Democrats Jump the Shark: Two Mistakes Cost Them the Mid-Terms
Brian C Joondeph
“Jumping the shark” is a term derived from the sitcom Happy Days. The term references the episode where Fonzie jumps over a shark while water skiing.
Subsequently, the expression has come to mean the moment when something once popular morphs into something unwelcome and irrelevant.
Democrats and NeverTrumpers had their “jump the shark” moment recently with two memorial services, one for singer Aretha Franklin and the other for Senator John McCain.
Memorial services are serious and generally somber events, a time to celebrate the life of the recently deceased, allowing family and close friends to gather to remember and say their last good byes.
Last week, however, mourners took the opportunity to turn the memorial services into a campaign rally, bashing the sitting President of the United States, showcasing how Democrats and NeverTrumpers are unwelcome and irrelevant.
At Aretha Franklin’s service, Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson, chose to kick President Trump, rather than celebrating the Queen of Soul, saying, “You lugubrious leech, you dopey doppelgänger of deceit and deviance, you lethal liar, you dimwitted dictator, you foolish fascist, she ain’t work for you.”
Two former presidential candidates joined the political rally too.
Jesse Jackson called for voter registration. “We have long lines to celebrate death, and short lines for voting. Something is missing. If you leave here today and don’t register to vote, you’re dishonoring Aretha.”
Al Sharpton attacked Trump, “You know, the other Sunday on my show, I misspelled ‘Respect,’ and a lot of y’all corrected me. Now, I want y’all to help me correct President Trump to teach him what it means.”
A few days later it was McCain’s memorial service.
His daughter Meghan, thinking she was at her day job cohosting The View with Joy Behar, had to take a dig at President Trump.
“The America of John McCain does not need to be made great again, because America was always great.”
Former President George W Bush, who never had a thing to say during Barack Obama’s eight years fundamentally transforming America, found his voice, offering a more subtle dig at Trump, “John’s voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder — we are better than this, America is better than this.”
And Obama himself, ready to make anything political, alluded to Trump, “Tracking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage.”
It seems Obama forget the “phony controversy” of Trump-Russia collusion his administration orchestrated or the “manufactured outrage” he created over the bogus “hands up, don’t shoot”.
How did Trump handle honoring the dead? In a classy and appropriate fashion.
When Aretha Franklin passed, Trump tweeted, “The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead,” Trump wrote. “She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!”
For McCain, Trump tweeted, “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
Trump also authorized Air Force 2 to transport McCain’s casket and family from Arizona to Washington, DC.
For his efforts, President Trump was disinvited to the McCain memorial service. As was McCain’s former 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin. Both were told to stay away. Yet that didn’t stop the media from criticizing Trump for golfing during the memorial service. Would they have preferred he crashed the service against the wishes of McCain and his family?
In 2002, Democrats turned the memorial for Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, who died in an airplane crash, into a partisan political rally. The backlash helped Norm Coleman beat Walter Mondale for Wellstone’s Senate seat and likely hurt Democrats nationally in the election less than two weeks after their memorial circus.
The McCain and Franklin memorials may have a similar effect on the upcoming midterms. Turning a memorial service into the Emmy Awards or the Jimmy Kimmel Show is not winning converts to “the resistance”. Instead it disgusts voters, driving many onto the Trump train.
Democrats and NeverTrumpers let their “Trump Derangement Syndrome” get the best of them, turning a serious event into a campaign rally. Both events may turn out, unintentionally, to be a voter outreach drive for Republicans.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.