Democrats take House, GOP tightens grip on Senate


I don’t really wish economic hardship on anyone, but I know how it affects elections. All good fortune finding a great job, 'Minty!


The problem with impeachment is, let’s assume we get Trump out of office, in a fashionable new orange jumpsuit or simply gone. Pence may be tarred with the same brush, such that he will only get to serve out the remainder of Trumpy’s term, a la Nixon/Ford, but he is a savvier, more clever political animal who can actually filter what comes out of his mouth. It’s like asking “Which Daemon would you prefer to have running Hell: Asmodeus or Beelzebub?”


No balm for your troubled soul, but a good explainer below. At least we got the House, several important governorships, and a lot of down-ballot gains; hopefully we can build on that.


I’ll take what i can get, glad to know that


Ugh. yes, most likely another 2 years of “Concession bargaining” for tiny prizes on the part of the Democrats, thinking the scorpion won’t sting them this time.




I did mention state legislatures. Howewver, @euansmith asked a direct question about senate seats, which I assumed was structural, and my answer was directed at that.

Were there any Senate elections this cycle where voter suppression made the difference? The most flagrant example I can think of was North Dakota, with the truly despicable suppression of Native American votes, but Heitcamp’s margin of loss far exceeded the estimates of suppression. (Of course, there were also BB commentators within the last week or so who were arguing strongly that it would be good for conservative Democrats like Heitcamp to lose. I hope they’re happy.)

I’d be inclined to agree, but the data usually suggest that the influence goes the other way: national elections influence turnout in local elections, not vice versa.



There are well-established ways to use a leader’s monomania against him. This requires bargaining. I hope the incoming House leadership is savvy enough to do this, rather than stomping their feet and screaming “impeachment”.


I agree impeachment-screaming is dumb, but I think there’s a middle ground. Backroom dealing and concession-swapping is business as usual. Given how divisive and winner-take-all Trumpist congresscritters have become, I think a wiser path for the next 2 years would be to put a lot of energy into loudly obstructing and exposing the worst efforts of the Republicans, including and maybe even particularly those they try to cover with leaking scandals. Add in a healthy dose of pushing the most popular Democratic policies loudly and force the Republicans to shoot them down until we get another chance to flip seats. Unless the bargaining is going to be for incredibly popular things that work to both further Democratic chances of taking seats AND pushing positive legislation, it just doesn’t seem worth it.


It was tamped down by gerrymandering and voter suppression. Still, made it this far.


There was never really supposed to be a Blue Wave.

This time last year it looked like Democrats we’re going to have trouble hanging on to the amount of seats they had in the house. And the prediction was 10 seats lost in the Senate. There was no indication they’d have any success picking up govenorships. And very little sign they’d be competitive in down ballot races.

“High road” “bipartisanship”

Sure. But I’m talking about the suppressive effect from non-competitive races for House seats, which are one of the national offices in question. And there a smaller direct impacts on Presidential and Govenorship votes thanks to ties between districts and the Electorial College, primary structures etc.

But that national races influence local races trend is about turnout and voting patterns in individual races.

The soft disenfranchisement that comes out of gerrymandering and lack of competition is a long term, cumulative effect. A sum total of all elections over a span of time. Including within parties like with primaries, where voters may feel unable to influence candidate selection. And the skewing of even successful candidates from their constituents. The impression is not just that your candidate can’t win. But your candidate will win whether you vote or not. Or that the candidates don’t represent you at all, or you can not influence office holders to protect your interests.

Gerrymandering isn’t the only factor on that front. But in so far as it insulates politicians from their actual voters, ensures non-competitive races from national to local level. It’s a fairly major one. The actual impact of gerrymandering on the Senate, in isolation of other suppressive strategies is hard to figure. But it’s there.


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver?


I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst before the midterms. That seems to have backfired, as I’m still full of anxiety over expecting the worst, and my hopes have been crushed. I think a few days of heavy drinking may be in order.

That 18% of black women were supposed to have voted for DeSantis shows that something really shady is going on with the Florida election. That’s just not credible.

She’s right - it’s not going to happen, so they shouldn’t be wasting energy on it. Investigations need to happen, though.
Really, ideally, even with the power, they wouldn’t impeach Trump (Pence would just pardon him anyway), but get voters fired up enough to vote in a Democratic president. Then they pursue criminal charges against Trump so he goes to jail and there’s no one to pardon him.


What definition you chose to use depends on your political viewpoint.

