What Will Republicans Learn from the Midterms?

The midterms prove that sanity is still alive in America, barely. But Republicans will now work overtime to kill it.

It is axiomatic that, in war, the losers learn more than the winners. Given how much reckless talk of actual civil war is in the air, I am hesitant to resort to martial metaphors, especially in this case, where the Republicans — who were very clearly the losers Tuesday night — are unlikely to learn much. Leave it to them to defy the cliché in the worst possible way.

As of this writing, we don’t yet know which party will control Congress. What we do know is that whatever the outcome, the ensuing majorities in both houses will be razor thin. That is because of the other thing we know, which is that Joe Biden and the Democrats held on to seats up and down the ballot in historic proportions in defiance of the usual midterm pattern. That victory was especially sweet amid all the pre-Election Day Republican arrogance about a “red wave,” and eleventh hour gaslighting by the party and its allies, from Fox to Musk to the Kremlin, abetted by the reliably useful idiots in the MSM, that it was already a done deal.

Luckily, John and Jane Q. Voter didn’t listen.

It is obviously very cheering that we saw stark evidence that sanity is still alive in the USA, if only barely. A slim majority of Americans firmly repudiated Trumpism, making it clear they don’t want election deniers and insurrectionists and hatemongers running the government…that they want us to be “a normal country” again, as I heard one pundit say. By “normal,” I presume they mean one where extremists don’t hold the levers of power, where every election is not an existential crisis, where the losers don’t reflexively howl that they wuz rubbed, where every day is not a nerve-rattling shitshow to which we awake wondering “What fresh hell?”

Still, it is alarming is how close it was, and how many of our fellow citizens are fully onboard with the Big Lie and budding right wing autocracy, or at least not sufficiently bothered by it to run the Republican Party out of business for good. But I will take what I can get. Like many, I thought it would be worse. A lot worse.

So, returning to our opening premise, can we correctly say that the GOP “lost” when it might…

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Robert Edwards / The King's Necktie

Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie