Weigh in on the elections

I just woke up in Paris to find out that the Democrats have won fairly big in the House, now controlling that chamber, but that the GOP has retained control of the Senate. The governors’ races seem to be a toss-up, with no resolution yet, though I’m not sure why those aren’t as settled as are the Congressional seats.

It is mildly heartening that the Democrats won the House, but that just guarantees a stalemate for two more years, and of course it’s a Republican Senate who would confirm any new Supreme Court appointment, which may be likely if Ruth Bader Ginsburg resigns. Remember, too, that Trump can veto any legislation passed by Congress, and it requires a 67% vote to overturn a Presidential veto.

Given the reportedly big turnout of Dems and groups like Hispanics, this does not bode well for Presidential re-election in two years, which will be the ultimate referendum on Trump. One can hope, but the Democrats must field a good Presidential candidate.

Given Trump’s hateful and confused rhetoric of the past few days, I’m more convinced than ever than the man has a severe personality disorder, and it galls me severely that he’s still in charge. Let’s hope that after January, 2021, he won’t be.

Clearly, I’m not a political pundit, but I’m sure readers have something to say. Your thoughts?

356 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The one big thing that changes is oversight. There will finally be congressional hearings that aren’t run by co-conspirators of Trump.

    • Merilee
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Greg, you got rid of Scott Walker! You are in Wisconsin, are you not?

      • GBJames
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Yes. And there was much rejoicing.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know that anything–including the Dems winning the house–has made me happier than getting rid of Walker.

        • GBJames
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          There is some satisfaction. But the damage is so deep. Digging out from the rubble will take a very long time. I don’t know if I’ll live to see it.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Agreed! And ding-dong the Walker’s dead! Right? 🙂

  2. Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    No doubt the result could have been better but it is surely a relief that there is now some significant restraint on the malign recklessness of Trump.

  3. Dragon
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I think you mean two-thirds vote in each chamber of Congress to overturn a presidential veto.

  4. Nicholas K.
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    In general, I am heartened that Dems at least took the House. The results from Florida are extremely disappointing and suggest to me that a rather high number of people think Trump is actually doing a bang up job (although they will not say that out loud). How else to explain how Dems performed so poorly compared to their polls in Florida. In Illinois a genuine Nazi lost big, but still received 56K votes. Dems did win in 7 Governor races, including Illinois, and Scott Walker has lost in Wisconsin. But I’m getting a little tired of “almost winning, but losing.” There are no moral victories against Trump.

    • Greg Geisler
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Yes, it’s a consolation prize at best. Until gerrymandering is eradicated we can never expect the Senate to reflect the majority of our country. From an op-ed in the Guardian:

      “Then there’s the Senate. Because of its bias toward smaller, rural states, a resident of Wyoming has 66 times the voting power in Senate elections as one in California. Thus, in 2016, the Democratic party got 51.4 million votes for its Senate candidates. The Republicans got 40 million. And despite losing by more than 11 million votes, the Republicans won a supermajority (22 of 36) of the seats up for election, holding their majority in the chamber.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/04/america-minority-rule-voter-suppression-gerrymandering-supreme-court

      • mikeyc
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        Gerrymandering has no effect on Senate races, as they are statewide.

      • Historian
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Gerrymandering has nothing to do with Senate elections since the candidate is chosen statewide. Still, there is no doubt that under the American constitutional system, a voter in a small state has much more power than one in a large state in choosing senators.

        You may be thinking of the House of Representatives where gerrymandering and voter concentration have given Republicans a huge advantage. Most pundits agree that Democrats need to win the aggregate national vote for the House by 7% to 8% to win the House. This is what happened last night.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          The U.S. senate is “constitutionally gerrymandered,” one might say.

          • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            Time to change the constitution.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

              Good luck with that, OG, since Article 5 of the US Constitution (the Article that sets out the method for amending the Constitution) provides that “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” No way are the small-population states ever gonna consent to anything like that.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

                My idea is to change that. The new constitution would replace the current one and be effective when passed by a majority vote of the county, not dependent on the states. Most of the states would be abolished by the new constitution. No two Dakotas, no two Carolinas and no West and regular Virginia. Goodbye to Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. .

      • ploubere
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        As Bill Maher said, “We don’t need two Dakotas!”

        • George
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          We don’t need one Dakota.

          OK – that is not right. My girlfriend hails from North Dakota. From a dying farm town in the middle of the state. Not even from the “big” cities of Fargo and Grand Forks.

          I am in favor of this constitutional revision. Each state gets one senator. The total number of senators are twice the number of states. The other half of the senators are based on population. So a senator could represent more than one state.

          Under this scheme, Wyoming, ND, SD, Montana, Idaho and Nebraska would go from a combined 12 senators to seven. And one of those senators would be representing all six states. California would go from two to six and a half or so. I think I would include US territories in the population base for the senate so all US citizens would vote for at least one senator.

          I would also roll DC into Maryland for federal election purposes. President would be decided by popular vote. ALL US citizens would vote for president – including Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, etc.

          The house would have 10 times the number of states members. Gerrymandering would be outlawed. Incumbency and party specifically banned as criteria. District boundaries would be as contiguous and compact as possible with slight variations for geographic and political boundary (i.e cities, counties, etc) considerations.

          While I am at it, 15 year term limit for SCOTUS. Also allow spending regulation for political campaigns. And make it clear that corporations do not have the same rights as a living breathing person.

          I have more ideas – maybe later,

          • RPGNo1
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            “While I am at it, 15 year term limit for SCOTUS.”

            Why not adopt the German system for judges at the Federal Constitutional Court?

            “The judges are elected for a 12-year term, but they must retire upon reaching the age of 68. A re-election is not possible.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Constitutional_Court#Appointment_of_judges

            The system is very strict, but it would minimize any the political influence on the judiciary.

          • darrelle
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Regarding SCOTUS, it seems to me that confirmation committees should be selected in such a way that no one party by itself has the numbers to win a vote against all other members. Not sure what the rules should be exactly to make that happen, but if SCOTUS is supposed to be politically unbiased, and I agree wholeheartedly that we should strive to make it so to the greatest extent possible, then no single political party should have the ability to nominate and approve new SCJs regardless of all other party’s.

            Rules should be devised with the goal of requiring non-partisanship in order to both nominate and then confirm SCJs, and there should also be a minimum percentage of total possible votes necessary to confirm.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          “We don’t need two Dakotas!”

          I dunno, I vote to keep Dakota Fanning and Dakota Johnson.

          As for the Dakotan states: Canada, if you’re interested, give us a call. (I kid my Dakotan friends!)

          • David Coxill
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            Yes ,and every effort should be made to keep flying all the Dakotas that are still able .

        • Gary Fletcher
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          Yet somehow George McGovern was senator from South Dakota..

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

            A humble, plain-spoken preacher’s kid off the Dakota plains who flew 35 dangerous combat missions as the 24-year-old captain of a B-24 bomber over the flak-filled skies of Germany in WW2 — yet got labelled by a political thug like Dick Nixon as the guru of “acid, amnesty, and abortion” (which, to a newly minted 18-year-old voter like me, sounded like a pretty solid platform).

            Don’t get me started on that. 🙂

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

              +1

              I describe George McGovern as the best President we never had.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

              It was a classic (early) version of the old Republican swift-boat tactic. Unfortunately, it worked.

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

              I don’t understand why those things should be considered mutually exclusive.

          • ploubere
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

            I worked on McGovern’s campaign, although I was still too young to vote. The voting age was still 21 then.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

              The 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age nationwide to 18, was ratified in 1971, a year before the ’72 Nixon vs. McGovern contest.

              My first vote ever was for George McGovern. Yes, I remember it well. 🙂

    • eric
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Statistically, overall, the Dems won exactly as much as predicted. So while the FL governor result is disappointing, it’s not really too surprising that out of 435 House races, 31 Senate races, and a bunch of Governor races, there were a few that ended up outside a standard deviation from the mean. In fact a few ‘surprises’ in several hundred races is not surprising at all, it’s to be expected.

  5. Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    There is some lead mixed in with the silver lining – now that the D’s have the House, they are a sitting target if any economic downturn comes along. I know the President gets the lion’s share usually, but the R’s are peculiarly adept at bamboozling the public on economics.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Yes. If anything, this result puts Trump into his favoured strategic position: underdog fighting the powers that be. And utter bullshit narrative of course, but that’s where he’s most comfortable: his few achievements can now be characterised as David beating Goliath and his failures will of course be the Democrats’ fault.

      As an outsider I’d be interested to know two things:

      1. who should the Democrats put forward in 2020?

      2. In the run-up to 2020, what should be their main policy focus, and what should be their overall ‘message’?

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        They should attempt to solve income inequality, followed closely by health care and education.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          That sounds pretty good to me. AFAICS healthcare is one of the few unequivocal aces they have, one of the few things that the right have no answer to whatsoever.

          As an outsider, and as much as I loathe Trump’s behaviour, it seems to me that the Democrats really need to toughen up, start hitting him with some body blows. It’s like they’re under a spell, and want to emphasise their differences from Trump by being as restrained as possible. But some righteous, thundering rhetoric really would work wonders.

          And they should basically start treating Trump’s words with a lot less shocked pearl-clutching; not because that’s not a justified response, but just because that reaction hands him control of the narrative. It means the Dems become reactive rather than proactive.

          They need to dismiss Trump’s unending slew of bullshit with the kind of businesslike annoyance an adult uses when dismissing the gripes of a toddler. That emphasises the one thing that Trump doesn’t know how to deal with: the fact that the Democrats behave like grown ups. They should be muscular in their disdain but combine that with frustration, and point out all the time that a billionaire is taking away their healthcare while giving tax breaks that overwhelmingly favour the richest one percent.
          They should throw in a few anecdotes about his famous contempt for common people, even for his supporters, but always with a tone in their voice that suggests they’re angry _on behalf of Trump supporters_.

          If they can succeed in rhetorically turning the situation around, so that they are perceived by everyone as the grown ups in the room, they will neuter Trump greatly. If they combine righteous anger on behalf of the struggling American and an irritatedly dismissive attitude towards Trump’s daily bullshit insults and distraction then they can turn his personality against him. And it wouldn’t hurt if they practised their witty comebacks a little – people like that.

          But if they keep letting him control the dialogue he will win. They need to make him seem exactly what he is: a small, floundering idiot, elevated to the most powerful office in the world, who is more interested in fannying around at a rally and exchanging love letters with North Korean dictators than he is in protecting _your_ healthcare.

          • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            Yes, I agree. Dems can’t be seen mainly as the anti-Trump party. For the last 30 years or so they’ve been the better-governing party. Even the economy does better when a Dem is president. They don’t make these points loud enough in my opinion. They need to dump the end-of-the-world rhetoric in favor of adult explanations of why their way is better.

