Why should anyone read comments by an author who admits he is “dispirited” by what he is writing about and is disconsolate? In the movie business, the words “dispirited” or “disconsolate” in a movie title portend cholera at the box office.

Being disheartened, unenthusiastic and unhappy about politics is a bad place to be for one who has enjoyed that world for a lifetime.

I believe that my thoughts are shared by many who are typically preoccupied by government and politics, both as an avocation and as a vocation, but who cannot stand to confront today’s disarray.

The provocations for my own flight from persistent fascination with the political world are many [Democratic “progressive” vs. “moderate” clatter gives me an Excedrin headache], but two published opinion pieces in the last months have pushed me over the edge. The first is a September piece by Robert Kagan in the Washington Post called “Our constitutional crisis is already here.”  The second is an October piece by Ezra Klein in the New York Times called “David Shor is telling Democrats what they don’t want to hear.”

Kagan flatly states that Trump “will be the Republican candidate for president in 2024” and will win based on legislation in at least sixteen states putting state legislatures in charge of elections with the power to override election results and to select electors of the legislature’s choosing. Thus, “stop the steal” will become “assure the steal” in favor of Trump in 2024, according to Kagan but not in those words.

According to Kagan, Trump is the subject of hero-worship by his adherents. To me, it is reminscent of Rudolf Hess’s introduction of Hitler at a Nuremberg rally: “The [Nazi] party is Hitler, Hitler is Germany and Germany is Hitler.”

And so on, with terrifying crystal ball-gazing revealing  a dystopian future.

The Klein piece is about David Shor who says Democrats are “sleep walking into catastrophe” and “are on the precipice of an era without any hope of a governing majority.” [Kagan and Shor don’t have any doubts about anything.]

Shor was the wunderkind of the 2012 Obama re-election campaign, modeling the election daily and was “spookily accurate” according to Klein.

An expert at math-geek data, Shor does not disclose any of the statistical bases for his doomsday conclusions. He has a secret sauce but you can’t know about it. He also has a “power simulator,” and it’s not from Con Edison.  You take it on faith because if he was right before, he’s right now. Get it?

Anyway, Shor predicts only 43 Democratic seats in the Senate after 2022 and 2024.

While Democratic prospects aren’t great in the next elections, I am impressed with the facile turn from opinion to certainty that characterizes both pieces by these prophets of doom.

I am not as sure as Kagan and Shor are. For example, Kagan appears to base his conclusions on–shazam!–polling showing that umpty-ump percent of Americans adore Trump and want him to win in 2024. Polling accuracy is in doubt, and well it should be.

Further, overnight is an eternity in politics. We are a year away from 2022 and three years away from 2024. And it is true that Democrats cannot be as sure of the support they have traditionally enjoyed from Blacks, hispanics, women and the educated citizenry.

But neither can we be certain that Trump’s popularity will continue. A lot can happen to him: possible financial ruin as personal loans come due; possible criminal cases in New York, Georgia and arising from the Department of Justice’s January 6 investigations; a continuing problem with a severe case of foot-in-mouth disease,  the latest being the threat that Republicans “will not vote” unless the fictitious 2020 “steal” is confirmed. [He aided the election of Senators Warnock and Ossoff by touting Republicans off voting in that race because he didn’t like the way Georgia ran elections.]

While the ipse dixit certainty of Kagan and Shor upsets me, the Democrats’ failure to do anything constructive about voting rights makes me even more disconsolate.

Sure BIF and the BBB legislation are important. But federal legislation assuring honest and universal voting is crucial and is going nowhere because there is no agreement on a carve-out of the filibuster. The president has not shown forceful leadership to assure federal voting rights legislation.

I can’t watch political cable programs. They make me want to throw my shoe at the tv.

I hope things change. But I don’t see it.