As Never Trumper Rick Wilson put it early on in this four-year nightmare: Everything Donald Trump touches dies– or #ETTD, as the hashtag had it. For now, the wretched president manages to kill much of the joy Democrats should have over the historic Joe Biden and Kamala Harris victory. We’re still waiting for big news outlets to declare the race for Biden-Harris hours after it became clear that Trump lost in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and especially Pennsylvania, considering where the stellar ballots are. (Even in Trump counties in all four states, mail-ins are mostly coming from Democrats, and they’re gradually condemning him.)
Despite the near certainty of that victory, many of us remain in a defensive crouch waiting for the onslaught of lies and complaints to obscure the legitimate outcome of this long race. They may not succeed, but they can make it a very long month.
Fortunately, most of the media don’t have it. When the remarkably troubled president came out during the network’s news hours to tell lies about “illegal votes” on Thursday night, almost everyone cut off and instead began immediately investigating him rather than just spreading his harmful delusions. CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale tweeted, “I’ve read or seen all of Trump’s speeches since 2016. This is the most dishonest speech he has ever made.”
This is the good news: unlike in 2000, when networks and news outlets seemed confused by the Florida recount and GOP claims were too often being mimicked while systematically overlooking the central story – the disenfranchisement of the state’s black voters in County after county that led to Al Gores Probable “loss” – this time they don’t seem to fall for the GOP’s fraud.
There’s more good news: just before dawn, Biden took a slim lead in Georgia thanks to the ballots from Clayton County, home of civil rights icon John Lewis, that were not seen that day. When I saw that fact, that happy omen, I realized that Lewis wants us all to find joy in this moment. So choose the joy this weekend – and worry about the GOP’s handicap on Monday.
Here’s why: It looks like Biden will win decisively. He is well on his way to conquering the electoral college by the same lead Trump had from 306 to 262 four years ago. Just instead of losing the referendum by nearly 3 million, as Trump did with Hillary Clinton, Biden will likely end in a more than 6 million referendum once all of the outstanding California ballots are received. He did it by reshaping the “blue wall” of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, which Hillary Clinton narrowly lost – but he also apparently won two states that Democrats have long dreamed of going blue: Arizona and Georgia.
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams must be one of the first people Biden thanks. Not only has she worked tirelessly to overcome voter suppression and apparently colored Georgia blue – even if she lost her race by nearly 55,000 votes in 2018 – but also created a situation where Democrats can still take over the Senate. The two Democratic Senate challengers, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, headed for a runoff election in January with the GOP incumbents. Their win would land the Democrats in a 50:50 tie that would be broken by apparently elected Vice President Kamala Devi Harris.
Nor can we let Trump destroy the thrill of choosing our first female vice president, who happens to be a black woman with an Indian immigrant mother. I very much wish Shyamala Gopalan Harris could celebrate this moment with John Lewis. Gopalan Harris, a single mother and scientist, played her own role in enabling her daughter’s brilliant success. Four years ago, many of us mourned the loss of our dream of electing our first female president. Today the dream is alive again as Harris becomes the putative front runner for 2024 or 2028. I give you permission: let’s feel this joy now!
To be honest, a year ago I preferred President Harris or President Elizabeth Warren’s idea to President Joe Biden. And I let my preference for a president blind me to Biden’s political strengths. I’ve written an unnecessarily snarky piece; I just didn’t believe he could win. He felt like a step backwards as we had to go into the future, with his old-fashioned approach to … let’s just call it personal space, especially women, and his repeated promises of non-partisanship that seemed delusional. But apparently many people found his message and called for a return to normalcy and decency, which is exactly what was needed.
Donald Trump may have personally survived Covid, but not his presidency. It was poignant and fitting to see his election night span of “victory” steadily undermined by a blue wave of postal ballot papers. They are messages of hope from Democrats trying to protect themselves from Covid and also protecting their country from Trump’s deliberate handling of the crisis by using postal ballot papers in record numbers – despite the obstruction to Trump’s postal service. Biden turned out to be the right man for the moment. His life was marked by loss – from the death of his wife and daughter when he first entered the Senate to the agonizing death of his son Beau in 2015 – which made him a comforting presence on the campaign trail that year When we did we lost 235,000 Americans and we will lose more. He met people’s fears of illness and the heartbreak of those who had lost loved ones with his typical warmth.
The AtlanticWith his piece, Adam Serwer created another touchstone for comments from the Trump era.The cruelty is the pointIn October 2018. By contrast, Biden’s decency is the whole point: it enabled him to unite the Democratic Party, forge strong personal and even political ties with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on his left, and to criticize his toughest debate Harris, his vice presidential partner, when some Democrats openly asked how he could ever trust her. Yes, I still worry that Biden will be too close to Republicans and American corporations, but for now, I’ll be indulging in decency.
W.We’ll be delving into the demographics behind the Biden Harris win for a long time. Unfortunately, many polls were again wrong, especially in Senate races. The result is alarming: Biden will likely still face not only Mitch McConnell as the leader of the obstructive majority – at least until Warnock and Ossoff win their races – but also Senators like Lindsey Graham and Thom Tillis, who are not punished for their asking Defenses from Trump over the past four years have been rewarded. Let’s be clear: Trump’s turnout helped save some vulnerable GOP senators and take out some vulnerable members of the Democratic House, even if he couldn’t save himself. Therefore, at the moment, Republicans have little incentive to try to get Trump to face reality and step back. Graham shamefully even suggested Thursday night You should consider options As if Republican lawmakers were overriding voters and forgiving their states to Trump. (He withdrew from it on Friday.) In the meantime, the Georgian GOP Foreign Minister has already announced that he will oversee a recount of that state’s votes, although it is not yet clear that this is required by law.
Still, let’s celebrate the overwhelming number of people who resisted Covid and threats of violence and retribution by Republicans to come out and try to save democracy. We will almost certainly get a record turnout in the range of 160 million voters – about two-thirds of potential voters and perhaps 80 percent of registered voters. We will have our first female vice president. We’re going to have an adult in the White House. There will be some tough days ahead of us, be it Trump’s troubled refusal to leave or the Republicans’ obstruction, even if he leaves willingly. Let’s collect some joy and energy to fight these battles. Two days ago I blamed “us” for the then uncertain election result. I’m proud of us when I see those blue ballot papers wash away. We didn’t do everything we needed to, but ousting Trump was the necessary condition for what must come next. People get ready.