First things first: Nancy Pelosi deserves to roll up to that podium like Hela returning to Asgard, swinging a ball bat wrapped in barbed wire while Elton John blasts “The Bitch Is Back.” When the rest of the Democratic Party was feckless, hapless, scared of its own shadow and in thrall to the Golden Mean fallacy, Pelosi kept her caucus together and never bent and never buckled. There’s no Obamacare without Nancy Pelosi holding the line. She earned this, she deserves this, and I will probably spend the morning singing California Drinking Song on a loop.
OK. To business.
First, read this, and know that I endorse every word, letter, punctuation and diacritical of it. Every one. Key excerpt:
…The high-visibility Senate races Democrats lost (Missouri, Tennessee) were pipe dreams anyway. You already knew that Florida sucks, hard. So you’re not sad because “The Democrats did badly.”
You’re also not sad because Beto lost, or Andrew Gillum lost, or any other single candidate who got people excited this year fell short. They’re gonna be fine. They will be back. You haven’t seen the last of any of them. Winning a Senate race in Texas was never more than a long shot. Gillum had a realistic chance, but once again: It’s Florida.
No, you’re sad for the same reason you were so sad Wednesday morning after the 2016 Election. You’re sad because the results confirm that half of the electorate – a group that includes family, neighbors, friends, random fellow citizens – looked at the last two years and declared this is pretty much what they want. You’re sad because any Republican getting more than 1 vote in this election, let alone a majority of votes, forces us to recognize that a lot of this country is A-OK with undisguised white supremacy. You’re sad because once again you have been slapped across the face with the reality that a lot of Americans are, at their core, a lost cause. Willfully ignorant. Unpersuadable. Terrible people. Assholes, even…So I get it. It’s depressing. There’s no amount of positives that can take away the nagging feeling that lots and lots of people in this country are just…garbage. They’re garbage human beings just like the president they adore. These people are not one conversation, one fact-check, and one charismatic young Democratic candidate away from seeing the light. They’re reactionary, mean, ignorant, uninteresting in becoming less ignorant, and vindictive. They hate you and they will vote for monsters to prove it.
Remember this feeling. Remember it every time someone tells you that the key to moving forward is to reach across the aisle, show the fine art of decorum in practice, and chat with right-wingers to find out what makes them tick. Remember the nagging sadness you feel looking at these almost entirely positive results; it will be your reminder that the only way to beat this thing is to outwork, outfight, and out-organize these people. They are not going to be won over and they will continue to prove that to you every chance they get.
What are the really disappointing races? Governor of Georgia? Governor of Florida? Texas Senate? Those aren’t low-hanging fruit. Those are statewide races in Confederate states. Those are the last things that will flip. The fact that the Democrats covered the spread in every race is the win, especially if that enthusiasm and organization is harnessed to go again in two years, which is what it’s going to take. This level of participation and enthusiasm, every election, forever.
This was never going to be fixed in two years, because that’s not what our system allows. It wasn’t broken in two years. Donald Trump wasn’t the cause, he was the opportunistic infection that ultimately kills you once your immune system has been reduced to rubble. Our system broke when the GOP was allowed to run a five year fishing expedition until they could create an impeachable offense. It broke when Al Gore got the most votes and wasn’t allowed to win. It broke when the GOP went 100% scorched earth against Obama for eight years and leaned into racism and white supremacy and conspiracy theory. It broke when there was no accountability for anything that happened under Bush. It broke when a Supreme Court seat was held open for a year. Trump isn’t HIV, he’s Kaposi’s sarcoma.
Or to borrow from someone on Twitter: yesterday was America’s biopsy. What we have isn’t untreatable, but it’s definitely malignant. We have to fight it. Aggressively. And it’s going to hurt, and it’s going to take a lot out of us, and we’re not all going to make it, and we won’t be the same at the end, but the alternative is to lie there and wait to die.
What are we prepared to do? Because we’ve broken through. Now we can fight. Yesterday was the end of the beginning. We have to go like hell if we want it to be the beginning of the end.