The elections

From Matt Yglesias on Twitter:

Very normal Democrats won all kinds of House races without reviving “blue dog” antics but also a bunch of reality checks for the capital-l Left in these results.

Not just a couple of House races where insurgent candidates fizzled, but the California rent control initiative the Washington “green new deal” initiative and the MD-Gov race all show limited appetite for ambitious left policy in even blue states.

Conversely, the more modest economic progressive agenda of Medicaid expansion and minimum wage increases continues to triumph even in very conservative states.

From Angus:

“over the past 21 midterm elections, the President’s party has lost an average 30 seats in the House, and an average 4 seats in the Senate” NY Times sez it’s R – 26 in House and + 2-5 in Senate. Yet they call it “A rebuke to Trump”. That’s kind of just wishful thinking.

Somehow — miraculously — democracy did not die, I am still writing blog posts for tomorrow morning, fascism has yet to arrive, and life goes on!

p.s. the youth vote was not up much.  And at least one Kremlin mole has been ousted.

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"Somehow — miraculously — democracy did not die, I am still writing blog posts for tomorrow morning, fascism has yet to arrive, and life goes on!"

Free rider.

Its not free rider, its specialization of labor. You have become so adept at shitting yourself about trump 24/7 that the rest of us can choose to do something else.

Tyler says "And at least one Kremlin mole has been ousted."

You can thank me. It was my charmingly authentic handmade bumper sticker "A Republican for Harley Rouda" that put him over the top.

is it just us or is the constant surveillance
of the deep state getting more intrusive

"the more modest economic progressive agenda of Medicaid expansion"

If that is considered modest I fear what they will do behind closed doors. Our budget is a disaster, Our debt will bury us and they want to increase the amount of free stuff from the government. Yeah, that should work out well.

" Our budget is a disaster, Our debt will bury us and they want to reduce taxes again and again. Yeah, that should work out well."

FIFY

I'll go with Anon on this one. Agreed the budget is a disaster. I'm not happy about the debt, but tax receipts are up, so it's a spending problem, not a tax problem.

LOL. Cons suddenly learn how to be fiscally conservative now that the other guys are in charge. Let's pretend Trump's spending spree the last 2 years never happened.

Spending... yep, that's what I said.

It’s both. Admittedly the deficit could be reduced ‘bigly’ by cutting defense spending in half.

Not on the table.

Or means testing social security and Medicare.

Not on the table.

Or raising the cap on payroll taxes.

Not on the table.

Trump could have done a one for one carbon tax for corporate/payroll tax cut scheme.

Not on the table.

The budget matters when it’s a caravan of brown people or Obamacare and Medicaid. Anytime else you guys disappear into a cloud of smoke.

Cards on the table, it’s just a hammer to beat Dems with.

This.

Neither side have any incentive to fiscal restraint. Neither side has shown any restraint.

I think at this point the smart people should be asking "why is restraint impossible?" rather than blaming the other team for specific items.

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Let's put aside your race baiting talk of "brown people, and ask are any of those cards the Dems want to put on the table? By any chance? If not, why not? Is it inexplicable?

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Why would you means test SS? If we did shouldn't we give back the SS investment that workers put into it but were unable to get back from it? Did you know that immigrants to the U.S, can collect SS even if they contributed nothing to the SS retirement system? Shouldn't that be ended before even considering means testing?.

WW II was the result of our country cutting defense spending. It encouraged Germany and Japan to think we were weak enough that they could win. Is that you goal in suggesting that we cut defense spending? You want to weaken our defense and increase our already generous welfare system. Is that what you think is a solution???

Did you just imply that the purpose of a carbon tax should be to increase welfare? So it is not to stop/slow global warming???

Build the wall, find and deport all illegal aliens. That will save about $300-500 billion at the federal level and about an equal amount at the state level.

What a crock of shit. That last bit was comedy gold.

Truth hurts!

And bullshit amuses.

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Maybe fascism is already here and we're just too complacent to notice.

If only the victim of historical fascism in Europe during the twenties thirties and early forties had been more complacent, maybe they would not even have noticed and everything would have been great!

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This was an interesting election. I'm surprised by my lack of surprise for a change, which is nice. You have all these polls all the time, but elections are the only deep investigation of the mood of the people. It's a salutary process.

Bring on the fighting, bring on the investigations, bring on the political gridlock, and let actual Americans keep on doing America. The people have spoken.

So much Dem voter fraud that took places hard to make any meaningful analysis other than that we must Stop voter fraud and have clean elections!

I wish there was a way to force you to quantify your statement on 'so much' and then place actual monetary bets on how much there was versus how much you 'feel' there was. Would you care to actually monetarily back yiu statement in some tangible way? You can even make terms and odds and then I'll decide on whether I went to take the bet, or visa versa. Game?

Someone is using JWatts' handle to stir the pot.

How do you stir the pot with the handle? You hold the pot with the handle and stir with a spoon, haven't you ever cooked a meal?

TMC is a cuck I would ignore him if I were you.

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Was it particularly interesting? Why? I'm not trying to be rude, but from a barely informed perspective, it seems pretty typical for a midterm election. What stands out?

@dude - Trump was expected to do much worse, based on the rout the Republicans got in the Virginia election a year ago.

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Well, this stands out some... https://www.npr.org/2018/11/06/664951794/a-list-of-firsts-for-women-in-this-years-midterm-elections

First woman senator in Tenn got elected too. But no mention because she's not a Dem.

They also somehow forgot Young Kim, the first female Korean-American in Congress.

NPR sure is forgetful.

My mind remains unblown.

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>I'm surprised by my lack of surprise for a change,

The big winner this election is undoubtedly "Polling, Inc."

And they really needed it after their showings in the last several election cycles.

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MASSIVE voter fraud allowed the Dems to gain the house and you say democracy did not die?!

It was not massive. It was huge at best.

According to President Bolsonaro's supporters, he has 10 million votes stolen from him. Yet he won because he is genuinely popular, not a reality show star.

Trump still held onto the senate despite insane amounts of fraud. Over 25 million fake votes cast in this election. Takes a big cock to make it happen, Bolsonaro’s will be a good protégés of Big Papa Trump.

No, he won't. Like the Sun, President Capitain Bolsonaro produces its own light.

TR, I'm disappointed on how fickle a fan you are. A short time ago you were a fan of Temer, but now he's forgotten in favor of Bolsanaro? You are not a loyal amigo my friend.

Evidently, Mr. Temer implemented many important reforms. History will absolve him. However, he nevr got a popular mandate to make the radical changes Brazil needs. President Captain Bolsonaro got it. I do not agree with everything he does, but finally Brazil has a clear and strong leadership. Mr. Lula, Mrs. Rouseff and Mr. Temer were unable to supply that, either due the circumstances or due to their own defiencies.

Brazil is now seeing the colsing of a period akin the Union Soviet's effective leaderlessness between Brezhnev' health failing in the late 70's and Gorbachev's rise in the middle 80's. We are having our Perestroika moment.

So when will Brazil split up do you reckon?

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Agreed, Democrats need to run someone like Sherrod Brown or Amy Klobuchar in 2020.

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So, is the WaPo going to change its “motto”?

Hahaha I subscribe to the WaPo purely for jerking off into

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The lesson of yesterday is that a large part of the country doesn't like Trumpism and would like to vote against it. Especially in the suburbs you find a lot of swing voters who despise Trump. But these voters are not really 'leftist' and are somewhat alienated by the resistance/Kamala Harris democrats. If the Democrats would just nominate a boring generic centralist Democrat in 2020 and rely on disdain for Trump to propel them, they should win easily in 2020. If they fall to the temptation of picking a McGovern or Mondale type of candidate that appeals to their base, it will be unexpectedly competitive for them, possibly even losing.

