2022 Election Thoughts
Posted on November 13, 2022 Posted by John Scalzi 81 Comments
Now that control of the Senate has been retained by the Democrats (albeit barely), some post-mortem notes on the 2022 mid-term elections.
1. Even if the GOP takes the House — which it probably will although at this point it may be by as little as a seat or two — this was a shockingly poor showing by the Republicans generally. I was mildly depressed through the run-up to Election Day because I was worried not just about Republican success on the national level, but also on the state level: It was entirely possible a bunch of election-denying Secretaries of State would get hustled into office with an eye toward breaking the 2024 election in as many ways as possible. I stayed away from news and media on election day and into the evening, and when I woke up the next morning I sat down at my desk, steeled myself…
… and was pleasantly surprised! The Democrats did not lose horribly! Indeed, in many places rather the opposite! They routed in Pennsylvania and Michigan, did all right in Wisconsin and elsewhere, and in the fullness of time even pulled out some unexpected victories. If the voting trends in Arizona hold, victories there will be especially sweet, because Arizona really does feel like the hotbed of GOP electoral denial madness; the GOP candidate for Secretary of State was an actual “Oath Keeper” at the January 6 insurrection. The Democrats also held the Senate, and look to limit the Republicans to a bare majority in the House — which will still be a majority, don’t kid yourself, and the GOP will happily make a mess even if they only have a single seat between them and minority status. But it could have been so much worse.
Should have been so much worse! The economy isn’t great, inflation has been terrible, people are unhappy, and Joe Biden isn’t terribly popular — although, historically, not that much more unpopular than most presidents at the two-year mark; four of the last six presidents had mid-to-low forties favorability ratings at this point in their presidencies, with only the Bushes overachieving. Those low ratings are one reason why mid-term elections are the time and place for opposing parties to make substantial political gains, and Biden’s (apparent) political hand in these elections wasn’t great.
And yet here we are, with the Democrats having had a historically good midterm.
2. So what happened? Two things, as far as I can see: One, the Supreme Court told half the country that a rapist should have more control of their bodies than they should; Two (and related), the GOP finally went more fashy than a bare majority of Americans were comfortable with.
The first of these, the tossing out of Roe v. Wade, strikes me as the more important of the two. US citizens aren’t the most politically engaged people on a day-to-day basis, but they know when their rights are being taken away, and they know who is to blame for it. It didn’t escape their notice which party was the one who put Alito and all those other conservative judges on the bench; it also didn’t escape their notice which party has gone out of its way to outlaw abortion under any circumstance, including the rapes of 10-year-olds, and people potentially dying of sepsis because of non-viable fetuses rotting in their wombs. “You should carry your rapist’s child” and “We’d rather you die than have an abortion” are, strangely, not the messages on which votes are reliably garnered.
Likewise “your vote shouldn’t count if we don’t like it,” is also something of a non-starter for a lot of people! Having the GOP become the political face of US authoritarianism in a moment when authoritarianism, including sham elections for political advantage, is being actively (and popularly!) combatted in Europe is not a great look. I also think the political strategy of trying to separate out trans people for persecution, popular as it was and is with the intolerant, was not particularly smart. Trans folks really are a small sliver of the population, but everyone understood the point for the GOP was and is to start with trans folks, and then just keep going to gays and lesbians and then to other groups, including, inevitably, the Jews. It doesn’t take rocket scientists to figure this out; the GOP, particularly its fashy wing, loves to monologue.
Here’s the problem for the GOP: Half the US population has (or had) a uterus, and the rest of the population knows and loves someone who has one. A lot of the US population knows and loves someone who is gay or may be trans or non-binary. More than half the US population, I expect, wants a reasonable expectation that their vote won’t be ignored if a state governor or secretary of state or legislature finds it somehow inconvenient.
All of which is to say, a platform of actively stripping people of their rights is (thankfully) not the way to generate a “wave” election. Even if the economy is not great and the president isn’t particularly popular. Strangely, if you make people choose, they will value their own rights, and the rights of those they care for, more than the price of a loaf of bread. Yes, you have to work at it to get the average US voter to that point! But, apparently, here we are.
3. Naturally, the GOP wants to blame anyone but itself for this poor showing, and they appear to have landed on two culprits: Gen Z voters, who have broken rather decisively for Democrats, and Donald Trump, who campaigned for genuinely awful candidates and helped to get them onto the general election ballots. With regard to Gen Z voters, well, see above: Gen Z people are not happy about their rights being fucked with just as they aged into having them, and also, as more Gen Z folks identify outside the cut-and-dried gender-and-sexual binaries than any other generation before them, turns out they’re especially sensitive to the GOP attempts to go after these groups.
One should never say never about these things, but outside the I-expect-smaller-than-4chan-would-like “white edgelord gamer” demographic, it’s entirely possible the GOP has definitively lost Gen Z, which makes two generations in a row which trend away from them, as Millennials are not huge fans either. That leaves Boomers and (ugh) Gen X, which is not great for them, as Boomers are busy dying and Gen Xers are demographically smaller than other generations. These deficits have been counteracted before by Boomers/Gen Xers voting more reliably than younger demographics, but, congrats, GOP, your rights-stripping antics have brought home the idea that every election actually does count, sooooooo, yeah.
This showing will no doubt prompt some GOP folks to wonder what they can do to bring Gen Z into the fold, and the answer is: Have you considered not actually attempting to strip people of their rights and bodily autonomy? No? Well, okay, good luck with that, then.
4. As for Trump, well, look: He is in fact the very worst thing to happen to the GOP in modern times, because he doesn’t actually care about anything other than himself and his own self-image, and as we all know perfectly well, he was happy to attempt to overthrow two centuries of democratic processes just so his widdle fee-fees wouldn’t be hurt. Worst president ever! And also, now, worst ex-president ever!
That said, you don’t stay in bed with someone for two whole fucking years after he actively and explicitly tried to stage a fucking coup and then just try to say that everything that has led to an underwhelming midterm election is all his fault. No, no, my dear little GOP babies, this is on you, too. You had a beautiful window, right after January 6, to disavow the man and cast him aside, and recommit to democracy in these glorious United States. But then you said “but what if we didn’t” and spent the next two years licking Trump’s loafers and pretending he didn’t actually lose his election, as he clearly fucking did, and you purged those of you in your party who stood up for the country rather than that pathetic orange wedge of self-regard.
