Nate Cohn, in a New York Times column Friday morning (11/11/2022) pointed out that in states where these issues were dominant, such as Pennsylvania, and where the Republicans ran candidates committed to voter suppression and curtailing abortion rights, voters came out in droves to defend abortion rights and democracy. In states where abortion rights and voting rights were not being attacked so vigorously by Republicans, however, Democrats weren’t moved to rush to the polls and the usual mid-term election malaise of the party in power prevailed, New York being an example.
Although it is an over-simplification of a complex issue, right-wing extremism when presented on the ballot seems to be what it takes for Democrats to win. More specifically, an endorsement, or selection as a candidate, by the defeated former president seems to have been a benefit for Democratic candidates. When Republicans sound rational, Democrats have a tougher job.
While my prediction that the role of the votes of women and persons of color would be decisive was correct in some States, I did not expect the tremendous effect that the votes of younger people would have. They came out in big numbers and generally voted for Democrats.
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The ‘Red Wave’ Turned out to be a 'Red Ebb Tide'
The pendulum pictured above has been swinging back and forth for centuries, perhaps with different labels than shown on this chart, but always, there is a point at either extreme, where the pendulum starts swinging back, eventually reaching the other extreme. A swing may take a century, a decade or two, or even less. The 2022 midterm elections' 'red ebb tide,' discussed below, might represent the start of the pendulum of history's swinging back leftward toward equilibrium and beyond.
Certainly, there was no 'red wave' on Election Day as Republicans and some 'pundits' had been predicting. Instead, there was a 'red ebb tide,' and as is usually the case with receding waters, a lot of dangerous debris (like poisonous jellyfish or lumber with rusted nails protruding) that can harm you if you are not careful, remains scattered on the still-wet sands of the nation, particularly on the beaches of Florida and Texas. But DeSantis, Abbott, and the rest of their ilk will eventually dry up and be washed away with the tides as the people recognize the undemocratic minority that they really represent, and as that pendulum swings toward equilibrium.
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Texas and Floriduh
Meanwhile, in Texas, just eight million Texans voted in the mid-term elections, leaving a lot of that dangerous debris remaining on those beaches there. Over nine and a half million registered voters in that State didn’t bother to vote at all, a triumph not for Republicans but for apathy.
Deep in the heart of Texas, as the song goes, they don’t really believe in democracy, so why bother voting. With plenty of football, baseball, and barbecue, they’re satisfied to let those with lots of money run the State. The reasoning is that their success proves they must be very smart, so let them run everything. Eventually, Texans will stop wearing those stupid cowboy hats, wise up, and start voting in their own interest.
When more of them feel the pain they have brought upon themselves, Texas’ voter apathy will end, and ‘the stars at night’ will once again be ‘big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.’
I am not as optimistic about Floriduh, though. There is little logic as to the way Floridians vote, usually against their best interests, and there is no one comparable to Texas’ Beto O’Rourke to lead Democrats in Floriduh.
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Postal Cards Work
In the previous blog posting, I mentioned that I participated in a postal card mailing campaign, purchasing, writing out, and mailing them. (Activateamerica.vote is the group that provided me with the mailing lists. I recommend working with them.)
They wisely steered me to the campaigns of Senators Mark Kelly (Arizona) and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada), both of whom eked out narrow but extremely crucial victories. I feel good that the 200 postal cards I sent to residents of those two states may have helped these two victorious candidates a ‘teensy-weensie’ bit, unlike my efforts to support Val Demings in Floriduh which didn’t accomplish anything. The victories of Kelly and Masto locked in a Democratic Senate!
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Let’s Look at the Numbers
The ‘numbers’ for the newly elected Congress could stand some clarification.
|Where Congress Meets|
As it stands in the Senate, 50 Democrats, including the two ‘independents’ who caucus with them, comprising those already in office and those just elected will take seats in the ‘upper’ house. They will join with 49 Republicans that just have been elected or were already there. The one remaining seat in Georgia will be determined in a run-off election on December 6.
Should the Republican (Hershel Walker) win there, the Senate will be back where it was before the election, split 50-50, with the Democratic Vice-President having the deciding vote in ties.
If the Democrat (Rev. Raphael Warnock) wins, the Democrats will enjoy an unexpected, clear, 51-49 Senate majority. Because Walker is totally unqualified and unfit to hold any elective office whatsoever, Rev. Raphael Warnock, who was elected in 2020 to complete the term of Senator Johnny Isakson who had retired for health reasons, ought to win and it is up to Democrats across the country to make sure that he does. Please make a contribution to his campaign to help counteract the ‘dark money’ that is pouring into Georgia for Walker!
The House of Representatives is trickier. The Democrats had about an eleven-seat majority before the election. In all likelihood, the Republicans will end up with a majority (at least 218 of the House’s 435 seats) but it probably will amount to only about a six-seat advantage at best. That is a tiny number making governing very difficult and ideological conflicts within the G.O.P. will exacerbate that problem, especially the relationship of the defeated former president to the party.
On the other side, there are those who believe that the Democrats will end up with that 218 number and retain control of the House, still a mathematical possibility as of today. In my opinion, friends, that will not happen, despite litigation attacking the illegal gerrymandering, in Florida for example, that resulted in the apparent Republican minuscule but likely House majority.
I suspect that the final number in the House, due to run-offs, recounts, possible challenges, and late counted votes will not be known for a month or two, probably not until about January 6, the second anniversary of the insurrection against our republic that most Republicans still chose not to condemn, out of fear of falling out of favor with the defeated former president, whom just now they are beginning to recognize as the charlatan he has always been.
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Football Violence: Pass Interference
A few postings back on 10/18/22, I wrote about reducing the violence present in professional and even college football recommending penalties for tackling aimed not merely to stop a runner, but even more, intentionally trying to dislodge the ball from his grasp, causing a fumble. Sometimes this is closer to street fighting than sports. I promised to eventually return to the subject with my thoughts on pass interference penalties. I know these changes won't take place unless a few players die on the field, but here goes anyway.
When a receiver is running a route to become sufficiently clear to receive a pass, a defender should not be allowed to try to stop him by blocking or tackling him, or even pulling on his shirt to prevent him from getting into the clear. And when a receiver is finally attempting to catch a pass, most bodily contact by a defender should not be allowed other than incidental light brushing against an intended pass receiver in the course of defender attempting to knock down or intercept a pass. A defender's actions should be directed to the ball and not to the receiver. Interference is interference and it should be penalized. This is the opposite of attempts the force a ball carrier to fumble where a tackler's actions should be directed to the ball carrier and not to the ball.
Steps like this and those concerning ‘fumbles’ about which I wrote earlier will favor offense over defense, resulting in much higher scoring games, but that is preferable in my mind, anyway, to what amounts to street brawling on the gridiron. Soccer, or what the rest of the world calls football, also can be violent, but it is more civilized and results in far fewer injuries.
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And of course, please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. The link at the bottom of the posting (an envelope with an arrow on it) can be used to forward the blog to others, but what it sends is an abbreviated, small-font, diluted, version of what you are now reading. That it is better than nothing is the best I can say about it.
It is much better to send them an email asking them to copy and paste the following on their browser line and click 'enter.' Then they get everything!
So long for now.
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