I hoped, but didn’t expect, that Georgia would come through. I am so happy to have my expectations proven wrong and my hopes realized.

NPR GA Results at 98% Reported

As I write this, Warnock has been declared the winner, and Ossoff is leading by more votes than Biden won GA’s presidential ballot by. This is momentous: GA elected a Democrat President, two Democrat Senators, and flipped one House seat blue (which GA with a 6-8 Republican majority in House seats).

Which means that, for the first time since 2011, Democrats will hold the House, Senate, and Presidency.

And Mitch McConnell will finally lose his Majority Leader position and, with it, his ability to block legislation from being passed (somewhere upwards of 400 bills passed by the House stopped at his desk).

Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth

And we need to make that count.

Democrats need to do everything they can to pass legislation that actually helps as many people as possible, to right the imbalances that have mounted over the past years, and to trumpet their successes so that we hold on to this advantage when the 2022 midterms come around.

The first two priorities that come to my mind are COVID-19 relief and expanding voting protections and accessibility, but there are many more.

There’s still a lot of work to do, of course, especially considering the number of judges that Trump has been able to seat throughout the country. But at least now, we have a good chance of actually being able to get things done.

Lots of Reason to Laugh

One glorious paragraph from the Intelligencer’s attempt to dig into the story behind the Four Seasons Total Landscaping debacle, Four Seasons Total Landscaping: The Full(est Possible) Story:

Whether it’s war and peace or public relations and gardening, sorting out the truth is a complicated endeavor when it relates to Donald Trump. Everyone involved in anything, no matter the size, no matter how stupid, seems to lie as a first resort, or to know very little, or to lie about knowing very little, or to know just enough to send blame in another direction, and the person in that direction seems to lie also, or to know very little, or to lie about knowing very little, but perhaps they have a theory that sends blame someplace else, and over there, too, you will find more liars, more know-nothings, and before long, a whole month will have passed, and you still haven’t filed your story about how the president’s attorney wound up undermining democracy in a parking lot off I-95 on a strip of cracked pavement in a run-down part of a city that ordinarily would command no consideration from the national political class or the very online public or the equally online mainstream media, which, when forced to look, found lots of reason to laugh.

A wish for a Best-Case Scenario

I’m so tired of this year.

Crossing my fingers for the best-case scenario: Trump is actually ill. He ends up having a case that’s serious enough to keep him isolated and unable to debate or campaign for at least the next few weeks, but not so bad that Pence assumes the Presidency (and possibly brings anti-Trump Republicans back to vote for a ticket with Pence at its head). His sycophantic followers, used to gleefully following a bellicose, bellowing bully of a god-king, have to reconcile that with reality and decide if they still support a frail, sickly man, laid low by the very thing that he told them shouldn’t be worried about and that they decried as a hoax. From his sickbed in isolation, he watches in impotent fury as his campaign crumbles, his family and advisors turn on each other as they scramble to hold on to whatever power they can, his base stays home, either unwilling to brave a virus that suddenly seems real or simply uninterested in supporting a mere mortal, anti-Trump Republicans and Republicans unwilling to vote for someone in undeniable ill health either don’t vote or vote against him, and Biden/Harris solidly and unequivocally win the election.

We’ve had a year of worst-case scenarios, of course, so the odds are against this. But I can hope.

Biden/Harris 2020

Two posts from Facebook about the just-confirmed Biden/Harris ticket that I’m mirroring over here:

Copied from a friend, except for these remarks. I’m perfectly aware there are good arguments as to why neither Biden nor Harris are who someone might want to be on the ticket. Neither of them were my first choice. But the alternative — either four more years of Trump, or “burn it all down”, which, come on, are basically the same damn thing — is so, so much worse that I honestly haven’t yet seen a convincing argument to not vote for Biden/Harris.

If nothing else, assume that you’re gearing up for a fight to improve things over the next four years. If the goal is five miles away, doesn’t it make sense to try to influence an administration that’s currently sitting one mile beyond the starting line, instead of one that’s spent the past four years running the wrong direction?

And for those grousing about this being “just another choice between the ‘lesser of two evils'”? Oh, come on. That’s like complaining that a choice between Cthulhu and Sid the bully from Toy Story is just too difficult because they’re so similar and really, probably exactly the same when you get right down to it, and it’s just so sad that we can’t have a unicorn sparkle pony on the ticket instead.

Now, on to the copy-paste part:

Now that the Democratic Biden-Harris President-Vice President ticket is set, it’s a good time for the following reminders:

  1. You’re not just voting for President.
  2. You’re voting to prevent a 7-2 dangerous conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Note: 87 year old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is single-handedly fighting off multiple plagues and cancers so she can hang on until we get rid of 45. This alone should be enough for historic turnout!
  3. You’re voting for the next Secretary of Education, Housing Secretary, and Attorney General.
  4. You are voting for the “down” ballot as well, in order to keep the House and to gain majority of the Senate in Congress.
  5. You’re voting for federal judges.
  6. You’re voting for the rule of law.
  7. You’re voting for saving national parks.
  8. You’re voting for getting kids out of cages.
  9. You’re voting for clean air and clean water.
  10. You’re voting for scientists to be allowed to speak and do something to help protect us from climate change and pandemics.
  11. You’re voting for greater transparency and confidence that the President isn’t using your tax dollars as a slush fund for his family and friends.
  12. You’re voting for housing rights.
  13. You’re voting for justice reform and for formerly incarcerated persons to be treated with dignity, so that they can be productive members of society when they return.
  14. You’re voting for everyone to be able to adopt a child without a lot of red tape.
  15. You’re voting for Dreamers.
  16. You’re voting so that there will be Social Security and Medicare when you retire… and for generations to come.
  17. You’re voting for veterans to get the care they deserve.
  18. You’re voting for rural hospitals.
  19. You’re voting so that everyone can have access to affordable health insurance, and good health care.
  20. You’re voting for education to be treated like the noble profession that it is and for teachers to be paid appropriately.
  21. You’re voting to have a President who doesn’t embarrass this country every time he attends an international meeting.
  22. You’re voting against allowing the USA to become yet another authoritarian regime.
  23. You’re voting for sensible gun laws.
  24. You’re voting for children born to military troops overseas to still be counted as US citizens.
  25. You’re voting to curb homelessness and find solutions to affordable housing.
  26. You’re voting to take measures to end the racial asset and wealth disparities.
  27. You’re voting to defend women’s reproductive rights and a woman’s right to make all health related decisions regarding her body.
  28. You’re voting to acknowledge the humanity and protect the safety of our family and friends in the LGBTQ+ community.
  29. You’re voting to stop the normalization of white supremacy and dangerous bigotry in the mainstream.
  30. You’re voting to rebuild a functional CDC to help prevent or eradicate dangerous pandemics like the coronavirus.

I know we can’t all agree on everything. Now, this is a two candidate race between Vice President Biden and 45. Those are our only choices. One of them will be our President as a result of this election.

The Biden-Harris ticket isn’t perfect. No ticket ever was and no ticket ever will be. Perhaps, for whatever reason, Vice President Biden and/or Senator Harris don’t pass your purity test. Just know this, they will be much better than four more years of 45. We must do all we can to ensure that the Biden-Harris ticket wins.

No, Harris isn’t perfect; yes, there are decisions in her background that I’d prefer weren’t there. But that can be said of literally any other candidate, and when you compare her record to other recent big-name candidates, she’s very much in line with them, and actually scores (by at least one site’s metrics) as more progressive than any of them.

I think she’ll do just fine. And when she doesn’t, or appears like she might not, it’s our responsibility to make our voices known. And as I noted in my earlier post, it’s going to be a lot easier and more likely to move towards more progressive policies under Biden/Harris than it would be with more Trump/Pence.

Progressive Punch rates Harris at the fourth most progressive Senator, above Warren, Gillibrand, Booker, and Sanders.

Ranking Harris's Voting Record

Harris and Warren vote in agreement 96% of the time.

Harris v. Warren

Harris and Gillibrand vote in agreement 98% of the time.

Harris v. Gillibrand

Harris and Booker vote in agreement 97% of the time.

Harris v. Booker

Harris and Sanders vote in agreement 92% of the time.

Harris v. Sanders

Bernie Out; Biden the Presumptive Nominee

Bernie Sanders Drops Out Of Presidential Race, Ceding Nomination To Biden

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ended his bid for the White House on Wednesday, effectively handing the Democratic nomination to former Vice President Joe Biden and ending hopes that a progressive challenger would take on President Donald Trump in November.

I know a lot of people on my list are going to be upset about this. There’s nothing wrong with that — I’m still upset that my candidate of choice this year dropped out, and I’m still upset that my candidate of choice in 2016 only won the popular election, but lost the electoral vote (\suchBS\). Take the time to grieve, to be angry, to rant and rave about how poorly our system works.

But once that’s done, please: Prioritize the good of the many, and recognize that however much you don’t like Biden, he will in no way be as bad as Trump. Sure, he’s not as good as you’d like, so push him to be better than he is! Continue pushing, fighting, and protesting in favor of all the causes that led you to support Bernie! Do everything you can to move Biden further to the left.

But please, please, please: Don’t throw a fit and refuse to support Biden, whether through giving your vote to a third-party candidate who has no chance of beating Trump, however ideologically closer they are to you than Biden is, or by not voting at all.

You’ve all seen what’s happened over the past four years. Please do everything you can to make sure we don’t have four more years of Trump in office.

Modern Political Sexism

From Elizabeth Warren, 2020, and the Sexism Next Door – The Atlantic

“Electability” claims to be a benign and objective concern. It is neither. It merely outsources biases, rationalizing them by appealing to the moral failings of imagined others. It talks about neighbors, and “other people,” and “what the country is ready for.” It throws up its hands and washes them at the same time. And it suggests an especially insidious strain of sexism. The sexism of the political past has often been blunt and unashamed in its expression (“Lock! Her! Up!”/ “Iron! My! Shirt!” / “She-devil”). The sexism of the political present, however, is slightly different: It knows better, even if it fails to be better. It is a little bit cannier. It has lawyered up. It is figuring out, day by day, how to maintain plausible deniability.