So yeah, actually, fuck you, GOP, don’t try to shove this on Trump. Trump gonna Trump, and it’s heartening that so many of the really awful people he endorsed went down in flames on election night. But not all of them did, and you’re just fine with that. There will now be more 2020 election deniers in the House of Representatives than there were before, and that’s okay by you. Notable Trump-tonguer and excitable nouveau-fascist JD Vance is headed to the Senate, and you’re happy to have him there. If all the Trump picks had won their races, you would have crowed about your red wave on every Sunday morning political talk show. The reason Trump was around was because you wanted him to stay.
5. On that subject, GOP, don’t think it’s gonna be all that easy to dislodge Trump, either, now that you find him inconvenient. Here in Darke County, Ohio, which went 81% for Trump in 2020 and 81% for Trump’s hand-picked boy JD Vance in the 2022 election, my anecdotal observation of the number of Trump flags and signs up before the election that have come down since is… zero. They’re still up! They’re still flying! Proudly! His people are still his people and I expect very little is going to change that between now and 2024. I mean, yes, he could be indicted (and possibly even in this next week!), but given that anyone still flying a Trump flag in the latter days of 2022 thinks he was robbed of his presidency, how little do you think that’s going to matter to them? That’ll just make them love Trump more.
Which will present the GOP with an interesting choice: Do they support the former president, who is (almost certainly) a criminal, definitely a seditionist and who absolutely belongs in jail, and in doing so alienate the general US population, or do they cut him loose, thus alienating Trump’s base, which is, also, their base? One assumes that the GOP wants to cut out Trump and paste Ron DeSantis into his spot, but if you think Trump is going to let that happen, well, bless you, my sweet summer child. And if Trump gets back his Twitter account, which seems not entirely unlikely, since Elon Musk needs something, anything, to drive eyeballs to his misbegotten purchase… well. Trump’s gonna be around, folks.
6. And what of Biden? Some people are still having the fantasy that he won’t run again in 2024; the last bit of fervent wishing I saw, from someone who staffed in the White House in the Reagan years, is that Biden will fire Vice President Kamala Harris, appoint California governor Gavin Newsom in her place, and then resign. This fellow, bless his heart, is higher than a weather balloon. Biden isn’t popular, but he isn’t popular in a very normal way for presidents at the two-year point in their terms, and unlike most presidents at this juncture, he didn’t have his legislative support entirely fall out from under him in the mid-terms. In his two years at the helm, he’s actually and quietly got shit done, including substantial infrastructure initiatives, and he’s shored up critical foreign support and alliances strained by Trump and his Putin-worshipping ways. Hell, he’s even helped to expose Russia’s military might as a paper tiger without starting World War III.
If any other president did all that, he’d be celebrated as one of the best presidents in modern history. If a Republican president did all that, and nerfed the opposing party in the mid-terms? The GOP would already be swapping out the Washington Monument with a 600-foot statue of him, and trying to figure out how to repeal the 22nd Amendment. As it is, all the GOP has on their agenda for the next two years is Hunter Biden’s laptop and stopping people from getting their school loans forgiven (another great way to make friends with Millennials and Gen Z, by the way).
Biden has had an actually really objectively impressive first two years to his presidency, and so, what people think he should do is… resign? Oh, honey, no. Yes, he’s old as fuck and just getting older. Yes, he’s boring in an era where people expect their politicians to be 24/7 celebrities. Yes, no one was ever excited about the idea of a Biden presidency. Even the right-wing attempt to make him into a supervillain — Let’s Go Brandon! — was silly and a little sad, and the “Dark Brandon” meme that has come out of it has outmeme’d it in any event.
Biden isn’t exciting! But he is actually a pretty decent president. And in an era where the options are “boring but efficient” and “rights-stealing incipient fascism,” it’s not exactly a surprise that the red wave was a ripple on 2022’s shore, and that Biden was there in his aviators, feet in the sand, smiling, eating ice cream, and probably thinking about what he wants to get done in his second term.
Is he gonna run in 2024? If you were him, wouldn’t you?
Well, OK to everything you said. However, my angst has to do with only 22 percent of registered voters in my county voting. Despite all the screaming and yelling in the media, only an average of 2 out of every 10 registered voters in my county chose to take action. I don’t understand us sometimes.
My county was at 56%, which was actually pretty darn good for a mid-term here in the US.
Boring is good. I’m happy with Biden because he is boring. And because he knows how to govern. That’s what presidents are supposed to do. Not be a narcissistic man child who would gladly incinerate us all if he doesn’t get his way.
As for the GOP. They won’t dump Trump because he made it okay to be openly racist hateful. We may have dodged the authoritarian bullet. But we know that they will try again.
The Dobbs decision pissed me right the fuck off. I’m a boomer and remember when women had no rights. When a man could beat and rape his wife and the cops would just talk to him and say don’t do it again. Raping your wife wasn’t illegal. Hell No, we are not going back to THAT. Thank you to the young people who came out to vote.
I always enjoy reading your blog posts, this one is a balm for my aching soul.
Re: Trump and Twitter.
Given that Musk just today fired all of Twitter’s contractors, including ones that were actively patching his servers and were abruptly locked out, along with many content moderators, I’d give Twitter maybe a week before it becomes an unreliable and often unreachable site, one where moderation will be handled entirely via unreviewable and permanent bans, similar to the one inflicted on Kathy Griffin.
In other words, Twitter will morph into Truth Social, just as the orange princeling makes his triumphant return.
If you personally have stuff on Twitter that you care at all about, two weeks ago is the best day to request an account archive, but today is better than tomorrow.
This being a week in which I had to have one of my cats put to sleep (cancer), and dreading what I was hearing everywhere about the GOP taking control of possibly both houses of Congress… well, let’s just say I avoided all news in all outlets until very late in the day. And then gingerly waded in to find…
No red wave! Democrats winning in the swing states, staving off the worst of the likely 2024 election shenanigans!
And the good news continued over the next two days.
My joy was eclipsed by sheer relief. Most Americans really don’t want authoritarian government! Most Americans really do want to preserve our democracy! Most Americans really don’t want to reduce more than half of the population to brood mares! And most Americans care enough about these issues to vote accordingly, despite what the MSM was telling them.
To see enough voters wake up from their apathetic go-alongism to make a difference is such a welcome surprise.
I’m really sorry about Ohio. And Texas. And Florida (where I have friends and family). And the other states that have decided they’re happy to keep living in darkness (KY, WV, UT, etc.) but for us who don’t want to, it’s wonderful to see the light break through.
