Friday, November 7, 2014

Recap & Reflections on 2014 Midterm Election Disaster -OR- Liberally Surrendering All Hope

**This entry was posted on November 7, 2014.**

The sign for the Precinct 22 voting station at Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson, Washington, D.C., 10:03AM November 4, 2014.

I'm quite curious if this sign is in fact the very same one that I photographed and posted in this entry immediately after the 2012 elections. I suspect it is. I guess it just gets put away in a closet or some such place until an election and it's needed and sees the light of day.

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So let's get this out of the way ...

The midterm elections were another Democratic disaster, proving yet again that everything is totally wrong with this rapidly declining country and that there is no level of GOP perfidies, immorality, and outright abominations that the party can do and lose the suburban-to-exurban, rural, and over 60 white vote.

NBC News chart showing two age cohorts as a fraction of the electorate in elections from 2006 - 2014. (I assume this is based, at least in part, on exit polls.)

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To recap, the GOP won EVERYTHING, gaining at least 7 seats in the Senate -- and after the two required but TOTALLY pointless runoffs in Alaska and Louisiana, it WILL be a 9 seat gain, giving them a 54 seat majority, which is probably enough to withstand the far larger and more diverse presidential election year electorate EXPECTED (but by no means assured) in 2016.

New York Times map showing Senate election results for the 2014 midterms.

It was a Deep Red State lollapalooza.

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The GOP also won every contested gubernatorial race except Pennsylvania and even PICKED UP seats in Maryland (thanks to a dreadful Democratic candidate, Anthony Brown) and Illinois (where some amoral corporate oligarch was running).

The House majority expanded by at least 13 seats to 243, the highest since the 1920s. And more state governments are under total GOP control than, well, pretty much ever in the modern era.

New York Times map showing House election results for the 2014 midterms.

This map captures the extreme GOP gerrymandering of so many states, although the 2014 electorate was sufficiently demographically tilted to the GOP that the immorality and (in a sane world) illegality of that gerrymandering is not apparent.

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All that horsesh!t talk about the effects of the changing demographics of America and the "EMERGING DEMOCRATIC SUPERMAJORITY" continues to be posted indefinitely into the future. Maybe sometime around the year AD 4000 it will come to fruition.

Turnout was sh!tty except for the usual GOP crowd. I haven't seen any definitive percentages yet but surely it wasn't much more than the usual 40 percent in the midterms -- and it was disproportionately old. Also, all the polls proved to be biased AGAINST the Republicans, who easily won everything.


Unlike in 2012, when House Democratic candidates received 1.2 million 1.6 million* more votes than House Republican candidates, and yet Dems still lost the House -- thanks to the awful combo of liberals and non-white married-with-children voters packed into their little urban enclaves and GOP gerrymandering out the wazoo -- this time Reps won the popular vote by 52.5% to 44.6%.

*See page 73 of document of 75 in PDF reader.

Of course, the GOP voting bloc continues its economic and (slower) demographic death spiral -- but that's just fine with the Jesus-Saves-at-Walmart crowd because to them, all hopped up on Fox News and hinterland AM hate radio, it's all the Muslim Kenyan Socialist's fault. Oh, and something about Nancy Pelosi. She also hits all the right spots in vast GOP erogenous zone.

If Barack Obama is their Emmanuel Goldstein, Nancy Pelosi is the tired old cabaret singer in drag.

Your typical GOP Middle American voter.

All that's missing is the 24-pack of Bud Light and a 6-gallon bag of Cheeto balls.

Of course, this particular kind of dumb voter remains clueless to the real focus of power in America: The sprawling and ever-metastasizing Deep State apparatus, which views these elections with the bemusement you would give any banana republic coup, or maybe an Italian election.

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As for President Obama, he's for all intents and purposes the Jimmy Carter of our present era: Well-intentioned, deeply self-righteous, and politically clueless and painful-to-watch maladroit, not to mention basically a slightly modified version of a Wall Street-friendly corporate "centrist" Democrat, the kind that makes the Washington Consensus crowd happy. As for these two disastrous midterm elections Pres. Obama has presided over, I think he likes it when Dems lose and lose big. It makes him feel better about himself. I can't explain it but it just does.

At this point, America has no actual progressive party counterweight -- just some scattered disjointed rope-a-dope liberals in urban areas with ZERO national power and a bunch of Wall Street-friendly corporate shills and wussies who actually think Robert Rubin and his world view are the answer to ANY question.

Having said that, I totally agree with Jonathan Chait in this column (link embedded):
The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Gridlock or Annihilation.

This was the picture that accompanied the entry and it shows Joni Ernst's campaign headquarters. Ponder for a minute that this  all-growed-up "Children of the Corn" guy with his hands raised actually gets to inform public policy on ANYTHING in this country. That's a frightening and ugly reality.

