Long Division

There’s still a huge amount of data from Tuesday’s elections to be analyzed, but there are also some very clear lessons that emerged.

In the light of morning, it turns out that what may have seemed like a modest blue ripple was, in fact, a fairly impressive–albeit very uneven– wave: Michael McDonald of the Election Project estimates national turnout at 111.5 million. That’s the first time in US history that a midterm exceeded 100 million votes.  If the New York Times  initial estimate is correct, if Democrats won the national popular vote by 9.2 percent, that would mean the margin was over ten million. That’s pretty impressive.

The most important result, of course, was recapture of the House of Representatives. The Senate was never really in play, given the number of seats at risk and where they were–but although the odds vastly favored Republicans this year, they will be equally if not more favorable for the Democrats in 2020. (Granted, by then we may have a totally reactionary judiciary…)

There was other good news. Not only did a number of statehouses and state legislatures turn blue, there were impressive victories for good-government state-level initiatives. Florida’s was probably the most significant; despite the clear racism that characterized the governor’s race, felon enfranchisement won soundly, reversing a Jim Crow law that kept a million and a half people from exercising their franchise.

North Carolina elected a civil rights crusader to their Supreme Court, a result that almost certainly dooms the blatant gerrymandering that has benefitted the GOP in that state.

In what Daily Kos called “a hugely positive development for voting rights,”  Michigan voters approved several critical measures to make voting easier and elections more secure: automatic voter registration and same-day voter registration, removal of the absentee excuse requirement, and others.

Missouri also passed important reforms that will make voting and redistricting fairer.

And especially satisfying, voter-suppression guru and all-around jerk Kris Kobach lost his race for governor of deep-red Kansas.

All that said, the election also made America’s divisions too clear to miss. As Jennifer Rubin wrote in the Washington Post, 

We are becoming a more divided country, 77 percent of respondents said in the exit polls. But the truth is we are not evenly divided. A party that has alienated women, nonwhites, suburbanites, urbanites, Midwesterners, Northeasterners, the college-educated and all but the over-65 demographic set has dim prospects for 2020.

What that (entirely accurate) recitation omits, however, is the geography and impact of the massive divide between urban and rural Americans. As one progressive writer tweeted,  Democrats are getting trounced outside of metropolitan areas. “The consistent pattern you’re seeing is that Republicans are consolidating control of rural white America.”

Combining the geography of America’s political divide with the constitutional advantages enjoyed by small states and rural residents gives rural voters a disproportionate advantage over their far more numerous urban and suburban countrymen. (We’ve seen this operate in Indiana for decades.) The result of that reality, together with the hard-ball tactics employed by the GOP–gerrymandering, vote suppression, and increasingly unapologetic resort to blatant racism–means that the U.S. has had minority rule for some time.

That being the case, the results of the midterm elections leave us with significant–even existential–questions: will the huge and welcome increase in civic engagement last? Will the blue majority of Americans be willing to do the hard work needed to build upon the progress made in the midterms? Can we establish a national nonpartisan agency to administer the vote, so that no future Brian Kemp can rig state systems or engage in the brazen, appalling and unethical behavior that characterized the election in Georgia?

And what will we do–what should we do–to bridge the abyss between the urban and rural Americans who currently occupy incommensurate realities?

 

 

 

 

 

 

41 thoughts on “Long Division

  1. Three states — Oregon, Washington and Colorado — conduct all elections by mail. A ballot is automatically mailed to every registered voter in advance of Election Day, and traditional in-person voting precincts are not available. Can paper be hacked? What if the Postmaster was authorized to check accuracy of state election bureau? If you are registered to vote, in these states you receive a ballot that can be caste by return mail. Is this just too simple? Why not nation wide?

  2. What remains to be seen is if Agent Orange lets any of this reality sink in.

    So far his attitude seems to be that he can live with with Democrats as long as they don’t hold him accountable for whatever laws he might have broken.

    Like that’s going to happen.