          • Diane G
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:53 am | Permalink

            Please send a copy of this post to Nancy Pelosi. Heck, send one to every Democratic senator & representative.

        • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          They should attempt to solve income inequality….

          What does that mean, and how does one go about it?

          But if you like, we could start by equalizing yours and mine on the side 😉

      • rickflick
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        I think the Dems need to put forward a charismatic male candidate who can go toe to toe with Trump in debate. A fighter.
        While I think there are many women out there who would make fine challengers and fine presidents, I think a large segment of American voters would be more impressed with a dominant male presence. I thought Hillary did well as a debater(lots of facts) but she was not charismatic and seemed to me, on the same stage with Trump, to look weak. Or is it just me?

      • rickflick
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        The answer I put above was supposed to answer Saul. BTW, I don’t see anyone among the current top candidates who fit my criteria.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          You don’t think Sanders could do any of that?

          From my vantage point he seems like he could completely pull the ‘Washington outsider’ rug from under Trump’s feet and claim it for his own. And he would annihilate Trump on the most important issues: wealth inequality and healthcare.
          It’d be ugly, but if Democrats focused on class rather than these endless subdivisions of racial/sexual/gender identities they’d be so much better off. The Republicans are a disgusting, fetid swamp of entitled, billionaires. AFAICS the only Democrat who has the credibility to weaponise that is Sanders.

          Sanders is no centrist’s dream, but he has enough populist pull to both attract Democrat supporters and siphon a big, big chunk of Trump’s working class support away.

          I’ve heard the arguments against him: too old, too left. But Trump’s around the same age, and if Sanders and the Dems were focused enough and on-message enough about wealth inequality and healthcare the predictable ‘he’s going to turn us into Venezuela’ attacks would just slide off his back. Most people don’t really give a tuppenny fuck about ‘communism’. It’s a boogie word, and much like a lot of political insults it’s lost its impact due to overuse.

          There’s always a risk with him, but given the paucity of alternatives he seems like the best choice currently available. But like I said, I’m an outside observer – I don’t really know what I’m talking about when it comes to America’s political pulse. All I know is that it’s becoming more and more pressingly important that Trump is voted out by any democratic means necessary. It’s not just America that needs him gone – he’s emboldening scum everywhere in the western world.

          • rickflick
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            I’m not sure it’s possible. Number one: he’s old and looks like he’s a flashback to the 1960s. Which his is. Number two: He’s Jewish. Think of the negative ads. Number three: He’s a confessed communist socialist. Anathema.

  6. Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Oops, no, not 75% to override a presidential veto. It is two-thirds, or 66.7% in both houses that is needed.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Getting that .7 of a Senator is always the hardest part.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        And you don’t know what part you’re getting. 😝

  7. Simon Hayward
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The results pretty much followed the best predictions. Dems took the house, Republicans expanded their seats in the Senate, which was about right given the terrible senate map the Dems were defending.

    I agree with Nicholas about Florida. Although not as vehemently as a colleague who lives there who signed off the evening on twi**er with “fuck you Florida, I’m off to bed”. Those races were always going to be tight.

    Walker is out in WI, so it’s not all bad news. Along with Gov pickups in Maine, Michigan, IL, Kansas (for goodness sake), NM and Nevada. SO net seven pickups, which helps counteract or reverse Republican gerrymandering in the next redistricting. Of course, IL is so gerrymandered by the Dems that it’s hard to jump up and down too much. These decisions need to be addressed with a clean algorithm.

    The main thing will be protection for Mueller and oversight. I’m intrigued to know what drops from the Russia investigation over the next few days.

    • Ross, CS (dorcheat)
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Things to look forward to after January 3, 2019 when the new House of Representatives is sworn in and seated.

      No more Benghazi. The House Freedom Caucus goes back into obscurity. Numerous hearings and subpoenas into Trump’s and his lackey’s doings. Nancy Pelosi seated behind Trump at the 2019 State of the Union speech to greatly annoy Trump and the conservatives “bigly”.

      Expect two years of gridlock through 2020. The absolute bottom line is that Trump MUST be defeated in 2020!

    • Nicholas K.
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I expect the Mueller report to be exceptionally and overwhelmingly damning. With the Senate, any vote in the House to impeach for crimes such as obstruction of justice or lying to FBI will be ignored. But, laundering money for the Russian mob? Real collusion with Russian agents? That will turn some heads. I hear rumors.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        I hope it is damning too but I suspect it won’t be damning enough. If there was collusion with Russians on the election, Trump was smart enough to not be connected directly to it. I have more hope for the Dems getting their hands on his tax returns for the last decade and turning over those stones to see what’s under them. (No offense to the entomologists.)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves here, it bears noting that, as bad as the senate map was for Democrats this year, it’s nearly as bad for the GOP in 2020, with Republicans having to defend 21 seats, including some in purple states.

        I’m sure those GOP incumbents were keeping a close eye on last night’s results, with the way college-educated white suburban voters (especially women) are abandoning the Republican Party of Donald Trump. If the Mueller report discloses as much malfeasance as expected, Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives. After all the evidence is laid bare at a televised trial in the senate, many of those GOP senators facing reelection might be find it difficult to stand by Trump, and may join the Democrats in voting to remove him. Hell, some incumbent Republicans not facing reelection might even finally grow a pair of principles, too, who knows?

        • Taz
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          It’s also a presidential election year, which usually means a higher percentage of Democrats than a midterm.

        • Diane G
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:07 am | Permalink

          “At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves here, it bears noting that, as bad as the senate map was for Democrats this year, it’s nearly as bad for the GOP in 2020, with Republicans having to defend 21 seats, including some in purple states.”

          Yay, thanks for that!

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        There won’t be a Mueller report. Now that Jeff Sessions has been fired, a new Attorney General who is prepared to stop the enquiry will be put in place.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          Robert Mueller, a career Justice Department guy who knows his way around the government bureaucracy, has known a day like this was coming from the moment he was appointed. I’m sure he has strong contingency plans. For one thing, he’s been diffusing portions of the investigation throughout justice system, handing them off to the US Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of New York, for the Eastern District of Virginia, and for the District of Columbia, as well as to the New York State Attorney General’s office.

          Donald Trump won’t be able to strong-arm his way outta this mess.

          • Posted November 8, 2018 at 4:31 am | Permalink

            I admire your optimism.

          • Posted November 8, 2018 at 4:36 am | Permalink

            Even if Mueller gets to finish his investigation, I would not be at all surprised if he doesn’t turn up anything strong enough to impeach Trump.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted November 8, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

              Yes, I’m not expecting anything decisive either way from the inquiry. It’s just too much to hope for, and Trump hasn’t got to where he is by being a sloppy operator: lifelong con-artists and crooks are _good at what they do._

              I can only see Trump leaving the White House in one of two ways:

              1. carried out on a stretcher surrounded by goose-stepping Hooters girls, after three decades of rule over the banana republic of America

              2. shot through the chest as he makes his desperate last stand with Charlene, his small town waitress girlfriend who dreams of one day seeing the pacific.

  8. Randy Bessinger
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Disappointed in the results in Senate race here in MO. Talking to friends makes it apparent to me that MO is for the most part still Trump country. If anything, more so. The immigration scare tactics worked. As in the book “Fear”, Trump really knows how to use it.

  9. Historian
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    As I noted in the previous post by Grania, the Democratic victory was far from overwhelming, just barely big enough to take back the House, but several Senate seats were lost. The House victory will be enough to check Trump legislation and open him up to many investigations. In the Senate, Trump judicial nominations will sail through.

    So, we will have divided government, which will mean stalemate regarding legislation; it is much better than the Republicans controlling both branches of Congress.

    On the macro level, the election confirms the growing polarization of the country, largely determined by demographics. We can expect this country to be bitterly divided with no end in sight to this sad situation. The Trump Republicans remained as loyal as ever while the Democrats outpolled the Republicans by about 8% in total aggregate House votes. The 2020 election will make this one look like a walk in the park. The days when there was at least a modicum of cooperation between the parties looks gone for the foreseeable future. Each party represents a group of people with a very different vision of what America should be like. No quarter will be given in this contest.

    • darrelle
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      I don’t think the results are as glum as you make them sound. I think they are about as good as could reasonably be expected. Democratic gains in the House were much better than “barely big enough.”

      As far as the Senate, given how many D seats were up for vote and that many of those seats were in strongly red states, versus how comparatively few R seats were up for vote it was never more probable than a hail mary that the Democrats could gain a majority. On the contrary, given the circumstances only losing 2 or 3 seats is a pretty good performance.

      Then there’s the gubernatorial and state legislature races. Democrats did quite well in those races too. And these are significant with respect to national politics as well as merely state politics.

      Do things still suck? Yes they do. But it was never more than a very improbable long shot that we were going to be able to give the Republicans the boot in one clean sweep. The deck is stacked too heavily in their favor. The mess is too big to clean up in one mid-term election. But we’ve made some good progress. Now we just need to maintain focus and stay in the game.

      • Historian
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        I agree that state elections were generally rather positive for the Democrats, although they lost the gubernatorial races in Ohio and Florida. The Democrats are now in a better position to block gerrymandering in several states.

        The Democratic majority in the House will be thin, probably in the range of around 20 votes or possibly less. Nancy Pelosi will have to use all her skills to make sure there are no defections on key votes. The Republicans managed to do this; the Democrats must do the same.

        • Mark R.
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          Yes, but Florida has a potential of picking up more than a million votes now that ex-felons can register to vote- and I’m sure the vast majority will register as dem. Will they? I think they will. Doesn’t do anything now, but has the potential to make 2020 much more competitive in that key state.

        • Posted November 8, 2018 at 5:30 am | Permalink

          The Democrats are now in a better position to block gerrymandering in several states.

          Go, Michigan! We also passed a proposition making voting easier, including same day registration, no-reason absentee voting, and other obstacle removals.

        • Zetopan
          Posted November 12, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          Pelosi needs to be replaced with someone who is much more competent in that position! She isn’t even that popular with democrats.

    • Marta
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I’m seeing so much Democratic hand-wringing, post election. Democrats didn’t re-take the Senate, but they re-took the House.

      Additionally:

      Scott Walker was defeated.

      Kris Kocach lost.

      Dana Rorabacher lost his job.

      Two Native American women were elected, as well as two Muslim women, and a 29 year old woman Progressive.

      New Mexico elected its first Democratic woman governor, and elected/re-elected almost every Democrat on its ticket.

      California elected a Democratic governor.

      New York state rolled blue.

      Etc., for god’s sake.