Democrats did well when they nominated moderate candidates who positioned themselves against Trump but looking askew at the antifa/#resistance element of the left. But the noisier and sexier candidates that captured the left's imagination and drew a lot of funding/national attention fell short.

For Republicans, the lesson (again) for them is that Trumpism is toxic at the statewide level outside of a few isolated places. For 2020, Trump's hardcore base will certainly turn out no matter what, so it would be best for Republicans to fill the rest of the ballot with normal conservatives. If they let Trumpist candidates sneak into statewide elections, it will go like it did in Virginia yesterday. The silver lining for Republicans is that their results in the Senate mean the chances of them hanging onto the Senate after 2020 are looking better (though still not assured obviously). As others have pointed out, the Republicans don't really have a legislative agenda, but they DO have a judicial one. They will try to get as many judges confirmed as they can the next two years, and if they hold onto the Senate after 2020, even with a Democrat president they will make it hell for the Democrats to get their judges approved.

Legit.

Democrats did well when they nominated moderate candidates...

Which they did in 2006 and got shellacked in 2010.

They went hard left in 2010

Always nice to hear from an alternate universe

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I think if trump were really that toxic the R's would have gotten crushed. They did ok, per Angus above. This was not a blue wave.

The real lesson here (again) is that barring a landslide, you can read your own prior held beliefs into any election if you try hard.

That doesn't actually follow. It may instead be a general rule that presidents in their first term take on too much, and generate a rebuke as a natural consequence.

The 54% "wrong path" and 40% "approval" polls support that here.

You can find a poll that supports any position. Congrats on your data point.

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"If the Democrats would just nominate a boring generic centralist Democrat in 2020 and rely on disdain for Trump to propel them, they should win easily in 2020". But was not Hillary Clinton a "boring generic centralist Democrat"? Admittedly, this was 2016, not 2020, but are you so sure that what didn't work then will work in two years? (my personal opinion: Sanders has the best chances against Trump)

I guess he should have added "not despised" to the list of qualities.

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I think what we are seeing is that Hillary was just a very weak candidate. Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania are not red states, and look more anti-Hillary than pro-Trump right now.

I mean, the playbook above worked for Bill Clinton. Of course, nobody wants to talk about Bill Clinton anymore, and the Dems don't have anyone comparable right now, but that's the play. Bernie would be another McGovern.

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Two parts to that:
Hillary Clinton was a centrist candidate, but not exactly a "boring general" candidate. Admittedly, there is comparison to be made to others; back in 2008 I hoped that Clinton would have won the Democratic nomination instead of Obama--less chance of capture by special interests, I felt (the interests would have been all hers and hers alone).

But the problem of "nominating a boring general centrist" is, as pointed out above, the Sanders effect. There will be a leftist candidate. And even though the Democrats' methods will keep out the leftist from the nomination, they can't defuse the leftist momentum that way. And so, Sanders loomed even after he was not the Dems' candidate.

Hillary Clinton was a centrist candidate, b

No, she's a completely unscrupulous megalomaniac.

In which Art reveals he does not understand the meaning of 'centrist' and also reinforces his stupid partisan bona fides (his buddy Trump is of course every bit as unscrupulous and megalomaniacal)

The Mercatus employee who posts under the handle 'msgkings' reveals that she hasn't yet figured out that 'centrist' is a perfectly vacant term. As for Trump, he's a businessman. Businessmen are achievement-motivated as a rule. Journalists are power-motivated. See the work of Stanley Rothman on this point. Hellary has no achievements other than disfiguring public life and hoovering up enormous sums of cash which NGOs like to hand out to Democratic politicians. She wasn't much of a lawyer: she failed the DC bar exam, was fired for cause from her first law job (the man who canned her said in fourteen years in that venue, he employed only three lawyers for whom he'd never give a reference, and she was one), and only landed a position in private practice when her husband was elected attorney-general of Arkansas.

I own you like a dog, Art. If Mercatus is my employer they owe me plenty. Since we're mischaracterizing posters I wonder if your peculiar posting style reflects repressed homosexuality?

In any case, Clinton was a better lawyer than Trump was a businessman. Both of course benefited tremendously from nepotism. With every post you prove me correct, you are an addled partisan fogey. Don't ever change.

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Sure, Hillary was plenty boring, as far as shrill socialist warmongers go.

An Obama 2 would have been a better choice. Or John Edwards, minus the scandal. Maybe even someone like Lieberman.

+1 Lieberman, but he'd never get the nomination today.

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The 'boring centrists' in the Democratic Senate Caucus were Bill Nelson, Joe Manchin, and Joe Donnelly. Two of these three have now been retired. The third is 71 years old and began his career in public office in 1982. There are about a half-dozen House Democrats with 'centrist' voting records. One is 52, two of them are 63/64, and the remainder are over 70. The Democrats have won about a half-dozen governorships which are (1) not on the left coast, (2) not in the BosWash corridor, or (3) not enveloping a first tier city. Not much of a playing field for 'boring centrists'

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"...they should win easily in 2020..."

Trump is the favorite in 2020. The whole post is delusional.

Per usual, if the economy is still booming Trump will be re-elected, if we get a recession in 2020 (actually looking fairly likely) he will lose.

I'm not so certain he'll win if the economy is still doing well. His approval ratings are still quite low (40 to 50% depending on whether you buy Rasmussen or not) for how well the economy is doing and the lack of any big foreign entanglements. A boring, regular Republican as president probably would have held onto the House and would have passed all of the same legislation but not started a trade war. The economy might be doing even better! Sorry Trumpists, your man is still an albatross.

Actually no, the Dem gains in the house were extremely normal for a midterm, the president's party always loses some seats. In fact if Trump were so electorally toxic he would have lost even more seats. And he picked up Senate seats (mostly a calendar issue).

Agree that a regular Republican would have been far preferable to Trump, but a regular one may not have beaten Hillary. He's an albatross who will be re-elected if the economy is still booming, mainly because of electoral college effects and the lack of a great Dem candidate (Beto?)

This is probably the best summary of the situation.

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Broadly agreed. There's not much in these results for hyper-partisans on either side. Dems have done slightly worse than average, but may appeal to economy and to calendar issues (in the senate) to explain the minor shortfall. Insofar as there is a "Trump effect", he is modestly negative in the suburbs but modestly positive in heartlands, including "blue wall" industrial areas.

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Actually, no. This was a normal midterm loss *for a president who's approval rating is below 50%.* Since Gallup started, the president's party has lost on average 37 seats when pres. approval is below 50%. When it's above 50%, the average loss is just 14 seats. A boring Republican would be above 50% and his party would likely still have control of the House.

I debate back and forth whether other Republicans would have beat Clinton, but I think lots of voters held their nose when voting for either candidate, which makes me think that Rubio could have beaten her. But it's impossible to know.

Turnout in this election was almost as high as turnout in a regular presidential election year, unlike the 2014 midterms. Lots of money was spent, too. It suggests to me that both parties were operating on full cylinders and that the turnout in 2018 might be a good predictor of turnout in 2020. If this is the case, Democrats win the Presidency, even with a booming economy. Of course, we can't bet on the Democrats nominating a strong candidate. They're about to get a taste of the Republicans' dilemma in 2016. If Dem's choose Elizabeth Warren, then I'm betting Trump wins again if the economy is still going well and the Mueller report doesn't have much more in it than we already know.