The citizenry was alarmed and voted like it in much of the country. In Texas, GOP margins were wider than ever. The exurban and rural voters are overwhelmingly GOPers because God talk is the political currency in most of the South outside big cities.
A Republican candidate in Texas and the South needs to do little more than list “God, Family, Football, & Guns” in his/her bio to own most voters in the state. It is a tribal identifier. That’s sufficient.
Yeah, addressing Steve’s 22 % situation? That’s scary in its ways. Total agreement with you there.
Here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, our municipal election turnout was 43.79 %. Which was an improvement over 2018’s 42.55 %. Marginal improvement, honestly.
As annoyed as I am at Gen-X’s voting patterns, at least we’re small enough to be safely ignored for a while yet.
Meanwhile, I’m cackling at the GOP’s spittle-flecked rage at Gen Z voters, a la “They just voted Dem because Biden promised to forgive their loans. I can’t believe our counter message of ‘you’re just lazy and stupid’ didn’t resonate!”
“ Yes, he’d old as fuck and just getting older.”
This is a real risk. Dad, in his late 70’s, was doing rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. In his mid-80’s he was doing backcountry hiking in south Utah. At 89 he came home from church where he sang in the choir (Dad was a hardcore atheist, but loved the music), bent over to pick up the newspaper, lost his balance and hir his head. Dead by morning. What if President Biden has an accident like that? His odds of dying before November 2024 are not low. Kamala Harris is, IIRC, an easy political target. Unfortunately I think we’re probably 4 or 5 years from Whitmer being viable nationally.
But it has been fun watching the looney right meltdown on the twitters.
FTX is fun to watch, too…
Except for inflation, the economy is actually doing pretty well. Joblessness is down, and wages are rising. Hopefully, the Fed, in its zeal to control inflation will not put us into an engineered recession.
I agree the Republican Party has a real dilemma on its hands. It is losing younger voters while at the same time its most reliable demographic (those over 65) are literally dying.
One thing about Biden’s “unpopularity.” Like all things Democratic, people will say that they don’t like Biden because he’s not lefty enough for them. These people are not going to be voting for Republicans. (Maybe 2 or 3 freaks, but not enough to swing elections.)
Obamacare had the same issue. The media kept assuming it was deeply unpopular because people hated the idea of government-provided insurance. In fact, nearly half of the “disapproves” were people who wanted Medicare For All.
The reporting on this needs to get smarter, but it probably won’t. There were outlets saying the Democrats were headed towards a major loss, when their own polling showed them ahead.
Actually if I were Biden, or Pelosi, or Feinstein, or Sotomayor, or (had been) RBG I like to think I would have retired at an appropriate time, prior to failure or death.
That’s what I did in my own case, in fact, though not being in the spotlight to begin with, and being well assured that there was no shortage of capable replacements, made the decision distinctly more straightforward.
No one is irreplaceable – one hopes, or we are in even direr straits than currently appears. The man is 79 years old, and this is not China. And even in China the leader of the gerontocracy is 69 at the moment.
Hell yeah! Thanks, John, for expressing my extreme relief better than I ever would.
Several of the sentences I would like to use as linguistics examples in my class due to their amusingness and structure, except that I don’t want my (somewhat out of step with the region) political views to be on display in the classroom.
May I link this to FARK.com? I think Drew Curtis and Co. need a little taste of reality, rather than the now huge amount of Twitter folly being linked. (I suspect that is more due to Farkers being cheap SOBs, unwilling to pay for online subscriptions to news orgs, rather for any particular love for Twitter or Muskrat.)
Be well, sir
I’ve been making the claim that Gen X was going to be coin flip. Many are way too Boomer-adjacent that took the wrong lessons from the Reagan/Bush/Clinton years; others feel a little kinship with Millennials as they are also adversely affected by a really fucked up system. Eventually, I began to see an undercurrent of “centrist brain” from Gen X’s tendency to check out of politics, which lends itself to result in more often right-wing outcomes.
After seeing some of the voting metrics though… man, we may have more issues than I thought.
I’ve had so many anxiety-related issues since 2016 that I put myself on a total news embargo about ten days ago. I was just honestly terrified that Tuesday was going to land us all in the 21st century equivalent of Germany in 1933.
On a personal level, I am a state government employee in a state where the unexciting Democratic gubernatorial incumbent was being challenged by a Trump-loving, election-denying fascist. I was equally terrified that my fellow state employees and I would lose the few remnants of Civil Service protection we have left after the last fascist governor stripped most of them away a bit over a decade ago. I didn’t want to retire this early, but I was preparing to pull the plug on November 9 if the election went the way I expected it to.
I still couldn’t bring myself to look at a news site on Wednesday morning. I ate breakfast, went to my home office, cranked up the classical music, logged into my work computer, and doggedly focused on the boring minutiae of my job, trying not to think of those retirement papers I have sitting in the kitchen awaiting submission.
Then my spouse sent me an email. The subject line was “you don’t have to retire if you don’t want to,” and the message just said “Evers won.”
And I took a deep breath for the first time in what felt like weeks and weeks.
I still couldn’t look at a news site until late last night, after a friend excitedly told me that the Dems had somehow kept the Senate. I am pinching myself in disbelief.
The anxiety isn’t all eradicated, not by any means. Trump came terrifyingly close to succeeding in his last coup attempt, and he likely would have pulled it off if he had more competent henchmen to do his dirty work. I absolutely expect him to try to steal the 2024 election, too.
So we cannot let down our guard. We cannot become complacent. Voter registration is every bit as important today as it was last month. Campaigns to get out the vote are just as essential now as they were a week ago.
Every election counts. Decades ago, the Republicans embarked on a campaign they called “no election too small,” and since then they have done their damnedest to get Rs elected for everything down to county dog-catcher. It has worked, too; those dog-catchers then run for city council, then they run for mayor, then they run for state representative, and before you know it, we’ve got another fascist in the House or the Senate.
So celebrate the astonishing outcome of November 8, but then get right back to work for the next election. Your life, and the lives of those you love, may very well depend on it.
“Licking Trump’s loafers.” Jeez! I’m dying!
I agree with every word!
Biden is a proven winner. Why anyone would trade him out when he can, and likely will, win again, mystifies me. I like quiet, competent Joe Biden.
The GOP, and the lying justices serving on our highest court, will have to get along without my respect and support.
Trump and DeSantis: may they claw each other to shreds, while Joe Biden hums a happy tune on his way to re-election.
I started following you because of political commentary like this. Well said and well done.
