ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- Democrats' Biggest Midterm House Win Since Watergate

[ Posted Friday, November 9th, 2018 – 17:33 PST ]

Our subtitle today is (appropriately) nothing short of a talking point. Democrats just won their biggest pickup in the House of Representatives since 1974, the first post-Watergate election. That's not only impressive, it's downright historic. But, for some reason, many Democrats and many pundits are concentrating solely on the downside rather than face the many ballot-box victories the Democrats just chalked up. We have no real reason why this is so, and we wonder why so many seek the dark lining to what is indisputably a very silver cloud. Democrats won, and they won big. They didn't win every race, and some rock-star candidates lost, but why dwell on it? There were so many other wins Tuesday night that more than made up for it, after all.

Once again: House Democrats just had their best midterm since Watergate. They have picked up at least 30 House seats, and probably more. There are still 13 races which have not been officially called yet, and Democrats are up in at least five of them. If they win every one of these races where they are now leading, Democrats will have 230 House seats to Republicans' 205. That is a major turnaround, any way you slice it.

There were other reasons why this was a historic midterm election as well, all of which bode well for the Democratic Party in the future. It was an election of firsts -- first woman, first gay person, first [insert ethnicity or religion] ever elected. For the most part, this happened on the Democratic side, as the party becomes much more representative of the American public. While Republicans did chart a few firsts of their own, their party mostly continued to become much whiter and older.

Turnout was spectacular, across the board. More people voted than normally do in midterms, in some places even rivalling presidential-year turnouts. Latinos turned out in large numbers -- 11 percent of the electorate was Latino, up from eight percent in 2014. As a result, there will be a record-breaking 42 Latinos (at least) in the next Congress.

Democrats won women voters by an astonishing 19 points -- the highest margin in the history of midterm exit polling. Democrats made big gains among slices of this demographic too, winning independent women by 17 points and splitting the white women's vote evenly (after losing it by 14 points in 2014, and 19 points in 2010). Voters under 30 went for Democrats by a jaw-dropping 35-point margin, as well -- which was over twice as big a gap than existed in 2014.

Amendment 4 passed in Florida, which will re-enfranchise over 1.5 million people previously convicted of a felony. When you commit a crime, you should pay society back by jail time or fines or whatever, but once it is all over -- once you're off probation or parole and have fully paid your debt to society -- then you should be able to fully reassume all the rights of citizenship. One mistake shouldn't mean being banned from voting for life. Depending on how many of these people actually choose to exercise their newly-won franchise, this could even shift Florida to the blue column. That could have enormous consequences in presidential elections.

Democrats flipped seven governor's seats: Illinois, Kansas (!), Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. A black woman who was part of the Black Lives Matter movement and who ran after losing her son to gun violence took the Georgia House seat formerly held by Newt Gingrich -- which was also the district Jon Ossoff lost last year in a special election.

Medicaid expansion won at the polls in three very red states -- Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska. It will also likely happen in two other states that elected Democratic governors -- Kansas and Maine. Marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Michigan and medical use in Missouri and Utah. Voters in Michigan, Colorado, and Utah rejected the whole concept of gerrymandering in favor of districts being redrawn by nonpartisan independent commissions or an independent demographer.

Democrats defeated some big Republican names Tuesday night, which should have been the happiest news of all. Hated governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker was finally handed his walking papers. He was the biggest Union-buster around a few years ago and managed to win a recall election, so this is a very big deal. Kris Kobach, who was even more anti-immigrant than Donald Trump, lost his bid to become governor of Kansas. Kansas just elected a Democratic governor! That's pretty astounding, although maybe not so much when you consider just how badly Republicans have screwed up the state's finances by trying to prove that "trickle-down economics" works wonders (spoiler alert: it doesn't). In the House, several big GOP names went down, including Pete Sessions and Dave Brat. In California, Dana Rohrabacher is currently behind in his bid for re-election, but the race hasn't officially been called for the Democrat yet. And perhaps the most satisfying news of the night was reading this tweet from @GOVERNING:

Kim Davis appears to have lost. The clerk in Rowan County, Ky., became a folk hero to social conservatives after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. She trails Democrat Elwood Caudill by 54 to 46 percent, with 89 percent of precincts reporting.

Of course, Democrats did lose some marquee races, most notably Beto O'Rourke losing to Ted Cruz in Texas. Three others are still locked in recount battles, so it is conceivable that not all of them will lose, but currently they're all down in the vote counts: Stacey Abrams's bid for Georgia governor, and the races for Senate and governor in Florida. But it was just announced that in Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is leading in the vote-count and might eventually win a Senate seat (although the race is still very close, so this isn't a done deal). If Sinema does prevail, it will mean Republicans flipped four Senate seats while Democrats flipped two, for a net GOP gain of only two seats.

When you step back and look at the big picture, it looks pretty darn good for Democrats. They swept the boards pretty much everywhere but the Senate, where they were facing a historic imbalance in the map (Democrats haven't faced such a bad map since the 1930s, in fact), so even this is not really as bad as it might seem.

But we saved the best part for last. Because Democrats also had historic successes down the ballot. The Democratic Party has been getting hammered by Republicans at the state legislative level, ever since Barack Obama became president. They lost around 1,000 state legislative seats in the last decade, in fact. But Tuesday, they finally turned this around in a big way, winning back 300 of those seats in a single election cycle. The Washington Post had further details:

[T]he raw numbers are less important than where [Democrats] picked up seats. Democrats gained "trifectas" -- controlling the governorship and both houses of the legislature -- in six states: Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and New York. In addition, they took away Republican trifectas in four more states, three by winning the governorship (Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin) and one by taking both chambers of the legislature (New Hampshire). They also flipped the Maine Senate and Minnesota House, and won supermajorities in the Oregon House and Senate. The only chamber that flipped to Republican was the Alaska House.

Speaking of supermajorities, Democrats also won enough seats in North Carolina to break the GOP supermajorities in both houses there, meaning Republicans can no longer override Democratic governor Roy Cooper's vetoes. They also broke Republican supermajorities in the Pennsylvania Senate and Michigan Senate.

That is all very big news, although it kind of got swamped in all the national election coverage. Voters rejected Republican governance not only in who they send to Washington, but also in who they send to represent them in their state capitals.

