Opinion Briefs: Dems will botch running the country if they win . . . debating the debates . . . Trump shenanigans . . . mail-in voting

A little history gives hope. As a mainstream Republican, I could easily get depressed over the drubbing Republicans are likely to take in November. There’s a reasonable chance we will lose the presidency, the U.S. Senate, and Democrats will be running the country.

However, I have full confidence that Democrats will badly botch their opportunity to rule – like they did last time. Remember the Obama years? In many circles, they conjure up nostalgia and some fondness. But, in reality, Obama was a disaster for the Democratic Party. By the time he left office, Democrats had lost more than 1,000 seats in state legislatures, Congress and governorships.

That’s a lousy political legacy for the guy many consider to be a great Democratic president. The liberal news media haven’t ever wanted to talk much about it, but the failures of the Obama administration led to Hillary Clinton’s defeat and Donald Trump’s election.

Remember that the Democrats were absolutely devastated in the mid-term elections of 2010 and 2014, and then they lost the presidency in 2016. The reason was this: they lurched to the left with Obamacare, increased regulation, poor handling of the economy, and foreign policy softness on Iran, Russia and China. Entire swaths of the country were left behind and felt alienated.

With Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in charge, the Democrats will do it again. Only this time it will be worse because the Democrats are going soft on crime, uprooting the cultural foundations of the country, and they will go crazy with spending, taxes and environmental regulations. Voters won’t stand for it.

Republicans will have more fun being the loyal opposition.

Debate me! (So I can get a little attention). These are the dog days of summer and most sane people aren’t paying much attention to politics. But with only three months to go before election day, challengers to incumbents and frontrunners are becoming desperate to attract the attention of voters.

And the best way to get some visibility and drum up news media interest is to demand debates. Incumbents and frontrunners, of course, who already have plenty of name ID, aren’t much interested in giving a lesser-known opponent a forum to attack them. They therefore politely decline debates in the heat of the summer when most normal people aren’t much interested, anyway.

And they grudgingly endure a little media and opponent criticism (maybe even a Facebook post of an opponent debating a cardboard cutout) for hiding in the weeds until after Labor Day. Better to take some small hits than give an opponent an opening for a hard punch.

Postpone the election? Of course, the election will be held Nov. 3, as required. It was vintage Trump, tweeting out an outrageous suggestion to dominate the news cycle and drive his opponents nuts. The election was never going to be postponed, but Trump enjoys watching liberals and the news media go into convulsions. He’s done it hundreds of times, frequently taking some shocking proposal or initiative right to the brink before pulling back.

I wish he wouldn’t do it. I don’t think it helps him, although it is amusing to watch the leftists in Congress and the news media throw hissy fits over the latest Trump shenanigan.

Utah shows mail-in voting can be done right. Yes, mail-in voting works fine, and won’t result in voter fraud, if you do it right. Utah does it right. It does increase voter participation – a very fine thing unless you’re a Republican in a swing state.

Because mail voting is easier, more people do it. That makes sense. But among the additional people who vote are those who can’t or won’t make the effort to go to a polling place. Those folks are usually less informed, more liberal and more in favor of government programs and taxing the rich. Dependable Democratic voters.

If you have to make a bit of an effort to vote, like going to a polling place, then fewer people will vote, but they will be more knowledgeable and motivated.

In Utah, higher turnout doesn’t matter much because we’re a heavily Republican state and the Democrats don’t have much chance in most races. I suspect if we were a swing state and a few votes made a big difference, Utah Republicans wouldn’t be so nonchalant about mail-in voting.

But increased participation is a good thing, and especially makes sense during this pandemic.