Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Morning After

Every day in the United States, millions of children place their hands over their hearts and pledge themselves to "one nation, under God, indivisible. . ." Yesterday confirmed the notion that the United States is now two nations -- and divisible is the operative adjective. The next two years are going to be very raucous south of the border. Still, the Democrats took back the House of Representatives. Frank Bruni writes:

I’ll take it, and I’ll let others quibble over whether it amounts to a big wave, a modest one or a slosh of something wet and reassuring. It’s enough for the time being, even if doesn’t make me feel as good about America as I’d like to or as sure about the future as I yearn to.
It won’t humble Trump as thoroughly as he needs humbling. He’ll dwell on the Republicans’ success in the Senate, where they built on their majority. He’ll brag that he concentrated his own campaign-trail energy on that chamber of Congress and on those races, and he’ll be right. He’ll note — or others in his party will — that Democrats didn’t fare as well in these midterms as Republicans did two years into Barack Obama’s presidency, when they picked up 63 House seats. Now that’s a tsunami.
Trump needed a comeuppance, and the decisive swing of the House into the Democratic column was precisely that. You know what else was? The profiles of the Democrats who made that swing happen.
Many of the candidates for the House who turned red seats blue were women. A record number of them ran for Congress this year, and it seemed likely early Wednesday morning, even before all the counting of ballots was done, that the next Congress would also contain a record number of them: more than the 107 currently there. So a president who has acted and spoken with such vulgar disregard for women will deal with more female lawmakers than any of his predecessors did. That’s a measure of sweet justice.

There were plenty of disappointments. The black candidates for governor in Georgia and Florida were defeated. But there are now Democratic govenors in formerly Republican states. Electoral districts will be withdrawn and the Republican effort to disenfranchise voters will be slowed.

But make no mistake. The Republican Party -- now the newly confirmed Trumpian Party -- is dangerous and deadly. Things will not change in the United States until the Trumpians are reduced to an ineffective frat house.

Image: Time Magazine


Lorne said...

There are many who think, Owen, that a Democratic House will be a boon to Trump in 2020. As they vigorously pursue Trump through House investigations, you can be sure the Republicans will say they are collective victims of a witch hunt, something that will embolden even further the base. They will, of course conveniently ignore the fact that the Republicans had promised to thoroughly investigate Hilary Clinton, had she won the presidency.

Owen Gray said...

Trump, of course, will try to twist things in his favour, Lorne. My hunch is that his success will have a lot to do with what Mueller has on him.

Jay Farquharson said...

Stacy Abram's in Georgia has not conceded, given the voter supression that was seen and done. There's over 77,000 ballots still to be counted, most from D districts, it takes a 51% majority to not have a run off election, the foul Kemp's at 50.4%, Abram's at 48.7%, with a 65,000 vote difference. In a run off, there's 37,000 votes to be picked up from the Libertarian, and tne 2.5+ million who wern't allowed to vote.

Owen Gray said...

It seems pretty clear, Jay, that if the voters who removed from the roles had voted, Abrams would be governor. Whether there are enough absentee ballots to put her over the top is an open question.

But it's also an open secret that Republicans have systematically removed Democratic voters from voters' lists all over the country. That's been the key to their success.

Jay Farquharson said...

Nobody expects Abram's to be put over the top. They are hoping the 77,000+ uncounted ballots, will close the gap and keep the odious Kemp from getting 51%.

At that point in time, it goes to a runoff election between Kemp and Abrams, and Civil Rights Lawyers have already started filing lawsuits against Election Officials and Districts, for Judges orders based on the previous ratfucking.

In one Georgia District, with 55,000 registered voters, ( mostly POC), the District moved the polling place 35km outside of the District, ( where most people don't have cars), then provided 3 Diebold voting machines. The people that could afford to wait, waited up to 4 hours to vote, and even then, it took a Judges orders to keep the polling place open until midnight, until those who showed up to vote, could. BTW, after the poll opened, the machines went down after 45 minutes, because the "poll workers" "forgot" to plug them in and the batteries died. They also "forgot" to bring power cords. So the machines were down for three hours. Some of the people who couldn't wait, but demanded to vote, were given questionably legal paper ballots.

The next district over, a mostly White Suburb with 25,000 registered voters, had 3 polling places open, with 10 machines each.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

I've always contended that the U.S. is a hodgepodge, not a "melting pot"---a cluster of divergent demographic factions grudgingly coexisting with one another.

And that there's always been a silent "civilian cold war" going on between these factions.
...and that that's always, pretty much, been the reality for decades.

I've never once, even during childhood, had the impression that this country was ever all that "united". For one thing, too much xenophobia---folks just won't mingle with anyone considered too odd or off-the-cuff. Then there are the common prejudices which routinely get a lot of exposure as well.
Then you have social, economic, and academic classes ...

Owen Gray said...

You make a good point, Tal. The United States has never really been very "united." When there was a frontier, the non-conformists could "light out for the territory," as Huck Finn put it. Now that the frontier has disappeared, Americans are having more and more trouble tolerating each other.

Owen Gray said...

It's strange how that story keeps repeating itself in the South, Jay. From poll taxes to literacy tests, white southerners have always been creative when it comes to strategies that keep black folks from voting.

Jay Farquharson said...

And Stacy Abrams goes to a runoff election against the vile, racist, Nazi Kemp.

Owen Gray said...

If Abrams wins the governorship in Georgia, Jay, the world really will have changed.