Thoughts on the overall election results? Some Dems are depressed about the Senate and think we’re doomed but they took the House so I don’t think we’re doomed? What do you think

I think the doomed language is stupid. 

We took the House, held our losses in the Senate in the worst damn map imaginable, won seven governor’s mansions, picked up quite a few trifectas and flipped some legislative chambers even where we don’t have the trifecta, expanded Medicaid in three states (and with the governors’ wins we’ll get Kansas and Maine on top of that), won a ton of criminal justice and voting rights reforms.

It wasn’t a perfect night. There were some real disappointments. There was some truly ugly fear-mongering and disenfranchisement, and the rules of the game are tilted such that a 9% popular vote margin, one of the biggest in the history of midterm elections, didn’t feel quite like the wave that it was. 

But even in our disappointments, we made critical gains that will change things in the future: Beto didn’t win, but running a competitive race in Texas helped several Democrats over the line in the House and in the state legislature which wouldn’t have happened otherwise; Florida was a disappointment for the Senate and Governor’s races, but the passage of Amendment 4 means that the next election in Florida won’t have 10% of the population disenfranchised. 

So take the win, even though it’s not perfect. 

To quote Max Weber (and apologies for his 19th century language here):

Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It requires passion as well as perspective. Certainly all historical experience confirms–that man would not have achieved the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible. But to do that, a man must be a leader, and more than a leader, he must be a hero as well, in a very sober sense of the word. And even those who are neither leaders nor heroes must arm themselves with that resolve of heart which can brave even the failing of all hopes. This is necessary right now, otherwise we shall fail to attain that which it is possible to achieve today. Only he who is certain not to destroy himself in the process should hear the call of politics; he must endure even though he finds the world too stupid or too petty for that which he would offer. In the face of that he must have the resolve to say ‘and yet,’—for only then does he hear the ‘call’ of politics.


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