A TGB READER STORY: Practicing Patience
Writing and Coping Until the End

The Day After the U.S. Midterm Election

On the morning after the 2008 presidential election, the first thing I heard on the news was an announcement of who intended to run for president in 2012.

And so it has been ever since. If we have not heard yet today who will run in 2020, we soon will (they can't help themselves, these politicians), thereby continuing what has become the perpetual 24/7/365 political campaign.

There is no governing in the U.S. anymore - just campaigning.

Except for issues that affect old people in particular, Time Goes By is not a political blog. But yesterday's election is different.

As many have said, it is a referendum on President Donald Trump and probably by the time this post is published today or you are reading it, we will know whether he succeeded in helping the Republican party maintain control of the entire federal government or if the Democrats managed to take the House and/or the Senate.

As I write this on Tuesday, I am worried about either outcome. If Trump prevails, it is frightening to imagine what legal and illegal acts his sense of empowerment will unleash on the country and the world. It will not be pretty.

And if the Democrats manage to wrest control of some part of the government, it is frightening to imagine what legal and illegal acts (in addition to his claiming victory anyway) Trump's sense of empowerment will unleash on the country and the world. It will not be pretty.

This election is my last. I was first allowed to stay up late to track the vote count in the 1952 election between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson - I was eleven years old – and I have been doing it in every election since then.

When Trump was elected in 2016, before I knew of my cancer diagnosis, I told anyone who would listen that whatever else happened, I would be pissed off big time if I did not live long enough to see how the Trump era ends (everything ends eventually).

Count me pissed off. And count me pissed off further that if special counsel Robert Mueller III drags his feet, I may not know that outcome either.

But at least I have seen this election and because nothing else today is as much on anyone's mind, let's see what we have to say about it in an open political thread below.



Comments

While it was almost a sure thing (in politics nothing is sure) that Alexandria Ortega-Cortez would win her election to the House of Representatives, I'm pleased that she did. Her acceptance speech articulated what I hope will be our future. Today our country (both federal and state) is governed mostly by old white guys. Ortega-Cortez is not that. She represents a step toward a different political scene. When she takes office, she will be at the bottom of the House hierarchy so it will take time for her to master that house. She is young, she is energetic, she has that elusive quality charisma. I hope she will have a long and successful career.

I am encouraged by the increasing number of women running for office and winning. Perhaps they can change the tone of political debates from insult fests to serious respectful debates of issues resulting in compromise... as, I think, the founding fathers intended.

Alas... we still have Ted Cruz. There is much to be done.

OOPS... it is Ocasio-Cortez!

Disappointed by the Senate (and the Court), relieved about the House. Much work yet to be done. Still, we can allow ourselves perhaps just a moment of giddiness: Staten Island and Bay Ridge (Bay Ridge!) go blue.

Regardless the outcome of any political race, we need to acknowledge that over 40% of U.S. citizens are satisfied with the current regime. That fact will remain whether liberals or conservatives are in control of the House or Senate. We can get smug or we can get scared, but we better learn about these folks and have conversations with them before anything will really change: gun control, climate change, immigration, health care, voting rights, etc. Pointing out bad behavior (theirs OR ours) isn't enough. To that end, Alexandra Pelosi's HBO documentary "Outside the Bubble" was a beginning.

I wish Ted Cruz had been unseated but it was close. I wish the Senate mix had changed more but I'm thrilled the House turned blue. Time will tell if this is enough to put some checks on Mr. Trump. But I'm hopeful.

Ronni, I think you'll get your wish about Robert Mueller. He's close to wrapping it up, I think, and the House is ready to put something in place to protect him.

My Congressman, due in back in court on December 3rd for his 60-count felony indictment, just got reelected by 10-points. It didn't surprise me at all, but it was disappointing. I had hope.
There was good news and there was bad news. I'm heartened by the increasing diversity in the House, but I see Pelosi's reelection as a potential anchor point for continued partisan bickering if she's chosen as Speaker again. We'll see.
This too shall pass.

As a Florida resident, so sad about the Governor and Senator--we're even more Red. On the positive side there are now 1.4 million people who will be able to vote--ex-felons who've served their time. Happy about the overall takeover of the House. Trying to not feel that our local efforts were not futile.