So how can any Democrat be gloomy after such sweeping success Tuesday night? Why count the races that might have been, when you are drowning in overwhelming good news? The funniest thing we read all week was an article by Alexandra Petri, the Washington Post humorist-in-residence, which was amusingly titled: "Pundits Talk About Other Events The Way They Have Talked About The 'Blue Wave'." This includes such imagined headlines as: "Faulkner Wins Nobel Prize For Literature, Comes Up Empty In Chemistry And Biology," and: "NASA Manages To Land First Man On Moon, Falls Short Of Mars." The whole list is very short and hilariously funny, so we recommend everyone check out that link. Our favorite? "Disappointing Night for Rebels Who Only Manage to Destroy Death Star, Dashing Hopes They Might Also Have Engaged And Defeated Entire Imperial Navy." Heh.

Maybe Democrats (and the pundits who support them) have just forgotten what it is like to win. Maybe they've forgotten how to celebrate what can only be called a historic midterm victory. Who knows? Which is why we'll end where we began, because Democrats just had their biggest midterm rout in the House since the days of Watergate and Richard Nixon. So don't let anyone else tell you it was any kind of "split decision" or "disappointment" for Democrats, because it really was neither of those things. All across the country, Democrats won. Progressive Democrats won, moderate Democrats won, minority Democrats won, women Democrats won, gay Democrats won, Latino Democrats won, Democratic agenda items were passed by popular vote even in ruby-red states, Democrats took back statehouse after statehouse, flipped seven governors, and sent some of the most odious Republicans in the country packing.

It was the best midterm victory since 1974, no matter what Donald Trump thinks about it.

There were many other important things happening in the world of politics this week, from Donald Trump booting out Jeff Sessions to Trump's new (and likely unconstitutional) limitations on asylum claims at the border. Trump lost two federal court decisions, on the Keystone XL pipeline and on his attempts to end DACA. Trump held a petulant press conference immediately after the election where he heaped abuse upon multiple reporters, and revoked the press pass of CNN reporter Jim Acosta (after which Sarah Huckabee Sanders spread pure propaganda to explain Trump's position). Ruth Bader Ginsberg was hospitalized for broken ribs, sending a shiver down Democratic spines everywhere. But the election news was so overwhelming we're going to have to wait to discuss any of these developments until later.

Two amusing election footnotes to close on, here, before we move on to the awards. Mitt Romney won a Senate seat in Utah, making him the first person in 173 years to have been governor of one state and then represent a different state in the Senate. The last guy who pulled this feat off was none other than Sam Houston, who was governor of Tennessee before becoming a senator from Texas.

And Joe Biden won the "best photo op" of the election, as he was caught dramatically exiting a voting booth. Much Photoshopping ensued immediately thereafter online, as everyone had some fun with the image.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

There were a lot of impressive Democrats to choose from, this week (because, once again: best midterm since Watergate). There were all the candidates who achieved "firsts" in becoming the first of their kind to be elected to Congress. There were Democrats who won in districts that have been in Republican hands for decades. There were Democrats who had never entered politics before who won. So we'll just award a blanket Honorable Mention to every Democrat who won their election this Tuesday -- well done, each and every one of you!

There are two Democratic senators who deserve some sort of recognition for bucking the trend: Joe Manchin and Sherrod Brown. Other red-state Democrats in the Senate lost their races this week, but Manchin and Brown hung on. Brown, in particular, was impressive since at the same time he won re-election a Republican won the governor's race. All the Democrats who flipped governor's races across the country also deserve some recognition, as well.

Nancy Pelosi certainly achieved a historic turnaround, because after having to give up the speakers' chair eight years ago, instead of just retiring from politics (which is traditional), she stayed put and worked tirelessly to regain control of the House while at the same time holding her caucus together to limit the damage the Republican majority could do. That last bit is incredibly impressive, since usually when Democrats are in the minority, they become easy pickings for Republicans looking for a few spare aisle-crossing votes. This time around, virtually none of that happened, which Pelosi is almost singlehandedly responsible for. Pelosi isn't guaranteed to win the speakership this time, but she is well and away the favorite. We'll know in a few weeks, but until then she deserves credit for bringing Democrats back out of the wilderness in the House.

But out of all of these impressive Democrats this week, we have to choose one for the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. And we felt that Wisconsin Governor-Elect Tony Evers deserved the award for finally -- finally! -- getting rid of Scott Walker. Walker wasted no time in attacking Unions in his state, but he managed to win three elections -- two governor's races and defeating a recall attempt. However, this year his Tony Evers proved Walker could indeed be beaten. Wisconsin avoided a third Walker term by electing Evers, which is cause for Democrats everywhere to celebrate.

We realize others may have other favorites who might equally deserve this week's MIDOTW, but we were so happy to see Walker sent packing that we just couldn't resist awarding it to Tony Evers. Well done, Governor-Elect Evers, well done indeed!

[Tony Evers does not yet have an official governor's webpage, so you'll have to wait to congratulate him officially.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Um, the Democrat who lost to Steve King, maybe? That was really the night's biggest disappointment to us, especially seeing as how Democrats won all three of the other Iowa House districts (flipping two of them to do so).

Randy "Iron 'Stache" Bryce failed to win Paul Ryan's House seat, which was a personal disappointment after seeing him campaign a few years back.

Nationally, Amy McGrath disappointed many Democratic commentators after losing a House race in Kentucky to Andy Barr. We're not sure why this race got such national focus, but it seemed all the lefties on television were ready to pronounce this district as the harbinger of the whole election. When Barr won, this was not possible for them to do, and they weren't shy about showing their disappointment.

Three senators disappointed Democrats nationally, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Three other Democrats still have a fighting chance, but may wind up to be disappointments as well, in the Georgia governor's race and the Florida races for both governor and Senate.

But the biggest disappointment of all was a Democrat a lot of people nationwide had pinned some rather unrealistic hopes on this time around, Beto O'Rourke of Texas. The "Betomania" had been increasing for months, and everyone with any ounce of sense truly wanted to see Ted Cruz get defeated. But alas, it was not to be. Texas remained red, just as it has each and every time national Democrats get their hopes up with wild-eyed predictions that: "This'll be the year that we turn Texas blue!"

Once again, Texas did not turn blue. Democrats down the ballot did make some impressive inroads, but they came up short statewide, no matter how appealing a candidate Beto O'Rourke was.

This likely won't be the end for O'Rourke, it's worth pointing out. He probably has a bright future in politics even after suffering this loss. But expectations had been raised insanely high for him -- not only were some Democrats ready to celebrate his victory over Cruz, but they were eagerly speculating about an O'Rourke run for the presidency in 2020. This wasn't really O'Rourke's fault, it was everyone else's who let their expectations get so high, really.

