“Don’t get mad, get even.” — Animal House.
UPDATE: Following Tuesday’s good night for Democrats, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new memo Thursday adding 11 additional Republican-held districts they now deem to be battlegrounds for 2018’s midterm elections. That includes Wisconsin’s First District.
Our Democrat(ic) acquaintances are doing a victory lap after Tuesday’s off-year elections. Good for them. Celebrate your victories, we say at the Policy Werkes. Avenge your defeats.
That Democrats won elections on the coasts — for mayor of New York City, governor of New Jersey, and various Washington State contests — should be no surprise. Virginia is the prize — it is purple at best — and it was fairly won. But let’s not get carried away, either side.
CNN solidifies its reputation as the Clinton network, braying: “Key wins by Democrats may portend an ominous future for President Trump and his party.”
“Voters delivered a forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party on Tuesday,” the New York Times tells the Manor’s In-Box. Rachel Maddow and Pajama Boy will be giddy.
Not 24 hours after polls closed, The Washington Post could divine: “Republicans seek new path after failure of Gillespie’s ‘Trumpism without Trump.'”
Ann of Althouse asks, “How do they know what Republicans are seeking based on one Republican losing a race in a blue state?” She quotes the WaPost:
The Republican Party thought it had a plan to win the governor’s mansion in Virginia: Run a mainstream candidate who could nonetheless employ the racially charged culture-war rhetoric of President Trump to turn out a white working-class base.
Yikes. Did that happen? Republicans had that as a plan? Sounds more like the Democratic Party’s plan to defeat the Republicans” — get people to believe that’s what Ed was doing. I saw [Northam’s] pickup truck ad: Scare people into thinking Republicans are heartless haters.
Nate Cohn in the New York Times damps down Democrat(ic) glee:
This time, election were held on neutral or even Democratic-leaning terrain. For that reason, it is not obvious that Tuesday’s performance represents a significant improvement over the Democrats’ showings earlier in the year. In 2018, they won’t always get the luxury of competing in such favorable districts.
Winner no Bernie Sanders clone
The winning Democrat, Ralph Northam, had a strong Virginia/Southern pedigree: Virginia Military Institute graduate (Stonewall Jackson’s alma mater) and military service. But Northam is more than Hillary Clinton with a hard hat and Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin challenger Randy Bryce is no Ralph Northam. (See: “Putting a hard hat on a socialist.”)
As the race tightened Northam promised to ban sanctuary cities in his state, reversing an earlier position. After calling Trump “a narcissistic maniac,” he softened his tone to promising to work with the President. He supports a petroleum pipeline through his state and opposes “single payer” health care.
On the other hand, Northam opposes school choice, supports the $15 minimum wage, and is supported by the abortion lobby.
Virginia had a chance to elect a Democrat the Bernie Sanders/Randy Bryce/Nicholas Maduro mold.
Tom Perriello was their Great White Hope. John Nichols’ publication, The Nation, praised the man’s “starkly progressive agenda.” Perriello was backed by the likes of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Bill McKibben, and Rosa DeLauro. Perriello’s major funder? George Soros. But Mr. P. lost the Dem primary election, big time (59-41%).
Truth is, losing Republican candidate Ed Gillespie kept his distance from Trump (thus the WaPost’s “Trumpism without Trump”), a fact the President tweeted from Korea last night. Whether a full-on embrace with this most unusual president would have helped or hurt is conjecture.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Gillespie is a George W. Bush man. But then, so is Northam. He voted for George W. both times.