We’ve been rightly horrified by the apex (judging from his post event conciliatory tone, I think it was the apex) of Trump’s scandalous destruction of his, the GOP’s, and now America’s, global reputation.
I, for one, hope Trump’s reign ends in some form of history defining legislation: Impeachment? 25th Amendment? Jail?
But let’s put to that side for a moment.
For, in the midst of it all, we almost overlooked Trump’s greatest failure. His high point in ineptitude.
The loss of the Presidency, the inability to recapture the House and now the unthinkable loss of the Senate.
When Trump came to power in 2017 The Senate majority for the Republicans was 52 :45 with an unfilled seat (and 2 independents).
At his mid term elections the gap closed to 51:46.
As of today it’s 50:50 with a de facto majority because the VP has the casting vote.
You have to go back to 2011 to find a blue senate.
But what makes this most extraordinary is that “Down the Ballot” in November, where House and Senate, as well as Presidential, votes are cast, the Republicans didn’t do as badly as expected.
There was what’s known as ‘split ticket voting’ where, essentially, people voted in larger numbers for a Democratic President (Biden) but in their local ‘constituency’ they reverted to their true party of choice, Republican.
Indeed, even in Georgia David Perdue, the sitting Republican senator, was a gnat’s hair away from regaining his seat when the vote was ‘down the ticket’.
He needed a clear 50% to win the post but reached only 49.73%, which triggered a run off.
In the other Georgian run off seat Raphael Warnock topped a long list of 21 candidates polling 32% against runner up, with incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler on 26%. Loeffler was expected to win the run off.
But what happened next was that Georgia went from being a Senate “down the ticket” parochial matter into a national matter that bore the names of Trump and Biden, every bit as much as Ossof, Loeffler, Warnock and Perdue.
No longer “down the ticket” the Democratic machine enticed many, many black voters to register for the first time and the result, on Tuesday night, was a further popular rebuttal of Trumpism as much as an endorsement of Biden.
As soon as Trump was the main attraction he let his party down, yet again, and now we see an historic outcome.
A black Pastor and a Jewish Man elected to the US Senate – from the Deep South of America.
It’s a remarkable outcome and it means Trump has given the Democrats the much sought Trifecta of House, Senate and Presidency. Not total power, because the senate is a difficult beast to influence. Some bills need 60% approval and that means non partizan voting, plus the left wing of the Democratic party will be empowered by this and could ‘ransom’ Biden and Harris on some issues.
But, and it’s a big but, it gives Biden total freedom with his cabinet, it means he can pass a much stronger financial bill to aid America out of the Covid crisis that Trump caused (and refused to financially aid) and it gives him unrestricted power to appoint judges.
Its a great outcome for democracy, particularly in a Southern state where a disciple of Martin Luther King now sits in the US senate and a Jewish man makes history in a state that would not be top of the expected list to have achieved this.
Let’s pause and tip our hats to democratic America. Where, in the midst of mayhem, it’s clear that insanity is not entirely the norm.