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Trump's approval ratings have been remarkably steady. He is no less popular than when he was elected initially. Yeah, the numbers aren't great, but his floor seems pretty solid.

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Yep. I am a suburban registered Republican who has - with the exception of the Presidential election (voted Gary Johnson) - voted straight ticket. This election I voted for the Dem in House and Senate, because I wanted to "bring balance to the Force." The Dem rep is pretty moderate, and the incumbent Repub rep was a fire-breathing Tea Partier.

Anything to push the government toward the center is good, in my opinion, and gridlock is the icing on the cake.

Same here. The first election I didn't vote for a Republican at the federal level was 2016. The first time I voted for Democrats at the federal level was 2018. Trump does pretty well with the rural vote, which explains the gains in the Senate. But the suburban and urban vote matter more for the House and Presidency. Assuming Democrats in the House restrain themselves and stick to some decent scandals (and, Oh Lordy, will the Trump White House come through on this), they should be in a good spot for holding the House and winning the Presidency in 2020. Republicans, however, might have the Senate for a long time, until a bunch of Californians start to retire to WY, MT, and the Dakotas.

You're both dolts if you think whichever Democrat you voted for will stay 'moderate'. Trump has that effect on people. He drives them crazy. The fact that Doug is referencing Star Wars in supporting his political decisions makes me think he's not too bright.

I'm all for gridlock, but the Democratic party as a whole has transgressed all political norms, including ignoring immigration law, encouraging fake rape accusations against Supreme Court nominees, and ginning up Russian canards to usurp a legitimate election.

Gridlock you'll get, but the Democratic party will be emboldened to go Full Retard. You think we're far from the center now, you just wait.

"but the Democratic party as a whole has transgressed all political norms"

Can you elaborate on this? I put forth real effort in trying to keep an open mind, but it seems to me that Republicans are usually the ones to up the ante regarding norm breaking. Eventually Democrats get around to catching up, but not before they've waited too long.

If the Reps didn't shit on the Constitution by blocking Garland from the Supreme Court, no way Kavanaugh gets such rough treatment. And Russia is not a canard, they definitely meddled. The only debate is whether it actually swung the election (I suspect not, Comey did that).

Lol, do you think the Democrats would let a Republican judge through in that situation? Especially filling a liberal seat? The Democrats refuse to vote for Republican judges at all, election year or not. And it goes back a long time to Bork and Thomas. Go look up the vote counts. The Republicans have been far more generous. They've only toughened up recently as a reactive measure.

No gregor, there's no way the Dems would not even have ALLOWED a vote for over AN ENTIRE YEAR on a justice. Not a couple of months, not during a lame duck period. Over a year. Of course now it's all out war so maybe when it's their turn they will. Would he have won? Maybe not, even though he was extremely well qualified and a centrist. But to not allow a president to pick someone at all is disgusting.

And Dems vote for qualified nominees from Rep presidents all the time (Roberts 78-22, Souter 90-9, Kennedy 97-0, Scalia 98-0, O'Connor 99-0), only the borderline cases get pushback, but still many Dems voted for Alito and others). Or rather, got pushback, it's total war now and the Reps started it.

I doubt it. But even if they did allow a vote, if they controlled the Senate they would have voted down the nominee for partisan reasons.

"...still many Dems voted for Alito..."

GTFO. Alito passed with only 58 votes. FOUR Democrats voted for him.

Compare

Ginsberg 96-3, Breyers 87-9, Sotomayor 68-31, Kagan 63-37

Thomas 52-48, Roberts 78-22, Alito 58-22, Gorsuch 54-45, Kavanaugh 50-48

Most of your examples are from the 80s.

Democrats rely on courts to issue activist rulings with no judicial basis and they vote down conservative nominees because they don't want any of their baseless precedents to be overturned.

Classic partisan obfuscation. If the Dems did a Garland to your team you'd be calling for '2nd Amendment remedies'. That was indefensible. You wanna block him, fine, vote him down. But you must do what the Constitution says you must do.

"That was indefensible."

And Democrats wouldn't think twice about doing it. Again, their track record is Bork and two ginned up sex scandals.

At one point, there was a more gentlemanly attitude toward "advise and consent," but that went out the window before Garland. And Democrats bear at least 50% of the blame for that. Really more like 90%. Kavanaugh is (likely) the swing abortion vote. They would have pulled that same shit with or without Garland.

" And Democrats bear at least 50% of the blame for that. Really more like 90%"

OK this is where I get off. You are a clown.

You made several dubious statements. I posted the data disproving you and now you have nothing.

LOL you think 'really more like 90%' is data? Total clownshoes.

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Scalia died 8 months before the election.

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+1. Not only that but McConnell also changed the vote to a simple majority from a supermajority for the Supreme Court vote aka the nuclear option. Kavanaugh would not have been a justice had the R's not violated another norm.

Of course, Reid was the one who first rolled this norm back for non-SCOTUS judges. So...who struck first?

In this case, the Republicans. They were stonewalling Obama's lower court picks for no other reason than to be obstructionist assholes. Reid, knowing that Republicans would change the rules once they controlled the Senate, decided to pre-empt them. Once the rules were changed no one seemed to have any objections anymore.

Pre-emptive strikes all the way down

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Never heard of M. estrada, ehh ?

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Interesting, so anything bad a Democrat does is actually something a Republican causes?

I specifically said, "in this case". You know this and are purposefully misconstruing what I said or you are terrible at reading comprehension. Either way doesn't bode well for you. Be better.

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Kavanaugh will get impeached for lying to the FBI about those memos. More evidence there than Bill Clinton's impeachment and Hillary's email antics. Should be a fun year.

Not a chance in hell Kavanaugh gets impeached with a Rep Senate. And even with a Dem one that's way too small beer to warrant it for a SC judge. After all it was bullshit with Clinton too.

Clinton 's crime was he liked under oath. You can't do that.

He "lied" under oath.

Auto-correct. Grrrr...

Well, most of Clinton's victims just had to lie under an oaf.

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The root cause reason why Supreme Court confirmations have degenerated into all-out war remains the "original sin" of Roe v Wade.

Some applaud the result and others decry it, but practically everyone who's honest about it admits it was an over-reach, as the U.S. Constitution remains silent on abortion. And therefore this decision was illegitimate, a vast overreach of the Court's constitutional authority.

Finding "emanations from the penumbras" was a step too far, and has called the legitimacy of the Court itself into question.

Nonetheless, legitimate or otherwise, it remains the final word on what's Constitutional and what isn't. And therefore every confirmation becomes a battle in a continuing war.

And (regardless of what anyone may claim) the only enforceable rule in warfare remains, "Win it." For all other restrictions apply only if/when they can be applied without causing one to lose.

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Whew... I'm glad Verity doesn't think I'm a dolt, because my vote had nothing to do with whether one individual House member would be a moderate or liberal or conservative. Individual members don't matter as much as party control across the branches. That's all I really care about unless a candidate is a complete crook.

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"For Republicans, the lesson (again) for them is that Trumpism is toxic at the statewide level outside of a few isolated places. For 2020, Trump's hardcore base will certainly turn out no matter what, so it would be best for Republicans to fill the rest of the ballot with normal conservatives."

