‘Good Sign’ From New York!

February 14, 2024

Sunshine and some huge, puffy clouds this near-noon Wednesday here in California’s Central Valley — nice now, but rain be coming in a couple of days.
It can wait in the present tense.

Today is of the heart:

Inward the heart and outward the loser, dumbass mentally of Republicans, especially in the down-ballot votes that can hammer the reality into the American voting population — Tom Suozzi in New York a point in fact:

Noah Berlatsky at Public Notice this morning:

The conventional wisdom at the moment is that Trump won’t be much harmed by being held liable for rape, or for his 91 indictments for mishandling classified documents, election interference, and hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. But Suozzi’s victory suggests that associating your party with bad actors can in fact come with a cost — and that cost isn’t always fully recognized until election day.

Many analysts pointed out that Suozzi was boosted by a snowstorm on election day. Republicans are more likely to vote in person. Democrats bank votes early, while inclement weather can keep Republicans home, changing a potentially close election into a route.

Bad weather is just bad luck. But GOP turnout patterns aren’t an accident. Trump’s election denial at least since 2020, including when he attempted to stage a coup and overthrow the government in January 2021, has been based in part on claims that early voting and mail-in ballots are fraudulent and untrustworthy.

For Trump, attacking early voting makes sense; Democrats have traditionally had an advantage there, and his instincts are always to discredit the democratic process so that he can rely instead on threats and violence to deliver him victories. But for the GOP as a whole, the attacks on early voting, and on the electoral system in general, are hugely demobilizing. As many in the GOP recognize, when your opponents vote for 30 or 50 days, and you only vote on one, it’s harder to win.


Specials may not always predict general elections results, but every election is important. Suozzi’s victory reduces the GOP House majority to 219-213, making it harder for the Republicans to forward their agenda of nonsense impeachments and … well, that’s about the entirety of their agenda.

Suozzi’s victory also means he’ll be an incumbent in November, giving Democrats a better chance to hold a key seat and perhaps regain their majority. And there was another important Democratic victory on Tuesday. Democrat Jim Prokopiak won a Pennsylvania House seat by an astonishing 35 points, beating Biden’s +10 performance in 2020 by 25. That means Democrats keep their 102-100 majority and can prevent the GOP from eroding abortion rights.


We’ll know more about which explanation is correct after November. But either way, one thing is certain: Democrats are winning a lot of off-year elections. And that has enabled significant policy changes, especially at the local level.

Democrats won a state Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin and as a result have been able to break the state’s notorious and brutal GOP gerrymander. After winning control of both state houses in Michigan in 2022, Democrats repealed the state’s 10-year-old right to work law, a major victory for labor. Democratic legislative victories in Virginia in 2023 effectively killed the Republican governor’s promised abortion restrictions.

The presidential election in 2024 is extremely important, and a loss to Trump has terrifying implications. But other elections matter too — and Democrats being able to win consistently in off-year elections ever since the Supreme Court overturned abortion rights in 2022 has already materially benefited millions of people and pointed towards a better future for the country and for democracy. We shouldn’t overread Suozzi’s victory. But however you look at it, it’s a good sign.

We’ll take it, and hopefully, that thorny, lying road ahead in the next 7-8 months will become even worse.

Future fried GOPers, or not, yet once again here we are…

(Illustration out front is of a New York state high-school student exhibit: ‘The piece was displayed during student-driven art show at Shenendehowa High School. It consisted of at least 12 identical black-and-white pictures of Donald Trump. There was also a sign above the pictures that read, “Draw on Me.” Using markers from the art classroom, Isome students opted to scribble critical messages and profanities on the pictures‘ — and found here.)

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