Post-Election Day Musings…The Sun Begins to Shine

Photo by Darwis Alwan on

I watched an ebullient President Biden, with spring in his steps, mount the podium Wednesday night to face the press that’s been dismissing him for so long. For an hour, he cheerily responded to questions.

One commentator fondly called it an hour-long “humble-brag.” The President said he feels confident that in a few months, once the strong policies he’s managed to get through this closely divided Congress reach the American people, there will be greater appreciation for the Biden agenda.

A taste of the speech appears below. The transcript, including the Q&A, is here; the video is here.

“Our democracy has been tested in recent years.  But with their votes, the American people have spoken and proven once again that democracy is who we are.

“The states across the country saw record voter turnout.  And the heart and soul of our democracy — the voters, the poll workers, the election officials — they did their job and they fulfilled their duty, and apparently without much interference at all — without any interference, it looks like.  And that’s a testament, I think, to the American people.

“While we don’t know all of the results yet — at least, I don’t know them all yet — here’s what we do know.  While the press and the pundits are predicting a giant red wave, it didn’t happen.  And I know you were somewhat miffed by my — my obsessant [sic] optimism, but I felt good during the whole process.  I thought we were going to do fine.

“While any seat lost is painful — some good Democrats didn’t win… — last night — Democrats had a strong night.  And we lost fewer seats in the House of Representatives than any Democratic President’s first midterm election in the last 40 years.  And we had the best midterms for governors since 1986.

“And another thing that we know is that voters spoke clearly about their concerns — about raising costs — the rising costs and the need to get inflation down.  There are still a lot of people hurting that are very concerned.  And it’s about crime and public safety.  And they sent a clear and unmistakable message that they want to preserve our democracy and protect the right to choose in this country.

“And I especially want to thank the young people of this nation, who — I’m told; I haven’t seen the numbers — voted in historic numbers again and — just as they did two years ago.  They voted to continue addressing the climate crisis, gun violence, their personal rights and freedoms, and the student debt relief.”

President Biden has been appealing to young voters via TikTok, talking about and acting upon just those issues. His efforts appear to have paid off. We should all be grateful that the younger generations came forward for this critical election.

I’ve long said that I believe history will be kinder to Joe Biden than the voters appear to be. Now voters will have an opportunity to look more closely.

I’ve already read glowing tributes to him from historians Heather Cox Richardson, Michael Beschloss, and John Meacham.

Today I came across this observation from American historian Joshua M. Zeitz:

“I understand his numbers are not currently great. But based on what he’s gotten done with a 50/50 Senate and narrow House majority, the mess he mopped up after Trump, his leadership on Ukraine, and tonight, I can tell you as an historian: Biden goes down a winner in the books.”

As I’m writing, the majorities in the Senate and House haven’t yet been determined. Based on what I’m hearing from local sources in Arizona and Nevada, the Democrats have a strong chance of holding the Senate. (In Arizona, they may even knock out the worst of the Big Liars from other offices, the dangerously sleazy Kari Lake among others.)

That leaves the bizarre Georgia contest. If the Republicans know the Senate majority is beyond their control, they may not be eager to throw their money into an expensive campaign for the truly dreadful Herschel Walker.

Half-hearted Republican engagement would ensure the return to the Senate of Democrat Raphael Warnock, who’s already gained great respect from his colleagues for being a highly intelligent, thoughtful, and dedicated legislator.

The Democrats would then have a 51-vote majority.

The House of Representatives is, of course, more iffy. But it’s not yet red.

In the days preceding Election Day, I noted earlier, I paid attention to Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg. Though he never guaranteed victory, he and his colleague Tom Bonior—using the data instruments TargetSmart/Target Early—were closer to the results than nearly all other pollsters and pundits and strategists.

I’m now interested in a guy on Twitter, @cbouzy, a social platform engineer and amateur election forecaster who accurately predicted that John Fetterman would defeat Mehmet Oz for the Pennsylvania Senate seat by 4 to 5 points–when everyone else was saying it would be a while til we had results of that race. The results were reported fairly quickly, and Bouzy was right.

Bouzy claims he’s gone through all the outstanding votes in all the races, and that the Democrats will retain control of the House with what sounds like an eyelash of seats to me: 219-216. (It appears, unfortunately, that Lauren Boebert has pulled ahead of her challenger, Adam Frisch, in Colorado.)

Even if Bouzy’s prediction is off, with a strong Senate backing the President, and what will be a slender Republican House margin, I’m less worried about the far-right’s shenanigans. Although they will be bad, the mood in the country has changed.

