It means we did what we needed to do. Maybe not everything we hoped to do – losses in Florida and Texas smart pretty badly – but most. Everyone who voted should be proud of the effect they had on the election.
Republicans can’t repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and scrap protections for those of us with pre-existing conditions.
No more tax bills that help corporations and the 1%, but leave the rest of us behind.
Republicans can’t gut Medicare, Social Security, or Medicaid, which is what they intended when they passed a tax bill that would inevitably result in a $1 trillion national deficit in less than two years. Paul Ryan said as much just five days after the bill passed.
Governors and Ballot Measures
In all the furor over the houses of Congress, don’t forget the statehouses. Democrats flipped seven gubernatorial seats as of 7 a.m. on Wednesday, November 7th, with the Georgia race still too close to call. They also gained over 300 seats in statehouses all over the country.
States can pass their own protections for those with pre-existing conditions. (All policies sold to a state’s residents must be approved by the state insurance commissioner.)
States can also pass measures to make voting more or less fair. While some states passed measures requiring voters to have identification that restricts the ability to vote, other states made voting easier by passing automatic registration or same-day voter registration measures.
States can (and did!) make voting fairer by making the next redistricting cycle less partisan. The last time around in 2011, some states so skewed their districts that fair representation of their populations is currently impossible.
Republicans can still pack the federal courts with judges who favor the insurance companies and who may not support the ACA or protections for those with pre-existing conditions. The nominees will never state their positions outright, but judicial records can give clues.
Never in my life have I ever wished for more gridlock in Washington. This year I did. There was so much at stake, no results coming out of Capitol Hill is preferable to what may have happened had Democrats failed to take the House of Representatives. Even had Democrats managed to somehow turn the Senate, nothing would have come of it. The President would have vetoed everything Congress passed, and neither chamber is anywhere close to the type of majority it would take to override a Presidential veto.
So, take some time to recover – this has been a difficult, emotional couple of years. Then take a deep breath, steel yourself, and jump back in. The 2020 cycle starts now and we still have work to do.