But Beto O'Rourke is definitely the one Democratic candidate whose loss disappointed more Democrats nationally than any other on Tuesday night. That much is hard to dispute. And for that, he wins the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[We can't bring ourselves to rub salt in his wounds, so we're not going to provide contact information for Beto O'Rourke, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 508 (11/9/18)

Talking points, of course, are designed to influence the political debate of the day and promote a positive narrative. This week, Democrats haven't done such a great job of this. Of course Donald Trump was going to claim victory, no matter what happened at the polls. Democrats should have pushed back on this storyline as hard as possible, and here's hoping they start doing so in a big way (on this Sunday's political television chatfests would be a dandy place to start). Because they've really got plenty to brag about.

There's so much to boast about that it was tough to whittle it down to just seven, in fact. So here are merely our top seven talking points that we'd dearly love to see Democrats start using on television and everywhere else. Don't listen to the naysayers -- this was an election to be proud of and to gleefully celebrate, period.

 

1
   Biggest win since Watergate

This is the best talking point of the week, hands down. It should precede just about anything else a Democrat has to say about the midterm election results, in fact.

"Democrats just won their biggest midterm victory in the House since Watergate. In 1974, the country voted in a midterm election three months after President Richard Nixon resigned. Since that time, Democrats have never had such a blowout midterm election, making 2018 a historic victory. Nancy Pelosi will likely also make history, as there are very few speakers who have ever lost control of the House only to later wrest it back. This was a historic victory for Democrats, there's no doubt about it. Biggest midterm win since 1974, in fact."

 

2
   Newt's district flipped

This one would work best, of course, for a Democrat sitting across the table from Newt Gingrich himself. But it'll still work to a lesser degree, even if Newtie isn't in the room.

"For decades Republicans have been gerrymandering House districts to favor them based on the assumption that suburbanites would always reliably vote Republican. That shifted in a major way in 2018. Democrats won suburban House district after suburban House district -- districts that had been designed to always be reliably Republican. In Georgia, Democrats just won Newt Gingrich's old House district, after closely losing a special election there last year. If even Gingrich's old district is trending blue, it shows that Republicans have a lot to worry about. All of a sudden, one of their big voting blocs has shifted. Whether it is a permanent shift or just a reaction to Donald Trump remains to be seen, but on Tuesday night it handed Democrats a whole lot of House seats -- including even Newt's old seat."

 

3
   Obamacare won big time

Few have drawn this particular conclusion, but it seems obvious to us.

"You know what was the biggest winner in this election cycle? Obamacare. It's tough to even overstate this fact, so let me count a few of the ways Obamacare won. First, Republican candidates stopped campaigning on 'repeal and replace.' After the fiasco last year, Republicans -- for the first time since it passed -- were actually on the defensive on all of the most popular aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Republican after Republican stood up and lied their faces off about how they were the ones who should be trusted to preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The Democratic House will happily give them all a chance to do so, early next year, by forcing the issue to a vote. And after the election was over, Mitch McConnell sheepishly admitted that repealing Obamacare is no longer on the agenda for the Senate. Meanwhile, Medicaid expansion -- another aspect of Obamacare -- was approved by the voters in Idaho and in Nebraska and in Utah. Red state after red state is realizing that seeing rural hospitals close is the price their partisan rejection of all things Obamacare is forcing them to pay, and deciding that it just isn't worth it. The number of states which have not expanded Medicaid continues to shrink, every single year. All around, the 2018 election results showed enormous support for Obamacare from politicians and from the voters themselves. Which is why Obamacare was truly the biggest winner Tuesday night."

 

4
   It's not just Medicaid expansion, either

Democratic issues continue to do well even in the reddest states.

"It's not just Medicaid expansion, either. Several Democratic agenda items won big at the ballot box this week. Arkansas and Missouri both voted to raise their minimum wage, even though Republicans in both states fought it tooth and nail. Medical marijuana won in two very red states as well. Voting reforms which take the redistricting process away from gerrymander-happy politicians won in three states. When the people are given a chance to directly weigh in on Democratic agenda items, they win even in the reddest places."

 

5
   Taking back the statehouses

This is really important to point out, because so few people are currently doing so.

"Democrats had huge successes down the ballot, too. From the time Barack Obama became president, Democrats had lost over 900 state legislative seats to the Republicans. This year, they took back 300 of them. By doing so, they gained total control of six states, winning not only control of both houses of the state legislature but also the governor's office. They broke total Republican control in four other states, by either winning the governor's seat or flipping a legislative house. Democrats achieved veto-proof supermajorities in two state chambers, and broke GOP supermajorities in another three states. You can argue about whether this election was a wave or not until you're blue in the face, but the fact remains that Democrats just made historic gains at the state level, reversing a decade-long trend."

 

6
   Democrats aren't afraid of minorities, they send them to Washington

This really needs pointing out, after Trump's incredible bout of fearmongering during the campaign.

"Republicans see all minorities as 'the other' and run blatantly racist ads trying to scare their voters with naked fearmongering. Democrats, on the other hand, welcome diversity in their ranks. I've lost count of how many 'firsts' Democratic candidates made this year -- first Somali woman going to Congress, first Native-American women, first Muslim woman, first lesbian mom, and the youngest woman ever elected to the House, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Democrats welcome all in their ranks and celebrate their historic achievements. But Democrats also welcome to their ranks a whole bunch of white suburban women who have historically voted Republican. In the Democratic Party, all are welcome! In fact, we'd strongly encourage all of these demographics to find a permanent home in the Democratic Party, because the Republicans seem to be doubling down on white rage and fear."

 

7
   Keep your eyes on Florida

This can't be said enough, really.

"Currently in the state of Florida, both the Senate and governor's races are heading to recounts. Out of over eight million votes cast, the margin in the governor's race between the Democrat and the Republicans stands at fewer than 40,000 votes. In the Senate race, there is currently only a gap of 15,000 votes. Out of eight million total votes. Florida is no stranger to recounts, of course, as anyone who remembers Bush v. Gore from 2000 already knows. The state has been almost perfectly balanced on the partisan divide for a long time, in fact. Now consider the fact that in the next presidential election, over a million and a half people in Florida will be given the right to vote again. Not all of them will register, and not all of them will vote. But those who do might just remember which party it was that fought to give them their voting rights back and which party fought against it, don't you think? And, as the current recounts show, it really wouldn't take all that many additional votes to shift the entire state of Florida from purple to blue. So I'll be watching the state very closely in the 2020 election, that's for sure."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

65 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Democrats' Biggest Midterm House Win Since Watergate”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    know who is a great proponent of obamacare in his state, and might make a great presidential candidate? senator doug jones of alabama. i don't know much about the skeletons he may have buried, but that guy can really sell progressive reforms in ways that a "regular joe" can understand.

