That’s nice for y’all, but it’s not like that here in SC

The good news about the general rout of certifiable Trumpistas has floated in steadily from across the country. Shortly after the good news came in Saturday night that Republicans had definitely not captured the U.S. Senate, no matter what happens next in Georgia, I read a piece in The New York Times headlined “Voters Reject Election Deniers Running to Take Over Elections.

The national repudiation of this coalition reached its apex on Saturday, when Cisco Aguilar, the Democratic candidate for secretary of state in Nevada, defeated Jim Marchant, according to The Associated Press. Mr. Marchant, the Republican nominee, had helped organize a national right-wing slate of candidates under the name “America First.”

With Mr. Marchant’s loss to Mr. Aguilar, all but one of those “America First” candidates were defeated. Only Diego Morales, a Republican in deep-red Indiana, was successful, while candidates in Michigan, Arizona and New Mexico were defeated.

Their losses halted a plan by some allies of former President Donald J. Trump and other influential donors to take over the election apparatus in critical states before the 2024 presidential election.

Which was truly good news, because that had been a serious danger. You here a lot about GOP efforts to limit voter access, but the greater threat was their effort to take over the election apparatus so that it really didn’t matter who voted, or how.

And while Republicans are still likely to take the U.S. House — barely — which would follow the usual trend the country has long seen in midterms, the fact that Democrats had more than held onto the Senate was very encouraging. And in places such as the state where Fetterman thumped Oz, the crushing of Trumpist hopes went deeper, the more you looked:

Of all the places where Mr. Trump proved toxic, Pennsylvania may be where he did the most impressive damage — a state that will be key to any winning Republican presidential contender in 2024. The Trumpian fiasco there shows what happens when candidates make the race all about themselves, embracing MAGA and being out of step with the electorate.

In the high-stakes fight for control of the Senate, Pennsylvania was a hot spot, widely considered the Democrats’ best opportunity to flip a Republican-held seat and, by extension, a must-hold for the G.O.P. Dr. Oz’s high-profile flop was a particularly painful one for Mr. Trump’s party. But there’s more: The Democrats scored a huge win in the governor’s race as well, where Josh Shapiro had the good fortune of running against Doug Mastriano, a Trump-endorsed MAGA extremist so unsettling you have to wonder if he is secretly related to Marjorie Taylor Greene. The Democrats also triumphed in House races, holding onto vulnerable seats, including the hotly contested 8th and 17th Districts. And while a couple of tight races have yet to be called, party leaders are thrilled about already netting 11 seats and being this close to possibly flipping the state House, putting Democrats in control of the chamber for the first time in more than a decade. All of this was a step up for them from 2020, when voters went for Joe Biden over Donald Trump but picked Republicans in some other statewide races.

So that’s good to hear. And the news from such places is indeed encouraging. We may not be anywhere near the Republican Party returning to actual sanity — it has a long way to go before again becoming the party of Ike, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Howard Baker, Richard Lugar and John McCain — in the meantime we can be soothed knowing that things are in the hands of Democrats. I’m not a Democrat, of course, but you take what you can get when the house is on fire — but while some of them a sometimes a bit loony, none of them are Trumpistas.

That is, it’s soothing to look at certain other places. Not South Carolina.

We just elected a completely unqualified woman to run our public schools. She’s there because she won the Republican primary — that’s all it takes in S.C. — and she won the primary by convincing everyone that she was the scarier, far more extreme choice.

Henry McMaster — the man who has built the latter part of his career on having been the first statewide elected official in the country to endorse Donald J. — romped to victory on his way to setting the state record for longevity in the governor’s office. Mind you, this happened because he had an utterly unappealing Democratic opponent. But that’s because no serious Democrats ran. They didn’t run because this is South Carolina, and they assumed McMaster would win again. Which is pretty sad.

No other statewide officeholder — all Republicans of course — had serious opposition. At least, not according to the ballot I faced.

Of course, if you’re talking simple partisan politics, this had been the pattern before Trump. I mean, we knew young Judd Larkins didn’t have a chance against Joe Wilson, but that district has been drawn to reliably elect Republicans since well before the GOP became the state’s majority party. In my first election as governmental affairs editor at The State, Jim Leventis was winning in every county in the 2nd District but one on election night, but then Lexington County’s votes were fully counted, and Floyd Spence held on.

So yeah, it’s an old pattern. But now, Republicans in this state, starting with Henry, have tied Donald Trump, and therefore all the crazy that he represents, to their necks. And in other parts of the country, that’s a bad sign for people seeking office.

But not here.

6 thoughts on “That’s nice for y’all, but it’s not like that here in SC

  1. bud

    The Democrats tried a strategy of “supporting” the craziest ultra maga candidates in the GOP primaries in order to have easier opponents in the general. That was a very controversial strategy but it worked.

    1. Barry

      I was in the car today and heard a Fox News segment. They were playing a “why did so many in the media think a red wave was coming” game.

      There are some great social media posts in the last few days with video of all the Fox News hosts predicting a 100% certain huge “red wave.”

      Then, this morning one of the supposed “fox news straight news “correspondents was straight out suggesting that there was fraud in the Arizona election since Kari Lake didn’t win. This was not an opinion host (even though he gives his opinion frequently).

  2. bud

    Currently, according to Fivethirtyeight, 217 US House seats have been called for Republicans and 209 for the Democrats. If all the current leaders in the remaining uncalled seats win the final total would be 221-214 for the bad guys. That is, 50.8% of the House will be Republican. Currently the GOP has 51.1% of the popular vote in House races. That should drop slightly as more votes come in from the west coast. So all this talk of Gerrymandering being so odious is pretty overblown. Control of the House is pretty much what the voters wanted. At least in the US House.

  3. Barry

    Shocked I tell ya- just shocked…………………

    Former Anti-Abortion Leader Alleges Another Supreme Court Breach

    WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – A New York Times report of a former anti-abortion leader’s claim that he was told in advance about the outcome of a major 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case involving contraceptives triggered calls on Saturday for an investigation of a court still reeling from the leak of a landmark abortion rights ruling.

    Rev. Rob Schenck was quoted by The Times as saying he was informed weeks before the public announcement of the 2014 ruling shortly after two conservative allies had dinner at the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and his wife.

    1. Barry

      One interesting aspect about this incredible reporting that I found most interesting was the level of direct engagement with Alito, and Thomas that these right wing groups have on a regular basis – even meeting with them in their offices.

      They also had it with Scalia.

      The report states the same figures tired hard to engage with Justices Robert and Kennedy but they were “polite but stand-off-ish” and wouldn’t engage.

      Also – interesting that the supposed “investigation” into the leak of the abortion decision seems to be something that has sort of disappeared. Odd.

      Polls show that trust in the Supreme Court is at or near record lows. I wonder hmm…. why……………


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