Like nearly all of your readers, Ronni, I'm happy about some parts of the outcome and unhappy about others. Ugh to Ted Cruz and the Red Senate, which will approve more right-wing judges across the country and, God help us, on the Supreme Court. Thank goodness Mitch McConnell will no longer be Speaker.

But I'm happy about the women elected and the young people energized. Baby steps.

Happy about the House, for sure. Our basic issue of wealth at the top, poor education, and leaving the "unmentionables" out of the political/social equation still paint a grim future if not seriously addressed. Still, yes, a moment's giddiness is deserved.
Don't be too pissed, Ronni, you're on to something much bigger than all this toiling and moiling.

Contentedly, I feel the emergency brake prevented a bigger accident.

What caused the potential tragedy and where, how to change the policies and mindsets that set it into motion are the larger, life-changing questions.

We can do this.

Serendipitously, today is India's Diwali. The lights are to illuminate the beauty in the world and to allow people to see and move beyond ignorance. It's a soulful 'holiday' that shows how love and cooperation inspires sharing with others on the tiniest and largest levels, rather than competitively, would give everyone what is wanted for their own peace of heart and mind.

I live in Missouri, a very red state. Everyone I voted for lost, and we couldn't even pass a small, much-needed and long overdue ncrease in the gas tax. But your remark about campaigning struck me. Here's what I messaged to a friend a week ago: "I'll be so glad when election is over. Of course, it's never "over," and as a parody on Faulkner, it's not even past! Everyone is so busy campaigning, there's no time for governing." Guess I'm not the only one who's noticed this!

We have lived long enough to see the House back in the hands of the Democrats and with many more women in place. But, I too, do not think that Donald will go easily. He will continue to stir up trouble and cause riots for as long as he allowed a pulpit. As a student of life and history, I can only take solace in the fact, that even though changes are horrible and big changes are even more horrible, change is inevitable. I do firmly believe that our governmental system has ground to a halt and must be replaced with something more fair to all. The ideals were good and just, but money won. The Lobbyists and Big Money took over and justice went out the window. We must have big changes or this country will become be a floundering nation with poor leadership and" beggars at the gate." A form of Democratic Socialism is a much better option, but people in this country think that is the same thing as Communism. We are a poorly educated nation as well as a narrow minded one. I fear the future holds mostly chaos, maybe even war again. But, if we have lived this long (I am 72), we know how to survive. It is only a matter of how important it is to us to stay alive and for how long. Each of us has to make that decision for ourselves. Some, will have a more active choice than others, but death will come to us all in time. Ronni, I wish you well in your final journey and send loving thoughts to all who suffer.

I was so anxious about the election that I went to the movies to avoid watching any of the coverage until it was late enough that most races would be decided. Arriving home at 9 p.m. Pacific time, I was overjoyed to learn that the Democrats had taken the House, but disappointed at some of the governor's races. I'm worried about redistricting in 2020 that could result in gerrymanders favoring DT. Still, in my own state of Washington, a Democratic woman defeated a Republican man in a much-watched congressional race. The district hadn't voted Democratic in decades.

As I saw clips of the president at his campaign rallies in the last few weeks, I could hardly believe what I was seeing. It was an appalling performance, even for him. All that fear mongering--and all these people apparently swallowing it whole. Do they really sit around worrying about an immigrant "invasion"? We keep hearing that we have to learn to understand why DT's supporters are his supporters, but I find it really hard to put myself in their shoes. It seems to me that they are determined to support him no matter what he does. I don't think I've ever felt that way about anyone.

But on a more pleasant topic, the movie I saw was nonfiction, called Tea with the Dames. It was simply a filmed conversation with the actresses Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Eileen Atkins and Joan Plowright. What a delight! These four old women just talked and laughed...and laughed and laughed. Maggie Smith is as funny when she is being herself as when she is playing a role. It's not the sort of movie that will play everywhere, but it should get to NetFlix eventually. I recommend it highly.

Thankful for what we got - could have been worse.

O tempora! O mores!

My biggest concern was retaking the House, and thank the stars the Dems did. I voted straight Dem and now Colorado is more blue than purple. I got the Dem governor I wanted and we passed several measures that will prevent gerrymandering in the state (an independent bipartisan commission will be appointed). Sadly, our antifracking measure did not pass, but maybe our new governor will not be as pro oil & gas as the last one. Sorry Cruz won. Happy about all the women running and winning.