  3. Frankly, I don’t believe the Senate races in FL and TX were valid. My friend works the polls in FL (Miami) and the machines there were flipping Dem votes for Senate to GOP. This was also reported in TX where a vote for Beto was switched to Cruz. Outrageous. Check out Greg Palast for more info.

    And then there is GA where the SofS is running for governor and is still in charge of the elections? How is that even allowed? How is that legal? He should have resigned or the governor should have appointed someone else to run the elections so that it could be “deemed” ethical and not shrouded in that corruption. !!!

    And the counts haven’t been completed in AZ which just screams b.s. corruption! WTF!

    We need to go back to a Paper Ballots nationwide and stop using those damn machines that are hackable. Until then, I don’t believe the results and I don’t trust them.

    Serves Donnelly right for his b.s. lately. I’m sorry you Hoosiers lost another “moderate” Dem in Indiana. He’s the only one I sent a letter to this year and look what it got us. Another seat lost in the Senate.

    I’m not pleased at all. I’m furious that the GOP hasn’t been put out to pasture and I want the government to work FOR the people, not the minority party that will cheat if they can’t win. sorry for the /rant.

  4. The sorting of America has been going on for a long time so it’s not so much that “rural America controls the red vote.”; it’s young people are moving to the big cities where progressivism has been occurring for decades. Look at the states with progressive laws in the West.

    Does anybody really WANT to live in rural Indiana??

    The markets have pretty much done exactly what you’d expect which is exactly the problem. They are very predictable and our solutions are as archaic as the market problems. Civil servants in Seattle have to get enormous raises just to live close where they work. The private sector wages for tech jobs are astronomical and so are real estate prices.

    I’ve never heard a Seattle resident say I want to sell my $450,000 home and move to rural Indiana and live like a king.

    Those who insist that unregulated markets are the only way to secure freedom and liberty are not society builders. They are destroyers.

    Why do you think innovators have created remote control tractors for farming?

    I won’t quote Einstein’s dictum today, though it’s appropriate, but will mention another truism often referred to him although I’m not sure he said it, “The solution of a problem will not come from the same level of consciousness creating the problem.”

    It will continue getting worse and the people will get even more restless. After what I witnessed yesterday with Acosta getting tossed from a press conference after getting scolded by an ignorant Trump, I’d say it’s going to get ugly as well. I couldn’t stop laughing after reading Mitch McConnell’s warnings to newly elected Democrats calling the potential investigations, “Presidential harassment.”

    Vladimir Putin can only shake his head at what we’ve become.

  5. The dust is still settling and as Sheila said, “There’s still a huge amount of data from Tuesday’s elections to be analyzed, but there are also some very clear lessons that emerged.”

    Joe Scarborough; a former Republican turned Independent for the most part, put the spotlight on some facts many of us haven’t thought of. The results Tuesday ended the one-party rule, the results are also the biggest Republican loss since Watergate and Trump has managed to lose in less than two years, 1/3 of the number of seats lost during President Obama’s entire EIGHT YEARS. Our gains, while not what we hoped for or expected is bigger than it first appears. It is a huge personal loss for Trump and he began his rampage at that press conference yesterday resulting in the loss of CNN’s chief White House reporter’s credentials and accusing a Black woman journalist of asking a racist question. He continued by firing Jeff Sessions; but in my estimation Sessions came out on top of that long expected action by releasing copies of his resignation letter before Trump could lie about the situation. Yes; it is a good thing he is gone from his lofty position as Attorney General but his replacement is much more dangerous and probably will not recuse himself from the Mueller investigation which would be standard legal procedure due to his public stand against the investigation. Trump continues thumbing his nose at Rule of Law in this nation. Will this continue being tolerated as “Donald will always be Donald.” support.