New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu, a moderate who just won reelection, told CNN that voters sent a clear message in these midterm elections:

“Fix policy later, fix crazy now.”

Notably, if Kevin McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and their unmerry band of goofballs try to fool around with the debt ceiling during the closing weeks of this session, they’ll get knocked on their heels.

And with abortion rights so passionately supported in so many states—even in Kentucky and Montana as well as Kansas—the House Republicans can try for a national ban, but they won’t get anywhere.

One witty pro-choice woman wrote that the almost universally accepted concept of a “red wave” was, in fact, merely a bit of “mid-cycle spotting.”

Voters were clearly looking for stability. They rejected the loudest Big Liars/election deniers—and somewhat surprisingly, most of those characters even conceded they’d lost.

Voters showed that while inflation is a worry, they could multitask their thinking and care about more than one important issue. As the President said: “Democracy worked! It worked! It worked!”

I’m not negating the potential for chaos ahead; I’m sure there will be plenty. But I believe the country has moved beyond its tolerance for this type of disruption. And with many more GenZers voting in 2024, we may just get through this period relatively intact.

Surprise! The Republican party that refuses to raise the permissible age to purchase an assault weapon suddenly thinks it’s really important that we raise the voting age to 21. Those “woke” young people have been indoctrinated to believe in one another’s common humanity; their empathy and tolerance are a danger to the republic. They gotta be stopped! (26th Amendment? That old precedent?)

Unfortunately for these reactionary forces, the young people reach up to age 45. “Wokeness” is–good grief–multigenerational! (After age 45, white voters were more likely Republican–even women voters, alas! Young voters and voters of color saved us.)

One of my worries has been that the Big Liars would drag out their election denials in the courts indefinitely. But here’s a tweet from Marc Elias, the election litigation expert who seems to work 24 hours a day:

“Though we are still waiting on the outcome of a few elections, it seems clear that the Republican’s legal effort collapsed. In the final days before Nov. 8, they lost nearly every one of their pending court cases.”

I wish I thought we’d moved beyond violence and mayhem. But Trump’s gonna be indicted soon, and he’ll call out his shock troops for sure. The level of anger, hatred, and conspiracy-mongering that fractured Paul Pelosi’s skull isn’t going to dissipate so quickly.

Still, Trump appears significantly diminished by this election, in which a number of his handpicked candidates were defeated. In fact, he had said his decision about running in 2024 could be influenced by the results of the midterm. He may decide not to run.

Regardless of what the Felon-in-Waiting decides to do, I feel we’ve begun to build a blockade against the worst assault on our struggling democracy since the Civil War.

We may not yet have reached a point where we’re able to pass voting rights legislation and rein in dark money, but we’re far, far better off than we were before November 8, 2022.

Here comes the sun!


47 thoughts on “Post-Election Day Musings…The Sun Begins to Shine

  1. I was biting my nails watching some of the results roll in and while it all has not shaken out yet, I am hopeful that blue States will prevail. That said,and looking ahead to the next election, I think DeSantis will run and Trump will have to shut his big mouth but I pray pray prat that the Democrats run somebody younger and not put Biden in again. He cannot go up against someone half his age. They need somebody vibrant and well spoken and a forward thinker. Someone who can ride a bike without falling off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LA: After this election, when the country was expecting such a different outcome, the decision about whether he will run will be Biden’s alone. I do worry about his health, but I have seen nothing to suggest he has ceased being a singular gift to our country at this juncture–and I expect to see his favorability ratings increase. If you take the time to listen to the Q&A, you will hear a sharp, well-informed man fielding some very tough questions.

      He rides a bike without falling off every day. As for being a forward thinker, I believe in previous posts like this one,, I have shown that his vision for a country being built “from the middle out” is one of the most forward-looking expressed by anyone. There are reasons the Republicans try to tar him as a “Communist”: he has harnessed the power of government to improve people’s lives. He’s already gone far in accomplishing this plan.


  2. Yeah that democracy thing always did feel like it might work.:)
    That sunshine thing, me thinks you get it even on cloudy days.
    Caution as well dear lady as I don’t see things getting any easier in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I noted in responding to one of your previous comments, Richard, I am prepared for anything. Today brought news that a noose was found at the Obama Foundation–apparently placed by someone who worked there. Hate crimes are way up in the US, with antisemitism leading (as it does historically). I don’t expect miracles. I am saddened–dismayed, actually– that more white people over 45 didn’t condemn the Republicans outright.

