Still a lot out there here at about 10:30 pm Pacific but, clearly, the GOP got beat. Looks like we’ll win the House and might still take the Senate, but clearly the Democrats out-hustled us where it mattered. Turns out that abortion did come riding to the rescue!
This is a telling blow against Trump – large numbers of his people went down in flames. And in this environment, that simply should not have happened. Now, we can whine all we want about unfair attacks and the usual run of Democrat cheating…but, seriously, none of that should have mattered. We got beat like a rented mule, guys: don’t try to sugar-coat it.
That said, Florida and Texas went bright Red. These are large population, highly diverse States and yet the GOP managed to wrack up impressive victories – with Florida being orders of magnitude more Red than anyone expected. Democrats are largely finished in that State and it will take them a generation to recover – and then only if they start changing their tune, which the national Democrat party might not let happen.
Ron DeSantis is the clear winner tonight – just a huge, crushing win. Rubio, too (his opponent torched $73 million in a losing effort). I can’t see DeSantis not running for President in 2024. I sure in heck would if I were him. Now, its not a 1 for 1 State to National transfer – sometimes people who do fine at the State level fall apart on the national stage. Bobby Jindal, anyone? But this is his moment and I can’t see him passing it up.
What about Trump? I’m sorry to say it might be time for him to bow out. It won’t be for me to decide for him and if he secures the nomination I’ll enthusiastically back him, but while millions love him, millions also despise him. It might be time for us to find someone less divisive who is yet a proven fighter. I hope Trump thinks long and hard. We own him an incalculable debt: but for him, we never would have realized how deep the rot had gone. He woke us up and sent us into battle as happy warriors. We owe him, big time. But politics is often all about timing and Trump’s time may be past. If he announces he’s staying out he can clear the field for DeSantis – keep the Trump base fired up and transfer that love and loyalty over to our new champion. He’ll be remembered in the history books as America’s Pitt the Younger: he didn’t defeat Napoleon, but it was the Britain he reshaped that defeated him.
Now, I do not and never will regret getting rid of Roe. Outside of moral considerations, it was the correct legal decision. We did the right thing and if we pay a prices for that, we should wear it like a medal. We do have to retool our message – social issues can win for us (see Ron DeSantis, eg) but we have to be careful how we message and whom we pick fights with. We also need a better economic message – something far more hopeful than what we’ve had so far.
Chin up! The fight isn’t over!