In the end, it was a perfectly fine Election Day. I was assigned to the same precinct I worked in August, with most of the same crew, plus extra help because November. And it went fine. Great weather. Turnout was 3x what we had in the summer, but it was never more than a couple-minute wait for anyone.
The surrounding area is pretty poor. I don’t have data, but the view out the front door of the church where we were set up was of a large commercial building, formerly an activities center, now blighted and boarded. Turn your head a quarter-turn to the left, and there’s a vacant block with one little blighted house on the prairie. It’s a block or three from where I took the French journalists in 2008, when they asked to see the houses they’d read about in the European press, the ones you could buy for a dollar. The voters were almost entirely African-American, many elderly. Which is to say, not a representative demographic of anything other than their precinct.
I looked at the totals tape when we printed them out at closing. No surprises whatsoever. But as the sun rises, however, it may well be that the fate of the nation lies in the absentee ballots now being counted in the basement of the TCF Center downtown. Which gives it maybe a little more drama. Kate, who also worked the election, was crestfallen as the results began to come in. “I hate Trump,” she said. “And I hate Democrats. They’re useless.” I couldn’t really respond to that, as it appears she is right. I imagine we’ll be analyzing this election for years, but my takeaway is pretty clear: There are far, far more racists, bigots and self-interested assholes in this country than I ever dreamed. And Democrats may well be useless. All the money spent, all the polling, all the door-knocking and leafleting and phone calls, and it comes down to this. Not many bright spots.
So let’s let today be a thread devoted to nail-biting, and Monday-morning-quarterbacking, and mourning, and further discussion. Because I have a little work to do today, and then will turn to all of the above.
David C said on November 4, 2020 at 7:40 am
I’ve already seen “If Bernie..” so goddamned many times I want to spew. What’s the fucking point? Bernie would poll better with racists? There’s something to brag about. It’s a racist country we have to face that fact.
Deborah said on November 4, 2020 at 8:04 am
I did not sleep well last night to say the least. I had a headache all night and still have it. Stress obviously. My husband said he did/does too. I still think Biden will win but the senate is super disappointing.
I wonder if McConnell’s death is going to happen sooner or later? I really think he’s ill. If it happens during the current Dem KY Governor’s term a Democrat will be appointed to replace McConnell. Don’t know if that gives the Dems a majority though.
David C said on November 4, 2020 at 8:08 am
If I remember right, in Kentucky the Governor has to appoint another Republican.
Suzanne said on November 4, 2020 at 8:36 am
I am home with a terrible sore throat today. I was hoping to be hungover from celebrating a blue wave, but no. Sore throat instead. Sums up 2020.
I am disgusted with the election results. Living here in Trump country, I am not terribly surprised. I have chronicled many times here my observations of what drives these people. They won’t change. Even if their loved ones die from COVID, they will still claim their freedom to go maskless. They work hard, do good work, but think very simplistically about things like politics. There is good, there is bad. Dems are bad.
Never underestimate the influence of religious leaders in all this. God has views on abortion, guns, and religious freedom, don’t ya know, and that is what they vote on. Character really doesn’t matter as long as thinking on those 3 things are correct. They don’t read, they don’t reflect, the don’t think critically. They work, they play, and they are ripe for the picking by someone like Trump.
If you know the biblical story of Mary & Martha, they are Marthas who have little use for the Marys of the world and vote that way.
Beobachter said on November 4, 2020 at 8:38 am
IANAL, but this lists ‘same party’ states as: Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming.
U.S. Senate Vacancies: Contemporary Developments and Perspectives, 12-Apr-18.
Mark P said on November 4, 2020 at 8:41 am
“Democrats are useless.”
I’m for secession, even though Georgia wouldn’t go with the free states. What I would really like to see is a partition like India and Pakistan. And you know which country the Republicans would be.
Deborah said on November 4, 2020 at 8:43 am
David C, is that right? Some states don’t allow the gov to appoint someone, but must have a special election, it’s very complicated. KY is not one of those, but I didn’t know some states require their govs to appoint a member of the same party as the senator who dies or resigns. News to me.