      So no, Democrats didn’t win every last thing or even everything that they wanted, but they certainly did well enough that they’ve earned congratulations instead of a crying towel.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        A Muslim woman was elected who wants Israel to be not so Jewish as it is now, to put it mildly.

        • tomh
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          And dozens, if not hundreds, of Christians were elected who want America to be more Christian than it is now.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Not sure what’s so grand about moslems being elected. Diversity for diversity’s sake? Well, let’s encourage more Seventh Day Adventists to run, then.

        FTR, Ocasio-Cortez is not so much a progressive as a marxist. She’s also incredibly ignorant on a wide range of important subjects. I predict she will be a real thorn in the side of Democrats.

        • tomh
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          “FTR, Ocasio-Cortez is not so much a progressive as a marxist.”

          Seriously? Amazing that anyone can say that with a straight face.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

            I predict she’ll be a congressional backbencher for the next few terms, and will end up playing well with others. Might even learn a thing or two, and moderate whatever radical views (if any) she has, while sitting on the end of the bench at caucus and committee hearings.

          • Curtis
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            It’s hard to tell whether she is a Marxist or an ignoramus. She has a degree in economics but said:

            “Capitalism has not always existed in the world [this is true – Curtis] and it will not always exist in the world,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “When this country started … we did not operate on a capitalist economy.”
            https://nypost.com/2018/07/17/ocasio-cortez-ignites-controversy-with-comments-on-israeli-occupation/

        • Marta
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Pardon?

          “Moslems”? Who except bigots call them that?

          Also, too: I haven’t agreed with half of what Ocasio-Cortez has said or what she wants, but the last thing she is is “ignorant”. She’s not a Marxist, either. It’s okay with me if she runs for president in 10 or 20 years.

          • mikeyc
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            It is clear from Matt’s postings that he is not a bigot, so you should tread lightly here.

            But you have a point. In Arabic “mozlem” is very close phonetically to the word that means an evil or nasty person while “muslim” literally means “one who serves god”.

            The spelling “Moslem” was interchangeable with “Muslim” for very long until it became clear to English speakers that Moslem is too close phonetically to a slur.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        I see political Islam as an existential threat to civilization, so I am not thrilled that US Muslims, at 1-2%, already aspire to power and are given it on a silver platter.

        • tomh
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          A silver platter? Actually, in America, they are treated the same as the Christians who run for office, they have to win a majority of votes in their district.

        • Marta
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          “given it on a silver platter.”

          We’re calling winning elections “given on a silver platter” now?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            She’s a role-model for minority kids and a testament to what’s big-hearted, open-minded, and magnanimous in the spirit of these United States.

            I wish her godspeed.

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          No. US Muslims on the whole are examples to the rest of the Muslim world as to how Muslims can integrate into modern society. Their election to office also counters the prevalent Muslim story that they are merely tolerated in US society. It’s a good thing!

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Marta & TomH,
          Yes, I know they won the elections. That is, it was voters who offered the silver platter. Between you and me and the Web, I often rant about how other people vote.

          Paul,
          Muslim immigrants to Western Europe also were a model minority when they were 1-2% of the population. When they reached 5%, things changed. My impression is that this transition is much faster in the USA. Many Muslim women cover their heads, which is a poor prognostic sign. And BDS shows an unholy alliance of anti-Israel Muslims and the non-Muslim Ctrl-Left.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think the comparison holds, Maya. Unlike much of Europe, we are not (pace Donald Trump) an ethno-nationalist state; we are (at the risk of cliché) a nation of immigrants. This continent has been assimilating new arrivals since the first humans made the trek across the Bering land bridge. There’s no reason to think it won’t continue to do so, notwithstanding the fear-mongering of Donald Trump and his white-nationalist ilk.

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

              Also, though I don’t know the percentages, my impression is that many Muslims in the US are converts of US citizens, not immigrants. The converts come pre-assimilated which helps with the assimilation of the immigrants.

            • Diane G
              Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:26 am | Permalink

              My gubernatorial candidate in the Michigan Democratic Primary was a (apparently pretty secular) Muslim:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_El-Sayed

              I didn’t expect him to win, though he was quite popular, and felt that winner Gretchen Whitmer was more likely to beat the republican challenger in the final election, which she did. I do hope we haven’t heard the last from El-Syed, though.

          • GBJames
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think you have a handle on the “silver platter” metaphor.

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

              Maybe, so let me say it without using metaphors: I think that electing a Muslim is a poor voter choice, much like electing Trump.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

                I dislike Islam as much as anyone here. But I find that attitude a tad on the bigoted side of things. Do you think Muslims should not be allowed to participate in the democracy? Or maybe they should be able to vote but not run for office?

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

                Of course they should be able to participate and to run for office, if they are citizens. Like Trump. I just don’t understand why they are voted into office.
                Of course, some Muslim may be free from the usual Islamic baggage and, based on his personal record and character, may be an excellent choice. I remember the Founding Fathers discussing such a possibility. But we do not see the Muslim Congress members presented as – imaginary example – “Fatima Ahmad from Wisconsin who had organized sustainable energy production in her home district.” They are presented as representatives of Islam, and (I suppose) have been elected as such.

              • tomh
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

                “They are presented as representatives of Islam, and (I suppose) have been elected as such.”

                You suppose wrongly. They have been elected to represent the people of their district, regardless of religion.

              • Mark R.
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

                I think electing a Christian is a poor voter choice, much like electing Trump. What’s your point? There aren’t any open atheists running, if you vote, you’re voting for a religious person who is either liberal, moderate or extreme. Dominionist Xtians like Cruz, Pence, Inhof et al. are much more dangerous to our democracy than a liberal Muslim.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

                To Mark: In a number of Christian-majority countries, atheists can be open about their atheism, women are full-right human beings, the dominant religion can be criticized, and its institutions are separate from the state. When some Muslim-majority countries reach similar milestones of progress, I’ll admit that Christianity and Islam do not differ from practical point of view.

                Even Richard Dawkins, after trying to hold all religions equal, finally said: “Some [religions] have never been violent, some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn’t.]

              • GBJames
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

                “and (I suppose) have been elected as such”

                I don’t know that, nor do you.

                Keith Ellison is a muslim who was not elected because he is muslim but because voters like the political positions he takes.

              • Diane G
                Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:34 am | Permalink

                Maya, forgive me for reposting this link to Abdul El-Said’s Wikipedia entry:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_El-Sayed

                And see also this:

                https://wdet.org/posts/2017/06/06/85299-democratic-candidate-for-governor-abdul-el-sayed-on-religion-and-politics/

                (Read that last keeping in mind that no one in the US Midwest is going to stand a snow-ball’s chance in hell if they run as secular.)

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:51 am | Permalink

                Thank you for these links, Diane!
                Honestly, I didn’t know about him when I wrote about an imaginary Muslim American who would be OK to be elected (they even share a first initial, Abdul vs. Ahmed).
                I agree also about the chance of an openly secular candidate. I have written before that the widespread US aversion to secularism will hinder integration of Muslim immigrants, in effect punishing those who renounce the backward aspects of their original culture and embrace Western values.
                But who has been elected now from the Muslim American community? – Two ladies, one wearing a headscarf (I suppose Iranian protesters are “thrilled”) and one wishing the USA to stop supporting Israel.
                I also don’t understand why the election of Ocasio-Cortez is celebrated; I suppose, identity politics.

              • Diane G
                Posted November 8, 2018 at 4:59 am | Permalink

                Thank you for having a look at the links, Maya. 🙂 (In case you missed the context of my first post, El-Sayed was the the gubernatorial candidate I voted for in the primary election.)

                SE Michigan has had a thriving community of Arab emigres long enough for there to be 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations. For the most part they’ve undergone the classic American assimilation experience and contributed to their communities. (There are some more radical enclaves just as there are across the US and the rest of the world, of course.)

                One forgets just how huge we are and how many immigrants we can absorb without making much of a demographic change, unlike the situation in Europe with your smaller countries and much greater influx of immigrants & refugees (into more homogeneous populations in the first place). I worry about Europe and the political and cultural challenges you are experiencing.

                It’s true that some pockets of our various immigrant neighborhoods become radicalized and that the Ctrl Left with its identity politics and all the rest of their happy horseshit aren’t helping. But I was heartened to see more traditional US cultural and political values emerge in this most recent, highly scrutinized election.

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

                +1

              • tomh
                Posted November 8, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

                “I also don’t understand why the election of Ocasio-Cortez is celebrated; I suppose, identity politics.”

                Ocasio-Cortez was elected because the people in her district support her policies and want her to fight for them in Congress. Her election is celebrated because that’s the way US elections are supposed to work.

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

                Good luck to them. They will need it.

          • alexander
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

            Unfortunately I have to agree with Mayamarkov. I have a friend in Belgium who somehow got enamored to a Muslim girl. And he married her, and for this he converted to Islam. They had a child, but the marriage ran on the rocks, and they got divorced. One of the reasons was that my friend had thoroughly studied Islam, and increasingly got horrified. He said that basically every self-avowed Muslim believes that Islam will take over Europe. They also reject democracy completely. Most of them believe in/support Jihad, but only a minority thinks that violence is the right way for now. They believe it will be a business of numbers, but they will take over somehow. And about the hijab (his ex wife wears one), he said that many women hate the hijab, but have no choice, not wearing it will result in a complete ostracisation by their family and community, and is just unthinkable.

            Brainwashing is thorough. I once talked to a biologist at a university near Berlin. He said, the Islamic students in biology study evolution (they have to, of course), memorize the stuff to pass exams and to get a degree, but privately think evolution is nonsense.

            • Mark R.
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

              This is all anecdotal, and to me has absolutely nothing to do with democratically electing an American Muslim to the House of Representatives. As I stated above, I’d MUCH rather have a liberal Muslim as a member of Congress than a theocratic/dominionist Christian.

          • phil brown
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

            How did things change? Honestly, most Muslims in Europe are fine. Don’t believe Breitbert/Fox.

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

              They are fine, as long as the majority bends their way and thinks it is no big deal to abstain from certain books, movies & cartoons, and to support Palestine, and to listen to calls for prayers, and… and… and…

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

                Where are you getting your information from? It’s complete rubbish. I live in Europe (the UK) and I can tell you that the Muslims who live here, as a rule, do not insist that we abstain from certain books, movies or cartoons and support Palestine or listen to calls to prayer.

                It’s complete nonsense. Find a better newspaper to read.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

                It was exactly in the UK where the Rushdie affair started (“certain books” referred to the Satanic Verses). It should have been the wake-up calls for the West, but it wasn’t.
                “As a rule” is little consolation if you can always rely on exceptions to bomb or stab you.
                In recent years, the UK has seen horrific cases of enslavement of native girls by Muslim immigrants, with authorities turning a blind eye for years and arresting fathers who try to save their daughters.