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I'm going to quote the last three paragraphs in full (with emphasis added on last one):

"All the foregoing brings us to two conclusions, both of them disquieting. The first is that Democrats stand almost no visible prospect of attaining a government majority. The structural advantages undergirding Republican control of both chambers of Congress are so imposing that only extraordinary circumstances could overwhelm them. Democrats managed, briefly, to gain control of Congress when the catastrophe of the Bush presidency created two successive national wave elections in their favor.


"Only that sort of freakish event would suffice. And Democrats might notice that, since winning back Congress requires a backlash against the president, their "positive" scenario requires first surrendering to Republicans' total control of government. As long as Democrats hold the White House, Republican control of Congress is probably safe -- at least for several election cycles to come.


"The second conclusion is simpler, and more bracing: Hillary Clinton is the only thing standing between a Republican Party even more radical than George W. Bush's version and unfettered control of American government."

I should note that by Thursday, an internecine battle had erupted in the Inverted Marxist party that is today's GOP between the Teabagger and Media/Entertainment Faction -- always vicious sore winners -- versus something called "the Establishment" about whether to "govern" and "cooperate" with Obama or have a position of maximalist opposition (but not so crazy -- as in government shutdowns and default threats that it actually penetrates the only-dimly-aware-of-anything American public). Various party officials and organs expressed their views.

The question answers itself.


To the extent there is any "mandate" for anything, it includes the following 7-point "Mitch McConnell Action Plan":

* Making it a crime for poor people to have health insurance or for hospitals to treat them, even in emergencies (this is sure to double his popularity back in eastern Kentucky, in particular among those affected by it -- that's the beauty of being THAT KIND of Republican: You're "voter proof");

*Tripling CO2 emissions immediately;

*Removing ALL hazardous materials and criteria pollutants from any regulation, actions that are part of the instant repeal of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and REQUIRING they be dumped on any and all public lands;

*Putting raw sewage / fecal matter in the drinking water and more generally the "Waters of the United States" (this polls well with GOP "concerned mothers" focus groups);

*Abolishing all taxes on multi-millionaires and billionaires and instead making it a crime to poor punishable by poll taxes, various forms of required tribute, and debtor's prisons;

*Increasing the amount of Dark Money sloshing through a putrefied political system; and

*"Ending the Era of Big Government," which is GOP-speak for turning everything over to a juggernaut of unchecked, shadowy, corporate oligarchs and for-profit contractors and assorted mercenaries, all as representative of "The Free Market."

Now if Obama really in fact moves ahead unilaterally on immigration, then any of these fanciful ideas will fall by the wayside as the VRWC agit-prop machine, despite itself, goes into full-bore impeachment mode, which would probably actually help Democrats. As for Obama, he probably likes the idea, too.

This should be the logo image of the GOP forever. It captures the GOP psycho-sexual fetish with firearms.

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District of Columbia Election Results ...

Turning to the D.C. election, there were few surprises here. The results are here on this really good D.C. Board of Elections webpage. Click on the various tabs for results.

The citywide results were predictable -- indeed, my original forecast of 52% - 36% - 8% between Muriel Bowser, David Catania, and Carol Schwartz wasn't far off the actual percentage results of 54.0% - 35.3% - 7.1%.

Eleanor Holmes Norton won for the millionth time (with 81.54% of the vote).

Turnout was unsurprisingly low at 32.47% of the electorate corresponding to 149,811 votes cast out of 461,325 registered voters. (That's a surprisingly high fraction of registered voters to the overall population of 646,000 -- or rather, it would be in other jurisdictions, but in D.C., so many folks are young, unmarried transplants that it isn't.)

In the end, all but three of the candidates for which I voted won. The three for whom I voted who did not win were Catania, Natale Stracuzzi (D.C. Delegate), and Paul Zukerberg (Attorney General). To be clear, though, to have your guy or gal "win" in an election here in the District of Columbia is an inherently problematic notion since the denizens of this Federal enclave have ZERO power beyond the District's boundary stones (and even then, those on the Maryland side).

Oh, yes, for my African National Congress Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Single Member District vote -- 1B12 -- John C. Green defeated Matt Abbruzzese 337 to 223 out of 681 cast (one of which is mine, assuming it was actually counted).

Oh, yeah, the pot legalization initiative passed 64.69% yes to 28.37% no corresponding to 96,899 to 42,495. There were 10,383 undervotes, which I think means the voter did not cast a vote. Interestingly, there were 18 overvotes, which I think means the person voted yes and no.

I voted for yes, but not because I think everyone should be out-and-about stoned high.

Rather, I just don't think it should be a crime with all the wasted resources and needless use of the already excessive use law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

And with that, we will really put this frickin' 2014 election to bed. As for the 2016 one, I honestly don't give a damn at this point.

Let's just have wall-to-wall far-right crazy GOP domination from Ted Cruz as President down to the Duck Dynasty crowd in the South, assorted Dark Money corporate oligarchs in Midwestern and Northeastern states, and assorted supply side crazies in the big, empty middle that get the corn-fed crowd all tingly all over.

It's hopeless for this country and its political and economic systems.

Here is where I want to live.

Good night.

--Regulus

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