My 2020 Election Postscript (Updates)

November 7, 2020

OK, as I type this, it’s all but done for Biden/Harris, now that they’re leading in PA and GA, thank God (and by the way, I was dismissive in the past of Stacey Abrams for being this almost ubiquitous presence on MSNBC about any center-left issue that existed without having won an election, even though by rights she should be Georgia governor now, but boy, was I wrong – it turned out she worked her ass off to GOTV for Biden/Harris and definitely should be rewarded in the new incoming administration – my apologies and congratulations to her for her efforts).

The White House was, of course, the big prize that we absolutely needed to win, though I’m sure there will be subsequent legal stuff for the foreseeable future (I remember how much the Repugs fought Al Franken getting seated in the U.S. Senate from Minnesota, and you can expect them to do that at a minimum for the White House). However, at this point, you would really have to wonder about any judge or politician doing anything whatsoever to reward a Trumpster, since, electorally, they’re “dead men walking,” and could only end up staining the reputation of anyone who could still help them at this point.

What does it tell you that it was so close? Well, for starters, it’s incredibly hard to knock off an incumbent politician unless they utterly self-destruct (which the Gropenfuhrer most certainly did, basically causing the worst health crisis this country has faced in over 100 years as well as an economy on the verge of collapse). There are many on my side who have claimed and will continue to claim that Biden was a little too chummy with Republicans. Well, that may be. But a win is a win is a win is a win is a win, and that’s what matters at the end of the day, not some damn Dem/liberal/progressive purity test.

I guess I need to remind our side of this again…in 1964, the Republican Party was flat on its back, having been decimated in a presidential and congressional elections. However, they incrementally worked their way back to power (partly by “working the refs” as always) to the point where they were positioned first in 1976 for their movement conservative guy (The Sainted Ronnie R), who actually showed up 4 years too early and caused the Republican split that led to Jimmy Carter winning. By 1980, though (with the internal fight going on between Carter and Ted Kennedy…I vaguely recall a white-haired guy named John Anderson too), they were poised to return to power, which they did with disastrous consequences. It took 16 years, but they pulled it off. And we’ll need to do something like that to accomplish the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, electoral and tax reform, common-sense gun laws, and on and on (though I realize we don’t have 16 years when it comes to the health of this planet).

The moral of the story is that you have no choice but to play the long game. Like many of you I’m sure, I saw people online like Peter Daou absolutely losing their minds, railing against “corporate Dems.” Yes, I most definitely don’t like them either. But to build a winning coalition (especially for our side), you have to bring a lot of folks to the table, including them. And if you don’t have the political inclination for the sort of “horse trading” and deal-making you need to engage in as a politician to pull off that feat or something like it, then why the hell are you bothering to run in the first place? That’s just the reality, and I don’t know what else to say about it.

Any by the way (speaking of politicians adept at “horse trading”), how about giving Nancy Pelosi a little credit for holding the U.S. House (though apparently Dems lost seats, which will, and should, prompt some self-reflection)? And unfortunately, it looks unlikely that Christina Finello will be going to D.C. as part of the majority, with the PA-01 contest very nearly settled in Brian Fitzpatrick’s favor. However, as far as I could see, Finello ran the best campaign I’ve seen a Dem run for that seat in a long time. I thought Steve Santarsiero acquitted himself admirably in 2016 – Scott Wallace has a great progressive lineage but not much else for my money two years ago, and Kathy Boockvar worked hard and ran well (I always felt the best Dem for that was Patrick Murphy, who managed to win twice), but I loved Finello’s combativeness and the fact that she NEVER let up on reminding everyone just how wedded to Trump Bri-Fi really is. Also, Finello expertly used social media to advance her campaign. The biggest factor going for Bri-Fi, though, is that he does have a bit of a record of some votes that are actually sane, though I believe his terrible votes far outweigh that. Also (and this is something else I’ve said before), never forget how Repug-friendly this district truly is. That sliver of Montco may be a little “swingy,” but Bucks County is red to its core. I honestly don’t know how you make enough of an inroads on that to effect a different electoral outcome, but we have a couple of years to go back to the drawing board and try to come up with a new strategy for next time (also, congratulations to Perry Warren, re-elected for another term in Harrisburg from PA-31).

