The Widdershins

Lazy Weekend: Time

Posted on: November 6, 2021

It’s that time of year again, Widdershins. Tonight, we set our clocks back an hour, thrusting us temporarily further into the darkness of these cold, mysterious months. If you have a tendency towards Seasonal Affective Disorder, I hope this is the time you bring out your sunlamp. For me, it means an extra hour of sleep, which I clearly need, as I’m up at 7 am most weekend mornings (not voluntarily, by habit)!

We do measure our time in weeks here at TW, and boy, was this past week a doozy. Certainly there was mixed news on the election front, but overall there were some key bright spots for Democrats. DYB posted that Virginia almost bucked a 30-year trend to vote against the incumbent Party for Governor, and it’s been 44 years since NJ has re-elected a Democratic governor. I have quite a few friends in New Jersey, and four of them are blue dots in big red counties, Sussex and Morris. If you take a look county by county, you can see that while NJ is a blue state for President, it has quite a bit of red. This has a good deal to do with why NJ frequently elects Republican Governors.

The idea that Drumpf guarantees election wins took another hit, as he endorsed the NJ candidate who lost. He also endorsed the VA candidate who won, but the only reason that worked is because Drumpf was forced to stay away by Youngkin’s campaign. They know that while the Mango Moron energizes Republican turnout, he also energizes Democratic turnout. And they knew that if they could suppress turnout, they actually had a chance of winning.

Speaking of turnout, it was the cause of McAuliffe’s loss and Murphy’s squeaker win. No, white women didn’t swing massively to Drumpf – it’s just that during the exit polls, more Republican women showed up between 2020 and 2021. While McAuliffe got 200,000 more votes than Northam in 2017, Youngkin outperformed Northam’s 2017 opponent by 500,000 votes. The Atlantic article linked above has some excellent insights.

Even with Youngkin’s marginal gains in the center, both the exit polls and actual results suggest instead that McAuliffe’s biggest problems were explosive turnout and huge deficits in the parts of the state most alienated from Biden and the Democrats who now control Washington. Turnout in Republican-leaning places was so strong that the share of the statewide vote cast by the blue-leaning big five Northern Virginia counties declined this year after steadily rising over the past three governor’s races; Richmond city and neighboring Henrico, still solidly Democratic, also cast a smaller percentage of the vote this year than in 2017, based on results as of Wednesday afternoon.

Relative to Northam, McAuliffe’s share of the vote consistently declined more in the southern half of the state, an area with relatively fewer college graduates, than it did in more white-collar Northern Virginia. “An engaged GOP base delivered Republicans even bigger landslides than usual in rural central and western Virginia,” the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics wrote in its analysis of the results yesterday. “In 2013, McAuliffe lost the 9th Congressional District, in the southwestern corner of the state, by about 30 percentage points. Last night … McAuliffe’s deficit there fell to about 50 points.” That erosion was evident not only in the southwestern counties that have become Republican bedrocks but also in southeastern Virginia jurisdictions that are either purple or Democratic-leaning, such as Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake County.

The article makes the case that Biden’s lower approval numbers, plus a series of reforms that made it easier to vote in Virginia AND historic trends, caused a huge surge in turnout on the Republican side. Democrats were not able to match it in Virginia, but made it work in NJ, against the odds, for a popular incumbent Governor who’s shown good results from liberal policies.

These results say three things to me. First of all, our Party is a big tent. A significant percentage of our politicians and voters, on the “left” (Bernie acolytes who scream about how nothing is ever good enough and vote with Republicans), right and center, have serious problems with Biden’s determination to center the lifting of poor people, women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ as his economic agenda. Racism, misogyny and homophobia work on them. While this percentage is mostly made up of white people, Drumpf made gains in the Latino, Black and Asian communities in 2020 by running racist ads targeted at engaging them to vote Republican. “Zero sum” – keep your foot on the necks of marginalized people so you can stay on top – is literally the only platform Republicans have. All the code words in the world (CRT, socialism) won’t change that. I think as we go forward into 2022, we need to realize that a percentage of voters (especially those who are white and without college education) are not reliable, and expect that they will go Republican.