    JL

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    also i've heard a rumor he likes pie...

  3. [3] 
    Paula wrote:

    I think what happened on election night was the apparent losses by Gillum and Abrams pretty early-on, and, if I remember correctly, Nate Silver did a sudden change in his forecast leading us to think we might not get the House after all. It was something like that - just took the wind out of our sails for an hour or so. For me personally it "triggered" memories of the despair of 2016 election night and I know others felt like that. So when wins started trickling in we had to pull out of a funk. The thing that cranked me up was Kobach's loss. That created cheers and we went up from there.

    Another factor was the increase in mail-in voting meant a lot of races weren't called quickly so even more wins took hours/days to materialize.

    It was pretty late before we learned Scott Walker unexpectedly lost. Etc.

    Next day we had Tiny's crazy presser and Sessions firing, which, of course, kept us from being able to bask in the building wave. And then the drama in Florida and Georgia commenced. Florida triggers memories of 2000 -- which, in my view, was the event that ushered in the modern-abusive-GOP.

    So Tiny's antics & Rick Scott's treachery kept us from enjoying the successes we'd achieved. Bastards.

    And then, too, we're now in the lame duck period during which I anticipate a lot of bad crap as Tiny/GOP try to take advantage of their final weeks holding the House as well as Senate. So while we have things to celebrate we also have to survive the next several weeks with Tiny operating in "cornered rat" mode.

    What happened with the mid-terms wasn't the end of the war. It was that we received a new shipment of ammo, troops, supplies. There's still a bunch of battles looming. I feel much better about our ability to prevail but the ultimate fights are still ahead.

  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    some people think obama was elected twice on the strength of his character or intellect. i know different:

    http://blog.foodydirect.com/index.php/obamafavepie/

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: In the House, several big GOP names went down, including Pete Sessions and Dave Brat.

    You mean Pete Sessions, son of former FBI Director William S. Sessions... the Pete Sessions who is Washington DC's most powerful anti-marijuana official and Chairman of the House Rules Committee who uses his position to stifle amendments to protect legal marijuana, the 11-term soon to be ex-Representative of Texas's 32nd congressional district who was the recent object of a massive "get out the vote to get Pete out" effort... that Pete Sessions?

    Never heard of him. ;)

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    Kim Davis appears to have lost. The clerk in Rowan County, Ky., became a folk hero to social conservatives after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. She trails Democrat Elwood Caudill by 54 to 46 percent, with 89 percent of precincts reporting.

    God has smote down the jailbird. I reckon she should have prayed harder.

    "I picked the wrong time to stop being a Democrat." ~ Kim Davis (R)

    {fake quote}

  7. [7] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Beto O'Rourke is the most disappointing Democrat of the week? Because he could only come within 3 of beating Cruz?What about the turnout numbers? What about the Hispanic community organization he inspired? What about the small donors he motivated? What about the down ballot wins he enabled?

    Beto = MDDOTW? With all due respect, that's one of the most short-sighted, and downright stupidest, things I've read on this blog, and that includes the crap that posters from the right used to put in comments.

  8. [8] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Today is the 29th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I partied that night. We knew the war had been won.

    I'm sorry if I've been sounding like an eeyore since the election, but I was taught by people I respect that you never celebrate until the enemy is not only defeated, but crushed to the point he can't rise back. The Prague Spring was the object lesson behind that.

    So I never celebrated when unknown persons destroyed the spoofing radio beacons that East Germany employed in attempts to lure aircraft out of the Berlin corridors, or when the commanding general crossed the bridge as the last uniformed Russian to leave Afghanistan. Or when Poland broke its Soviet bonds. Or when the Ceaucescus fled for their lives. I did celebrate when they became the last Romanians ever sentenced to death, and faced their firing squads. But that was some weeks after the Wall fell and was largely just satisfying denouement.

    So, lift a glass to commemorate the breach of the Wall; it was the iconic symbol of the collapse of the Soviet empire. I'll lift a glass, too, if and when Matthew Whitaker is forced to recuse and/or resign; perhaps it will be an iconic symbol of the collapse of the Trumps. I'll look ahead with anticipation when the new Congress is seated and it's the beginning of the end.

    I hope you here will accept my apology when I won't celebrate this wonderful Democratic victory. It's an important battle won. It's not close to winning this war.

  9. [9] 
    neilm wrote:

    You know, I got a bit of a fright on Tuesday night when I watched Nate Silver's prediction drop from 7/8 to 5/9.

    Scary biscuits!

    But then I remembered CW's column reminding me to pay no attention to the early numbers, and I just sat back and watched the biggest midterm win for Democrats since Watergate play out.

    Bring on 2020!

  10. [10] 
    neilm wrote:

    For the first time in his pathetic life Trump has a boss who can hold him accountable. He is already losing it. I don't expect him to become more rational, in fact I expect that the crazy we have seen to date will be just the appetizer.

    This new AG is on very dodgy constitutional ground, but I don't expect anything but compliance from the Republicans.

    The lame duck Congress will try to push through as many rich donor friendly bills as they can, and the Senate will go into overdrive with extremely partisan Judicial appointments.

    This is hardball politics, and the Democrats can't bring their "high road" thinking until they are powerful enough to impose it on both sides.

  11. [11] 
    neilm wrote:

    Great story in Oklahoma 5th - Dems win for first time since 1974!

  12. [12] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Seems Trump is once again distancing himself from what could be a calamitous choice on his part... as of yesterday, seems he couldn't pick Matthew Whitaker out of a line-up. Let's have a quick reality check: Sessions was always going to be told to fall on his sword after the midterms. Whitaker, without congressional vetting, is merely a caretaker of the Mueller probe and unlikely to outright shut it down. It's more likely Whitaker is there to cut Mueller's budget, cut off any roads that lead to the Trump's finances or indictments, report back to the WH in great detail the scope of the investigation and to run interference for Trump when the final report is signed. I can't see even Trump is dim enough to think firing Mueller at this point will be anything short of political suicide, considering the Dems will have a full two years to publicly come to the same conclusions with their own house investigations. I'm not sure at this point whether Russian collusion is at the heart of Trump's angst over the Mueller probe, it's more likely he's having his collar felt over his past/present/future business practices...Trump is, after-all, nothing more than a self-aggrandizing crook, hell-bent on the acquisition personal wealth. Going into politics, Trump essentially hitched his wagon to whatever made his supporters bay loudest for. Trump isn't an ideologue, he has no external allegiances he wouldn't jettison the moment they became unpopular, as we'll see in the run-up to 2020. We see in real time how Trump's relationship's with people can go from mutual admiration to venomous Twittertribes at the drop of a red hat *(there's no 'hatred' without 'red hat'), as Cohen, Manafort, Pecker, Macron, Trudeau and countless others can attest.

