Desperate times require desperate measures, and desperate Republicans in Congress are running scared. Because they know they have no legislative accomplishments to help them win elections in November and because the president they blindly support has historically low approval ratings, they have resorted to a last-ditch desperation move which they insanely think will help them prevail in the midterms.
According to recent reports, Republicans are now seriously considering canceling the traditional August Congressional recess in order to make sure Democrats can’t campaign that month. They think that by depriving Democrats of campaign time at home during August the GOP will be more likely to win in the fall.
There was a meeting of Senate Republicans this week where this tactic was openly and seriously discussed, and of course the confidential discussions were leaked to the press. According to one observer the “stated objective is to make sure Democrats, especially red-state Democrats, can’t connect with voters late in the summer.”
“It most certainly has been an item that’s discussed,” Sen. Mike Rounds, (R-SD) said in an interview. “There’s no way around it. If Democrats are not able to go home at a time in which they’re campaigning, it’s more of a challenge for them.”
“Clearly [Democrats have] got a lot more exposure,” added Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX).
So now we can add tampering with the Congressional calendar to Republican cheating tactics like voter suppression and gerrymandering. But will it work?
Recently Mitch McConnell has been trying to fire up his troops by saying that control of the Senate is up for grabs and there could be a Blue Wave election that would sweep Democrats into power.
The latest questionable move is based on simple arithmetic: There are 26 Democratic incumbent senators defending their seats in 2018 but only 8 incumbent Republican senators. The GOP had thought this meant they were assured of keeping control of the Senate, but their latest moves show just how scared they are.
After big election wins in Virginia, Alabama, Pennsylvania and elsewhere the Democrats are fired up and their voters seem extremely energized, so perhaps the GOP fears are well founded.
Even if they are, to deprive people in Congress of their August recess solely to gain an advantage in November elections is a very low move that once again proves that Republicans will do absolutely anything to retain power. And this should have every American concerned, because the longer Republicans are in power the more the average American loses.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.