I guess we should get the sparse good news out of the way first and congratulate Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada on their election to the U.S. Senate. Also, closer to home, Josh Shapiro won election as PA’s Attorney General.
Update 1 11/11/16: I forgot about Kamala Harris winning a U.S. Senate seat in California; sorry about that – kudos (here).
Update 2 11/11/16: I also forgot about Perry Warren winning Steve Santarsiero's old seat for PA-31 - nice work indeed! (here)
Aside from that – yeah, it was pretty much an electoral bloodbath. And I don’t know if this is the “conventional wisdom” or not (not that I care about that), but as far as I’m concerned, we all had a hand in it.
God knows I don’t want to give The Big Orange Cheetoh and his minions credit for anything, but I have a feeling that they had some kind of media strategy going on to the effect of “oh, we’re so disorganized, we don’t have a ground game, we’re not doing enough advertising,” and everybody bought that line including me (not including all the free media time Trump got generally of course, and yeah, I know HRC got a lot too). Not that this is a particularly brilliant observation on my part (indeed none of this is I know), but as I may have mentioned, I found myself driving in the lower/upper suburbs of Bucks County about a month ago, and prominent signs for EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE were everywhere. Somebody in that gang had to have their act together to enable something like that, and just imagine that being played out on a national scale, which I’m sure it was (our side tried hard to match that, but we just don’t have the money and the ground game to pull that off like they do).
Still, before we get too discouraged over this, I’d like to point out the following from here: namely, that if a fraction of those who supported that fool Gary Johnson and Jill Stein had supported Hillary Clinton instead in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida, HRC would be our new president-elect. So, as in 2000 (which you have to put an asterisk next to anyway as far as I’m concerned), the most important lesson is this – when our side turns out to vote, particularly for president, the other side can’t stop us unless they have at least one third-party candidate (and I KNOW Johnson was funded by the Repugs and I have a feeling we’ll find out that Jill Stein was also – to his great credit, at least Johnson’s running mate and former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld was honorable enough to tell everyone to vote for Clinton instead since he realized what was going on). Also, if you were one of those supposedly “principled” individuals who thought, “Oh, both Trump and Clinton are equally corrupt, so I’m voting third-party” (which is horseshit anyway – more on that later) and did that even though YOU WERE WARNED that doing that would help Trump, then congratulations. Because of your supposed “principles,” you’re going to end up inflicting all kinds of misery that I’ll try to describe later in this diatribe (I also think third parties now should be illegal until we have serious campaign finance reform in this country to prevent this from ever happening again - try kicking that around a bit).
Also, though she lost, Katie McGinty put up more of a fight in losing to Pat Toomey than I thought she would. I got genuinely steamed at her for the trouble she had over Toomey’s BS about McGinty supposedly supporting “sanctuary cities.” That’s a typical nothing GOP talking point that they were able to propagate through their own myriad of conservative media and web sites – she should have just said, “I’m running for the U.S. Senate, not mayor of Philadelphia, and apparently Toomey doesn’t know the difference.” Still, though, there were positives in her campaign, for what it’s worth, though I must tell you that I’m now wondering why Joe Sestak was apparently so bad as far as the PA Dem establishment was concerned; he almost pulled off an electoral miracle in 2010 and he might have done it on Tuesday (yeah I know, woulda, coulda, shoulda…).
Speaking of putting up a fight, I think Steve Santarsiero deserves credit for doing that against Brian Fitzpatrick. The biggest problem Steve faced though, as far as I’m concerned, is that PA-08 is redder of a district than the “conventional wisdom” again supposedly tells us, especially after it was redrawn in 2010 to remove the Montco and Philadelphia sections that were included and were instrumental in Patrick Murphy’s win in 2006. Again, our side fought hard, but the Republicans had more money and their own formidable ground game.