Today T* is tweeting if the Democrats start investigating his finances... he'll retaliate. Got to wonder: if everything was on the up and up... it would be a shrug. "Look... have a good time". The optics are bad... as is the aroma.

My candidate for Congress defeated the incumbent Republican by running a positive campaign and being inclusive and accessible. My candidate for governor (also a Democrat) ran on the campaign slogan of One Minnesota, and has a reputation as someone who can work across the aisle. My candidate for representative to my legislature is a professional mediator. Maybe we're finally getting the message across that we want people who can actually govern rather than spend all their time being confrontational and not being willing to "compromise".

As was mentioned before, seeing the US House turn blue saved me from being completely discouraged. And the biggest victory in FL was our approving Amendment 4 to re-enfranchise most former felons who have completed their sentences. Now we need to create a nonpartisan method for redistricting and selecting new members of the judiciary. The LWV will be critical to both these efforts. There is much more to be done... at 66, I''ll do what I can as long as I can...increasingly, I'm looking to the next generation to provide more leadership a la Andrew Gillum.

To Ellen F..... you could have taken the thoughts right out of my head. Please post any organizations you are familiar with that propose like purposes. Thanks.
Is that an ok request, Ronni?

Suzeron...

Names are fine. Just no links. I think all of us here know how to use search engines.

Relieved and pleased about the House. And maybe I'm a blind optimist, but I believe that deep investigations (including Muller) may just eliminate Trump from running in 2020. At the very least, we -- the public -- should know once and for all if there have been criminal actions in his past/present. There's always been a "whiff" of something not quite right about his enterprises, and whereas if he'd stayed a private citizen, he'd have skated by. But now? Not so much.

I think Mueller will be making his move soon enough that you will learn the outcome of that investigation. I wouldn't be surprised if some indictments are handed down starting this Friday. At least he and his team have kept their investigation "close to the vest" during all the political shenanigans.

Always look forward to your posts. Still in the boat with you during your enlightening journey.

In reply to Nancy Wick about why Trump followers support him:

The short answer is Rage. Rage is a mind-altering drug and some people are addicted.

We know that Trump lies like a rug, but it doesn't matter what he says. What he's actually selling is anger. His fans recognize it as the real product and drink it in like water. Then they look forward to their next fix.

In the long run, addicts have to cure themselves. We can't help them.

I'm O.K. with what happened in WA State overall although Eastern WA elected Repubs, as they usually do. Nationally, I wish Beto O'Rourke had won (I detest Ted Cruz, but that's Texas) and I'm still hoping that Stacey Abrams pulls it out in Georgia. I don't think we've heard the last of either of them regardless of the outcome. I'd have liked to see Andrew Gillum win in Florida, too. The "charges" against him are so petty compared to what the unclothed Emperor of Trumpistan has done before breakfast every day for years!

Yes, baby steps. . .

I voted for Obama twice and I will vote for Trump twice. Then, I hope we get a Democrat that is reasonable that I can support.

The talking heads on TV are either gnashing their teeth or chuckling that Dems failed: Ha!! There was no Blue Wave. But there was. Look at those close elections in Texas, Georgia and Arkansas! Who’d ever think that was possible? But it is a tough to impossible row to hoe when most US House districts are GOP gerrymandered, and when red rural Senate states take up much of the US Senate seats. Heard that Dems outvoted Reps nationally by 8 million votes! Incredible…but the results don’t show it because the GOP fix was in! But happy to report that in Michigan there WAS a Blue and Pink Wave which swept three progressive ladies into the top gov’t positions (Gov, AG, Sec of St), we legalized marijuana, two gerrymandered red US Congress seats were flipped to blue by lady politicians, we will have an independent redistricting committee to draw the lines in 2020, and now we have in place constitutional law to promote easy voting for all, help end voter suppression and move toward 100% citizen participation in their Democracy! Full speed ahead. The grassroots are engaged! Oh and Walker lost in Wisconsin!

My parents & I escaped from Russian occupied Hungary during the 1956 Revolution, and Eisenhower's America welcomed us with open arms! Eventually we became citizens and active politically! The assassinations of the Kennedys & MLK, knocked the wind out of our sails! I never thought that I would need to be as active in these, my retirement years, as I was in college. DT's election spurred me into action again, and work to save my beautiful America & Democracy!

