Well, as of this writing, it’s mostly over, and the oft-ballyhooed Red Wave turned out to be barely a red drip. The GOP may squeak out a narrow majority in the House, and the control of the Senate will once again come down to a runoff in Georgia. Here in the Great Land, things were a little brighter, as we comfortably sent Governor Dunleavy back into office. We have to wait a couple of weeks (why?) for the second round of ranked-choice bullshit. At this time Kelly Tshibaka has a small lead over the execrable Princess Lisa Murkowski and Mary Peltola has hung onto less than the 50% required to win outright, which means that if Alaskans were savvy enough to Rank the Red we may yet send either Nick Begich (my choice) or Sarah Palin to the Imperial City, since between the two of them they got a tad over 50% of the vote. But for our Senate seat? Democrat Patricia Chesbro sits now with 9.5% of the vote, and if that flips to Murkowski in the ranked-choice scheme, that may put Princess Lisa over the top. Dammit.
Nationally, though? Disappointing, but not as surprising as it might have been. Here, then, are my thoughts on winners and losers from Tuesday’s debacle.
Ron DeSantis. Governor DeSantis is the GOP’s story of the day now, and should rightfully be considered the leader of the GOP and the likely Presidential candidate in 2024. He took a narrow win in 2018 and turned it into a landslide re-election in 2022. He has grit, savvy, without the crippling narcissism that brings down so many politicians. Take a look at him, Republicans – this is how it’s done. The red wave actually happened in Florida, and it was almost all due to Ron DeSantis.
Joe Biden(‘s handlers). Yes, really. If you’re a regular reader of these pages you’re likely of the thought, like yr. obdt., that old Joe really has very little idea what’s going on – but in politics appearances are what matters, the people pulling his strings know that, and Tuesday’s disappointment for the GOP will be spun as due to the success of the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration. If the red wave had materialized, old Joe likely would have been dumped. Now? They’ll keep the Weekend at Bernie’s presidency going as long as they can.
Brian Kemp. The Georgia Governor handily stood off another challenge by Stacey Abrams, who granted was a pretty awful candidate but Georgia has become a pretty squishy state lately (just look at the state of the Senate race there) and the polls leading up were all over the place. But Kemp won decisively, by almost nine points, and with a bit of luck, he can throw some weight behind Walker for the Senate runoff and maybe – just maybe – pull off a miracle.
Greg Abbot and Texas. There has been a lot of virtual ink spilled about the Texas turning blue. While Texas has its blue spots, as every red state does (up here it’s the Anchorage bowl) Texas as a whole is pretty solidly red. Governor Abbot destroyed the soy-boy β O’Rourke, the Irish tortilla, by over eleven points. For now, Texas stays solidly in the GOP column.
Donald Trump. The Donald played some… odd hands in this election cycle. His slate of endorsed candidates saw mixed success, but in the lead-up to the election and the aftermath of it, he did what he does best, and made it all about him. His treatment of Senate candidate Joe O’Dey in Colorado in particular was just awful. He needs to quietly stop seeking any further public office, and get behind Ron DeSantis in 2024. And some of his endorsements were really puzzling, which brings us to:
Mehmet Oz. Pennsylvania, in a move that’s just puzzling, is sending a shambling, brain-damaged wreck to the Senate. But what the hell, we already have a shambling, brain-damaged wreck in the Imperial Mansion. What’s more baffling is that Dr. Oz managed to lose to a shambling, brain-damaged wreck. Trump’s endorsement of Oz and his primary win, well, it ended up being a pretty bad choice. Someone, oh, who was actually from Pennsylvania may have done better.
Sean Patrick Maloney. In one of the bright spots for the GOP, the actual furshlugginer Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair lost his House seat – in New York! That, I admit, rated a chuckle.
The GOP. Come on, guys. Get your shit together. This should have been a cakewalk for you. You faced opponents who are in favor of genital mutilation of children, abortion up until the moment of birth, high taxes, physics-defying “green” energy schemes, and who have overseen the highest inflation since in over forty years, and you blew it. There’s a time to reorganize and take a good look in the mirror, and that time is right-the-fuck now.
As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
Boy howdy, did he ever call it. And not just the White House, either.
I’m going to go outside, listen to the birds, look at our clean, pristine Alaska snow covering the landscape, and think about something else for a while. I suggest you all do likewise. Tomorrow is another day.