This ignores what "Trumpism" is, and what parts of it voters find toxic. Is it the rhetorical, combative style and Trump's personal excesses and shadiness that are defining and alienating to moderate voters, or is it the policy substance (rebuke to free trade, immigration crackdown, tax cuts) that is defining and alienates moderate voters? Obviously both of these are repulsive to committed liberals, but for the center, it still isn't clear exactly what they dislike about Trump. And this election didn't really answer that question, especially when a lot of moderate Republicans lost elections.

One question that this election did answer: healthcare matters to people, and the Republicans still haven't come up with an answer on that when they had two years to do so. And we probably will not get any work on that front, because neither party will want to pass a bill that becomes law and let the other party potentially take credit for it before the 2020 election.

Those issue questions are vague. Someone who wants to repeal Obamacare would also say that "health care" is a top priority. These stats tell us little about how voting broke on the issue.

The more polls I see, the more astonished I am about how deliberately bad the questions are.

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The idea that there is a discrete "Trumpism" than can be cordoned off and put back in a bottle and then that the Republicans will go back to Dubya era seems rather unlikely, and wishful thinking. This is a meaningful realignment and changing of terms.

So the more likely thing is that, of Trump and his era. Some things they will keep. The successes:

Trade wars with China (as the US seems to be winning them), and the Lightizer Doctrine generally.

Candidates who present a tough international negotiating style in a positive frame.

A pipeline from business into politics - the merchant elite who tend Republican will look at Trump as an example of what is possible now, and have less interest in entrusting career politicians from the professional "Brahmin" elite, with their interest.

A tough line on low contributions to NATO.

More generally, a lack of willingness for the US to commit to multilateralism in the interests of maintaining the overall international system at the cost of relative US advantage over free riders in the system.

A disinterest in international development and global poverty over the much narrower interests of America's lower middle class.

A harder line on immigration enforcement, increasingly popular to their base.

A rejection of "political correctness" and language policing. (This is and will remain, ridiculously popular and a good way to corral a lot of White centre ground under them).

Other things they will not keep. This will be likely the stuff that allows people to link them to White Nationalists directly. How Donald Trump uses twitter.

There is no "Trumpism" that is unpopular, truly. Trump is perhaps somewhat less popular than a candidate primed around the successes of "Trump Era" policies could be. International relations and trade policy will probably remain more broadly nationalist than they have been through the 1990s, 2000s and early 2010s.

Political platforms will be about the idea that the US has to have a specific strategy for national renewal and prominence in international relations, over the post-Cold War, pre-late '10s idea that the US simply will be remain naturally at the top of the system and should act as a benevolent leader furthering world development while mostly concerning itself with domestic issues.

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The House of Representatives has always been referred to as the "lesser house" for a reason. Much of what goes on there is bluster and hot-air, chest-puffing, and fiery partisanship that goes nowhere, signifying nothing.

The 6 year term limit of the senate is 10x more valuable as retaining wall than the 2 years of the House and Trump knows this. He chose to die on the hill that matters, that hill being likely re-election in 20' with a crop of house candidates that will be swept in on the wave.

That coupled with the potential for Ginsburg's passing in the next 6 years, Republicans could have some really long-lasting influence for decades to come. Good.

LOL gotta love partisans. If the Reps had the House but not the Senate you'd be posting differently.

Maybe he would, and probably Trump didn't even have an either/or choice there, but your response was more partisan than is comment.

How so?

He at leasts offers an argument. He may be wrong, but you never offered a rebuttal.

He wasn't wrong, he was partisan. He wouldn't be calling the House the 'lesser' chamber if it was the one the Reps still had.

The House has always been the lesser chamber. Mostly from that each member (1/435) is less powerful than a senator (1/100). The House used to be elected by the populus and the Senate chosen by the people in charge.

Agreed, again, just pointing out that our always extruding friend here wouldn't be bringing that up if the Reps held it.

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Populace. And the Senate was elected by the state legislatures, who are only the People In Charge according to your interpretation. They were mostly part-time legislators, people with regular jobs, elected by the voters. It seemed like a good system to me.

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No, he wouldnt. It is obvious to everyone which chamber is more important. Losing either chamber kills the President's legislative agenda, but the Senate had sole power to confirm judges. That was and is the most important issue from the 2016 election. The GOP will own the courts for a quarter century.

And while Trump lost a lot of opportunities with the House, the GOP in the House didn't seem enthusiastic about what he wanted anyway.

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Okay, but legislation also has long-lasting effects and now Trump won't be able to pass any bills. Possibly he gets an infrastructure bill, maybe even with some wall funding. A broader immigration bill isn't happening. Remote chance Trump passes some sort of health care bill with the Democrats which could be ... interesting.

But doesn't this just help Trump. If nothing gets done, he can now point (much more convincingly) to House obstructionism, and if he gets infrastructure and or a DACA/Wall combo passed, he can tout his bipartisanship. And if the House goes impeachment-crazy, he can fall back to calling them impeachment-crazy. As long as there's nothing of interest in his taxes, losing the House narrowly seems like the best possible result for him.

Exactly.

"And if the House goes impeachment-crazy..."

They will. It is one of the things that resonates well with their base. Also, Obama used the same tactic to build support when R's stonewalled him.

It will come to nothing for them.

It will come to nothing because the Senate is still Rep. But they will do it anyway for symbolism, like the Rep House passing bills to repeal Obamacare just about every month from 2010-2016 knowing they'd never become law. Politics never stops.

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The impeachment craziness will subside dramatically the day that Maxine Waters is finally picked up, put in a straitjacket and sent to bed in a room with rubber wallpaper.

If only...

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Trump might still find a compromise healthcare bill to replace Obamacare, but, mostly new legislation will be stillborn.

And legislation drives the domestic agenda. BUT, the Constitution mostly leaves foreign policy up to the executive branch. And, the executive retains considerable authority over much of the administrative state, as Congress long-ago ceded day-to-day authority to all those alphabet agencies.

So, any legislative agenda Pres. Trump has in mind will likely go nowhere, for even if he's willing to negotiate (and he almost certainly is) with House Democrats, many of these can't politically afford to cooperate with Trump in any way even if they wish to as many of those they depend on for re-election will not tolerate anyone willing to work with Pres. Trump.

The bottom line is, the Constitution vests a great deal of authority in the Executive, and the growth of the administrative state has enhanced that authority, and therefore Trump retains quite a bit of power even if little or no legislation is advanced.

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"Somehow — miraculously — democracy did not die, I am still writing blog posts for tomorrow morning, fascism has yet to arrive, and life goes on!"

This is moral endorsement for Trump.

Because there are only two possible states, utter, uncontrolled panic over Trump or total enthusiastic endorsement.

Sure seems that way - the idea that he is a lazy buffoon seems to be rarely considered.

I really don't know when it was that your comments starting shooting massively upward in quality, but kudos and keep up the good work.

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It certainly did not touch bases with "good job, guys."

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Frisco's Prop C (the Silicon Valley Homelessness Tax and Redistribution Scheme) passed:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/07/san-francisco-proposition-c-homeless-tax-passes.html

Insofar as public policy initiatives now come routinely from tech CEOs and entrepreneurs by fiat (id est, without direct democratic legislative participation in policy formation [granted, California's resort to "democracy by referendum" is itself a questionable practice]): why not just make lucrative tech companies the ones with SOLE RESPONSIBILITY for managing the affairs of the homeless and the downtrodden? Tech companies have all the technical capability and all the cash that the poor and the homeless, the downtrodden and the disaffected could want, surely. (Equally obviously: no Silicon Valley tech firm should trust a municipality like Oakland to administer funds, since localities like Oakland cannot even enforce building codes on behalf of the homeless to forestall incendiary episodes like the Ghost Ship conflagration.)