And speaking of self-reflection on the U.S. House Dems, I thought this was an interesting thread on Twitter from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Yes, I realize the country overall doesn’t share the same demographic composition of her district (not yet, anyway), but I thought she made a lot of good points about the people who are really the core for a lot of the party (African Americans, poor working class…and that’s not a pejorative comment by the way…various other demographics including LGBTQ and non-whites) and how their issues need to be addressed. This was spurred a bit by recent comments here from “centrist” Dems like Conor Lamb and Abigail Spanberger, who all but blamed “the squad” for their harder re-election prospects and the House Dems losing seats. And in response, I would say that there needs to be give-and-take on both sides. Lamb, for example, who has championed fracking in PA, could say that we also need to watch out for children’s health issues that have been linked to fracking, and that affects Lamb’s district too (Will Bunch recently noted this on Twitter also along with AOC), and the NY-14 rep could say that, yeah, I support resolutions to local issues for my constituents, but these people also go out and work in districts that are more centrist than where they live, so issues related to their well-being impact there also (and stuff like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, again, could be beneficial to the whole country if the party could finally get its messaging together on that – a big “if” I know, unfortunately).

Now to the Senate…

To say I’m relieved that Gary Peters won another term in Michigan is an understatement (though, in typical Trumpian fashion, Peters’ opponent John James is apparently refusing to concede). However, part of me seriously wants to email Peters and say, “Congratulations on your victory. Now, announce to the entire world that you’ll serve your term until 2026 and never seek re-election to the Senate again.

When you’ve been connected to this stuff for as long as I have (not that I’m a big deal, I hasten to emphasize), a lot of different candidates from all over the place are going to put the bite on you for money. And the Peters campaign was easily the worst at that (or best I guess, depending on how you look at it). I would get easily 3-4 emails every day (“Just got off the phone with my team,” “Outraised again,” “I was the only Democrat for the U.S. Senate outraised this cycle,” “No path to the Senate without Michigan”…true, I know, but DAMN, did it get tiresome).

So I thought, well, maybe I can find a somewhat current video from the campaign to include at this blog. Yeah, well, good luck with that. I was able to find a couple of clips from years ago, along with a testimonial from former President Obama…and that was it. Also (for some reason), Peters and James couldn’t work out some way for the two of them to debate, and all the while, I kept thinking to myself “This could be Claire McCaskill and Joe Donnelly all over again, BUT THIS IS FREAKING MICHIGAN!” And yes, I know the dynamic was also altered by all of the crazy militia garbage going on along with the DeVos family throwing around stupid money to try and get James elected. In a nutshell, I thought Peters’ social media presence (tying into the AOC post earlier) left much to be desired.

So I also thought, if I’m going to focus my contributions on one Senate race in particular, it had damn well better be this one. And after I made my donation, what was I rewarded with? A video of Peters riding a motorcycle.

Ummm…why the hell am I supposed to actually care about that (and as long as I’m on the subject of U.S. Senate Dems having to “get the memo,” someone had better let this guy know his time is about up also. The Repugs ran that stiff Bob Hugin in NJ against him last time, but they won’t make that mistake again.). As for Peters, though, he sure as hell ought to make campaign finance reform a big issue after a performance like this (which it should be for all Dems anyway). Just to show how out-of-hand the money situation has gotten, his office sent out a tweet yesterday saying “Let’s congratulate Gary Peters on his re-election – click here to make a contribution.” HE’S ALREADY FREAKING WON! WILL YOU STOP WITH THE PANHANDLING ALREADY??!!

Update 12/16/20: OK, fair is fair – kudos to Peters for going after that disgusting fraud and utterly repellent human being Ron Johnson here.