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 4:02 am | Permalink

                The Rushdie affair was started by a Muslim in Iran. Most of the Muslims in the UK do not support the action.

                Likewise the vast majority of Muslims in the UK do not form gangs to enslave girls. And it’s not as if non Muslims are all as pure as the driven snow. we used to have quite a big terrorism problem in the UK, but nobody blamed all Catholics for what the IRA did.

                Please stop with the misinformation.

          • Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

            We have enough problems without inventing new ones. If the US Muslims get unruly, we’ll deal with it.

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

              Paul,
              I am sorry, but to me, this sound like, “If New York goes under water, we’ll deal with CO2.”

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

                It’s not at all like that. Remember, Christians used to have most of the very same views as the Muslims. Their bad ideas were found to be incompatible with modern life and they were forced to adjust. Who’s to say this is not the time for the Muslim religion to reform? It is certainly under great pressure to do so at this moment in history.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

                They were, 50 years ago. Now, the West is under great pressure to reform and adjust to Islam. Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries are growing, while non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries are shrinking. Poor European countries are bullied to take in thousands of unvetted young Muslim men invited to the EU by a rich European country. Western government give in to every whim of religious Muslims, fearing the extremists within these minorities. This is expansion. Muslims are successful, and a major reason for their success is the violent potential of some of them. You have no reason to change a strategy if it makes you successful.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

                Hmmm. Most experts on Islamic terrorism blame it on their feelings of failure. Many Muslim countries are poorly governed and economically disadvantaged. They see what the West has and feel that is unfair they don’t have it too. They do covet what we have but, except for the terrorists, they assume that their religion is going to have to adapt.

              • alexander
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

                The Christian World had the Enlightenment, which questioned fundamentally the Christian pretenses. Although there were up and downs since, the Christian religious spell was broken, except in some areas where fundamentalists thrive. The Islamic world had also a period of Enlightenment around the year 1000, when Arabic science blossomed. But soon after Islamic fundamentalists closed down the secular schools and replaced them by madrases, suppressing any form of free thinking or intelligence. This situation has since gone on to exist, with up and downs, and now we are in a period of down–the strict adherence to Islamic rules and dogma. It is not likely that secularism will soon be generally accepted in the Islamic world.

              • tomh
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

                And to think, some people claim there is no such thing as Islamophobia.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

                There is, but it is far below what it should be.

          • Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            . That is, it was voters who offered the silver platter.

            Doesn’t that mean that anybody who wins an election is offered a silver platter by the voters?

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

              Not anybody, but a lot.

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 4:30 am | Permalink

                What are your criteria for determining whether the voters are handing out a silver platter or not?

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

                It is when voters are shamed or duped into voting against their values and/or interests.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 8, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

                Yeah… you definitely do not have a handle on that whole silver platter metaphor.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Don’t see it. In the average mid-term election, the President’s party loses 30 House seats and 4 senate seats. Yes, the Republicans may have lost 35 House seats this year, but there were over 40 vacant Republican seats, twice the number of vacant Democratic seats. And the Republicans gained seats in the Senate. This was no blue wave nor a real rebuke to Trump, and the Dems are fooling themselves if they think it is.

  10. Christopher
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Here in Missouri we shot ourselves in the foot again, choosing an anti-preexisting condition, anti-Obama care jerk who is on the big health insurance gravy train. He replaces a “centerist” democrat in name only who thought she could get racist t-Rumpers to vote for her because she voted against sanctuary cities and seemed to support some form of a border wall. I expect Missouri will be growing even more red, even more racist, even more backwards for years to come.

    • Curtis
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Did you know that the vast majority of Republicans are decent people? Calling them racist only helps Trump.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Many racists are decent people if you ignore the racism.

      • tomh
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        So the vast majority of Republicans are not racists, they just elect racists and welcome the support of racists. Got it.

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Not to disagree with your sentiment but I just read that there’s a study out showing that many whites that lament their loss of power are not racists. In other words, they don’t blame blacks, hispanics, or asians for their situation. I’m not saying I believe it.

      • Curtis
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        I am reading the Big Sort by Bill Bishop and he has a great quote:
        “Not knowing many real Democrats, Republicans come to believe that all Democrats are more radical than they really are. And Democrats living in homogeneous communities come to believe that all Republicans are fiendishly right-wing. Knowing a real-life Republican might settle the nerves of a Democrat. In fact, exposure to a wide array of views increases tolerance.”

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          I’ve met some Republicans and … some are good people.

          • Curtis
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            I met some Democrats and … some are good people. I have met some rabid democrats and … well, never mind.

            Honestly, the extremists on either side try their best to seem evil but, when push comes to shove, actually are good people who help their friends and neighbors.

            Politicians are different. Many (probably most) are corrupt, power hungry people who will do or say anything to get re-elected.

        • tomh
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          Or maybe both Republicans and Democrats could be judged by the sort of people they elect.

          • Curtis
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            The most popular governor in the nation is Charlie Baker who is a Republican in the blue state of Massachusetts who won re-election with 67% of the vote (7 percent more than Elizabeth Warren). The second most popular governor is Larry Hogan who is a Republican in the equally blue state of Maryland who won re-election with 56% of the vote.

            https://morningconsult.com/2018/07/25/americas-most-and-least-popular-governors-2/

  11. Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I agree with those who see the results are mixed. In Colorado, the Trump clone candidate for Governor was soundly defeated, Trump supporter Coffman was decisively defeated by a young Democrat who has already said he will not support Pelosi for speaker (yes!) , and the state house and nearly all top positions are Democrats.

    • Dragon
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Here in Colorado, we also saved the state coffers by defeating Amendment 74. We likely ended partisan gerrymandering in the state. No added money for transportation projects though. The fossil fuel industry spent nearly $32 million to defeat 112 and succeeded.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Dragon, right on. Perlmutter has also said he will not support Pelosi. I think they are correct that a younger person is needed and one that is not such an easy target for Trump and his sycophants to energize their base.

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          I agree. Nothing really against Ms. Pelosi; but ti’s time to move on. She has negatives much like HRC carried in 2016.

          • Nicholas K.
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

            What I hear is the Pelosi will be Speaker, but will limit her time in that position and eventually step down. She says she earned her role, passed Obamacare, and deserves it. But, she also recognizes that they need a younger person in that role. She also knows that she is Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of most Republicans. She won’t serve long. She says let her take her due credit and leave the position on her own terms.

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

              This sounds like a good plan — if there is a very effective person to take the Speaker role.

  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I think the phrase stalemate sums it up quite nicely!!!
    In this picture, if it is White’s turn to move, then the game is indeed statemate.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Statemate. A clever pun?

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        A typo, but one I am so very very glad you considered might be a pun!!

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    … if Ruth Bader Ginsburg resigns.

    The Notorious RBG ain’t resigning. No way. She’s not about to have DJT name her successor. She’ll keep the black robes on her back, and those stylish jabot collars around her neck, as long as there remains the pulse of a lioness beating beneath.

    • mordacious1
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      All focus is on RBG, but in reality, how many lower federal court seats will be filled by the president in the next two years?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        More than were filled during Obama’s first term when the unconscionable intransigence of the senate’s Republican minority under Mitch McConnell forced the senate majority to abandon the venerable institution of the senate filibuster for lower-federal-court confirmations, that’s for sure.

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          Yes, McConnell and the GOP have made an obscene power grab to tilt the Federal court system.

          If I ever hear McConnell say “power-grab” again regarding democrats, I’ll vomit.

          And this leaving Merrick Garland and the Kavanaugh rush job aside.

          • mordacious1
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

            Who changed the voting percentage for federal court nominees in the Senate? Oh, that was Harry Reid…failed power grab. Now the Republicans are taking advantage of a yuge Democrat mistake.

        • BJ
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          Come on, Ken. I know you’re a good lawyer, but even you can’t make the disastrous abandonment of filibusters for judicial nominees the fault of McConnell.’

          Reid knew the consequences and he did it anyway. He did what Democrats are known for: a complete lack of long-term planning.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            You don’t think Mitch McConnell and his Republican cohorts in the senate minority were unprecedentedly intransigent in refusing to confirm Obama’s lower court nominees from 2009 through 2013 — going so far, for example, as to refuse to consider three non-controversial nominees to vacancies on the DC Circuit on the bullshit ground that it was a “cost-saving” measure?

            In hindsight, Harry Reid made a strategic error for understandable tactical reasons. But nobody, and I mean no-freakin’-body, wields congressional power with greater ruthlessness and less principle than Addison Mitchell McConnell of Kentucky.

            • BJ
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

              Of course McConnell and his cohorts were unprecedentedly intransigent! But how could Harry Reid lack that foresight? I mean, you’d have to be dumb as rocks not to see it coming. It’s one of the many reasons we try to keep tools like censorship out of people’s hands, even when we might think censoring a particular thing could be a net positive: we’re smart enough to know that we should never create weapons that will inevitably (and likely very, very soon, in Reid’s case) fall into our enemy’s hands.

              • mordacious1
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

                Reid based his decision on Hillary being president for 8 years. Oops

    • Nicholas K.
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      She’s also 85 years old. I worry about her surviving for the next 2 years.

  14. Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    One intriguing aspect of these results will be how well Pelosi is able to manage divisions between the moderate and SJW left wings in the House. The former won more elections, the latter makes the most noise.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Yes!

    • Marta
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Boy, am I tired of Nancy Pelosi.

      • Historian
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        I agree heartily that the Democrats need new younger leadership in the House and the party as a whole. Even though Beto O’Rourke lost a close election to Cruz in Texas, he may be such a person.

        On the other hand, even though Pelosi’s time has now passed, she has been an admirable representative. The Republicans have successfully demonized her to their base, although I would wager that probably 90% of Republicans know absolutely nothing about her except that she is a California liberal.

        • GBJames
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          Pelosi’s great crime is that she was an extremely effective Speaker. She didn’t bring things to the floor that she didn’t have the votes to get through. This made her a boogie-woman to Republicans. Only Hillary, Obama, and Soros are larger boogie-people to Republican voters.

          • Christopher
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

            And democrats have swallowed the bullsh@t and AGREED with conservatives that Pelosi is evil and must go. Yes, older women, like HRC and Pelosi are demonized by both left and right for being successful. Interesting, ain’t it?

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

              I agree. I see no reason for Dems to fold on Pelosi just because the GOP has demonized her. Same for their demonization of “socialism”. Bernie may have his faults but I laud him for showing how that word can be un-demonized. I am sick of how the Dems have let the GOP write their platform. That said, I don’t want to see the identity politicians write it either.

