- The most stunning outcome of the 2020 election is that almost 50 percent of Americans, despite observing four years of criminality, lives lost, children torn from parents, a disregard for the rule of law, the attempted destruction of our delicate democracy and abysmal behavior, still voted for Donald Trump. The takeaway? While Trump may be gone, Trumpism is not and will continue to be a powerful voice of unreason on the right. Unless a way around it is found, it will be extremely difficult to govern, given a divided Congress and a Senate whose Republican members will continue to be dependent on conspiracy-obsessed constituents for re-election and thus disinclined to reach across the aisle to get productive things done.
- Mitch McConnell will not change his spots just because Donald Trump is history. He will be just as obstructionist as ever. Dems, however, do have a strategy they can pursue: cultivate the handful of GOP Senators who pass for “moderate:” Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and perhaps Ben Sasse. If they can persuade two or three of them, then aspirational policies like tackling climate change, infrastructure and immigration reform might have a shot.
- Trump’s ridiculous claims of a vast Democratic conspiracy to steal the election is belied by the party’s failure to flip the Senate and its loss of seats in the House. In one sense, Trump is just about the only Republican who lost.
- Biden had no coattails. In fact, he had negative coattails resulting in a potentially hostile Senate, a reduced House majority and antediluvian state legislatures that will continue to dominate redistricting for the next decade.
- The polls could not have been more off the mark.
- The pundits whose superficial analyses demonstrated a depth of cluelessness should be consigned to history’s also-rans.
- Voting overhaul. There is no excuse for long lines. There is no logic in disallowing the counting of mail-in and early-voted ballots until election day. Counts need to begin earlier so that results don’t have to wait ad nauseum. The need for a reinvigorated Voting Rights Act is acute. It should reinstitute and expand Justice Department pre-clearance reviews of any proposed registration and voting changes by any state.
- Disinformation is formidable. Republicans used it with great effectiveness in Miami-Dade County, Florida and it made the difference in carrying the state. Democrats had no answer to the hysteria Republicans raised about socialism coming to America if Joe Biden were elected. The appeal to anti-Castro Cubans, anti-Maduro Venezuelans and anti-Ortega Nicaraguans who came to these shores to escape socialist oppression was powerful.
- Social Media needs some controls. It was used to great effect by Republicans hawking conspiracy theories and lies.
- Playing by the rules disadvantages Democrats and incentivizes Republicans to continue to lie, cheat and steal elections and court seats. I am not advocating that Dems sully themselves by stooping to play in the GOP moshpit, but some strategic rethinking of how to counter this vileness needs to occur.
- Russia should not go unpunished after it once again attempted, this time with far less success, to intervene and interfere in our democratic process. This is war and we have unilaterally disarmed. That has to change. We need to go on offense.
- Kudos to the federal and state agencies tasked with election security. They did a terrific job. The lessons of 2016 really resonated. And a pat on the head to state and local election administrators and volunteers who performed a thankless task under extreme duress magnificently.
- The U.S. Postal Service slow-walked ballots to many counting locations. It needs to be depoliticized. Never again should a president and postmaster general be allowed to subvert it in an attempt to steal an election. A bipartisan commission should select the postmaster general. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night [nor Louis DeJoy] should stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
November 6, 2020