It is midterm election season, an important period on our political calendar as it marks that there’s only two years to go until the next presidential election. And while something called the “blue wave” supposedly took hold last summer, the latest polling shows that Democrats are in trouble. How much trouble? You do hate to wish ill on a party running a campaign based on third-trimester abortion access and an imagined threat from brownshirts. But given the choice, here are eight Democrats we wouldn’t mind seeing ousted this year.
8. Representative Jerry Nadler
Nadler presided over both impeachments of Donald Trump and is a fairly reliable progressive. The New York rep is not the most inept Dem out there — but then he did almost dislocate his nose trying to remove a Covid mask. More to the point, Nadler’s third-party opponent Mike Itkis recently gave new meaning to the term “October surprise” when he starred in a porn video to make a point about sex work legalization. Heroes, capes, etc.
7. Beto O’Rourke
Need we say more? Crushing Beto in an election has become a kind of biennial routine for Americans, like rotating the tires and getting our eyes checked. This time around, Beto made an even greater fool out of himself than is custom by showing up at a press conference just after the Uvalde massacre and screaming at Texas officials. The latest poll finds Governor Greg Abbott thrashing him by 13 points.
6. Senator Patty Murray
The Spectator‘s own Chris Sandford was too kind back in August when he said Patty Murray “appears to exist in a state of pervasive mental fog.” Reelected endlessly for no reason other than she’s from deep-blue Washington state, Murray is the brain child who insisted after 9/11 that Osama bin Laden was popular in the Muslim world because he built roads and daycare centers. (Afghanistan is known for its extensive childcare network.) Murray will probably win reelection this year too, but for once a Republican, Tiffany Smiley, is within striking distance.
5. Governor Kathy Hochul
There’s plenty not to like about the Empire State’s accidental empress, starting with the fact that she was never elected governor. And then proceeding to the fact that she seems to have only just discovered that New York is suffering through a crime wave. And then continuing to the fact that she’s supported Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg whose policies have abetted said crime wave. Or maybe it’s all just a bad dream? Hochul recently called concerns about crime in Democratic states a “conspiracy” promulgated by “data deniers.” That’ll play well in the suburbs.
4. Senator Dick Blumenthal
Those of us who grew up in the Nutmeg State will recall an old joke about our former attorney general: “The most dangerous place in Connecticut is between Dick Blumenthal and a camera.” The rest of the country will recall how Blumenthal was caught inventing an entire Vietnam service record during his first Senate race in 2010. He’s still a senator, naturally, this being Connecticut and all, and while his GOP challenger Leora Levy seems like a Hail Mary, people of decency and goodwill everywhere should be saying their prayers.
3. Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Perhaps no governor clamped down as hard during Covid as Her Excellency the Queen of Michigan. Acting unilaterally (until the state supreme court reined her in), Whitmer made it illegal to, among other things, visit friends, sell paint, mow grass, and golf. You will not be surprised to learn that both she and her husband were caught violating these rules, with Whitmer photographed last spring schmoozing around a bar table with a pack of socially undistanced and unmasked pals. Always follow the science — especially when it leads to half-priced wings until closing.
2. Governor Tina Kotek
Oregon’s very own Miss Congeniality exists in that unenviable space on the Venn diagram between “vicious” and “radical.” The viciousness: she once redistricted a critical fellow Democrat out of his seat while he was on National Guard duty assisting with the state’s Covid response. The radicalism: she presided over the Oregon House of Representatives during Portland’s colic phase, which saw one of America’s most delightfully bohemian cities crippled and trashed by rioters. Now, she’s running for governor, and a tight race shows even left-leaning Oregonians seem to have had enough.
1. Representative Katie Porter
Perhaps no one is as emblematic of the present-day left as Katie Porter. She’s garnered a reputation among very-online progressives for OWNING RIGHT-WING REPUBLICANS WITH FACTS AND DATA, which is to say staging confrontations with public officials and then slapping out-of-context clips on YouTube. This recently came to a head during a congressional hearing when Porter (falsely) accused a gun expert from the Heritage Foundation of lying under oath, and then refused to even allow the expert to respond.
Morons on Twitter cheered the stunt but the rest of us couldn’t help but think: Porter couldn’t have debated that woman if she’d tried. Which she didn’t — that was the whole point. In this, she’s the perfect avatar of the new faux-intelligence; the pathetic, dimwitted, Jon Stewart-forged understanding that real smarts are less about dialogue than dismissing opponents with cheaply staged soundbites. Porter is also known for carrying around a whiteboard, which is a thing college students hang on their doors. Thankfully, she’s far bluer than her purple district in Orange County, and she has a serious challenger this year in Scott Baugh.