Democrats Win in Georgia — Now What?

Photo by Thomas Cizauskas

W.J. Astore

The Democrats have carried both Senate seats in Georgia, meaning the Senate is now effectively tied at 50-50, eliminating Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader and leaving it to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to be the Senate’s tiebreaking vote.

The question is: What will Democrats do with this (very weak) majority? Or, as Greg Laxer put it here, “BUT…do the Dems have sufficient internal discipline to pass any legislation remotely progressive or to seat a SCOTUS nominee deemed controversial?” Good question.

Of course, it’s not just about “internal discipline.” Joe Biden, a mealy-mouthed corporatist, is on the record as saying that nothing will fundamentally change under his administration. I don’t see him or Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer pushing for a progressive agenda. These “leaders” are DINOs, Democrats in name only, and it will be interesting to see if Biden & Co. even come through on their promise to elevate relief checks from $600 to $2000.

I’m glad Democrats won in Georgia, but not because I expect great things and transformative change from them now. Just look at what Obama/Biden produced in 2009 with a “supermajority” in Congress: a bailout for banks and corporations and Romneycare without a public option, later rebranded as Obamacare. Obama/Biden also saw the failed Afghan surge, the Libyan disaster, and a major escalation in drone strikes, among other warmongering acts.

So, why am I glad about Georgia? Because now Biden and Pelosi and Co. can’t blame Mitch McConnell for blocking all their “noble” efforts in the Senate. Now we’ll really see the priorities of Biden/Pelosi laid bare. And they both have very long and strong records of serving elite interests at the expense of regular people.

It’s good to see awful Republican candidates lose in Georgia; even better to see Mitch McConnell removed from his position of power and obstruction. Now what, Democrats? Care to help the poor while ending war? Or will you continue to serve the rich while making war?

These next two years will be interesting indeed. If Democrats don’t go big, they will go home, as in losing both houses of Congress in 2022. If past performance is indicative of future gains and losses, I’m not bullish on Biden/Pelosi producing big gains for Main Street USA. But I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

41 thoughts on “Democrats Win in Georgia — Now What?

  1. >> So, why am I glad about Georgia? Because now Biden and Pelosi and Co. can’t blame Mitch McConnell for blocking all their “noble” efforts in the Senate. Now we’ll really see the priorities of Biden/Pelosi laid bare. And they both have very long and strong records of serving elite interests at the expense of regular people. <<

    Yep. Dealing with the faults of the democrats rather than the madness and incompetency of Trump is gonna be an improvement. But we mustn't forget that the democrat party has great faults.

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  2. Talk about a crisis of conscience! At least, for la Pelosi and her ilk, who can no longer blame the Republicans, can’t say “it will be up to the voters.” If she and the old guard fail or refuse to act, it will be done in plain sight … and plain old daylight, I seem to recall, actually is enough to kill certain types of low-level lifeforms.
    “Put up or shut up, stand and be counted … or don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.”
    Well, well.

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    1. The Trump base will be enraged for years to come, and the Dems better be really careful in approach to 2022 mid-terms. Complacency would be fatal. My crystal ball shows the stock market crashing fairly soon, when the reality of damage done to real economy by the pandemic can no longer be ignored. The incumbent POTUS, as always, will be blamed for this. Got stocks? Sell ’em!!

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    2. But, ya know….the situation was even better in Obama’s first two years. He did nothing positive, yet was re-elected, and his VP is now President. The Dems did indeed “go home” for four years, but their refusal to act to help the 99% hasn’t been punished, in the long run. I don’t know exactly what to make of that. Perhaps the people just keep changing horses in the [futile] hope that the next guy will do something better.

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      1. We will never “know” exactly what % of 2016 Trump voters were expressing general disgust with “the System” vs. those who were primarily galvanized by his blatant racism on the campaign trail.

