So at long last the 2018 Midterms came after what felt like a century. And feels like it’s been another century since. Really not quite a month. But they just kind of kept going. Let’s see…
Let’s start with Texas.
For the past six years, Texas has had as a Senator a semi-sentient slime mold that answers to “Ted Cruz”. He’s also been known to, well, not necessarily answer to “Lyin’ Ted” per se but will fall in line behind whoever calls him that because he has no spine or even much integrity or sense.
Oh, and in his 2016 campaign, he actually said voters should “spank” Hillary Clinton for lying just like he does to his daughter.
Let me just take out my checklist… Okay, invoking corporal punishment to a crowd that sees it as traditional family values that’s under attack? Check. Violence against women and girls? Check. Implied sexual assault of a female political opponent? Check.
Yikes. This guy so needs to be gone.
But look! A challenger, by the name of Beto O’Rourke, running around to every Texas county and riling up the crowds. And, wow, the polls are close. Maybe there’s a chance here…
Well, if it’s any consolation, Beto O’Rourke is so fucking proud of you guys.
Now let’s hop over to Florida.
It was a gubernatorial smackdown between Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum, the latter looking to be the state’s first black governor. I’d say more, but I’d say Gillum covered that one nicely here:
As my grandmother used to say — a hit dog will holler. pic.twitter.com/kC34Ldd0is
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 25, 2018
To which we say…
So for sure Gillum won easily, right?
Should have seen that coming.
Senate race, too.
Both races concluding after Florida once again had a lot of recounts.
Telling us what we already know.
But at least the ballot measure enfranchising felons passed.
For another potential first black governor, how about Georgia?
It’s Brian Kemp vs Stacey Abrams for governor.
Here’s Brian Kemp’s campaign ads, adding to the evidence that Republicans are just a parody of themselves at this point.
Oh, and he’s been engaging in racist voter suppression in plain sight. All like “oh, that signature is the slightest bit off in a way that’s still less than normal variations between signatures, no votes for you! you being black is totally just a coincidence”.
For sure, the Georgia voters wouldn’t tolerate this, and pulled hard and brought Abrams to victory over this nonsense, right? Right?
Nope. She lost.
So just like Florida, lots and lots of vote counting.
And Republicans in both states are about to be all like…
But when the counts were in…
Speaking of voter suppression, let’s make a big jump over to North Dakota.
Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp looking to keep her position against Republican challenger Kevin Cramer, after she had won the seat in 2012 thanks in large part to Native American voters.
Who, suddenly, for some reason that surely must be a coincidence, have been effectively disenfranchised.
And, well, look at that…
Heitkamp also voted against Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, a risky move for a red state Democrat.
With a quick glance at Missouri, where Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, also a no on Kavanaugh, was trying to keep her seat as well…
Well, how about Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, another red state Democrat who voted no on Kavanaugh?
Well, it must just be a coincidence, right? I mean, if we look at West Virginia, we see Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, the traitor who voted yes on Kavanaugh, also looking to keep his seat in a solid red state. How’d that work out for him?
Okay, it’s the Kavanaugh vote.
Let’s hop over to my own home state, Maryland!
My two senators voted against Kavanaugh. One of them was up for reelection now, and no harm even close to done.
Nice being in a blue state.
Got a new Democratic Congressman, too. I’m in Maryland’s 6th, the unusual gerrymandered Congressional district that favors Democrats. It’s got the whole super red Maryland panhandle and some of Frederick County and a piece of super blue Montgomery County, a piece whose population is greater than the rest of the district and therefore makes it all blue.
I’m one of those Montgomery County blue voters so, uh… *meek wave at Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties*
But those red rural residents are surely glad we’re not entirely blue. Still have our Republican governor.
Yeah, yeah, panhandle counties, I see you waving back at me now.
Hogan, while not without a lot of issues, at least isn’t an Orange Thing fanboy. He wouldn’t get very far in our state if he were, despite Orange Thing having taken the 2016 primary here easily. And Ocean City boardwalk notwithstanding.
You know who does have a Democratic governor now?
You know what else Kansas has?
Sharice Davids, a gay Native American woman, as the new Congresswoman in the 3rd Congressional District!
And Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District?
Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American Muslim woman!
And Michigan’s 13th?
Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American Muslim woman!
And, alright, let me just cut to it and unearth this lede already…
Democrats took back the House!!!
And now Nancy Pelosi will be speaker again- Oh, wait, there’s opposition to her.
Because leave it to the Democrats to complicate things like this and fail to put up any kind of united front.
Republicans still have the Senate, though. And an even tighter grip on it than before. Beto fell short. Heitkamp, McCaskill, and Donnelly were penalized for not voting a(nother) sexual abuser to the Supreme Court, and now we must pray extra hard that Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer don’t fall into a hole.
Though there’s some good late news on the Senate front, as after a lot of vote counting…
That is Jeff Flake’s seat. The other Senate seat in Arizona was John McCain’s. Speaking of whom, in all this, I couldn’t help thinking again about his tactics in the 2008 election, where he refused to hop on board with the racist demonization of Obama and kept it all about policy. After his death a few months ago, he was lauded for this. By Democrats. Republicans had mostly shrugged him off. After all, while McCain may have been respectful in his campaign, he did still lose the election. Eight years later, the Orange Thing behaved like a jackass every step of his campaign. And won.
That’s what we’ve seen in this election. In so many of these races, particularly some of the ones above, the Republican was just completely terrible and the Democrat was not terrible, in races that by all rights shouldn’t have even been close, but they went for the completely terrible one.
There was one more election to go with this same completely terrible versus not terrible. The Mississippi senatorial runoff between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy. Hyde-Smith, I should mention, recently joked about lynching and openly supported voter suppression, among other things that made her look like a walking stereotype of a white Southern Republican. Such that Mike Espy ran on trying to get Mississippi to rise above that sort of thing and not be that stereotype. Like it was a battle for the state’s soul.
Needless to say…
So anyway, that’s about it for the 2018 midterms. It was terrible. It was terrific. Most of all, it was terrifying.
All we can wonder now is, what do we see in 2020?
See. 2020. Yeah, I just said that.
(Senate, Governor, and House election result images taken from here.)