1. Here's everything you need to know about the 2014 midterms in a single anecdote: Last week, as he's mentioned, the Rude Pundit convinced the Rude Brother to vote for the Democrat, Mary Landrieu, in the Louisiana Senate race. The Rude Brother has long been Republican, but he is also for raising taxes on the wealthy, doesn't care about gay marriage, thinks abortion should be safe and legal, and agrees that humans contribute to climate change, among other beliefs. By just about any measure of politics, the Rude Brother is moderate-left, a Democrat. When the conversation ended, RB had said he would vote for Landrieu.
Cut to Election Day morning. The Rude Pundit received a text from RB: "And, in the end, the kid couldn't pull the trigger for Mary." A little later, he got another message: "It felt dirty voting for Landrieu." RB went with Bill Cassidy, the Republican, who believes the opposite of everything RB believes in. In fact, Bill Cassidy will try to take health insurance away from our Rude Sister and her family. RB had said he has no problems with Obamacare. Well, he does now.
There you have election 2014. A voter goes into the booth believing the world should be a certain way and then pushes the buttons for the candidates who will do everything they can to stop the world from being that way.
2. And that was the pattern just about everywhere for the night. Citizens in Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota all hiked their state's minimum wage by huge margins while still voting in the Republican for Senate and/or governor. In Alaska, the minimum wage hike passed and Republican Dan Sullivan is leading incumbent Mark Begich. In Colorado, the voters defeated a personhood amendment while voting in for senator a goddamn guy who sponsored a federal version of the thing. Fucking Kentucky fuckers are happy pigs in the Obamacare mud, but, fuck you, Alison Grimes. Kentuckians want the cockknob who wanted them to stay sick and toothless.
And this isn't just in what you consider red or reddish states. In fucking Illinois, voters said "yes" to raising the minimum wage, a constitutional amendment for the right to vote, a higher tax on millionaires to fund schools, and a birth control mandate for insurance plans. They elected the Republican for governor, and he opposes at least two of those measures - the tax and the minimum wage (Bruce Rauner has said he wasn't going to get involved in "social issues" like birth control).
It's not just inconsistency. It's fucking insanity and impossible to reconcile, except to say, as Michael Tomasky did, that it's easier to support progressive goals at the local level because the White House nigger doesn't support them. If the nigger wants it, you gotta be against it. Nobody wants that nigger around. How dare that nigger be our president? How the fuck did that happen? (Yeah, racism is to blame for the way the electorate has so virulently turned against President Obama. But we've been saying this since at least 2010. Mary Landrieu is right, but you get raked over the coals for speaking it aloud.)
3. Shut the fuck up if you're writing some think piece about how Republicans will work with President Obama now. Shut the fuck up if you're writing about how Republicans will have to govern now. Shut the fuck up if you're writing blindly optimistic fantasy fiction about all the amazing things Obama will do now that he's unshackled completely from Congress. Just shut the fuck up.
Here's what's gonna happen, as sure as you're reading this. Republicans ran on one simple message: We will do nothing. Oh, sure, they made a big deal about repealing the Affordable Care Act or whatever, but that ain't happening until Obama is gone. So they will do nothing. It's the easiest fucking goal to reach, almost beautiful in its sinister simplicity. Republicans in the Senate are going to block any nominee for anything. Legislation was never going to pass, even if they lost the Senate. So they will vote for an agenda that has no way of getting past Obama's veto. They will vote to overturn the vetoes and fail. They will hold useless hearings on useless topics like Benghazi and, oh, fuck, why not, Ebola. They will subpoena the White House endlessly, which will slow the work of the Executive Branch. There will be talk of impeachment, but that won't go anywhere because it would be doing something, which is not part of the GOP ethos now.
And people will praise them for being brave because courage comes cheap in this decadent age, wallowing in the slippery afterbirth of what the nation did last night. People will praise them, as they already are, for "moderating," when moderation is just a mask made of flesh that they put on to disguise the true horror heaving breath underneath.
4. The bottom line is this: People like Democratic ideas. They don't like Democrats. That's all. You can blame many things: useless consultants, failure to defend Obama's policies, failure by Obama to demonstrate how he has done good things for the vast majority of Americans, shitty DNC leadership, the Republicans ginning up fear in the last couple of weeks, failure to inspire young people and non-whites to get to the polls, on and on. But the Rude Pundit just gets back to what the Rude Brother said, that "it felt dirty" to vote for a Democrat. How do you overcome that?
You want this to end happily and hopefully. You need someone to tell you it's not that bad. You are desperate for columns and blog posts that relieve what ails you, whether it's nausea, rage, or, most likely, disgusted exhaustion. This isn't going to do it. There needs to be some big time soul-searching. Hillary Clinton and 2016 ain't the cure because, well, shit, after that is 2018 (and Clinton is problematic, but that's another riff for another time). We have to accept the obvious ignorance of the voting public. Mostly, people are stupid yahoos, hunched naked in ditches, picking at nits, looking for a shiny object they can worship.
Democrats have to make that object. We have create a new narrative. Not a counter-narrative as a response to Republicans, but a narrative that Republicans must respond to. And we have to be willing to stick with that narrative, not abandon it like a hot boyfriend after one fuck, as happened after the 2008 election.
The Rude Pundit has said before, and he'll say again and again: We have to stop acting like the visiting team in our own country.