"Vibes" Are For Stupid People. The 2022 Midterm Election Should Prove It.
'Twas a night of shifts! The Republicans were happy! Then the Democrats were happy! Then back and forth again until the wee small hours.
The 2022 midterms hath come and gone. (Mostly; there will be a runoff in Georgia.) Republicans had talked themselves into believing that there would be a massive red wave that would carry them into office. Democrats, still haunted by memories of 2016 and refusing to feel anything but apocalyptic fear, mostly agreed.
The vibes were set. But the vibes didn’t ever agree with the polls. However, the vibes had an answer for this: the polls were off in 2016 and 2020 and they structurally undercount Republicans. So polls that showed a dead heat really showed a GOP wave.
Live by the vibe, die by the vibe. So as the results began to trickle in and it became apparent that this wasn’t a 2010 type of night, something hilarious happened. The Democrats started to see that they would at least win the expectations game. They still assumed they’d almost certainly lose the House and the Senate but they wouldn’t all be plunged into the sea and drowned. So they mobilized to capture the new vibe shift with a bunch of loser talk about the moral victory of coming in closer than expected.
“At least we’re over-performing the fundamentals.” Pathetic. “Over-performing the fundamentals” means nothing. Nazi Germany overperformed the fundamentals. In politics in the United States, there are real reasons to win elections. If you are the Democratic Party in 2022, the difference between keeping control of one or both houses of congress and losing both houses of congress is massive. The difference between losing them by a little and by a little bit more is not. Margins aren’t nothing! It is better to be a few seats short of a majority than to be a hundred seats short. In the Senate, there is a real difference between 49-51 and 42-58. But that was never on the table. There is a Democratic President at the moment and in reality, nothing that a GOP congress passes is going to become law for the next two years if it’s too extreme. And, yes, it makes it easier to retake one of those chambers in the future if you keep it close this year, but that is loser talk. Loser talk is when you ignore the real significant situation and cling to some true but minor optimistic potentiality.
“The cheerleader wouldn’t fuck me, but she did let me spend some money taking her out to dinner” is loser talk. “At least I’m getting better at dating and becoming more confident.” Congrats, loser.
Hanging your hat on the idea that “well, we kept it close” is the sort of thing that losers say to avoid suicide.
Then something funny happened on the way to today: Democrats weren’t losing. Not only were they not losing as badly as some people had predicted but they were actually in some cases winning?
As of Wednesday afternoon, the House hasn’t been called for the GOP. It probably will, but the Dems are the slight favorites to hold the Senate.
Holding the Senate is a real victory. Not a pretend victory. Not an emotional victory. There are material reasons to want that. If the Democrats hold the Senate and then all the liberal Supreme Court justices decide to go on a very dangerous expedition into the heart of the Amazon and are never heard from again, Biden will be able to replace them.
That isn’t a hallucination. That is a real thing. That matters.
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