The mid-terms are essentially over! So, to recap…
First, the pain. Everybody called it, I called it, we all knew it would happen even as I hoped most fervently that it wouldn’t, but Ted Cruz beat Beto O’Rourke for the Texas Senate, and that remains a terribly bitter pill to swallow. That America is so profoundly fucked up that the most exciting and inspiring candidate since Bobby Kennedy (Obama aside) can’t beat the most worthless, hateful piece of malodorous dog shit to ever hold elected office, even though it is Texas, just butchers your soul with a meat cleaver.
There are pundits who’d disagree with me on Beto, holding that Andrew Gillum in Florida, running for Governor, was the most exciting and gifted candidate the Democrats have fielded in 50 years (Obama aside). Of course he lost too, to a spectacularly worthless clump of cow droppings named Ron DeSantis, whose election ads cast him as a lickspittle Trump disciple who read the wit and wisdom of Trump to his infant daughter each night instead of a bedtime story. Really. That was the pitch. Hi, I’m running for Governor, and I brainwash my kids to feel unconditional love for Donald Trump.
Then there was the race for Georgia Governor. Georgia is the jurisdiction of that awful bastard Brian Kemp, who ran ads about how he was going to load his many guns into his great big pickup truck and round up illegal immigrants by his own goddam self; who stayed on as Secretary of State, the adjudicator of the election, even as he ran for office, violating the most fundamental principle of natural justice by being referee in the match he was himself playing; who exploited his position of electoral referee to work his fingers down to nubbins suppressing minority voters; that Brian Kemp. Yes, as I write this, it seems almost certain that this miserable racist cheating bastard beat Stacey Abrams, a candidate of impeccable credentials who would have been the first black woman to ever be a Governor. She had Oprah campaigning for her, and it probably still wasn’t enough.
As of two this morning, the outcome is still in doubt, technically, but that’s little solace. Even if Abrams is close enough to demand recounts, or a runoff under the rules in Georgia, even if, by some miracle, she wins after all, that’s hardly the point. In any half-way rational world this race wouldn’t even have been close. Not even. Not that I won’t feel warm and fuzzy if this somehow breaks my way, but still. There’s something deeply wrong with a society in which this was any sort of contest.
In the House, avowed white supremacist Steve King of Iowa held his seat. No kidding. The guy’s a frigging Nazi in all but name. He’s vile. He’s a total moron. He kept his seat. Duncan Hunter, a Republican in California who’s under indictment for sixty charges relating to embezzlement of campaign funds, kept his seat too.
This is all ugly beyond comprehension. This is symptomatic of a desperately sick and racist society.
The Republicans held the Senate, too, of course, and nobody, but nobody, predicted that they wouldn’t, so it shouldn’t sting as much as it does. The way it works, only a third of all Senators is up for re-election every two years, and this time, as luck would have it, the third in play was overwhelmingly within deep Red States, but still – still – imagine a populace, however white, however ill-informed, however bigoted, stupid, narrow-minded and ignorant, that includes even a single person who’s watched Trump for the past two years and can still vote Republican, let alone a populace, whatever the district, that boasts a majority of such idiots. Just ponder for a moment what this says about the viability of democracy itself.
So, I guess we’re supposed to be happy that the Dems took the House and a few State Houses, and I suppose that as things stand, we should be. With Democrats in charge in a few States when the next Decennial Census leads to the redrawing of Congressional districts – in America’s insane system, the political partisans in power decide how to draw the electoral map, think about that – maybe some of the ridiculous gerrymandering of Project Red Map can finally be set to right.
Meanwhile, with Democrats in charge in the House, all those oversight committees can get down to work. This is vital; not enough, not by a damned sight, but vital.
That’s great, but look at where we are. After two full years of watching the most idiotic wannabe autocrat to ever wield power stumble witlessly through the scenery, bumping into things and spewing non sequiturs and racist bile, roughly half of America remains dedicated to Trumpism. The rural white half, basically. The backwards-assed country fucks who fear the immigrant caravan, the oh-so-menacing caravan, God save us. The chasm between Country Mouse, all lily-white and dumb as a brick, and City Mouse, multicultural, educated, liberal and tolerant, is now so stark that there are essentially two countries down there. Until this is resolved – until, somehow, the dumbass aggressive bigotry of white rural America is mitigated, re-educated, or by some means neutered, despite a Constitution that grants disproportionate power to such folk – America will never, ever, despite all of Trump’s baseball caps, be great again.
I know this sounds biased and harsh. Do go ahead and check me on this, and look up some videos of these people being interviewed. There’s gotta be a few on YouTube. Just listen to them. They’re practically automatons, repeating verbatim whichever ridiculous, disgusting lies Trump or some other Republican last spewed at them. They’re barely sentient. Here, I’ll do it for you:
So yes, at least the Dems took the House. Yay. Beware, though, this partial return of Democrats to some semblance of power may be temporary, and may indeed be squandered by a party that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, to appropriate a great turn of phrase from Israeli statesman Abba Eban. The structural problems in America’s democracy are deep and virtually intractable, and the essential stupidity of the vast bulk of the American electorate, perhaps like all Western electorates these days, constitutes a mortal threat to the faltering democratic experiment born of the Enlightenment.
In light of this, I’d argue that nothing got fixed last night. It’s better, for the moment, but by no means has the peril been confronted and defeated. So much more needs to be done to vanquish the white electorate’s bigotry, indolence, ignorance, incuriosity, and susceptibility to transparent liars. To begin with – and merely to begin with – the terrified Caucasians residing outside of city limits all across America need to be taught some history, and shown that newcomers have always been the key to their national vitality, and that there’s nothing to fear. Nothing at all, save fear itself, as a great President once told them, back when the Presidency might still be occupied by someone truly great.
Actually, now that I think about it, the time when greatness might occupy the Oval Office only ended a couple of short yet interminable years ago. Remember? I know it seems like a dream now, but can you recall it? Maybe that era didn’t really end, and this is just an interval? Look, it’s two in the morning. Maybe, come the light of the new day, things will look better.
Let this temper your optimism: Mitch McConnell, Satan incarnate, remains Senate Majority Leader. Just watch what he does.
Let this be your hope: we’re not done with Beto. 2020 is just around the corner.