Second of all, we are a lot more fickle (in my fury I wrote “whiny” on election night) than Republicans. Republicans will vote for a three-eyed alien from Xenu if it has an R label and runs on a racist agenda. (Hence, the success of TFG, a disgusting gob of orange goo who has gained cult-like loyalty and enthusiasm from Republican voters.) A good percentage of Democrats vote on “what have you done for me lately?”, and lack both understanding and patience when it comes to getting bills passed with a tiny majority in the House and Senate. These voters are susceptible to media propaganda about how Democrats are in disarray and terrible at everything and are going to throw all of us under the bus…so vote third-party to elect Republicans who will then proceed to do everything they can to destroy the country. FACEPALM. In addition, young people mostly don’t vote unless they feel every single need of theirs is being taken care of AND they’re able to lift their eyes from social media enough to be aware of the election happening. I have seen this dynamic in my own life, with very smart colleagues who are in their 20s and early 30s, solidly Democratic, who forget to vote in off-year elections. Not good!

For that fickle Democratic electorate, it’s absolutely critical to get Biden’s economic agenda passed ASAP. As the Atlantic article states (and many smart Widdershins as well!),

For the majority of Democratic elected officials and strategists, the most immediate lesson of Tuesday’s tough night is that the party needs to finally pass Biden’s economic agenda—which they hope will both assuage doubts about the president’s competence and provide them a list of tangible programs they can take to voters next year, including an expanded child tax credit and child-care subsidies and plans to lower prescription-drug prices. One message from last night’s result is that “when you are the party in power, you can’t win only by convincing people to fire the other guys; you have to convince people to rehire you,” says Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic communications strategist based in Virginia. “And that means getting the Biden economic agenda done and then relentlessly talking about how we delivered on it.”

This week, the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed, and the Democrats are working on the other two big bills they want to pass through reconciliation. If these bills go forward, will it be enough for the second fickle group to turn out? I don’t know, because there’s always something to complain about. Merrick Garland! Voting rights! What have you done for me lately, on my timeline, without any consideration of yours? I’m disappointed and I’m staying home! So here’s where I have a third point to make.

Democrats should be unapologetic about their priorities and call out the QOP for theirs. Yes, we center women, people of color, LGBTQ+ and poor people. Why shouldn’t we? What have you got against this? Use “Build Back Better” as your slogan – three words Americans can remember (we really can’t focus on much more than that). Go on offense. When Republicans use their racist code words, call them out as racist, don’t say things like “CRT isn’t taught in K-12 today.” That’s not the point – the point is that “CRT” is a racist code word. Say that. “Your talking point about CRT is racist.” Just keep hammering on that. “Your talking point about socialism is racist.” It will gain the attention of the profit-driven media, which will then say “racist” repeatedly in association with Republicans, and has the added benefit of being true.

Yes, this will turn out the QOP base, but as we saw this week, that ship has already sailed. They are energized and ready to bring back JFK, Jr. as TFG’s running mate in 2024, and happy to elect Republicans in 2022 to accomplish their agenda. We can’t do anything about that. What we can do is energize our own base with real talk and accomplishments to go with it, and start voter outreach campaigns NOW for our House and Senate candidates.

I sincerely hope we do all of this in time.

As always, an open thread.

81 Responses to "Lazy Weekend: Time"

Excellent messaging here. You’ll note that most of the cynical, disparaging comments are coming from Bernie acolytes, Group #1.

Thanks for the reminder about the time change!

I’m up every morning, weekdays and weekends, by 4 am anyway but it’s good to know to change my clocks or I’ll be even more discombobulated than usual.

“The Big Deal”

I like it! Excellent messaging, indeed. I guess Buttigieg was a McKinsey success for a reason 😀 .