What outcomes would anyone dare predict the "approval" of this proposition will entail? Will the homelessness crisis of the SF region be "cured" ("eradicated", whatever other pseudo-medical metaphor one cares to invoke) by 2020?

Should we fairly assume (money being the cure of all evils) that homelessness across the SF region will be utterly in the rear view mirror once tech company millions start pouring into "homeless" coffers?

Some good points Edward G. Burke, but you could use an editor. What is Ghost Ship conflagration? Googling it now...some sort of Oakland CA fire tragedy in an artists collective of some sort, from this sarcastic and derivative article: https://www.newnationalist.net/2017/08/oakland-ghost-ship-confligration-should-be-wake-up-call-for-those-toying-with-the-dark-side/

Bonus trivia: when I lived in Frisco's Pacific Heights in the 1990s, I once saw a homeless women pull down her pants and urinate right at me, without any shame, pointing her thing at me and squirting, I was taken aback. Now it's a porn fetish category; she was ahead of her time.

Fascinating. I live for your bonus trivia

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I suspect that the intersection of solutions that might actually work, and those that are politically acceptable in that area, is a null set. I would predict that a lot more money will be spent, and the problem will continue to get worse.

The situation may eventually reach a tipping point that will change this, but based on the evidence to date, they are not close to being there yet.

I wonder in specific regard to the approved initiative whether anyone in the region (tech CEO or homeless person) has applied much thought to whatever consequences an enormous seismic event might portend: some working assumptions could perhaps be upset by such an event.

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Youth vote wasn't up much, but apparently 2/3rds of it went to the Dems, which is even higher than usual.

I agree we didn't immediately plunge into chaos (hell of a straw man there, Tyler), but it's hard to look at widespread voter suppression and gerrymandering and conclude that democracy is doing just fine.

Fortunately for all you Trumpists there is nothing the Democrats are better at as a party than failing to make the right strategic moves.

But the Dems are masters of voter fraud, especially easy in House elections. Heck, they even won a Senate seat in NH, in a previous election, by sending Dem operatives over the border from MA.

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In France, to vote, you need to present two official papers (except in small rural villages, where just the first one is needed): a "voter card", that you received by the post office (so that they check your address), if you had registered for voting before January First of the year of the election (so you have to register months in advance); and your "carte nationale d'identité", a government-issued photo ID that is relatively hard to get (you need to go to your city hall, presents proof of citizenship, of address, police declaration of lost or stolen card if you previously had one but don't have it, etc.).

Those measures are considered as perfectly normal, as necessary to the principle "One man (or woman), one vote". No one has ever called them "voter suppression", not even the worst loser.

Despite this, frauds occur, some local elections are regularly cancelled and re-called for this.

In the US it is ten times simpler to get registered, most of the time without your citizen ship to be checked, and you can vote in most places without a photo ID. And any suggestion that fraud may occur is "fake news", because as everyone knows, American are honest people and would never do anything bad, which is why they have the lowest incarceration rate in the world.

Shouldn't be any problem for you to turn up evidence of all this voter fraud then, should it? Let's have it.

This is not a well-thought answer. Electoral fraud is relatively easy to prevent, very hard to detect afterwards. If for instance you can easily vote under a false identity, because no photo identity document is required, then you can vote twice, for instance once under your own name and once under the name of your grandma who you know doesn't vote. How will it be possible afterward to detect that?

Seriously, how can you defend the idea that other democratic countries have much tougher law preventing electoral frauds, and still have frauds from time to time, and that the US, where fraud is super-easy, is miraculously free of any fraud.

The defense is very easy: the costs of a photo ID requirement (lower turnout, particularly from low income voters) is higher than the benefits (prevention of one particular type of fraud - voter impersonation fraud). Now, if there was more evidence that voter impersonation fraud actually occurs, the analysis would change and it might weigh in favor a photo ID requirement. But since there is no evidence that voter impersonation fraud is something that actually occurs, there is no benefit to outweigh the costs.

"the costs of a photo ID requirement (lower turnout, particularly from low income voters)"

In what way is this a cost?

(1) At a normative level, we want a government of the people, for the people and by the people. No government by some portion of the people. The closer we can get to universal turnout, the better.
(2) Higher turnout mean elections provide more accurate information about the preferences of the electorate. If turnout is depressed, especially in a way that is not equally distributed, than elections do not convey inaccurate information.
(3) Individual voters are not forced to incur unnecessary costs in order to vote. Obtaining required IDs literally requires time and money.

Bullpucky!

Dems are terrified of voter ID because it will uncover their routine voter fraud.

Republicans like voter ID because it will uncover Democrat's voter fraud.

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" The closer we can get to universal turnout, the better."

In what actual way, not just some platitude, is that better? Is democracy improved by lazy ignoramuses who can't figure out how to get an ID voting? How could that possibly, possibly, in any way, have any beneficial effect whatsoever? If you have any concept of the knowledge of the average person on the street, the chance that their votes convey any useful information whatsoever is less than zero.

So in fact there are no costs to voter ID requirements, only benefits.

By the way in exit polls many voters admit to being non-citizens, so we know voter fraud occurs. Citizenship is not checked in places like CA when registering to vote.

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That's ridiculously false. The vast, vast majority of voters already have ID. Who do you know who doesnt?

An average ID card costs about $7 for five years, and many jurisdictions offer them (or could) for free.

The main "cost" of an ID is digging up your birth certificate which again the vast majority of people already have.

The benefits in protecting the integrity of the ballot boxes are ginormous, particularly since a ballot dropped into the box can never be removed even if one PROVES a voter voted illegally. As long as we have secret ballots, we must jealously guard access to the box.

To register in California, which has no voter ID law, you are required to present only a utility bill and sign your name attesting to eligibility. Dont tell me that with cheating this easy and unverifiable that fraud isnt rampant in CA, especially since the number of Spanish names on the rolls has soared in the past few decades.

"in CA, especially since the number of Spanish names on the rolls has soared in the past few decades."

More comedy gold. Can't think of why that may have happened in the last FEW DECADES besides fraud?

Illegal immigration.

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Democrat voter fraud:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2017/09/07/exclusive-kobach-out-of-state-voters-changed-outcome-new-hampshire-senate-race/

I'm liking your jokes, so fun.

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A bizarre result, given the very strong job and wage growth, and the older voters who tend to cast ballots mid-term. Did the tax law have a strange incidence targeting anti-Trump suburbs? Or was tampering with the health insurance law the problem?

In all seriousness, children in cages might have been bigger than tax law.

Given that Trump did better than expectations, the question should probably be flipped around. Was it a good idea to put children used as pawns by illegal criminal immigrants into a summer camp, separated from the criminals who sought to use them?

I will give a serious, general, answer.

If you believe there are moral roots to conservatism, today is a good day.

What you want going forward is to push your own morality and those roots, rather than, as is sometimes seen at its worst "the stock market up so I don't care."

That’s not a serious answer, it’s a bs answer. And you know it and try to pull ‘the feels lever’ every time.

I voted Dem straight ticket. Enough with the Trumpistas.

This is about whether we support our de facto open borders policy. And we must.

We need to grant amnesty to anyone who comes here from south of the border. Sure, it feels good. Whatever.

More importantly it keeps our unskilled labor wage pressure low. I shouldn’t have to pay $30,000 for a nanny when a woman in China will do it for $12,000 and a green card. We need to make it legal to hire anyone from out of country on a visa with a guaranteed contact. The government can make the difference in her pay.

