I’m still scrambling to catch up with my day job after having been out for three days — in Memphis for my brother-in-law’s funeral, which was on Election Day — but I thought I’d post a few scattered thoughts about this scattered election. (Even though it’s Friday evening and traditionally, no one reads blogs then.)
Here are some nuggets:
- Good News: Joe is going to win this. We are going to have a normal human being as president of the United States, the way we did for 227 years before January 2017. When it truly, finally happens — when the counts are official — it will be wonderful news.
- Bad News: As Joe wins, Donald Trump will do everything he can to destroy, among the people who heed him, any remaining shreds of faith in our system, which absolutely requires accepting election results. He is behaving like a raving tinpot lunatic, as he gave us every reason to believe he would. He may be going, but on his way out he plans to bring down the United States as completely as he possibly can. Why? Because as we all know, he does not give a damn about the country, or about anything other than himself and his impulses.
- Worse news: This country that I love did not stand up and soundly refute Trumpism by consensus. It did not itself, or other countries, or our children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren yet unborn, that this is not who we are. This is a profound tragedy of historic proportions, exceeding any of the ugliness we had seen previously in the past four years. Before, he was just an accident that happened because people didn’t like Hillary. This time, against a vastly more appealing opponent, he got more votes than he did in 2016. America is really, really fouled up, folks.
- Things get worse in South Carolina: There are lots of things we could point to, such as the state going embarrassingly early for Trump, or the big victory of the most pathetic toady we’ve ever seen in the U.S. Senate. But the shocking thing is the way three moderate Democrats, whose records would be praised by virtually anyone — including Republicans — who know them, were unceremoniously thrown out of the Legislature. I speak of Vincent Sheheen, Mandy Powers Norrell and Laurie Funderburk. The General Assembly will be a less rational, more extreme, and let’s admit it, dumber place without these three people. I would say this shows South Carolinians have lost their minds, but it’s worse than that. It’s the fact that the majority will vote for the Republican in our state no matter who that Republican is, and no matter who the Democrat is. Which is worse than crazy. I’m convinced that most of these voters knew nothing, or next to nothing, about any of these three Democrats or their opponents. I’ll give you just one small example: Watch the short video on this Tweet, which from everything I’ve seen about that race is more or less representative. There is absolutely no way that any voter who paid the slightest attention to these candidates could have voted for this Republican over Mandy. There’s just no way.
- The Democratic failures in Congress: I haven’t studied this enough to have a lot of observations to make, but here are a couple. Basically, the Democrats didn’t clearly take over the Senate, although they could still barely take very limited control once all the votes are in — now that Mark Kelly has won, no doubt thanks to the $5 I sent him. Meanwhile, they lost some, but not all, of their majority in the House — although as I said previously in a Tweet, some of the moderates (my favorites in that caucus) who gave the Dems a majority in 2018, such as Mikie Sherrill and Abigail Spanberger, managed to hang on. Joe Cunningham, of course, did not (which takes us back to the preceding bullet on SC). In the big picture, this means the total, sweeping power the Dems had hoped for has escaped their grasp. That means no dramatic new federal programs, most likely. I still hold out hope for Joe Biden’s plan for improving Obamacare, but a lot of the other stuff they wanted is out. Which will be fine by me, if this means they abandon plans to expand the Supreme Court. (If they hadn’t kept yammering about that, maybe they could have won big in the Senate.)
- Celebrating normal and decent. Even if Biden has a Congress that is difficult to deal with, though, we will still have a normal, decent president. Which is truly the one big thing I wanted out of this election — we can talk plans and programs later. In fact, if all he can do is deal with foreign policy — which is the thing I tend to care most about when it comes to the presidency anyhow — I’ll be happy. That’s the main thing I wanted — just to have the White House stop embarrassing the country, at home and around the globe. That alone will be a big, big win.
- Some people are being too careful. My main two national news sources have been a bit too careful for my taste. NPR — which goes by the AP, which declared Biden the winner in Arizona Tuesday night — has had Joe with 264 electors since at least Wednesday. The Economist does, too. Meanwhile the two national papers to which I subscribe — The Washington Post and The New York Times — are stuck at 253 still tonight (see above). But as wild and crazy as the AP was with Arizona, they were still about an hour behind Fox News — which really drove them nuts at the White House and had Jared Kushner on the phone to Rupert Murdoch complaining. Anyway, if you want to look at nice numbers for Joe, Fox is one of your best options. See below.