David C said on November 4, 2020 at 8:56 am
Apparently, it isn’t Deborah. Bashear can appoint a Dem.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 4, 2020 at 9:06 am
If Biden pulls this off, Michigan will be key: Nancy, your work was important! Hope you get some rest today.
Mitch looks to me like he could have multiple myeloma; he’s pushing 80, so that’s not a plus in any case, but these days they can manage that for many years. No cure that I know of, but longer life expectancy.
brian stouder said on November 4, 2020 at 9:27 am
Lemme just say – that is a superb photo of the Proprietress, indeed. It brightened what looks to be a cloudy day…
Jeff Borden said on November 4, 2020 at 9:32 am
My morning reading suggests Biden is on the pathway to winning the presidency, though the flurry of legal ratfuckery may well slow that journey, but this result is just so sad and sickening. Dems may not take the Senate, which would mean nothing will get done on a wide array of fronts with Biden in the Oval Office. The rest of the world –friends and foes– see a nation bitterly divided and unsure of what it stands for any more.
I spoke with an old friend in Ohio yesterday and asked him why Ohio was likely to go for tRump. He replied, “This is a dumb state.” Are we a dumb country? It appears so.
Oh well. It’s not as bad as 2016, when I learned tRump had won because my wife was sobbing in our bed after sneaking a quick listen to the news radio station in Chicago. There’s still hope to take the Senate. A Biden victory would make Harris the tie-breaker in Congress if Dems flip three. And I’m seeing on fivethirtyeight.com that Biden remains favored and could actually win by a larger margin than W. in 2004.
Still, my stomach aches.
Julie Robinson said on November 4, 2020 at 9:40 am
Numbness is the only emotion I can summon right now. Anger and disbelief will no doubt arrive soon. Suzanne’s picture of our area is spot on and I would only add that these people still cheer for Penn State football too.
Deborah said on November 4, 2020 at 10:10 am
Suzanne, I hadn’t thought about the Martha/Mary story in ages, that seems like a good explanation, people just want to be Marthas but racist too.
I’m seriously looking into meditation, stress is taking years off of my life. Does anyone know of some good websites to get decent info on it. There are six things that are important if one wants to avoid dementia later in life: improve sleep habits, eat right, minimize stress, exercise, avoid bad habits (smoking, excessive drinking etc), live intentionally. For me minimizing stress and living intentionally are the hardest.
Heather said on November 4, 2020 at 11:08 am
Deborah, I learned Transcendental Meditation about five years ago, and while I wouldn’t say my life changed overnight like they suggest it will, it has definitely been a help. But it’s $$$ to learn.
For me, I realized that I was focusing too much on my mind and not enough on my body. (I guess sometimes the mind can lead the body but that wasn’t working for me.) I started a program based on re-regulating nervous system processes that become or end up disregulated due to trauma. That seems to be having a much faster effect and I am finding it really helpful as far as managing anxiety as well as its physical effects.
As a result I’ve been doing a lot of reading about how trauma affects our bodies and boy howdy, it’s fascinating and also depressing. Not just obvious trauma like abuse or accidents, but early, unconscious trauma from a missing or emotionally damaged parent, etc. The good news is that healing is possible with consistent practice. I feel like this stuff also explains a lot about Trump voters. It’s hard to have empathy if your system never learned to integrate it.
Jakash said on November 4, 2020 at 11:09 am
A reelection campaign is largely a referendum on the incumbent’s performance. “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?” If half the voters in this benighted nation could look at the last 6 months, let alone the 4 years, and think “Let’s re-up that Manhattan Mussolini,” I don’t know what the Democrats could have done about it. They ran the guy that, theoretically, should have gotten more votes than any of the other options. I’ve never been wild about him, myself, but it was not a “hold my nose” vote, by any means. The idea that Bernie would have done better is an absurd fantasy, IMHO.
Growing up, I’d never have imagined Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio joining the Confederacy, but you live and learn. Of course, I’ve long known where Indiana stood. 😉
Deborah, as gently as I can, I’d just like to note that disengaging quite a bit from the daily information overload might be a first step in dealing with some of the stress. I surely realize it’s none of my business, though.
