Dick Morris: Dems Repeating GOP Mistakes of 1998


The Democratic Party is in the process of repeating the same mistakes the Republicans made as the 1998 midterm elections approached.

And they are about to pay the same price: Defeat.

In the run-up to the November 1998 midterms, the Republicans thought they had struck gold when it turned out that President Bill Clinton had perjured himself in a deposition and falsely denied a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

The GOP pounced and proceeded to push impeachment to center stage.

But voters objected to the Republican strategy and tactics and felt that impeachment was a bridge too far.

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They particularly objected to their children learning about oral sex on the nightly news and blamed the Republicans for focusing national attention on it.

When the midterm voting was over, the GOP was held to no net gains in the Senate and a five seat loss in the House — only the second time in modern history (1934 was the first) that the party in power did not lose the midterms.

Now, the Democrats are re-enacting 1998.

By their focus on the Kavanaugh confirmation and their insistence on pushing fanciful stories of his alleged sexual exploits in high school, they showed themselves willing to take partisanship to its limits … and beyond.

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The Democratic Party showed its true face — extreme, angry, enraged, obsessed, strident and bigoted. Voters are recoiling and switching to the Republicans all over the nation.

At this writing, the GOP looks to be able to hold all its Senate seats (including Texas, Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada, which had been endangered) and pick up some more.

North Dakota and Montana seem about ready to switch with Missouri not far behind.

Races in Indiana and Florida are too close to call but have moved in the GOP’s direction since the Kavanaugh hearings.

In the House, trends take long to manifest themselves and it is too early to hazard a prediction.

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But Trump’s approval rating is now higher than it has ever been since he became president — 47 percent, two points better than President Barack Obama enjoyed at this stage in his presidency.

“Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.” — George Santayana

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.