    Trump is beginning to lose his hold on our government and he is pissed. “There was other good news. Not only did a number of statehouses and state legislatures turn blue, there were impressive victories for good-government state-level initiatives.” In the Indianapolis Star today, the Gary Varvel political cartoon (normally offensively partisan) depicts the truthful situation of the Donnelly loss to Braun; Donnelly lashing his Democratic mount behind Braun riding across the finish line on the back of Trump. Will that continue happening in other red states as more positive results come out in the open regarding the mid-terms to offset Trump’s claim of a big win for Republicans?

  6. Sheila: “And what will we do–what should we do–to bridge the abyss between the urban and rural Americans who currently occupy incommensurate realities?”

    Why don’t we try to deal with reality while we still have a little “steam.” The reality is that Donald Trump is a MONSTER, somewhere between a sociopath and a psychopath. He can only be tamed by an understanding of mythology and its use of MONSTERS.

    From the last paragraph in “The Myth of the State” by Ernst Cassirer, the author of “An Essay on Man”:

    “The world of human culture may be described in the words of this Babylonian legend. It could not arise until the darkness of myth was fought and overcome. But the mythical monsters were not entirely destroyed. They were used for the creation of a new universe, and they still survive in this universe. The powers of myth were checked and subdued by superior forces. As long as these forces, intellectual, ethical, and artistic, are in FULL STRENGTH, myth is tamed and subdued. But once they begin to lose their strength CHAOS IS COME AGAIN. Mythical thought then starts to rise anew and to pervade the whole of man’s culture and social life.” p. 375

  7. Some thoughts about that abyss between rural and urban Americans.

    There is a sense of isolation living in a rural community whether in a small town or out in the farmlands. That sense of isolation allows for the belief that one is different from, and better than, one’s counterpoint in the big cities where all kinds of different people live on top of each other in a noisy and crime ridden environment…and at an accelerated pace. This mental self image is reinforced by those in leadership positions… local politicians, religious ministers, and the business community who have a financial stake in keeping the population where it is. Add to all of this the social limitations that leave one with only the local school, churches and bars as the focal points for interaction with others, all having the same self view, and you have Americans who segregate themselves from what they believe will destroy them and their way of life, a way of life seen as something akin to a mix between the old west and Norman Rockwell picture.

  8. It’s clear to most of us that the red state citizens are voting against their own self-interest. The question is why are they more afraid of those who are not like them, than they are of their own economic peril evidenced by the health care debate, the opioid crisis, the lack of markets for their products, etc. Stock market rises don’t do anything for them as they are not heavily invested in the markets. When we answer that question, we can again be E Pluribus Unum.

  9. Here is a brief summary, though probably not up-to-date, of the election results:

    Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko)
    11/7/18, 10:25 AM
    290+ State leg seats flipped
    29+ House seats flipped
    7+ Gov flipped
    7 State leg chambers flipped
    4 GOP supermajorities in state legislatures broken
    4 States to expand voting rights
    3 State Supreme Court seats flipped
    3 Red states to expand Medicaid
    2 States raising the min wage twitter.com/realdonaldtrum…

    Marv,

    Trump is BOTH a sociopath and a psychopath. His body and face language at the press conference showed that he is barely clinging to what passes for his behavior. His pathetic egoism and willingness to ridicule those who lost elections because they didn’t kiss his ass is another symptom of the pathological narcissism that is driving him mad. I’ve haven’t been this frightened about things in a long time. The appointment of Witaker to acting AG and the prospect of the Mueller investigation being curtailed pushes us closer to being a banana republic run by a despotic dictator.

    Between now and January 3, what horrors will the orange hairball visit upon our country. The 5th Avenue crowd won’t care, but the other 65% of us may be in great peril.

  10. Vernon…and all; have you seen the blatantly bogus video of the accused physical fracas between Jim Acosta and Trump’s minion trying to wrestle the mic from him? Evidently posted with Sarah Huckabee-Sanders’ lie upholding Trump’s lie regarding the exchange seen live by millions in this country and abroad. We are expected to believe them and not our lying eyes.

