So we will now be required to sit through 70 days of endless lie-telling, whining, finger-pointing and who-knows-what federal government actions controlled by a man who has been rejected by the largest popular vote in the history of the United States. So be it. Honest government and serious attention to the people who are going through the devastation of the pandemic are just around the corner.
No one, including Joe Biden, says that Biden is perfect. That simple comment, of course, is exactly the opposite of what Donald Trump has always said and always believed about himself. The change will be refreshing.
Since Republican elected officials and party leaders have the backbones of jelly fish, no one from that party has stepped forward to tell Trump that enough is enough. Chris Jacobs, is your phone working? Even the couple dozen 2024 Republican contenders are remaining silent, cowed by Donald Junior of all people. Where is Barry Goldwater when you need him?
Maybe Trump will back off, although that seems unlikely, unless he confronts issues that will be staring him in the face. I’m thinking his failing businesses. I’m thinking $421 million in debt. I’m thinking some serious legal problems.
Trump will undoubtedly want to run again in 2024 or maybe have Junior or Ivanka as the candidate. (Why doesn’t anyone ever mention Eric as a potential candidate?). That will freeze in place the multiple 2024 wannabees, who will are afraid to irritate fearless leader. Too bad. Ivanka 2024!
So we are left trying to keep things in perspective, knowing that the cavalry is on the way. Put a countdown clock on your phone and set it for noon on January 20.
The next four years are not going to be easy. Trump has torn this country apart. The pandemic is raging and the deniers are still denying. Millions are out of work; people are in danger of losing their homes and their health insurance; businesses are closing; state and local government will be cutting services. But in their finest imitations of Herbert Hoover, Trump, McConnell and their colleagues remain unmoved about the need for massive relief.
According to the United States Census Bureau’s mid-October survey:
- 24.1% of American adults expect someone in their household to experience a loss in employment income in the next 4 weeks
- 10.9% of American adults lived in households where there was either sometimes or often not enough to eat in the previous 7 days
- 7.0% of adults are either not current on their rent or mortgage payment, or have slight or no confidence in making their next payment on time
- Of adults living in households not current on rent or mortgage, 28.4% report eviction or foreclosure in the next two months is either somewhat or very likely
- 33.1% of adults live in households where it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay usual household expenses during the coronavirus pandemic
The failure of Senate Democrats, for the third cycle in a row, to produce a majority will mean that many of the initiatives that Biden and Democratic members of Congress want to pursue will be stymied by McConnell and company. In baseball, when you swing and miss the pitch three times, you’re out.
Both parties face some reckoning. Even with Biden’s victory he will likely face a McConnell controlled Senate (Georgia could change that, but winning one, much less two Senate run-offs in January, will be extremely difficult); a reduced House majority that failed to increase their numbers or even protect all incumbents; and Congressional progressives chomping at the bit to push their programs, perhaps not all pulling in the same direction.
The Republicans, as previously noted, will have their own problems as they operate without any coherent policy positions (see the 2020 Republican platform) https://politicsandstuff.com/?s=republican+platform. They will have multiple congressional members off on their own, trying to position themselves as heirs to the Trump regime. House Republicans will have a QAnon caucus.
On the state level Nick Langworthy, the state Republican Chairman, had a pretty good election. House seats were protected on Long Island and there were a couple apparent wins, one on Staten Island and the other upstate. The efforts of state Senate Democrats to pad their majority failed as Republicans have apparently picked up some seats on Long Island and elsewhere. Additions to the Senate Democratic caucus from Buffalo (Sean Ryan) to Syracuse will help moderate the interests of New York City members.
Locally, things were a mixed bag. Most incumbents won. Jacquie Berger didn’t come close to defeating Ed Rath for the Senate seat of retiring member Michael Ranzenhofer. Monica Wallace might still eke out a victory when the absentee votes are counted, but why are the results so close in a district where the Democratic overlay is 19,000 and no one has ever heard of the Republican candidate. Bill Conrad was successful in winning the seat left vacant by Robin Schimminger’s retirement. The Assembly Democratic caucus will in January include about six Democratic Socialists from New York City who probably will not see eye-to-eye with many returning members.
The State Supreme Court contest between Democrat Amy Martoche and Republican Gerald Greenan is not resolved, with Greenan holding a narrow lead in early voting and Election Day voting. With more than 120,000 absentees remaining to be counted, 80,000+ of them being in Erie County, we will have to wait awhile for the actual result.
The story of the 2020 election is not done yet, but it has certainly been interesting so far. Many of us would probably say much too interesting. Stay calm and carry on.