It’s Wednesday, November 7, 2018.
It’s the 105th birthday of Albert Camus.
Or was it yesterday?
There’s always a temptation the morning after the election to think about what it all means. I’m not going to resist it.
But I just want to do a few short takes. See if you agree or disagree.
— Democrats got about 70% of their wish list. It’s that 30% that makes them feel sad.
The most important thing was to take the House. It looks right now as though the Democrats captured 34 seats when they needed 23.
That means Trump can’t railroad stupid legislation through Congress.
It means there will be hearings on some of the most odious things about this administration – there should be as many into family separations as there were into Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.
There are also lots of other bright spots. Gains in governor’s mansions and state legislatures are a big deal. The fact that women and minorities are closer to the amount of representation they should have is a big deal.
But the fact that Democrats may lost a net of three seats in the Senate.
The gubernatorial losses in Florida and Ohio are bummers. Especially Florida – Ron DeSantis is a giadriolo. I’m not giving up on Georgia yet, but any Kemp win won’t be according to Hoyle.
So I’m happy. But after the last two years, I wanted more. I wanted Trump to lose big – he did a little, but not enough.
— So what should this Democratic House do?
Simply put: I want legislation that addresses the priorities of the American people. And don’t talk about impeachment.
The best way to stick it to Trump is to pass legislation that he and the Senate Republicans can’t stand. Make them bottle it up or veto it.
Address health care costs and availability, including consideration of Medicare for all and a prescription drug bill.
Devise a sensible infrastructure rebuilding program.
Come up with ideas to address the student loan crisis.
Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Think about a tax bill that actually cuts what middle- and lower-income families pay and raises the taxes on those who got the benefits of the Trump measure.
Expand Social Security. There’s no good reason that people who make $120,000 or more a year stop getting FICA taken out of their paychecks.
Take on issues like cybersecurity and election hacking.
And let’s start going after what we’ve considered pipe dreams: statehood for Washington, D.C., and – if the people want it – Puerto Rico. For other territories, the chance to vote for president and be represented in the Electoral College.
For that matter, revising the election system. We’ve done it before.
There’s little chance any of that stuff gets signed into law by Trump or even gets past the Republican zombies in the Senate.
But put it out there so the American people know someone is standing up for them.
— Some new ideas about who the Democrats might run for president emerged.
One good thing about last night is that hopefully some of the sillier names that were bounced around might be put to rest.
Why would you even consider Michael Avenatti when there’s a Sherrod Brown?
Brown’s interesting. He keeps winning in Senate races in Ohio even as Republicans do well for governor. Does that appeal to national Democrats or what?
Amy Klobuchar won big in a Minnesota that is turning very red in parts. She was one of the few Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who stood toe to toe with Kavanaugh.
Three of the four Democrats with good chances to flip Republican House seats from New Jersey were successful. Cory Booker campaigned for all of them.
Beto O’Rourke lost his Senate race to Ted Cruz, another big disappointment. But he definitely sparked enough excitement that Texas doesn’t seem as daunting to Democrats. That excitement could be national.
There are others who did well last night. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin. Gov. Gina Raimondo in Rhode Island. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York.
I want to see the party put up a strong, intelligent candidate.
Yes, it did that every other election in my lifetime – and sometimes got beat badly. There are times when I think George McGovern might have been the best president in American history.
But now we’ll start looking at these men and women more closely. The ones who have proven themselves in electoral contests – Brown and Klobuchar, especially – really deserve a strong look.