I have a column out this morning on the widespread claim by media and political figures that democracy may be lost if the GOP prevails in the midterm elections. The over-the-top rhetoric was recently captured in the unhinged claim of historian Michael Beschloss on MSNBC that a Republican win could lead not only to the end of history books and democracy but lead to the killing of our children. MSNBC later followed up with an interview with actor and Director Rob Reiner who seemed to struggle to outdo Beschloss in the apocalyptic predictions.
On MSNBC’s “The ReidOut,” Anchor Joy Reid brought up the possibility of “rape panels” for women seeking abortions if the GOP wins and asked why the election is this close. Reiner then went full fringe:
“Because the other side reality does not mean anything. They are only interested in power. They are only interested, and they will do anything to get the power. And they are willing to kill, literally kill, to get the power. You can’t have a conversation with them. The only thing we can do is try to hold on to the House and a couple of Senate seats. It will be very hard. If we do not do that, this might be the last election we have in a democracy.”
It is unfortunately right on message for not just MSNBC but many of our leaders, including President Biden. On MSNBC, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) previously agreed with John Heilemann that Democrats must “scare the crap out of [voters] and get them to come out.”
However, as discussed today in my Hill column, the claims ignore both the historical and constitutional realities of this country. The “democracy or death” pitch is not only failing to shift the direction of most polls, it fails to consider the proven resilience of our constitutional system and the commitment of our people to the rule of law.