De facto open borders are important. It’s humanitarian, it allows me to hire a cook and landscaper at less than minimum wage, and for the migrants it gives them an almost infinitely better life.

Pareto improvements. Vote Democrat until Republicans support massive immigration of unskilled labor!!!!

I shouldn’t have to pay more than 4 dollars an hour for labor. It’s an absurdity brought by Republicans. Vote for freedom of movement!!!

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Wouldn't that imply that Democrats should have lost big, given that children in cages was one of Obama's big pushes?

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"fascism has yet to arrive"

Fascism was a discrete historical phenomenon that did not survive World War 2. You can rest easy.

Agreed here.

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Yes, fascism was from an era of high modernism where many people, both highly and lowly educated, believed that the State could and should solve all problems, political, economic, social, and cultural. Almost nobody has that faith anymore in fascism or the beneficence of the state after the system was tried and found empirically wanting in terms of results and people's satisfaction with it.

Which is why "fascist" and "fascism" today exist only as insults, and not as any real descriptive terminology.

Re; the efficacy of an omnipresent state and its place designing systems of omnipresent monitoring and control, ask Xi's China about that. You'll find enough support from "many people".

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"Yes, fascism was from an era of high modernism where many people, both highly and lowly educated, believed that the State could and should solve all problems, political, economic, social, and cultural." Today that faith is placed in socialism. Fascism without corporations. Because it has yielded utopia everywhere it has been implemented, most recently in Venezuela, from which people eagerly travel to other lands to proclaim its praises.

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I'm disappointed that John Culberson got knocked out of Congress. I don't agree with most of his politics, but he was a strong advocate for NASA's Europa Clipper mission - the type of advocate the NASA needs.

Nelson (probably) being knocked out of the Senate is likely more consequential for space. But Nelson did more harm than good, so his ouster is a good thing.

Now if only we could get rid of Shelby.

And arguably Culberson had a role in propping up SLS, because that was part of the bargain on Europa. And there's just no perspective in which funding SLS is good for our space program. SLS is the monster that ate the space program.

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> Conversely, the more modest economic progressive agenda of Medicaid expansion and minimum wage increases continues to triumph even in very conservative states.

gross. Also I wouldn't characterize them as modest.

Annnyways, at least the kooky progressive people aren't winning yet.

Too bad neither party has a meaningful liberal faction anymore.

Compared to the full slate of leftwing policy proposals a higher minimum wage and expanded Medicaid are very moderate. Moreover both are popular with a large fraction of the electorate, not just the Left.

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All spin aside, the popular vote results (as of 9AM Wed)
Senate: D (56.8%), R(41.5%)
House: D (51.1%), R (47.2%)
Governors: D(49.2%), R(48.4%)
Now, we all know that popular vote is only part of the story - and winning elections does not require winning the popular vote. You have plenty of latitude to declare the election a blue wave or a Trump victory, or anything else you wish. But the fact remains that across the board Democrats got more votes than Republicans at all levels (at least all that I could find data on - it would be interesting to see state and local races totaled up nationally). Whether or not this is evidence of democracy being alive and well or something else is also open to debate. But let's not get lost in the spin, thereby bypassing the actual votes that were cast. These numbers are not exit polls - the are the actual votes cast for the candidates from these parties.

It is amusing how the Reps crow about their electoral domination, when really it's and electoral college domination/advantage. And that's the way it is and will remain, but your point should be noted, there are more Dem voters in this country than Rep ones and maybe always will be (demographic change). Well, 'always' is pretty strong, parties change over time. The Reps will still get their turns in charge though.

When you lose in chess, do you whine that you captured more material than your opponent?

When you lose at poker, do you whine that you won the first ten hands instead of the last one?

The EC and the Senate are a feature, not a bug.

No one's whining but you. I was pointing out a fact, the Reps have a natural electoral college advantage, which they've needed to win elections the last couple of decades. And another fact, that there are more Dem voters than Rep ones.

You're stating entirely irrelevant facts. The number of dem voters in the nation, however aggregated, is a meaningless statistic.

We currently have an Electoral College and Senate. We have always had them. And for the foreseeable future we always will have them.

You're engaging in leftist mental masturbation.

There is no particular reason WHY Republicans should have an advantage in an Equal Representation system by state other than the fact that Democrat policies are toxic for anyone outside of large cities. Again, this is exactly WHY we have an EC and Senate. Our constitution was designed to address the needs of people in diverse geographies. Those bodies preserve our nature as a Federal Republic. You simply look at your current national popular majority and entertain scenarios where you get to spooge politically. Those excess votes only matter if those people move. There is strong evidence that is actually happening and having some political influence. But the Democrats have focused so much on identity politics it has alienated the white males in the "flyover" states and the women who love them.

I'm not the one triggered by facts. Of course the party with fewer votes would naturally move to appeal to the rural voter where the electoral college favors and amplifies their votes. The Reps are very smart to do this, it's basically an electoral market outcome. The party with minority views has to appeal to the minority with disproportionate voting power. Nothing wrong with it, just a fact. Someday not too long from now demographics will neutralize the rural voter advantage. Also just a fact.

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"Now, we all know that popular vote is only part of the story"

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"Now, we all know that popular vote is only part of the story"

No we don't. The national-level popular vote is NONE of the story for a series of local- and state-level elections. It's completely irrelevant, and your bringing it up has no meaning outside of some partisan bubble whose members have convinced themselves it makes some sort of point.

I happen to live in a country as well as a local community and state. So, the national picture is not irrelevant to me. To claim that the national popular vote has NO relevance is simply a statement that only your immediate local conditions matter to you. To amplify this point, I happen to live an a very rural area. The national popular vote has almost no correlation with what happens in local elections, and only some relationship to my state's totals. But I still happen to think that what is happening nationally is relevant to me. After all, when I lament the poor broadband availability in my area, I surely would like some of those popular votes to pay for improving it.

I think you are missing Thelonious_Nick's point. This is the "United States of America", it is more like a federation of independent states (countries) who elect their own government, and also elect representatives to represent their country to the federal government. that is why each states gets a number of representatives that corresponds to their states population, and as a check on the majority power, get 2 senators no matter their population. from this perspective, NH could care less how many Californians voted for CA's senators. Thus, the "popular vote" for state elections is meaningless.

Good or bad, this is just how our government works.

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Republicans have a lot more guns than the Democrats do. Don't ever forget that.

You play by the rules you got, not the rules you wish you had.

Nice. When ideas fail, words come in handy. When words fail, there's always the threat of guns.

Nailed it.

You didn't understand my point at all. Your arguments are meaningless. Your words failed.

Voting is a means of expressing power. You are claiming that your superior numbers make you more powerful, I.e. a democracy.

We are NOT a democracy. While your superior numbers count toward presidential elections, they have limited effect in the Equal Representation aspects of our federal government.

Guns, like votes, are power. I'm reminding you that there are ways in which you are far weaker than you imagine. We will not succumb to democracy and will preserve our republic. If we have to use guns, we will. That's not a threat, it is a promise.

While Democrats are a plurality among registered party members, the largest political group in this nation is not affiliated with either party. You neglect to realize that also you don't even have superior numbers on most issues and hence not most races.

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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/results?ocid=spartanntp
As long as you have all this red, popular vote does not make a difference. Our system takes geography into account, so you better start sending those blue hair teens to the country side if you want to win national elections.