Also, it is beyond discouraging that, of all the U.S. Senate races where Dems challenged, so far, we have only ended up with 2 pickups (even though I know that, yes, it’s hard to knock off an incumbent as already stated). One pickup was Mark Kelly in Arizona, who had all kinds of built-in name recognition and was lucky enough to run against the weakest of all Republican Senate incumbents in Martha McSally (not trying to detract from Kelly’s campaign when I say that). The other pickup came in Colorado, where John Hickenlooper had even more built-in name recognition as former Governor, and was running against the second-weakest candidate in Cory Gardner (I was hoping that would work for Steve Bullock in Montana, but it didn’t of course). People like Cenk Uygur have been going nuts over the Dems not running enough progressives, like Daou, and that’s why they didn’t get pickups, which is partly true but also partly wrong. Hickenlooper is most definitely NOT progressive, but it would have been insanity to name another Dem to go against Gardner.

I know you have to put a bit an asterisk next to anyone running in the South (with all due respect to Southern Democrats, fighting a truly lonely and uphill fight, f*ck the South right in the ear – I’ve learned NEVER to trust them in elections, though that doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel either of course). What the hell else was Jaime Harrison supposed to do in South Carolina, for example? Also, this didn’t help Cal Cunningham either – dumb. And even someone as thoroughly corrupt as David Perdue in Georgia is going to a runoff with Jon Ossoff only because the libertarian candidate kept Perdue from 50 percent of the vote (last I saw, Perdue actually was leading Ossoff by about 100K votes, even though Ossoff totally owned Perdue in that last debate). And I have to admit that, deep down, even though I supported her in my way of course, I never took Amy McGrath seriously as a candidate. Yes, we know what Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao is, but he hasn’t lasted this long in his job by being a fool or somehow forgetting how to count. McGrath ended up spending her own stupid amount of money in this campaign and was still beaten by about 20 points. Even if she’d reached out to Charles Booker (who spent a fraction of that money in the Dem primary and very nearly beat her), could she have won working with Booker? Maybe not, but I don’t think Mitch McConnell would have cleaned her clock either.

As far as I’m concerned, there were at least a couple of winnable races out there that we could have captured with a little more imagination and better strategy (and no, I wasn’t “on the ground” in those states). And the pattern was always the same…some social media posts or information getting out there that, say, Texas or Kansas was going purple, or “oh, the Dem has a lead…it’s narrowing, but still leading”…and the Dem ends up losing by double digits. I’m talking about Theresa Greenfield in Iowa and Sara Gideon in Maine (Are you seriously trying to tell me that you couldn’t find a way to knock off somebody as thoroughly compromised as Susan Collins? That being said, I thought this was a very interesting post; again, if there is no message of economic populism – apparently because you don’t have the people on the ground to canvas your electorate and motivate them and independents somehow based on proposed solutions to issues they care about, or don’t understand how to make those kinds of inroads because the political terrain is tougher than you thought – well then, isn’t that the fault of whoever it was who allegedly came up with your strategy? And to be honest, I’d forgotten how red Maine really is also, having elected that brainless oaf Paul LePage as governor for not one but two terms).

Update: And speaking of Greenfield, who raised a ton of dough (though that isn’t an automatic indicator of success as we know), I thought this was interesting.

(Farron Cousins of Ring of Fire presented a recent clip of how quickly voters forgot about Collins and “I Like Beer” Kavanaugh…we’re dealing with easily distracted, low-information voters..and no, I’m not a lib looking down on anybody; I’m just pointing out a fact – I get it that they’re trying to hold everything together with themselves and their families, but it’s just that, for a variety of reasons, the David’s in this country end up firing their slingshots at other David’s instead of the Goliath like they’re supposed to, and I think that’s the biggest obstacle we’re up against. And I overwhelmingly blame Fox News, local news coverage which is more and more conservative, and AM talk radio which is ALL conservative, to say nothing of right-wing social networking and related sites, but that topic is a discussion for another day.)

And yeah, about Sara Gideon in Maine…I went to her web site, and what did I see? Beautiful sweeping vistas of the Maine woods…and oh look, there’s Sara Gideon talking to somebody on a small town street corner in front of clean streets and well-manicured grass surrounding main street shops…and Sara Gideon talking to somebody else on a small town street corner in front of clean streets and well-manicured grass surrounding main street shops…and why the hell am I even at this web site again? I forgot.