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

              My worry is that continuing with Pelosi, effective as she may be, is Trump will make it a repeat of demonizing Hillary and thus steering fence sitters his way. One of my Indiana cousins who is the typical old white male right wing evangelical Christian summed up the Trump-base evaluation of the Democrats, quote: “Trump supporters view the alternative as totally corrupt, anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-Constitution, radical leftists, who, if they were in total power, would destroy the country.” And that is the Trump narrative that we will hear for the next two years.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

                Trump and Republicans will do that no matter who holds the position. It’s what they do. If this is what Dems allow to determine their leadership they may as well give up.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

                Probably so, but…Pelosi is the lowest of the low hanging fruit that Trump will vilify to his advantage; thus why make it easy. Also, right or wrong, to many who are ambivalent about Trump, Pelosi is the face of old beltway politicians who need to move out of the way.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

                Ok but I don’t believe we should get rid of Pelosi just because some people who are stupid, crazy, and wrong want us to.

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          Why does it matter so much that the Republicans have demonized Pelosi? She’s been an effective House leader which is why they hate her so much. It isn’t because she’s corrupt, has bad morals, or something else we all detest. The enemy of our enemy is our friend.

      • tomh
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        “Boy, am I tired of Nancy Pelosi.”

        Well, the constant drumbeat of scorn from the right-wing is certainly tiresome, but there is an excellent argument to be made, and it is made by Peter Beinart in The Atlantic, that Pelosi is “the most effective congressional leader of modern times—and, not coincidentally, the most vilified.”

        • Diane G
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:51 am | Permalink

          Thanks for that. Pelosi takes a lot of criticism from those who don’t realize how skilled she is in finding the votes she needs amongst an increasingly diverse Democratic House.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      The Democratic congressional caucuses contain both moderates and progressives (or what Howard Dean once called “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party”). Whom among the current congressional Democrats do you consider “SJW left wings”?

      • Diane G
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:53 am | Permalink

        “…what Howard Dean once called “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party””

        Ha ha, thanks for that!

  15. Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    In Georgia the winner has to have a majority or there will be a runoff on December 4.
    The race is so close they are waiting for the absentee ballots and the provisionals to be counted to make sure the Republican Kemp remains above fifty per cent plus one vote.

  16. kieran
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The result was pretty much as expected, gerrymandered house seats could only be overcome by a large turnout of voters.

    Senate was always a long shot for democrats as they had the most to loose in this election cycle.

    If I was the house democrats I would start investigations into the proper running of different areas of the white house, don’t go for impeachment just constantly have members under investigation. The Whitehouse is particularly badly run so giving evidence would cause it to become even more dysfunctional. They are very poor at passing legislation but good on the judiciary appointments.

    • Historian
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      I agree with your analysis. House Democrats should not attempt to impeach Trump since there is zero chance that he will be convicted in the Senate. Rather, the corruptness of his administration and the lawlessness of his crime family should be investigated, but in a way that the American people will view as fair, although, of course, Trump will cry witch hunt. The House Democrats should pass responsible domestic legislation, even though there would be zero chance of it passing the Senate. This would demonstrate that the Democrats, as a party, have a forward looking agenda. These actions are necessary to set the stage for the 2020 election.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Liz
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Agreed

      • Mark R.
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        I also agree with this strategy, but I think everything can change on a dime when the Mueller card is played. Now that Dems hold the House, Muller knows that his investigation won’t be thrown under the rug once revealed to said House. I think the Dems House control will hearten Mueller and his team of investigators.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          It has to be revealed first. It could die before it gets there.

          • Mark R.
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Yes, and the firing of Sessions is Trump’s first step in killing the investigation. (Trump probably also wanted to dominate the headlines after the House loss.) I also have a feeling Mueller has been sitting on a couple bomb shells that he was keeping until after the midterms. He’s a lot more professional than Comey when it comes to putting his thumb on the electoral scale. But this move to fire Sessions will not be lost on the intrepid Mueller; I’m sure he expected it and has a counter move.

      • Posted November 8, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

        Sure, but there’s a difference between attempting to impeach Trump in the belief that it might succeed, versus starting impeachment proceedings. The latter could be very effective in focusing attention on the issues.

  17. phoffman56
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    After hesitating, as a non-USian, I’d at least say that this seems to be a good step towards getting your countries’ name elsewhere in the ‘western’ world back from BRU (Bananas’ Republic of Unitistan–I can’t resist another crude comeback at the Canadistan), back to actually USA.

    Maybe soon you’ll also be back somewhere in at least the better part of the UN’s index of political corruption. And even back to teaching youngsters to assess truth in a rational evidence-based way, so their future votes will happen more frequently, and be reasonably rationally on the whole.

    My Canada could use some steps in that direction too of course.

  18. ladyatheist
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The good news for Republicans is that Mike Pence’s brother Greg won Mike’s old seat, so their tradition of nepotism remains strong as ever. There’s your “family values” for you!

    • Taz
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid that nepotism is one thing that crosses party lines.

  19. mikeyc
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    It’s a cup half full kind of day, isn’t it? No matter which team you’re on – the Incompetents on the one had made marginal gains that will guarantee legislative deadlock for at least the next two years and the Malevolents, who consolidated their lock on the Supreme Court and can effectively quash anything the Incompetents want to do – it’s a day to be almost happy.

    A greatish day, sort of, for our country.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Let’s call it “a good start”.

      • mikeyc
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        It kinda is. Look at Marta’s comment above.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I have to agree with mikeyc.
      Both sides can sigh and say “It could have been worse”

      • GBJames
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Well… from a purely logical perspective, that is pretty much always the case.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      That is just what the framers of the constitution wanted. No action unless there was a pretty large consensus/majority in favor of it..

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      A bigly day for America 😉

  20. Dave137
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    In 2020, President Swamp-Thing (“When they call, I give”) will lose the popular-vote by several-million more than the ~3 million in 2016: but, he’ll still secure the Electoral College, because those many millions of voters will be concentrated in too few places.

    While the entire country looks red, the bulk of that redness contains far fewer people. (And while that is how our system is set up, it undermines completely the idea that this revolving-door Administration has a mandate. Not even close.)

    Nevertheless, President BestBrain will warp reality to his advantage, blaming the House for every ill that arises, which will prove more effective than only blaming the talking-heads on TV.

    – – –

    But, now that the mid-terms are over, he can hold fewer realities and go back to concentrating on his own golf-game at his own clubs, where taxpayers pay him to attend his own properties so that taxpayers can also pay him to host himself.

    USA, USA, USA

    • Dave137
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      *rallies

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Darn, I thought “hold fewer realities” was a brilliant phrase playing off his tendency to invent his own multiple realities….

        • darrelle
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          🙂 Same here.

        • Ken Phelps
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

    • Taz
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      ,em>he’ll still secure the Electoral College

      That is far from definite.

      • Taz
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        (Sorry about the unclosed italics tag.)

    • Diane G
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      “…And while that is how our system is set up, it undermines completely the idea that this revolving-door Administration has a mandate.”

      Not to mention the idea that we’re a democracy…

  21. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The Dems did what had to be done for the existential well-being of the Republic: they won the House of Representatives, meaning that the committee chairmanships — including the committees crucial to maintaining our system of checks and balances under Donald Trump, like Judiciary, Intelligence, Government Oversight, and Ways & Means — along with the subpoena power concomitant to committee control will move to the Democrats.

    In senate races, approximately 10 million more Americans in 33 states voted for Democrats over Republicans. In House races, the Democrats won around 3 million more votes. These numbers exceed those of the Republicans’ yooge “Tea Party” victory in 2010, Barack Obama’s first midterm. The Dems didn’t achieve the same decisive result only because they faced the most daunting senatorial election map in this nation’s history, and because of ruthless Republican gerrymandering of House districts.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Nice analysis Ken.

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Just the fact that the slime-ball Nunes isn’t the head of the Intelligence committee anymore is a decisive victory. No more top-secrets spilled to the WH.

    • Curtis
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      “existential well-being of the Republic.” Hyperbole much? Did you know we have a system of checks and balances that prevents excesses? If you are really worried that someone like Trump can destroy the country, perhaps you ought to think about limiting the power of government when a “D” is running the country.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        I disagree. There is a scandal now about 5-yr-old Helen from Honduras. Immigration officers separated her from her grandmother who smuggled her into the USA and then got a signature from the 5-yr-old waiving her right to hearing by a judge. I think that this incident, and the mere fact that forms waiving a basic right are pushed to be signed by minors in custody, show that a whole set of checks are not working.

        (It is another question whether Helen would be better off in foster care.)

      • Mark R.
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        “Did you know we have a system of checks and balances that prevents excesses?”

        This has got to be the most ironic statement of this post. What, pray tell, did Ryan, et al. do to prevent excess?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Did you know we have a system of checks and balances that prevents excesses?”

        Thanks or the 5th grade civics primer, dude. Did you know our systems of checks-and-balances works best when the power to exercise those checks and balances is divvied up between opposing political parties — and that it works not at all when one of the three branches of our federal government (in this case, the legislative) abandons its traditional role and becomes the executive branch’s lackey?

        The accuracy of my initial observation in this thread could not have been demonstrated any more graphically than by the events that followed today after I wrote it, in which the president of the United States shitcanned his own Attorney General, replaced him with a political hack, and is fixing to curtail the investigation into his own malfeasance.

  22. mordacious1
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The Democrats in the House should work with Trump to pass meaningful legislation. Until a couple of years ago, he was a Democrat. For example, he wants to improve infrastructure, the Democrats say they want to improve infrastructure. GET IT DONE!

    But this won’t happen. The Democrats hate Trump so much, they won’t let him have any successes. Gridlock.

    My prediction: The Democrats spend all their efforts going after Trump and get nothing done. This infuriates moderates and turns off independents. Trump gets re-elected and puts two more conservatives on the court. Democrats are sad.
    You heard it here first.

    • tomh
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      “The Democrats in the House should work with Trump to pass meaningful legislation.”

      That’s a good one. Or are you really serious? Trump would work on meaningful legislation? No, you can’t be serious.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Trump wouldn’t know “meaningful legislation” if it bit him on his fat, orange ass. How many “infrastructure weeks” has Trump’s White House declared, only to have them drowned out by Trump’s numerous scandals de la semaine?

        But the real reason “meaningful legislation” like infrastructure won’t get passed in the House is that it is anathema to the Republican Freedom-Caucus crazies who are Trump’s main obstruction-of-justice co-conspirators in congress. He won’t do anything to alienate them, especially since they are a key link to his white-nationalist base.

        • Historian
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

          Several pundits I have heard think that the Freedom Caucus will have more influence within the Republican conference since many of the Republicans defeated were moderates (in the very loose definition of the term).

          Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, as far in the right as you can go, has already declared his candidacy for House minority leader. I do not know what his chances are, but if anyone like him should win that position, the Democrats will have no cooperation from the Republicans, which is only to be expected.

          • GBJames
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            I think you are right. Republicans are about to shift ever further to the extreme right. They will say their failures were the result of not being strong enough Trump supporters.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        There’s a joker in every crowd!

      • mordacious1
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Well, they could try and I think you’re wrong. If the Democrats put forth a CLEAN infrastructure bill, Trump would sign it.

        But let’s not do that. Instead, I think the House should bring impeachment proceedings against Kavanaugh. See how that goes…

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          The infrastructure bill ought to be bipartisan but I predict that if it is an honest bill that makes Dems happy, Trump will find an excuse not to support it and his slaves in the GOP will be forced to vote it down. Trump is not about moving the country forward, only personal “wins” in which his opponent loses in a visible manner. In his mind, there are no win-win situations.

          • mordacious1
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

            Trump is a deal maker. The problem is, the Democrats (like most posters here), are in resist mode. They don’t want to deal with Satan-incarnate. I’m not asking them to build a wall, I’m asking them to build bridges (in both meanings). They won’t do it and will lose in 2020.

            • darrelle
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

              Trump is a deal breaker. His SOP throughout his business career has been to screw the other party of the deal as hard as possible. He epitomizes “buyer beware” and does not make deals with parties he doesn’t think he can con and vigorously screw.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

              “Trump is a deal maker.”

              Keep believing that empty hype. Maybe you should check with the casino workers in Atlantic City (or the banks that lent him money to buy those casinos), or all the satisfied graduate of Trump “University,” or all the suckers who bought pre-construction units at his bust-out condo projects in Baja or Tampa or Soho or Toronto, or any of the other people who have been burned by believing Donald Trump.

            • Diane G
              Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:14 am | Permalink

              “Trump is a deal maker.”

              If he says so, himself. Actually, he’s the only one who says so. He’s actually a hereditarily-enabled bully.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          How do you suggest we pay for it?

          • Diane G
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:15 am | Permalink

            Mexico will pay for it!

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      It is so easy to work with someone who calls you every name in the book…not. If he wants to work with the Dems,the first thing Trump needs to do is tone down the rhetoric. He won’t do that because it is not his nature. Attack, attack, attack is his nature…and then declare victory, regardless.

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Oh one other thing, the Repubs do not want him to work with the Dems on anything.

    • Marta
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      “The Democrats in the House should work with Trump to pass meaningful legislation.”

      Oh, for fuck’s sake.

      Let’s just pretend for a second that it hasn’t been Republican agenda to repeal anything passed since 2008, shall we?

      And now you’re saying it’s the Democrats job to “pass meaningful legislation” with Trump? What, you mean cooperate with him to build a wall or bomb a harmless caravan to paste?

      The only thing Republicans have been interested in in ten years is obstructionism, and now it’s the Democrats job to fix it?

      • mikeyc
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        That would be the very thing responsible principled people are elected to do. But it’s the Democrats that gained seats, not them.

        Legislatively, it’s going to be a very ugly stalemate.

        • Marta
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          Yes, and?

          An “ugly legislative stalemate” is precisely what the election yesterday was about.

          Republicans controlled all 3 branches of government for years, and it pissed people off so badly they took back the House, got rid of Scott Walker, got rid of Paul Le Page, and damn near got rid of lyin’ Ted Cruz.

          Every last legislator in America could go home and stay there for the next 10 years, and the country would be better for it. (Bonus if they took the fat-assed orange troll doll with them when they went.)

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Dems have already said they won’t seek impeachment unless Mueller’s report is extremely dire and they can get Republicans to go along. They are smart enough not to want to recommend impeachment only to have it laughed at by the Senate. They will go after him in other ways, of course. First up is getting his tax returns to look into what is happening with his businesses.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        I expect that, once adequate grounds have been established in the Special Counsel’s report, the new chairman of the House judiciary committee, Jerry Nadler (get used to hearing that name a lot), will convene impeachment hearings — the same way Rep. Peter Rodino did regarding Watergate in 1973. Those Watergate hearing, and a vigorous and free American press, are why Richard Nixon went from winning 49 of 50 states, and 60.7% of the popular vote, in the 1972 presidential election to being out on his keister less than two years later. Compare Nixon’s numbers in those days to what Donald Trump sports now.

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          Maybe but let’s read the report first. I suspect Nadler will have plenty to keep him busy.

    • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Until a couple of years ago, [trump] was a Democrat.

      Yes, but he’s been a psychotic his entire life.

  23. Forse
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I’m not Trump supporter either, but don’t think he’s got a personality disorder. Look at him in last few days. Relaxed and cracking jokes.
    My suggestion: get over it and enjoy the ride while it lasts. Politics will never be this exciting again after he’s gone.
    Not in our lifetimes.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      I agree that Trump keeps it exciting. And he is nothing if not an unceasing fount for farcical humor.

      It’s all fun & games until the first constitutional crisis (or the first nuke gets launched).

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Are you keeping count. You know you cannot exceed one out of ten in your number of comments.😊

        • Neil Wolfe
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          I’m only making this comment in order to increase the total comment count and thus keep Kens valuable comments safely diluted.

          • Mark R.
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            Chuckle…does this count as a comment?

          • Diane G
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:19 am | Permalink

            +1

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I’m old. I kind of like boring…less stress😀

    • Liz
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Exciting? The last two years has been far from exciting. The onus is on us to make changes. It isn’t a ride to be enjoyed.

    • Giancarlo
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Governance of the polis is not entertainment. Those who consider it as much are part of the reason why we now have a reality tv personality in charge of the nuclear codes.

  24. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Voting should evoke precisely the same emotions as jury duty. Ugh – I have to come up with the best decision I can. That’s not easy.

    It is wrong if “excitement“ is one of those emotions. It is filling out ovals. It is very much like being on a jury. It should be a serious matter. It is in fact a profoundly important obligation.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Request permission to change “It is” to “there’s something”

      Thank you

    • Liz
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      +1

  25. Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    1. Considering the economy is going gangbusters (no credit to Drumpf), I think the Dems did well.

    2. Very happy to have the House in Dem hands. Major brake on the GOP agenda to hand the USA over to the oligarchy, protect Drumpf from being investigated, sacrifice the environment to enrich their buddies, destroy health care, Medicare, and Social Security.

    3. Maybe we’ll finally learn something about Drumpf’s underhanded behavior.

    4. Slap in the face to Drumpf.

    5. Energize the Dems in preparation for 2020.

    6. Locally, here in Minnesota, we mostly swept the table. 🙂 Two open US House seats bent Republican; but two incumbent GOP House memebrs were unseated. All the statewide offices went democratic, including both our US Senators. Tina Smith, Franken’s replacement won easily. (Amy Klobuchar can have her seat as long as she wants it — no one has come near her in three elections.) The MN House flipped to Dem. We retained the Governorship for the first time following 8 years of a democrat in the office.

    7. Scott (sh!thead) Walker lost in WI. Whoo-hoo!

    8. About 50,000 votes distributed between WI, OH, and PA gave Drumpf the Whitehouse. Something tells me dems in those states will turn out in 2020.

    As I have been trying to get out this message: Drumpf hasn’t moved the economy at all (aside from increasing the deficit and picking a few winners and losers with tariffs):

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      “Amy Klobuchar can have her seat as long as she wants it”

      I like the senior senator from MN as sleeper for a spot on the 2020 national ticket.

      • Simon Hayward
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Beto doesn’t have a day job, and he has the money to start campaigning now.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        Many have suggested this and have pressed her on it. So far, she’s said no (effing – just kdding!) way.

        We’ll see. She did well in the Kavanaugh hearing.

        She’d be great! But I doubt she wants to move to the national stage. But, as noted, we’ll see.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Here are the rest of my economic graphs:

    • darrelle
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Good points. I sure wish my state, Florida, had done as well as yours. Fat chance of that though.

      • Marta
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Of the races lost yesterday, none made me sadder than Gillum’s loss to DeSantis. After too many years of Rick Scott, Florida deserves better.

        • darrelle
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Yeah, it really sucks. I’m not surprised though. Much of Florida is Trumpsville. Between the conservative retired folk, old conservative money and rednecks, all groups that are strong Trump and or Republican supporters, it’s a wonder the senate and gubernatorial races were so close.

          It does make you wonder about average voter intelligence. Or is it ethics perhaps? Even if you only knew this one thing, that Scott made hundreds of millions of dollars during his tenure as governor on investments that had known ties to programs that he supported as governor, that should be enough to tell you he shouldn’t get your vote.

          • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

            It has to be education but there’s also a good helping of idolatry. According to The Economist’s quoting of some poll, Trump supporters overwhelmingly believe that what he tells them is the truth and that the mainstream news media lies most of the time, even on facts they can check independently.

          • Marta
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            My sister lives in Florida.

            She’s voted Republican since the 80’s, but voted for Gillum. She’s taken his loss pretty badly.

            • darrelle
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

              Though I was fully expecting Gillum to lose to DeSantis I too was pretty depressed when I heard the result this morning.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

                I was encouraged by the early returns and thought both Gillum and Nelson had a real shot. At least my congressional district, the 26th, flipped blue.

              • Mark R.
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

                I think many down ballot seats flipped blue in Florida and Georgia because of their strong Democratic governor candidates. So there is a silver lining there. It sucks though. The South continues to disappoint.
                😦

    • Diane G
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:18 am | Permalink

      “About 50,000 votes distributed between WI, OH, and PA gave Drumpf the Whitehouse. ”

      WI, MI, & PA. And MI as well as WI flipped from red to blue governors Tuesday.

  26. tomh
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    There were more than elections on the ballot. Referendums and ballot measures that passed:

    3 (red) states expanded Medicaid; 2 (red) states increased minimum wage; 3 states approved pot; FL enfranchised 1.5 million ppl; 2 states passed automatic voter registration and 2 same-day registration; MA defended trans rights; LA ended a racist overincarceration practice; 4 states reformed their redistricting laws; OR protected its ‘sanctuary’ law; Nashville & WA strengthened police accountability; San Francisco passed the tax for homeless programs that tech CEOs were so upset about; 2 AL counties will now bar sheriffs from pocketing money.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      With legalization of pot and enfranchisement of felons, maybe it’s time Snoop Dogg wanna make a run for office. Hell, Snoopy’s way smarter and more stable than Kanye. 🙂

    • BJ
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      The FL referendum really made me happy. Hopefully, we can make that Federal law in the coming years.

