November 6, 2018 in USA .. not exactly a night to remember for the rest of our lives?

Nov 7th, 2018 | By | Category: In Brief

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York becomes youngest woman elected to Congress.

6:20 PM ET : Nothing too striking in the earliest 2018 US Midterms vote, as best as we can tell, on Twitter and/or TV. But it’s a relief that the evening has finally begun, as Rachel Maddow has recently observed.

12:15 AM : We agreed to wait somewhat longer before making any brief comments. Until after the popcorn runs out in the office board room with the big TV.

2:40 AM : So … early but soon faded prospects that Democrats might take both the Governor race and a Senate seat in Florida and a Senate seat in Texas set too high initial expectations at our election-watching party. The ultimate results were more sobering.

In the end the smart-money predictions beforehand were borne out. As summarized by the New York Times : “Democrats Capture Control of House; G.O.P. Holds Senate.”

A best progressive spin on how it all looked on the early morning of November 7 also appeared on the Times’ digital front page, under the headline “Unusually High Turnout Illustrates Intensity of Trump Backlash.”

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer has become the new governor of Michigan.

The spin went on : “Democrats harnessed voter fury to win control of the House and capture pivotal governorships, delivering a forceful rebuke of President Trump … An array of diverse candidates – many of them women, first-time contenders or both – ended the Republican Party’s eight-year grip on the chamber … But in an indication that the country’s political and cultural divisions may only be deepening, the Democratic gains did not extend to the Senate.”

The exact but still to be finalized numbers reported by the Times as of 4 AM showed the Democrats gaining 26 seats in the House, while the Republicans gained two seats in the Senate, and the Democrats gained seven new state Governors.

We finally agreed here on a number of quotations from eminent persons on Twitter, as summaries of our own initial reactions.

Two largely negative comments to start with. First from Susan Delacourt at the Toronto Star : “I’m going to go right out there and predict that these midterms did the sum total of nothing to fix polarization in the United States and may have made it worse.”

Democrat Sharice Davids in Kansas becomes first Native American woman elected to Congress, “with New Mexico’s Deb Haaland expected to pull off a similar victory.”

Second from the anti-Trump former Republican commentator Bill Kristol : “I assume the election will embolden Trump. His political strategy of focusing on Senate victories in red states will have worked. He’ll have no incentive not to continue demagoguing immigration. He’ll be tempted to fire Cabinet members and others he regards as not true loyalists.”

We’ll end with a number of more positive comments, by various hands and from various directions. First here from Van Jones at CNN : “It’s a rainbow wave … with the Democrats taking control of the House, the new Democratic party is ‘younger, browner, cooler’.”

Next from Daniel Dale at the Toronto Star : “Democrats have won the Senate and governor races in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the states that narrowly put Trump over the top in 2016.”

Then from John Dean, of Watergate fame long ago : “MIDTERMS: A few close races that are heartbreaking. It is obvious the Trump con is not working for the overwhelming majority of American voters. Democrats controlling the House means we have a real check on our autocratic president. Trump is the big looser of the 2018 midterms.”

Democrat Gavin Newsom, celebrating here with family, has been elected California's next governor – “in a win for the resistance against Trump.”

Then from Doug Saunders at the Globe and Mail in Canada : “It looks like close to 60 per cent of Americans voted for Democrats tonight. It’s a majority centre-left populace, as it was in 2016.  Just that the electoral system, outside the House, is based not on demography but on geography.”

Finally, from the excellent Ezra Klein, founder of the news website, Vox : “Trump’s political rise was so stunning that the media is scared to say about him what we would say about any other president polling this badly, and who lost the House, amidst this economy … He’s failing politically. He’s an anchor on his party.”

3:45 AM : In our view there is indeed a civil cold war going on in the USA today. We believe that the growing demographic majority represented by President Obama and the Democrats is bound to win over President Trump and his Republicans in the very end. (Just like the North finally won the shooting Civil War over the South in the 1860s.)

Meanwhile, the long journey to the 2020 US presidential election has now begun. And there are no doubt many further struggles ahead for the great cause of human progress and Democracy in America. Again …  from the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli …

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