The other great thing this week was the liberation of Kherson. Watching the amazing videos coming out of there genuinely brings one to tears, and the absolute joy of the celebrations after almost a year of living under Russian oppression should remind us all of how bad things can get and why it’s vital to fight and vote.
(Also, have learned you DO NOT fuck with Ukrainian grandmothers. The video of the one proudly giving the Ukrainian soldiers ammo she’d stolen from the Russians was especially great).
Biden is fantastic. Why? Because with him in office I am not terrified on a daily basis. Remember when Trump was in office and every Friday night is what like, what horrible thing will drop tonight?
Sorry, but Biden is still a Dixiecrat incrementalist beholden to Big Oil, Big Telco and Big Pharma when we need BOLD action to save not just America but the entire planet.
Bernie Sanders is where we should be starting, not pushing as “Beyond the Pale”…as Biden has done and continues to do. If it was President Bernie, the Republicans would have been running for rocks to crawl back under, not thinking they had a “red wave”…which was more of a light purple breeze….
@mo The reporting on this needs to get smarter, but it probably won’t. There were outlets saying the Democrats were headed towards a major loss, when their own polling showed them ahead.
Not so sure it’s a matter of smartness but rather the larger media’s intense desire to handicap the race so they can avoid boredom.
The republicans have 3 major issues:
1) MAGA aka Trump
3) They think 1 and 2 are winning issues
I’ve tended to vote R for 40 years, mostly cuz of taxes and guns. This time? For every R that showed up on my ballot I looked for a MAGA supporter that, when found, I voted for the other guy.
Dr Oz, the snake oil salesman, and Walker, the concussed way out of his league hypocrite? I couldn’t vote against either, but gimme a break if this is what the R’s have degenerated to.
I’m not sure about the reasons why the GOP did badly. Not being in the US, what would I know. But I think very few people really care about trans issues. It’s a distraction for the left and a boon for the right. Abortion, yeah, and the fact that many of the GOP candidates were as loony as hatters. That’s not going to save the democrats in 2024 unless the economy looks up.
All you say is accurate. But that raises the obvious sad question: with all those negatives, how did the Republicans win the popular vote? How did they get 4/5 of the nice people who live near you? It’s depressing to know that if the Republicans had been just slightly less horrible, they would have won! What can we do about that?
Yeah, I agree they’re too old. Sick of old white guys running the world. Although…I like Biden and I think he’s doing great.
“But I think very few people really care about trans issues. It’s a distraction for the left and a boon for the right.”
I think you have this the wrong way round. Trans people going about their day to day lives don’t really have much of an impact on anyone other than themselves and their loved ones.
The Right fear mongering about trans people going about their day to day lives has so many painful echoes to other times and other demonised groups that it pulls in a lot of other people.
Using the “first they came for” poem is often trite but at a time when a lot of the transphobes have been very clear on who their next targets are, it has a lot of resonance.
One thing that perplexes me is Biden doing nothing real about inflation. The Fed is putting the burden on the working people in hopes of reducing inflation. That is attacking the wrong source of inflation.
Our inflation is primarily due to oil companies doing war profiteering. Biden should have attacked that vigorously at the start. Another source of inflation is virtual monopolies, who can raise prices (and profits) at will, with no real push-backs.
So Biden has failed in this respect.
Maybe a little oversensitive, but PLEASE… enough generalizing about Boomers. My wife and I are early Boomers and we, along with about 98% of our friends and relatives and other Boomers we know, are and have always been Democrats.
If the so-called Red Wave had happened, we’d have seen two years of impeachment hearings (you impeached our guy so we’re gonna do your guy!), plus a Fauci witch hunt among other things, but assuming they only have a few vote majority, I suspect the Republicans will be reduced to all Hunter Biden, all the time.
I like Biden well enough but 82 is way past his sell-by date and Kamala is, so far, not ready for prime time. Of course, if he is the nominee I will probably vote for him, given the alternative.
@David Hajicek: The Inflation Reduction Act was a fabulous tool for inflation reduction. Reducing the deficit by 350 billion dollars helps for short term inflation, and investing in green energy helps for long term inflation. Green energy is cheap, and will drive the cost of electricity while the sun is shining below 1c per kilowatt hour over the next decade.
Instead of spending $100 to fill your gas tank, it’ll cost $1 to charge your car’s battery.
That’s how you destroy inflation.
Harping on about inflation is just buying into GOP rhetoric and media fear-mongering. The fact is that the economy is booming. Look at those unemployment numbers, that’s your primary indicator. We’re “winning too hard” to use the loser’s phrase. Inflation is a sign of an over-heated economy.
I suspect Biden wants to retire. He’s secured his legacy, he’d probably like some peace & quiet.
But he will do his duty, and his duty is keeping Trump & DeSantis out of the white house. Until somebody shows up who can beat those two better than Biden can he’ll likely stay in.
I just checked the turnout for South Carolina, where I live, Appalling – just 4.4% of registered voters actually voted. What is even scarier is that with that low of a turnout, I had to wait in line for two hours. I am pretty sure that the state counted on a really low turnout.
One thing I have been thinking about since during Trump’s term, is what is the future of the republican party. The party that refuses to use the term Democracy. To them, because of the name, we live in a Republic (left is a threat to the republic, etc.) not a democracy, and it seem to have seeped into their subliminal brains that there are republics like China and North Korea, so protection of people’s rights don’t matter.
With Trump, and the Republican party’s refusal to condemn his actions and words, it seems like the party is on it’s way out, except that we have an entrenched 2 party system, without a replacement or split off party to finish it off. Their best bet, and the best for the stability of the country would be to refuse Trump’s nomination for 2024, let him run as a 3rd party candidate and lose splitting 40% with the official candidate, leaving Biden in for another 4 years, and try to recover after that.
But that’s not going to happen. They have shown their willingness to use any means to get and keep power, with the supreme court long game they played, extreme gerrymandering, Playing to the religious right with abortion, trans, and gay rights, and the corporate right for money.
Ahem. A little less of the “Boomers are the GOP’s most reliable voters,” please. Many of us been Democrats all our lives.
Also, there’s a critical Boomer-sensitive issue that hasn’t been mentioned here yet, but has the potential to be a mercy stroke for the GOP:
The number of GOP pols promising to “reform” (i.e. greatly reduce and/or eliminate) Medicare and Social Security retirement benefits, keeps growing. Leaving aside these are in no way “welfare” or “entitlements” (we PAID FOR THEM, and if the GOP ever succeeds in ending them I’d LOVE to be the attorney taking on the largest class action suit in history as we all claw back our contributions from the funds) they are still radioactive, politically. Especially for us Boomers.