    Trump will always be his own worst enemy. It will be amusing to watch him devolve into full-blown lunacy over the next 24 months, as he stumbles from one catastrophe to the next.

    I had to chuckle at the historical irony of Trump going to France for the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice. The Trump family probably shiver at the mere mention of WW1, considering the patriarch of the American wing of the family actively dodged conscription into the German army and was ultimately run out of Germany ahead of a Freikorps drumhead court. Add Trump's personal reasons for not engaging in small talk about ancestral profiles in courage at cocktail party's to the national uneasiness at these ceremonies, and you get a grumpy-Trump. Now don't get me wrong, America played a vital role in WW1, millions chose to fight, millions more added to the overall war effort, but history has been less kind to actual participation than it has to the overall effect. The US, while aiding the allies with cash and materiel, remained neutral until Feb 6, 1917, it wasn't until German overtures to the Mexican gov't pledging aid in the retaking of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona that the US decided to act out of self-preservation. When the GI's finally arrived on the continent in 1918, the tide was already turning against Germany, the extra manpower in the field arguably forced the Germans to surrender sooner than later, but the writing was on the wall as Germany stood no chance of victory once they realised the US and its economy would soon come to bear. It's at war's end that the American Great War romantic notions need a little more than just tempering. At the treaty of Versailles, the main combatants heaped onerous repercussions on Germany for the war, largely ignoring Woodrow Wilson's 'Fourteen Point' plan. Wilson, deciding his domestic political life was more important than post-war European concerns, let the French and British embitterment dictate treaty demands. Most historians see this as the worst thing Wilson could have done, as it gave rise to national Socialism in Germany and the likes of Hitler. Wilson's buckling at a crucial point didn't do him any good either, he went on to lose the next election which in turn led to the US not ratifying the peace treaty and subsequent failure to join the League of Nations, a global body he himself had dreamt up...

    So, if Trump is allowed to speak at any events on Nov 11th, no doubt he'll make a complete shambles of it, but keep in mind, it's not his complete and utter ignorance of historical fact, some of the problem might be a national 'reparsing' of its role throughout.

    " In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place: and in the sky
    The larks still bravely singing fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below."

    LL&P

  13. [13] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [3] and others:

    I'm with you all in the trenches. Yes, we can grimly celebrate our successes of this last week - historic because it had to be, to make up for years of neglect and party ossification. Making up a third of our losses means that two-thirds of our losses still remain unanswered, to state the obvious.

    But the Death Star still hovers overhead, and Emperor Nectarine in still in charge. That casts an ominous pall on the party, no matter how drunk the Ewoks get.

    Now is the time to re-assess, to examine both our wins and our losses for clues to how to fight the larger battle yet to come in 2020.

    So Chis, if you happen to detect an underlying sobriety in your fellow Democrats, remember that many of us are still living behind enemy lines, so to speak, and that for many of us our state leadership, local officials, and legislature are still rosy-cheeked Republicans, and there is still a resistance out here that needs to be organized.

    In a sense, we're the like grizzled vets in war movies, who say to the still-green recruit: "Yeah, we got 'em good this time. But I remember the war of '16, and we thought we had 'em good then too, and then - the horror. Have a drink on me tonight, kid, but don't forget that tomorrow the war begins again, and it ain't over 'til it's over for good."

  14. [14] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    JTC [12]: Nice try at casting Wilson as the villain of Versailles, but the truth is that his allies left him with few other options.

    America stayed out of that war as long as it could because many in America, and not just the isolationists, were wary of Europe's tendency to regularly descend into bloody fratricide, a concern that went all the way back to George Washington.

    So lots of folks were upset that we were even drawn into that unnecessary bloodbath in the first place, and pissed that it resulted in an outbreak of the 'Spanish flu' stateside, resulting in the deaths of nearly 20 million mostly young victims.

    So it's not surprising at all that the same considerations delayed America's entry into the second war to break out there just 20 years later.

    If as you say, the 'tide was already turning against Germany' when the US arrived in 1918 - that being a matter of dispute among historians, by the way - it is indisputable that such was not the case when we arrived twenty years later: without US intervention, that war was already lost.

    After that second bloodbath, the US decided, 'Fuck it, we'll just keep troops in Europe in case something new flares up.' And that somehow worked, even though the Soviets occupied the half of Europe that we hadn't reached. We kept them at bay too.

    But now Europe is again challenged by a right-wing on the march, and this time the US leader is a buffoon that supports nationalists, rather than a scholar that doesn't. Will Europe rise to the occasion and defend its advanced democracies against this emerging threat, or bicker, cower and relent, as they've done in the past?

    The latter, if Britain is any measure. Teresa May keeps trying to stick lipstick on the Brexit pig even as evidence piles up that the whole thing was a Putin inspired project designed to divide the EU.

    Italy has already (again) fallen to the fascists. Only a matter of time before Merkel succumbs as well, and we're back to being up to our necks in jack-booted thugs, this time with both Russian and US backing. If that doesn't send a chill up your spine, then you don't know history at all.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LB,

    I hope you here will accept my apology when I won't celebrate this wonderful Democratic victory.

    You can celebrate or not. That's totally up to you and nothing to apologize for.

    However, you should apologize for completely misinterpreting the sentiment behind the MDDOTW. It had nothing to do with Beto's character or his prowess as a candidate.

    He lost! And, THAT was a big disappointment ... to many Americans, I presume.

  16. [16] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Paula-3

    Your comment illustrates why I have given up watching real time election results trickle in on TV. It is like watching paint dry.

  17. [17] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Isn’t it wrong to say Beto was the MDDOTW since you aren’t disappointed in him, personally? He ran an incredible campaign and he and his supporters should be proud of how close they made this race in a typically safe district for Republicans. I view this award to be given to people who deserve our scorn for their poor choices, not those that did their very best but were still defeated.

