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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Things Are Fine in California the Morning After

Across the country voters approved Democratic economic and social policies: raising the minimum wage, legalizing pot, rejecting forced-pregnancy "personhood," bond issues for public investments, ending strict racist drug war sentencing, and more. And then, in state after state after state, they voted to be represented by Republicans who demagogue against each of these policies individually and reject the underlying philosophy of science-warranted harm-reduction policy and public investment and support for majorities as a party. Americans should expect much more punitive intolerant austerian plutocratic scientifically unwarranted policy of the kind they explicitly rejected in voting initiatives and then enabled in their voting otherwise.

I think the President's deferral of executive action on immigration and the cowardly flight from the President by so many Democrats combined to depress base voter turnout, made it difficult to connect Democratic candidates with the sort of Democratic policies they affirmed, and turned what we always knew was a bad electoral landscape and electorate into the conditions for a reactionary wave.

Once progressive policy was disjoined from the actual candidates of the Democratic party (this silly season's infatuation with Independent stealth Democrats and fusion tickets without the word Democrat in them feels very different to me this morning after), especially for Democratic base voters in what we all knew to expect was going to be the usual mid-term base voter turnout election. And then all the scared angry old white people signaled their discontent with the black President all the Republicans ran against instead of their actual opponents. A long season of border panics, beheading panics, and ebola panics successfully made a lot of brains fall out, which always benefits Republicans, too.

This was a stupid election and the nation will be more stupid for it, and Democrats contributed their full measure to the stupid.

I hope the President issues a host of executive orders on immigration, environmental regulation, stimulative raising of wages, normalizing relations with Cuba, making racist sentencing even less stringent, and so on. This is the only way anything good happens for the next two years. This will remind Americans what Democrats are supposed to stand for. Republicans will use their majority to go batshit insane in consequence and the inevitable killer clown primary to follow will confirm the Republican brand is all bigotry, austerity, stupidity. One can only hope Republicans will impeach the President again or try to destroy Obamacare again.

Obviously, nothing sustainably good can happen except in the first two years or so of a Democratic presidency with congressional supermajorities behind it. Time to build the base up for Clinton's brief moment in the sun by doing things that are good for the majority of Americans in spite of Republican obstruction and hostility.

I fear that the voices of moderation and deal making and blah blah blah will declare such a strategy unseemly and dangerous. I don't know that we can trust Obama to be passionate enough for the level of resistance demanded by this moment. If Democrats retreat into timidity and muddle I can't say just how bad things might get.

Meanwhile, here in California and in Pacifica more broadly the mid-term elections were mostly marvelous. The rest of idiot America will wallow in still more idiocy, I guess. Glad I live here.

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