Hey, alleged DSCC geniuses…you have literally SECONDS to grab the attention of someone navigating to a web site, especially for candidates like Greenfield (where I saw something similar) and Gideon who have ZERO NATIONAL NAME RECOGNITION! Where the “elevator pitch”? What’s the value proposition for me in giving you my support?

So, given all of that, let’s talk about what that alleged political maven Chuck Schumer, Senate Dem Minority Leader, actually DID DO this cycle. Well, I must say that I just LOVED the hectoring popups to videos with Schumer saying, “Hey YOU. Yes YOU. We have a MAJOR fundraising deadline coming up.” As if I’m supposed to goddamn care when you people GIVE ME NO REASON AT ALL TO VOTE FOR YOUR CANDIDATE!

Here’s something to consider: I hate to use The Lincoln Project as an example (yeah, I know they’re basically Republican grifters), but they would run their good ads, then show a quick video afterwards about how to make a contribution. Maybe Schumer and the Dems should try something like that instead. Stop assuming people will automatically support you because you’re not Republicans. Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

This election cycle made my physically sick with stress (I’m sure you can relate…and don’t get me started on the texts and phone calls), and that should NEVER happen! To me, this is even more of a reason for a progressive version of Americans for Prosperity to pretty much indoctrinate Dem/progressive candidates so they can speak intelligently to issues particular to their state and present common sense solutions, and explain the benefits to voters “on the fence” (and DON’T rely on our corporate media for that, which is worse than useless on this stuff…if you need help with crafting policy recommendations, talk to Bernie Sanders…and yes, if Democrats ever got serious about this, I would support such an organization with a recurring contribution). Aside from basic common sense, maybe, if Schumer and the Dems did that MUCH EARLIER in the election cycle, then they wouldn’t fall prey so much to the negative ads when the dark money descends at the very end (something else Schumer and co. continually hectored me about, as if they’re somehow surprised by that). Hell, it’s worth a shot, because what they’re doing NOW isn’t resulting in any pickups (unless you have the situations in Arizona or Colorado as already noted).

Regardless, this should absolutely be the LAST election cycle with Chuck Schumer as the point person in charge of running elections for the DSCC. His track record absolutely stinks. And yes, as noted already, I know all about the “oh help us…dark money has created a lot of last-minute attack ads against our candidates and we’re losing ground” appeals. Maybe if you spent more time cementing in the mind of voters the populism you’re supposed to be all about and had fewer pictures of candidates on farms posing in front of tractors, the last-minute negative garbage wouldn’t be so effective!

Well (as noted previously), at least we still have two opportunities in Georgia, which is a blessing, even though they’re definitely long shots. And I sincerely hope the DSCC makes the ads not really about Perdue or Kelly Loeffler, but McConnell. Drum it into the heads of GA’s voters that they have NO SHOT AT ALL of relief of any kind for the COVID-19 plague with McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, which of course is the God’s-honest truth (and by the way, I commented on Alabama and Doug Jones/Tommy Tuberville elsewhere).

We have no choice but to continue the fight. Let’s try a different, more intelligent strategy. And stop getting the vapors over what centrist Dems may think (and don’t get me started on “socialism,” though, as I’ve often said, “defund the police” is terrible messaging). People like Conor Lamb and Abigail Spanberger, for example, are no more or less important than anyone else in the “big tent.” We all need to find a way to work together, or we will surely sink separately.

Update 1 11/8/20: I think this supports AOC’s argument even more, and confirms what I always suspected about the DNC.

Update 2 11/8/20: I thought this was an incredibly interesting interview with AOC (if you can get to it behind the NYT paywall). Some of what we learn is as follows: she reached out to Democrats running U.S. House campaigns to help with strategy, and 5 took her up on her offer, and all 5 won (and they were in swing districts). Also, she expressed a great deal of frustration with basically being vilified by some members in her caucus, to the point where she doesn’t even know whether or not she’ll even remain in politics 5 years from now, let alone take a run at the U.S. Senate, for example. If she were to get so exasperated to the point where she would walk away, it would be an incalculable loss for the country, let alone the Democrats and her constituents. But, if her frustration reached that point, I wouldn’t blame her one bit if she said the hell with it and gave up.

