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“This accident of democracy will have politically expired….”

I came across this Washington Post editorial and thought it interesting enough to give it some comment.  Now, I realize at the outset here some readers might think I was drawn to this op-ed as some sort of “Whooppie!” article declaring Trump history as if this is the answer to my wildest dreams.  Hardly.  If anything was learned from 2016 it is that the opera isn’t definitely over until the fat lady sings as it (or she) relates to politics.  But if you separate out the “wishful thinking” initial appearance of this article and simply look at the author’s reasoning, there might be some merit to suggest a historical post-mortem milestone occurred with the midterm election.

Here is the piece as published in WaPo.


Carter Eskew is a founder of the Glover Park Group who formulates media strategy and advertising for a range of corporate and nonprofit clients.

When Donald Trump’s political autopsy is written, the exact time of death will be uncertain, but it will be fixed sometime around the 2018 midterm elections when enough of the country decided that it had had enough.

Cause of death, somewhat unexpectedly, will not be a single event, not his racist reaction to Charlottesville, or his siding with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence branches, or his obstruction of justice, or his threatening to cut off federal aid for the burned-out citizens of California’s fires, or any of his other misdeeds, but rather the accumulation of all of them. In medical terminology, the cause will be “death by misadventure.” This accident of democracy will have politically expired, due to “deliberate assumption of unreasonable risk by the victim.” In other words, he came too close to the edge too many times and finally fell.

How can we be so certain that Trump’s political days are numbered? First, now we can see more clearly that the blue tide kept rising as many of the closest races, especially for the House, flipped to the Democrats as the final votes were counted. Democrats are now set to gain nearly 40 seats in the House — their biggest gain in decades.

Second, we have the smart analysis this past weekend from Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg that the shift away from Trump in 2018 was more profound than many initially believed. In fact, Greenberg makes a strong case that the election was “transformative” with Trump losing support, not only with suburban, college-educated women, but all women. And Democrats gained ground in other areas, too, including working-class men and in rural areas.

The likelihood that Democrats will maintain these gains though the 2020 election is very promising. Unlike many incumbent presidents who have retooled their approach in the face of stinging midterm rebukes, Trump has signaled he’s sticking with his risky behavior. The attack tweets, the latest puerile joke about a congressman’s name and indefensible behaviors, such as believing a foreign power instead of the CIA about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, will continue.

Trump will not pass from our politics suddenly from a single dramatic cause, but rather from the accumulation of self-inflicted wounds. It has taken much longer and done more damage than many hoped, but the end of Trump is finally in sight.

The main point here is not some celebratory anticipation of Trump’s political end (which in the least will likely limit his remaining time in office to one term, if not sooner), but this author rightly assigns Trump’s failure to only himself and his own devices because of the person he is, the persona, the inability to understand the job he got elected to, the narcissism.
And here’s the important coup d’ grace.. we’ve yet to hear from Mueller.
There will be many gut-wrenching days ahead for the nation before all this is over.
LAST MINUTE UPDATE—  The following is from CNN’sChris Cillizza’s daily email feed, The Point, that supports the WaPo article above.
November 26, 2018  | by Chris Cillizza and Lauren Dezenski

Yes, 2018 was A Massive Democratic Wave!  Here’s Proof.

In some corners of the political internet, there are still some making the case that the 2018 election was not, in fact, a Democratic wave. They cite Republicans picking up two Senate seats and historical comparisons that suggest that Republican House losses weren’t all that bad.

Here’s the thing: Facts are facts. And all of the facts make plain that 2018 was not only a Democratic wave, but a massive and historic one.

Most people, understandably, focus on the number of House seats that changed hands to judge a wave. At the moment, Democrats have netted 38 seats, with one other (GOP Rep. David Valadao’s 21st district in California, which has grown increasingly close since Election Day and now looks potentially problematic for Republicans.) A 38-seat loss is the third-largest change of seats in the post-Watergate era — eclipsed only by the 54 seats Republicans gained in 1994 and the 63 they won in 2010.

But go deeper into the numbers and the actual size of the wave becomes even more clear. Thanks to the herculean effort of the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman, we can dive deep into the total number of votes cast for Democrats and Republicans in House races across the country.

And here they are:

Democrats: 59,525,244 (53.2% of total popular vote)
Republicans: 50,516,570 (45.1%)

The raw vote margin, which is slightly over 9 million, is the largest gap between the two parties in the history of midterms, according to Wasserman. And the 8.1% spread between Democrats and Republicans is, according to Princeton professor Sam Wang, a larger percentage-point differential than in any recent wave midterm election including 1994 (R+7.1%), 2006 (D+8.0%), 2010 (R+7.2%) and 2014 (R+5.7%)

Given those raw vote numbers, you might be wondering why House Democrats didn’t pick up even more seats earlier this month. And the answer, in a word, is redistricting. Remember that Republicans controlled a huge number of state legislatures and governor’s mansions following their 2010 wave. That control meant the GOP got to draw the congressional lines in lots and lots of states, creating House districts that they believed would make it impossible for them to lose their House majority in the next decade. It took eight of those 10 years for Democrats to seize control, but there’s no question that the soon-to-be-majority party’s gains would have been far larger if not for the lines drawn by their GOP colleagues eight years ago.

The Point: The 2018 election was not only a Democratic wave. It was one of historical proportions. The end.

— Chris

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