The Monday Morning Teaser

For months, I’ve been resisting (more successfully some weeks than others) the urge to focus entirely on the election. I’ve especially tried not to get lost in speculating about who’s going to win, because that’s a black hole that can suck down all your brain cycles without leading to any productive action.

But now voting is well underway. This year, Election Day marks the end of the voting season, and that’s a week from tomorrow. More than a third of the expected electorate has already voted. I dropped my own ballot off at the local court house a few days ago. I feel like I’ve crossed the event horizon — not thinking about the outcome is not an option any more.

But it’s a real challenge to think about it sanely. 2016 was the kind of nightmare you don’t soon recover from. Hillary was supposed to have it in the bag, and then everything went wrong. I didn’t even entertain the thought that she might lose until about 6 in the evening, when I heard over the radio that black turnout in Cleveland was unexpectedly light.

Time hasn’t eased those wounds, because Trump pokes at them every day. The last four years have been every bit as bad as we feared, and then some. Even Bill Barr isn’t corrupt enough or subservient enough for him now. Another four years of this and we’ll have a true autocracy that he can hand off to Don Jr. or Jared or Ivanka.

So it’s hard to feel sanguine no matter how good the signs look. But all the same, they do look good. That’s what I’ll talk about in the featured post “I Want To Believe”. That should be out around 10 EDT.

In the weekly summary I’ll also cover the virus, which has surged to a new peak in daily new cases. Unlike the spring and summer surges, this fall surge is just about everywhere: all sections of the country, urban and rural alike. The Northeast is probably the safest region right now, because we got the crap scared out of us in the spring and so we’re following the guidelines better than most other places. But cases are ramping up here too.

But I’ll also tempt fate a little and start thinking about what we need to fix after Trump is gone. Even if we dodge this bullet, his administration has stress-tested our democracy and exposed a lot of flaws. (I expect this to become a major theme of the Sift after the election is safely over.) I’ll talk some about the media and the environment (which needs a lot more attention in future weeks).

Also: what’s wrong with originalism, the all-electric Hummer, hacking Trump’s Twitter, and what can happen to a Twinkie if you leave in the basement for eight years. I’ll try to get that out by noon.

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  • Rebecca  On October 26, 2020 at 9:01 am

    I have been watching and listening to Glenn Kirschner lately. He is a 30 year federal prosecutor and he has some ideas about how to clean up the mess that Trump and McConnell have left in the courts. He is worth listening to. He has lots of knowledge and experience in matters of the courts. Might be useful for future issues tackling what we need to fix after Trump is gone.

  • NANCY BROWNING  On October 26, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Thank you. I do feel better…a little:-)

  • Jacqueline (Bonin) Gargiulo  On October 26, 2020 at 10:59 am

    It won’t make me by the Hummer but Karen O and Trends version of The Immigrant Song is one of my favorites!

  • Ed Blanchard  On October 26, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for your weekly posts, Doug. My sister Cathy Cordes, the rest of our family and the many thousands who read your thoughtful writings thank you. Not for just enlightening us but also for not giving up the ship. The “ship”, USS Constitution, has been guided successfully in its heading, The First Amendment, too long now to fail. I believe that as long as the First Amendment stands fast and we have people like you to exercise its voice, we can endure any travail. Including the current clown show.

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