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Absolute popular vote is a useless measure.

If turnout is positively correlated with the probability of one's party winning, then many republican-sympathizing voters neglect to turn out in densely populated, deeply-blue cities, while few democrat-sympathizing voters neglect to turn out in sparsely populated, deeply-red rural areas.

E.g.: 3/4 of the western seaboard, aka California.

If you want to judge aggregate sentiment, there are far better tools than the results of our idiosyncratic voting systems.

Then "democracy did not die" because perhaps it was dead on arrival. I fully understand how our political system works, but a system that promotes the rationality not voting and one which promotes ignoring how votes in other places feel sounds rather unhealthy to me. I would add, though - of course, I can't think of a better system (at least not easily).

We are a representative republic, not a democracy.

A semi-representative republic ;-)

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Its also worth noting that California republicans didnt actually have a Republican senator to vote for.

This is worth reading on this subject:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/11/07/some-democrats-are-complaining-about-senate-popular-vote-its-still-not-thing/?utm_term=.3ab585093b26

But they were free to leave that question blank.

You don't see how that still skews the vote?

Sure, and "top 2 voting" has some downsides. Heck, Rohrabacher almost protected his flank that way.

We arent discussing the downside of top two elections. We are discussing the effect of those elections on the national tally of Democrat and Republican votes for Senate candidates.

Anecdotally I know a dozen California Republicans who voted for Feinstein. I know just as many who left it blank. That's (say) 24 Republicans either included in the Democrat tally or not included in the Republican tally. And this is the largest state in the nation.

National tallies like this are as useless as wet toilet paper.

I am a registered Republican who voted for Feinstein.

How do you want to recount me?

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There were a lot more Dem seats up for election this year. The votes could have differently if all seats had been up.

For the Senate, yes. The Dems in fact won 63-66% of the Senate seats up with their ~55% of the vote. (Not too far off from what you'd expect, since in our system the percentage of seats won should increase twice as fast as the popular vote grows.)

" The Dems in fact won 63-66% of the Senate seats up with their ~55% of the vote. "

Umm say what? The Republican's gained Senators.

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You're implying that elections are the result of random chance. Indeed many more Democrat seats were up for election, and most of them were in solidly blue states or red states with well established democrat incumbants.

The GOP Senate wins (and close losses) are a big deal. It's hard to imagine how they could have done better.

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I am technically registered Republican, though I usually identify as an independent.

Maybe I should take on a new name.

I am the Republican Moral Minority!

How about Never (shut up about) Trumper? :-)

Your own post on election day was very good and moral, no free riding there.

Msgkings is great but that was a somewhat weak post. Our democracy is not “fragile“, no matter how much the Washington Post’s masthead — designed to scare — says it is.

Are both Sessions and Rosenstein out, or is it just the one?

I would think that ethical conservatives would want that whole thing to run a conventional course.

I mean, up until this year we thought it was entirely reasonable for presidents to answer grand juries.

Limits on politicians, their ability to put themselves above the law, and all that.

Who cares?

He needs to be impeached and put in prison so the Republicans learn their lesson.

We get to decide real policy. Not the toothless yokles.

We need cheap unskilled labor. We shouldn’t have to pay 12 an hour. We had a deal. Dems can raise the minimum wage and we can import people at less than minimum wage.

A great deal. Dems get to bluster about labor. Repubs get to bluster about brown people and culture.

But most importantly wages don’t go up. Cost of employment doesn’t go up. We set a threshold for unskilled labor. And import a peasant class.

Throw trump in jail.

The Moral Minority are sympathetic to the dentally impaired.

I had to walk around with a broken tooth for a couple days last week (until I could get a non-emergency appointment). Luckily it could be fixed with that fantastic ultraviolet curing plastic and it was done in an hour.

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That word was part of the quote from a 538 lefty, I don't think it's 'fragile' either. But Trump's attitude is no help. Today Trump was very presidential and reasonable in discussing working with a newly Dem House, and not a peep about electoral fraud. And no surprise the stock market loved it.

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Eh. The rhetoric that's been floating around since before your presidential in 2016 about "lack of graceful concession" around Trump has to yet to actually be realized in practice.

People are going to be increasingly skeptical with each round.

Particularly when the closest thing (and still not a close thing) to a lack of graceful concession is Clinton re-branding herself as part of "The Resistance".

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The most important decision yesterday was to enfranchise the approximately 1.5M felons for future elections. this represents about 10% of the potential electorate. Had they been eligible to vote in the midterm things would have turned out much differently in the Senate and Governor races. It may be that Florida ends up not being as much of a tossup state in 2020 because of this.

Any data from outside of Florida on how recidivist felons vote?

--as any data concerning voting frequency for re-enfranchised ex-felons (after service of terms or following parole, whatever local provisions allow)?

--as any data concerning how former felons vote depending on what crimes they were convicted of? (How much variety in the voting patterns of former felons might anyone legitimately expect?)

Data not needed. Everyone knows that 100% of people not now eligible to vote, even the unborn, would vote Democrat if they could.

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If 10% of the population of Florida is felons I think I'll stay out of Florida. That can't be right...can it?

Never a bad idea to stay out of Florida.

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Yes, this was great news. Forbidding ex-felons, or even felons currently in jail, to vote might legitimately be called "voter suppression". Asking people to prove their identity when voting may not. And it is good news that voter suppression in the US is receding.

This was an answer to Goldhammer, and was (clearly) referring to the vote in Florida to allow ex-felons to vote.

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Gibberish. Voting has never been universal. And while we have eliminated racial and religious tests, restrictions of voting by felons has existed for centuries. Only recently it has taken on an implicit or explicit racial connection because of the high black crime and incarceration rate. These laws are a transparent attempt to help Democrats, not to treat felons differently.

While people can have different opinions on released felons voting, it would otherwise come down to personal values, not any objective sense of fairness. The "debt to society" is lifelong; it doesn't end when you are released from custody. They don't get a clean slate when they leave prison. They are still convicted felons.

But if you want killers, rapists, robbers, gangsters, fraudsters, arsonists, and kidnappers choosing leaders and making policy...

"....rapists, robbers.....fraudsters....."

Well, when one is already president....? OK too easy.

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"A free man shall not be amerced for a trivial offence except in accordance with the degree of the offence and for a grave offence in accordance with its gravity"

The purpose of punishment is to deter others, protect society from further crimes, compensate the victim, and rehabilitate/reform the offender. I don't see how loss of franchise (post-release) accomplishes any of this.

I was a prosecutor. I think I know how our justice system works better than you.

Suffrage is an entirely separate issue. Determining who is eligible to vote is a political issue, not a justice issue. Denying felons the vote isnt punishment - it is the people deciding who is fit to make public decisions.

You are free to believe that released felons should be able to vote. I might not even disagree case by case. But reinstating voting privileges is not and has never been automatic or a right. Notwithstanding the language of the 15th, 19th, and 26th amendments, voting is not, was not, and never will be a right. The body politic has always controlled who gets to vote. It is a matter of public choice, not right.

Kinda, broadly, agreed. But I'd like to nit-pick.

"reinstating voting privileges is not and has never been automatic or a right."

Agreed. But I think our differences come down to an interpretation of what a "felon / convicted felon" is in the first instance; you regard the condition as permanent characteristic acquired upon conviction, whilst I regard it as pertaining only for the duration of any sentence. I would tend to use the phrase "former felon" to describe felons who have served their full sentence, and hence the felony exceptions on franchise no longer apply.

Interested to hear of your prosecutorial perspective...?

