I wanted a sweeping repudiation of President Trump’s ugly politics, an undeniable statement that America is bigger than his smallness and brighter than his darkness.
I got a vital safeguard against his worst impulses in the form of a significant Democratic majority in the House, the exact size of which wasn’t yet clear early Wednesday.
I’ll take it, and I’ll let others quibble over whether it amounts to a big wave, a modest one or a slosh of something wet and reassuring. It’s enough for the time being, even if doesn’t make me feel as good about America as I’d like to or as sure about the future as I yearn to.
It won’t humble Trump as thoroughly as he needs humbling. He’ll dwell on the Republicans’ success in the Senate, where they built on their majority. He’ll brag that he concentrated his own campaign-trail energy on that chamber of Congress and on those races, and he’ll be right. He’ll note — or others in his party will — that Democrats didn’t fare as well in these midterms as Republicans did two years into Barack Obama’s presidency, when they picked up 63 House seats. Now that’s a tsunami.
He’ll find a way to feel validated and vindicated. He always does.
And there were disappointments for Democrats, many of which should cause concern and prompt careful re-examination of their strategy going forward. High-profile progressives, including Andrew Gillum in Florida and Beto O’Rourke in Texas, didn’t fulfill the dreams that so many Democrats had for them. There may well be a lesson for 2020 in that, and I’m not confident that the party will learn it.
民主党这边也有失望的地方，其中有的令人担忧，促使他们要小心地重新审视接下来的策略。一些受瞩目的进步派人士，包括佛罗里达州的安德鲁·吉勒姆(Andrew Gillum)和德克萨斯州的贝托·欧洛克(Beto O’Rourke)，都没有实现许多民主党人寄托在他们身上的梦想。这其中的教训或许可以供2020年参考，不过我怀疑民主党不会去吸取。
I also worry that House Democrats, flush with the newfound ability to torment a president who has earned it, will go too far, and become the foils against which he thunders profitably as he reaches for a second term. There are ways to contain and expose him shy of an all-out subpoena-palooza. The answer to a freak-show presidency isn’t a carnival that leaves Americans confused about where the most blinding lights and obnoxious noise are coming from.
But let’s save all of that for other columns. Let’s use this one to rejoice. Trump needed a comeuppance, and the decisive swing of the House into the Democratic column was precisely that. You know what else was? The profiles of the Democrats who made that swing happen.
Many of the candidates for the House who turned red seats blue were women. A record number of them ran for Congress this year, and it seemed likely early Wednesday morning, even before all the counting of ballots was done, that the next Congress would also contain a record number of them: more than the 107 currently there.
So a president who has acted and spoken with such vulgar disregard for women will deal with more female lawmakers than any of his predecessors did. That’s a measure of sweet justice.
Many of the candidates for the House who turned red seats blue were people of color. I think of Antonio Delgado in New York, whose blackness was something that Republicans dwelled on. I think of Colin Allred in Texas, who defeated a previously invincible Republican, Pete Sessions, who has been in Congress for two decades. I think of Lauren Underwood in Illinois, who was making her first bid for political office and wasn’t initially given much of a chance. She proved the naysayers wrong.
众议院很多取代了共和党的民主党候选人是有色人种。我想起纽约的安东尼奥·德尔加多(Antonio Delgado)，他的黑皮肤是共和党人的肉中刺。我想起了德克萨斯州的科林·奥尔雷德(Colin Allred)，他击败了曾经在国会20年，此前从未失败的共和党人皮特·塞申斯(Pete Sessions)。我想起伊利诺伊州的劳伦·安德伍德(Lauren Underwood)，她第一次竞选政治职位，一开始并没有获得太多机会。她证明否定者是错的。
Allred and Underwood are in their 30s, which speaks to another theme in the Democratic takeover of House: the number of young candidates behind it. Nancy Pelosi, 78, may be poised for a new stint as the Speaker of the House, but what happened among Democratic candidates throughout the country on Tuesday represented a changing of the guard and a diversifying of the ranks.
In a bellwether House race in Kansas, Sharice Davids defeated the Republican incumbent, Kevin Yoder. She’s 38, openly gay and will be one of the first Native American woman in Congress. The other, also elected on Tuesday, is Deb Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat.
在堪萨斯州的众议员竞选中，沙丽斯·戴维斯(Sharice Davids)击败了共和党现任议员凯文·约德(Kevin Yoder)。戴维斯38岁，是公开的同性恋者，她将成为美国历史上头两位美洲原住民女性议员之一。另一位也是在周二当选，是新墨西哥州的民主党人黛比·哈兰德(Deb Haaland)。
Ah, Kansas: Trump won the state in 2016 by more than 20 points, but on Tuesday, in the governor’s race there, Kansans rejected a far-right candidate who was a darling of the president’s — Kris Kobach — for a Democratic woman, Laura Kelly.
啊，堪萨斯：特朗普在2016年以超过20点赢下了这个州，但是周二，在那里的州长竞选中，堪萨斯拒绝了一名极右翼候选人、深得总统青睐的克里斯·科巴赫(Kris Kobach)，选择女民主党人劳拉·凯利(Laura Kelly)作州长。
She won handily, and Democrats picked up other governorships that had belonged to Republicans, for instance in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, where Scott Walker was denied a third term. Democrats will now govern all three states — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — that handed Trump his margin of victory in the Electoral College.
I can look at the way Trump has governed — unabashedly spreading hate, gleefully shattering norms and sowing chaos at every turn — and wonder why more didn’t go Democrats’ way on Tuesday. I can tally their possible mistakes. Too many Democrats still haven’t figured out the difference between talking to and talking down to Americans, and too many engage in a kind of oppression Olympics that turns off voters in the middle.
But on Tuesday, in House elections, Democrats prevailed among independents. They prevailed in suburbs. They prevailed in swing districts with candidates who showed plenty of prudent moderation.
And they prevailed despite low unemployment numbers, wage growth and an overall economic picture that most Americans find positive. It wasn’t “the economy, stupid” that drove what happened on Tuesday. It was Trump.
He repeatedly told his supporters in the days leading up to the midterms that he was essentially on the ballot, and for once he wasn’t boasting idly. Americans weighed in on him, and if it wasn’t quite the spanking he had coming, it certainly wasn’t a hug.