Looks like you’re on board with some of my comments from the last post 🙂 , or I was on board with yours 😀 , and we’re both on board with Stacy Abrams about the importance of turn out and how results will help motivate Dem voters.

No problem Beata! I’m reminding myself too.

Quixote, sorry to have missed your comments from yesterday. Work has been very heads down! I will go back and take a look.

If Biden can come close to what FDR did, I’ll be more than happy! For infrastructure, for the arts, for middle- and lower-income people. Keep up the messaging on the benefits of BBB, Dems. And the Squad must be primaried.

Agree, Luna. And Quixote, agree as well!

No need to apologize, mb! Not like it’s original with me. Abrams is the one who deserves the credit for really pushing the idea — and making it work in practice as well.

The thread in the last post about the guy who was fired and then got interviewed by the same company …


Looooooooove the mustaches.

(Something tells me he got fired for having a sense of humor, especially considering what that boss is like.)

The Squad voted *after* the crossover Repubs had voted to seal the deal, so it may have been pure performance. Maybe they would have voted yes if passage of BIF depended on them? Who knows. But there is a chance they’re not compleat idiots.

@10> I’m sure they were given permission to vote Nay. I know it was noted Ayanna Pressley only voted Nay after the bill had enough votes, I’m not sure when the others in the Squad did. I just truly don’t understand why they felt compelled to vote Nay. Their explanations are absurd. If/when the BBB passes, they’ll always be on the record as voting Nay for BIF. It’s purely performative and I don’t understand it.

But important to note the Progressive Caucus is quite large and the Squad is a tiny subgroup of it. Even Ro Khanna voted Yay.

@12 That made me laugh out loud. I guess I’m a bad person?

But I can’t make myself care about that and I’m still laughing


I don’t understand why they felt they had to vote No either. Just a big goddammit-we-stuck-to-our-guns-we’re-so-principled ?? I can’t imagine their consitituents care, so long as their districts get the money. ?? Maybe they’d get primaried otherwise? I’d think they’re gonna get primaried in any case, though.

Quixote, I don’t understand why they voted No either. For AOC, for example, flooding is a *huge* problem in Queens subway stations. It’s an on-going, horrible problem. She voted against fixing things like that. It’s idiotic.

Randy Rainbow brings out the best in people 😆 :thumbs up:

@12, DYB, Kudos for those doctors (and nurses, I’m sure) in Greece! Hope they stay safe.

Really interesting article. I wasn’t aware of these cities aside from Catal Huyuk.

Hillary is on C Span with Louise Penny and Stacey Abrams right now.

@24, DYB, that’s so great!

Have you seen this skit? What do you think of it?

The picture of the rabbit on the dog is so super cute!

I haven’t seen the skit yet. The name is a huge turnoff. I will give it a shot when I can steal some time from work!

@28, that is soooo cute!

I have to say, I thought that abortion bit was very good. Well done, Cecily Strong and SNL.


MB, great post, and thanks for the PF song. I don’t understand these switch voters going back and forth between Dems & Reps. What’s the deal with them? They didn’t get everything they wanted with the Dem so now they’ll go with the Rep, who will give them nothing? I have never wanted to vote republican or even indy.

I hope Biden’s Big Deal is a smashing success. As far as the squad goes, I hope their showboating is a big flop. They’re so annoying and self righteous.

Love all the funny comments. I can picture Greeks conning people with the real vaccine. I hope it helps.

@22, What a sweet scene! Bill and Hillary waiting for Chelsea! And good for her finishing it.

The pix of runaway pig and the vid of running mouth John Kennedy are a hoot.

That’s so nice about Harvey Milk having a ship named after him.

@34, That little critter is sooo cute. We haven’t been to the Santa Barbara Zoo in years. Will have to go back soon if we can see that cutie in person.

Sorry I’m behind on this new thread. Loved all the photos of cute animals and the Clinton family.

