Election 2017: Anti-Trump Backlash, All Politics is Local (and Sometimes Whacky)

My favorite headline from Election Day 2017 comes from a weekly news outlet in Cambridge, Mass., the Cambridge Day It read, “Results Are Substantially Unofficial.” Combine that with a backlash against Donald Trump that may or may not be sustainable and you have entertaining if weird results from Tuesday’s balloting.

Cambridge is the most liberal city in the most liberal state in the country. They also use the complicated, ridiculous and elitist “proportional representation” form of voting. It would take too much to explain (and I admit, I don’t fully understand it) to explain here but suffice it to say those of us who believe in, “We vote, we count the votes, the people with the most votes get to serve in office,” are too unsophisticated to understand it. Or so think Cantabrigians. That’s what they call themselves, Cantabrigians.

Tuesday night was not kind to Cantabrigians, especially the ones trying to figure out who won their local municipal elections. Three of the voting machine memory cards failed to upload data, throwing the complicated election into further chaos. As of this writing, I don’t think they have it entirely figured out.

But on to more-watched races. Democrat are rejoicing over the victories in the races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey. Yes, the Democrats won each race and with it, the right to celebrate. But Dems better not get too ahead of themselves. Virginia is a blue state that Hillary Clinton won and Barak Obama took twice.

New Jersey was won by a former US ambassador who is well liked. But don’t discount the albatross named Chris Christie around the Republican nominee’s neck. Christie is, in fact, the least popular governor in country. Arguing with people at baseball games and on election day will do that to a guy. He is even less popular than Rick Snyder, the governor of Michigan, who was in charge when people’s drinking water was poisoned.



More telling were some individual stories that showed the extent of the displeasure with Trump and his fellow Republicans:

Ravi Bhalla. The mayor-elect of Hoboken, New Jersey overcame an absolutely vicious, bigoted campaign against him to become the first mayor of an American city to regularly wear a turban. The pieces of crap who sent out nasty mailers were apparently hoping their own ignorance was commonplace in Hoboken. Bhalla is a Sikh, not a Muslim. The idiots were hoping prejudice against Muslims would stick to Bhalla. They were wrong.


• Virginia House of Delegates. A very unwieldly 50-50 split is possible as Republicans, who held a 66 – 34 majority going in, lost 12 incumbent seats and three open seats. Four races are still too close to call. Think an even split can work? Just ask Connecticut.

• Ashley Bennett. The 32-year old resident of heavily Republican Atlantic City, New Jersey was extremely upset with County Commissioner John Carmen’s comments about the Women’s march in Washington back in January. Carmen wrote, “Just asking? Will the woman’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?…There must be a large sandwich making class going on in DC today.”


Atlantic City County Commissioner-elect Ashley Bennett.


Bennett didn’t appreciate it and went to a commission’s meeting looking for an apology. She didn’t get one from Carmen so she decided to run. And yes, she won. Is 2018 going to be the next “Year of the Woman?”

In the bigger picture, it would be a huge mistake for Democrats to think that the “Trump is a dangerous, morally bankrupt, environment-destroying, race-baiting, healthcare-annihilating, middle class-abandoning, simpleton” argument is enough. Democrats need to articulate what they will do. What will they do with control of Congress (assuming they can pull off that heavy lift, which is no small assumption)?



I don’t care about Hillary Clinton. I don’t care that Donna Brazile apparently hasn’t read the book she claims to have written. And for the love-of-everything-that-is-holy, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Bernie Sanders (no mas, Bernie, no mas). I want to hear more from Chris Murphy, Seth Moulton, Kamala Harris, Kirstan Gillibrand, Debbie Stabenow, Amy McGrath, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Andrew Gillum, Lydia Edwards, Marty Walsh, Gina Raimondo, et al.



I’ll end with probably the funniest thing I heard all day Tuesday. On behalf of a friend and client, I was waiting for the results of a precinct vote in my hometown of Everett, Mass. Earlier in the day the one electronic voting machine they had wasn’t working for about an hour so the paper ballot forms were slid into the locked compartment under the machine.

As the machine was being read, the ladies working the polls were adding the paper ballots. One said to the other, “Just put that one in the ‘crazy pile.’” God bless democracy.