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  3. Bill, I think there’s exceedingly little risk you’ll be proved wrong. This GA election outcome will be contested; one shouldn’t count them thar chickens afore they’s hatched (I’m in a “folksy” mood, I guess!). But assuming we do get an evenly split Senate, demoting McConnell IS very, very helpful. Job One was to get rid of the Worst POTUS Ever, and he needs to be packing his personal belongings, as Jan. 20 is less than two weeks away (Jan. 6 being more than half over already). I understand that, addressing supporters this morning, Trump said “You don’t concede”!! Well, I guess not, if you live in an illusory bubble of self-generated reality. (Which, by definition, and to borrow a word from Gore Vidal that SpellCheck doesn’t believe exists, represents “IRREALITY.”) Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be the 46th POTUS, he’s not Trump–despite how much he leaves to be desired–and that’s the news from the Real World, folks, and that’s what matters now.

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  4. Meanwhile, in Washington, the Capitol is stormed by Trump protesters. This is all about Trump’s reckless ego and boundless narcissism. Who’s the banana republic now, America?

    Apparently one “protester” is making off with a podium, which would be absurdly amusing if the situation wasn’t so dangerous:

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    1. It looked like a police shield was used to smash windows and gain entry to Capitol! Absolutely colossal FAIL on law enforcement’s part, on all levels today!! They were “stunned” that this happened?? What planet do they live on??

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      1. The police sure did a better job confronting, gassing, and shooting rubber bullets at the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

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        1. And HOW!!! As many officers, troopers, and National Guardsmen as were assembled, it doesn’t make sense that the psychos got as far as they did. All I can think is that the order was NOT to use overwhelming force, as the cameras were rolling.

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          1. Wouldn’t be surprised if the police in general are feeling damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

            But the sight of the Capitol security force, standing inside barricaded doors, guns drawn and pointing at the mob raging on the other side, was chilling. Frightening. Pramila Jaypal was describing how those officers protected the few representatives who’d been in the gallery and couldn’t immediately be evacuated, how they stood their ground, even with shots being fired into the Chamber. It was a very close call today.

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          2. Reportedly, some Trumpites were verbally assaulting LEOs, suggesting they were “on the wrong side.” Of course they’d be cheering on very same cops if the latter were busting heads of left-leaning demonstrators.

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          3. Of a certainty. As someone mentioned in another arena this morning, it’s a bit heartening to see law enforcement actually protecting people against the rightwing nutjobs, as they were doing near the White House yesterday.

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  5. I can’t believe this President totally M.I.A… The blowback from Today I feel will take years to repair. Inciting a Riot on the Capitol no less!!! Shameful his Speech I saw some of on the OAN Channel He still saying even now the Election was stolen from him…Wrong! I now don’t see this ending well! Interfering with the process is unbelievable in itself, but I never thought at 65 years old I’d see an actual Insurrection in the so called United States. Even 2nd. Graders know better. Nation of Evil more like it! Historic in the saddest way. Truly outrageous! unpatriotic, unconstitutional, behavior by these people. Lady Liberty is crying!

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    1. In their twisted minds, and Trump’s, these yahoos were and are the “real patriots.” Time to rethink the whole notion! (Which I’ve done in my own memoir, which I hope to be able to publish by end of year? Or mid-2022, at latest?)

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      1. Departing rioters declaring “This is just the beginning!” If DC has to be totally taken over by troops on Jan. 20 to complete the transition, I’m okay with that.

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        1. Heck, Trump himself tried to lay basis for that with his mobilization of Fed forces to Portland, OR, etc.

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          1. I left this at your doorstep. I’m enjoying reading your perspectives on these strangely trying times.

            Thanks for the description of the ”blow by blow” stratagems by followers of a broken dream. Apparently this is how our citizenry has learned to express itself; mimicking drills based on lessons mastered in the classrooms of our military industrial complex. As our creator was shrugging today I was oblivious to all the mayhem; sitting in a coffee shop reading Capra and Luisi’s The Systems View of Life. It is a blessing not owning a subscription to the TV. It felt natural not connecting to the internet until after 9 pm. Your notification of today’s Foot of Pride carnival was a telling portrait about a predictable clown car crash inside the hallowed halls of congressional power brokers. Thanks for the update. Somehow it feels as if it is something deserved after the abdication of quality that so many have been demanding from our elected officials; but they are so inept at delivering. As Bob sang ….
I Need a Shot Of Love …
            I need a shot of love, I need a shot of love
            Don’t need a shot of heroin to kill my disease
Don’t need a shot of turpentine, only bring me to my knees
Don’t need a shot of codeine to help me to repent
Don’t need a shot of whiskey, help me be president
            I need a shot of love, I need a shot of love
            Doctor, can you hear me? I need some Medicaid
I seen the kingdoms of the world and it’s makin’ me feel afraid
What I got ain’t painful, it’s just bound to kill me dead
Like the men that followed Jesus when they put a price upon His head
            I need a shot of love, I need a shot of love
May we all take a long strong pull…

