"It's gonna be a red wave!" "It's gonna be a MASSIVE red wave!" "It's going to be a bright red super tsunami!"
<days later...> "The predicted red wave, wasn't." "All those predictions that someone made about a red wave did not materialize!" "Who said anything about a red wave? We certainly didn't. You must be thinking about those other red wavers. And we don't even know how to SPELL soo-nahm-mee!"
But what a horse race, eh? The thrill! The ever-shifting odds! The pageantry! The horse-s**t! And then the big photo finish! (Judges are still unsure how to call some of those finishes that went down to the wire.)
So, yeah. It wasn't a red wave. And it wasn't exactly all happy-blue-news, either. Especially if you live in Texas. Beto got trounced. Dan Patrick coasted back into his office. Twice-indicted grifter Ken Paxton will stick around, too. The saddest figure of all? Abbott won Uvalde county with 77% of the vote.
As Abbott said about the Robb Elementary massacre, "it could have been worse." Dems did hold the U.S. Senate. Democrats were also successful in governors' races, winning in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Though not official, it appears that they'll lose the U.S. House by one or two seats. And... it will be a mess. The Jan 6th investigation may have sorta-kinda finished, but Trump defied his subpoena. With the GOP in control of the House, it's doubtful now that loose ends will be tied up. There will be vengeance lawsuits all over the place. Threats of a government shutdown. Maybe a vindictive impeachment when the Republicans take their seats.
Expect a full-fledged internal war within the Republican party itself. Will the crazies take charge and control the agenda? Or the super-crazies?
By last Monday noon, more than 750 bills and resolutions were filed in Austin. The legislative session doesn't begin until January. Naturally, there are already bills regarding trans kids, election rules, the expansion of Medicaid, and tightening abortion laws. Though Texas stayed crimson red, Abbott has demanded that Harris County's election results be examined due to "allegations of improprieties in the way that the 2022 elections were conducted..." You see, the Democratic County Judge held her seat, and another Dem seat was added to the court, giving the party a 4 to 1 advantage. Well, it HAS to be fraud!
<sigh> Luckily, we'll at least all be able to take a long holiday break from politics. We can all relax, enjoy a meal with our families, sip a glass of wine, put a little extra Cool Whup on the punkin' pie. How lovely to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christma... BREAKING NEWS. SORRY TO INTERRUPT. THIS JUST IN. DONALD J. TRUMP HAS ANNOUNCED THAT HE WILL RUN AGAIN IN 2024. There is NO TIME TO RELAX. THIS WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN THE HISTORY OF IMPORTANT ELECTIONS!
Thanksgiving? Ha! Uncle Bubba is going to demand that he wear his MAGA hat at the table, "It's MAH RIGHT!" Sister Woman is going to (try to) hold back tears during the whole day, constantly whispering to anyone who doesn't have the sense to keep moving, "Can you believe it? How is this possible? He was impeached! <tears>" Much to the chagrin of some of the mothers, Aunt Julie will be handing out morning-after pills to the teenage girls, and condoms to boys of any age. "Keep these in your wallets, boys. Girls, this is just in case. You have a RIGHT to control your bodies." (Eleven-year-old Elliot will explain that he doesn't have a wallet, but the Trojan guy "looks cool.") Ashley and Greyson, in their matching, wrinkled Beto shirts will remain silent the entire day, staring down at their screens. Mama will be furious that everyone is furious. Uncle Will and Dad will be on lawn chairs in the garage, hitting on a quart bottle of Wild Turkey. But then, they do that every year, no matter the political climate.
In other words... there will be no time for any Cool Whup on any punkin' pie. Get your horse. There's a race to be run.
About 45% of eligible voters showed up to vote in the most recent election billed as the 'most important election in our lifetime.' Are Texans just too lazy to fill out a ballot that may affect our education system, access to healthcare, gun safety, and how we care for "the least of these"? Outlaw James Moore suggests that it's not laziness... it's just disgust and distrust.
Texans have heard the promises before, they've voted before. Again and again, there isn't positive change in their lives that emanates from the political class. Taxes remain high, potholes remain deep, healthcare is unaffordable, and schools decline, year after year. What do they say? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Texas voters aren't dumb... or lazy. Just experienced.
You have no doubt seen bystander videos of the tragic collision of the two vintage airplanes at the Commemorative Air Force Show in Dallas this last weekend. All of the Outlaws love to watch these inspiring old warbirds take to the skies and engage in re-enactments that are at once a history lesson and also an exciting sensory overload.
When he was in the thick of his reporting days, Roger Gray was invited numerous times to fly in these restored machines. In spite of the true love he has for those experiences, he wonders if it isn't time for a serious examination of public air shows and the decades-old planes that thrill massive crowds.
The recent midterms prove once more that we are not putting aside our differences. We are, in fact, more divided than ever. Many of the national elections were decided by only 1 or 2% of the vote. It was no surprise that cries of "fraud" arose yet again, and losing candidates demanded recounts, audits, and also that results be thrown out. Unsurprisingly, most of the election disputes are coming from Republican candidates. It is understood that protests alleging fraud are less an effort to demand a recount and more an effort to "disrupt" and discredit elections in general.
"Burn it all down," seems to be the rallying cry from the angry and discontented. (Back to the third-grade playground: 'If I can't win, I don't want anyone to play!') Demand for secession, once a novel cry from fringe crazies, is now discussed in state legislatures and earnestly debated on right-wing media. Equally disheartening, over 40% of Americans think that a "civil war is at least somewhat likely within the next decade." Over 40%! From Myra Jolivet...
Don't forget to check out our Texas Outlaw Writers' podcasts. This last week we had TSU political scientist Michael Adams on to make some sense of the election and look at where Texas progressives should go from here. Will Texas ever go... purple, even? Will the infrastructure and grassroots organization that Beto built survive and grow w/o him? Lots to unpack... Check it out, and subscribe to the podcast through your favorite podcast provider. (This link has a desktop player available.)