Suzanne said on November 4, 2020 at 11:14 am
This is a very good, informative thread
Bitter Scribe said on November 4, 2020 at 12:17 pm
For four years, I’ve been consoling myself with the thought that Trump’s election was a hideous fluke—a mistake by a handful of petulant, uninformed voters. Now I see I was just rationalizing. This really is who we are as a country—a lot of us, anyway—and it’s disgusting.
Jeff Borden said on November 4, 2020 at 12:32 pm
I fucking hate it when I’m correct on something like this, but I wrote here some time back that Obama was the fluke and tRump was the real ‘Murica. Even if Biden ekes out the expected win, this election was a gut punch and has me wondering what is next for our messed up nation. . .especially with Moscow Mitch again running the Senate. We’re not the nation I thought we were. . .and we’re trending down. What will we be leaving for our children and grandchildren?
Sherri said on November 4, 2020 at 12:37 pm
It would have been nice had Biden won resounding victory last night and we had all been able to get at least one good night’s sleep, but even if he had, our work would still remain. We would still remain a deeply racist country full of people who would rather see 230K dead and democracy destroyed than see people who aren’t like them gain any power.
The good and bad news is that we’re at a moment where great change can happen. Things are unstable, and they’re going to get more unstable. Good things can come out this, and so can bad things, and it’s not going to be any fun living through the instability. My advice is to pay less attention to the day to day noise, and work for something that matters to you.
Sherri said on November 4, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Also, remember that on election night in 2018, the news was all, well Dems won, but no blue wave, but when the votes were all counted, it was indeed a blue wave.
It is depressing that there are so many people in this country who saw four year of 45 and said, yep, fine with me, but even so, there are more of us than there are of them. The fact that the EC weights the votes of people in Wyoming heavier than in most major cities makes this closer than it would be.
Sherri said on November 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm
If you want to do something, here’s an opportunity to phone or text bank to cure ballots in key states: https://twitter.com/jonfavs/status/1324018288267993094
Deborah said on November 4, 2020 at 1:11 pm
Heather, where can one get get TM training in Chicago that’s genuine and can you give me an idea how much it costs? How much training does it require? Weekly? Monthly? Do you really need to learn it one on one with a teacher or can you teach yourself? I’ve looked it up online and I’m not finding the answers I’m looking for. I wouldn’t be crazy about a group setting, especially during a pandemic.
David C said on November 4, 2020 at 1:11 pm
Sherri @ 19. I think we all need to remember this. Mary talked to her mom this morning. She told Mary that our 18 year old niece had a real barnburner of an argument with Mary’s sister about the sister voting for tRump. The young people will eventually save our bacon. It’s just going to take time. Until then, chop wood, carry water.
jerry said on November 4, 2020 at 1:29 pm
If anyone wants to learn TM without vast expense I’d recommend a book called “The Relaxation Response”. It was written by a Harvard MD (I think) in the 1970s. It records a study into TM and presents what he claims is the process involved while removing any religious or philosophical material.
Don’t know if the book is still in print. I found it interesting and useful when I read it.
Heather said on November 4, 2020 at 2:56 pm
Deborah, I emailed you.
Mark P said on November 4, 2020 at 3:15 pm
I think I have commented before about hearing a historian talk about how people don’t recognize that they are in a period of major, historic changes when they are right in the middle of it. I think this is one of those periods. There is no way to known what things will be like on the other side, other than different. Majorly different. It may be good, or it may be bad, but it won’t be like it was. I suspect that the American Century has come and gone. Americans had opportunities to make positive changes for good in the world, and we weren’t up to the task. We did some good, but there is too much Yahooism in the US. That has been apparent for a long time, at least a half a century, if you were looking. It’s getting much easier to read the writing on the wall.
Tajalli said on November 4, 2020 at 3:19 pm
Deborah, here’s a link to a .pdf of Herbert Benson’s Relaxation Response.
Meditation can be really rather simple without being simplistic. Sit comfortably upright so you remain alert. Keep your eyes relaxed, not tightly focused, on some point or non-human object. Pay attention to the sensation of your breath as it enters and exits your nose. When your thoughts drift away from your breath, just bring your attention back. Doesn’t matter what the thoughts are, any thoughts are okay, thoughts just happen anyhow, just go back to watching the breath move in and out through your nostrils.
