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A New Opening for a Republican Redemption

Pendhamma Sindhusen is a conservative columnist and political analyst

Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at a news briefing after the weekly Republican policy luncheon on December 13, 2011 at the US Capitol

Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at a news briefing after the weekly Republican policy luncheon on December 13, 2011 at the US Capitol

Whatever side you’re on, if you’ve been tracking American election polling data in the past several months, you’ll know the Republican Party is in a precarious predicament. Polls after polls show them distantly underwater, both in the presidential race and in contests for the control of Congress. A ubiquitous conjecture among pundits and analysts is that President Donald Trump will soon on his way out of the Oval Office, becoming the first one-term president in nearly 3 decades, and the Republican majority in the Senate will soon be dismantled after an influential 6-year reign as Democrats are expected to retain their majority in the House of Representatives. While there exists a spacious room for skepticism in polls and pundit predictions as the virtually unanticipated result of the 2016 election would remind us, Republicans and anyone rooting for their victory should be alarmed by this somber prospect of a Democratic trifecta. However, with what’s recently materialized, they should also be relieved, to an extent, as they now have been endowed with an opportunity for redemption.


The past few weeks have been tumultuous and rife with potentially consequential events. The first presidential debate and the vice presidential debate were conducted, President Trump and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19, Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to succeed the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is now proceeding through confirmation hearings, and Hunter Biden’s smoking-gun emails involving his corruption controversy has been revealed. By abundant measures, these events — with a probable exception of the debates — have played out in ways on which Republicans could capitalize to turn the momentum in their favor.


Judge Amy Coney Barrett during a confirmation hearing

Judge Amy Coney Barrett during a confirmation hearing

Secondly, the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett could consolidate and galvanize the conservative bloc. Ever since she was nominated, Barrett has been under relentless attacks by Democrats and their media allies whose agenda is admittedly to derail her confirmation seemingly without any regard for decency. At first, they attacked her family, libeling her adoption of 2 Haitian orphans, John and Vivian, as racist and an epitome of "white colonizers"' pretentious way of appearing as "superior" saviors of ethnic minorities. Then they segued to attacking her Catholic faith. Now, they are weaponizing the confirmation hearings against her by bombarding her with impertinent questions and scurrilous allegations. Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee entitled to questioning her spent their allotted time inquiring about her stances on controversial issues like abortion and healthcare, which they are especially agitated about as her nomination would cement the conservative majority in the Supreme Court and therefore pose a serious threat to the quadragenarian verdict of Roe v. Wade, a landmark case that resulted in the legitimization of elective abortion, as well as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare whose SCOTUS case is impending after the election. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island even accused her of being controlled by special interest groups whereas Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii asked if she'd ever committed a sexual assault. To any objective observer, these hearings have far aberrated from what they're supposed to be — a scrutiny into the professionalism, moral qualifications and commitment to the Constitution of an individual nominated for a supposedly nonpartisan position. This infuriates many conservatives and constitutionalists and could boost their enthusiasm to a considerable degree, benefiting Republicans down the ballots as much as Brett Kavanaugh's nomination and confirmation did in 2018.


Thirdly and finally, the disclosure of Hunter Biden's emails with only scanty 2 weeks before election day could torpedo the Biden campaign without reserving any time for its recovery. On October 14 and 15, the New York Post publicized bombshell articles exhibiting a series of emails reportedly retrieved from a computer hard drive belonging to a computer repair shop in Delaware. One of them from 2015 reveals that Hunter Biden introduced his father, Joe Biden, to Vadym Pozharskyi, the third most powerful executive in Burisma, a notorious Ukrainian energy company, a year after the younger Biden was appointed to the company's board of directors, lavishly profusely remunerated. .Another from 2014 unveils Pozharskyi asking him for "advice on how you could use your influence" on behalf of the company. There are also undisclosed emails from 2017 featuring Biden's entry into a lucrative business deal with China's largest private energy firm, CEFC China Energy Co., with $10 million accruing to him for "introductions alone". All of this corroborates Republicans' narrative about the Biden family's corruption and the Democratic nominee exploiting his position as vice president for his own personal interests. Now as Republican senators are girding to launch a probe into it, substantial damage could be inflicted upon Biden's candidacy — prospectively on par with what the Hillary Clinton email investigation did to the Clinton campaign in 2016.


Joe and Hunter Biden during a basketball game in 2010

Joe and Hunter Biden during a basketball game in 2010

With these factors coming into play less than 20 days before Americans go to the polls, the fate of the election could be tipped. The pollwise suffering of Republicans nationwide majorly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest could be supplanted by a Republican edge because of a solid and dynamic Republican base and Joe Biden's disputatious records. An anticipated Democrat sweep could prove to be as much of an erroneous expectation as what most contemplated about a Hillary win. But it's only a "could". Perhaps Republicans will indeed turn the situation around successfully or perhaps they will actually be vanquished. We've learned a valuable lesson about the new normal of today's volatile politics in which nothing should be taken for granted. To say that the direction of race will definitely be capsized in favor of the GOP is simply sophomoric, but it's apt to say there's now an opening for a Republican redemption.


Firstly, whereas Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis appears to have only brightened the limelight on his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, something for which his detractors have ample caustic critiques, what ensued could be good news for the Trump campaign. Aside from a number of Democrats who joined the nation in wishing for the president's speedy recovery, there were many, including prominent figures like Michael Moore, who came out to explicitly express their glee upon the news of his diagnosis as left-wing media outlets endorsed them. A Morning Consult poll conducted at the time indicated 40% of Democrats were positive about the diagnosis. The Washington Post published a piece teasing Trump's death before deleting it shortly afterwards and the New York Times did one accusing him of playing victim to warrant sympathy. Some outlets even went far enough to run headlines like "It's okay to hope that Donald Trump dies of Coronavirus". This leftist Schadenfreude has elicited a strong backlash from Trump supporters who are visibly more unified than ever behind the man they revere. A new chant “We love you!” has also been invented and popularized in Trump rallies.


The past few weeks have been tumultuous and rife with potentially consequential events. The first presidential debate and the vice presidential debate were conducted, President Trump and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19, Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to succeed the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is now proceeding through confirmation hearings, and Hunter Biden’s smoking-gun emails involving his corruption controversy has been revealed. By abundant measures, these events — with a probable exception of the debates — have played out in ways on which Republicans could capitalize to turn the momentum in their favor.


This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Pendhamma Sindhusen