Along with what Biden can do without Congress, we offer an examination of just how divided our country is, a powerful, tearful video from Van Jones & summaries and links to last week’s posts, a tour of a tension wrought week ending in joy.
Let’s start with something really moving. If you’ve seen it, you will likely want to see it again. If you missed it, you simply must watch this moving commentary from Van Jones. It explains a good deal about why all of us were so moved when CNN and other media sources declared Biden the winner.
Roxanne and I spent Saturday, watching news with videos of joyous celebrations in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. cities that had been disparaged repeatedly by Trump. So they had richly deserved their joy. As we watched and heard commentary from experts and from people in the street, Roxanne and I cried tears of joy over and over.
Our youngest son, Jesse, ever ready with a sarcastic comment or to note the flaw in any silver lining, even Jesse was not immune to these deep feelings. He was driving on Interstate 80 in the Bay Area, under the Gilman Bridge which was flooded with celebrants, jumping up and down and waving American flags. Jesse admited to crying as he saw the site, texting us about it later and causing more tears for us.
We have earned this relief, as the next piece describes, regardless of whether we are able to take both runoffs in Georgia or not, Biden can do all of the items listed below, and likely more…..by the swipe of a pen. And the executive orders to come will be extraoridinarily important to some of our most marginalized communities, to our collective health and to the planet.
There is a Great Deal Biden Can Do Without Congress & By Executive Order & So Starting Immediately Joe Biden will be:
- Developing plans to reunite immigrant children and their parents;
- Developing plans to rejoin the Paris Accord;
- Rescinding the Muslim travel ban;
- Developing plans to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal;
- Working with experts like Dr. Fauci to develop plans to address the pandemic (this is starting today);
- Protecting the residency status of millions of those immigrants residing here under DACA;
- Raising immigration and refugee entry levels significantly;
- Restoring EPA regulations to better protect our land, air, water and lives;
- Rescinding orders for local law enforcement to cooperate with ICE and I wonder if an executive order could halt ICE operations entirely, anyone know?
I think he can do all of the above on day one, through executive orders. But so many other critical initiatives will require cooperation of the Senate. Initiatives like developing a Covid relief plan for unemployed workers, the struggling small business community and cities and states desperately lacking resources. In our next post, to be published on Wednesday we will discuss the challenge Biden faces if he is to respond to the constituents who won this election for him: communities of color, women and the grassroots organizations in urban America that delivered the votes without further dividing those who cling to the Trump ideology (see charts below)
Big Electoral Win Or Not,
We Are a Seriously Divided Nation
While we take great comfort in escorting Trump out of the White House, make no mistake, this was not landslide. Consider this:
- While Biden received more votes than any other candidate in the Nation, our country is seriously divided and in need of healing. Seventy million Americans voted for Donald Trump despite all we’ve been through this past four years. We need to better understand why, because many of these voters were once the core of the Democratic Party;
- While Biden’s popular vote margin is nearing 4 million votes, if you eliminate California, Biden loses the popular vote as California gave Biden their electoral votes by a margin that exceeded 4.5 million votes;
- Biden won 63 electoral votes from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia by a total of 120,000 votes, 1/10th of one percent of the total vote in the country. If Trump had won those five states, he would have won a second term.
The screen shots of maps forwarded by Jeff Haas, tell a most interesting picture of where we stand as a nation. Each map shows how each state would have voted had they only counted the demographic group in each map.
The maps make clear that without the strong support of communities of color and women, Trump would have won in a landslide. But what the maps also tell us is that non-college educated (or blue collar) whites have completely abandoned the Democratic Party, something we’ve discussed in both “Why 40+% Will Vote for Trump,” and “How We Went Wrong & How We Can Get It Right.” Unless we want to spend the rest of our lives at war with our neighbors, we need to push the Democratic Party to bid adieu to its allegiance to Wall St., big business, and its wealthy donors and return to the principles of FDR, principles and policies that were what cemented blue collar support for the Democrats. So there is work to be done and we will discuss this in our next post..
Oh What a Week In Review
None of us will soon forget this week. The anxiety of heading into Tuesday, with some comfort from the polls being undermined by the results of 2016. And, once again, the polls were off significantly, but thankfully, the results were very different than 2016. Not sure there is much value in rereading posts from last week that are largely recounting what we all now know, however, just scanning the summaries below is a quick tour of a momentous, torturous week. As a recent Vanity Fair article began: “Let’s not ever do this again,” referring to our electing a sociopath.
One Day To Go. Tools for Viewing Tomorrow’s Returns; A Call To Act One Last Day; And Because We Need It: Valarie Kaur
Monday, November 2. We offer links to all of this week’s posts, an update on where we stand in the polls, tools for watching tomorrow night and a new Ted Talk from Valarie Kaur that is simply overwhelming. One more day to push & then maybe we can breathe ( a reference to Valarie Kaur’s Ted Talk, which you haven’t seen, makes it worth opening this post and watching. She is so inspiring..
Breathe: Election Week Has Begun &
I Think We May Need Each Other
Tuesday, November 3. On election day, we offered a post written the morning after the 2016 election and a personal note to all of you from Roxanne and I. The next week promises to be momentous and quite likely frightening. We will need each other & Retake will keep you posted. Have hope.
The Situation Has Improved Significantly….
But It Has Not Been the Night We Had Expected
Wednesday, November 4. Nationally and in NM, we didn’t do nearly as well as we thought and hoped, but at 8:16 am, it does look like Biden will win this, but it is so close that by the time you read this, things may have changed. Stay tuned.
Shocking Results, Reflections & What Is Next:
It’s Over Except for the Trump Meltdown,
All Eyes On Georgia Senate Run-Offs
Friday, November 6. We report on GA & PA’s very different picture this morning, Biden ahead & in position to claim the race, two Senate runoffs & what McConnell can do if the GOP retains control of Senate… terrifying. With a GOP Senate majority, McConnell can block virtually everything on the Biden agenda including Covid relief, infrastructure funding, Green New Deal, expansion of healthcare, immigration reform….the list is endless. But we can prevent that in January. Read on!
Biden Has Won &
Masked Celebrants Flood the Streets
Saturday, November 7. Not much reason to revisit this post, but we include it in any case, if you wanted to review photos of folks in the streets being delirious.
In solidarity and relief,
Paul & Roxanne
Categories: National Politics