My 2020 U.S. Senate Voting Guide

July 28, 2020

What follows is my list of contested U.S. Senate contests for 2020; this table will be updated given that some primaries have been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Republican Democrat
Alaska Dan Sullivan* Dr. Al Gross (I)
Alabama Tommy Tuberville Doug Jones*
Arizona Martha McSally* Mark Kelly
Arkansas Tom Cotton* Dan Whitfield
Colorado Cory Gardner* John Hickenlooper
Georgia Kelly Loeffler* Rev. Raphael Warnock
Georgia David Perdue* Jon Ossoff
Idaho Jim Risch* Paulette Jordan
Iowa Joni Ernst* Theresa Greenfield
Kansas** Roger Marshall Barbara Bollier
Kentucky Mitch McConnell* Amy McGrath
Louisiana Bill Cassidy* Adrian Perkins
Maine Susan Collins* Sara Gideon
Michigan John James Gary Peters*
Minnesota Jason Lewis Tina Smith*
Mississippi Cindy Hyde-Smith* Mike Espy
Montana Steve Daines* Steve Bullock
New Hampshire Corky Messner Jeanne Shaheen*
New Mexico** Mark Ronchetti Ben Ray Lujan
North Carolina Thom Tillis* Cal Cunningham
Oklahoma Jim Inhofe* Abby Broyles
South Carolina Lindsey Graham* Jaime Harrison
South Dakota Mike Rounds* Dan Ahlers
Tennessee** Bill Hagerty Marquita Bradshaw
Texas John Cornyn* M.J. Hegar
West Virginia Shelley Capito* Paula Jean Swearengin
Wyoming** Cynthia Lummis Merav Ben-David

* – Incumbent
** – Open Seat (Retirement)

Notes From The Day After (Updates)

November 7, 2018

Day_After_e5c80f136b-P Clean 9

To begin, I think we should congratulate Danielle Friel Otten, a Chester County, PA Democrat who won a seat in the PA state house for the 155th district, as noted here. She campaigned on the utterly ruinous effects of the so-called Mariner East pipeline where she lives. The fact that she was a Democrat who actually won in Chester County is a testament to the perseverance she showed, along with her campaign manager Virginia Kerslake, by knocking on the doors of over 31,000 voters. I wish her the very best in trying to stem the ruinous tide of natural gas exploration not just in her district, but everywhere in this country (hopefully blocking the rabidly anti-environmental actions of Repug State House Speaker Mike Turzai).

Also, closer to these parts, Tina Davis won another term in the PA state house, as did our local rep Perry Warren. In addition, Susan Wild won a U.S. House seat for PA-07, as did Air Force vet Chrissy Houlahan for PA-06.

Here’s another triumph…Steve Santarsiero was victorious in his PA Senate District 10 contest over Marguerite Quinn. Do you want to know what the main issue was that he ran on? Common-sense gun laws to keep our kids safe in school. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Quinn had an A+ rating from the NRA, but all the same…watch and learn, Democrats. This is a winnable issue!

And as we know by now, Bob Casey won another term in the U.S. Senate from PA, and Tom Wolf was re-elected to another term as governor (as a consolation prize, I think we should send Scott Wagner a set of shoes with golf spikes). Also, Bob Menendez won in New Jersey, which really had me concerned for awhile. I sincerely hope he doesn’t try to run for another term, because this was way closer than it should have been (it helped that Bob Hugin was an absolutely awful candidate – we can’t count on the Repugs to make that mistake again, though).

In addition, Jacky Rosen unseated Dean Heller in Nevada (I also think she should send a thank-you card to Rick Perry over his remarks about Yucca Mountain). And how cool is it that the the thoroughly wretched Kris Kobach lost in Kansas to a Dem woman? Laura Kelly will be the next governor of that state! And Hosni Mobarak Walker of WI and Rick Snyder of MI are BOTH GONE with Dems now in charge – as someone noted, the three states that decided it for Trump all now have Dem governors!

Update 11/8/18: I forgot that the equally awful Repug Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois is done also.

And the best news of all? The U.S. House is ours (including the power to subpoena a certain Delusional, Tiny-Handed Orange Dictator Wannabe and his henchmen – hench-people?).