    CW, just consider this:

    Trump did this same thing to the Republicans who lost their seats.

  18. [18] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Trump chose to skip out on attending the memorial services in France.

    Glad to see him demonstrating just how “pro-military” he truly is! I guess it isn’t just members of our military that get captured that he doesn’t respect...he cannot be bothered to show respect for those that made the ultimate sacrifice for this country!

  19. [19] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Was it the rain--or was it realising that none of it would be about him?

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @russ,

    agree, beto really doesn't deserve MDD. honestly i think that dishonor should be shared by kathleen williams (MT) and JD Scholten (IA-4), who failed to even come close to beating two men who have no business even running for dog catcher, much less Congress.

    JL

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I view this award to be given to people who deserve our scorn for their poor choices, not those that did their very best but were still defeated.

    The problem, in a nutshell, is how this award is viewed.

    I would have thought the these awards would have been thoroughly understood by now. Sheesh.

  22. [22] 
    John M wrote:

    [18] ListenWhenYouHear

    "Trump chose to skip out on attending the memorial services in France."

    [19] Mezzomamma

    "Was it the rain--or was it realising that none of it would be about him?"

    From French President Macron's speech, right in front of Trump:

    “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. In saying ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the others,’ you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: Its moral values.”

  23. [23] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Here's a depressing thought, while civilized nations reflect on the violence of the past...https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/11/gun-control-groups-nra-midterm-elections when will the US emerge from it's infancy. Little/big boys running around with their cap-guns/AR's, because Mummy/NRA says they can.

    Why build a wall, when no one in their right mind wants to enter for fear of catching a burst of welcoming crossfire?

    LL&Pistols at dawn.

  24. [24] 
    James T Canuck wrote:
  25. [25] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Liz,

    The problem, in a nutshell, is how this award is viewed.

    I would have thought the these awards would have been thoroughly understood by now. Sheesh.

    Sorry, I am slow to raise issue with this as usually it is given to the actual Democrat that CW believes has disappointed everyone, and not the most disappointing news story featuring a Democrat.

    The fact that CW didn’t choose to post how the contact Beto regarding this award seems to support my point, but I guess you just understand these things better than I do.

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yeah, I guess you're right.

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why is everyone here, of all places, so hypersensitive?

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    America will not solve any of its critical let alone existential problems in a veritable sea of hypersensitivity.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, not everyone … but, geez ...

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Does anyone want to talk about why Democrats are not making climate change their number one issue in the age of know-nothing Trumpism?

    After all, it is one of the existential issues, y'know ...

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sorry, I am slow to raise issue with this as usually it is given to the actual Democrat that CW believes has disappointed everyone, and not the most disappointing news story featuring a Democrat.

    I think the MDDOTW award has historically been given out in both of those circumstances and at least one of them involved Biden. :)

    Being a Weigantian means never having to say you're sorry. Heh.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's always okay to APPLE-oh-gize, though.

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:

    It's now six days since the morning after the election and i've had enough time to read and process a fair number of "after action" reports from various players in the " NewsOverse." I must say that the Friday Talking Points account ranks very high in terms of that delicate balance between readability and completeness. There are advantages to being small and agile.

    The term "wave election" has been used a lot lately by just about everybody....but does the term really mean anything...or the same thing to different commenators? There are lots of different physical waves. Are there differnt kinds of political waves as well?Since Democrats and Republicans agree on very little, I have to wonder. Before I got on the wave wave I used the term herd or herd effect instead of wave. I think herd is better, but we are all slaves to communication fashion.

  34. [34] 
    John M wrote:

    [27] Elizabeth Miller

    "Why is everyone here, of all places, so hypersensitive?"

    Elizabeth, part of it may have to do with the fact that "hypersensitivity" is one of the charges the right always levels at the the left in order to dismiss them and be condescending to them whenever the left complains about social injustice issues. Do you know how many times I used to hear that gays who are "civil" have civil rights? That's like patting a woman on the head and telling her not to worry her pretty little self while the men discuss and make all the political decisions. I'm sorry, but no one EVER handed you your rights on a silver platter. It goes part and parcel with the use of terms like "snowflake" and claiming college students are against any kind of speech they don't themselves agree with. Charges of being too politically correct are in this same vein also. When what the right really wants is simply to be able to freely express their bigotry without being called on it like in the good old days of yore. But as we have also seen with President Trump, rhetoric and tone does have real world consequences in giving the unstable license and sanction to act on their worst impulses.

  35. [35] 
    John M wrote:

    [30] Elizabeth Miller

    "Does anyone want to talk about why Democrats are not making climate change their number one issue in the age of know-nothing Trumpism?"

    Because of the nature of the debate in American, Climate change itself is not a winning issue. Not alone by itself. It's portrayed as a "hoax" or as a kooky left wing socialist issue being used to raise taxes and wreck the economy. And while not true, it has resonated with a lot of voters. Democrats won on protecting health care and acting as a check on Trump's worst impulses. If you want to win on climate change, it needs to be packaged differently as an innovative economic stimulus, green jobs creator, and competitive advantage selling point.

  36. [36] 
    Paula wrote:

    [16] TS: Actually, I didn't watch any returns on TV at all - I was following returns online, primarily via DailyKos Live Elections. Also Twitter.

    In comments along the way there were references to what people were doing/saying on cable news, as well as Nate Silver.

    I can't stand most of the talking head stuff these days and don't watch it. I get my internet access through cable but don't get cable TV, nor the Dish nor anything else. The only network television I've watched in the last few years has been the occasional SNL. I watch segments posted online at times, mostly of Rachel Maddow, but sometimes others. I watch CSPAN online for things like the Kavanaugh hearings.

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    15

    However, you should apologize for completely misinterpreting the sentiment behind the MDDOTW. It had nothing to do with Beto's character or his prowess as a candidate.

    Apologize to who? The adult who writes this blog? Maybe it's just me, but I feel quite certain CW is well equipped to suffer the slings and arrows and sheer horror of having a commenter disagree with his opinion. I would wager LB will apologize for having a differing opinion when Paula and I apologize for our regular posts that don't meet Elizabeth Miller's definition of "common decency"... which is going to happen in approximately that quantity of time that is typically referred to as never.

  38. [38] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    18

    Glad to see him demonstrating just how “pro-military” he truly is! I guess it isn’t just members of our military that get captured that he doesn’t respect...he cannot be bothered to show respect for those that made the ultimate sacrifice for this country!