I'm horrified, and like you, "pissed off" that he's still in office and as unfit on every level as he demonstrates daily, and that the GOP has stayed silent! I'm 100 % positive that DT's in bed with Putin, and hopefully Mr. Mueller's investigation will reveal the entire family's collusion & treason! I'm thrilled that so many young people have become engaged, that more women and minorities are in office, that Democrats won the House, & am sad that some excellent people lost, & especially that in some cases, corruption may be the cause.

Democracy definitely needs an involved, educated electorate and I hope it continues! I give thanks every day that I live in blue CA. Thank you so much for your posts and sharing your journey even at this difficult time. As we (s)age, the door we all must go through, looms closer and closer in its certainty, and you give me courage to face it. Thank you...

It was a very strange mix here in Iowa. The good news: two new Democratic women were sent to the House, one of whom is only 30. Sort of good news: Steve King, who is the stupidest Congressman of all and my district Rep. came very close to getting beat for the fist time in his career by a young male newcomer, J D Scholten.

Bad news: The female Republican Governor appointed when Gov. Branstad was sent to China as Ambassador, was very closely elected over a male Democrat businessman. The state legislature stayed Republican but added several women. Other state offices were a mixed bag. Bottom line: there is a lot of head scratching over the apparent ticket spiting by a lot of voters.

The two Congresswomen won due to the urban vote in their districts. We have a serious Urban/Rural problem in Iowa, but the fact that someone almost beat King in a mostly rural district says there's hope for 2020. Maybe by then the soybean farmers of Iowa will be tired of dealing with Trunp's tariffs.

I also chose not to watch any of the coverage, instead watched "The Last Waltz" again & pretended it was 1976.

Nebraska, or course, stayed red once the rural western votes started coming in (or so I've read this morning). But we did pass Medicaid expansion!!

The mayor of our state capitol, Lincoln, is a Democrat. The other party has no been able to beat him in the elections, so an amendment for term limits was narrowly approved by the city- go figure.

Ronni, you are so right ... "There is no governing in the U.S. anymore - just campaigning."
And elections are always a mixed bag of results. Always have been and always will be, God willing and creek don't rise, as we say back in West Virginia!

Americans are a very diverse group of people ... no homogeny here! What else would one expect to see in an election in this country! I tend to prefer this to a country where everyone can agree so you just let things slide. I'm glad we squabble and argue and fight. Life would be very dull any other way for Americans! It just shows that our great Democracy allows for diversity and differences of opinions. I think that's what democracy means -- the voice of the 'demos' ... the people speak!

I used to admire the US from afar. But not any longer. It's a whacko system - electioneering 24/7/365. Who has the time?! I'm retired and with time to burn; to read up on issues and arrive at my own informed assessment. But, as a working mother with family? No way, Jose!

I fully agree with your comments Please God, there is justice soon. But what about the enablers?! the GOP, etc.

A 20 year tradition of meeting with like-minded friends on Election morning continued. Normally after I'd go phone bank. Unlike you, Ronni, I'm not sure if I'll be around for another election (living with NHL in one's 70s makes for uncertainty) but I was tired. So a former co worker came back to my office to help me file. We needed mindless "stuff" to stay off social media and avoid projections.

Then a late lunch. Avoidance working.

Projections began around dinner and then e-messages. A dear friend, a close friend of Beto's, I knew would post. My heart racing I went to bed with the same instructions as 2016: wake me when they call it for...

No wake up. Watched Beto live from his kitchen today on FB. I was ok-ish til Cynthia, his aide, cried. Then I sobbed. It was a painful loss.

GA still undecided bc of corruption. Sessions out. Rosenstein next?

All the posts here mirrored those on FB. Some hope, many didappointments. And for those of us sick and/or old(er) fear of what may be done or undone .. all these years of activism for rights to stay or go.

Back to bed.

I've worked as an election judge for two years now. I was glad to see more young people coming out to vote this year than two years ago. Also saw lots of folks who had never registered, or hadn't voted in a while and had to be re-activated, so that was good, too. In the past, all us judges have been retirees, with an average of around 70-75. This year we had a young man from a local high school with us. That was nice, especially since his young eyes were much better than mine and he could read all the small print on forms, ID's, instructions, etc., so I didn't have to keep resorting to my magnifying glass.