I’m fed up with the twitter go lucky squad.
I’m glad one bill passed and there were some Rethugs that had more sense than the 6 clueless.

I don’t know why so many American’s don’t like Biden now. For God’s sake he has done more than anyone to get the vaccines out and bend over backwards to end this pandemic. He has brought down the stress level of every day life and brought back some civility and hope to our lives. Yeah, he doesn’t walk on water, so there’s that.

OMG that Leopard is ridiculous!!!!!

Isn’t it ironic that uneducated WM will greatly benefit from this bill? I bet Democrats are sick of carrying those dumbasses while said dumbasses try to kneecap Dems every step of the way by voting Republican.

We really should call it White Dumb-acy.

Hey Annie! Good to see you.

The leopard, so snuggly and fuzzy! I just can’t!

Shadow,wait till the next poll post The Big Deal.

The mystery of the switching voters? Judging by turnout numbers, they don’t really exist. Meaning it’s not that Dems switch to Repubs, but that in a given election they just can’t muster the motivation to vote. Likewise for Repubs.

In Virginia, Repubs polled as way more motivated, by about 20%. (!) They won by about 1.5%.

Stacey Abrams, in Georgia with Brian Kemp’s election corruption!, managed to get us two Senators by boosting turnout. Not getting people to switch. It looks like a pattern in a lot of places.

One big difference: Repubs can be motivated with WhiteDumbacy (we needed that term!). Dems, not so much. So it’s harder to get them off their asses.

DYB @42, I just saw that. :boggle: Combined with the destroyed panic buttons in female House (?) members offices, that’s really starting to look uncoincidental.

@41 – 100000%! I do think some people switch back and forth, based on the Obama==>Trump voters, but statistically the numbers aren’t big. The significance comes when Dems get off their butts and vote.

@42 – good Gawd. The calls were coming from inside the house! The Pence team must have been so terrified when their badges didn’t work. What was going through Pence’s head, knowing Drumpf had put a target on his back?

@12 DYB, that is so GD funny! You can’t fix stupid, but you can sure as hell vaccinate it! I love that. 🙂

@41 Good explanation, quixote. I’m with you and Stacey! And MB and whoever else…

@42 Wow. I think we were lucky. Mike Pence was lucky. The MAGAts were really determined. If there hadn’t been equal determination on the other side (I didn’t realize just how many heroics went on that day until I watched the HBO documentary), it would have turned out differently.

I also think that the switch parties or stay home syndrome from some Democrats is due to Bernie voters, AOC, the squad supporters etc.

Some of these folks are not really Dems unless their leaders get all the free stuff they promised. Free college, free x,y and z. If those promised freebies didn’t happen, they blame Biden because he is an old white man, and just stay home. The Bernie blue collar men probably vote for the guy in the fleece vest just to get back at Biden and the Dems who are not on the extreme far left.

Just a thought, because this is how Bernie supporters were in 2016.

Did you guys see this? Paul Gosars sister speaks out about his insane cartoon about him stabbing AOC:

Meanwhile in Georgia:

@47 Annie, yeah, Gosar’s siblings made ads about him when he was first running for the House, saying how awful he was and encouraging people to vote for his opponent. Obviously voters didn’t listen and that’s too bad!

@51 OMB, DYB. I can hardly take that level of cuteness.

Too many Bs. One was supposed to be a G. 🙂

Beata, that was awesome!

@47 Socal, I thought his sister looked and sounded seriously worried. Interesting that she didn’t think it was the Republican leadership’s job to deal with him – it was up to Pelosi, Schumer, Garland. I have to disagree with her on that. But no doubt Gosar is messed up, disturbed. Completely fucked in the head.

The first pancake never turns out all right…

The first pancake should always be thrown out.

Shouldn’t Capitol PD also be investigating Gosar? Maybe AOC should get a restraining order against him. I don’t think there’s much Pelosi can do. Schumer has no jurisdiction in the House at all. Garland….well, I’m not entirely sure what Garland is doing.

