The Coming Storm: Unpacking the 2018 Mid-terms
More distance between pieces, which points up why I’m not a political pundit, as I have great difficulty repeating myself ad nauseam to the degree that I think it would take to be successful in that endeavor and I have not found anything particularly necessary of updating or recanting in my earlier pieces of this series. Frankly, my day-to-day interest is not that high for politics and generally isn’t for the grind prior to the last 6 months of run-up or so to the actual election, an attitude which seems to be reflected nationally. Most of us would like mostly not to be bothered by politics at all until it comes time to elect a new President. There is no question that was a luxury and one we can no longer afford, because it allowed a walking human shitpile, whose one “skill” is the ability to read a room, to find malignant foreign actors who would prop him to a position to begin anew an updated Third Reich. He read the country and found the seam. And yes, while he had foreign help — and probably a lot of it, some of which is also present this year — the mirror that is being held to the country does not paint a pretty picture. If there is one meaningful change that I think will stick, it is the lesson the youth are taking from all of this, which is that non-white non-millennials, particularly on the GOP side, are either not to be trusted or to be trusted very cautiously.
While it’s good that the Democrats have re-taken the House (and a number of governorships) and we take a decisive step towards unfucking the country, it was not without problem. The GOP sent up a pair of Neo-Nazis, at least one of whom can expect immediate censure, a pair of candidates under indictment and a number of others severely compromised by hostile foreign (probably Russian) actors. The temptation is to scream into the void about what in the unholy fuck is wrong with Florida, but California, that supposed bastion of liberalism, sent both Hunter and Nunes back instead, despite both of them running against very strong and solid blue opposition candidates. Utah decided, in their usual decided lack of political wisdom, to send Mitt Romney to the Senate, to ensure the GOP can still have a hand-wringing gutless wonder in the role Jeff Flake formerly occupied. Utah, however, it must also be said, does go to a great public effort to try to get as many of the population to vote as possible, including same-day registration and vote by mail. Then again, it is also, like most of the GOP strongholds, heavily and intensely gerrymandered at a local level…for now.
A number of women-hating candidates either ran or were sent up on the red side, starting with the egregious Kevin Cramer representing the awful state of North Dakota, which continues to fully embrace its nature as a center of corruption and human trash. Most of them lost, but that kind of mindset is like wiping out 90% of a virus inside of a host. Leaving single cells can allow the infection to resume, to take root and take hold and then you have something like the aforementioned steaming shitpile of a state, voters who the state is fucking over mindlessly clicking the red candidate by sole virtue of that affiliation and no other reason, so the state can continue to fuck them over as well as enact more draconian sub-legal policies to make sure that they are not challenged. What you see there is a refusal of the dupes to wake up and take the power back and the odds the GOP plays there, that the dupes will never wake up, has been demonstrated repeatedly to be a sound one. This also appears to be the case in Arizona, who evidently strongly desires to be enmeshed in racial resentment politics for a while longer, though I guess I could be surprised and the state could send up Sinema rather than the odious McSally.
The real story here is the rot of the deep south and much of the eastern seaboard and we don’t need a scalpel to excise it but rather a trenching tool. The results are fraught with irregularities and interference and an investigation into Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas and the Carolinas would yield some interesting results. How many votes do you need to turn in a close election? If you don’t have election integrity and a paper trail, who will bring you to heel if you do? One can see that the corrupt GOP is not above tampering with election equipment and election laws to get to their desired results, which is clearly okey-dokey with an unfortunate number of persons, but if you’re a voter in those states and want to make sure your vote was counted as it was cast, are you merely supposed to trust them, to take the word of thoroughly rotted and corrupt GOP officials at their word, a word which has increasingly meant less than nothing, nearly to the point of being the direct opposite of whatever was said. I fully anticipate a rash of lawsuits over several races, particularly in that section of the country.
I watched mostly MSNBC coverage and Steve Schmidt, who is generally quite sound, felt this was a repudiation of DT, which is true, that the GOP would take the wrong lesson from this, also true, that we would see a return to gridlock, which is mostly likely and that things would get much worse, which I also expect, particularly in rhetoric. It is important to recognize this as the republic not being saved entirely, but basically, to both gain some breathing room from the onward march to fascism that the GOP seems to have fully embraced in locked goosestep and to start setting up 2020. Had the House not been taken, this piece probably would have been strongly advising you all to acquire a firearm (or several), stock up on ammunition and take some classes, if not already the case. Not so much for door-to-door fighting, given the rapt obsequious of malicious citizens to DT, but because you might not be able much longer.