Many of us started out our working lives paying in to both Social Security and some form of defined benefit pension plan, responsibly doing our part to provide for ourselves in our retirement. Then the GOP (mostly) changed the rules and gave big employers cover to end those pension plans or convert them to one of the many “self-funded retirement investment plan” grifts that were cash cows for banks and hedge funds.
We know what happened to a good many of those, don’t we? Not to mention the number of big employers who then found ways to “restructure” the businesses that weren’t paying enough shareholder dividends, without preserving promised employer contributions to the aforementioned grift instruments.
And so a great many of us are left with limp, anorexic IRA accounts, a few scanty 401(k)s from various employments, and Social Security. Adding it all up, and taking into account a crazy-ass housing market that is either trapping us in homes too large and too expensive to maintain, or forcing us to find cheap trailer parks, it’s looking like gourmet Fancy Feast is already what’s for dinner in our golden years.
But we’ll hang grimly on, making that Social Security and whatever else we managed to save from the wreck do for us, because we value our independence. And also, that dork our kid partnered with would be an effing nightmare if we had to live in their basement or spare room, amirite?
So the GOP’s pipe dreams about looting OUR money, OUR contributions, from Social Security and Medicare threatens not only this shitty retirement paradise in the offing for so many of us, but our kids’ peace of mind as they are struggling with the same crazy housing market, gig economy job patchwork, and constant economic fuckery from all quarters.
It’s a big enough headache making sure Grampa and Gramma have enough heat over the winter and a ride to the clinic twice a month. Trying to imagine what they’d have to do with Grammie and Gramps MINUS Social Security and Medicare will ensure the GOP never gets another GenX or Millennial vote.
As well as driving every Boomer whose dementia hasn’t passed the “it’s more important to smite teh Gayz than to pay rent and eat” threshold firmly into the Democrats Forever club.
A special shout-out to Colorado district 3, which has nearly, and perhaps actually, blown from the airlock the odious Lauren Boebert. This seems like and should be the obvious course of action, but that district was +9% for Trump in 2020. It’s a deeply, deeply conservative place. For her to get mauled as badly as she has, even if she somehow keeps her seat, is quite noteworthy. She won’t get the message, but if CO3 almost booted her, I think we can start at least debating whether there was a genuine watershed moment in American politics.
Trust me, I am sorry that Boomers are the GOP’s most reliable voters, too. But it doesn’t change the fact that they are, even if you (and everyone you know) don’t vote for the GOP. Exit polling for 2022 showed them at +13 for the GOP. If it makes you feel better, Xers weren’t far behind at +11 for Republicans.
The South Carolina Election Commission’s web site has turnout at a hair over 50%, not at 4.4%.
John, thank you. And more political commentary, please, that’s the most important reason I visit Whatever.
And, yeah, Boomer and Liberal for life here.
I remember being worried about the 2012 election, and that now seems like a flash of nostalgia given how much election nonsense has happened in the last 10 years.
There are several theories about the lack of a red wave, and a few things I think are particularly important:
What I find interesting about this election is the states like Kentucky who have chosen to uphold the right to an abortion, while still electing a primarily Republican slate. I’m wondering if the younger voters not being able to afford kids was the deciding factor, or if the GOP forgot that their conservative base isn’t just about God and guns but “government out of my business.”
The vast majority of Americans are online and know from their friends in other countries that inflation and supply chain issues are a worldwide problem. It’s harder to drive and control the media narrative than it used to be.
Targeting trans people is nothing new, but the increasing rhetoric against Jewish people in particular might have been a bigger problem than the Right anticipated, given that most Americans learned about the Holocaust in school, and still think of it as the Big Bad. You can’t push the narrative that we were the good guys in WWII without demonizing Nazis, and we’ve spent WAY too much media time lionizing the American participation in that specific conflict.
And finally, insulting every new generation has diminishing returns. As the Gen X parent of 3 Gen Z voters, I’m massively proud of the youth and also having bittersweet memories of the days when WE were the “slackers” and the lazy good-for-nothings.
Excellent post. One tiny note: the governor of what will soon be the world’s fourth largest economy only has six letters in his last name–it’s Newsom, not Newsome,
Otherwise, huzzah–from this Silent Generation Democrat (as are most of the Silent Generation not-quite-dead-yet folks I walk with–but then, we’re in the Bay Area, bluest of the blue).
I am a boomer and former Republican. As a student of history I had become increasingly concerned about the rhetoric coming from the GOP. It sounded so much like the Nazi Party during its rise to power. And then came 2016 and they nominated a buffoon of a celebrity businessman for President. I noped right out. Here in Texas, I voted to boot Abbott out the door. Guess I’ll have to try again. Oh, and as a former Ohioan, I am so sorry you got stuck with Vance.
1) I’d really be happy to know why my generation (and pretty much everyone white above 30) broke for the GOP.
2) The GOP economic plan (which if competent, could have been a problem) was basically the one that tanked Britain. If you’re going to attack the one common point of frustration, you should probably do it with something not catastrophic. Alternatively, killing the economy to get rid of Biden might not be the winning plan you think it is (and I don’t know why so many people thought that it would be OK).
3) Voting on economics is a time-honored tradition. It also doesn’t make sense here. If the GOP got what they wanted (some version of fascism with government run by business, of business, and for business), what makes people think that the economy wouldn’t crater faster than Elon Musk’s Twitter? China has the advantage of cheap labor that we don’t and if the GOP wants to make that cheap labor force, a lot of the guns they like may be pointed at it. Investment would be more difficult, as the government would be a source of uncertainty (and being crooked costs businesses money directly and makes them want to go elsewhere). Lots of the people the GOP base doesn’t like happen to generate lots of the money they do like. Finally, it seems difficult to find competent people willing to work under a party that decides that facts and evidence it doesn’t like simply don’t exist. Even if they had good ideas, they would likely not be able to execute them, and since they likely won’t, it is likely to be a bigger garbage fire than Trump’s attempt.
TL/DR: No rights, no competent government, no economy (and soon no country). Why does GOP policy make sense, again?
I’m interested in your thoughts on the Ohio gerrymandering thing. Did you follow the public attempt at mapmaking?
(summary for readers: Ohio amended their constitution to stop gerrymandering; GOP tried to gerrymander anyway, Ohio Supreme Court said “um, no”, they stonewalled, old unconstitutional gerrymandered map was used in this election)
(p.s. Democrats in New York State had a gerrymandered map and a similar, but different, state constitutional amendment; that one was resolved, either because the Democrats are not so afraid of democracy, or simply because the amendment gave the court power in the case of an issue; take your pick.)