    I can report that they noticed and called him some choice words similar to and exactly like what he says he grabs women by without asking.

    I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon. ~ Donald Trump speaking about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

    *shakes head* I really believe that it's time the gullible minions figured out that Benedict Donald is a pathological lying con artist. If Trump could send John Kelly by vehicle, then he could have gone himself. If Obama had done something similar, the heads of the right-wing sycophants would have exploded. Obama didn't wear a flag lapel pin! Obama saluted with a cup in his hand! OMG! Imagine if Obama was a "no show" to an event where the other world leaders managed to attend.

    The so-called Party of taking responsibility for your actions has become the Party of whining grievance who will blame anyone and anything while excusing themselves and Hair Dick Tater for anything and everything. #Pathetic

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    27

    Why is everyone here, of all places, so hypersensitive?

    Wait, what?! The self-appointed board monitor who is requesting an apology for a differing opinion and routinely whines about "common decency" and language wants to know why "everyone here" is "so hypersensitive."

    You first. :)

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What are you going on about, Kick?

    Why do you think an existential issue like climate change gets such short shrift by American pols in Washington?

    I think Democrats can make this a winning issue against Trump without lifting a finger. Same for why the apparent excellent economy has many flaws about it.

    What is wrong with Democrats?

    And, of course, I ask with reference to 2020 ...

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think you should APPLE-oh-gize, Kick, just for being here. :)

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    And while not true, it has resonated with a lot of voters.

    What cam Democrats do about that, with just a little effort?

  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i'll apple-pie-ologize!

  44. [44] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    40

    Why do you think an existential issue like climate change gets such short shrift by American pols in Washington?

    Because the ones in charge right now are more interested in making money via those whose primary concern is also making money via fossil fuels and methane.

    I think Democrats can make this a winning issue against Trump without lifting a finger.

    You most likely believe that because it's high on your list of priorities. While I do believe Democrats can make climate change a winning issue in California without lifting a finger, I think they'd lose a lot of fingers if they tried that line of "codswallop" in many parts of Texas, Oklahoma, etc. As always, "codswallop" happens to be in the eye of the beholder. You frequently comment about Trump winning in 2020 which makes me laugh out loud. I'll let you in on a little secret: There are more indictments coming. :)

    What is wrong with Democrats?

    Which Democrat? Democrats are not easily lumped and labelled under one definition; they're a Party of diverse people with different ideas from sea to shining sea.

  45. [45] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Elizabeth,

    Did you happen to catch this article, posted today at Huffpo?

    Now Is The Time To Act On Climate, Environmentalists Say. Voters Aren’t So Sure.

  46. [46] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Balty… You're somewhat vaguely right about my grasp of historical political fact, my focus has always been, Germany between the wars. I don't blame you for your blinkered opinion of American WW1 lore, I respect it as consistency.

    And now for something completely relatable... I wasn't wrong about Herr Drumph. Missing memorial ceremonies in the rain because, wet, your hair looks like you wear a pancake-toupee, is evidence that remembrance means nothing to some. Is it any wonder Trump talks a good military, but is scared by its details; grandson of a draft dodger, draft dodging grifter that he is.

    Back to the "purple state' that is Florida, luckily, in a generation or two, most of it will be under water...because climate change doesn't exist. SMH. Maybe they'll get their voting shit in order while there's still time.

    LL&P

  47. [47] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Balty… You're somewhat vaguely right about my grasp of historical political fact, my focus has always been, Germany between the wars. I don't blame you for your blinkered opinion of American WW1 lore, I respect it as consistency.

    And now for something completely relatable... I wasn't wrong about Herr Drumph. Missing memorial ceremonies in the rain because, wet, your hair looks like you wear a pancake-toupee, is evidence that remembrance means nothing to some. Is it any wonder Trump talks a good military, but is scared by its details; grandson of a draft dodger, draft dodging grifter that he is.

    Back to the "purple state' that is Florida, luckily, in a generation or two, most of it will be under water...because climate change doesn't exist. SMH. Maybe they'll get their voting shit in order while there's still time.

    LL&P

  48. [48] 
    Paula wrote:

    In the category of "hmmmm" - FOX News has not been active on twitter for several days now; Wikileaks for last 2 or 3, and today Matt Drudge deleted all his tweets.

    Rupert Murdoch met with Tiny last week and Tiny has kind of gone into hiding.

    Hoping more indictments are about to drop. There are rumors, but then there always are...

  49. [49] 
    Paula wrote:

    Just read National Enquirer has gone off Twitter too.

    Interesting.

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    You most likely believe that because it's high on your list of priorities.

    Shouldn't a habitable planet be high on anyone's list?

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    While I do believe Democrats can make climate change a winning issue in California without lifting a finger, I think they'd lose a lot of fingers if they tried that line of "codswallop" in many parts of Texas, Oklahoma, etc. As always, "codswallop" happens to be in the eye of the beholder. You frequently comment about Trump winning in 2020 which makes me laugh out loud. I'll let you in on a little secret: There are more indictments coming.

    The first part of that is why US politics is steadily devolving, just like the devolutionary media.

    Standard practice of the DoJ is that you don't indict a sitting president. I suppose that could change …

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I didn't catch that, Balthasar … can you give a quick summary … no time right now ...

  53. [53] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was officially announced as the winner of Arizona’s Senate race on Monday.

  54. [54] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    MyVoice,

    That’s a great win for that state! And she is the first openly bisexual woman elected to Congress, which has to make the evangelicals shudder in disgust.

  55. [55] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was officially announced as the winner of Arizona’s Senate race on Monday.

    I love that name. Another one bites the dust! McConnell may not get his bulletproof majority after all.

  56. [56] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Paula-16

    I dumped cable about a decade ago and I understand cable as-we-know-it will be dead in about 3 years. Hopefully with a stake of holly thru its cold expensive heart.

    The only on-air TV I watch with any frequency is my local PBS station - which has (by far) the best content, best image and best audio quality. That said, I don't like PBS nightly news much better than the commercial equivalents...it suffers from many the same flaws.

    I'm of the opinion that real time news is like fast food...addictive but harmful to your well being if consumed on a regular basis. I rely on online NYT and WAPO for most of my news coverage...and my weekly hard copy of the New Yorker magazine. I get a lot snippets from other newspapers and magazines online.

