March 14, 2018

Wondering on Wednesday (v125)

What are we wondering about today? I'm not wondering about the 17-minute walkouts - I support the students, and the adults who supported them, whether they walked with hundreds, or with a dozens, and even the ones who walked alone. Good for them!

Instead, let's wonder about the #PA18 special election.  For example, I wonder if someone took the president's phone away from him? He's been conspicuously quiet on the Twitter about the outcome. Which is weird, since he was so focused on mentioning the Republican candidate's name twice, I think, in the hour he was in the neighborhood to "endorse" Rick Saccone late last week. Maybe Trump was more interested in tooting his own horn than he was in tooting someone else's? 

I heard a Republican strategist say that if Conor Lamb hadn't run as a Republican, he would have lost for sure.  What the strategist meant, he told us, was that Lamb does not like Nancy Pelosi, he said he was going to represent the people, not the leadership; he's pro-tariff (given his district, I'm not surprised, really) and that he believes in the 2nd amendment - voila, a Republican in a blue suit, or something. I wonder if that's how the Rs will explain what we see in this picture from the NY Times coverage of the race?

All those little blue arrows represent the shift in votes to the Dem side. And, in case you're wondering, I haven't been able to find a little red arrow anywhere. If you find one, please let me know!

Many people have been wondering whether there will be recount - it's what we would expect in a race this close, but it's unlikely to happen. Under Pennsylvania rules, three voters in each precinct would need to file a timely request for a recount. Furthermore, this whole race was about a district that will likely not exist come November. meaning we could be going through this whole thing again in a few months.  Why? The PA district map was thrown out by the courts and, because the legislature couldn't come up with a better version, an independent consultant made a new one. 

I'm also wondering if other Dems who are running in traditionally red districts will have the courage to represent their district and be unafraid of  the Power of Pelosi. I've long not been a fan - no secret in these pages - and I think one of the things we desperately need is new leadership and a fresh approach in the House. That starts, I think, with not electing Pelosi speaker should the Dems actually flip the 24 seats needed - 23 now, with Lamb's victory - to flip the House. 

And finally, I wonder if Dems are going to learn anything from this one. You know - how to get in the race, when to stay out, and stuff like that. Outside money - another one of my pet peeves - was north of $13 million, and 80% of that was spent by red side - and they apparently lost. 

There's a lesson in all of this, I'm sure. 

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