The historic firsts of the 2018 midterms
2018 midterm election: A night of firsts
Here's where the 2018 midterm election saw historic gains on both state and national levels. (Joyce Koh /The Washington Post)
The results of the 2018 midterm election ushered in one of the most diverse groups of politicians in American history, bringing in a wave of governors, senators and representatives who will break decades or even centuries-long barriers when they are sworn in.
On the Democratic side, these races were viewed not only as a referendum on President Trump, but also, in many cases, on his version of identity politics, which in its final days played to the fears of his base, a group that is largely white, male and Christian. Many female Democratic House candidates who prevailed on Election Day ran in opposition to Trump or his policies. Several were first-time candidates. Republican women like Kristi L. Noem and Marsha Blackburn, on the other hand, made history but were reluctant to mention their gender on the campaign trail, preferring to focus on issues.
Though prominent figures like Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, failed to win their potentially historic elections, many candidates around the country became the first person of their gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation to be elected to their positions in their states, or in some cases, in the country. Here they are.
[Tracker: A record number of women will serve in the House next year]
Ayanna Pressley: Massachusetts’ first black woman in Congress
Pressley’s seat in Congress was all but assured after she upset longtime Democratic incumbent Michael E. Capuano in Massachusetts’ 7th District. She won the general election after running unopposed.
Marsha Blackburn: First woman elected to the Senate from Tennessee
Blackburn, a Republican member of Congress who aligned herself closely with Trump and his policies during this race, defeated popular former governor Phil Bredesen (D) in a tight race by 10 points. She will take over the seat held by Sen. Bob Corker, a frequent Trump critic.
Marsha Blackburn greets supporters after winning her race for the Senate on election night in Franklin, Tenn. (Brandon Dill for The Washington Post)
Jared Polis: The first openly gay man elected governor
Then-New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevy came out as gay while he was in office, and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who is bisexual, won in 2016, but Jared Polis will be the first man to win a governorship as an out gay man. Polis has been in Congress since 2009.
Jahana Hayes: Connecticut’s first black woman in Congress
Hayes, a teacher, becomes the first black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress. She beat her opponent, Manny Santos, by 11 points.
Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids: America’s first Native American women in Congress
Haaland has a long history in New Mexico state politics and working with native tribes. She was able to defeat her opponent, Janice Arnold Jones, by 22 percentage points. Davids, a lawyer who will also be Kansas’ first openly gay member of Congress, defeated incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder by nine points in a state that was handily won by Trump in 2016.
Deb Haaland, right, jokes with volunteer Ana Moran, 23, while working at a phone bank in Albuquerque on Sept. 13. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)
Veronica Escobar/Sylvia Garcia: Texas’ first Latinas in Congress
Escobar, an El Paso County judge, and Garcia, a state senator and former Harris County commissioner, make history in a state that is nearly 40 percent Hispanic or Latino, according to census data.
Rashida Tlaib/Ilhan Omar: America’s first Muslim women in Congress
Tlaib ran unopposed in the general election, all but guaranteeing the former Michigan state legislator a seat in Congress. Omar is already a barrier breaker — in 2016, she became the first Somali American legislator in the country. She will now hold that distinction in Congress.
[Winners and losers of the 2018 midterms]
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: America’s youngest woman ever elected to Congress
At age 29, Ocasio-Cortez of New York seizes the record from Rep. Elise Stefanik, who was elected at age 30 in 2014. She became a progressive star after her upset primary victory over Rep. Joseph Crowley, a high-ranking House Democrat.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks in support of Brent Welder during a rally in Kansas City, Kan., on July 20. (Dan Videtich for The Washington Post)
Kristi L. Noem: First female governor of South Dakota
During the campaign, the Republican acknowledged the historic potential of her candidacy, but preferred to focus on issues rather than gender. The current congresswoman beat her opponent, Billie Sutton, by four points.
Cindy Axne/Abby Finkenauer: Iowa’s first women in the U.S. House
Iowa has sent women to the Senate and governor’s mansions, but never to the House of Representatives. That changed Tuesday, when two women defeated Republican incumbents.
Janet Mills: First female governor of Maine
Mills, the state’s attorney general, has won the governorship, checking another state off a long list that has never had a female chief executive.
