John Oliver looks back on a tumultuous week

He reviews the events of the past week. He ends by saying that whatever disappointments people may have about the loss of seats in the House of Representatives and the failure to win a majority in the Senate, we should savor the many, many good things that happened.

My own view is that Democrats likely over-performed in 2018 because Trump was not on the ballot that year and so the loss of some Democratic house seats this year, while regrettable, may just be a sign that polls did not take into account the Trump black swan effect and thus had inflated and unrealistic expectations. This is supported by the fact that the Democrats who lost tended to be in Republican-leaning states like Florida, Oklahoma, and South Carolina where the Trump coattail effect was likely to be greater. They did lose a seat in New Mexico that Biden won but gained a seat in Georgia that has long been Republican.

Oliver reviews the breakthrough gains made by LGBTQ candidates in down ballot races. He points to the fact that very soon, we will be spared the feelings of disgust at seeing people like Stephen Miller and Betsy De Vos in positions of power. To me, I am particularly thankful that the members of the Trump family such as the two idiot sons Eric and Don Jr., the smug Barbie and Ken of Ivanka and Jared, none of whom have done anything of note on their own, will no longer be able to command as much media attention, to the extent that they escape prosecution.

And he gives a well deserved shout out to people like Stacey Abrams and the tens of thousands of people who worked indefatigably to register new voters in places like Georgia and elsewhere that gave formerly Republican strongholds like Georgia and Arizona to the Democratic candidate. Abrams and others registered hundreds of thousands of new voters over the past decade in Georgia alone.


  1. Sam N says

    I’m not feeling so sanguine about it all.

    Donald Trump is digging in. It would be nice to think, of course, everyone sees it was a reasonably close, but also reasonably clear margin of victory for Biden.

    But about half of this country thinks Trump would be better than a milquetoast middle of the road old white due (middle by American standards, right of center in more thoughtful parts of the world).

    He’s sacking anyone that doesn’t show extraordinary fealty. He’s digging in, and I’m not sure anyone who voted for Trump has any sense for right and wrong anymore. I used to think many were just misguided, but carried real shared values. I’m not so sure anymore. Interactions lead me to the conclusion that they may be rotten to the core. All jingoist tribalism and nothing underneath.

    How much can he restructure central military command by just firing anyone who isn’t obsequious enough over the next 3 months? And will subordinates really disobey the top brass if they declare, without any evidence or backing, that the election results are fraudulent?

    I find it worrisome. The other half of this country seems to be buying his sales pitch, and they have yet to show any concern for reliable evidence.

  2. seachange says

    I do not buy the black swan effect, because it implicitly contains that idea that the DNCC isn’t completely totally wrong in every possible way by staying the course. It also presupposes without evidence that Trump and the RNC were competent and nondelusional and did a good job campaigning. People voted for Biden because they had to. I only voted for him because my party nominated an anti-semite.

    We didn’t *have* to vote for anybody else.

    The new liberals and candidates that supported New Green Deal and Medicare For All did very well.

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