Midterm elections show both parties are seriously sick

Political analyst: Both Parties Showed Their Weakness

Last week’s midterms, observes Yuval Levin in The Washington Post, reveal a “troubling character of our politics”: “weakness of all sides.” Both parties had opportunities for big gains, the GOP in the Senate and the Democrats in the House. Yet each won only “marginal voters powerfully turned off by the other.” Neither side “found a way to meaningfully broaden its coalition.” Nor are the parties likely to build such a “broad and durable” base. Yet America’s polarization isn’t “unalterable.” What’s needed is “creative, energetic political leadership.” And “frustrated voters,” he asserts, “could be far more open” to that “than cynical political professionals imagine.”

Fiscal beat: Dem States Set for ‘Tax-and-Spend’ Revival

Get set for a “tax-and-spend revival,” warns Steve Malanga at City Journal — at least states where Democrats triumphed in gubernatorial races last week. Though the midterm “wasn’t quite a blue wave,” Dems picked up seven governorships. And while Republicans lost four “trifectas” (control of both the executive branch and both houses of the legislature), Democrats won them in a few states, including New York. The question now is whether they’ll “respond as they did” after their 2008 victories, “by raising taxes.” That year set a record for state tax hikes, nearly $29 billion’s worth, with Democratic states leading the way. Today, states are facing “squeezed” budgets, and Democratic gubernatorial candidates, such as Connecticut’s Ned Lamont, have already called for higher taxes. “There’s reason to believe,” warns Malanga, “that something similar” to what happened in 2009 “is on the horizon.”

Court critic: Obama Judges Keep Thwarting Trump

Presidential elections are often referenda on policies, but to the Left, contends Andrew McCarthy at National Review, that’s only when Democrats win. “The rest of the time, the courts are there to consolidate the Left’s gains, to repel democratically driven policy shifts.” Take last week’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which included two judges tapped by President Obama and a third on his “short list” for Supreme Court. It said Team Trump “was powerless to reverse Obama’s DACA policy (Delayed Action on Childhood Arrivals).” Yet Obama imposed DACA “unilaterally,” even admitting he lacked the authority to do so. McCarthy urges the Republican-led Senate to prioritize “the conveyor-belt confirmation of Trump nominees” to the bench. Because without “rule-of-law” judges, Americans will be “ruled by the Lawyer Left.”

Foreign Desk: Germany — 80 Years After Kristallnacht

At Bloomberg, Leonid Bershidsky believes the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht was “a good day” to explain how he could live in Berlin. Yes, the outbreak of violence on Nov. 9, 1938, immediately claimed 1,300 lives, destroyed more than half of Germany’s synagogues and led to “thousands of Jews” sent to concentration camps. Yes, anti-Semitism still plagues Germany. But much of it comes from “Middle Eastern and North African immigrants.” And at least German leaders today ask how they could have permitted evil like the Holocaust. In the country Bershidsky’s from, Russia, “where the word pogrom was invented,” he’s never heard a Russian leader ask that about “any of the numerous atrocities in Russian history.”

From the right: Midterms Sparked ‘Civic Illiteracy’

Reports that Republicans gained Senate seats in last week’s midterm despite losing the popular vote in Senate races triggered complaints about America’s voting system — which David Rutz at the Washington Free Beacon chalks up to “civic illiteracy.” One tweet whined that “Dems got 9 million more votes in Senate races but GOP picked up 3 seats. Like the electoral college . . . this is a recurring modern American theme.” Actor George Takei compared the Senate to a “form of historical gerrymander, forcing certain votes to count less.” But Rutz notes that of the 26 Democratic seats up for election, at least 22 stayed Democratic. Even better, the 22 account for 63 percent of the 35 seats on the ballot last week, though Dems won only 56 percent of the vote. If seats were proportional to votes, Republicans would’ve gained at least two more. “I doubt Democrats,” says Rutz, “would like that deal.”

— Compiled by Adam Brodsky

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