This list will update if additional races are called.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... 4197a20dd8
CHANGE THE SUBJECT
Posted on October 9, 2018 by J.D. Alt | 23 Comments
By J.D. ALT
. . .
In the middle of a contemplative walk—during which, I confess, I was imagining with enthusiasm how the Democrats might extract revenge should they win the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections (hearings and subpoenas relating to the FBI “investigation” of Brett Kavanaugh, subpoenas for Donald Trump’s tax returns, drawing up articles of impeachment, etc.)—I was suddenly struck by the realization of what a terrible mistake it would be to do any of that.
Hard as it might be to bite their collective tongues, what the Democrats ought to do if they take the House this November is to dramatically and forcefully CHANGE THE SUBJECT. Strategically, leading up to the 2020 elections, this would be, by far, the most intelligent and effective course to take. Should the Democrats continue throwing gasoline and flaming matches on the emotional blood-feud which has come to dominate our politics and news cycles, they will be playing directly into the game-plan Donald Trump has imposed on the Republican party—and American politics in general.
Donald Trump doesn’t want anyone to be talking rationally about the real issues and needs the great majority of Americans are actually confronting in their daily lives. He wants the conversation to be a demagoguery shouting match—not about important public policies, but about conspiracies against his administration, his allies, his followers. He doesn’t want people to seek solutions, he wants them to seek enemies. He wants Evangelical Christians to hate pro-choice Americans. He wants American workers to hate Latinos and immigrants. He wants men to hate female sexual assault victims. He wants everyone to hate journalists and reporters.
If the Democrats play into this vindictive narrative after the midterm elections, they could lose a sure-fire opportunity to retake control of the entire federal government in 2020. To say it again: don’t do it! Instead, if they take control of the House of Representatives, Democrats should CHANGE THE SUBJECT. And they should do it in a way that forces the media to change the subject as well.
Here are some thoughts about how that might be done:
1. The Democrat led House should write, debate, and vote on a series of bills that deal directly with the biggest and most difficult issues American families are now actually struggling with:
- Full, free, universal health-care— (not catastrophic health-care “insurance”)
- Free post-high school education or training for every student who qualifies
- Immediate forgiveness of all student loan debt
- Free, universal pre-school education and day-care
- A “living-wage” minimum wage for all workers who do not receive tips
- A national affordable housing CO-OP system
- A Job Guarantee (doing community service) for anyone willing to work
2. The Democrat led House should hold hearings to ascertain the threats and challenges that will be imposed on American citizens, property, infrastructure, and food and water resources by anticipated global climate-change.
3. Once the scale of the climate-change challenge is understood, the Democrat led House should hold hearings to establish an understanding of how the modern U.S. fiat-monetary system actually works today, and how it can be more effectively visualized and managed to undertake what needs to be accomplished.
If this strategy were employed by a Democrat-led House of Representatives, it would not matter if any bill they debated and passed was ever taken up by a Republican controlled Senate—or signed by Donald Trump. It wouldn’t matter if any of their hearings resulted in meaningful policy proposals. What would matter is, first, the topics of conversation in the American political dialog would change from what Trump-Republicans want to talk about to what progressive-Democrats want to talk about. Second, the seeds of the real issues facing America—and the real possibilities and opportunities for addressing them—would be planted in the thinking processes of American voters.
Third, the referendum “subjects” of the 2020 elections would be established—and it would not be what the Trump-Republicans will want to be campaigning about. The wind might well be taken out of the sails of the hate-campaign juggernaut. Some percentage of the “Trump base” might rediscover they are also middle, or lower-middle-class Americans facing real, practical challenges in their lives—challenges which the Democrats are actually talking about and proposing to fix.
If 2020 can be framed around a powerful and compelling progressive platform—based on a growing awareness of the possibilities of modern fiat-money—it seems likely the Democrats could take the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Then, under those circumstances, and with that growing awareness, at long last, they could lead the country out of the wasteland of fiscal austerity and global corporate power.
The real “populists,” it might ultimately be discovered to our national and personal benefits, are not the Trump-Base Republicans. The real “populists” are creative progressives, operating in local communities around the country—and supported by the rational understanding and management of a national fiat-monetary system.
http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2018 ... more-11336
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