Well, the most consequential midterm election in history took place last night. It came complete with drama, surprises, big changes, and no changes. Here are some of my thoughts about three specific results:
Firstly, the Golden State gets to keep its proud run as a liberal bastion of freedom going as another strong democrat takes over the Top Job. Gavin Newsom handily beat republican John Fox 59.3% to 40.7% and completes a trifecta of wining big city mayor (San Francisco) and Lt. Governor en route to succeeding 80-year old Jerry Brown. Gavin Newsom has hedged out for himself the space of clear and loud leader of the resistance to Trump and his bigoted policies and specific attacks on our state. Keeping our state’s leadership in the hand of proven, liberal democrats will be crucial in the weeks and months ahead as we try and wrest control of our nation back into the hands of real leaders….democrat or republican. I’m not sure sensible republican leadership exists anymore but hopefully, some in that camp will grow a spine and find some courage to retake their party from the white nationalist movement.
Secondly, while the blue wave that everyone was talking about and hoping for didn’t actually materialize, the big news from last night is the Democratic Party has taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This is huge for our state and our country as the rampant corruption and illegal and unethical behavior of Trump has largely gone unchecked. With new leadership and a new majority Dems will now have subpoena power and the votes to push back and hold Trump, his family, and his party accountable for their blatant abuse and misuse of their offices and influence. Lastly, in a sorrowful indictment of our own back yard’s sickening conservative slant, Devin Nunes defeated Andrew Janz to keep his House seat. Devin Nunes is a liar and an embarrassment to Fresno and the Central Valley. The only thing that makes this particular result even remotely palpable is the fact that he should be largely neutralized by the Dems come January.
California has some big issues to tackle. Income inequality, rent control and housing prices, and homelessness to name just a few. Gavin Newsom has been waiting in the wings to take the Top Job over from Jerry Brown since 2009. Surely in this decade of patience he has some ideas and policy initiatives that have been in the works and on the drawing board. Let’s hope so. The Golden State will stay sunny and bright with the warmth of anti-conservatism and will benefit directly (and indirectly) from new leadership in U.S. House. We just have to help the Central Valley get out of the stone age and free itself from the grip of blood red republican control.