  11. A reactive judiciary is one that’s doing its job by the rules.
    A proactive judiciary (or whatever you prefer over reactive) is not actually judging anymore, but setting policy through abusive and over-reaching decisions.

  12. Just another Day in America and another Mass Shooting.: Twelve people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a crowded bar in southern California, police said on Thursday morning.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/08/california-borderline-mass-shooting-thousand-oaks

    Jeff Sessions was fired/resigned, he was also one the first on board the President Agent Orange train. We all should know by now loyalty runs only in the direction of President Agent Orange. Sessions just found that out.

    It seems at least here in Indiana the Republicans in Congress learned an important lesson, they can stay in the bunker and count on their base to come out and vote for them no matter what.

  13. Vernon,

    “I’ve haven’t been this frightened about things in a long time.”

    “Between now and January 3, what horrors will the orange hairball visit upon our country. The 5th Avenue crowd won’t care, but the other 65% of us may be in great peril.”

    Exactly right. But nothing can be done without WARNING INTELLIGENCE, which is impossible to benefit from, as long as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League are controlling the intelligence function and LIMITING it to only monitoring the activities of the KKK, neo-Nazis, etc., etc. and thereby letting Trump and his base of Evangelical Christians off the hook, in order that Israel will still have their financial and political support.

    It’s about time that we put and end to this FUCKING GAME.

  14. Excellent explanation, Theresa. Thank you for sharing your insight. In answer to Sheila’s question, I think at least one of the big things we need is an improved news/information (since so little of what they print and broadcast is truly news) media. And I am talking about even what is left of our respectable news media, especially the broadcasters and especially the cable networks, who need to do a better job labeling what’s commentary and what’s reporting, if any. If it really is pure reporting. The people doing the talking/reporting and editing have proved themselves time and again culturally clueless to the plain fact that their entire audience, let alone any accidental viewers/readers, does not share their values, worldview, assumptions about things. Most recently and rather less crucially than a lot of examples, I was struck by David Muir’s happy “let’s all buy our Mega Millions tickets and get our riches” coverage of the big prizes that were built up, oblivious to the fact that people in various parts of the social, economic and ideological spectra believe it’s silly to stupid to buy lottery tickets, that lotteries succeed on the backs of people who should be spending their hard-won cash on necessities not lottery tickets and that gambling is flatly morally wrong. “Everyone” is not all happy and excited about this, David. Coverage routinely squawks out deeply buried assumptions about “everyone” or about viewpoints that are not shared when there are perfectly useful neutral words and descriptions that could be used to describe the facts of what is happening THAT WOULD NOT MAKE THE NEWS MEDIA LOOK LIKE SHILLS AND BUILD AND CONFIRM MISTRUST OF IT. News people should have sociological training, and they don’t. And they should have the discipline to respect all the people they supposedly serve, and they appear not to. Thank you. End of rant. I do think this is extremely important.

  15. I think Tuesday was good news in more ways than one. Thanks to what happened Tuesday in terms of state housekeeping results on the ballot (no to gerrymandering, restoration of voting rights to ex-cons in Florida etc.), I see hope for restoration of our democracy. Here in Florida we have perhaps as many as 1.5 million ex-cons who may now vote, most of whom will vote Democratic, and with that number added to a surging millennial population and a newly-awakened women’s population along with demographics already in place I think that Florida will be purple next election and blue not long afterwards.

    So what’s the big deal with Florida? This > Florida recently supplanted New York as the third most populous state in the country (behind only California and Texas) and will have more representatives in the House as a result, just in time for the redistricting decennial. That’s a big deal, and with California in hand and Texas showing some glimmer of Beto progressivism and with New York secure and even the deep South showing signs of getting over their plantation politics, it means that Democrats will start off subsequent elections with a formidable lead right out of the box with Republicans playing catch up late into the day.