Now for the bad news…

I thought Scott Wallace ended up doing not too bad of a job rebutting Bri-Fi’s garbage (and boy, was there a slew of it from this supposedly upstanding, Bucks County mama’s boy who acted like he was above the political fray!), but I’m tired of Dems running candidates in congressional elections who seem to beat on a couple of issues (“my opponent isn’t doing this or that!”) without presenting viable policy alternatives. Yes, he went after Bri-Fi over voting for those terrible tax cuts, but he also could have done that on gun reciprocity, gutting consumer financial protections, not doing much of anything while our infrastructure crumbles, internet privacy, renewable energy, etc. (one of these days, a Dem will run against a Repug in this district and actually tailor a campaign to the issues that matter AND MAKE THE CASE THAT THEY WOULD DO A SUBSTANTIALLY BETTER JOB!!! I thought Kevin Strouse might do that a few years ago, but he fell short at the end).

Well, I’m sure all of those McMansion owners in Middletown, Wrightstown, Lahaska, Buckingham and elsewhere in PA-01 are happy that Bri-Fi won again. Maybe one of these days, we’ll have congressional representation from someone who apparently doesn’t believe he or she merits the position as a family inheritance. Also, I don’t think anybody except the most rabid Bri-Fi partisans gave a damn about all the “Silver Spoon Scott Wallace” and “Crazy Billionaire” BS, along with Bri-Fi throwing all kinds of unsubstantiated garbage at Wallace over and over again as alluded to previously, even when it was disproven, including the Mumia Abu-Jamal stuff.

Also, when he started his campaign, Wallace had that supposedly cutesy ad with Diane Marseglia about being recruited to oppose Bri-Fi (“You should run!” “No, YOU should run!”). What the hell was that all about? Was that supposed to motivate the base? Also, Philadelphia’s conservative newspaper of record was apparently able to extract a quote from Wallace last week along the lines of “Well, if we lose, it will be my fault.” Wow, THAT sure was a further impetus to knock on doors and try to persuade people (which I did along with many other happy souls last weekend)! Also, on Wallace’s web site, he had that picture of him standing on the porch talking to Marseglia forever with his back to the camera – um, you have to find a way to grab voters with short attention spans, primarily independents…who gave you the bright idea to feature THAT??!!

Wallace stuck me as a decent man, but overall, a low-energy guy who acted like he was late to the party. Even so, I’m not sure if would have mattered, though the demographics are moving in the right direction for us. Also, as Kyle Bagenstose of the Courier Times pointed out, the new PA-01 district was redrawn to include Montco, which definitely helped the Dems and will continue to do so.

On the national stage, yeah, it sucks that Beto lost in Texas (I don’t want to imagine how messed up of a life form you have to be to support somebody like Ted Cruz instead), but again, the margin of victory in this one was a lot closer than anyone expected. Personally, I’d like to see Beto run for something like Mayor of Austin or San Antonio or someplace where he could get more real-world experience in governance and bring that to the table when he runs again (which he should). I always though Patrick Murphy should have done something like that after he lost as U.S. House Rep in 2010 (running Bristol Borough or something) so he could add more diverse experience in governance. At the time, the Courier Times (I’m pretty sure) said he should run for Bucks County Commissioner, which to me is a sucker bet since I can’t remember a time when the Repugs have NOT been in charge. I thought there was a bit of a good idea there, however.

Also, it should be noted that Amy McGrath in KY and Richard Ojeda in WV both lost their U.S. congressional elections (remember that the next time you hear Repugs crowing about how they supposedly “support the troops”). And the last I checked, Kyrsten Sinema might lose by a tiny margin to the utterly wretched Martha McSally in AZ mainly because of a third-party candidate (NEVER support them, people!). I also wasn’t watching Missouri closely enough to find out how Claire McCaskill could actually lose to a particularly scummy liar like Josh Hawley (I guess the fact that he looked good enough on TV was all it took for the “children of the corn”…and speaking of that, Steven Arnold King won in Iowa again for the U.S. House, but once again, the margin of victory was smaller than last time), and I heard that Joe Donnelly ran as a Republican-lite in Indiana and got trounced (David Sirota said that Donnelly should have run like Sherrod Brown – to the extent that Donnelly could have been more populist, I could see that, but as great as Brown is, he actually has been helped by Trump’s steel tariffs, believe it or not, so that definitely isn’t an “apples to apples” comparison).