That’s it. You cannot fail at this no matter how often thoughts draw your attention away. Simply go back to the breath. Twenty minutes is nice, ten is also fine. Some people start out with one minute. Some people go for the duration of the burning of a stick on incense. And if you fall asleep, then know that you had became sufficiently relaxed to sleep and you probably needed it.
It helps to set aside a time each day to do this but it’s not necessary.
Jakash said on November 4, 2020 at 3:53 pm
Scott Adams rides again: “One Trump accomplishment that no one credits him for is getting the public to be more engaged in the political process.”
Nailed it, Scotty! Similarly, everybody griped about book-burning by the Nazis, yet no one credits Hitler for the fact that he ended up being quite a boon for the publishing industry.
Meanwhile, I’m very concerned that Susan freaking Collins was reelected.
Suzanne said on November 4, 2020 at 3:56 pm
This is, I am sure, a Trump voter, a guy I met somewhere along the way & he pops up on social media. His wisdom on the election.
“Jesus says in Matthew 28:18, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
So we are to do our patriotic duty and vote, but remember that Christ Himself places people in public office.
2/ And since it’s His authority, secularism is a myth. All officials are commanded to obey Jesus, the true King.”
So, it’s not about ideas. It’s religion to them.
LAMary said on November 4, 2020 at 4:28 pm
NBC just called Michigan for Biden.Thank you, Nancy.
Dorothy said on November 4, 2020 at 4:32 pm
LAMary said on November 4, 2020 at 4:35 pm
I discovered that I could slide into alpha state pretty easily when I was in college. I still do it when I need to relax or I’m doing something like getting dental work or in one instance, having a baby. I have two mental mantras, both of them situations where there is a release. One is visualizing the pigeons outside San Marco cathedral in Venice. I’m walking towards them and they all take off at the same time, straight up. I imagine the sound of the wings and I visualize the wet pavement, the grey sky. Those pigeons are my anxiety or tension or my hesitation to do something creative like draw or paint. It usually works for me.
Mark P said on November 4, 2020 at 4:44 pm
I just drove down to pick up a prescription. I saw a couple of cars with Trump banners, and I found that my usual casual contempt has changed to a deeply visceral emotion verging on hate. These goons no longer have the defense of ignorance. They have seen what Trump is and they love it.
Deborah said on November 4, 2020 at 4:47 pm
I used to have this visual technique where I imagined I was flying over our Mesa in Abiquiu in the evening twilight, about 6 to 8 feet above the ground, looking straight down. It was something I did when I was trying to fall asleep. Since we built our cabin in Abiquiu, I don’t do that visualization anymore. Not sure why.
I did some more research on TM and tried it today, I gave myself a mantra etc. I actually fell asleep sitting up in a chair, which I never do.
FDChief said on November 4, 2020 at 4:55 pm
Confronted between the choice of a bland corporate technocrat who would put in place the sort of commonsense public health measures that have tamped down a pandemic disease in places as far apart as Germany and South Korea, and a raging, thieving, lying dumpster fire of a protohominid whose insane incompetence has helped kill a quarter of a million of their fellow citizens, nearly half of the U.S. public screamed “FUCK YES!!! I WANT MORE PLAGUE!!!”
I don’t care how much you love your guns, or your God, or your tax cuts.
It’s the fucking Plague!
Half the goddamn US public can’t vote to escape the fucking 14th Century.
ROGirl said on November 4, 2020 at 4:57 pm
Just heard that Biden has won Michigan.
I had to be at work really early this morning (5:30) for a quality audit. The auditor had to audit 3rd shift. Anyway, I woke up around 2 and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I read for a while and finally checked my phone when I got out of bed. Shit. I sent an email to my cousin (former Democratic party chair for his county in New York) at around 4 and he answered right away.
He told me to keep my hopes up.
Tajalli said on November 4, 2020 at 6:32 pm
Biden has 264 electoral votes, so he still needs 6. Nevada’s been tilted blue all day and possesses those 6 electoral votes that would make it 270.
Having Pennsylvania, North Carolina or Georgia flipping over to blue at the last minute would be frosting on the cake.