      But this election could have been so much worse in so many ways. We are inching forward. Though it is raining outside my window, today looks brighter than November 7th did (even though I didn’t expect a red wave).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m certainly a lot happier with what we know of the mid-term results than I expected to be. Trump’s star appears to be fading.
    I saw something somewhere (by Maggie Haberman, I think) that Joe Biden is the most underrated President we’ve had in a long time. Something I definitely agree with! If nothing else, he’s our country’s savior from Donald Trump. But there was alot else, considering his legislative accomplishments with a small majority in the House, and the smallest possible one in the Senate.
    Thanks again , Annie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, George! The thing about Biden being so underrated is that he really doesn’t seem to care. He just plows forward, doing his best. I thought his performance at that press conference was terrific.


    1. Thank you, Fred–and you’re welcome! I wouldn’t bet money on opposing your prediction that the Felon-in-Waiting will declare. But I’ve read that he’s really decompensating down at Mar-a-Lago now, blaming all his losing political picks on those around him. As President Biden said in his press conference, it’ll be interesting to watch DeSantis and trump mix things up.


  4. I don’t understand why Dems lost control of the House, and why they are in jeopardy of losing the Senate. That is, Biden has done a good job, yet many millions of Republicans refuse to acknowledge that. So, even though there might have been less damage than predicted, American society still has a LONG way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI, Neil. I sure do agree with your last sentence: “American society still has a LONG way to go.” My exhilaration is that the worst Big Liars who were the greatest threat to our democracy have been defeated–and though there were many threats of intimidation and violence, the election actually went off quite smoothly.

      I’m quite sure the Democrats will return next session with a Senate majority of one additional Senator. And it’s still possible that the House will remain with the Democrats, though with an even smaller margin than before. Lots of reasons for the losses. They’ve been inevitable for the majority party in the midterms–as voters who are cranky blame everything on those in control. The Republicans were talking about a “red tsunami,” a “red wave,” an unprecedented overwhelming pounding. At best, they’re gonna get a few seats majority. That is, in historical terms, a win for the Democrats. The Republicans played inflation and crime to the hilt, and the press, I believe, magnified their story.

      It’s unthinkable to me, as I’m sure it is to you, that so few white people over 45 voted for Republicans–even women, whose very bodies are being threatened. Fear and greed, I guess–plus a big dollop of conspiracy-mongering, accusing the Democrats of the worst imaginable excesses. And bigotry.

      But I’m encouraged by young voters, who have been voting for Democrats in substantial numbers. That’s why Republicans don’t want them, and Black Americans, to vote. (Young Republican voters didn’t show up in nearly the same numbers.) If the Democrats can persuade these young folks to get in the habit of voting for Democratic candidates–and continue to pass legislation that appeals to them–our struggling democracy will be much stronger and more inclusive in the coming years.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The House may have been lost in Western New York, where crazy candidates won decisively in Republican districts and other Republicans narrowly won in competitive contests. There may be no simple explanation for this.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Alas, ‘tis true, William: the NY State Dems could have saved the House. It all comes down to redistricting, and I’ve heard two disparate targets for blame. One is Andrew Cuomo, who nominated the judge who struck down NY’s plan. The other is the plan’s originators, who blatantly overreached and tried to gain too many seats.

        Of course, it’s easier to blame NY than to look at the national picture, where DeSantis managed new districts, and elsewhere. I want to revisit all this.


      2. I don’t blame redistricting, which fails to explain why Republicans won in competitive districts. Republicans campaigned negatively against President Biden, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, current Governor Kathy Hochul, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and VP Kamala Harris, as well as crime, immigration, and inflation. The Dobbs decision may have had less impact here than elsewhere, if voters believed that NYS laws would continue to protect their rights.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I did hear a plausible observation that voters in “safe” states may have been less motivated by Dobbs, which could have been a serious error if the national picture had been different. I also heard criticism of NY Mayor Adams for feeding the Republicans’ crime scares when despite some awful subway violence, crime isn’t that bad. And NY’s first woman governor would not have had an easy run under any circumstances. So I’m sure you’re right, William; it’s complicated.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, am glad the nail biting is largely over , thrilled the worst of the Big Liars have been defeated, and I certainly appreciate your and our president’s good cheer as to the results, at least to date, but I guess I remain quite concerned as to what’s ahead. I love our president. But honestly, Annie, I know you disagree as I read above, but I’m not at all happy that he’s going for a second term. We Dems should have been grooming and promoting someone younger and more vibrant to build on the good work he’s done. There’s a fight ahead, however the clash between Trump and DeSantis works out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure he’s going to run again, Denise. I just think it should be his decision. I think he’s more likely not to run now that he’s been essentially vindicated by this election.


