Elections are educational, always. The post mortem of last Tuesday continues and will for some time to come but a couple of things are worth nothing. First, the Youngkin upset is noteworthy, due to the fact that McAuliffe was leading so handily for so long. Generally speaking, with respect to the Virginia gubernatorial race, history shows that it tends to go to the party out of power in the White House, just as the House tends to do. The pendulum of politics swings that way as a matter of course. I mention this because while there are headlines, including ones I’ve written or quoted, “If McAuliffe Loses Hit the F**king Panic Button,” it’s not as black and white as that. It was not a good sign, to be sure, since the Democrat was polling so far ahead until the very end, but there were other factors at play.

Similarly, the New Jersey gubernatorial race was far too close for comfort, yet another surprise. The defeated Republican candidate, Jack Ciattarelli, is now making the noises that defeated Republican candidates do nowadays, talking about fraud hotlines, using the “legal votes” buzz word and bragging about the quality of his lawyers.

Which leads us to the fact that the Editorial Board of the New York Times published a piece, “Democrats Deny Political Reality At Their Own Peril.” It’s worth reading, and nothing said therein will surprise you. The Democratic party needs to unite. I have said it before and will say it again, when we’re in disunity — which is our natural state — we’re like a herd of cats. When we unify, we’re like lions, powerful and majestic and nobody can beat us. And unify we better, because the handwriting is up there on the wall, and the message that I read is this: Democrats need to continue the policies that got us back in power if we want to stay there. We have a unified government now. This is not the time to blow it.

Given the stakes for the country, from urgent climate and social spending needs to the future of democracy, Americans badly need a rolling conversation today and in the coming weeks and months about how moderate voters of all affiliations can coalesce behind and guide the only party right now that shows an interest in governing and preserving democratic norms.

The results in Virginia are a grave marker of political peril. Virginia is a blue state; it hasn’t been a battleground in years. Mr. Biden won there in 2020 by 10 points; a year later, the Democratic nominee for governor just lost by 2.5 percentage points, and Republicans flipped two other statewide offices — lieutenant governor and attorney general — that they have not won in 12 years. […]

In true-blue New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy barely held onto his seat, while the powerful State Senate leader, Steve Sweeney, lost to a Republican truck driver whose campaign worked with a shoestring budget. Republicans flipped a House seat in a traditionally Democratic area of San Antonio. In Seattle, voters appear to have chosen a Republican for city attorney over a police abolitionist running on the Democratic line.

Let me define what “shoestring budget” translates as here. $10,000. You believe that? In a true blue state? Of all the statistics available to ponder, that one is the most startling. People wanted Sweeney out.

Broader trends were also working against the Democrats. Perhaps chief among these: When voters are feeling surly and unhappy about the direction of the country — as polls show that a majority of them are — they tend to blame the party in power. President Biden’s poll numbers have been on the slide for months, for a blend of reasons ranging from the ugly withdrawal from Afghanistan to the seemingly endless burdens of the pandemic. In an era of nationalized elections, that exerts a drag on his entire party.

Many in the president’s party point to Tuesday as proof that congressional Democrats need to stop their left-center squabbling and clock some legislative wins ASAP by passing both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a robust version of the Build Back Better plan, the larger social spending and environmental proposal. They believe this will give their candidates concrete achievements to run on next year and help re-energize their base. […]

For many voters — especially those who don’t vote regularly — the 2020 election was about removing Mr. Trump from the White House. It was less about policy or ideology. Mr. Biden did not win the Democratic primary because he promised a progressive revolution. There were plenty of other candidates doing that. He captured the nomination — and the presidency — because he promised an exhausted nation a return to sanity, decency and competence. “Nobody elected him to be F.D.R.,” Representative Abigail Spanberger, a moderate Democrat from Virginia, told The Times after Tuesday’s drubbing. “They elected him to be normal and stop the chaos.”

Democrats should work to implement policies to help the American people. Congress should focus on what is possible, not what would be possible if Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and — frankly — a host of lesser-known Democratic moderates who haven’t had to vote on policies they might oppose were not in office.

Democrats agree about far more than they disagree about. But it doesn’t look that way to voters after months and months of intraparty squabbling. Time to focus on — and pass — policies with broad support. Or risk getting run out of office.

The internecine squabbling has to stop and we need to get practical. Nancy Pelosi understands this. The progressives in the House who keep sabotaging her need to understand this. There is one functioning political party right now in America and we’re it. We need to come together and we need to compromise. This is not the time for individualism, or God forbid extremism. This is a time to step carefully. Wonderous strides have taken place, the containment of COVID and the stellar October jobs report. The ship of state has only been rescued from the shoals for ten months now. It’s not time to rock it.

In case you’ve never seen this video before, enjoy. This is the perfect metaphor for the Democratic party. It’s so spot on that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Help keep the site running, consider supporting.


  1. Yes. Those damn progressives. Demanding legislation favored by 60-90 percent of the country. Pelosi and her ilk are the ones who need to go.
    They will get the Democrats clobbered in ’22 and ’24 and it will be deserved.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The maximum upload file size: 128 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here