Like boxing, politics can be a rough and tumble undertaking where hitting below the belt and punching after the bell are not only commonplace, but expected within today’s contemptuous politics.
In what is considered to be a preliminary to the upcoming main event — the November 2018 midterm elections — the 18th Congressional District in Steeler country will go to the polls in a special election this Tuesday. The results, of which, could go a long way in foretelling how the last two years of the Trump administration will navigate the multi-layered swamp of the national political ring.
This special election is the result of the resignation in October of Rep. Tim Murphy amid an extramarital affair. Once again underscoring another reason why Congress polls so poorly, and why so many Americans have lost faith in our public institutions.
Given that the sitting president’s political party has traditionally lost an average of 32 seats in the first midterm election, chances that Republicans will keep the House are historically against them. Democrats only need to win 24 seats to earn the majority in the House. Moreover, this election will be the last for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District under the Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011.
This latest political bout pits Republican Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone against Democrat Conor Lamb, a prosecuting attorney. Saccone is a pro-life, pro-family, Baptist conservative and has been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, LifePAC and CatholicVote.Org where their president, Brian Burch, describes him as “one of the strongest and most consistent pro-life voices in the Pennsylvania State Legislature and is a tireless champion of religious liberty.”
Conor Lamb is being promoted by Democrats and their allies in the media as a “moderate.” What exactly is a moderate Democrat? It is a euphuism for a liberal without the cojones to be up front about who they are. Euphemisms are vital to politics in making the antagonistic sound plausible, because if we are being honest, a conservative Democrat is extinct as JFK. This Lamb is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing, who is adamant about the strongest plank in the Democratic platform, abortion, saying: “Choice is the law of the land. I will defend that law.”
Democrat campaigners have been emphasizing Lamb’s claimed Catholic roots. Forget that “separation of church and state” mantra that Democrats would be screaming bloody murder about otherwise. Their agenda always outweighs every other consideration.
Democrats see themselves winning the decision by pursuing the largely apathetic Catholic population that numbers over 300,000; three-quarters of which don’t attend weekly Mass, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, in a district where Trump won 58 percent of the vote in 2016. Brian Burch added, “Democratic canvassers are now going door-to-door telling voters to ‘vote for the Catholic’ in the race. They’re hoping to fool Catholics in this conservative Rust Belt district into voting for pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ Conor Lamb.”
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a genuine, practicing Catholic politician to get elected. This much Democrats understand. There is no such thing as an abortion-supporting Catholic. It runs contrary to Church dogma. Lamb is just another Catholic-in-name-only (CINO) politician. Meanwhile, the local Catholic hierarchy sits ringside blindfolded to what is transpiring doing their best, “mum’s the word.” Yet, many Catholics still wonder why the church is shrinking both in the U.S. and in Europe.
For Democrats, abortion has always been their bolo punch and with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion mill announcing they will pour $20 million into November’s midterm elections to fight Trump, the battle lines are clear.
Special elections like this year’s midterms are all about turnout and any expectation of big numbers crowding the polls when the NCAA is trying to figure out who gets invited to their storied basketball tournament, and our fickle weather is feigning to pummel us with another March snow haymaker, is wishful thinking in the first-degree.
Like hardcore boxing fans, only your diehard political junkies are coming out to punch their ballot on a Tuesday in the middle of March for this nationally anticipated preliminary election as the fight for the American soul rages on.
(Maresca, a local freelance writer, composes “Talking Points” for each Sunday edition.)