you 5% on purchases *not including labor or in conjunction with special financing. You can get special financing on this hustler zero turn lawn mower for $4999.00 with our credit card. I can can get you 7.9% financing for 84 months or if you can pay it off in 6 months you can gave zero percent interest. Are you a veteran? Because we offer 10% off for veterans….
            No b&f I am not trying to sell you anything, but if you would like a John Deere E130 tractor mower I have one for $1,000 lowered $499 because the hood was keyed by a customer so it was sanded and painted, real quick (with john deere green paint color) and marked down. I’ll sell you that all day. But not politics.

            I have nothing but opinion in politics. Because facts are just opinions in politics.

        • bikeandfish November 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

          And your entire first comment was partisan spin.

      • ladybugavenger November 7, 2018 at 3:37 pm

        You’re right! I would never want to be like you either!!!! However. My reference to “me and you” was simply referring to citizens of the United States

        • bikeandfish November 7, 2018 at 5:12 pm

          I understood that element. But most voters don’t believe challenging the president is harming our country. Quite the contrary, we believe some of the democrats actions are protecting us.

          • ladybugavenger November 7, 2018 at 6:07 pm

            No doubt true that’s why I think it’s good that Democrats won the house. Maybe, now something can get done with peace

  • commonsense November 7, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    The best part of the Dems winning the House, they will have to govern and not just bitch about Trump.

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