Election 2020 Chapter 6: The End Of The Road

Luis A. Mendez

Boricua. Florida Man. Theist. Husband. Writer. Critic. Psephologist. Godzilla Fanboy. Member Of The Critics Association Of Central Florida And The Puerto Rico Critics Association

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14 Responses

  1. I’m sure there’s something to disagree with here, but I have a hard time thinking of it. Great post, Luis!Report

  2. North says:

    Great post.
    So far while individual polls seem to have whiffed the polling aggregators, 538 in particular for me, did tolerably well. They do show, very distinctly, that polls collectively were over bullish on Democratic odds but mainly within the margin of error.

    The Democratic Party continues to grapple with a series of problems: The leadership is very elderly and the way leadership is passed suggests that it’ll continue to be very elderly. The passionate left is passionate but continues to struggle to turn out voters without turning out opponents. Meanwhile the lefts more wackadoodle elements are handed free megaphones and their words are used to tar more moderate Democrats in the many many districts where stringent leftists simply have no chance in hell.

    Still, those strike me as surmountable problems. Those are problems that can be finessed or reformed without striking at the core principles and ideals of the Democratic Party in of itself or the political spectrum of the left that it represents.

    The Republicans face a starker challenge. What the fish do they do now? What happens now? The older mode of neocon/republitarian/Romney republicans has all the appeal of a rotten fish to voters (while remaining the sine qua non for their money folks and political elite). The populism that Trump brought into the party suggests a way forward but is freighted with the lunatic conspiracy theories and revanchist social ideals that killed Trump. Meanwhile their social conservative wing is facing up to the fact that they’ve long lost control of the culture and are rapidly beginning to lose the ability even to influence the culture. Add on top of this the fact that the right is dominated by a media ecosystem which has gone from the propaganda wing of the Republican Party to functionally running the Republican Party and that is a lot of challenge.

    There’s a way forward there somehow. Somehow a GOP leader needs to winnow the populists wheat from the racists and loon chaff; palliate the moneyed elite while keeping them on side (shut up and write us checks); rebalance the party towards a more populist direction; reassure cultural conservatives and keep them all from going Benedict Option; muzzle the right wing media and actually broaden the party’s appeal. All this while Trump will be trying to grift himself an anti-presidency in the wings.

    I don’t know what the way forward for the GOP will look like but I would assume the party that emerges from the other side will look drastically different from the GOP we are used to.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    Excellent post.

    There is still not a lot of agreement over why Clinton lost to Trump (Was it a rejection of Clinton? Was it a rejection of Obama? Was Clinton merely awful and any other Democrat that ran against Trump a Democrat that would have won?) and that tells me that the next time that the Democrats run, there won’t be confidence about whether they’re taking the right tack.

    Why did Biden win so decisively? Was it because everybody loves Biden’s policies or because everybody threw the bums out and it wasn’t an affirmative election but a negative one?

    I mean, there’s a lot of stuff in the election and a lot of stuff that could make anybody say that there’s a good reason for their favored policies and not sufficient reason for the ones they aren’t crazy about.

    I do suspect that if Biden governs as Obama again and the Republicans try to run someone who is effectively Jeb! again, that everybody’s going to be blindsided by The Next Trump who will be running on a platform of “Trumpism has never been tried!” and “Maybe we should pull out of Afghanistan!”

    And pointing out how racist s/he is and how s/he is totally a Nazi might not work that well.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

      Pennsylvania Republicans, who control both houses of the legislature, say they won’t certify the electors until they get a full audit. The same will likely happen in Wisconsin and Michigan, and may happen in Arizona and Georgia, although Georgia is going ahead with a recount.

      If they do that, Biden can’t get to 270 and it goes to the House, where Republicans win 31 to 19. Trump isn’t going anywhere, which is why he still won’t let Biden have classified briefings or enter government buildings.Report

      • Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

        Stop lying George:

        On Friday, State Senate majority leader Jake Corman said Republicans will honor the wishes of the voters.

        “Our role is to monitor the process, our role is to provide oversight and call out questions where they might need asked, but certainly want to stay with the tradition of the popular vote winner getting the electors,” Senator Corman said.

        Corman says the vote is certified by the state and the governor appoints the electors.

        He says the legislature will follow the law.


        • George Turner in reply to Philip H says:

          Well darn. Looks like it will go to a full blown civil war then. Why won’t the state allow a recount? What are they afraid of?Report

          • Why did the legislature, in its previous wisdom, decide that certain criteria needed to be met to justify a recount? This election does not meet them, yet.Report

            • George Turner in reply to Michael Cain says:

              And that’s why Trump’s lawyers are in court. Now, obviously Biden’s supporters will do everything they can to show that he won the election fairly. They’ll want to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he wasn’t relying on Russian help to rig the voting systems. Democrats are going to insist on full and thorough recounts, so as to convince 70 million Republican voters that Biden’s victory was clean, with no taint of fraud or scandal, and that he didn’t get the Chinese to pay a fortune in walking-around money to the right people, in return for letting them invade Taiwan without US opposition. Otherwise everybody is going to end up thinking that.Report

      • North in reply to George Turner says:

        Heh, pity for this plan that the electors are certified by the Governors and not the legislators.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      Nixon ran on getting out of Vietnam two elections in a row, so “I’m going to pull out of Afghanistan” should be good for at least three.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        I hope that nobody will be able to run on “I will pull us out of Afghanistan!” in 2024.

        But then I read articles like this one and I go full tinfoil hat.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

          Back when we first went into Afghanistan, I e-mailed the head of the big US quinoa company suggested that quinoa, which is indigenous to the dry, cold highlands of Peru, would make an ideal crop for Afghanistan. He agreed, and said he was already talking to the US government about trying it out in the region. That was back when quinoa was first penetrating high-end US markets as a superfood. But I doubt the Afghan farmers were willing to go trendy.

          In any event, Biden recently demanded a US intervention in the Armenian/Azerbaijan war. I would agree, because whenever there’s an ancient ethnic religious territorial conflict in the mountainous regions of central Asia or the Middle East, preferably in areas where US logistics will be almost impossible, the US should put boots on the ground. Especially if the area is 15 miles from the Iranian border. A lot of experts say these really bitter conflicts are virtually unsolvable, and I think the US has a duty to prove to the detractors that the experts were, in fact, correct, no matter what the cost.

          One thing I would definitely look forward to in a Biden Administration is re-entering the Iran nuclear deal, so that Iran can field an arsenal of intermediate range nuclear missiles. The population of Europe and Israel has been getting too high, and I think Iran, working with Biden’s approval (and perhaps paying his family a small hunk of that that $100 billion dollars in cash that Obama flew in) can do a lot to get those population numbers way down. Biden’s rightly denouncing that crazy “Middle East Peace” nonsense that Trump achieved. The world needs endless war, and more of it. Otherwise we’ll get soft.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    Looks like the Republicans won 10 seats in the house… so far.


    • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

      Trump also won 9 of the top 10 bellwhether counties in the US. (link)

      He won 13 of 17 of a more expansive list of bellwhether counties, but I can’t link it because Twitter made it disappear, in accordance with their policy of erasing any evidence that Trump actually won easily, which is what everybody thought before five Democrat governors simultaneously and inexplicably halted the vote counting at 1 AM EDT so they could ship in emergency ballots.Report