    Yes, we had a wave, but so did our adversaries, and yet we outgunned them by over 10 million votes which, but for gerrymandering and other voter suppression, would in another day and age have been a sweep on the order of the 1936 general election of FDR. Sheila rightly points out that the wave was uneven, but that is not surprising. Waves have ripples. We are on the right track and I have renewed confidence in 2020 and beyond while aware of the likely brawls between now and then to prevent libertarians and fascists from subverting our democracy. Bring ’em on!

  16. I agree with AgingLGrl that the elections in FL and TX we’re almost certainly crooked. What astonishes me is Wisconsin — that they haven’t found enough magic ballots to throw the election to Scott Walker . . . again. It could still happen. When we stood in line a hour to early vote in Boone County, I was chatting with a poll worker. I said a relative in Colorado loves their mail-in voting system. Obviously annoyed by my stupidity, the poll worker snapped, “They’ll steal the ballot out of your mailbox!” Sigh. Typical Republican paranoia. Imagine how many ballots would have to be stolen and signed with forged signatures to throw an election. So much easier to flip votes on an ancient voting machine with no paper trail.

  17. From TechRepublic:

    When an issue arises, it should be resolved as quickly as possible. This makes sense since our definition of an issue is a major problem that is impeding the progress of the project.

    When you’re resolving a problem, it’s important to understand the difference between a cause and a symptom. A “symptom” is an indicator or a sign that a problem exists. For instance, if your team has low morale, it is a sign of a problem. Low morale doesn’t happen by itself and can’t be resolved by itself. The underlying problem may be heavy overtime, boredom, poor management, pending layoffs, etc. In other word, when you resolve an issue, you must address the cause of the problem, not a related symptom. This final cause can be referred to as the “root cause.”

    One way to understand the root cause of a problem is to perform a simple root cause analysis. Root cause analysis just requires you to ask a series of “why” questions.

    The Leaky Pipe

    Here’s a simple example to illustrate our point.

    Let’s say a plant manager walks past the assembly line and notices a puddle of water on the floor. Knowing that the water is a safety hazard, he asks the supervisor to have someone get a mop and clean up the puddle. The plant manager is proud of himself for “fixing” a potential safety problem.

    The supervisor, however, is suspicious. The puddle wasn’t there yesterday. He wonders what caused the puddle to be there today. Therefore, he looks for a root cause by asking why. He discovers that the water puddle is caused by a leak in an overhead pipe. He asks why again, and discovers that the pipe is leaking because the water pressure is set too high. He asks why again and discovers that the water pressure valve is faulty. He asks why again, and doesn’t get a further answer. The faulty valve is the root cause of the problem. So, the valve is replaced, which solves the symptom of water on the factory floor.

    ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS is a way to identify the ultimate cause of a problem. In the example above, there were many opportunities for solving the wrong problem. First, the plant manager could have ordered more mops to be available on the factory floor. The supervisor likewise could have ordered that the overhead pipe be replaced. However, these solutions would have ultimately been wasteful and they would not have solved the problem since they only addressed symptoms – not the problem itself.

    You perform root cause analysis then, by asking a series of “why” questions. Each time that you can answer the “why” question, you’re probably identifying a symptom that is actually caused by something else. Continue to ask why for each answer until you can no longer generate a logical response. This lowest level is likely to be a root cause and is what generates the observed symptoms. You may discover more than one root cause through this analysis.

    When you have identified the root cause(s), put an action plan in place to solve the problem. The symptoms should go away.

  18. The ROOT CAUSE of our present political problems arises from the MODUS VIVENDI between the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It’s been in effect for at least 40 years. It’s a trade off: Support of massive aid to Israel in exchange for un-restained, anti-Semitism in the U.S. through the release of a new strain of hatred through the use of a virus of the mind (memes) by a “camouflaged” ADL/SBC platform.

    I’m not saying the solution to this problem is a simple one.

