Crabby Old Lady and End of Literacy
INTERESTING STUFF – 11 November 2017

The Democratic Wins in Tuesday's Election

Let's have a little political talk around here today as a switch from too much health chitchat.

Democratic candidates got an amazing number of wins over their Republican opponents in Tuesday's election and in some cases did it in a walk. The biggest spread in the vote count was in the Virginia race for governor between Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie – a vast nine points dividing them.

The Democrats had a good run that night too in Virginia's House of Delegates. Four seats are still too close to call as I write this on Thursday afternoon and the final count could end up with a 50/50 split in the formerly bright red House.

Not as dramatically, some other states leaned heavily toward blue in this election, notably the Democratic win for governor in New Jersey, which is giving Republicans heartburn for the 2018 midterm election.

Yastreblyansky posted a cogent response to these developments at The Rectification of Names blog which I will quote more extensively than I usually do,

First he points out that of the 16 Virginia districts that went to Northam on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton won 15 of them in 2016.

”...one reason [this election] was so like 2016 is that so many people voted — 47%, the highest turnout in a Virginia gubernatorial election in 20 years,” writes Yastreblyansky.

“In a normal off-off-year election, the same kind of idiocy we're stuck with in New York City and New Jersey, the candidate of the leisured, the management, the retired, has an advantage. Not this year: voters just came out.

“And not just voters; candidates too. In 2013, 56 out of 100 districts had no opposition (mostly Republican seats), and no election was required at all; 71 of them in 2015.

“But in 2017 there were just 12 Republican seats with no opposition (28 Democratic seats unopposed by Republicans), because Democrats came out in Virginia to challenge everybody they could, and they won such a startling number those seats because they showed up.

“That simple. (Apparently Trump really inspired folks to run, particularly women, just by being so disgusting.) (Guy on MSNBC—Stuart Stevens, Wikipedia says he's a travel writer—saying every woman running as a Democrat nationwide just won her race.)”

The New York Times followed up on how much this Democratic Party-leaning vote involving wins by so many women and minorities means or does not mean for the midterms that are still a year away:

”Some are skeptical of reading too much into one off-year election. And even Democrats have had heated disagreements over whether identity politics help the party or drive people away.

“But David Ramadan, a Republican who served in the Virginia General Assembly from 2012 to 2016 said the warning for his party was clear.

“'Tuesday’s results show that unless the Republicans go back to being mainstream conservatives and run on issues like education, jobs and transportation instead of sanctuary cities and Confederate statues, they will hand not only Virginia to liberals, but they will hand the country to liberals and Congress to liberals next year,' Mr. Ramadan said.”

At New York magazine, Ed Kilgore walked readers through the various county vote numbers vis a vis the same counties in 2016, concluding:

One would be tempted to guess Northam won a good number of anti-Trump Republicans. But the exits suggest he won only 4 percent of self-identified members of the GOP. What seems to have mattered more is that self-identified Democrats were 41 percent of the electorate, as opposed to only 31 percent who were Republicans.

“That is a testament to the Democratic voter targeting and turnout operation, and possibly an indication that Republicans are losing a significant number of Virginia’s white suburban voters altogether.”

Two things about that: The daily effort the resistance has been making day-in-and-day-out since the 2016 election is working. It's fallen off my radar a bit since June with the distraction of my health issue and I haven't been reminding you to keep after your D.C. representatives on votes as they come up. Do keep at it for the coming year. If you can, help out your local grassroots efforts too.

Second, what do you make of this week's elections? Depending on your political leanings, are you encouraged, worried or, like me, concerned that so much happens, so much changes, every day in our current Trump world, everything is forgotten in the worldwind and almost nothing applies anymore after a week has gone by.

Comments

Well, the elections this week did righten the boat somewhat, at least lightened the year-long load of bull___t and angst. In the recent months, however, I've noticed many friends and myself also pulling back from the buffeting of never-ending headline and head-bashing political news, and relegating the nation's political/corporate greeds to a corner spot of a day's attention. Not for elimination, but to right an inner imbalance.

The resistance continues on, and I now allow an hour/day for emails, calls, etc. In my book, it's up to the millennials and others under 50 to make what will be their future and will throw support toward that goal.

And I hope it includes formation of a 3rd party. To say Democrats are liberal is nothing like liberal used to be pre-1990 or so. And we need the poor, the deprived, the truly invisible people to have a voice as they once did. Some companies are taking 'charity' on, but that isn't a long-term, stable solution for what is needed for the lower class (which no one speaks of - they're not consumers, after all) which is growing and expanding via the middle class moving 'downward.'

With regard to that, it will be interesting to see where Stockton, CA(I think) goes with their allowance for each resident regardless of their financial status.

My resolve is strengthened. My Resistance.Every.Day. continues. Never again will I be complacent. Every phone call, email, and letter matters. Every voter matters.
70 maybe a bit late for becoming an activist but so be it. I’ll be darned if I’m going to leave my country in the hands of a gang of thugs

All we had here in Central Iowa College town was a local mayoral/ city council /hospital board type election. The candidates are not identified by political party, but it's pretty obvious which party they each supported. Two candidates, a man and a woman ran for mayor. The man won with 58% vs 42% for the "progressive" woman. We've had a non-progressive woman mayor for many years, it should be noted. The man is a local businessman. She ran a clean campaign; he did not. 'Nuff said.

