Democrats take House, GOP tightens grip on Senate


#141

She and Schumer have both also, inexplicably, clung to the quaint but absolutely false notion that their Republican “colleagues” are willing to negotiate and legislate with them in good faith, and so they continue to put forward “compromises” and deals where Republicans get everything they want in exchange for promises that are broken before the ink on the compromise has even dried. Anyone in the Democratic leadership who still suffers under such a dangerously incorrect delusion has no right or reason to be in charge.


#142

Well, again I’m thinking about her particular experience in finding the right buttons to push to get adversaries to go in the direction she wants, not electoral experience. She became minority whip in 2001, and since then has been in the position of herding a broad spectrum of both erstwhile allies and opponents, not only presidents but also other politicians, who in the house are a kind of motley - and sometimes batshit crazy - crew.

Trump proved that electoral experience is useless in the face of someone who can mobilize the great unwashed, but I think he can be moved at the level of individual policy, given the right incentive.


#143

Well, yeah. Because his people LOVE that shit. I had a guy tell me in 2016 that he was voting for Trump because he thought it was hilarious how the Donald would “fuck with the government.” The sad part is, he was a blue-collar immigrant with a very thick accent.


#144

He was also correct. His error was in thinking that would be a good thing, somehow.


#145

I venture to suggest that the hilarity has worn somewhat thin. (I’d follow up with him, but as he’s a tow truck driver I hope not to see him again.)


#146

I’m not sure they do. The Republican party is the Trump party now, and increasingly those in power are hard-core Trumpists; the moderates lost in the midterms. I’m not sure there’s anything big enough (that Trump’s done) that would make them turn on him. Let’s face it - they already know he colluded with Russia, they know he’s been money laundering and committing fraud. It doesn’t bother them. If there’s a shred of decency left among them, it’s a small shred.

No, there would definitely be a backlash, the question is whether it would be enough to push the Democrats completely out or just partially.


#147

I’m not talking about decency. I’m talking about self interest. If it becomes apparent to them that backing Trump risks their hold on power more than abandoning or attacking him. They’ll do it. And at its most extreme. If the difference between supporting Trump and working to remove him becomes jail time. They’ll flip pretty fucking quick.

It isn’t so much that the GOP’s “moderates” lost. As they left. A lot of them “retired”, or withdrew. And even in so far as they picked up seats in the Senate. They just lost the House, by a healthy margin. And control of at least 14 states (7 governors, 7 legislatures, but they also lost super majorities or influential minorities in several, and a BUNCH of state level judges). In an election, that on paper, should have been an easy victory save Trump. The few things they flipped. Especially those senators, were Blue Dogs who voted in lock step with the GOP most of the time. And weirdly less conservative DNC candidates down the ballot seem to have well outperformed them. So it looks less like the GOP picked up some of this stuff, than Democratic voters abandoned specific people. For specific reasons. And margins across the board were far, far, far, far closer than they’d typically be. Or should have been given Trump’s performance in those same places just two years ago.

As much as we’re all kind of “meh” about the outcome because its wasn’t a landslide rebuttal that would feel all nice. This election went terribly for the GOP. There just wasn’t much space for it be much worse, given the map, gerrymandering, voter suppression.

At least some of them have to know that, given how panicked they seemed in the lead up. I don’t think it was a clear enough victory to change their behavior though. Denial is a hell of a drug.

Notice the number of “there will definitely be a backlash, maybe big enough to push them out of power” things the GOP has done in the last couple of years? And how that backlash didn’t materialize? Or where it did, didn’t have much if any influence? At this point fear of backlash or perception among voters of that sort is basically just permission for the GOP to keep stepping out of bounds with impunity.


#148

Before the election, Democrats held zero houses of congress, from which to try to set some checks/balances over the presidency. Now they have one. That’s an improvement of (1/0)=blinking error many percents. That’s a huge improvement. Seriously. As anyone who was around during the Clinton years knows, the house of representatives can be a source of excruciating irritation for the president and his ability to implement policy.

In 2020 there will be at least 33 Senate seats up for reelection. 2/3 of these are currently held by Republicans.


#149

And thanks to those state level wins all of those races are likely to be conducted on a much fairer playing field.

Aside from the Govenorships, and Legislatures where control was picked up. The DNC significantly expanded their influence in many Legislatures they don’t control. Any of those state judges will be incredibly influential. NC just put a civil rights judge with a significant interest in pushing back on voter supression and gerrymandering on their supreme Court. The same woman who initially tossed out their existing district map in Federal court (though that was overturned). And a number of states. Including some deep, deep red States where the DNC didn’t make much if any headway. Passed ballot initiatives and state Constitutional amendments specifically banning gerrymandering or pushing back on voter supression.

