Frank Bruni is encouraged by the election results and says a vital safeguard against Trump’s worst impulses was created. However, he worries the Democrats will not learn lessons from high-profile losses like Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Gillum and may squander their majority on a “subpoena-palooza.” “Too many Democrats still haven’t figured out the difference between talking to and talking down to Americans.” But it’s encouraging that Dems prevailed with independents, suburbs, and swing districts.
- Do Democrats talk down to Americans?
- Would the Democrats have done better with a less-progressive message?
- Are suburbs the most important win for Democrats?
I wanted a sweeping repudiation of President Trump’s ugly politics, an undeniable statement that this country is bigger than his smallness and brighter than his darkness.
I got a vital safeguard against his worst impulses in the form of a significant Democratic majority in the House, the exact size of which wasn’t yet clear early Wednesday morning.
I’ll take it, and I’ll let others quibble over whether it amounts to a big wave, a modest one or a slosh of something wet and reassuring. It’s enough for the time being, even if doesn’t make me feel as good about America as I’d like to or as sure about the future as I yearn to.
It won’t humble Trump as thoroughly as he needs humbling. He’ll dwell on the Republicans’ success in the Senate, where they built on their majority. He’ll brag that he concentrated his own campaign-trail energy on that chamber of Congress and on those races, and he’ll be right. He’ll note — or others in his party will — that Democrats didn’t fare as well in these midterms as Republicans did two years into Barack Obama’s presidency, when they picked up 63 House seats. Now that’s a tsunami.
He’ll find a way to feel validated and vindicated. He always does.