  19. My family backgound is mixed, both Christian and Jewish. I like it that way. In the past, while living in Dallas, I was asked to be the Spokesperson for both the American Jewish Congress as well as the Jewish War Veterans. Also in Dallas, I handled discrimination cases for Palestinians and other minority groups from the Middle East, while, at same time, I was counsel for the Presbyterian Church’s Children’s Home and Adoption Agency.

  20. michigan, home of the lifer law for a pound of cocaine, times have changed. maybe detroits and others fall, the influx of the melenials, and tech, is changing the scene. though named mo-town, we dubbed it mowed down town after 2008. from some conversation with some residents living here in nodak, they are now going back to mich… jobs,housing,and maybe a new horizon… if the dems can hold the fire to wall streets feet on development,and money, michigan may succeed in being a new story.. another item, infrastructure, if the treasury is now depleated,and given to the monied faction, have them take it out of thier ass pocket,and give it back. dont fall for public-private partnerships, its finding a new way to toll every vehicle whereever they travel, have A small fuel tax increase spread out to the many, over time, instead of buying the republican scam of hurting the working class,it wont, but 12 bucks a day in tolls would…….think about it…
    protests for the firing of sessions, start at 5 P.M. to day…. obviously,agent orange is now concerned about his private life being hung out like yesterdays laundry, there maybe a god..
    like i said, its mainly about trumps prior russian deals,and money laundering by the russians using trumps buisnesses..see james henry,about trumps and kushners money laundering.. BBC has a video on the subject..best wishes from NoDak,,,,

  21. I can assure you that the vitriol of the white racist trump lovers in rural northeast Indiana has become even more loud, hateful and ugly since the midterm election.

    They are like an angry mob and the more their president is on the attack the more they are on the attack. They accuse the Dems of being the aggressive attackers when we are the ones standing back doing nothing. It is simply unbelievable how he is able to arouse such hatred among his followers. It really does seem that he is the second Hitler and those of us who disagree are the ones who will be put to death by the good Christians. Yes, that is how they see themselves.

  22. With someone like Trump, you have to put him into a VICE. Mueller’s investigation and the exposure of the modus vivendi should just about do the trick. Unfortunately, there’s no other way to deal with a LYING WEASEL.

  23. Wanted to give kudos to Michigan’s Voters not Politicians group! They succeeded in passing an an anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative. I knew about the ballot initiative but just learned the story about how it happened. The campaign was started 2 years ago by a 27 yr old woman using Facebook to recruit people. It was staffed by individual volunteers and funded through small donations up to the point when 400,000 signatures were obtained and the courts declared to initiative to be legal. It’s a remarkable story of what can be done by a non partisan group of volunteers. Read more about the details at bridgemi.com I would love to help with something similar in Indiana. If it weren’t for gerrymandering our elections would represent the true wishes of the voters.

  24. Theres Bowers,

    Re your statement “that sense of isolation allows for the belief that one is different from, and better than, one’s counterpoint in the big cities”.

    I have never felt that I am better than my counterpart in a big city. However, for the most part I must be able to take care of many things on my own because I can’t just call on a neighbor or the police or the firemen to help me out with things that people in the local city think nothing of calling for help with.

  25. As an old fisherman, all I can say is, we better not let Donald Trump “get off the hook” RIGHT NOW, or we will live to regret it.

    Be aware, as Vernon has so aptly warned, of the 5th Avenue crowd, they have media clout along with their massive financial resources.

  26. Someone much more eloquent than I referred to the 2018 midterm election as a “motivational” election rather than a “persuasive” one.

    “And what will we do–what should we do–to bridge the abyss between the urban and rural Americans who currently occupy incommensurate realities?”

    Having been raised in a small Indiana town and educated at a small liberal arts Indiana college while having lived my adulthood in urban settings, I see both sides struggling to be heard by the “other” side. If Indiana, and the whole of this country, is to remain intact, we must not negate the other side. We rely on each other. We need to (re)build consensus, allow for expanding bridges of equality racially, genderly, economically, religiously, etc., and move progress forward for all, not just one side or the other.

