By David Futrelle
We won yesterday, and won big. It might not feel like much of a victory, because we lost some Senate seats and a couple of longshot races that I and a lot of other people had half-convinced ourselves we were going to win. It might not seem like much of a victory because it was incomplete, and because as long as Trump is in the White House we’re fighting a defensive battle. But the fact is that yesterday we pulled this country back from the abyss.
Had the GOP kept control of the House, we would have seen a newly emboldened Trump, convinced his racist “nationalism” was the key to victory, with no one willing or able to check him. I think we would have seen an almost immediate descent into “nationalist” authoritarianism, if not outright fascism.
But now, with control of the House, we have our first institutional check on Trump. No, the Democrats are not the heroes we need right now; as a party they’re cowardly and craven and even after everything we’ve seen they cling to ridiculous fantasies of bipartisanship. But they can block his worst excesses, and, more importantly, they can investigate him.
And we won back the House — and many other crucial races, defeating Scott Walker, Kris Kobach and Dana Rohrabacher — despite voter suppression, despite gerrymandering. This was a huge repudiation of Trump, and he knows it.
Last night Trump, or whoever had control of his iPhone at the time, tweeted about what he called the Republicans’ “[t]remendous success tonight.” But today it was abundantly clear he doesn’t believe that. In his press conference today he was even more unhinged than usual, visibly angry and upset, lashing out petulantly at reporters asking obvious questions. His firing of Sessions is an attack on democracy but it’s also a desperate move by a man who knows he’s cornered.
Wounded animals are dangerous, and things are likely to get pretty dicey pretty quickly as Trump does everything he can think of to protect himself and to go after his long list of those he considers his enemies — whether these are individuals like Mueller or entire categories of people. He and the GOP are going to pull every trick they can in the lame duck session before the newly elected Dems move into the House. Things are going to get worse, possibly much worse, before they get better.
But if we hadn’t won back the House I think we would have been facing utter catastrophe. So let’s give ourselves some credit for what we accomplished — and give our thanks to those who did the hardest work in the most difficult of places. And then let’s gird ourselves for what’s going to come.
Here are a bunch of tweets about our current situation — and some info on protests scheduled for tomorrow.
the democrats' narrative absolutely needs to be "the blue wave DID just happen, and look how broken the system has been made by gerrymandering that your voices weren't heard proportionally" and then they need to get the fuck to work fixing it
— Off-Brand Brandon (@dropkickpikachu) November 7, 2018
Oh so 9 million more people voted for Democratic senators than GOPs, resulting in…[checks notes]…the GOP gaining three seats. pic.twitter.com/Qe7plw1S1u
— Mat Johnson (@mat_johnson) November 7, 2018
Ted Cruz is going to treat himself to TWO live mice tonight
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) November 7, 2018
The way to think about this election is not seats, but veto points. Dems have flipped 7 chambers, including US House, what looks like at least 6 governorships, and broken supermajorities in NC, MI, and PA while winning them in OR. By my count, the GOP has no such flips tonight
— Kevin Collins (@kwcollins) November 7, 2018
it's really perfect that the president is literally threatening retaliatory investigations on Twitter this morning while pundits are preemptively scolding Democratic overreach
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) November 7, 2018
Dear newly elected Democrats: use the power you have, because the other guys sure as hell will https://t.co/uDLZ82EaA5
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 7, 2018
Hey Charlie, did you notice that right before the elections conservatives murdered 15 people and a huge Trump fan tried to kill like a dozen prominent Democrats and Trump critics with mail bombs? pic.twitter.com/Rc5gv7jlWs
— David Futrelle (@DavidFutrelle) November 7, 2018
BREAKING: Grassroots activists around the country are gathering for rapid-response protests THURSDAY, default 5pm local time (but check event posts for local details), given news of #Sessions's firing. This is a red line crossed, an attack on rule of law. https://t.co/Lh9J0PfEiC
— Anna Galland (@annagalland) November 7, 2018
I’ll get back to normal blog posts tomorrow but I have been obsessing about the elections — and people’s reactions to the elections — all day and felt the need to say something.