Tuesday's election could have been better, but it also could have been a whole lot worse from my progressive point of view. So I'm feeling fine right now, for these reasons.
Biden appears to have defeated Trump. This is the biggest contributor to my positive mood, since another four years of Trump would have thrown me into a serious depression. Last night I was anxious, but as I checked election results throughout today, I started feeling better and better.
At the moment it looks like Biden has a good chance of winning Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada.
Coupled with the states Biden already has won -- notably Wisconsin and Michigan -- this gives him numerous options to get to 270 electoral votes. So I'm counting my Biden-win chicken before it has completely hatched.
Sure, right now it seems Biden won't have a Democratic Senate.
That sucks. It makes it a lot harder for Biden to push the legislative agenda he campaigned on. But simply having Biden rather than Trump as president is huge. (Note: at the end of this post I talk about the non-sucky possibility of the Democrats winning two Georgia Senate seats in January 2021.)
Winning the Senate would have been the icing on the election cake. Which means, there's still the cake to be enjoyed. (Assuming Biden wins.) Biden will be able to do a lot of good things even with Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans stonewalling him.
Here's a series of tweets by Daniel Hemel that illustrate this.
A Biden presidency w/a narrow GOP majority in the Senate is not half a loaf. It's the loaf. I'd be happier if Ds had flipped the Senate -- to mix baked-goods metaphors, that would be icing on the cake. But this still will make an enormous difference in Americans' lives 1/
Probably the most important task facing the winner of this presidential election is SARS-CoV-2 vaccine rollout. This won't be easy under any President. But imagine doing it under a President who doesn't believe in science, downplays the virus, & stokes anti-vaxxer sentiment 2/
Instead we'll have vaccine rollout under a President who puts public health first, empowers scientists, & tells the truth. That's a world of difference 3/
The 2nd most important task facing the winner of the presidential election is saving the planet. Will Biden be able to get an ambitious clean-energy package through a GOP-majority Senate? We'll see, though if anyone can, he's the guy. & in any event, here's what he can do: 4/
-Reinstate & strengthen Obama administration corporate average fuel economy standards -Reinstate & strengthen Obama administration regs requiring power plants & other large stationary sources to reduce GHG emissions -Return the US to the Paris climate accords on Day 1 5/
We'll have a President who acts w/in the ACA to expand health care coverage. We'll have a President who works w/in the immigration statutes to make it easier to come to the US legally. Dreamers won't be deported. Refugee admissions will increase dramatically 6/
We probably won't get tax reform until 2023 at the earliest, but we'll likely get aggressive regulatory action against some of the worst loopholes & shelters. We'll likely see IRS focus audit resources on very high-net-worth folks rather than EITC claimants 7/
We've stalled since the end of the Obama administration re: motor vehicle safety standards. We'll now likely see National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rulemakings that reduce auto deaths by thousands 8/
A Biden administration -- even w/out control of the Senate -- won't just end the long national nightmare of the last 4 years. It will put us on a better path. This is cause for celebration. 9/9
Yeah, it sure is cause for celebration. That's why I want to keep our Biden-Harris sign up for the next four years.
Out here in rural south Salem some people in our neighborhood have had a giant Trump sign displayed since he was elected in 2016. It annoys me every time I pass it on my daily late afternoon dog walk. Time for some progressive payback.
Oregon election results also were pleasant. I was thrilled to see that Democrat Deb Patterson narrowly defeated Republican Denyc Boles in the Senate District 10 race. Patterson is competent, super-nice, and will be a terrific state senator. Boles deserved to lose, having walked off her legislative job with other Republicans after being appointed to Jackie Winters' seat after Winters died.
It also was great that all four statewide ballot measures passed, and that Shemia Fagan became Secretary of State, getting that office out of Republican hands.
I wasn't sure if Measure 109 would pass. "Magic mushrooms" show promise for treating PTSD and other mental health problems. Oregon is the first state to authorize the supervised use of psilocybin.
We also are the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs, a step that hopefully will be taken by many other states. When it looked like Trump could be re-elected last night and I'd have to suffer through four more years of the Liar-in-Chief, I took some solace in the fact that if I became a heroin addict to soothe the pain, at least I wouldn't go to jail.
Now I'm looking forward to celebrating Biden's victory -- may it come soon -- with less potent, but decidedly healthier, home grown Oregon marijuana.
To end on another positive note, I just saw a tweet by someone who said it appears that both Senate races in Georgia will be going to a January runoff. Incumbent Republican David Perdue is down to a 50.2% winning percentage, with 5% of the vote from mostly liberal areas left to be counted. So if he dips below 50% Perdue would face off again against Democrat Jon Osssoff, joining Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler in another runoff race.
If the Democrats won both races, that would produce a 50-50 split in the Senate, with Vice-President Harris breaking ties. Love that idea! It isn't all that far-fetched, since Biden and Trump are separated by just 0.6 of a percentage point in Georgia at the moment.