Lamb is young, energetic and telegenic, all qualities that Saccone lacked. The Republican was also criticized as a lazy campaigner and a poor organizer. Nonetheless, Saccone benefitted from a massive effort by the Republican Party, which dumped millions of dollars into the race. President Donald Trump campaigned in the district twice, and Saccone was boosted by visits from Donald Trump, Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence.
With all of these efforts, Saccone should have won this race, especially in a congressional district that Donald Trump carried by 20% in the 2016 presidential election. Instead, the Democrats have won another special election, following major victories last year in New Jersey, Virginia and, most amazingly, in Alabama. All of this sets the stage for the drama and high stakes of mid-term elections in the fall.
While the President is popular in many of these areas, he seemingly does not possess much political coattails. The Republican Party is also fielding either lackluster candidates like Saccone and controversial ones like Judge Roy Moore in Alabama. In contrast, Democrats are running young military veterans like Lamb in Pennsylvania or others like Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race, who appealed to Independent and moderate voters.
The new formula for Democratic Party victories is to field moderate candidates with conservative positions on some issues like the Second Amendment or abortion. These candidates also refuse to endorse the Democratic Party leadership. Jones vowed not to support Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for the position of Senate Majority Leader and Lamb vowed to oppose House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for Speaker of the House.
Unfortunately, if Democrats win a majority of House seats in the fall mid-term election, Pelosi will be the next Speaker of the House, whether Lamb votes for her or not. Voters need to realize that by supporting so-called moderate Democrat candidates like Lamb they are, in actuality, supporting the enactment of a radical leftist agenda of abortion on demand, judicial advocacy, aggressive gun control, open borders, and the continued expansion of Obamacare and Medicaid.
The special elections clearly show that the enthusiasm and momentum are on the side of the Democratic Party. Liberal activists are still driving the agenda of the party, despite these recent victories by moderate candidates. This agenda is fueled by a deep antipathy of President Trump and wild conspiracy theories of Russian collusion in the 2016 election, despite the lack of solid evidence.
If Lamb and his Democratic Party colleagues take control of Congress in the fall, there will likely be the spectacle of Trump impeachment hearings and a vote. All of the tumult will lead to an even more partisan and bitter 2020 presidential election.
To forestall this nightmare of show hearings and political theater, Republicans better start delivering on their 2016 campaign promises. While passing the tax cut bill was good, alone it is not enough to keep the Congress under Republican Party control.
In the mid-term election, the core Democratic Party voters are supremely energized. To match this excitement level, GOP activists need to be extremely motivated. The best way to inspire these grassroots activists to vote is for Republican Party leaders to keep their campaign promises and start delivering on a conservative agenda.
Otherwise, plenty of disillusioned conservative voters will stay home and not vote in the mid-term elections. This will result in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, impeachment hearings and a complete halt to the implementation of the Trump agenda.
Republicans must dramatically accelerate the passage of major legislation and prove to their most loyal supporters that they heard the message of the 2016 election. If not, they will hear another message in the 2018 election and it will be catastrophic for not only the Republican Party, but also for the United States of America.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at email@example.com