    • Giancarlo
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      I’ve been wondering about the disconnect in red states that voted for progressive policies on the one hand, yet elected senators that aligned themselves with Trump’s racist and culture war messaging going into the election. One might be tempted to chalk it up to the usual cognitive dissonance on the right, but I fear that they are being coherent. They do want progressive policies, but only for white nationalists.

      • BJ
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        There’s a much simpler and better-researched phenomenon to explain it: tribalism.

        • Giancarlo
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Sure, but it also means that the polarization in the US is more along cultural than ideological lines, and I hope Dem strategists are thinking really hard how to exploit the ideological alignment without pushing too hard to abolish the cultural divide, since trying that has backfired spectacularly since Obama.

    • Diane G
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:26 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that roundup, tomh! Most cheering.

  27. BJ
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Oh, boy. This, two threads after the “be nicer to each other” thread. Not good, man.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Say what?

  28. Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Glad to see the last of Kobach in KS, Walker in WI, and Rohrabacher in CA.

    Rohrabacher is a well known Russophile and opponent of the Magnitsky Act. He doesn’t represent my district but the southern part of nearby Orange County, AKA “Behind the Orange Curtain”. Actually, it used to be hardcore Republican even though urban and suburban but is gradually going Democrat.

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Yes, those were three huge wins for democrats. Three truly odious and ideologically destructive politicians.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        And governors are very important! They’ve been a key part of the GOP strategy.

        I was SO GLAD Tim Walz won, here in Minnesota. Mark Dayton (retiring) has far exceeded my expectations and has done a fine job of reining in / blocking the local GOP chumps.

        • Mark R.
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          The importance of governors (esp. in the time of GOP extremism) can’t be overstated. Congrats keeping Minnesota blue!

  29. Bat
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    We have eleven congressional districts in virginia. While statewide elections have recently been dem with president, current and past governors and both senators being dems, until last night our seriously gerrymandered house districts were split 4/7 dem/republican. With a great push by several dem woman, we have now flipped to 7/4 dem/republican…more in line with the general statewide vote overcoming the gerrymander. It was particularly gratifying to have the crooked former navy seal republican incumbent from va beach (home of seal team six) get beat by dem retired navy commander and usna grad elaine luria.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      “beat by dem retired navy commander and usna grad elaine luria”

      Music to my ears!

      So many good dem candidates stepped up this time. We should have a good crop to choose from for 2020!

  30. Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    The only action by the congress that I see is necessary is passing a budget and lifting the debt ceiling. I am not even sure they need to pass a budget. But not raising the debt ceiling could shut down the government.

    It will be interesting to see Pelosi, McConnell and Trump trying to work together to get anything else passed.
    I can picture the scene now, sitting at the big table.

    I think Trump would go with a bill on infrastructure. Getting the senate to go along with it is the rub.

    Don’t understand the bad feelings about the gerrymandering. Both parties do it with equal vigor when they control the state houses. It is that the dens let the reps get control of more states. They were sleeping at the switches when that happened.

    • BJ
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      The Dems definitely don’t want to shut down the government. The party that does that always loses the public opinion fight. It helps nothing and only hurts the party that flips the switch (or, I guess I should say, “refuses to slip the switch”).

      • BJ
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Damn it. *Flip the switch

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Ted Cruz is coming back. He is the big shut down the government man. It is people like him I worry about.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          “Ted Cruz is coming back” — Could ya maybe spare us those kinda off-color comments during the lunch hour, Old Guy? 🙂

          • BJ
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, for real.

            Oh, it’s not as bad as I thought. I thought he wrote “on my back.”

            • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

              You guys are sick puppies.

          • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

            You guys are sick puppies.

        • eric
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

          Congress already passed the 2019 budget. Neener neener Cruz, you gotta wait another cycle for your bomb-throwing symbolic temper tantrum.

          • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

            They have not passed the 2020 budget yet.

  31. Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  32. tomh
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    More ballot measures: Alabama passed two Constitutional Amendments.

    Amendment 1 (passed 4:1), described as,

    …it makes clear that the Ten Commandments may be displayed on public property so long as the display meets constitutional requirements, such as being displayed along with historical or educational items…

    Amendment 2 (passed 59%-41%) described,

    …provides that it would be the public policy of the state to recognize and support the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life; and to protect the rights of unborn children. Additionally, the amendment would make clear that the state constitution does not include a right to abortion or require the funding of an abortion using public funds.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Is Alabama still part of the USA? We should sell it to the highest bidder.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        They left once and you made them come back against their will. You had your chance and you blew it.

      • Diane G
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:33 am | Permalink

        Oh, let’s just give it away!

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the Ten Commandments should be displayed with educational items….like Jerry’s books.😀

    • Zetopan
      Posted November 12, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes, by all means we should display a work of fiction alongside actual history in an effort to legitimize the fiction. There are two conflicting sets of the 10 commandments in the various bibles, Moses is a fictional character, and the ancient Hebrews never spent any time in Egypt, let alone as slaves there.

  33. YF
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I’ll take good news where I can get it. But there is something deeply wrong with our country when a lying traitorous sleazebag like Ted Cruz comes out on top. We’ve got a long road ahead to restore our democracy. The GOP agenda must be stopped.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Cruz I don’t like at all, but the election as far as I know was fair. Just because they elected someone you and I don’t like does not mean the election was not democratic. I don’t understand your thought process.

      • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        At the risk of putting words in YF’s mouth, I believe it is Cruz’s enabling of Trump that is the referent.

      • Diane G
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:39 am | Permalink

        Well, maybe give it a bit more thought, then. YF didn’t make any mention of the election being non-democratic. I suspect he’s just more disgusted with the GOP agenda and what supporting a worm like Cruz says about the views of some of our fellow Americans.

        • Posted November 8, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          I see your point. But my point holds. He alleges that our democracy needs to be restored. Our democracy is as fine as it always was. He is still off the mark.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            Really?

            When one party can lose a crucial arm of the government despite getting _twelve million more votes_ than their opponents I’d say there’s a strong argument that something is wrong there. What possible justification can there be for a democratic system as hideously lopsided as that?

            And if there isn’t a justification then I don’t see how it’s possible to be quite so blase about the state of American democracy.

            At some point the absurd unfairness of the situation is going to piss people off in a big way. The dam will burst.

            • Posted November 8, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

              The constitution set up the electoral college system. It is the system we have been using since the nation was founded. The process has not changed. We can’t get something back that we never had. Andrew Jackson as aware there was something wrong with the process and tried to get the constitution amended to elect the president by direct vote. His efforts went nowhere and no one has attempted to change the process since. The results were even worse back then than they are now.

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

                So, in short, you are saying that the process is broken but why bother fixing it?

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

                No. If you have been reading my past comments I have been advocating replacing our constitution and form of government for some time. I just realizen it is not going to happen.
                And our process is the same as it has always been.
                The original comment seemed to indicate our democracy was recently broken by the Tfump supporters. That is not true in the way we elect the president and congress.

                I sldo notice the comment did not object t to the small blue states. Only the states that voted red.

                I hope I change count on you to support my plan for a new constitution that is more fair.

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

                I’m with you on changing the constitution but it’s probably a good thing that it is so hard to do. The idea that Trump could have changed our constitution while both houses of Congress were in the hands of the GOP is just too scary to contemplate.

  34. Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    These election results spotlight the ongoing “Great Sorting” of Americans into two increasingly antagonistic camps divided by lifestyle and geography. The conflict is not so much about policies as it is about cultural/tribal membership. Although the Democrats regained the House, they proved incapable of winning anywhere outside of urban or upscale suburban districts.

    The luddite mindset of trump supporters is odious, but the Dems have only themselves to blame for alienating a large swath of the populace with their identity politics and Kulturkampf of the past decade. Yesterday’s results represent the high-water mark for the Dems unless they rectify their flawed grand strategy.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Although it is meaningful to portray Americans as two camps who disagree, it is really only one side that routinely denies facts and treats conspiracy theories as valid political tools. Although a case can be made that the MSM is biased, they do not lie and, when they make a mistake, they can be called on it and will respond appropriately. We all wish we could get back to that time when the only differences between the two sides was their interpretation of facts.

      • Diane G
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:40 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Not all trump supporters, much less GOP voters, ascribe to conspiracy theories. And a good portion of the Left hold alternate reality beliefs that sex is a spectrum, one in four college women are raped, women get paid less for equal work, our police are colluding to actively commit “genocide” on young black men, trauma is heritable via epigenetics, but intelligence is not heritable via genetics, etc.

        Such extremist alternate realities — increasingly embraced as dogma — are the side effect of the splitting into rival tribes, not the cause.

        • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          Trump’s pitch to win in 2016 was one big conspiracy theory! Besides, everyone knew that Trump had claimed falsely that Obama was not born in the US but voted for him anyway. As with racism, his voters and supporters are clearly ok with conspiracy theories.

          • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            And Kirsten Gillibrand’s supporters are ok with her lying about campus rape and equal pay.

            Bottom line: do you want to prove you are right, or do you want to be effective?

            • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

              That’s a generic ‘you’, btw.

            • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

              Classic what-about-ism.

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

                Not at all. You asserted that belief in conspiracy theories and acceptance of lies was unique to the Right. I noted where it also is found among the Left.

                To be guilty of a tu quoque, I would need be defending the Right’s behavior, which I am not.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      It is a ptetty diverse party. What would a rectified grand strategy look like?

      • Giancarlo
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps completely abandoning the tribal culture wars, since engaging in them always seems to get bigot representatives elected in red states, and fully embracing supra-tribal progressive policies like the expansion of Medicaid and increase in the minimum wage that multiple red states embraced in this election. Trump, after all, is backlash to Obama the black president, not to his policies. That should teach the Dems something, sad as that something may be.

      • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        I could give you a long list of policy initiatives, starting with sensible resolution of immigration, on through many populist, bread & butter issues, some of which Giancarlo mentions.

        But for starters, rid themselves of the mindset that leads to calling people ‘Deplorables’ to their face, then cussing them out when they don’t vote for you.

  35. Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hm, not a *horrible* result.

  36. Steve Gerrard
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Almost winning is very significant in my opinion. Gillum and Beto and others have shown that it is possible to win the challenging races because they were close, even though they lost. It should convince more people that making the effort works. It improves prospects for future fund raising and campaigns. Next time!

    Also there were a lot of good results in state legislatures.

  37. Historian
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    House members. What has been much less mentioned, and is perhaps as important, is the problem of voter concentration. In this country’s winner-takes-all system, it doesn’t matter if you win by one more vote than your opponent or by 99% of the total vote. Most Democratic voters are concentrated in urban areas where their candidates win by overwhelming majorities, meaning that many of the votes are “wasted.” Republican candidates, whose voters are generally more rural, win with smaller majorities, but it matter not in the least. Thus, “solving” gerrymandering by having more rational legislative boundaries will only partially solve the problem of the built-in Republican advantage. State legislatures have the power to correct the winner-take-all system to something fairer. We’ll see if this happens any time soon.