From one standpoint, democracy is the absence of political classes. In a democracy, one’s political power does not depend on

ones economic class
ones race
ones claim to nobility
ones parentage
ones sex

That is why so many precommunist states called themselves democracies-- power no longer was in the hands of the bourgeoisie. But replacing one system of political hierarchy with another tends to weaken their claim-- expecially in the case of North Korea, which apparently views the Kim dynasty as God Emperors…

In 18th century texts, democracies were associated with sortition. Imagine a system of o jury duty, where rather than deciding on the course of an investigation, or the outcome of a court case, juries would assume the functions of government-- passing laws, administering public institutions, etc.

Some of the strange view associated with the Bundys, and the lionizations of Sheriffs in general would seem to fit in with this sort of “democracy”.

We tend to think of democracies as societies where ultimately political power from from “free and fair elections”. But if political power is then essentially limited to the winners of the elections, have we not just created a new political class?

Republics are governments that are not ruled by a monarch. But going further would only betray what political philosophers I’ve been recently reading. As a corollary, they tend to be designed, in some fashion, to achieve certain abstract goals (virtue seems to be a common theme), and posed as distinct from monarchies and despotisms.

You could argue that a Madisonian republic is designed to counterbalance various political classes instead o melding the classes into one, and hence republics are counter to democracy, but actually developing that into a non self serving theory is difficult.


I’m incredibly hung over at the moment. Still I spent most of yesterday edging up on a panic attack so the beer was necessary.

There almost always is.

I’m sort of pissed more of those narrow losses ended in concessions. They really should be pushing recounts, challenging shit, elevating and investigating supression claims.

Taking the high road on shit isn’t exactly helping the situation at best. And there’s enough bullshit being done by Republicans there’s a decent chance you can find the votes to flip some of those results. They should be forcing recounts, full counts and what have everywhere but especially every race that was lost by less than 5 points.

Given what we already know I tend to think Pence would be implicated in anything that touches the White House directly and big enough to potentially remove Trump.

The smart tactic would be to make sure to pick off Pence first. Or to at least make sure he gets taken out along with Trump. If they both go down after January it’s president Pelosi. Even if they have the space to replace Pence. You need approval of both houses of Congress to appoint a replacement.


re: conning the poorly educated.

while, yes that’s part of it – don’t think for a moment that the poorly educated are the reason we’re here.

look at some of the numbers, especially those ones from georgia that wanderfound posted.

white people, especially white men, voted overwhelming for the republican candidate.

that’s not a difference in education ( unless you believe that white men in georgia are significantly undereducated vs other other groups of people in georgia ) - that’s defense of privilege.


Last night I had a couple glasses of wine and avoided the news. I think I feel more anxiety now.

I’m not sure it’ll matter for Florida - apparently they might end up close enough for a mandatory recount. I’m not sure that’ll change anything, if whatever shady shit was going on still impacts the vote, though.

Maybe. It might not be impeachment-worthy to a degree that a majority of Americans could fully understand/agree with it. Even under ideal conditions, the appearance of a Democratic hit-job that puts Pelosi in power could have a huge backlash that could be ultimately detrimental to the Democrats going forward.
But the Democrats don’t have the numbers for impeachment (and the remaining Republicans are more likely to be hard-core Trumpists), so it’s a non-starter.


That’s why I said big enough. Presumably these people have a breaking point. And there’s a scandal or accusation that’s both bad enough and undeniable enough that a critical mass of Republicans will get on board with getting rid of him. Whether it’s impeachment or pressure to resign.

But It’d have to be something major. I tend to think Pence is going to at least be aware of something that big. And in which case probably did something illegal in ignoring it and covering it up. Even if he’s not directly involved. Pence has shown himself to not just be willing, but to be active and good at lying, gaslighting, and what have on Trump’s behalf. And most of the major events Mueller is investigating, Pence seems to have been actively involved in. Even if he seems to have been smart enough to pull back or attempt to insulate himself.

Pelosi on the throne would indeed be a shit show. The only thing these people are more frightened of than a Black president. Is Hillary as president. And Pelosi is essentially Diet Hillary at this point.

It’s why I said the smart move is to make sure Pence goes first. If Trump has to replace him. He’ll now need to get a pick approved by a DNC controlled House. Along with the similar tight fight in the Senate as he’s been experiencing since he was elected (the GOP’s new margin is roughly where it was when he first took office, and they already mightily struggled to get their shit together before it got tighter).

Which means you won’t see another Pence. This is effectively what happened with Ford. The Dems controlled both Houses, so Nixon couldn’t really have his pick. Negotiations within Congress basically picked Ford as the compromize. GOP got a pick from their own Party. And the DNC got some one who wouldn’t fuck with Congress over Watergate and other scandals. Congressional GOP went to Nixon and said “this is the turd who’s going to be your VP, noone else will get confirmed no matter who you pick or what you do”.

Wouldn’t be that clean these days.

And bear in mind. None of this is ever going to happen.


Look at it from that side: at least you pissed the Orange Bastard off.