Singing Winnie the Pooh’s little song, “Pom Pom Pom. The more it goes, the more it goes, the more it goes on going.” Not to jinx things, mind you.
Deborah said on November 4, 2020 at 7:21 pm
Boy I sure feel better about things now compared with early this morning. Except for the senate. Susan Collins, really?
Sherri said on November 4, 2020 at 7:26 pm
Guess COVID didn’t get the memo that it was supposed to disappear on November 4.
basset said on November 4, 2020 at 10:16 pm
I’m old enough to remember TM when the Beatles brought it to our attention… and friends carrying a piece of fruit and a new white handkerchief as they went to get enrolled.
Sitting quietly in the woods has a calming effect on me, don’t think I’ve ever kept track of my breathing, though.
beb said on November 4, 2020 at 10:41 pm
Basset you may be on to something about sitting on a forest. One of the Scandinavian counties did an experiment, I read somewhere, where they replaced the recess area at a school with dirt floor, plants and trees, moss, ferns, etc. Basically a forest kids could play in. According to the report the kid’s health immediately improved. Not link but it sounds as if living in a germy environment helps stimulate body’s immune system. So the next time you go deer hunting just tell people who’re going to build up your immune system.
basset said on November 4, 2020 at 11:50 pm
Search “forest bathing,” that seems much the same idea.
Dexter Friend said on November 5, 2020 at 3:27 am
Home now after my driving marathon. It clocked in at 610 miles after I had estimated 640, leaving home at 6:30 Tuesday night, driving to south of Columbus, up at 0-dark hundred, taking my wife to two medical consultations in Lima, Ohio, back to Columbus-south, then back here. All the way I had election coverage audio from cable TV on my phone. Also all the way back. I was feeling bad until, as I expected, Milwaukee votes were released, and Wisconsin looks good now, then other states began showing a Biden lead. So it is not over yet but I feel good. My wife looked ashen and in shock when after waiting 90 minutes for her surgeon to show up for his consultation, she was told she needed another spacer (in place of a knee joint) and will be in a bed under nurse-care until January. That makes 6 months. She asked about options, and a one-word response: amputation. I thought that might push her over the line, as with color drained from her face she told him “no way”.
With Covid 19 rampaging , hard around Lima, they wanted to do the surgery at the surgical center where there are no C19 patients. Did not work out. So…we’ll be double masked Tuesday at either Lima St. Rita’s or Defiance Mercy. Both chock-full of Covid19.
Connie said on November 5, 2020 at 6:56 am
Amputee here. I was walking within two months and driving in a year. I spent over a year attached to wound vacs and wearing orthotics, and trying to save my foot, and it was a bone infection that led to the amputation.
Its a hard decision but once you make it its not so hard to adapt. Do you have a first floor bedroom? Because amputee life is a mix of morning wheelchair and then putting on your foot.
So life in a hospital bed or home in a wheel chair in a couple of days, followed by a prostheses.
Good luck with this, it seems to have been going on for a long time. If you want to talk about life as an amputee Nancy may give you my email.
Alan Stamm said on November 5, 2020 at 9:24 am
“Leave No Ballot Behind,” indeed.
JodiP said on November 5, 2020 at 10:18 am
Feeling hopeful that at least we will have a Biden win. I am not surprised at the Republican stronghold. Trump always polled at least 40% approval rating, which I find appalling.
I was able to do an hour bike ride yesterday! We’ll see if I can squeeze it in today as well. We’re having summer in November, highs of 70.
Dorothy said on November 5, 2020 at 10:20 am
Dexter I can’t imagine the fright your wife (and you) have been feeling. I hope there will be some resolution soon and she is in a better place, health-wise.
Re the election – I’m telling myself this morning that we’ve waited four years for this time and we can wait as long as necessary. And last night I actually slept from 9:30-6:00 without melatonin or Tylenol PM. It’s extremely encouraging.
Deborah said on November 5, 2020 at 11:03 am
Dexter, wow the bad news keep coming. So sorry your wife has to wait even longer. How extremely disappointing for you both. I can’t even imagine what that must feel like for you and your wife to have to endure until January now.
alex said on November 5, 2020 at 11:09 am
I guess the last election helped brace me for this one. Clearly half the country embraces authoritarianism and considers it more important than whether the president is competent.
