Maybe yesterday went better than I thought

Zaid Jilani and Ryan Grim looked at election results across the nation and say that there were many good things that happened and so my own somewhat downbeat assessment based largely on results in Virginia, New Jersey, and Ohio may have been a little off.

In the state of Washington, Democrats gained control of all three branches of government enabling the governor there to push forward measures that had been stymied by the Republican-controlled senate. In various states, candidates backed by the progressive group Democratic Socialists of America won seats.

A CIVIL RIGHTS attorney who delights in suing the police is the new district attorney in Philadelphia. A democratic socialist shocked an incumbent Republican in Virginia. A black woman who prosecuted a white cop for shooting a black teenager was re-elected as prosecutor. Three months after Charlottesville, a black lieutenant governor was elected in Virginia. A transgender woman who focused on traffic problems knocked out a longtime culture warrior who focused on bathrooms. A criminal justice reformer flipped the Washington state Senate to Democrats. A wet bag of mulch beat a race-baiting lobbyist in Virginia by a stunning nine points. Maine voters expanded Medicaid. Long-held Republican seats in Georgia flipped in a special election. New Jersey, finished with Gov. Chris Christie, elected a Democrat in a landslide.

Facing what looked to pundits like an insurmountable 32-seat gap, Democrats are on the brink of taking back the Virginia House of Delegates, a result that now comes down to recounts.

In Virginia, Democratic Socialists of America-backed Lee Carter defeated the GOP whip Jackson Miller in the House of Delegates. Richmond-Times Dispatch reporter Patrick Wilson noted that the state Democratic Party offered little support to Carter. He won anyway. Numerous wings of the broader party united behind Carter, including factions, such as Planned Parenthood, who had backed Hillary Clinton last year:

Across the country, DSA candidates took offices, winning both as Democrats and independents. Socialist Seema Singh Perez won a seat on the Knoxville City Council. In Pittsburgh, a pair of DSA-backed candidates won, including Mik Pappas, an independent candidate who defeated a 24-year incumbent Democrat to become the 31st Magisterial District judge.

In Somerville, Massachusetts, DSA members JT Scott and Ben Ewen-Campen unseated long-time incumbents to join the Board of Aldermen. DSA member Charles Decker will represent Ward 9 in New Haven, Connecticut.

And in Philadelphia, District Attorney Larry Krasner — also backed by DSA — will soon take office promising to radically overhaul the city’s criminal justice system.

Progressive candidates did not win across the board, of course, but their generally spirited showing is a hopeful sign for the future.


  1. brucegee1962 says

    The big news here in Virginia is the House of Delegates. Even people who were thought of as wildly optimistic thought we might pick up eight or nine seats, ten at the outside. We ended up with at least fifteen, maybe more depending on the recounts. Flipping or tying the chamber is a real possibility. Candidates won that nobody thought had a chance. It was a rout, and a very good sign for redistricting after 2020 when we may finally be able to crack the decade of gerrymandering we’ve been suffering under.

  2. Mano Singham says


    Yes, that was a bit of good news. Coyne has quite a checkered history. Do you recall how in 2004 he was was found passed out in a driveway, drunk and nearly naked and said he had no idea how he got there?

  3. sonofrojblake says

    Yesterday went quite well in the UK too -- Priti Patel, minister for international development and a venal scumbag who had
    -- held secret meetings with the Israeli government
    -- been found out and offered the chance to come clean
    -- didn’t
    -- held OTHER secret meetings after that as if to say “fuck you” to her boss
    -- enquired whether taxpayers’ money earmarked for international aid could be spent helping to police occupied territory
    has been “resigned”.

    This is good for two reasons. One of the worst members of Theresa May’s cabinet is gone back to the backbenches. Even better, she’s not been sacked. If she’d been sacked summarily for gross ministerial misconduct it might have made the Maybot look like she had a glimmer of competence and leadership ability. As it is, Patel was summoned back to Westminster from ANOTHER foreign trip, a summons any reasonable observer would have assumed was a prelude to a bollocking and sacking, and emerged having “resigned”. So May lacks the authority to even sack her.

    It’s good to see the women in our government are every bit the equal of the men in their venal scheming and absolute worthless incompetence. Equality! Yay!

  4. Mano Singham says

    I have been following the Priti Patel case and, as you say, she seems like a pretty nasty piece of work. Apparently her flight back to the UK was followed closely on the internet like the OJ Simpson run.

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