Note: I’m not American, and everything I know about it is from here: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/784/mapmaker
@ lazysubculturalgirl: “What I find interesting about this election is the states like Kentucky who have chosen to uphold the right to an abortion, while still electing a primarily Republican slate.”
We don’t have a right to abortion here in KY. Abortion is illegal in KY with one exception: to save the pregnant woman’s life or to prevent serious damage to her physical health. The vote that occurred here on election day was whether or not to pass an amendment to the KY constitution that would make it impossible for any person or group to challenge KY’s abortion ban. The amendment was voted down.
So we didn’t for bodily autonomy (which right was not on the ballot). We just voted AGAINST a measure that would have banned us from ever even trying to challenge in KY courts the laws that deny us our right to bodily autonomy.
@Liet-Kinda: RE the CO-3 race, there’s a very interesting interview on YouTube today with Boebert’s opponent, Adam Frisch (who says that county officials there currently say the next reporting of votes probably won’t occur until Thurs or Fri, so it’s going to be a long wait before this is resolved–and it’s also likely to go to automatic recount under CO law, given how close it is). Frisch discusses here his analysis of Boebert’s first election race and why he believed that a moderate Dem (like himself) could win the district this year. Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFZ1EtrFhnQ
According to demographers, the Baby Boom cut off in 1964. This means we aren’t even all retired, let alone busy dying off. You may be thinking of my mother’s Silent Generation?
The GOP should’ve listened to Chris Ladd when he was still goplifer.com !!! Now he’s at politicalorphans.com (since 2016) and his older goplifer posts on capitalism vs conservatism are still gold today.
Tag end of Boomer gen here. Fled to HI from OH once I got my degree. Have absolutely no problem living in a Democrat bastion; sure there are occasional problems, but I’d rather have trouble stocking up on TP during hurricane season than a preponderance of MAGA hats.
Got to say, sometimes I envy you Americans. You never lose hope, and when you go voting, there’s enough of you that make the right choice. So different from the shit we now experience here in Israel. Sigh.
I moved from California to Nevada in 2020. It was fine, it was blue. We had 2 Democratic senators and a Democratic governor. Now we have a Republican governor and 2 democratic senators. In the days after the election I made calls to Democrats whose mail-in ballots were rejected (mostly for non-matching signatures-it’s called curing) so they could contact the Registrar’s office, fix it, and have their vote counted because although the Senate race was a nail biter, the Secretary of State race was making me physically ill. The Democrat beat the election denier for SOS. And Cortez Masto stayed Senator. Whew! The turnout in Nevada was almost 54% and more than half of that were mail-in ballots.
Also, I heard from Beau of the Fifth Brigade that the GOP’ solution for younger people voting against them is to raise the voting age.
I agree with everything John wrote in this essay.
In addition to the very realistic view that Trump won’t let the GOP just walk away from him, I also don’t believe they will walk away from him.
We have seen GOP politicians, media mouthpieces, pundits, donors, and voters makes noises MULTIPLE TIMES in the past 6 years indicating that they’re through with Trump, or distancing from Trump, or Trump needs to go away, etc., etc. We have seen this exact same act before, and it never lasts. They always re-embrace Trump and then double-down on Trump. Always.
And they’re going to do it again.
They won’t all necessarily do it for the exact same reasons. Some of them are afraid of him, for whatever reason. Many of them thoroughly enjoy engaging in the open malice that Trump encourages & applauds in his allies as long as it’s directed at anyone but himself. Many of them lack any fundamental principles and just crave power–and gravitate to him again and again in the belief that he can deliver it to them. Most of them are followers, and they’ve got no leaders, and so they gravitate to the loud-mouthed media magnet who constantly insists HE is their leader. Etc.
And at a more rational level, they also know that if they don’t make Trump their presidential nominee, then he will definitely ensure a broad Democratic sweep in 2024, whether he runs as an independent or whether he stays home on election day and instructs his entire cult, which is a significant percentage of right-wing voters, to stay home on election day and show those “traitors” in the GOP what happens when they turn their backs on Trump.
No way is the Republican party moving past Trump or walking away from him or choosing someone else. They didn’t do it after the Access Hollywood tape. Or after he declared Nazis “very fine people.” They didn’t do it after the 2018 election. Or after he was caught withholding Congressionally-mandated defense funds from Ukraine unless Zelensky’s government would manufacture fake evidence to help Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. Or after he tear-gassed peaceful protesters so he could have a photo op with an upside-down Bible he’d borrowed. Or after he so dishonestly, corruptly, and ineptly mishandled the pandemic that thousands of Americans were dying every day while he hosted super-spreader events, demonized science, and politicized medicine to the point of lunacy. Or after he refused to accept election results. Or after he incited a violent assault on our Capitol intended to prevent the transfer of power to his successor.
So they’re not going to walk away from him now. They’ll embrace all the other “reasons” they’re spewing this week for their 2022 election disappointment (voters are too young; women need to get married; McCarthy is to blame; McConnell is to blame; Ronna McDaniel is to blame; the election was corrupt; blah blah blah) and they will again line up behind Trump. The only question is how long it will take–days, weeks, or months. (I think it will be sooner rather than later. Because it has never taken them long before to run right back into his arms.)
I hope that one thing that happens is that the Post Office gets fixed — my absentee ballot came with instructions saying to mail early because the Post Office is no longer guaranteeing election email in any timely manner. And sure enough, despite mailing my ballot in October (sent from the US Consulate), they still haven’t received it (according to state web site).
I absolutely did vote and I resent that my scantron sheet won’t be given the consideration it deserves…
I share Laura Resnick’s worries and fears about what this means going forward. As a democracy lover, I’ve been looking at elections with dread since 2016.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a polarizing writer, but in 2017 wrote the urtext for Trumpism in his Atlantic essay, “Donald Trump is the First White President.” It sounds flippant, but he was not talking about Donald Trump’s skin color. What he was saying was that Trump’s election has marked a paradigm shift for the Republican Party as a whole to have white grievance as an animating force.
Look in the middle where Coates shows his work. Trump won whites, period. Apply any filter you want: education, income, hometown.
This is where Republicans wanted to be. And it’s never going to go away.
It’s also really unfortunate that Ohio elected JD Vance.
He represents the Thielian ideological project, and Peter Thiel has now gained entree in the heartland to build out his power base.
