Yesterday was a tough day to be a Republican. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons and then called concentration camps “Holocaust centers.” A few hours later, Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly introduced a bill to ban same-sex marriages despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that such legislation is unconstitutional. The night ended with Republicans winning a Congressional special election in Kansas by only seven points in a district Trump won by 27 in November.
Poor Sean Spicer is in way over his head. He came to the job with disdain for the press and has fought with them ever since. He’s made gaffe after gaffe and has become a punching bag for late night comics. That said, he’s a joke, not a threat. Liberals should be laughing at him and glad he’s at the podium instead of calling for resignation or firing. They should let go of the outrage and embrace the humor. He’s a gift that keeps on giving.
The bill in the NCGA to overrule the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision came from the usual suspects. Two the the sponsors, Rep. Larry Pittman and Rep. Carl Ford, tried to push a bill that would institute a state religion back in 2013. That bill alerted the nation that North Carolina was going off the rails and brought heaps of ridicule on the state and the NCGOP.
Again, liberals need to lighten up. The bill isn’t going anywhere. It was introduced by four members whose combined IQs don’t reach triple digits and who were clearly skipping school when civics was being taught. The smart move for the Republican leadership would be to signal right now that the bill is DOA and try to minimize the damage. Otherwise, the late night crowd will have another field day at North Carolina’s expense.
The real threat to Republicans, though, was the special election in Kansas. It should have been an easy win, but a motivated Democratic base made it a nail-biter. The Republican, Ron Estes, ended up winning by almost seven points while he should have won in by double digits without much effort. Instead, the NRCC had to spend money down the stretch to make sure they held the seat.
While a lot of pundits say the results portend a wave in formation, it’s really too early to make that call. The race shows that Democrats are fired up, the political environment today is bad for Republicans and Trump is hurting the GOP. That may or may not be true a year and a half from now. A better indicator will be Virginia legislative elections this November. If Democrats win in districts that would normally be easy for Republicans, 2018 could be a bad year for Republicans and bring the wave Democrats need to take control of Congress and, possibly, the North Carolina legislature.
To have so much power, Republicans are having a rough start. Their only bright spot has been the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. They may get their bearings in the next few months. If they don’t, 2018 will be a long year for them. Meanwhile, Democrats should enjoy the show.