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Initial Thoughts on the Mid Term Election Results – Right wing juggernaut was slowed, but not stopped (for discussion)

November 7, 2018

Initial Thoughts on the Mid Term Election Results – Right wing juggernaut was slowed, but not stopped. It is a minor set back for the Republicans with mixed results (as detailed below) but even a minor setback can cause difficulties for Trump within his party. Situation in the country remains fluid, but still markedly tilted to the right. It will take more than elections (ie – Grassroots organizing to turn the tide).

When Trumpty-Dumpty says that the election results were a “great victory” for Republicans, – translated it means the Republicans didn’t do as badly as he/they feared but better than the Democrats predicted.

On the national level:

The fact that the Republicans increased their strength in the Senate they will be able to fill federal judicial offices with probable control for a long time to come. This result is catastrophic for Democrats and will have dark long term consequences.
• But then the Republicans took a beating in the House of Representatives – although not as badly as the Dems hoped and predicted. As a result, the House Dems now will be able to challenge Trump on fiscal policy and tax issues some. This somewhat blunts the Trump Administration’s ability to implement repressive and racist legislation. It also means that the Democrats will be able harass the Trump Administration with more investigations.
• The Democrats gained 7 gubernatorial races ad now control 22 state executives. But the Republicans still have governors in 25 states. This means the Republicans will still be able to gerrymander election results for at least the next decade…although not as aggressively as they did in the past.
• Final thought – where Dems fielded genuinely progressive candidates, like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez or Ilhan Omar (36 year old Somali born Minnesotan) they won big…but for the most part, not surprisingly, the mainstream more moderate Dems held on control of the party. It was their adamant refusal to move beyond their corporate politics to the more “Bernie Sanders”-like social democratic positions (the politics of the party base throughout the country) that kept many young votes, working class and people of color from voting. It made a difference.
• Expect no change – or hardly any – in foreign policy issues, ie. ballooning military budgets, relaunching of new Cold War, modernizing U.S. nuclear weapons, Middle East wars, containment of Russia, China, anti-Russian hysteria, support for scumbag Third World dictators, Sanctions against Iran, Russia, trade wars, abandonment of U.S. milti-lateralism for more bilateral aggressive polities, blind support of Israel, growing attacks on refugees…you know, all the things that make U.S. foreign policy the stinking sewer that it is today.
• Climate change, from what I can tell, was a non-election issue, anywhere in the country (other than initiatives like Prop 112 in Colorado.)

Here in Colorado (with a brief comment on Kansas and some on Nebrask when I can get it)

• Most significant development – the election of Jared Polis – self made internet gazillionaire, generally liberal Democrat, first openly gay governor in the U.S. and the defeat of his opponent, grandson of Ben Stapleton, KKK mayor of Denver in the 1920s. Besides his family pedigree, Stapleton was a staunch right-winger calling for less money for public education, more for prisons.
• In the races for U.S. Congressional seats, the defeat of Mike Coffman -very right wing Republican in the suburban districts just east of Denver; otherwise Republicans Congressmen retained their seats and by comfortable margins. Rural areas and some suburban areas remain “Trump true believers.”
• A (mainstream) Democratic party sweep at the state government level – Dems now in control of all major state offices and both houses of the legislature
• But the two most progressive ballot initiatives – one (Prop 112) putting limits on the distances from schools and homes fracking operations could take place, the other a progressive tax measure to raise $ for public education (where Colorado sucks), went down in defeat and by a large margin.

On the Family level.

On the Family level.

• Whole family worked for supported Prop 112 that went down in defeat. The opposition, the oil and gas industry in the state, harassed ballot petitioners, lied through their teeth and according to some sources, spent $40 millions to supporters’ $1 million. The Democratic Party leadership, especially the outgoing governor, John Hickenlooper, and the labor movement took shameful and cowardly positions on this making a mockery of their claims to be concerned about climate change and the safety of Coloradoans.
• We also strongly supported – and worked for – Amendment 73 – that would have produced more $ for public education. As noted above, it was a progressive tax measure that would have taxed people who earn more than $150,000 a year to provide more funds for education. It too went down.
• Nancy went door to door and phone backed for Jessie Danielson, from Jefferson County, fighting to retain her seat in the Colorado State Senate. Hers was thought to be a swing vote. From what we can tell, Danielson won.
• Rob worked with several of the African immigrant communities to defeat U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman. On national political issues Coffman was in the Trump camp or to the right of him. Although he had worked the districts immigrant community well, behind their backs he had been one of the key architects of one of the most repressive immigrant legislation ever. He was soundly defeated by moderate Democrat Jason Crow, a corporate lawyer and former military officer who served (I think) in Iraq. One of the reasons that Coffman had consistently defeated liberal Democratic candidates (strong ones – Romanoff, Carroll) is that the Democrats had, despite their political rhetoric, essentially ignored these immigrant communities until now, showing up only at election time.
• Finally – in Kansas, Laura Kelly defeated Republican political Neanderthal (not even that good) Kris Kobach. Our life long friends Margy Stewart and Ron Young were active in that campaign.
• Need to find out the election results in the great state of Nebraska. Will report later

Cheers. La Lutta Continua

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2018 11:27 am

    Keep it coming

    • November 7, 2018 12:14 pm

      Thanks John…at some point, let’s catch up and have coffee. Hope you are well

  2. Bill conklin permalink
    November 7, 2018 2:01 pm

    Hopefully the proletariat will get more organized and kick out the plutocrats before it gets worse at least this is a start.

  3. Gene Fitzpatrick permalink
    November 10, 2018 3:56 pm

    Supporting Jessie Danielson comes up a bit bothersome for me given that several years ago she supported the successful effort in the State Assembly to require PERA to stop its m.o. of refusing to invest in companies that enabled Israel in its negative policies toward the Palestinian people. I remonstated with her on this issue at a Town Hall meeting one Saturday in Golden and got the impression that her vote was cast out of croneyism with those behind the effort to muzzle PERA rather than any personal conviction she might have on the issue.

    Gene Fitzpatrick

    • November 10, 2018 5:08 pm

      Certainly not a point in her favor Gene. But then it was either Jesse Danielson or some Neanderthal Republican I suppose. Nancy felt that on most state issues she is solid. I mentioned your criticism to her (Nancy). She is glad you called out Danielson on the PERA-Israel issue, but glad she worked for her election. My hunch is there will be many more similar cases – good – or at least not so bad – on domestic issues but lousy on Palestinian rights. How people/friends handle such things is a personal call.

      • Gene Fitzpatrick permalink
        November 11, 2018 8:56 am

        Rob:

        Thanks for your reply. You are, to be sure, correct in your suggestion that choices and conclusions often need tempering. Being absolutist, I think, can too often lead to a self-defeating “baby with the bath-water” scenario and an anti-pragmatism which of course ‘aint very cool’.

        • November 11, 2018 9:43 am

          More to our little discussion, Gene.
          First when I related to Nancy Danielson caving to AIPAC (that is what it sounded like) she was (as I was) genuinely pissed off and was unaware of it. Knowing Nancy I do believe Danielson will hear about this sooner or later. So the substance of your criticism is completely valid.
          Secondly, we come up against this dilemma, challenge – supporting or not supporting political candidates for their stand on one issue – throwing the baby out with the bathwater as you put it. I suppose we can take it further to voting at all. I don’t put a great deal of faith in the idea that voting will change the political realities in the country – move it to the left – at all. But it can and does make a difference in some ways. Right now, mostly defensively, creating complications for the likes of Trump. And so we vote. But the more essential work needed to challenge the powers that be is to be found elsewhere. Cheers…

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