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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

 

Rude awakening

by Tom Sullivan


Photo by Hustvedt via Wikimedia Commons.

The woman greeting Republican voters yesterday wore a thick, black shawl in sunny, seventy-degree weather. She cheerfully recommended a sheet of candidates who were "pro-life, pro-Israel, constitution and liberty." In between customers, she reminded herself of a prayer she was supposed to pray every few minutes. After one, she raised her hands and spoke to the cloudless sky.

Her “grab-them-by-the-pussy” presidential candidate won last night.

A 30-ish man in a skin-tight, muscle shirt climbed out of his pickup truck and declined both our offers of candidate information. A Trump voter, maybe. After three minutes or so, he returned to his truck and left. That might have been a hopeful signal for local Democratic candidates. All he had time to do was vote for president and leave the rest of the ballot blank. Were there many more like him? After massive early voting, who knew the race for president would be as tight in this state as it turned out?

As elsewhere, the election in North Carolina was not so much a change election as a mixed bag. Some Democrats lost by razor-thin margins. Donald Trump won the state by four points over Hillary Clinton. Democrat Roy Cooper beat incumbent Governor Pat McCrory by a mere 5,000 votes out of 4.7 million cast. (There will be an automatic recount.) Sen. Richard Burr retains his seat in the U.S. Senate. He defeated Deborah Ross by 6 points.

The national results were numbing. A friend running across the country in Washington state lost her legislative race by just over 500 votes. Russ Feingold lost his senate bid in Wisconsin to Ron Johnson, thought a goner just weeks ago. It appears Hillary Clinton won the popular vote last night, becoming "the fifth U.S. presidential candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election."

Even before the night was over, Paul Krugman pondered whether America is a failed state and society:

We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law.

It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label.

As if to punctuate the point, a campaign manager witnessed at a polling place in a heavily Republican county south of here a Republican poll greeter calling out "White Power" after a black couple declined his offer of a slate of GOP candidates.

The press "has no idea what they're in for," tweeted Eric Borhlert.

Digby will be along presently with sharper analysis.