    This article discusses the built-in structural Republican advantages and the difficulty Democrats have in overcoming them.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/us-election-rules-doomed-democrats-chances-of-taking-the-senate_us_5be0a33be4b04367a87f786f

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      And: To accomplish fair districting, the dems MUST elect state legislatures and governors. This is how the GOP as taken so much control.

  38. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    This just in, Jeff Sessions is out as Attorney General.

    • tomh
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Fired by tweet, as per Trump’s custom.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Trump got Sessions to sign a letter of “resignation,” meaning he can use the federal Vacancy Act to name a temporary replacement without senate confirmation.

        Trump has jumped over Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to name Sessions’s chief-of-staff, Matt Whitaker, as acting AG. Since Whitaker is not recused from the Russia investigation, he will presumably take over supervisory duties regarding the Special Counsel’s office from Rosenstein.

        This is really bad, though hardly unexpected.

        • tomh
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          Whitaker is a GOP partisan who wrote a CNN op-ed last year
          saying the Mueller investigation was going too far and that Rosenstein should order Mueller to limit it. He was hired one month after the article appeard.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            Gonna be interesting to see how the regulars at Main Justice react to this.

            The knowledge that subpoenas will issue from the House of Representatives in January is the thin thread acting as a check on the White House’s dealings with the Department of Justice right now.

            • Mark R.
              Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

              Rosenstein is going to the WH tonight. I guess Trump won’t fire him via Tweet.

              If Whitaker fires Mueller, can’t the House in January just hire him to head the investigation again?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

                The Justice Department is part of the executive branch, so no. But the House Government Oversight committee can (and, if it happens, I expect will) hold hearings to get to the bottom of what happened.

                It’s also possible the courts could order Mueller’s reinstatement, since the special counsel statute under which he was appointed provides for termination only “for cause.”

                Another outside possibility I’ve given some thought to is that Mueller could be appointed a special assistant by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York in that office’s investigation of Trump.

                One way or another, Trump won’t be able to strong-arm his way out of this investigation. The stable genius still has no clue how American government actually works.

              • tomh
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

                Whitaker doesn’t have to shut down the investigation, which would certainly cause an uproar, to impede it. Whoever is in charge of the investigation (Whitaker now) has the power to “request that the Special Counsel provide an explanation for any investigative or prosecutorial step, and may, after review, conclude that the action is so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.” In other words, if Mueller wants to bring forward a new indictment, or virtually any other action, the person in charge at DOJ could simply say no.

              • tomh
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

                By the way, Rosenstein has already handed over oversight of the investigation to Whitaker.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

                He may not know how the government is supposed to work bu5 that’s his superpower in the eyes of his supporters. He plows ahead and the silly laws fall by the wayside. He is a genius at operating the levers of power and greed.

              • Mark R.
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for the information Ken.

                tomh: Yeah, Rosenstein handed over oversight around the time I posted the comment and was unaware.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

                Robert Mueller has spent his career as a Justice Department prosecutor and is a savvy inside player of the government bureaucracy. He has known this day, or something even worse, was coming from the moment he accepted his appointment as Special Counsel.

                I’m sure Mueller has well-laid plans for this contingency, or anything else Trump can throw his way. For one thing, he’s been diffusing portions of the investigation throughout the justice system, handing discrete pieces off to the US Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of New York, for the Eastern District of Virginia, and for the District of Columbia district, as well as to the New York State Attorney General’s office (over which Donald Trump has no federal authority whatever).

                Looks like we’re on the precipice of a mean and nasty (and possibly dangerous) constitutional crises. But it is not one on which Donald Trump will ultimately prevail. One way or the other, he will be brought to justice.

              • Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

                I hope you are right but I suspect, with GOP support and control of the Senate, he will be able to ride it out until he’s voted out in 2020. IN the worst-case scenario, he convinces a majority of the country that the big, bad Dems and their MSM henchmen have treated him unfairly and he gets a sympathy second term. That would be truly awful.

        • Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          Luckily, the dems own the House now, so if Drumpf shuts down Mueller, it will be dug into.

    • Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      That was fast! Expected though. Where does the puppet line start?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        I expected Trump to fire Sessions this week (and said as much in a thread a day before the election). My surprise was that he dug so deep into the Justice Department organizational chart to name a temporary replacement. (To do so, he had to bypass several layers of the DoJ chain-of-command, including the Deputy AG, the Associate AG, and the Solicitor General). That he did so strongly suggests that he picked a political hack willing to do his dirty work.

        My disappointment here is that AG Sessions didn’t show the spine or patriotism to make Trump actually fire him, rather than to capitulate to Trump by signing a bogus letter of “resignation.” Had that happened, the federal Vacancy Act would not have applied, and Trump would have been required to name a replacement requiring immediate senate confirmation or to have appointed the next official in the chain-of-command, meaning Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, to become acting Attorney General — otherwise, Trump would’ve had to have started firing people Saturday-Night-Massacre-style, starting with Rosenstein, until he got to the lackey he was looking for.

        The worst trick the Devil … er, the Donald, ever pulled was to make me root for a reactionary old southern boll-weevil like Jefferson Beauregard III to do the right thing.

        • tomh
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          “Had that happened, the federal Vacancy Act would not have applied”

          I’m not sure how it applies anyway. The Act requires that the appointee is either “the first assistant to the office” (that would be Rosenstein) or the person is “in an office for which appointment is required to be made by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,” (in other words, confirmed by the Senate to another position.) As Sessions’ Chief of Staff, he was never confirmed by the Senate.

          The loophole they must have used is a third option, “the rate of pay for the position [as Chief of Staff] is equal to or greater than the minimum rate of pay payable for a position at GS-15 of the General Schedule.”

          No one seems to know what his pay rate was, but I suppose he may have had a midnight raise last night.

          • Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:20 am | Permalink

            Acting attorney general only.

            • tomh
              Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:07 am | Permalink

              “Acting attorney general only.”

              Perhaps you don’t understand what the Vacancy Act is. It allows the President to appoint an Acting official (Attorney General, in this case), for a maximum of 210 days. During that time he has the full powers of office, including the power to impede or shut down an investigation.

              • Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:12 am | Permalink

                That was my u derstanding. I better google it and learn more about it before I comment any more. I did not realize there were limitations in who could act in such a capacity. Thank you for the response.

  39. Randy Bessinger
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Sessions just resigned. I wonder what that portends for Mueller report.

    • eric
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      Not at all surprising; even when a President likes his staff, there’s usually a whole bunch of resignations right after the mid-terms because of the stress and hours these jobs require. With Trump as boss, that stress has got to be worse than normal…

      • GBJames
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        This is not business as usual.

    • Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      Not anything.

  40. Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The increased Republican majority in the Senate is going to have a lot of consequences. Trump didn’t wait 24 hours before forcing Sessions out.

    Interesting that neither the President nor the Senate governs according to the will of the majority of the US population right now. Dumb part of the Constitution.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      This is why we have a government of checks and balances (and why it was imperative that the Democrats have the gavels in House of Representatives committee chairmanships come January).

      The firing of AG Sessions (and his replacement by a pro-Trump front man) looks a lot like the opening shots fired at Fort Sumter in the coming constitutional crisis many of us have been expecting since Trump’s inauguration.

  41. rickflick
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I like Andy Borowitz’s take on the election:

    PUTIN LOSES CONTROL OF THE HOUSE

  42. Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Sessions should never have been appointed as attorney general. He was not qualified. His hearing performance was embarrassing. He never should have been confirmed. He should have been fired long ago.
    Mueller’s investigation is still going on and will go on. No one has interfered with it or threatened to interfere with it. My guess is that it is all but wrapped up at any rate.
    This appointment if Whitaker is as acting Attorney General for a limited period of time.
    Don’t see a constitutional crisis, the end of the world or the end of civilization as we know it. That will come in a few decades as a result of climate change. Firing of Sessions is just some house keeping duties that should have been done long ago.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Honestly, OG, that’s as myopic a comment as I’ve seen anywhere.

      Whitaker has been installed for one purpose and one purpose only, to stop the probe. There is a standard process for replacing cabinet members when they leave. The process was not followed.

      Whether this goes as Trump thinks it will remains to be seen. But pretending that this is standard operating procedure is make-believe.

      • Posted November 8, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Thank you for your reply. I will not return you insults.
        Time will tell which one of us us right..
        I believe it will be me

        • GBJames
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          Those were not insults, OG. They were observations.

      • Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        I agree. Whitaker’s appearances on CNN were his audition for the job. How convenient for Trump that he doesn’t have to go through Senate confirmation where all this and more would have been aired.

        • Mark R.
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Apparently, Trump’s move is unconstitutional. The President can’t appoint anyone to head the DOJ who hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate. Even FOX is reporting this.

          • tomh
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            While it’s true that a permanent head if the DOJ must be confirmed by the Senate, the President has appointed an Acting head of the DOJ who needn’t be confirmed by the Senate, to serve a limited time.

            • Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

              Temporary is for 200 days which is not so limited. Whittaker can do a lot of damage to the Mueller investigation in that time. Also, by the time Trump has to nominate a permanent AG, he’ll have an even more solid majority in the Senate to do the approving.

              • tomh
                Posted November 8, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

                There’s no doubt about that but it doesn’t make it unconstitutional, which is what I was responding to.

              • tomh
                Posted November 8, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

                Some may think so, but the argument is weak. The law is very clear, the President has the power to make the appointment. The clear thrust of that article is that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) is unconstitutional. And to base it on an obscure concurrence by Thomas, in a case that is not remotely on point, is bewildering. It’s possible (though unlikely) that Whitaker could be forced to recuse himself or forced out for ethics violations, but the idea that the appointment could be reversed for Constitutional violation is a pipe dream.

  43. Posted November 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I never said no one on the Left has ever pushed a conspiracy theory. That would be a ridiculous statement to make and not one I made.

    Let me make my point a different way. Trump clearly deals in conspiracy theories, from birtherism to the caravan and everything in between. Polls tell us that Republican voters overwhelmingly believe Trump over the MSM news. We see many interviews with his supporters that show most of them believe the crap he puts out, and I’m not talking about those crazies in line for one of his shows but those regular folk from red states that reporters sit down with over coffee. I don’t see that on the Left.

    • Posted November 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      So far, the only conspiracy theory about the caravan that I have read was from the Left – that the caravan has been paid and organized by Trump’s minions in order to galvanize anti-immigration voters. I admit this makes sense, and I do not find it impossible.
      Also, remembering events such as the killing of Michael Brown and the mass sexual abuse in Cologne, I see little reason to believe MSM.


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