Thursday, November 10, 2022

More Post-Election Commentary: "If they win, I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all"

Photo of stack of newspapers by Daniel R. Blume, Wikimedia Commons

Post-election commentary continues. Here are some pieces I've read that I'd like to recommend:

Jill Filipovic, "American voters just sent a crystal-clear message: they believe in abortion rights":

The only issue voters sent a clear message on? Abortion

Voters who came out to support reproductive rights seem to be one of the chief reasons Democrats weren’t absolutely routed. ...

The American people sent a loud message yesterday: we are a pro-choice nation, and we want the government out of our most intimate reproductive decisions. Republicans should listen, and realize that their party’s position – that abortion should be outlawed in nearly all cases – represents but a tiny minority of Americans; if they want to stay competitive, they should back off from their extremist positions.

And Democrats should realize that these pro-choice voters just saved many of their hides, and recently elected Democratic politicians now owe them more than pro-choice platitudes. They owe what they promised: abortion rights.

Judd Legum, "Political Media Is Broken":

In the case of the 2022 midterms, if Republicans regain control of the House, they will use the threat of a global economic collapse to try to force benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare. We don't have to speculate about this. We know it is true because Republican leaders have said it publicly. But, as Popular Information previously reported, major publications almost completely ignored the potential impact of the election on Social Security and Medicare. 

The political media has substituted polling analysis, which is something only people managing campaigns really need, for substantive analysis of the positions of the candidates, something that voters need. 

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner, "The Red Wave (That Wasn't)":

It is also striking how different the election results are from the way the races were covered. We heard that voter anxiety over inflation, crime, and even immigration would lead to a red wave. We heard that the Democrats were flailing in finding a message that would resonate with the electorate. We heard about major momentum swings. It was considered a given that Democrats would lose the House. And while that might still happen, it is at least going to be close. 

We should be reminded anew to take all political prognostications with caution. And the political press perhaps should focus a bit less on the horse race, especially because they aren’t very good handicappers, and a little more on covering the issues that matter. If you want to know what Americans think, you can’t go only to rural diners. As we saw last night, the voters who are shaping this country can also be found in college dorms, Black barber shops, and suburban book clubs. The “average American” isn’t who it was in the 1950s. A diverse, young, and multiethnic United States made a statement this election. 

Dana Milbank, "Biggest loser of the midterm elections? The media":

Political journalists were suckered by a wave of Republican junk polls in the closing weeks of the campaign. They were also swayed by some reputable polling organizations that, burned by past failures to capture MAGA voters, overweighted their polls to account for that in ways that simply didn’t make sense. And reporters fell for Republican feints and misdirection, as Republican operatives successfully created an artificial sense of momentum by talking about how they were spending money in reliably blue areas.

An extraordinary profusion of bad partisan polling flooded the media late in the campaign, coming from GOP outfits such as Trafalgar (which had Blake Masters over Mark Kelly in the Arizona Senate race, Don Bolduc over Maggie Hassan in the New Hampshire Senate race, among others) and Rasmussen (which gave Republicans a five point edge in the generic ballot).

Marcy Wheeler "Oprah Beats Trump!""

Republicans may finally have to face what an electoral disaster Trump is for them. He has never won a majority, and under his leadership, the Republicans have lost the House, the Senate, the Presidency, and a mid-term election in which they should have flooded Dems. The GOP lost this time by running a bunch of MAGAt candidates who were far easier for Democrats to defeat And DeSantis’ strong win will set up a natural conflict between the two men in Florida.

Heather Cox Richardson, "Letters from an American, November 9, 2022":

Former president Trump and his loyalists had a bad day. Trump endorsed more than 330 candidates in yesterday’s races, including a number of high-profile people he had urged to run. They were extremist candidates whose key attraction was that they backed Trump’s allegations that President Joe Biden stole the 2020 election from him, and he remained bullish on their chances until the end, telling a host for NewsNation: “I think if they win, I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all.” 

But when many of Trump’s candidates lost yesterday, former supporters did indeed blame Trump. 

Charles Pierce "If the GOP Wanted to Dump Trump, It's Never Going to Get a Better Chance":

If the Republican Party wants to lose him, it will never have a better chance than it has now. The law is closing in on him from all sides: Letitia James got re-elected as the attorney general of New York, and Merrick Garland has no excuse not to get off the dime now that the elections are over. He’s raging all through Mar-a-Lago, casting anathemas in all directions and—most spectacularly—blaming his wife for foisting Mehmet Oz on the Republicans of Pennsylvania. ...

 [I]f the Republicans sincerely want to send the former president* packing, party leaders better find the guts to start wrangling their donors to cut him off soon, because once he gets a presidential campaign rolling again, there’s still no Republican he can’t squash.

Jim Acosta and Dan Merica, "Trump is 'livid' after GOP midterms performance, adviser says": 

Former President Donald Trump "is livid” and “screaming at everyone” after last night’s disappointing GOP results in the midterms, a Trump adviser who has been in contact with Trump’s inner circle tells CNN. 

And don't miss Laura Clawson's "Right-wing media takes aim at 'Trumpty Dumpty' after the red wave that doesn't," with its run-down of zingers of statements being made by right-wing media figures right now to blame none other than one Donald J. Trump for the Republicans' far from stellar performance in this election.

Oliver Willis, "Make Marjorie Taylor Greene The Puppy-Killing Face Of The GOP": 

Democrats turned out in droves for Election Day 2022, ruining the GOP’s dreams of a “red wave.” The results had the effect of giving President Biden the best midterm result in 20 years for a sitting president, and of utterly humiliating the propagandists at Fox News. Good news, all around.

That is why it is no time for the Democrats to take their foot off the gas and lean back, as so often happens after an election — especially one with a positive result.

Robert Reich, "Saved from Neofascism?":

But Marjorie Taylor Greene was reelected, as was Andy Biggs, and many other election-deniers. And Trump himself seems intent on launching another run on the White House (and on American democracy) within the week.

Not as bad as it could have been, but deeply concerning nonetheless.

We are still on the brink.

Finally, note Dan Gearino, Aman Azhar, Aydali Campa's "Four States Just Got a ‘Trifecta’ of Democratic Control, Paving the Way for Climate and Clean Energy Legislation" commenting on what it signifies for climate and energy legislation that Democrats will now run state government in Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, and Michigan.

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