It’s Convention Week, so it must be time to look at the conventional wisdom and offer some unconventional thoughts in response.
Conventional wisdom: Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE will get a bounce this week, because that’s what happens during conventions.
Unconventional response: The more voters kick the tires of the former vice president and his new running mate, the less they are going to like either one.
The Biden team has tried to replicate the front porch campaigns of the late 19th century with a modern twist. Unlike William McKinley, Biden has been literally campaigning from his basement. Unfortunately for the vice president, that strategy can’t last forever. And it will soon become abundantly clear that the Democrats only unifying message is how much they despise the president and his basket of deplorables.
This convention promises to be the most boring one ever. Expanding the “Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowRachel Maddow extends contract with MSNBC: reports OAN loses appeal in defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow Nunes sues MSNBC, alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him MORE Show” from one to two hours a night might make her most passionate supporters very excited, but as far as expanding the Democratic base, it won’t be very effective.
Conventional wisdom: Mask mandates are popular with the American people and a smart move by the Biden campaign to call for a national effort.
Unconventional wisdom: I don’t care what the polls say, making people wear masks outside is bad politics and an example of the nanny state run amok.
I have travelled all over the country this summer and I can tell you that outside of Washington, D.C., (and perhaps some other urban centers that I haven’t yet visited) most people only wear masks when they are absolutely forced to. And for ample reason. There is almost no chance of catching the ’rona if you are outside, unless you are in the middle of a large protest and you are literally screaming at somebody for a half hour or more. Even then, there is little evidence that the protests caused that much a spike in the virus. Biden thinks he has a winning campaign issue. He is wrong.
Conventional wisdom: The American people desperately want to vote by mail and are terrified that the Postal Service is going to lose their ballots and that Trump is to blame for all of this.
Unconventional wisdom: This is the biggest non-issue in political history. Most people actually will happily vote in person, knowing, as St. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Journalist Zaid Jilani describes removal of animal rights ad that criticizes Fauci Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing MORE put it, that it is very safe to go out and vote. And guess what? Most people like the Postal Service and like their mailman but also understand that it is in desperate need of reform.
Conventional wisdom: The Republican Party is being taken over by a shadowy conspiracy group called QAnon and this will be a big factor in the elections.
Unconventional wisdom: I have worked in GOP politics for more than 30 years and I have never heard of this group. I have never met anybody who has heard of them. And this whole thing is a joke. The same day that a supposed QAnon supporter won a GOP primary, Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill MORE (D-Minn.), who has called for defunding the police, called for the end of capitalism and has expressed strong dislike for Israel, won a hotly contested primary in Minnesota. Omar’s win and continued service in Congress is a far bigger problem for the Democrats than QAnon is for the GOP.
Conventional wisdom: The national polls show Joe Biden with an unsurmountable lead.
Unconventional wisdom: Nate Silver gave the exact same odds to President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE in 2020 that he gave to candidate Trump in 2016, about a 29 percent chance of winning. And yet, just about every Democrat and most Republicans that I know have taken these odds to the bank. They are wrong. The president is going to win.
I think Mr. Trump is the odds-on favorite to repeat for three simple reasons. The economy is going to come back and come back strong. The battleground polls at the state level are already extremely tight, despite the fact that president and the country have had a miserable five months. Finally, the Democrats are on the wrong side of almost every major issue, from being against law and order to being for increasing taxes, from being against schools opening to being for a national mask-wearing mandate.
It’s an unconventional year. Don’t trust the conventional wisdom.
Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).