GOP, home to Trump and Tea Party, decries Dems’ mob rule
President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are forecasting nightmarish Democratic “mob rule” to amp up GOP voters for next month’s critical midterm elections, flipping the script from complaints that it’s Trump and the Tea Party movement who have boosted rowdy and divisive tactics to dangerous levels.
Less than a month from voting in which GOP control of Congress is dangling precariously, Republicans are linking comments and actions by Democratic politicians, raucous protesters opposing Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination and even a gunman who shot targeted GOP lawmakers. The message to Republican voters: Democrats are employing radical tactics that are only growing worse.
“Only one side was happy to play host to this toxic fringe behavior,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday in the latest GOP attack. “Only one side’s leaders are now openly calling for more of it. They haven’t seen enough. They want more. And I’m afraid this is only Phase One of the meltdown.”
It’s not unusual for Republicans and Democrats alike to sharpen their rhetoric as elections draw near in hopes of drawing loyal voters to the polls. But the GOP shift to disparaging descriptions of their opponents as unruly and sinister is a marked change from their messaging before the Kavanaugh battle, when they’d hoped to focus on the strong economy and the mammoth tax cut they pushed through Congress last December.
Both parties have detected a surge in engagement among GOP and conservative voters since the nation’s attention was grabbed by the confirmation battle over Kavanaugh, including allegations of sexual misconduct that he denied. While no one knows if that energy will last until Election Day, Democratic voters driven by an animus toward Trump until now were far more motivated.