Salon Delivers Incredibly Depressing News for Democrats

Warning! Please do not show this Salon article to your liberal acquaintances. It could cause severe, irreversible depression in them.

The reason why the May 27 article by Salon's executive editor, Andrew O'Hehir, could be so horribly depressing for them is that it tells several highly unwelcome truths that burst liberal fantasies. The fact that this unwelcome news for Democrats appears in leftist Salon just adds to the credibility of the article whose very depressing title must make liberals want reach for the Prozac, Wake up, liberals: There will be no 2018 “blue wave,” no Democratic majority and no impeachment:

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We received a message from the future this week, directed to the outraged liberals of the so-called anti-Trump resistance. It was delivered by an unlikely intermediary, Greg Gianforte, the Republican who won a special election on Thursday and will soon take his seat in Congress as Montana’s lone representative. (Here’s a trivia question to distract you from the doom and gloom: Without recourse to Google, how many other states can you name that have only one House seat?)

If you found yourself ashen-faced and dismayed on Friday morning, because you really believed the Montana election would bring a sign of hope and mark the beginning of a return to sanity in American politics, then the message encoded in Gianforte’s victory is for you. It goes something like this:

Get over Montana already — and stop trolling yourself with that stupid special election in Georgia too. They don’t mean anything, and anyway — that dude Jon Ossoff? He’s about the lamest excuse for a national progressive hero in the entire history of Democratic Party milquetoast triangulation. Oh, and since we’re on the subject: Forget about the “blue wave” of 2018. Forget about the Democratic majority of 2019. Forget about the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Have you even been paying attention? Because none of that stuff is happening and it’s all a massive distraction.

Ouch! O'Hehir goes on to describe the special elections fantasy currently held by hopeful Democrats.

First you chip away at Republican triumphalism, and the House majority, with a couple of special-election victories. Then it’s about organizing, recruiting the right candidates for the right seats, registering voters and ringing doorbells, right? Democrats picked up 31 seats in the George W. Bush midterms of 2006 — and will need 24 or so this time — so, hey, it could happen. For that matter, Republicans gained an astounding 63 seats in the Tea Party election of 2010, and many observers have speculated that Trump-revulsion might create that kind of cohesion on the left. So we sweep away Paul Ryan and his sneering goons, give Nancy Pelosi back her speaker’s gavel after eight long years, introduce the articles of impeachment and begin to set America back on the upward-trending path of political normalcy and niceness.

I suspect it’s pointless to list all the things that are wrong with that scenario, because either you agree with me that it’s a delusional fantasy built on seven different varieties of magical thinking or you don’t, and in the latter case I am not likely to convince you.

Before I chug down my bottle of Prozac, please tell me what is wrong with that fantasy scenario.

...the extreme and ingenious gerrymandering of congressional districts locked in by Republican state legislators after the 2010 census virtually guarantees a GOP House majority until the next census and at least the 2022 midterms. Yes, the widely-hated health care law might put a few Republican seats in play that weren’t before. But the number of genuine “swing” districts is vanishingly small, and it would require a Democratic wave of truly historic dimensions to overcome the baked-in GOP advantage.

As for the Senate — well, Democratic campaign strategists will mumble and look away if you bring that up, because the Senate majority is completely out of reach. Of the 33 Senate seats up for election next year, 25 are currently held by Democrats — and 10 of those are in states carried by Donald Trump last year. It’s far more likely that Republicans will gain seats in the Senate, perhaps by knocking off Joe Manchin in West Virginia or Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, than lose any at all.

Okay, maybe no winning back Congress in 2018 but don't the Democrats have a better chance of impeaching President Trump? Even without any proof of collusion with the Russians all we see on television is news about something that at least sounds nefarious so isn't there a chance of impeachment? Huh? Huh?

Electing a Democratic House majority (which is 95 percent unlikely to happen) and impeaching Trump (which is 100 percent not going to happen) might feel good in the moment, but wouldn’t actually fix what is broken.

GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD!!!

2016 Presidential Salon Andrew O'Hehir

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