Oh, and as usual, the Bucks County Courier Times was a dutiful ally for Republicans overall. Do you know that, in their endorsements that they published on Election Day, they didn’t even include an endorsement for president? They totally punted on an election where a woman nominee was at the top of the ticket for the first time in this country’s history (and do you really have to ask whether or not they endorsed Toomey and Brian Fitzpatrick, the latter with no record of constituent service whatsoever as opposed to Steve’s years in the PA House and the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors?). Of course, with Trump’s win, his ugly mug has been plastered all over the front page for the last two days.
Another note – I have it on very good information from a friend who I won’t mention that this person submitted a letter to the editor criticizing Brian Fitzpatrick that wasn’t published. My friend contacted editor Guy Petroziello to find out why, and my friend was told that the letter was sent to Fitzpatrick and Petroziello was told that the letter was untrue, so it wasn’t published. Seriously.
That’s all right – this will be the last election in which we’ll be a subscriber to that “newspaper.”
And as long as I’m going down the list of people who deserve to be called out, I should mention that “Democrat” Shaughnessy Naughton, who sent a letter to us endorsing McGinty that arrived at Le Manse Doomsy THE DAY BEFORE THE ELECTION! Gee, why didn’t you wait a little longer so we’d gotten it THE DAY OF the election instead?
Also, to be fair, I want to call out myself a bit here for a stupid thing that I did. I put up a video a week or so ago of Hubert Humphrey’s concession speech and said that “Donald Drumpf” should use that as a model when the time comes for him to concede (yeah, I know – duuuuh!). One of the reasons why I did that was because every time I went to Daily Kos, they had a graph at the top of the site showing that Hillary Clinton had a 90-percent-or-something chance of winning. I admire Markos Moulitsas a lot, but he got fooled on this like the rest of us did. Also, speaking of Daily Kos, I kept going to the site to find out what kind of organizing was going on for Steve Santarsiero and related news for his campaign, but I couldn’t find anything even though Steve is a great progressive. That’s partly my fault too because I didn’t write any diaries about the campaign, something I surely would have done in prior years with less going on. I don’t know how much difference that would have made in the final outcome, but it wouldn’t have hurt (also, when it comes to viral videos, the so-called “Dem Rapid Response” channel completely fell down, and “Bold Progressives” and other Democratic-affiliated sites weren’t much better).
Update 11/30/16: As I said, I definitely admire Markos, particularly because I don’t know anyone else who can summon the passion he does over this stuff (here...and by the way, I've read the post twice and so far, I agree with every word, for what it's worth). More than that, though, he gives us a blueprint for moving forward, which is much more important.
Here’s more stuff on this whole debacle that I think we should consider: this was the first presidential election without the protections (I would call them) of the Voting Rights Act, and as far as I’m concerned, that itself was responsible for the outcome in North Carolina. Also, this was the first presidential election without an incumbent since Citizens United, and the avalanche of dark money into last-minute ads in particular made the difference as nearly as I can tell.
(Oh, and speaking of money, I don’t think I can communicate how truly torturous this entire election was with the appeals from EVERYONE IN THE WORLD for money MANY, MANY TIMES! I know I personally set a record for unsubscribing from Email lists. I also got more hangups and people yelling at me when I did phone banking than I can ever recall. I’m not criticizing those folks – they were totally sick of the election, and I was too…hard for me to blame them. Our entire process for this is a corrupt joke, but if you think that’s going to be fixed with this bunch that will be sworn in, you truly are dreaming. This country has to start giving a shit about this stuff as much as they would when it comes to, say, booking an airline or a hotel reservation or tickets to a concert or sporting event, and I don’t foresee that in any way, shape or form, unfortunately, even in light of this.)
And oh yeah, I’m sure Trump will keep James Comey as head of the FBI now for his little escapade prior to the election, and Comey will probably get the Congressional Medal of Honor too.
