The Grim Reality for Democrats: Kathy Wyenandt loses steam in a local election which reflects the national implications for her party

I couldn’t help but notice that Kathy Wyenandt’s campaign sign was gone from the billboard she had been renting near my home on RT.4 in Liberty Township where she is running against George Lang for the 52nd District House seat. The old billboard was nice, and expensive and she started with her message early in September 2018. She thought like a lot of Democrats did that this whole thing was going to be easy. After all her experience told her that the 2013 Lakota levy had passed and she had led that tax increase. In reality I had to break her heart on the matter when we spoke privately later after a debate. The Lakota levy of 2013 didn’t pass by just 1% because people all of a sudden wanted to raise taxes on themselves. It was because a large portion of the resistance who was working with me wanted to play nice with the other side, so the no vote side was less inclined to show up to vote on election night. It was a simple numbers game, it was my job to evoke people’s passions to get them to the polls, even if I had to call people names. The Lakota levy didn’t pass because of anything Kathy did, but because of what the tax fighters didn’t do. She only benefited, and we had that talk personally. People are often surprised when they meet me that I’m actually a very nice person, not some crazed lunatic. But clearly after that night where she and George Lang debated her behavior changed as did that of her supporters. Sure you can still see a sign for her here and there but the energy had gone out of her campaign. Her premise from the beginning was wrong, she was a moderate running in a conservative area as a Democrat. She was a woman running against a white man and Democrats thought that was enough. Her levy supporting friends at Lakota had been treating her as a celebrity since 2013 for a levy victory when in fact it wasn’t anything they did to secure a victory, other than convince my supporters to play nice and reunite the community under the flag of Lakota. George Lang in the debate had done well with her and after the depth of just how hard it was going to be to win the 52nd District seemed to have dawned on her. And now with just a few weeks ahead of the election the money was hard to come by to renew her billboard until the election. Now it’s gone leaving only a tattered empty place with peeling paper in its place and every time I see it now I think of how it is a good metaphor for the Democrat Party.

Recently Vennessa Enoch caught me in a parking lot asking for my vote. She was a nice black woman running as a Democrat against Warren Davidson, and she obviously didn’t know who I was. Of course I was polite to her but she could see by my face that it was a mistake to hand me any campaign literature. She seemed like a nice enough lady but it was clear she didn’t know the game she was playing. The Democrats in Southern Ohio and up into counties past Columbus really thought that women were so stupid as to vote as a collective association—that girl power was a viable political strategy. Since Trump had been elected Democrats continued to think that they’d split up the women vote by offering women as candidates, such as Vennessa Enoch and Kathy Wyenandt. I don’t think Vennessa had been told by her Democratic friends that people weren’t going to like her just because society said they had to like a black woman. That voting for a person for congress in Warren Davidson’s district was going to take a lot more than that. We weren’t so stupid to vote for a liberal just because they were women or black. Those are not traits that effectively win elections, they never have been and they certainly aren’t now. Women love Trump and they specifically like the kind of Republican Party that is forming under the Trump umbrella. For examples just go to Instagram and do a search for Babes for Trump or God Guns and Freedom and you’ll see what I mean. A new kind of sexual expression is taking place where suddenly its cool for women to wear bikinis and use their bodies as billboards for Trump and Republicanism in general. Women were not doing this for John McCain, Mit Romney, or George Bush, this is a very new thing and it comes as a byproduct of having a winning approach to elections in general. There are a lot of women who love the kind of men that are emerging from the Trump administration and the Democrats are not on that wagon.

I noticed a tremendous difference in Republican attitudes at a recent event at Premier Shooting and Training where they had a Second Amendment celebration night there. For one, it was unusual to have all those top-level Republicans in the same place at the same time where fundraising wasn’t the primary objective. Some of the guys there had been around for a while, but there was something very different about them now that Trump was the head of the Republican Party. There was a swagger present that I hadn’t seen before in all the many years that I had been doing these kinds of things. Back at that Lakota levy period that Kathy Wyenandt was so proud of we had a meeting after the third attempt that went down in flames in the fall of 2011 that we should lighten up, that we had too much Tea Party in our No Lakota Levy campaign. Of course, everyone knew I wanted to punch harder than we had been. The district was not respecting voters with continued attempts at a tax increase. My friends who were all top Republicans in Butler County wanted to mend fences for the sake of business. Back then the leader of the Republican Party in Butler County was John Boehner and he was a very moderate Republican who wanted to play by the rules that Democrats established. I tried to tell them what was coming, but nobody wanted to hear it then, and only now are they seeing it. The energy that put people into voting for key elections was swagger, and confidence—not compromise and conciliation.

As I watched Republicans rejoice at a hard-fought victory over the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation I could see that finally what I had been saying for years was starting to really sink in. Trump’s election and the results of success that have followed have won over most of the key Republicans I knew in Ohio. They had adopted to this new leader of the Republican Party and were seeing success. Meanwhile Democrats were still playing an old game of identity politics that only appealed to a small minority of voters. People hadn’t voted for Hillary Clinton just because she was a woman and they weren’t going to vote for Kathy Wyenandt just because she was attractive and pleasant. Republicans for the first time in their lives could go on Instagram and see lots of mostly naked Republican women in red white and blue bikinis hold guns and Bibles all too happy to show their support for President Trump and its that kind of energy that wins elections. People over politics or some other socialist message isn’t going to work. The world had changed and Democrats were too stupid to see it. That is the reason they threw everything they had at Brett Kavanaugh and why with only a few weeks left to close the deal their campaigns in local races like the ones in Southern Ohio are running out of gas—because they didn’t understand the situation they were getting into.

Republicans should win most of their races easily around the country. There will be some surprises here and there but in essence if Republican voters show up and vote, they will easily outnumber the Democrats. There just aren’t that many Democrats, they are a minority party with a sloppy message of old socialism that only lazy people like. The new Trump Republicans are much cooler all of a sudden and if that energy fuels voter turnout, Republicans will gain seats in the House and Senate, not lose them. And I predict that there will be many more billboards going vacant for Democrat candidates in the near future. They didn’t learn from the mistakes of the past even when the evidence was quite clear. I could tell in my conversations with Kathy and Venessa that nobody on their side had talked to them the way I was which isn’t good. It’s not that I was mean or anything, but just to frame the situation they were stepping into, obviously nobody had done that for them. Because the Democrats thought all they needed was women to vote against men and their ticket to the future would be punched. What they didn’t calculate was that there were many, many women more than willing to take off their clothes and use their bodies for billboards for Trump’s Republicans and that would prove to be the deciding factor for the upcoming midterms. And it wasn’t crusty old men providing that energy, it was women, young and vivacious and looking for winners. And those winners are not in the Democratic Party, that’s for sure.

Rich Hoffman

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