Thus Endeth This Cycle

 So the mid-term elections are over. We hear all of the pundits now either crowing about their prescience on their absolute knowledge of the coming lack of a red wave, or bemoaning the fact that the electorate did not wish to continue the trek towards authoritarianism represented by the MAGA wing of the Republican party.

Some trends continued. In North Carolina, which voted 50% Republican to 49% Democrat in the 2020 election for state legislators, but had a 69-51 margin in legislative seats, continued their trend of unrepresentative selections. Republicans won 71 seats in the North Carolina house in this election, although the actual votes for the two parties is not yet available. In my state of West Virginia, almost a complete wipeout of Democratic legislators occurred. 16 of the 17 Senate seats in this state went to Republicans.

But for those of us who like to live in a democratic republic, the national election results did provide some hope. We saw what happened when a drop of Trumpism was placed in a peach tree dish, causing the Republicans in the dish to flee. All Secretary of State candidates who pledged to overturn election results if they were not to their liking, ended up on the scrap heap of electoral losers. We shall see if the Democratic lead holds up for Arizona, where Katie Hobbs is holding on to a razor-thin margin over everyone’s favorite Trump toady, Kari Lake.

In the US House, Kevin McCarthy (or whoever takes the speakership) will find out how difficult it is to herd cats. The House under Democratic control was a messy place, but the Progressive Caucus at least found it possible to hold their noses and vote for policies which they disagreed with. Somehow, the Freedom Caucus does not seem inclined to follow the lead of the Progressives, and have pledged always and every time to put ideology over governing. Good luck on holding a majority together. Expect to see one or two changes in party over the next several months as it becomes evident how difficult it is to govern the rowdy crowd of Republican legislators.

It was in the US Senate where the most interesting results were recorded. Not only did the Republicans fail to take over control, they actually have the potential to lose one seat due to the “quality” of their candidates. It certainly appears that the only ability Herschel Walker possesses is his ability to hit the hole. We will find out in early December whether the Republican denunciation of intellect and ability will overcome the erudition of Rafael Warnock. I’ve had just about enough of the Republican’s overt campaign against people on the right hand of the intelligence bell curve. Republicans do believe in affirmative action. They gather as many as possible who lack mental capabilities. Witness Ron Johnson, Tommy Tuberville, Marjorie Taylor Green, and Matt Gaetz as poster children for needing affirmative action. It is only due to fortune that they will not have to share the stage with Louie Gohmert, and Madison Cawthorn.

So we will end up with nearly the status quo on the national level. Yes, the Republicans will likely have the ability to stuff the House agenda full of nonsense legislation and pointless investigations, but the flame of Trumpism does seem like it is flickering, threatening extinguishment. Just remember. The embers will stay hot for a long while, and it is very possible for flames to reignite from the remains.

It Was A Perfect Raid

So, it is possible that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were correct back in 2016. Donald, for his infamous claim about being able to shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any followers. And Hillary, for her astute observation about the nature of many Trump followers – that they were truly deplorable people. Of course, being as that statement came from the enemy, it was adopted as a badge of honor. I still remember middle-aged women wearing Adorable Deplorable t-shirts to announce their affiliation. In the end, it was a statement that undoubtedly contributed to her defeat. It doesn’t detract from the veracity of the observation.

If nothing else, the events of this past month show that Donald truly does not care about anything but himself. No one else would take the issues about secret files and weave them into a conspiracy blanket of victimhood for himself. As Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. Donald Trump has shown himself to a national audience since the 1970’s. The prime example of someone who has failed upwards, he never has had to face consequences for his actions. His multitude of business failures occurred upon piles of borrowed money, so once the debt was restructured, Donald ended up in a nominally better position than when he started. That the epitome of his success is a private club in a soon-to-be submarine barrier island is fitting. He doesn’t even realize his peril in the future. Of course, for him the future is irrelevant.

What we see in his frenzied communications is a refusal to accept responsibility for any problem he faces. In fact, he seems bound and determined to deny he has transgressed at all. And his quislings are more than happy to provide ever more fantastic justifications for his actions. No, there is no problem with storing top secret information next to a country club ballroom. What could go wrong? And in legal filings, we see that we should consider the entire matter as nothing more serious as overdue library books. Gaah!

Of course, the world view of the cult leader and his followers is totally consistent. When you look back at the pitched battle to gain access to the Capitol Building on January 6 as normal political discourse, then seeing top secret information stored at a country club is nothing more than an overdue book. At least he is consistent, although many view him as a self-caricature He thinks he is an alpha male, and his strutting and preening emphasizes his manliness to his fallen admirers. They are the ones with the Rambo images, that head affixed to an assault-weapon wielding savior of the race.

All of these admirers are so far beyond the pale that they perceive any criticism as “divisive”. As if his words and actions brought people together. No, these people not only do not accept criticism, they have convinced themselves that criticism is blasphemy. How do you reason with people who share no elements of rationality with you? You can’t, that’s how. The only way this cult will go away is through repeated repudiation at the ballot box, though the stage has been set for the cult members to reject any such repudiation as just another stolen election.

Indictment is coming. Like it or not, the event that can draw his followers into forming an army of brown shirts with MAGA lettering is just ahead. We know what actions his deluded followers will take, they’ve announced their intentions on all media forums where they hold sway. Those in charge at a Federal or State level must hold firm to their convictions so that we can finally get a conviction for the egregious behavior we’ve seen over the past 7 years. His true followers? They are so far gone it may take a generation for the damage wrought by the orange one to disappear. After all, we have a world full of real problems to face as a nation.  We’ve lost far too much time worrying about the actions of the unhinged. It is time to move on.