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          2. Because of the “invisible” cops until well into the day, we have no way of knowing how many of the yahoos were packing loaded firearms. (And I’m confident even if they weren’t loaded, their possession woulda violated DC laws, and Fed. law once rioters stepped onto Capitol grounds.) Since I am so dreadfully old-fashioned as to believe words still have meanings, I object to media descriptions of this event as “armed insurrection” or a “coup attempt.” It wasn’t even violent enuf, on the whole, to come close to the Brownshirts’ “Munich beer hall putsch” prior to Hitler’s being elected Chancellor.

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          3. I don’t think “armed insurrection” is an exaggeration at all. Six people had already been arrested in D.C. yesterday for illegally carrying, long before the mob assembled.

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          4. When Bolshevik-supporting soldiers and sailors stormed the Winter Palace in November 1917, THAT was an armed insurrection!! That said, between now and Jan. 20–and after that–we absolutely can’t rule out rightwing terrorist action that may produce a body count well in excess of today’s. Will the cops respond a bit more promptly in such a case? Do they not love to strut their SWAT gear under “normal” circumstances?

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          5. Shots being fired into a Congressional assembly chamber is all the armed insurrection I ever want to see. I earnestly hope we’re spared anything like the Bolshevik uprising.

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    2. Wish I could have a Mind Meld by Mr. Spock and told to “Forget” yesterday lol like in one of the possible Endings to CEF Harlan Ellison’s Classic ST Star Trek Classic Episode “City on the Edge of Forever” As Spock does to the Captain in the ending– to help forget his love, and not being able to save “Edith Keeler” from her fate. I’d call my Episode– City on a Bright Shining Hill…!

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      1. Excellent citation of classic “Star Trek,” Phil!! But to forget what happened at the Capitol would be a huge error. With so FEW elected GOP figures backing off the attempt to overthrow the election results, the Modern Republican Party stands revealed in all its naked insanity. But 70+ million of our fellow citizens voted for Trump this time, and we are far, far from out of the woods. As for those few GOPers now resigning their administration positions, talk about rats abandoning the sinking ship!! Where were their consciences last week, last month, last year, two years ago, or four years ago? Why did they accept positions in this regime in the first place? Obviously to carve out some kind of personal advantages, in wielding a degree of power and raking in financial gains. They are just so, so DESPICABLE!!

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        1. Yes, Greg I believe as JFK said “forgive your enemies, but remember their names” and to forget I’d probably only do so in a symbolic way… On the Titanic aka White Star Line Trump– the Band is still playing the Violins…

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          1. As the story goes, the dance band was ordered to play “Nearer My God to Thee” as things turned really bleak on that doomed vessel! I wonder what they’re playing in the West Wing these days?

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  6. Speaking of riots and coups overthrowing elected governments, I just read where President-elect Joe Biden plans to appoint Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs. Given her experiences fomenting the coup in Ukraine, perhaps the as-yet-uninstalled President Biden could inveigh upon her to pass out cookies to the right-wing D.C. rioters just as she and the late John McCain did for their neo-Nazi client/proxies in Kiev. What goes around comes back around, indeed.

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  7. Here’s to the promise of fulfillment for a mother’s love. Verlene Warnock, who as a young woman spent summers on a south Georgia farm picking cotton and tobacco; finally after a long time coming,underneath 82 years of hard living;was able to taste the cooling water of redemption. This made my heart swell; how sweet must be her dreams as she falls asleep inside the soft comfort of sweet victory.

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