Updated: Dec 22, 2022
The border is about to break wide open - even more than it already has been. In less than a week, the Biden's administration's last remaining tool to control illegal immigration, Title 42, left over from the Trump administration, will be taken away.
John Davidson, Senior Editor of The Federalist, who's been to the border multiple times and went this past spring and is an avid writer on the border
John Davidson weighs into The Big Midterm Lesson: Defensive ‘Victories’ On The Right Aren’t Going To Save The Country in his excellent article. John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson
John Davidson, Senior Editor of The Federalist, weighed into The Big Midterm Lesson: Defensive ‘Victories’ On The Right Aren’t Going To Save The Country in his excellent article.
If there’s a clear lesson to come out of Tuesday night’s bizarre midterm election, it’s that Republicans can no longer be content with defensive victories or defensive politics. To win political power and do what must be done to save the country, Republicans will have to go on offense, present a compelling vision for the future, and engage culture war issues like abortion and critical race theory without apologies. When they do that, they win. But it stands in stark contrast to the perennial advice of Beltway GOP consultants, who think it best to avoid major culture war issues like abortion. Indeed, the “official narrative” of corporate media in the wake of Tuesday’s midterms is that abortion was a big winner for Democrats, who supposedly capitalized on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, successfully making abortion a major electoral issue and blunting a red wave by boosting turnout among young, pro-abortion voters.
It sounds good, but it’s not quite right. Republicans who didn’t shy away from talking about abortion after Dobbs, and who signed into law abortion legislation earlier this year without flinching or apologizing, did really well — they were Tuesday night’s winners. As Marc Thiessen noted on Fox News, Republican governors in Ohio, Georgia, New Hampshire, Texas, and Florida all signed post-Dobbs abortion restrictions, and they all won reelection by comfortable margins.
That’s not to say abortion was a non-factor. Democrats squeezed every last electoral drop they could out of Dobbs, spending $320 million on abortion-related TV ads (much more than on all other issues combined) which helped motivate a voter base that might have otherwise been depressed.
Still, there was a clear contrast between Republicans who heeded the advice of Beltway consultants and tried to dodge abortion questions or take a noncommittal stance and those who defended their anti-abortion positions and pushed for post-Roe legislation. Only one of those groups fared well Tuesday.
The larger lesson here is that Republican candidates should lean into the culture war and make no apologies for their positions, even on contentious issues like abortion. Fighting back against the left, it turns out, is what a lot of voters on the right want from Republicans.