I was seriously contemplating not renewing my subscription to WordPress. I hadn’t written a word in months mostly because of a combination of writer’s block and not wanting to endlessly complain about the current occupant of the Oval Office. I buried myself in binging West Wing, posting on Facebook, and giving money to candidates.
But after the election, I feel a bit more optimistic about the future. Plus the Boston Red Sox won the World Series!
Democratic women are the primary reason for my cautious optimism. If there was a “Blue Wave”, it was women. Meredith Conroy wrote in FiveThirtyEight a week or so after the election:
Democratic women did really well last Tuesday. And many broke new ground: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won a New York U.S. House seat, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Rashida Tlaib, who won in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, and Ilhan Omar, of the Minnesota 5th, will be the first Muslim women to serve in Congress. Women also flipped districts blue in competitive races — Navy veteran Elaine Luria won in the Virginia 2nd, and former CIA analyst Elissa Slotkin, who served in the Obama administration, won in the Michigan 8th.
What cheers me is the diversity of the women elected. Young, not so young; white, black, Latino, and Asian; Lesbian, Trans, and straight; liberal and moderate. In short, a mix that comes closer to representing American women than ever before. I’m waiting for the stories about conflict among them, but I firmly believe that they will find a way to work together. And work with their male colleagues.
Yes, the House needs to resume oversight of both agencies and the White House, but to continue success in 2020, legislation must be passed. We know almost none of it will pass the Senate or be signed by the President to become law, but Democrats must have a track record of doing positive things for future success. One thing that struck me in the fall election was the failure of the Republicans to talk about anything much except for the so-called Caravan of migrants coming to invade us.
So I am cautiously optimistic that the new House led by women will start leading us out of our dark times and back toward democracy.
I don’t expect the House Democrats to hold any meaningful votes, since any part of the Democratic agenda will die in the Senate and/or the Oval office. (Although an infrastructure bill could be theoretically possible.)
All I expect them to do is to obstruct the Republican agenda and investigate Trump at least half as diligently as the Republicans investigated Benghazi.
I’m hoping they vote on stuff anyway. I think that’s Pelosi’s plan.