However, in my Ward's council race, we elected an openly gay local young man (who once was my kid's classmate) with 54% vs 46% of the votes. His opponent had worked in law enforcement for years at the U. So I had mixed emotions . My progressive woman candidate did not enjoy the success of women candidates around the country. The guy will be okay, but he's part of the rampant development problem we have.

Simone, I agree that the young and the people of color and all "non-consumers" need to be the agents of change for the future. But what a task to empower them. Good luck there. Meanwhile we oldies can keep on resisting in our own ways.

Not mentioned as much in the national news is that Washington State now joins OR and CA in having the governor, senate and house all Democratic, making a solid blue line down the West Coast! (Our U.S. Senators are also both Democrats...and women). The two major parties certainly noticed the race that 'made the difference' in the state, though. Last figure I heard was $8,000,000 spent by the two parties on that 'local' race! In addition, the Seattle mayor-to-be is a woman and a lesbian.

The problem with trying to "Right the ship", is that there is a tendency to send too many people to one side of the boat or another. What this country needs is a viable third party to act as ballast, especially when those critical tie-breaking votes are needed.

As a very active volunteer for gun violence prevention as well as an active local Democrat in red AZ, it was heartening to see - for the first time- some Democratic candidates winning who publicly support common sense gun laws. Here in AZ in the past, Dem candidates were told to “stay away from talk about guns” in order to attract the needed votes for our AZ “Third Party,” The Independents. There are more I’s in AZ than D’s!

A number of the a amazing women who won across the country are either volunteers for MOMS Demand or supported by us and Everytown!

Bruce brings up and Kathleen points out the 3rd party factor. Every time I hear/read 3rd party I remember what the Green Party in Florida did to Al Gore. What a different world we might have had except for them. Independents are different in that they aren't organized but can be a big factor in deciding results. Ronni, perhaps you could do a future discussion on 3rd parties, organized or not and what role they might play in putting this country back on the rails...or not.

The trouble with third parties, in general, is that in any specific winner-take-all contest, they help the party that -- on paper -- their supporters should least want to win, by splitting the votes of those who oppose it.

The rules of the game matter, though. You can live with third parties in a parliamentary system like we have in Canada, where the whole job of government goes to whichever party can summon up a majority. We can wind up with a minority government that has to bargain for the support of the third party to get anything done, and this is sometimes okay.

I can't see it ever working in the US, though. Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Jill Stein... third party candidates for the Presidency have always tilted the outcome in the wrong direction. In 2016 I think Russian intelligence was well aware of that fact, and as part of their intervention to support Trump, they did everything they could to promote Stein's candidacy on the left, as well as to keep Bernie / Hillary supporters at each others' throats long after Sanders himself was energetically campaigning for Clinton.

Right now I am so disgusted with my party (Democrat) for their blind leadership that I fear we may lose more than we gain if they don't end their support for middle of the road establishment candidates to the progressive candidates like Elizabeth Warren. The voters made it very clear that they are fed up with the way Washington rules. They are hungry for progressives who will take on the big banks, the establishment and really drain the swamp.

Until we are able to do away with the electoral college and establish a true Democracy where every vote does count we will end up with a government of Lemmings beholden to their rich enablers and not to the people.

There is so much work to be done to right the ship of state that it makes my head swim. Until that happens we must support the best candidates running and that means Democrats so keep on giving your support to the ones who will do the least damage.

I spent some time today thinking about a response to your post today, Ronni.
But when I checked back just now, I found that Darlene already said it and said it best.
Thank you, Darlene.

There are more of us than there are of them. That's why the Republicans have to use dirty tricks to "win." We just have to show up and vote.

Put me down as hopeful.

Essentially I agree with Darlene, but I'm perhaps a little more cautiously optimistic in that the Dems were actually able to field winning candidates for a change! Even if some of these candidates weren't as Progressive as I would prefer, I plan to start supporting the Dems again. I'll start by contributing financially (of necessity very modestly).

The problem with 3rd parties--as others have observed--is that they usually end up splitting the vote. That often helps the "other guys" win. If we're going to wrest our country back from the greedy grip of The Orange Apparition and his fellow vulture capitalists, we need every vote we can get! Charlotte is right: there are more of us than there are of them, but we need ALL our 60% to get out and vote in the mid-year elections and in 2020.

Simone and Darlene expressed most of my feelings very well. Thank you both. But I was hungry for a sign of hope ... and the election of a Liberian refugee as Mayor in Helena, Montana, and of Danica Roem in Virginia, plus other results, was a tasty treat.

I feel heartened, encouraged. Also very heartened to hear that Bernie Sanders is the most adored politician right now. I just hope the Dems wise up.......did they steal the election from Bernie? I am pretty disgusted with them too. And will still keep on plugging for them. But, if they don't take into consideration the left behind, disenfranchised and disenchanted, we'll still be in a mess.

I agree that we need to do everything we can to get our country back to normal, without all the hate speech and destructive policies. I personally hope the the Democrats find candidates that fit their districts, rather than demand that all candidates be extremely progressive. Most people agree with some progressive policies, but not all. Many of the very blue states last November chose Hillary over Bernie by a very large margin. It's better to have a win with an imperfect candidate than a loss.

it is with wry amusement i read about returning to mainstream conservative values. no one has seen or heard of such things in my lifetime--and i'm no youngster. those values are like so much else in the conservative roster--merely sound bites and cudgels and red meat for the base. they were often known as the business party, but they were really the party of businessmen, and those men were at the top of the pyramid. when the goal of your party's platform is to gin up hatred and divisiveness, can you really be said to have any values?

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