Wednesday, November 4, 2020

-Donald Trump, making his own defeat sound sick as hell

After reminding each other for weeks that we probably wouldn’t have a clear winner of the race for president on election night, we did not have a clear winner on election night, and frankly, it sucked! But we can now feel very confident that when all of the votes have been counted, we’ll be looking at a Joe Biden presidency. Congratulations! (Provisionally.)

  • Donald Trump managed to hold onto Florida and Texas, denying Biden an early landslide victory and affording the rest of us ample time to see what happens when you add a little wine to a gin and tonic (strong disapproval in exit polls). But as expected, the electoral map shifted over the course of the night and into the morning. Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, and Nebraska’s Second Congressional District have all been called for Biden. If Nevada follows suit, he’ll be the projected winner of 270 electoral votes and president-elect of the United States. That would make Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina, which are all still in play, pure gravy. 
  • Just as his own Twitter foretold, Trump went full autocrat at 2:30 a.m., when he took the stage at his wholly illegal White House superspreading rally to claim, with millions of valid ballots left to be counted, “Frankly, we did win this election.” You know, like a dangerous, irresponsible maniac. Trump reasonably insisted that the vote count be stopped in the states where he’s ahead and proceed in the states where he’s behind, and vaguely said he would go to the Supreme Court, presumably to have Brett Kavanugh invent some kind of Stop Counting Votes In Pennsylvania doctrine. The media, to its credit, largely covered this as the lie-filled, nonsensical mess that it was. 
  • The Trump campaign said on Wednesday that it would request a recount in Wisconsin (sure, whatever), and that it had filed lawsuits to stop the counting of eligible votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia (no, lmao). It can’t be repeated enough that the reason we didn’t have full results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania on Election Night is because those states’ GOP-controlled legislatures blocked election officials from processing mail-in ballots before November 3. That’s all. Everything has unfolded exactly as expected, there’s no evidence of anything fishy, and no matter how many Trump underlings falsely claim victory in Pennsylvania, this election does not end until every vote has been counted.

Or until Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is in jail, whichever comes first.

  • The U.S. Postal Service ignored Judge Emmett Sullivan’s order to sweep its processing plants for undelivered ballots by 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, after 300,000 that had been scanned into the postal system couldn’t be traced. Sullivan was appropriately pissed on Wednesday, and said he would be calling DeJoy to testify: “someone might have a price to pay.” That 300,000 number probably isn’t as bad as it looks: According to the Post Office, ballots have been skipping the usual scanning process to allow for faster delivery, which makes the data a mess. When inspectors did finally do a sweep later in the evening, they found just 13 undelivered ballots in Pennsylvania. 
  • When Joe Biden does (knock on wood) emerge victorious, he’ll have a tougher road ahead than we would’ve liked. Democrats held onto the House, but lost a few seats they won in 2018, and failed to unseat any GOP incumbents. Things look bleaker still in the Senate, with just the slimmest remaining path for Democrats to reach a 50-50 split with (keep on knocking) Vice President Kamala Harris as tiebreaker. Even Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) clung to her seat, heralding another six years of Worthless Polls Winter. 

It would have been cathartic to watch the country deliver a swift, decisive rebuke to Donald Trump and everything he represents, and it’s haunting that so many Americans bore witness to the last four years and signed up for more. But with millions of votes untallied, Joe Biden has already broken the popular-vote record, and seems very likely to have pulled off the enormously difficult task of unseating an incumbent president. We always knew we’d have more work to do. Today, enjoy the (provisional, unjinxed) win. 

On today's Pod Save America: Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor, and Dan Pfeiffer discuss the clusterfuck of an Election Night that has ended with votes still being counted in several states (including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina), and Joe Biden on the cusp of defeating Donald Trump. Watch here

And now to bring things down for a moment: Democrats had a huge bummer of a night in state houses. A much hoped-for Blue Wave did not materialize, preventing Democrats from flipping legislatures in Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa. Only four chambers changed hands on Tuesday: Democrats took control of the Arizona House and Senate, while Republicans won both chambers in New Hampshire. Those losses set the GOP up to continue gerrymandering apace, now with a 6-3 far-right Supreme Court ready to slap down any challenges. The good news is, Democrats won themselves a lot of seats at the redistricting table in the 2018 wave. It would be better news still if Democrats manage to squeak by with a Senate majority (and, y’know, Joe Biden wins), and reform the redistricting process federally. If not, minority rule will still prevail in much of America. Get ready to work your ass off in Georgia.

We might be about to send a debt-ridden, impeached reality-show host off to a non-extradition country, but he’ll be leaving a party of monsters behind him. Madison Cawthorn, creator of racist attack websites and Instagrammer of Hitler’s vacation retreat, won his House race in North Carolina. Cawthorn’s first public message as an elected statesman: “Cry more, lib.” QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Green has likewise been elected to Congress in Georgia, along with disgraced former White House doctor and conspiracy theorist Ronny Jackson in Texas. Republicans have welcomed the worst fringe elements of Donald Trump’s base into the mainstream, and now into the halls of power. It will take all hands on deck to force them back into the shadows.

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Sarah McBride, a 30-year-old Delaware Democrat, will become the nation’s first-ever openly trans state senator. 

Cori Bush won her House race, making her Missouri’s first-ever Black Congresswoman.

Mississippi voters struck down a Jim Crow-era law designed to dilute Black votes, and chose to ditch the state’s Confederate-themed flag. 

Voters in several states have roundly rejected the war on drugs.

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