Monday, November 14, 2016

Election Afternath

A few articles that caught my eye over the past few days:

California Jumps The Shark by Joel Kotkin.
Kotkin is an old-line California Democrat who has lamented the takeover of his party by tech oligarchs and the media and academic elite to the detriment of the middle-class.  California is now one of only four states where Democrats control the governor and both houses of the legislature, and they even arranged it so that in this year's senatorial election, voters could choose from two Democrats and no Republicans.  Progressive heaven!  From his article:
We may have more freedom to smoke pot, but it won’t be so easy to start a business, buy a house or build a personal nest egg, if you are anything other than a trustifarian or a Silicon Valley mogul, or are related to one.
Gradually, the key swing group — the “business Democrats” — are being decimated, hounded by ultra-green San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer and his minions. No restraint is being imposed on Gov. Brown’s increasingly obsessive climate change agenda, or on the public employee unions, whose pensions could sink the state’s finances, particularly in a downturn.

The interior parts of California already rank near the bottom, along with Los Angeles, in terms of standard of living — by incomes, as opposed to costs — in the nation. Compared to the Bay Area, which now rules the state, the more blue-collar, Latino and African American interior, as well as much of Los Angeles, account for six of the 15 worst areas in terms of living standard out of 106 metropolitan areas, according to a recent report by Center for Opportunity Urbanism demographer Wendell Cox.

California is on the road to a bifurcated, almost feudal, society, divided by geography, race and class. As is clear from the most recent Internal Revenue Service data, it’s not just the poor and ill-educated, as Brown apologists suggest, but, rather, primarily young families and the middle-aged, who are leaving. What will be left is a state dominated by a growing, but relatively small, upper class, many of them boomers; young singles and a massive, growing, increasingly marginalized “precariat” of low wage, often occasional, workers.

These 3 Maps Show Just How Dominant Republicans Are In America After Tuesday, by Amber Philips in The Washington Post
As mentioned above, Republicans now completely control 25 states in contrast to four for Democrats with the rest split.  The R's have a record 33 governors and Democrats have lost about 1,000 seats in state legislatures since Barack Obama's 2008 election.  Even my state of Connecticut elected enough  Republicans for them to equal the Democrats in the state senate.

'I Won' by Kevin Williamson, National Review Online
Williamson, a dedicated NeverTrumper (as were many at NRO), takes some solace in pointing out that "The Left will not enjoy living with its own precedents":
Ten minutes ago, somber progressives were lecturing Donald Trump over his “Make America Great Again” slogan. “America,” they sniffed, is already great. Five minutes later, out came the “F*** AmeriKKKa!” signs and American flags were being burned in the streets. Ten minutes ago, Democrats were fretting that Donald Trump and his partisans would refuse to concede defeat, and insisting that Trump must make a dramatic public commitment to personally working toward a peaceful transfer of power. (Well, he did.) There were whispers of political violence, of riots in the streets, arson, smashed windows, violent assaults. Five minutes later, all of that came to pass — perpetrated by progressives in reaction to Trump’s winning the election fair and square. Ten minutes ago, Democrats were complaining that Trump’s talk of “rigged” elections undermined faith in democracy and in the legitimacy of the United States government. Five minutes later, Democrats were complaining that the elections were rigged against them by an electoral system that treats the states as states — entities with political interests of their own — rather than as administrative subdivisions of the federal government.
There is much to dislike about Donald Trump, a man who is morally and intellectually unfit for the office to which he has been elected thanks to a cheesed-off Republican primary electorate and the fact that the alternative was . . . ugh. But the Left does not quite seem to get what he is about. His views on trade, and on economic relations with foreign countries in general, are very close to that of Senator Bernie Sanders, and his views on immigration are not all that different, either: It was Senator Sanders, not Trump, who whispered darkly of a shadowy “open borders” plot being hatched by American billionaires to undermine the economic and political power of the working class.
If the election had gone the other way and crowds of angry Trump voters were out in the streets beating people (they aren’t, though there are hate-crime hoaxes aplenty) there would be klaxons of alarum sounding 24 hours a day — and zero talk of how the protests were “mostly peaceful.” Perversely, the Trump presidency is bearing some worthwhile fruit before it even begins: Once more, dissent is the highest form of patriotism, free speech is an absolute right that must be defended at all costs rather than regulated away in the name of reform, presidential power is to be limited . . .
Two cheers for all that. The pretensions of the imperial presidency are going to haunt Democrats for the immediate future. For eight years, Democrats celebrated the aggrandizement of the already inflated presidency left to Barack Obama by George W. Bush. You remember the greatest hits: “If Congress won’t act, I will.” “I have a pen and a phone.” “Elections have consequences.” And, my personal favorite: “I won.” Somebody else won this time around.

The pretensions of the imperial presidency are going to haunt Democrats for the immediate future, but they’ll quickly rediscover their belief in limits on the executive. While they’re rediscovering old virtues, they might take a moment to lament Senator Harry Reid’s weakening of the filibuster, an ancient protection of minority interests in the less democratic house of our national legislature. They might also lament Senator Reid’s attempt to gut the First Amendment in order to permit the federal government — which in January will be under the management of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and — incredibly enough — President Donald Trump — to regulate political speech, deciding who can speak, about what and when, and on what terms. Perhaps they’ll thank those wicked “conservative” justices on the Supreme Court for saving basic political-speech rights. 
If they are smart, they will rediscover federalism, too, and the peacemaking potential of a school of thought that says in a diverse nation of 320 million souls, there is no reason that life in rural Idaho must be lived in exactly the same way as it is in Brooklyn or Santa Monica. As Charles C. W. Cooke pointed out, the same people who until ten minutes ago denounced federalism — which they mischaracterize as the doctrine of “states’ rights” — as an instrument for the suppression of African Americans are now embracing secession, which, in the American context at least, has a little bit of its own racial baggage.

The problem is that while conservatives see “Live and Let Live” as a useful if imperfect instrument of civil peace, progressives view “Live and Let Live” as a distinct moral evil. It is less important to them that California is allowed to be California than that Texas should be forbidden to be Texas. Progressives have since the time of Bismarck had a mania for uniformity, because they believe that uniformity is necessary for their larger project: managing society as though it were a single factory and its people were widgets.

And, in the category of "I thought this wasn't supposed to happen", we have from ABC News:
Jefferson  County elected Zena Stephens, a black woman and Democrat, as county sheriff.  ABC reports:
One of those GOP voters was D'Ann Riggs, a 53-year-old emergency room nurse from Beaumont, who voted for Stephens and for Trump.

"I voted for Zena not because she was black or a woman. I voted for her because I felt she was the best person" for the job, said Riggs.

Erin Landry, 32, an epidemiologist from Beaumont who considers herself a Republican, said she also voted for Stephens as well as for Trump.
Landry said the selection of both Stephens and Trump shows that local voters were able to see past the presidential race and "pick the best representatives for the job, regardless of which party they represent."
On a related note, racist Colorado Democrats refused to support an African-American candidate for the Senate when pasty-white Democrat Michael Bennet defeated Darryl Glenn by 97,000 votes as the Democratic strongholds of Denver and Boulder counties gave Bennet majorities of 123,000 and 76,000, respectively.  Glenn ran 12,000 votes ahead of Donald Trump, so appears to have been supported by most of those voting for Trump.


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