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Also, a philosophical quibble; if felons do incur a "lifelong debt" to society it implies both an iniquitous sentence (some felons are sentenced heavier than others based on length of their life) and potentially a "debt" far in excess of any damages inflicted.

Both doctrines would cause problems under many ethical systems...

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A bit more, because your post is fascinating:

"Notwithstanding the language of the 15th, 19th, and 26th amendments, voting is not, was not, and never will be a right. The body politic has always controlled who gets to vote. It is a matter of public choice, not right"

Yes, though properly speaking I think voting as above is defined as a political right, not a natural or civil one, which is probably the distinction you were making?

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And at least one Kremlin mole has been ousted.

Who? And before you answer, maybe run it by the GMU legal department.

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Re. Angus, a JP Morgan report this morning:

"Adjusted for economic conditions and asset prices, the 2018 midterm
election resulted in the worst House retention by any President in 100 years"

https://www.jpmorgan.com/jpmpdf/1320746430006.pdf

This is exactly what I wondered earlier. Normally, a president with these economic figures does well, regardless of what people tut about. This time, something changed.

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"Adjusted for economic conditions" etc. Sounds suspiciously like climate data "adjustments."

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“over the past 21 midterm elections, the President’s party has lost an average 30 seats in the House.... NY Times sez it’s R – 26 in House..."

Maybe that was true last night, but now it's R - 34.

Or maybe not. I made the mistake of believing the Drudge headline.

538 now predicting it ends up R - 36.

Is it a rebuke now?

That's slightly above average.

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Looking like R - 37 now. Spin that how you want but it’s still the biggest Democratic gain since 1974.

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Medicaid and minimum wage expansions are considered “modest” anywhere?

Compared to what?

They're "modest" in the sense that they are old-fashioned, easy to explain, and appeal to lower education voters; at the same time, they're in some ways classic command-and-control regulation (something that appeals to Trump and people like him). Many of the opposing ideas that lost are more complicated and appeal to economists and other wonks and the educated. (including Yglesias.)

Note also that taxes, including taxes just of the rich to go to schools, pretty much lost everywhere (with the exception of California not voting to reverse its gas tax increase); that includes support for special sales tax carve outs everywhere.

Victim rights amendments won everywhere by huge margins, even as criminal reform also won in many places. Pot generally did well. North Carolina voters simultaneously handed easy victories both to inserting ID requirements to vote into the state constitution and a new Supreme Court Justice best known for litigating against voter ID requirements.

Expanding rent control lost in California, though, so economists can be glad about that one.

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Obama, the Lightbringer, the Most Historic and Awesome President in Human History..... lost 63 seats in his corresponding election.

Buffoon-man Trump.... lost 26.

Suck it, libs. Suck it hard.

It's actually 36 but who's counting?

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You sound salty. You ok, bro?

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I love how Obamacare, the great Socialist Death of The Republic, is now classified as "modest" progressive agenda, one which the Republicans now declare that they will forever protect.

They've already destroyed it, brah

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Aside from the mixed outcome, doesn’t President Trump deserve a lot of credit for the enormous increase in voter turnout this year?
See: https://priorprobability.com/2018/11/07/thanks-trump/

Did Hitler deserve credit for the record number of military combatants in WWII on all sides?

Not making a Hitler/Trump comparison here. Just rebutting your point.

Go for it. Hitler - Trump comparison is a low hanging fruit.

"Hitler - Trump comparison is a low hanging fruit."

Only for meatheads with no knowledge of history and no sense of reality.

If you think Trump is Hitler or anything like him, it makes me wonder why leftists arent leaving the country or buying guns. The lack of action consistent with that belief tells me they dont really believe it.

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Red states voted for higher minimum wages and California voted against rent control. Who's the real socialist now, comrade?

Today's Republican base is not so against government intervention on their side to compress unemployment low and wages high. Whether through trade barriers, tough enforcement against illegal migration, or even minimum wage policy. Despite inefficiencies in the market and burdens of cost on American competitiveness. Trump's drumbeat of "Jobs, jobs, jobs" is all about this.

The Democrats still seem to advertise a different deal to the lower middle class. Less on compressing unemployment or driving higher prices for labor through barriers to entry for cheaper foreign competitors (goods or labor). More around letting globalization do as it will, and then imposing taxes and transfers through social programs. Despite greater tax burden and other inefficiencies imposed on American competitiveness.

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Tyler should avoid political analysis. White middle-aged, upper-middle class guy says he can still vote and ridicules concerns over democratic erosion. But fails to acknowledge voter suppression efforts around the country--including the Jim Crow-style efforts in Georgia.

He doesn't acknowledge them because the 'voter suppression' discourse is a fraud. ACORN types are upset at administrative changes which disrupt their vote fraud schemes, hence bushwah about 'voter suppression'.

And you wouldn't recognize gerrymandering either, one assumes, even if the Supreme Court does.

Gerrymandering is what’s done every 10 years because of the census. Now that the Dems have control back in some of the states, they will be gerrymandering 2020.

Mostly Democrat Maryland just got nailed because it tried to gerrymander the 6th Congressional Republican district out of existence after 2010.

But because it’s enlightened Dems, that’s ok because I vote against my self-interest and I need help to see the light.

The boomers don’t have the lock on the hubris generation. They were the most educated generation at one time.

"Now that the Dems have control back in some of the states, they will be gerrymandering 2020."

I doubt it, although any undoing of Republican gerrymanders is going to reflexively look like reverse gerrymandering to Republicans regardless of the merits. The public is more aware of gerrymandering, and folks are getting fed up with it. Many states have seen ballot measures pass that put in processes to severely limit the ability of a party to draw maps that purposefully advantage a particular party. This is a good thing. In the long run, having competitive districts makes for better candidates.

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https://ritholtz.com/2018/11/2018-midterms-economically-adjusted/

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Tyler, you can downplay the damage being done by this administration every day if you prefer. However, brown-shirt fascists don't have to break down your door and throw you in jail to prove that things are not normal and getting worse. Just look at some of the comments here from supposedly educated people. And these comments are tame compared to most of the internet. The dialogue and the overall community in this country is suffering. This has a real, negative effect on the country going forward. It just keeps getting worse.

These brown shirt fascists call themselves anti-fa. They're also active and encouraged by DNC leadership. Authoritarianism is here, but it lost big in 2016. Large gains in the house in 2018.

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This is a great blog. I was surprised to learn that the comments herein are unadulterated trash -- but maybe I should have be surprised. This is the internet, after all.

This was my first and last venture here. Good luck everyone -- ya'll are kooks.

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KJO -- you read my mind. I read Tyler for some good links, and a list of interesting books, not for his extreme glibertarianism. He ignores most of the crap being done by Republicans, and then singles out some overreach by the Democrats and does some concern-trolling.

Every so often he tosses off a extra glib liberal-tweak, and then his base commenters go extra nuts. A few weeks ago he shut off comments on a bunch of posts, and they went crazy with threats to abandon ship.

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"It was the biggest one-election House loss for Republicans since 1974, playing out on largely favorable maps, with the party presiding over full employment."
Also, Pointing out the fact that the system is rigged against the popular majority is "bellyaching" per Bret Stephens, Russ Roberts, other. GMAB

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Given that Trump explicitly made the election about him, saying over and over again that it was about him, campaigning furiously across the country in a manner I haven't seen Presidents do before during midterms, losing some 35-odd seats does indeed seem to be a rebuke of him, regardless of past trends in midterms.

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