The GOP still controls the majority of state governments. But it’s much closer to 50/50 than it’s been in over a decade. And apparently the majority of states now have at least some apparatus for pushing back on the GOPs manipulation. And the DNC has enough of a voice in most states to control or influence redistricting come 2020. Already.

So quite frankly. Fuck the Senate. Look who we lost. Not just the fact that the DNC lost some seats. Cause seriously good riddance. Votes that were borderline impossible to whip, even when it counted most.

This is an excellent first step. The DNC focused on states and down ballot races for the first time in 25 years. And it worked. Things can and will change immensely over the next two years. And even if the national DNC continues to meh. Pressure will be mounting on the GOP in Congress from the state level.

As that pressure mounts. If it looks like Trump’s a liability. Clearly enough that they can’t confirmation bias their way out of it. They will begin to check him. If it’s bad enough they will abandon him. I definitely hoped this election would be enough of a wave to make that start now. But there was vanishingly little chance of that from the start.


#150

#151

I guess I see them as having completely thrown in their lot with him; they’ve hitched their wagons to his and will live or die with him. They don’t seem to care about (long-term) survival, even. It’s just about whatever they can grab before it all goes to hell or they make the country so profoundly undemocratic they’ll never have to face consequences. It seems like a lot of them are counting on the latter. I’m not sure how long it’ll take to make them realize they bet wrongly on that… as you say, denial is a hell of a drug.


#152

Yup, they’ll flip if they think adherence to Trump threatens their wealth and power.

But that isn’t going to occur unless the GOP base turns on Trump, and the only event that could motivate that to happen would be for Trump to suddenly stop being a fascist. Ain’t gonna happen.

So long as Trump holds the pardon power, legal consequences for senior Trumpists are not an issue. He has no restraint at all in abusing this power; remember Sheriff Joe?


#153

Well I mean that’s something they did, because its kept them in power.

If that same thing becomes likely to remove them from power. They’ll throw that motherfucker under the bus.

But they’ve got a serious, serious reality problem. The GOP famously uses really skewed internal polls that mostly seem designed to tell them what they want to hear. Obviously the bubble media thing. They’re completely unconcerned with anyone but their own political true believers. It’s very, very likely they follow him over a cliff without even realizing it’s a possibility.

Didn’t say it was likely.

They don’t necessarily have to turn on Trump. They could just fade, get discouraged. Sufficient drops in GOP turn outs, and enthusiasm. A slow disregard for Trump. Combined with big enthusiasm and turn out on the left, and fairer elections could turn a lot of stuff into “oh shit” moments. That’s sort of what happened with the midterms. A lot of GOP politicians saying “fuck it” and going home, some notable scandals knocking some guys out of office. And huge motivation from voters on the left. Turned a really shitty looking election cycle into a clear DNC win.

Don’t think that’s anymore likely than them turning on Trump though. Maybe more realistic, if it happens it probably looks more like that.

Pardon power has it’s limits. The big one being Presidential pardons can’t cover state charges.

And remember I’m spitballing extremities here.


#154

Where I live there was an Anti-Revolutionary Party until 1980.


#155

Eh, I wouldn’t be sure that anything will change minds with the bulk of Republican-supporters.
They literally voted for a corpse rather than vote Democrat in Nevada.


#156

We did learn a lesson from the right, though. In several states they have begun to change the rules. We will not be able to change a significant number of Trump voters, they are too far into the shit show to reach. So we need to unfuck the system. End partisan gerrymandering, working on it in VA, in a couple states they passed laws to do exactly that. End disenfranchisment. Done in FL for 20+% of the black electorate, need to get on that in others. We need to make sure we fund legal challenges to blatant voter suppression, because they are not done with that. I am reminded of the line attributed to Yammamoto after Pearl Harbor about “waking a sleeping giant.” We can only pray we have not waited too long to wake. I am afraid it may be a close thing.


#157

I am sorry to say that the Republicans are still in control of the House. Trump has endorsed Pelosi for Speaker saying “We can work with her.” Pelosi is babbling about “work with the Republicans wherever we can” and “the bipartisan marketplace of ideas”. Translated into English this means the GOP will walk all over her, sneer while they’re doing it, and get everything they want while the Establishment Dems wonder why they’re getting pooped on and decide that moving to the Right will work in 2020.


#158

And that is why we are irretrievably hosed. The Democratic Establishment is incapable of fighting back and will continue to give the Republicans everything they want to avoid “controversy”.


#159

Yeah, no. How about we wait for the Democrats to actually take control of the House, before you pre-emptively declare them useless?


#160

'Grats to my sane American neighbours for taking the house and a modicum of political power. Here’s hoping you can prevent Agent Oranges worst impulses and turf his ass in two years if impeachment doesn’t occur before then.

Going out for a joint in your honour. :slight_smile: