Somebody cue up Etta James, please…
At last. At last we will have a check and balance on the most out-of-control, mind-numbingly arrogant and condescending, racist and xenophobic man to ever hold the office of President.
At last we will have investigations, a whole heap of them I hope, into Russian collusion, into Trump’s tax returns, into Don Jr. and Wilbur Ross and oh so many, many other people in this corrupt administration.
At freaking last.
Lot to discuss from Tuesday night’s midterm elections, which kept me up until well after 2 a.m. Eastern time, which is why this blog post isn’t going up until Wednesday afternoon (hey, a guy’s gotta sleep, ya know).
But the absolute, number one positive that came out of what was a pretty good night for Democrats (not a great night, but a pretty good one) is that finally, there will be some balance.
No longer will Trump get to run roughshod over the federal government, believing he’s the dictator-in-chief and can do whatever the hell he wants. We will see men like Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings and women like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who, look, I don’t want to make a huge deal out of it today but isn’t it maybe time she stepped aside and we had young, new fresh leadership on the Democratic side?) hold investigations and stop legislation designed only to punish and disenfranchise those who are not white men.
I can’t wait to see the subpoenas flying to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I also can’t wait to see the Mueller Report.
There is light now in Washington, and some disinfectant in one house of Congress. It’s a good start.
— Let’s talk about the good first, because as you know I’m an optimistic kind of guy. At least 28 seats in the House of Representatives have flipped to the Democrats, with some shockers (a Republican losing on Staten Island here in NYC is stunning, as is losses by Republicans in Kansas and Georgia districts that seemed safe) and some expected pickups.
I’m thrilled that real progressives like Antonio Delgado in upstate N.Y., Lizzie Fletcher in Texas, and Harley Rouda in California have scored big victories, and also encouraged that actual smart people like Tony Evers in the Wisconsin governors race and Laura Kelly winning the governorship in Kansas rose above the noise and won.
Lots of good, good victories for Dems last night.
— Sharice Davids (pictured above) in Kansas becomes the first lesbian, Native American member of Congress. What an accomplishment. Kansas is on its way back to becoming competitive again. And we get our first openly gay male governor in Colorado, Jared Polis. (Great Tweet from Reverent Jes Kast about that: “The Colorado cake baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple now has a gay governor.”
The walls, they be a crumbling down.
— More good news: Jacky Rosen wins a Senate seat in Nevada, and Kyrsten Sinema in a tough battle still in Arizona. Dems flipped seven governors seats, getting up to 22. Jon Tester looks like he’ll survive in Montana’s Senate race, too.
— And a new political star looks to be seriously, seriously born, a guy who lost his race. I can’t tell you the hysteria brewing right now over Beto O’Rourke, who scared the hell out of Ted Cruz in Texas before losing 51-48 last night.
I like Beto a lot, and doing that well in Texas helped others down the ballot. But there’s a movement afoot to anoint him as a Dem presidential contender in two years. And I’m just like, whoa, Nellie. He’s terrific, but he just, you know, lost. Plenty of other Dems I’d like to see on the ballot in 2020.
But I will say, Beto is one hell of an inspiring speaker.
— Last bit of good news before I move to the bad: People I’m most happy to see lose:
1. Scott Walker
2.Dave Brat, Virginia GOP Congressman
3. Dana Rohrbacher (who hasn’t officially lost in California yet, but is behind with a handful of votes left)
4. Kris Kobach, an absolute monster of a man who tries to suppress votes and screams about voter fraud every chance he gets. Glad he lost in the Kansas governor’s race.
— OK, now an interlude of joy: A child hugging strangers at a picnic at a public park.
— OK, now the bad news. Florida and Georgia broke my heart. Florida, oh Florida, how in the holy hell can you elect Rick Scott to the U.S. Senate? And make an empty suit Trump toady like Ron DeSantis the governor? (Update: Apparently the voting has gotten a lot closer in Florida governor’s race and Andrew Gillum may be getting a recount)
I will never, ever understand that state. As a friend of mine said last night, the state slogan ought to be: “Florida. We’re more racist than you thought.”
And in Georgia, Stacey Abrams looks like she’s lost to Brian Kemp, who oh by the way is the Secretary of State there and ran the election and oh yeah tried to bar hundreds of thousands of legal voters from voting. But, you know, nothing to see here.
— While we’re on it: The voting system in this country, my goodness, how broken is it? From having millions have to vote on a Tuesday (why can’t Election Day be a national holiday? Who’s against this? Oh yeah, Republicans who only win when fewer people vote), to voting machines breaking down, to one site in Georgia being out of service for four hours because of a broken power cord, to all kinds of delays and shenanigans in Tennesee and Arizona… it’s a disgrace to democracy how we hold these elections.
— More bad news: Claire McCaskill got crushed in Missouri. As did Joe Donnelly is Indiana. And Steve King, proud white supremicist, got re-elected to Congress from Iowa. Losing a few Senate seats doesn’t matter too much to me once it was clear the GOP was keeping the majority, because let’s face it, where ANY Republican senators crossing the aisle and going against Trump when it was 51-49? So none are going against him when it’s 53-47, anyway.
–And finally, let’s remember that we get a chance to do this all over again in two years. Register your friends, neighbors, anyone who stupidly didn’t turn out to vote in 2018, make sure you get them to the polls in 2020.
It’s this simple: When more people vote, Democrats win.