The election has left many Democrats in a turbid pool of dread, a daze of disappointment, a gnawing ache of incompletion. Yes, Joe Biden won the presidency, but the Republicans are likely to retain control of the Senate, and that means … hey, now, wait a minute, the complainers are burying the lede!
Let’s put it up top: Joe Biden is going to be president. Before tallying the grim implications of the Senate contests, focus for a minute on what that means: Donald Trump will not be president for much longer. Remember the nightmares of a prospective second Trump term—the rampant corruption, the casual lawlessness, the coarsening of culture, the slide toward authoritarianism, the smashing of democratic norms, the incitement of divisiveness and violence, the ravaging of the environment, the cruelty toward the powerless, the hostility to science and expertise, the evisceration of institutions, the politicization of intelligence, the decline of American prestige in the world, the blithe abandonment of allies, the clueless coddling of dictators, the boastful know-nothingism about everything. This horror picture—which would have been intensified by a reelection victory that Trump would have taken as a mandate to keep doing what he’s been doing, faster and more furious—will instead be erased from the White House and its environs.
This was the Democrats’ main mission in the 2020 election: to defeat Trump, to push him away from the levers of national power. Mission accomplished. If Biden is unable to do anything else in his four years as president, this achievement alone is worth celebrating. [Continue reading …]