      1. Hello, Annie. I want to withdraw my hesitation on his running again. He’s doing a terrific job as you at times articulate for us! Doesn’t nearly get the credit he deserves but perhaps these midterm results will help. I’ve been listening to his recap of the China talk, as well — clear, direct, honest, balanced. All the things we have come to expect from him. Yes, I still wish he was a decade younger. It’s a tough job.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so glad, Denise! I said to my husband when I saw him and Xi after their three-hour meeting that I can’t picture anyone else who could do this so well at this point. I agree with you: I wish he was younger too —and I’ve no doubt he feels the same way.


  6. If the Republicans know the Senate majority is beyond their control, they may not be eager to throw their money into an expensive campaign for the truly dreadful Herschel Walker

    This makes a lot of sense. A 51-49 majority would mean Democrats can do without the vote of either Manchin or Sinema, though not both. That’s significant to Democrats, but not so much to Republicans. It’s hard to see them spending millions just to, in effect, give Manchin and Sinema some power back.

    it seems clear that the Republican’s legal effort collapsed. In the final days before Nov. 8, they lost nearly every one of their pending court cases

    The courts held. The system worked. There were few claims of vote fraud and, as far as I’ve heard, no violence related specifically to the election. Democracy and its institutions, as I expected, turned out to be robust and solid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your taking 51-49 to the dynamics it will generate; I’ve been hung up on the win.

      Yes, indeed; the system worked. It sure needs some oiling and sanding, but the People have spoken.

      I hope your new governor exceeds your expectations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Infidel. I saw this on Twitter this morning and took screen shots of it for possible inclusion. (it’s too bad Musk is destroying all the good stuff one can glean from Twitter—there’s a lot.)


  7. We got lucky in a way with the Dobbs decision, but at a high cost. The old problems–climate change, healthcare, immigration, inflation, foreign affairs, unequal distribution of wealth–remain. About half of Congress will still have irrational beliefs; many in Congress will act to thwart the Biden Administration any way they can. We can’t bet on another boost from the Supreme Court.


    1. All true, William—but we’re so much better off than we could have been. Now that Mark Finchem, a really bad actor, has been defeated, all of the Big Lying Sec of State candidates have been vanquished. I think that’s huge. Now we can get to work!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So I relax a little to prepare for a month long revel. (dancing only,can’t drink no more 😦 )
        but then Jason Kander in The Kansas City Star writes
        “The thing about trying to assassinate democracy is that failing has consequences. Once a people realize someone has tried to take away their right to self-determination, they awake from their doldrums …”
        We almost made it this time Sisyphus! Ah well, I’d need a recovery month after the dancing anyway. (sour grapes, fables galore)
        Fun Fact: My bath was the same temperature as the one they intended to drown us in.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. With news that thuglican Senators are mounting a leasership challenge to McConnell one has to wonder if they succeed would Mitch just resign rather then accept being demoted to a backbencher?
    Under current Kentucky law since there is no regular election scheuled this year a special election would be called .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. McConnell prepared the way for his resignation by getting Kentucky to pass a veto-proof law preventing Andy Beshear, the Dem Gov, from naming his successor. I’d say he’s on the way out—and good riddance! He’s done more damage than many others, eg, the courts.


    2. McConnell’s position is safe: there is opposition, but no consensus against him and no popular alternative. The Freedom Caucus may hope to get concessions for their support.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Catherine Cortez Masto’s Nevada victory was just announced, meaning Democrats will still have 50 Senate seats—and here’s hoping for 51 after the Georgia runoff. Unlike you, Annie, I didn’t expect this election to yield unexpected, upbeat surprises. I’m delighted you were right and I was wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gail, you’re very kind! I found it impossible to believe that our battered democracy would succumb to MAGA. When I found some smart data/trend analysts whose thinking seemed intuitively correct to me (why would women stop caring about choice?, for example), I felt comfortable paying attention to them.
      I’m still hopeful that we’ll retain the House.


  10. Been meaning to extend my congratulations to you Annie. Thanks for your optimism and persistent advocacy. The Democratic victories in this midterm are in no small part due to the extra efforts made by people like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very generous, Carol. There were millions of people working tirelessly (I did what I could, but I was a slouch compared to lots of them).

      Being a poll worker, to me, is heroic—and I congratulate you for your efforts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It felt good for a while, but today the House started its horror show. Bad enough they’re announcing their investigations into Biden and family; Marjorie TG stated they’re going to investigate every penny that goes to Ukraine. I am sick at heart thinking about Zelensky and his people having to worry about the crazies.


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