    Internet access for all, preservation of the family farm, and retraining programs specifically targeting rural areas to shift workers away from labor-intensive, unhealthy industries such as coal mining!/coal-fired utilities would be a start. Include not exclude. Show what we can accomplish together rather than boast only about one side’s power over the other. I know a great number of intelligent farmers. And I know a good many non-common sensical city dwellers.

    And yet, all Hoosiers demand access to clean air and water, greenspaces and protected nature, affordable cradle-to-grave healthcare, and a quality of life based on abundance as opposed to survival and scarcity. We all are only as great as our weakest citizens.

  27. Granted we are rural… but your observation makes it sound like those who are living ‘rural’ are all duck dynasty idiot types tuned into the outdoors channel and fox.
    I beg to disagree: The vast amount of people in the country side around us are as red as can be, granted; but they are mostly people of means (big monied sorts.) We are not so bad off ourselves: but we are part of the ‘blue’ contingent. We are educated, invested and – both skilled in Computer Programming, and Artists, business and professionals. who have made our living out in these trees (ONLINE mind you) for some 28 years, and have friends who did the same. To divide urban and rural in our day is to be reading from the 1950’s playbook. Believe it or not our Co-operative Phone Service was one of the first in the nation to deliver high speed internet in 1995 to areas as ‘rural’ as ours in Northern Minnesota. As far as bridging the ‘gap’ – that gap is to be found everywhere and anywhere any more. Remember you are dealing with a hollywood reality ‘star’, such as he was…and I don’t think the gap is going to be closed anytime soon. That owing to our commercialized – product-incentivized – school systems; and the subsequent political mine field of higher education! A lot has to be ‘un-done’ even as we move ahead. (PS – I am beginning to think we may be seeing Mr. Pence enter the scene more, soon. mr.drumpf has been given a lot of rope and he is hanging himself with it quite nicely!) Then it is going to be on to de-throning ‘pope’ Pence! oy!

  28. As the noose grows tighter around Trump’s crime family, watch for him to more closely resemble the madman despot he truly is. I don’t care that he’s not Italian or Sicilian, he behaves like Mario Puzo’s mafia dons. It’s going to get worse. Look for him to start wearing a ring for everyone to kiss.

    There will be at least two outcomes in Republicanland: (1) Most Republicans will more closely align themselves with Trump’s embrace and take oaths of fealty to the “godfather”. (2) Those few Republicans that have retained a vertebra or two and a thread or two of ethics and true patriotism, will desert the party (a la Steve Schmidt) and lash out at the crime family of Trump.

    That all said, look for Trump’s overt behavior to become more thuggish and more rude and crude. Look for him to become more overtly dismissive and rancorous of minorities, women and Democrats. These groups are those he fears the most.

    Don’t worry about Robert Mueller’s “report”. He, I am sure, has already preserved the necessary materials that will put Trump and his family behind bars. When (not if) Trump fires him, he will make sure that some other legal organization gets what he has collected and proceeds to indict everyone named. It’s the only way the Constitutional crisis can be managed. Trump is too stupid, ignorant and self-centered to understand or care about the damage he’s doing to our nation. The Republicans in Congress will do NOTHING to pass legislation that actually helps the people of our nation.

    Those Trump voters (5th Ave. crowd) must be so proud in their own blindness.

  29. From socialeurope.eu:

    “Brexit, the rise of populists like US President Donald Trump, and profound changes in the media through which politicians interact with voters have left established political identities more fragmented than ever. But just as this has created an opening for populists, it also presents opportunities for those seeking to form new national and pan-European movements centered around EU values.”

    Now is the time to re-group not only in Europe but also in the U.S. We need someone different than Pelosi to lead the Democratic Party out of this quagmire. The impetus will have to come from outside the Democratic Party establishment. The Republican Party had a “third force” arise with the advent of the “Tea Party.” Similarly, the Democratic Party needs a “counter third force” to reduce the national divide and establish some semblance of political equilibrium.