LAMary said on November 5, 2020 at 12:36 pm
Armed federal agents will be allowed in vote counting sites, according to the justice department (Bill Barr). This and the armed mobs outside some locations make this election a little different from others I’ve experienced. I saw Rick Santorum on CNN the other day talking about the boarded up windows in commercial neighborhoods, saying those boards weren’t put there to protect stores from Republicans. Yeah, they were, Rick. Let’s see who busts a window first.
Sherri said on November 5, 2020 at 12:55 pm
If Biden wins Georgia, and both senate races end up in runoff, Stacey Abrams should immediately be made head of the DNC, with WNBA players assisting her.
I don’t know if they want political careers, but Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike, who are sisters and president and VP of the WNBA players union, native Texans, and Stanford grads, are people to keep an eye on.
LAMary said on November 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm
Loeffler is part owner of the Atlanta WNBA team and she was against the team showing any BLM support.
Sherri said on November 5, 2020 at 1:20 pm
And the Atlanta Dream and other WNBA players came out in support of Warnock, her opponent, raising his profile and increasing his fundraising.
Unlike most of the current Dem establishment, Stacey Abrams understands that Dems need to stop centering white people in their campaigning. That ship sailed decades ago. White people, especially white men, vote Republican, even when we run an old centrist white guy on the ticket.
It’s not that there are no white Democrats, it’s that the focus shouldn’t be on convincing white people. It should be on the coalition. I’ve said it many time, Black women are the heart of the Democratic Party, and that should be recognized.
LAMary said on November 5, 2020 at 2:37 pm
It showed remarkable cluelessness to tell the WNBA players to not participate in the NBA’s BLM support. Loeffler was also one of the people who moved their stock portfolio around when she was briefed on the pandemic early on. All this makes her the perfect trump acolyte but a pretty terrible person which, come to think of it, also makes her a perfect trump acolyte.
Suzanne said on November 5, 2020 at 3:09 pm
“Nearly half of the voters have seen Trump in all of his splendor—his infantile tirades, his disastrous and lethal policies, his contempt for democracy in all its forms—and they decided that they wanted more of it. His voters can no longer hide behind excuses about the corruption of Hillary Clinton or their willingness to take a chance on an unproven political novice. They cannot feign ignorance about how Trump would rule. They know, and they have embraced him.”
Suzanne said on November 5, 2020 at 3:13 pm
“ This is bc in order to be freaked out by Trump & what is going on in America right now, you have to know about it. College edu voters of all races are the people that know about it. Dems assume everyone knows about Trump’s actions in office, a critical flaw I have pointed out in a thousand threads. This is not the case. The vast majority do not…. Out there in regular America, Donald Trump is a successful businessman & a billionaire. That neither of these statements are true but were not focused on to be exposed as false are mistakes bc a great many “no-nothings” voted for Trump based purely on these perceptions of him.”
Mark P said on November 5, 2020 at 4:06 pm
Sherri, I’m with you 100%. Abrams would make a great head of the DNC. She knows what she’s doing. I also agree about old white men. Forget ‘em! I’m one of them, but most don’t and won’t vote Democratic. This election should have been a landslide. The fact that it wasn’t should scare the hell out of the D’s.
Deborah said on November 5, 2020 at 5:50 pm
Something must be expected to go down tonight in Chicago around Trump Tower. We went to the Apple Store on Michigan by the Chicago River and boy howdy they have boarded up lots and lots more stuff around there even since the weekend. The Wabash bridge has been lifted over the river next to the Tower, at first we thought it was to let’s boat through but an hour later when we came back from our walk further down Michigan to the end of Grant Park, the bridge was still open. There area of Wabash from Grant south to Wacker is all closed down and swarming with cops. I don’t think it will be liberals rioting.
Hard to believe this is the United States of America, two decades into the 21st century.
LAMary said on November 5, 2020 at 5:50 pm
All my middle aged or old white guy relatives are hard core trumpians. My middle aged niece and I don’t understand how we escaped the family curse. Her 23 year old daughter seems to be ok too.