I'm very happy that the useless governor of Illinois got the boot, but I'm not a big fan of the incoming governor yet, and time will tell whether he's really up to the big job that lies ahead. Also happy that our neighboring state of Wisconsin voted out Scott Walker, although he was refusing to concede earlier today. Both IL and WI are doing a terrible job of educating their children. I'm hopeful that these changes of leadership will lead to better education for our youth.

I'm sitting here tonight happy about the House turning blue, saddened by local losses, happy that the weasel Scott Walker in Wisconsin was ousted, saddened that we couldn't do better in the Senate... so, mixed feelings I guess.

I'm resistant to some changes, sort of an old fogey in many ways. The one that's on my mind is the shift to the Vote By Mail process., particularly as it works (or doesn't work) with the accelerated news cycle we live with. In the good old days, an absurdly short time ago, people voted in person on election day. Some few folks with a scheduling problem would get "absentee ballots" and vote by mail. Absentee Ballots were the exception and you had to qualify for them. They were generally counted separately from the machine or paper ballots that people cast in person but there were few enough of them that they could be processed within a day or two of election day.

All that has changed. Here in San Diego County we've counted all the in-person ballots and many of the vote-by-mail ballots, but we still have 480,000 ballots left to process. Signatures must be checked on each one. We have the capability of counting about 30,000 of these a day so our results won't be final for two weeks.

I voted yesterday in person. My vote has been tallied. But I'm following a couple of local elections here in North San Diego County and we won't know who the winners are until the Registrar of Voters completes that tedious process of validating and counting the vote-by-mail ballots. Meanwhile, we have candidates who were leading yesterday after 40% of the votes had been counted who have claimed victory. We need a better way of collecting and counting votes and announcing and validating results.

Mixed feelings, yes, and concern about the potential consequences. But also gratitude and a glimmer of hope as results were “better than the alternative”. Would like to applaud Linda F.’s eloquent interpretation of Trump’s undeniable talent for selling rage, though I do think that “going higher” is the path to take to improve things (without being sanctimonious or arrogant about it) and that kindness can go a long way as we stand up together. And, my choice, work on bipartisan efforts to put an end to gerrymandering and to the endless campaign periods in this country and the horrific waste of money that could be spent in so many better ways.
Someone said in another post several days ago that, if necessary, we will hold a seance to get you the news you - and we - are longing to hear.

In Pennsylvania, we successfully got a new congressional map after having lived under profound gerrymandering. In this election, we went from 6 Dems and 10 Reps (with two vacant seats) to 9 Dems and 9 Reps. Amazing.

Yippee Florida might have a recount. I had hoped the Blue Wave would prevail here but 45 had a lot of his rallies here and his “mob” showed up. I am happy about dem house wins though. Mueller is writing his report as we speak Ronni So will you will you see if there are any White House indictments coming down the pike. He is not going to let the new interim Attorney General put a stop to all of his work so I think he is also anxious to wrap up his report before they tried to put the kabosh on it.

I'm in Florida and I'm waiting, holding my breath, to see if we can at the very least keep our one democratic senator. We had good candidates but the republicans continue to out vote us.

I'm delighted we at least got control of the house but discouraged that we Judge RBG has fallen and is hurt and now I'm frightened that Trump will get another bite at that long lasting apple.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that there are so many MANY people in this country who think this man Trump is the answer. It doesn't seem to matter to them that he is like a bully on the playground. They vote and follow a president who takes pride in the fact he doesn't read and only goes on "instinct".

They. want. a. President. who. doesn't. read.

These midterms shouldn't have even been a contest after the last two years. So, I'm getting myself accustomed to the fact that country, as I've known and loved it, could actually end. Living thru the Viet Nam era was wrenching but this is worse.

After all we just snatched babies and children from their parent's arms and put them in "camps." Without an overwhelming vote against the president who sanctioned it.

Where do I put that in my head?

Late to this, but want to mention that the campaign I worked on in Nevada replaced a GOP Senator with a Democratic woman, added a Dem governor with strong margins in the state leg ... and proved conclusively the thesis that that, if we can persuade more people to vote, they'll vote their interests. These include health care access, a higher minimum wage, and access to better education. But they will only vote if people actually talk with them about what they care about. We did that in Washoe County for two months and surpassed all turnout estimates and sealed the Dem victory. It was a hard and a bit of a roller coaster as pundits doubted it could be done -- but unionized cooks and housekeepers in the hospitality industry did it.

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