Has a single Republican condemned Gosar???

And LOL @ Beata 57!

about our electile dysfunction. One of those “funny because it’s true” things.

Good point about the Capitol PD. Yes! They should. And yes, a restraining order – and one for Marge Greene too. I don’t think people are taking it serious enough. We know what nutjobs they are (Gosar and Greene) and they are inciting the even more unhinged. Jan 6, anyone? I’m no fan of AOC, but I’m honestly worried for her.

Republicans are too busy worrying about the real threat – Big Bird.

Wut?? Is this even legal?

Do you get the feeling it was news to the Dump when the judge told him he was not President any more? And so didn’t have Executive Privilege?

The thing that puzzles me is when we were still having his rants shoved in our faces, he couldn’t knit together one single coherent sentence. Subject – verb agreement? Forget it. Yet these dispatches from the front use punctuation and polysyllabic words and everything. Who’s writing this stuff for him? And why?

@63: Stephen Miller? Bannon?

Electile dysfunction was phenomenal!! Thanks for sharing, Beata!

The news about Drumpf is insane. I don’t even know how to process that. I assume “conducting foreign policy” means “grifting with our enemies,” as no legitimate government would take his word on anything?

Thanks to all our veterans for their service today. And it’s Fredster’s birthday. Thinking of you, Fredster, wherever you are!

And happy birthday Fredster!!! We miss you.

Happy Birthday Fredster! We miss you.

Fredster, missing your humor, your insight, your musical knowledge and all the many wonderful things about you. Happy Birthday.

Well said, Beata. I really miss him too. I was just thinking about him the other day. The new season of “Succession” is on and I would love to hear his thoughts about it. I’d love to hear his thoughts about a lot of things.

@66 Speaking of Succession… That show really does fit Fox News and the Murdochs. They always seem to worm their way out of any real consequences (both on the show and in real life). But I love that Dominion is going after them.

@61 Dear God…

@71 PJ, I have not watched “Succession” because I think I will just be angry (angrier) after watching it.

Yeah, DYB – I totally understand that. It isn’t for everyone. There isn’t one likable character on the whole show (although some are entertaining in a dark kind of way). They’re all snakes. I think I’m drawn in because I’m looking for that “Ozymandias” moment: ‘the decay
of that colossal wreck’ when the tyrant is reduced to ‘a shattered visage’.

But as a kid, I was always thinking they were going to get off Gilligan’s Island too. So…

Who is Aaron Rodgers? 🙂 That’s not even really a joke. I don’t watch football at all so I really didn’t know who he was. He’s just another dumbass white guy to me.

Really important thread about how QAnon recruits unsuspecting people into their cult by brainwashing them online. If you all have relatives like this (PJ, I’m thinking of you in particular), this may help explain the behavior.

Woo hoo! Steve Bannon indicted by a grand jury!

GAgal, yep!

That’s great news on Bannon!!

@75 That really is frightening. As far as my brothers and the white men around here… there was something wrong with them long before Q came along. When 90+% of your identity and self-worth is based on being white and male and that status feels threatened (which it *is* – constantly – by reality. In my family, the girls outperformed the boys in everything; sports, academics, music), you end up in a constant state of existential crisis, agitation and resentment towards women and people of color. My brothers aren’t much different from other Kansas men and they all reinforce (and commiserate with) each other: “the country has been going to hell for the last 50-70 years and Trump was correcting all that”. Trump brought back White Man Pride. (That’s just my observations of my local situation…)

But QAnon and others have really ramped it up – exploited what was already there. Which for many, is the difference between nonviolence and violence. Between (some) sanity and batshit crazy.

Do y’all remember this?

GAgal, I haven’t seen that before, it’s great. Ivanka with that fake smile looks like she has rabies.

I wonder if the DOJ has an orange jumpsuit in potbelly size that will fit Bannon?


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