DT now has a countdown, which means a limited amount of time before the walls start to close in and what sense of doom he feels will be what guides his actions. I still expect, at some point before the changeover, that DT attempts to call for martial law and the powers attendant to that for himself, but equally expect that move will greatly hasten his departure when the military declines. Mueller is probably still on the chopping block, if there is room to do that before the new House is sworn in, which is probably the point where we are fully embroiled in a Constitutional crisis. One knows where Kavanaugh will be lying, but he is only one person. There are 8 others who can fulfill their duty and uphold the separation of powers and it is incumbent upon them and imperative that they do so. If not…as this cycle has shown, we are far from out of the woods of a civil uprising.
A number of races have yet to be called, but none of them are going to move the needle too much. What I expect to see, whatever those results, is that the Democrats use this as a launching pad for 2020, starting as soon as they are sworn in, possibly even prior. I suspect this will be done subtly, at least at first, but anticipate they will see their elections as a bulwark, a roadblock to DT’s rampant steamrolling of norms and will act accordingly. Pelosi will be the next Speaker, but that is unlikely to last past 2020, perhaps sooner, depending on what happens with DT. The House has no enviable task. Consider what happens when you take a week or two away from the office (if you work in an office). It can take double or triple that to catch up on your return. In this case, the House has been on vacation for 2 years and the internal rot and corruption extends to literally every single DT appointee and his entire Cabinet. They could literally do nothing else but investigations the entire time and perhaps still be doing those by the time 2020 rolled around, even without the Mueller investigation.
Their first order of business will no doubt be to protect that and all the elements of it. I would suspect they would want immediate redundancy and if Mueller is fired, perhaps will hire him themselves directly to continue the investigation, while starting immediate impeachment proceedings. Make no mistake. This is not at all hyperbole to say this a fight against evil, evil of mankind, of greed, of avarice, of prejudice, or corruption, or a lack of ethics, integrity and morals. From there, they will probably float various ideas for infrastructure upgrades, which are sorely needed nation-wide. I suspect the EPA will probably be on their target list also, as well as the Education Dept. ACA, for the moment, is safe, but all bills will grind, I suspect, to a halt, with the Democrats putting their best public face on the stance with an eye to 2020. The pretense will be that they’re trying to work with the GOP, with the GOP characterizing any such working together as what it actually will be: capitulation. The Democratic base still wants a fight in the face of such wanton aggression, so it will be a delicate minefield in which to tap dance for the Democrats. Having the Obamas back will help here greatly.
Already McConnell and DT are reinforcing Steve Schmidt’s point about the wrong lessons, which means the unraveling will be 2 steps up and 1 step back for the next 2 years while the Senate goes about their own shenanigans. In the face of that, the Democrats needs to do 2 important things: 1) stay on message and 2) be loud as fuck. This has to be taken as a building block, another step in a marathon, rather than an end to itself. While many of us really really wanted a blue tsunami, it was clearly that the shit part of the country was not going to deliver that, with or without vote tampering. The pollsters, particularly 538, did very well for the mid-terms and smarter minds than I will have to correlate how the Democrat candidates frequently outperformed their opponents in fund-raising and underperformed at the ballot box, again, tampering notwithstanding.
Much of the country’s citizenry is awful and that is the true fight upcoming, as President Obama mentioned, the battle for the soul of the country, who we are as a people. Many more did not show up to vote. Yes, gerrymandering and fucking around with machines and the creation of bottlenecks and all of that and yes, it has to be corrected and yes, you, me, we’re all tired of politics, even those who have a job in it, but goddamn it, everyone who can needs to bring their ass and show out at election time. If you’re sick of hearing about fucking politics, then use your vote to bring in someone who you can trust not to burn down the country. Instead, we have a guy up there who treats the country like his children, as levers to be used, mere tools, instead of humans and those should be his closest people. Maybe you, non-voter, didn’t directly put him there, but you sure as fuck allowed him to be put there AND you allowed his power structure to remain intact while you looked away and bitched about standing in line and the hassle of it all, while everyone who cares about the country not sliding down the deep descent into fascism as the new status quo were vigilant enough to inconvenience you to have to hear about it longer. Your vote can shut everyone up and bring back a status quo that allows you the luxury of having time off from politics, but by giving that away by abstaining, you and everyone else in this country must continue to pay, in one way or another. Fortunately, you will get another chance to fight again, as the bigger fights of the war are still forthcoming, but I urge you to take advantage of that while you are still able.
I get often asked about the differences between the parties and the easiest way to characterize it is this: Democrats want everyone to have stuff while the GOP wants to keep all the stuff themselves, with most of it funneled to the top and crumbs “trickled down” to the great unwashed peasantry, many of whom are still stupid enough to vote for their oppressors.