Good Wednesday morning. Welcome to the first day of the 2020 campaign!
Here is what's on the president's agenda today:
- The president has no public events.
Fox News is the biggest loser
What a night. I slept in 20-minute increments most of the night/morning but I caught the most shocking part of the election live because it happened early: Fox News made a call that the Democrats won the House around 9 p.m. ET. WHY? How many people were still voting? At the very least the west coast voters were still going to the polls. At the time, the Democrats had only picked up 2 seats. Can you imagine hearing that on your way to the polls if you live west of New York City? What a horrible, horrible decision, FNC. Shame on you. Rumor is the never-Trumpers run the news division at the network. Indeed.
Second loser of the night: Hollywood celebrity endorsements. Sorry, Taylor Swift, Alyssa Milano, Oprah, P. Diddy et al.
GOP expands Senate control
It looks like Dean Heller has lost his seat in Nevada and it looks like a bad day for the GOP in Nevada overall, with GOPer Adam Laxalt losing the governor's race. Other losers in the Senate: Nelson, Donnelly, McCaskill, and Heitkamp. Cruz kept his seat, with a 2% lead (ouch!!!!). That's very close considering GOPer Abbott retained the governorship by 13+ points. Marsha Blackburn and Rick Scott will also be heading to the Senate along with Mittens Romney. Results are still out on the AZ Senate although GOP McSally has a slim lead. Rosendale is leading Tester by a hair but that race hasn't been called yet either.
Overall, a great night for Republicans and the Senate.
GOP loses the House
On the other hand, the GOP lost control of the House. Not a surprise, really; historically it should have been a bloody blowout. At the same point in Obama's presidency the GOP picked up 63 seats (54 for Clinton). I don't have the number of Democrat pick-ups this year, but it's not near 63; it's at 26 so far, so about 1/3 of 2010.
What happened to the blue wave? An unprecedented amount of money was poured into the midterms, there was an unprecedented blitz for people to vote/turn out, high-profile/media-generating celebrities were more involved than ever (sorry, Taylor Swift), there are two cable networks that had 24-7 president bashing for 2+ years, there is a deep state sabotaging the Republican/president's agenda with leaks of sensitive and embarrassing material, there was a manufactured charge of espionage against the president -- and the best they got is 26 seats. The GOP didn't have this kind of machine in 2010 when it won 63 seats. Not by a long shot.
I'm very sad to see Dave Brat lost but happy DeSantis and DeWine won the governorships of Florida and Ohio respectively. It looks like Kemp (R) is leading Abrams (D-OPRAH) for governor of Georgia but the race hasn't been called.
So what are the takeaways?
Once all the results are in and we can examine the turnout numbers and exit polling, there will be plenty to learn. A few things come to mind right now: the country is getting more polarized. The extremists are easily muted in a state-wide Senate race and the GOP did very well in those. But in congressional districts which are often gerrymandered and much smaller pieces of the electoral pie, partisan leaning is so obvious. That's how a dingbat like Ocasio-Cortez can win her congressional district, because a socialist like her represents her neighborhood. Neighborhoods are getting more polarized -- similar people tend to congregate together. We will see how this plays out when the Congress is supposed to work with Trump. Trump likes to make deals more than he has a strict ideology to adhere to, but the Democrats will not make any deals at all no matter what because they will not give Trump a victory to use in 2020. #Resist. Let's see how voters like that dynamic.
I look forward to the House and that old dust bag, leader Nancy Pelosi, moving forward with impeachment, moving forward with investigations of every aspect of the Trump administration, moving to abolish ICE, and letting all those lovely, unvetted 18-34 year old males in the caravan into the U.S. Let's get that started immediately. I am a big proponent of the you bought the ticket, now take the ride philosophy. This is a mandate. All you Democrats: let's go off the deep end as soon as possible!
A few links this morning, as I'm running on limited sleep:
Now go beat back the angry mob!
Vote early, vote often, as they say in New York City:
President's Trump's choice of Matthew Whitaker to take the position of acting AG is not going over well with many in the media:
Washington Examiner: Sessions replacement Matthew Whitaker argued Trump finances off-limits to Mueller
Senator Chuck Schumer has already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
"Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general," Schumer said in a statement on Wednesday.
Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed that the appointment of Whitaker could lead to a "constitutional crisis."
He called Trump's move "the height of offense to do something like this within 24 hours of the conclusion of the midterms."
Napolitano also questioned whether Whitaker is legally qualified for the job because he said the acting attorney general needs to come from senior DOJ leadership that has been approved by the U.S. Senate.
I usually agree with Debra Heine, but I don't feel bad for Sessions. I want to know more. His firing is deeply entangled with the Russia probe and the FISA mess and therefore the "dossier" and on and on. We out here in InternetLand can but guess. One black mark against Sessions that's worth recalling: MONTHS ago he claimed there would be indictments for the multitude of leaks taking place from all over the government. Where are they?
I feel bad for Sessions. He was one of the first -- if not THE first -- national politician to get behind candidate Trump when most people were still laughing at him. He was the wrong choice for attorney general, obviously, and should have informed Trump that he would have a conflict of interest in the Russia probe if he'd accepted the position. But he was a loyal cabinet member who tried his best in the face of repeated verbal assaults from the president.
It's a shame. He was one of my favorite senators, and would have been great leading Homeland Security.