And oh yeah, we’d been getting warned from Heidi Heitkamp for days about what would happen with her, so even though it’s upsetting, it wasn’t surprising. The Repugs targeted her in particular I think because Trump apparently offered her a job to give up her seat and she refused, to her credit (just like she opposed “Schlitz” Kavanaugh), so of course she had to be destroyed electorally. And that garbage with the Native Americans and the PO boxes (as noted here, sanctioned by a judge nominated by Dubya) apparently put re-election out of reach (again, though, how much of a mental defective do you have to be to actually support someone like Kevin Cramer?).

This to me is cold comfort, but comfort all the same: eleven million more people voted for Senate Democrats than Republicans (here, and I believe I read somewhere that 3 million more voted for Dems in the House). This election, though, Democrats were hobbled by having to play defense in so many states (that’s why, though I was hoping and praying for the House, I never really considered seriously that they’d win the Senate – sorry). However, if we have the same level of participation (or better) in 2020 with Repugs having to defend their Senate seats more than Dems (including Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao), I honestly believe that it will be an altogether different result (and if there was any Russian hacking going on, it certainly didn’t play a role in the U.S. House races).

And another thought – I’ve often wondered why we don’t have something along the lines of an ALEC for our side. I’m basically talking about a progressive/liberal group formulating policy for all 50 states and territories based on data from polling likely voters, so our candidates KNOW what issues they have to hit on before they utter their first words. I always though the Obama campaign, for example, did a good job with that, and I don’t know why we can never seem to leverage that nationwide.

I also wonder if it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start a drive to boycott states where people vote for Republicans, particularly Florida. I’m sorry, but I have to say it – the win (Update 1 11/9/18: So far, though a recount is in progress…) for Ron (“Birth of a Nation”) DeSantis over Andrew Gillum can be straight-up attributed to racism. DeSantis might as well wear a white hood and robe the day he’s sworn in.

Update 2 11/9/18: Also, “Iron ‘Stache” Randy Bryce lost his valiant fight for Paul Ryan’s old district (WI-1), and Ammar Campa-Najjar is currently contesting what is (so far, again) his loss to the execrable Duncan Hunter in CA-50.

I’ll leave you with this, which I’ve mentioned before – in 1964, the Republican Party and movement conservatism was flat on its metaphorical back, having been clobbered by Lyndon Johnson and the Dems vs. Barry Goldwater. And it took them 16 years to ascend to power, but they formulated a strategy, kept at it, and pulled it off (to our great ruin as far as I’m concerned). To me, there’s no reason why we can’t replicate that.

We have the numbers on our side. And the issues. And (I believe) the people to make it happen.

Let’s take some time to decompress, but then when the time comes, let’s get back it again.

We’re going to turn this around. And when we do, it will be for good.

Update 11/10/18: First the bad news – apparently, I congratulated Tina Davis a little too early, since ballots are still being counted and, as of now, Repug Tommy Tomlinson is leading. Now the good news – from what I read, Dem Kyrsten Sinema is leading in Arizona!

Update 11/11/18: And I thought this was a great story too – the lesson is to compete everywhere!

Update 11/14/18: Sinema eventually won, with Martha McSally offering gracious words of encouragement in her concession, and Davis lost to Tommy Tomlinson by 100 votes, but she’ll keep her position in the state legislature. Under PA law, she was also able to run for her house seat at the same time as the senate seat, and she won her house seat handily.

Update 11/17/18: I was wrong about Davis/Tomlinson – Davis has gone to court to get what apparently are about 200 absentee ballots counted, so this isn’t over yet.

Update 12/12/18: A judge ruled against Davis in her petition related to the absentee ballots, so Tomlinson keeps his job in the PA Senate and Davis keeps hers in the PA state house.

Update 12/27/18: Gee, no wonder McSally was so happy when she lost – maybe it’s because she knew she would eventually end up in the Senate anyway? (here).

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