    I must say that I find Twitter to be an utterly worthless waste of time. YouTube has some good stuff, but their presentation algorithm tends to overly favor contentious fluff and outright lies...and since I don't think it's good enough to warrant a paid subscription, it's bogged down by short commercials.

    CW.com is like my local one-off local deli. Good food, good converstion and easy to get to.

  57. [57] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    We have been assured daily for more than two yrs that the Russians are hacking every single one of our elections. So, do we now conclude that the Dem House of Rep's victory indicate that the Russians have switched their allegiance???

    Or could it be that the Weigantian haste to rationalize Clinton's loss by shouting "collusion" may have been misguided???

  58. [58] 
    Paula wrote:

    [56] TS: I hear you re: cable.

    I must say that I find Twitter to be an utterly worthless waste of time.

    Twitter's value is hugely dependent on who you follow. Twitter is where news breaks first (if you're following good reporters) and it also is an outlet for activism. People expressing outrage on twitter has actually caused (or played a significant role) actions that matter - for instance, this Whitaker AG thing - he's been pushed back and back and back because as soon as he was announced his history was mined and shared online and Twitter played a big role in that. Moms Demand Change on gun control is very active on Twitter as well and there's a very effective twitter hashtag that appeared a few days ago (#ThisIsOurLane) in which ER and other doctors began responding to the NRA/Ann Coulter saying MD's don't know anything about guns. Doctors began posting stories about digging bullets out of patients and it caught fire and further de-legitimizes the NRA.

    If you don't like Twitter, evaluate who you're following and follow better people.

    Also, you really should start frequenting DailyKos. DailyKos is dedicated to "more and better Democrats". It is partisan, yes. But it is NOT inaccurate and they follow a lot of stories that don't get wide coverage but are important - stuff happening in State Houses, etc. as well as the "big" stories.

    Try it for a few weeks and see what you think!

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    50

    Shouldn't a habitable planet be high on anyone's list?

    Sounds good on paper, doesn't it? But context matters; it matters a lot. Also, whose list are you talking about? "Anyone's list"? Anyone covers a lot of people with a lot of lists. Your context is climate change as a "winning issue" for the Democratic Party "without lifting a finger," but that is without question a really big lift on a national basis because it's a complicated issue in context. When the national minimum wage remains fixed for a decade while everything is going up but your paycheck, it's an awfully hard sell to an extremely large portion of the electorate to voluntarily have their taxes raised in order to fund activism on climate change. Let the Green Party run on the issue of climate change. Democrats should be laser focused on "people not PACS"... borrowed from Beto O'Rourke who pretty much ran the equivalent of the Barack Obama campaign in Texas, although a little further to the left to reflect progress made since Obama's initial campaign.

    Focus on "people not PACs" means making decisions that advance the interests of America's middle and working classes and not the interest of corporations and corporate donors. Democrats should focus on the stark differences between Republicans rhetoric versus what they've actually delivered and campaign on these stark differences and the protection of the middle/working classes:

    * the right of health care
    * the right of an education, extension of public education beyond K-12, the millions of jobs that go unfilled because Americans aren't educated
    * the right to a living wage
    -- (a) raising wages of middle/working classes -- fight for $15
    -- (b) lowering taxes
    * the right to vote without the myriad of ways to be disenfranchised
    * the right to clean water/air <--- your climate change in less complicated terms

    "People, not PACs." That should be the focus of the Democratic Party if their aim is to grow their voter base... my opinion, of course. :)

  60. [60] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    51

    The first part of that is why US politics is steadily devolving, just like the devolutionary media.

    Thank you, Elizabeth.

    Standard practice of the DoJ is that you don't indict a sitting president. I suppose that could change …

    A memorandum opinion written in 1973 by Tricky Dick's DOJ to protect Nixon and a similar memorandum written in 2000 AB... after Bill, neither of which were concerned in any way whatsoever regarding the issue of whether or not the sitting president committed crimes that concern his winning the election through illegal means on multiple levels.

    Things can change when circumstances change. Did the framers of the Constitution intend to allow a sitting president to be permitted to retain the office of the presidency after having committed crimes to attain that office? I'm guessing not... based on the list of grievances contained in their Declaration of Independence.

    Maybe a deal can be struck among the United States and the guilty perpetrators to avoid lengthy litigation; it's working out fairly well along those lines so far. I don't see why Trump should be any different than the other perps. No one is above the law in the United States: Absolutely no one. :)

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But context matters; it matters a lot.

    Indeed it does, Kick.

    And never more so than when talking about the decreasing habitability of our home planet Earth. N
    Now, there's some context for you!

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thank you, Elizabeth.

    Misplaced sarcasm, Kick.

    That statement wasn't directed at you but at the accurate picture you drew of the American electorate, as a whole.

  63. [63] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    61

    Indeed it does, Kick.

    And never more so than when talking about the decreasing habitability of our home planet Earth. N

    Right, Elizabeth, which you astonishingly believe the Democratic Party could make a "winning issue" against Donald Trump "without lifting a finger," and which I am telling you now would be side-splitting comedy to a vast majority of Americans whose primary concern at the present time is not remotely climate change on our "home planet Earth."

    Saving the "home planet" would be a great platform for the Democratic Party versus the Trumpublicans if we were having a general election in the United States at the same time Earth was under attack by an enormous alien mothership with fortress saucers hovered over the White House and major cities of the world... a scenario resembling the plot of Independence Day. Of course, Trump wouldn't join the other world leaders and rise to the occasion because he's not mentally equipped to lead; he'd be the same little bitch whining and tweeting about "America First" and how we weren't concerned with defense of the home planet or our NATO allies who haven't met their 2% of GDP.

    Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests.
    ~ Bill Pullman, President Thomas J. Whitmore

  64. [64] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    62

    Misplaced sarcasm, Kick.

    That statement wasn't directed at you but at the accurate picture you drew of the American electorate, as a whole.

    *laughs* Nope, not sarcasm at all, Elizabeth, rather a "thank you" for your continued and unceasing sentiments regarding the "devolving" politics of the United States.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/08/15/the-iron-stache-wins-his-primary/#comment-124599

    You might remember we have had this discussion before about "how low can the bar go" where you opine that "US politics is steadily devolving."

    The sitting Vice President of the United States fatally wounded the former Secretary of the Treasury in 1804. The bar goes quite low... up to and including murder, treason, adultery, children out of wedlock, breaking and entering, Watergate... RICO charges to be named later, etc.

    People have been expressing similar sentiments to yours for centuries, but "thank you" for your concern.

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Are you a climate change denier, Kick?

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