And another thing…this election officially now marks the exit of the Clintons from public life. I know our corporate media is simply overjoyed by that, having manufactured all of their utter bullshit about supposedly leaked classified Emails from Clinton as well as charges of “access” (ZOMG! HORRORS!) granted to certain persons from the Clinton Foundation after sizeable donations which were also found to be utterly baseless (to say nothing of the Wikileaks garbage from that Putin flunky Julian Assange). Who cares if the careers of individuals who have devoted much of their lives to public service were utterly besmirched in the name of ratings, to say nothing of discouraging legions of young men and women from pursuing similar careers because they decided that they don’t want to deal with all of this utter garbage from the DC political/media/industrial complex? I, on the other hand, want to thank and salute the Clintons, because I consider them to be great Americans. My criticism of Hillary’s campaign is that I think she engaged in a little too much “rope-a-dope” by beating on Trump instead of talking about the bread-and-butter economic stuff Bernie Sanders did in his campaign (and because she was a little late on that, that created the opportunity for Stein and Johnson to pretend that they were inheriting the Sanders mantle, which they definitely WERE NOT), though Hillary did pivot back that way towards the end. And though I honestly don’t know if her field operations were as “data driven” as that of Obama in ’08, her campaign was good enough to win the popular vote, so she must have been doing something right (though, given the way things turned out, I don’t know what the hell she was doing in Arizona towards the end. And where did Tim Kaine go after that great opening speech of his and the debate?). The rule of thumb I kind of applied during this (which, with each passing day, took on an eerie resemblance to 2000) was “what are families talking about around their kitchen or dinner tables at the end of the day?” including us, and I think it largely was who would be a better candidate for president, not who ran the best attack ad. In the end, I think Hillary won that little contest, but not by the margin she needed to win the whole damn election (again, especially with two “independent” candidates included).
With all of that being said, I can tell you what we now have to look forward to under President-Elect Donald Trump (first time I’m typing that – dear God)…
(And by the way, love and kisses to Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer in New York, who waited WAY TOO DAMN LONG to rain some money down on the U.S. Senate campaign of Patrick E. Murphy in Florida against Marco Rubio, who won re-election with 52 percent of the vote. Ya’ think helping out earlier would have made a dif? Also, Chucky’s pal Evan Bayh bought it electorally in Indiana, so that was a waste of time and money too.)
Are you a fan of fetal “personhood” legislation (and from there, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to prosecuting doctors for murder for performing abortions)? Get ready for a federal bill that Trump (especially with the encouragement of VP Mike Pence, something also horrifying) will gladly sign into law (at least the Catholic Church will be happy). And of course, Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao will rush to confirm Trump’s nominee to fill the Scalia vacancy on the Supreme Court, and Trump will probably end up nominating another conservative when Ruth Bader Ginsburg steps down to make it 6-3 in Republican favor, to say nothing of the awful lower-court judges that Trump will nominate and a Republican congress will confirm (with untold misery from that alone probably for decades to come). Are you helped or are you a supporter of the Affordable Care LAW? Too bad – a bill repealing it also from Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao will also make it to Trump’s desk faster than you can say “The Ghost of Henry Hyde.” Probably 20 million people will now lose their health coverage (still proud of yourselves, all you Jill Stein and Gary Johnson voters)? Worried about climate change? Tough luck. Look for Trump to end all government funding for alternative energy and billions more instead into fossil fuel development (as opposed to this, which we would have gotten instead – say bye bye to the polar ice caps and those pesky polar bears just trying to survive, to say nothing of increased risk of skin cancers and more cases of asthma). And let’s not forget trickle-down economics – Trump and congressional Republicans will bring this back for sure, this time on steroids, economic impact be damned. Also, I don’t know if the model of “managers” for our cities along the lines of what Rick Snyder did in Michigan will now come to hideous fruition on the national level (ask residents of Flint if they can drink their water yet), but if Trump and Congress decide to do that for residents of, say, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, etc., who the hell is going to stop them? Oh, and I hope you weren’t in favor of common-sense