This is Thiel’s chance to implement his vision outlined by Curtis Yarvin (pen name Mencius Moldbug) of some sort of technologically forward feudalism.
My takeaway from this is threefold:
b) US trends tend to eventually make their way over here to the UK, so this may signify an absolute shoeing in the hoop for an increasingly inept, viscous and divisionary Conservative Party at the next General Election.
thinks I wonder how the Boomers dying off will effect voting trends, and will that in turn be affected by the younger generation being less likely to vote?
c) It’s nice to see that neither AI or myself can draw hands!
On the subject of the inane proposition that Biden will fire Harris and appoint someone else… could he even?
I’m not an American, but it’s my understanding that you vote for a President AND a vice-president, technically independently, and even that there was at least once a President and VP from different parties.
I’d think the only way to force a VP out of office is via impeachment.
We can only hope this election shows lasting distaste for the Rs. I worry about De Santis. I hope Trump takes him down as he flails in rage.
It was a lot worse down here in Texas
1 – Trump very much is the essence of what the GOP has always been, selfish, self serving, uncaring, and cruel. “Drain the Swamp” was a great slogan, until he actually did it and exposed his party as the scum at the bottom.
2 – One or two percent greater turnout by Democrats would have made this a Blue wave. 56% may be good for a midterm, but it is still pathetic. 44% couldn’t be bothere4d even with all that was at stake.
Derek Broughton, while impeachment may be the only way to force out a Vice-President, there is also the route of resignation. Spiro Agnew, who was elected as Richard Nixon’s Vice-President, resigned under a cloud (he was under investigation for bribery in Maryland during his time as a state official there). That’s why Nixon was ultimately replaced by Gerald Ford (the first VP to be appointed under Section 2 of the 25th Amendment; prior to that, the office of VP would have remained vacant until the next election, which would have made the issue of Nixon’s resignation … interesting).
As for the President and VP being from opposite parties, that was back in the early days – actually, I believe the first contested Presidential election in US history, John Adams versus Thomas Jefferson. After that, the elections of President and VP were linked.
Let me second the comments about acting early if you vote by mail. I made a mistake on my ballot (actually, on the envelopes) this year. Got a letter in quick time informing me of this, and that a replacement ballot had been mailed out to me.
On the Friday before the election, the ballot still had not arrived. I went over to City Hall to vote in-person. I explained what had happened, and they guided me through the process (which I had not done before). I was pleased how efficiently they were handling the group of voters. It was a steady stream that day, but not overwhelming.
To date, the ballot never did arrive in the mail.
May I say that I live in Minnesota where we re-elected our excellent Democratic Secretary of State, Steve Simon.
Mostly concur though IMO, voting for sanity might have been a little more influential than against, the screwed up, illogical, ideological Dobbs decision.
But the Red Tsunami looks more like a weak stream from an old guy with an enlarged prostate.
I suspect the tell will be how well all the Rs in the House will hang together for things like an article of impeachment. If they don’t then that will also show the cracks in the MAGA armor.
The Baby Boomer stranglehold on political power is a continuing problem, both parties. Way too much of Washington DC reminds me of the last days of the Politburo.
Biden is doing an admirable job in his low-key way, granted. Still, the presidency is a killer job for those who take it seriously (i.e. not Trump). I would rather see him in an honorable statesman-like retirement than dying in harness at an awkward moment.
Something else to consider:
Really nice litany of Biden’s accomplishments, and also the the counterfactual of what it would mean for an R President to have done those things.
Though on the accomplishments side you left out “Extricated America from an utterly hopeless 20-years-and-counting war on the far side of the world,” which I think ought to come close to the top of the list.
It’s almost like America’s political pundit class cannot process the fact that a President can be a completely run-of-the-mill-seeming guy who can just quietly and competently do his job.
Purely by coincidence, a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for something interesting to read at the library, I picked up JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. When I started reading, I had no idea who he was.
Some of his story was plausible, and some of his story made me wrinkle my brow in puzzlement. I have to say that a full-throated defence of payday loan shops was a “Huh?” moment.
At the end, Vance makes like it was his own fortitude, as well as the support of his “maniac” Mamaw, that got him through Yale Law School.
Hmm, I thought, supposed there are a million Appalachian youths in his position, and say one percent of them have the support and fortutude (that would be one thousand) and ten percent of them got lucky. Does Yale Law School have room for 100 of these disadvantaged people? Hey, what’s the size of the Yale Law School student body anyway?
I decided that the book showed me more about JD Vance than about the Appalachian “hillbillies” that he purports to write about.
Then I read the reviews on goodreads, and found out that he had morphed into a Trump fan and was running in the 2022 elections. And to be honest, it’s not surprising. Vance is a pretty smug guy, with little self-regard or self-awareness. Heck, I don’t have to guess at that, I can just read his book. (Which of course I returned, and will not recommend.)
Sorry Ohio that you got him.
Someone on the doomedbirdapp wisely pointed out that all of the “cool” “lefty” things we imagine about GenX were counterculture. They were a reaction against the prevailing conservative views of their own generation.
Of course the GOP won’t abandon DJT, but it is truly hilarious to watch them try to take timid baby steps to manage him out. Lots of trial balloons about his great leadership in the past, etc etc. It’s like watching the older relatives at Thanksgiving who are too scared to just tell racist Great-Grandpa to stop ranting at the kids, so they’re trying to persuade him that wouldn’t he really rather watch TV in the den right now?
And yes, the monologuing is what really killed them post-Dobbs. The sober states-rights figleaf was almost immediately dropped in favor of gloating about bounties and jail for interstate travel, and gleeful speculating about going after contraception next.
Thank you, John. I was really glad to see you pointing out the sheer irrationality of wanting to retire the golden goose which had just laid a remarkable set of election results not only in the Senate and the House but also in states across your country. Apparently it took an elderly Roman Catholic white guy to grasp the sheer outrage that the over ruling of Roe v Wade rightly provoked across your country, and to drive forward on the need to defend the human rights of every woman in your country.
On my side of the pond our recent encounter with a couple of crazed devotees of Ayn Rand resulted, thankfully, in the exit of our shortest serving Prime Minister ever, but we will be paying off the debts she ran up for a lot of years to come. Those debts were for nothing; compare and contrast with Biden spending a great deal of money on things which actually exist…
One other thing that might be worth considering, John: COVID.
