The Monday Morning Teaser

Ordinarily, on the Monday before a Tuesday election, I write a viewing guide for people who are planning to watch the returns come in. Here’s when polls close in various states. Here are the bellwether races that might be decided early and tell you which way the night is going. Stuff like that.

I’m not doing that this time, for a reason that I hate to admit: I’m probably not going to watch the returns come in. I just can’t picture that experience being good for me. I haven’t given up on the idea that Democrats might do better than the polls suggest, but I’ve gotten so annoyed with this whole cycle that I can’t imagine any plausible outcome that really feels satisfying.

I mean, let’s just take the Georgia senate race as an example. (It’s one of those bellwether races whose early returns might tell you how the night is going.) What if Raphael Warnock outperforms Nate Silver’s expectations and pulls out a 51%-49% win? That will mean that 49% of Georgians want Herschel Walker to represent them in the Senate. Seriously? I’m still disgusted, even with the victory. (And if Warnock loses, I keep remembering the words of the 20th-century chess grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch, who famously lamented, “Why must I lose to this idiot?” We’ve all been there, Aron.)

I don’t think this is a healthy state of mind to be in. But here I am, so I can’t picture a returns-watching evening being good for me. If it’s not going to be good for you either, don’t watch. That’s my advice. Read the headlines Wednesday morning. Maybe you’ll get a pleasant surprise.

So what am I writing about this week? Well, a little over a week ago Bret Stephens (who lives in the NYT’s conservative-columnist ghetto) wrote a piece about his trip to Greenland and what he learned about the climate. The essay bucks and kicks like a wild bronco, but eventually settles down to the conclusion that climate change is real and conservatives need to have a plan to fight it.

How should we read that? Cynically, expecting that what Stephens can support is yet another baby step that will waste time the planet doesn’t have? Or hopefully, recognizing that climate-change activism still needs converts, so we need to welcome anybody who looks like he might be thinking about coming in the door? With some trepidation, I’m going to take the second path in this week’s featured post, which should appear maybe 10 EST or so.

The weekly summary, of course, has to say something about tomorrow’s elections. I’ll describe the current state of the polling, and the various reasons to think it might be wrong in either direction. Then there’s the Paul Pelosi attack, and what the Republican response says about their willingness to tolerate (or even encourage) violence. In other news, Elon Musk made his first moves as Twitter’s “chief twit”, Netanyahu is returning to power in Israel, and Masha Gessen thinks we need to take Putin’s nuclear threats seriously. (It really wasn’t a good two weeks.)

Oh, but there is one bright light: Bolsonaro lost in Brazil, and it looks like he’s really going to leave office. Fascists can be beaten.

Anyway, I’ll aim to get that out by noon.

Take care of yourself tomorrow.

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  • Roger  On November 7, 2022 at 9:15 am

    My wife was watching the 7 a.m. news (CBS) this morning, and I just couldn’t listen to it. Bellweather states, and whatever Trump was saying about DeSantis. I TOTALLY agree. I’m not looking at my phone Tuesday night. I’ll check it Wednesday morning. I hope it’s not to Gov.-elect Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

  • Thomas Phillips  On November 7, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Your Teaser echos my and my wife’s reactions to all this sturm und drang. I’m the congenital optimist, she’s the congenital pessimist and we’ve been married for more than 60 years.  We both converted from moderate Republicans to Liberals edging on Progressive after the “Culture Wars” first night of the 1992 Republican convention in Houston.   Our retreat this election is binging on Welcome to Wrexham, a kinda nutty documentary streaming on Hulu. I strongly recommend it for funny, nearly mindless escapism that is community-oriented. Tom PhillipsChicago,

  • nolamusickitchen  On November 7, 2022 at 10:20 am

    My plan for election night is to borrow “How To Train Your Dragon”, and the sequel, from the library and watch them.


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