immigration reform, infrastructure spending to repair our bridges, roads and mass transit, an end to the still-truly-ruinous sequester (which will probably be permanent now as opposed to expiring in 2021) and laws concerning gun safety, to say nothing of campaign finance reform. And speaking of money – do you honestly think the congressional Republicans WON’T pass a bill that overturns Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? And that Trump will sign it? WHAT PLANET DO YOU LIVE ON? And related to that, one of the first things Democrats did when they took back Congress ten years ago was to clean up the utterly wretched student loan process, whereby banks were paid ridiculous servicing fees basically for doing nothing (more here). Look for all of that idiocy to return – why should Republicans in Congress give a shit if your son or daughter is burdened with student debt? As far as they’re concerned, if they voted, they’d probably vote for Democrats anyway! And when Trump decides to lob a missile or two towards the Middle East because a mullah in Iran wrote a nasty “tweet,” don’t you DARE tell me how “untrustworthy” the Clintons supposedly are! Also, I don’t know if Trump was serious about us potentially leaving NATO or not. But are you going to rest easy assuming he was kidding? Are you also going to assume the same thing concerning Trump’s remarks about supposedly playing with our debt, representing the faith and credit of the United States? If you thought 2008 was a wild economic ride, get ready for what will happen if he does THAT. Also, given his behavior during the campaign (and the way Repugs act generally), get ready for a total purge of all Democratic Party and Obama holdovers in ALL federal government offices and departments (again, except for Comey if he chooses to stay, and why wouldn’t he?). To me, the most important aspect of the government that this country takes for granted is that it’s supposed to run efficiently, as I believe it has for the most part under Obama. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be surprised if, say, Trump puts somebody who used to run the Arabian Horse Association in charge of FEMA (like a certain Former Commander Codpiece of course…and who knows what kind of dregs from THAT regime will reappear now?). Here’s another nightmare to try and block out of our minds: again, given what we know of Trump, do you honestly think he WON’T put together some kind of an enemies list? Do you honestly think the New York Times WON’T be at the very top? Do you honestly think he WON’T try and purge media in general that doesn’t kowtow to everything he says and does? And do you honestly think he WON’T use all of the tools of his disposal (you know, now being the most powerful leader on earth) to go after those he doesn’t like (which, as we know again from the campaign, is bound to be AN AWFULLY BIG GROUP OF PEOPLE, ENTITIES, PUBLICATIONS, etc.)?
Also, I want to state categorically for the record that, inasmuch as I am able given my time and other demands that affect my ability to maintain this site, that I intend to do everything I can within my admittedly limited means to oppose anything whatsoever that the Trump Administration (ugh) says and does. I intend to give them the same treatment that Republicans gave to President Obama, promising to oppose everything he did before he was even sworn into office.
So there you have it; at least, those are the horrors I feel obliged to conjure up at the moment. Once more, congratulations to all of you low-information voters out there who chose not to participate in our democracy until the last minute, when you were easily swayed by negative ads, to say nothing of our utterly co-opted corporate media that has ABSOLUTELY FAILED collectively in its duty to educate and inform this country. After next January 21st, we will be living in the demented, funhouse-mirror world brought to us by Not Your Father’s Republican Party, with “Fergus Laing” in charge at long last.
Suck on it, America! And who would I be if I didn't provide a tune to commemorate this catastrophe?
Update 1: Also, for the record, when it comes to Republicans and third-party candidates, I’m sure nobody else remembers the trick that Bucks County Republicans pulled to make sure Charlie (“I Have a Semi-Open Mind”) Martin was re-elected as a county commissioner, again at the expense of Steve Santarsiero, and that was to prop up somebody named Jay Russell as a supposed “third-party” alternative who ended up siphoning votes away from Steve to help Martin (with Russell joking with the utterly odious Jim Cawley, who was once head of the commissioners, about it).
Update 2: You know, it’s probably pointless for me to try and catalog all of this stuff because there’s going to be so much of it now.
Elderly white conservatives and their kids, as opposed to handing off what was once bequeathed to them by the prior generation, are going to choose to burn it all down instead.
And with “Donald Drumpf” occupying An Oval Office, they may just get their wish.
Update 11/15/16: Jon Perr is a terrific blogger - more than a little food for thought here