Republicans went pretty much all-in on the vaccine denialism and quack cures, which, inarguably, killed thousands of people who otherwise probably wouldn’t have died. And the majority of those folks would have been Republican voters. Given how close some of the races have been, those lost votes almost certainly cost the Republicans some seats.
What puzzles me about “boomers trend Republicans” is that, when we were young, we were famously leftist. We protested against Vietnam, we hated Nixon, etc etc. Yeah, I know a lot of people get more conservative as they get older, and there have been a few dramatic conversion stories, but not that many.
What I think of is this: there have been four boomer presidents to date. Two of them, Clinton and Obama, were Democrats. What of the two Republicans: W. and Trump? Both the privileged sons of rich guys. No wonder they didn’t fit with the rest of their generation.
I must disagree with one thing: It’s wrong to say that Trump belongs in jail.
Duh Furor belongs in prison.
@DB, there are two explanations why “boomers trend Republican.”
Curdling. Time and money curdle people, and the people who have plenty of both align their values with the party that symbolizes people with too much time and too much money.
Reaction. Social progress unravels because it makes too many enemies along the way. Someone must bear the brunt of progress, either materially or psychologically. Think about it this way: When you demand rights, you must also demand a wrong against someone else.
That’s such a severe, depressing mindset, you might think. On the other hand, you must respect the fact that zero-sum thinking informs a great deal of people’s worldviews and it’s a cognitive trap that most of humanity cannot transcend.
Hey, I’m a Boomer, and I’m busy with a lot of things, but dying is not one of them yet. Don’t push.
Dems need to deliver on some big issues the next 2 years. So many things have fallen apart. So much work to do.
It’s important to recognize another factor in the “boomers trend Republican” phenomenon: The boomer voting pool has also changed over time, due to things like deaths and disqualifications (e.g. disenfranchisement for convicted felons in many states).
The life expectancy in the US for poor people, Black people, and other people of color is lower– in some cases significantly lower– than the life expectancy of whites and of rich people. Felony disenfranchisement also hits Black people disproportionately hard (for various messed-up reasons I don’t have room for in this comment). Some older Black people, such as those not born in hospitals, might also have a harder time getting hold of some of the documents required by recent voter-ID law changes.
The groups that tend to get smaller in the older voting pools also tend to be groups that vote Democratic more often than the groups that stay in the pool. I don’t recall offhand how much this affects the overall trend, but if I remember correctly it’s a significant factor, and you see rather different voting trend lines in age groups when you also control for other demographics.
Well, at least the media isn’t bombarding us with “right wing winning is all the fault of suburban women.”
Perhaps the media is now worried about pissing us off (more), or perhaps the demographics were different this time (in places where Repulsives won).
Mostly I do not miss the ridiculous logic of “this subgroup put something across the finish line,” as if some groups were counted after others. Any subset could have been “the one that made a difference.”
My curiosity is two-fold andy warning is one:
Curiosity 1: did Republicans kill their marginal vote, perhaps in a few meaningful races, to take them over the edge with antivax conspiracy?
Curiosity 2: the last two elections, the Republicans didn’t bother with a platform. I don’t remember if they did in 2018 either. Are they eventually going to primary out the only individuals in their party that even know how to write law, less campaign on it? What does that look like, for good or poor, for an entire governmental organization to lose it’s most basic necessary capability?
Warning: I think a ton of Democrat’s setback of the past decade derives from the idea they can just wait for “the olds” to age out. That’s both unhelpful and intellectually lazy. Win or lose the White House in 2024, DeSantis is already organizing the GOP to drive registration among Latinos and working class people from any ethnicity. Whether or not he’s successful beyond the borders of Florida, he’s doing the work.
If Democrats really want to be on “the right side of history,” they have to MAKE that history, not just wait for it to happen as some sort of demography thought exercise.
Well, I’m a liberal and I’m also pissed off at the student loan forgiveness. Not because I don’t think the amount of debt they’ve been suckered into taking on isn’t criminal, but because it is the end result of a system geared specifically to load them up with debt. It is the equivalent of a swarm of used car salesmen, who do this 100 times a day while you do it once. They know your number.
And it isn’t just for profit schools either. I worked for 11 years at a top HBCU where they attracted students by claiming to be the golden road to medical school, loaded them up with a quarter million dollars of debt, and gave them an education that wouldn’t get them past the MCAT. 98% of those who intended to go to med school never did. I know that because addressing it was a feature of my last grant there. They had no financial aid endowment to speak of. Building one is hard so why bother when you can use loans? Put up fancy buildings and use them as resume items to move onward and upward.
State colleges and universities are in an even more unethical position. Because tuition can be filled out with loans, state assistance to their own institutions has nose dived. The university from which I got my PhD now receives less than 10% of its funding from the state.
And that points out an issue that really burns my butt and needs to be addressed — the student loan program is the ONLY federal to state subsidy for which matching funds are not required.
So great. This year’s graduates get a hand. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. But what about next year’s? And the year after? Biden has done nothing to address the systemic issues that are the root cause of high student debt.
John, I would be interested in your views on Michael Moore’s “Mike’s Midterm Tsunami of Truth”. I encountered these in a Guardian article, and he seems to have been right on both what would happen, and why the Democrats would have done even better if they had not been sabotaging themselves.
And the question which directly applies to you: why won’t they use story-tellers, writers and creative people?
An interesting article today from The Guardian, with well timed resonance to most of the comments on here. Obviously it’s UK focussed, but probably applies to the US as well.
“But I think very few people really care about trans issues. It’s a distraction for the left and a boon for the right.”
There is no such thing as a “trans issue”. There are only human rights issues. Transphobes are bigots, no different than e.g. anti-Semites. Bigots running for office tend to motivate normal people to vote against them, which is what happened.
BTW the economy is doing extremely well… that’s part of the problem.
“The GOP economic plan (which if competent, could have been a problem) was basically the one that tanked Britain.”
True, but I’m not sure how closely the average US voter follows British politics, or pays attention to the rapid transformation of the UK into a third-world economy thanks to 12 years of Tory stewardship. Any lessons learned are most likely lost on USians.
@ Aaron Dow:
“Curiosity 2: the last two elections, the Republicans didn’t bother with a platform.”
Oh, the GOP absolutely had a platform in 2022. It’s just that the average voter didn’t really buy into the idea that more white supremacy in schools would somehow magically cure inflation.
Except in Florida, I guess.
“Biden has done nothing to address the systemic issues that are the root cause of high student debt.”
I share your general sentiment toward the student loan system, but I’m not sure Biden has the wherewithal to fix or do away with capitalism.