    Our two party system was created to maintain equilibrium. It is now doing just the opposite. We have to be CREATIVE at this perilous junction in our country’s history.

    From Todd at 7:12 a.m.-” I won’t quote Einstein’s dictum today, though it’s appropriate, but will mention another truism often referred to him although I’m not sure he said it, “The solution of a problem will not come from the same level of consciousness creating the problem.”

    See http://www.strategicpower.org for that same quote when the site was created in 2011.

  30. Vernon,

    “Marv,

    “Between now and January 3, what horrors will the orange hairball visit upon our country.”

    I’m scared with you. We better remember that the new Congress will not be seated until January 3rd. Right now Trump controls all of the government, both the House and the Senate.

    Sessions is a racist, however, that doesn’t necessarily make him a traitor. Trump needs traitors, like himself, to keep all his options open.

    We lest not forget, Adolph Hitler took his whole country down with him. The writing is on the wall for Trump. G-d save us all!

  31. Marv,

    You may find David Houle’s books and newsletters interesting. Hes has predicted
    for quite some time that ther will be anthird political party created in our country and that our two party system can not continue to survive.

  32. Nancy,

    Thanks so much for the referral. I just read a few pages from one of David Houle’s books which was available on Kindle. I believe he will provide the necessary theoretical confirmation that I need for my first hand observations accumulated over the past 50 years. Theory needs praxis for confirmation. Likewise praxis needs theory for the same reason: CORROBORATION.

    We’re quickly running out of time to save ourselves from a political catastrophe.

  33. The answer is a PRO-DEMOCRACY THIRD FORCE, not a THIRD PARTY. That’s too far out in the future. The German catastrophe arose from the failure of the pro-democracy forces failure to create a countervailing “third force” against the opposing “Nazi third force.”

    See “Germans and Jews: The Right, the Left, and the Search for a “Third Force” in Pre-Nazi Germany” by George L. Mosse [Author of Nazi Culture and The Crisis of German Ideology]
    (Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1970.

  34. Marv:

    “The answer is a PRO-DEMOCRACY THIRD FORCE, not a THIRD PARTY. That’s too far out in the future.”

    This is not just a good, but a great way to describe our need. That third force can come from within the Democrat party if they don’t once again, as some would say it, “grave defeat from the jaws of victory,” and forget that their moral and political strength must come from the people and not the elite.

  35. Ari Melber had a great take on the election tonight, but more so on the punditry’s interpretation of the populace for decades. We are not a divided country; we are not this center-right, Republican or Donnelly Democratic country; rather, we have been voting for the Democratic Party for decades and the activism in Texas, Florida, and Georgia (among other places) has shown that a more progressive-leaning, policy-focused Democratic Party is where the country is heading.

    Our country has long wanted to “keep your government hands off of our Medicare”. We hate Obamacare, but love the individual provisions. Given the changes enacted to voting and redistricting that Sheila has noted, 2020 will prove to be an interesting time, and hopefully an antidote to Trumpism.

    We have to remember that this is just the first step. The American Revolution took eight years and another five to create and ratify the Constitution that created our current structure of government. While there was much to dislike about this election, especially in Indiana, I am hopeful for the future – maybe even here in Indiana. Maybe the next set of Democratic candidates for Governor and Senator won’t feel that they have to out-right-wing the Republicans. One can hope.

  36. Wray,

    You’re absolutely right when you say: “that their moral and political strength must come from the people and not the elite.” Money isn’t the answer. It becomes a cop-out for taking APPROPRIATE ACTION. Democracy isn’t about $$$$.

  37. Nancy Pappas at 12:14 a.m.

    “Trump and his tariffs are doing their best to turn rural America blue too.”

    We have to PROJECT the above reality and more, NOW. It can be done. Do some of you still remember the science fiction movie: The Day the Earth Stood Still? It was a futuristic movie about world peace. Why not a futuristic video starring Donald Trump and his destruction of rural America and MORE?

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