Richard Wolfe: Election recap: Highs and lows

Is this a great state or what?!

On Nov. 8, the voters of Michigan who supported Democratic candidates ran the table on statewide offices. The Republican candidates were, without question, so weak in every category of qualification that the outcome was never really in doubt.

Unless, that is, you were mesmerized by FOX News and their ridiculously biased pollster, Trafalgar Group. Two weeks before the election, Trafalgar had Gretchen Whitmer ahead by half a point; she won by more than 10.

Polling has fallen into disrepute and certainly bias is a principal reason. There is serious money to be made by sending forth droves of underpaid Gen Zs armed with clipboards. As window dressing, that is, for the understanding that it’s the political echo chamber (and for Trafalgar that’s Republicans) that pays the bills; accuracy is immaterial.

Richard Wolfe
Richard Wolfe

Because, you see, MAGA world revels in baseless self-validation ("Tell me what I want to hear, not what I need to know.").

The Jocelyn Benson and Dana Nessel, campaigns defied polling and enjoyed similar outcomes to Whitmer’s (14 and 8 point margins, respectively). Predictably, all their Republican opponents sidestepped anything approaching grace in defeat.

Nessel adversary and election denier Matthew DePerno said, “Although I may be conceding to Dana Nessel … I refuse to concede that Michigan is a blue state.” It’s this type of delusional thinking that turned the prophesized "red wave" into, as others have framed it, a "red ripple."

DePerno had to be distracted, though, because he failed to notice that the Michigan Legislature had flipped to Blue for the first time in 40 years. Maybe that special prosecutor’s investigation of DePerno being among people tampering with voting machines in 2020 was just such a distraction.

Refuse all you like, Matt. We’re blue.

All three social initiatives passed, none by less than a 14-point margin. Not one could be characterized as philosophically Republican in nature:

  • Proposal 1 requires members of the Legislature to file annual public financial disclosure reports after 2023. State representatives, and state senators are term limited to 12 years in any combination between the House and Senate.

  • Proposal 2 recognizes the fundamental right to vote without harassment and requires nine days of early in-person voting.

  • Proposal 3 establishes a new individual right to reproductive freedom.

So, yes, it was a fine day here in the Wolverine State.

On to national politics …

Democrats retained their Senate majority, but the House turned red.

And so … speaking of the House … speaking of the Speaker of the House … Kevin McCarthy now has the job he thought he wanted. He’ll learn. His own caucus will soon become his recurring nightmare. Somewhere, John Boehner is smiling.

But first, Kevin has to take his feet out of his lying mouth and try to cram them into Nancy Pelosi’s high heels.

Legendary late night TV host Johnny Carson is reputed to be the source for the trope: "Never follow an animal act or child act."  That was in reference to the vacuum left by the manifest cuteness or cleverness of the preceding performer.  It couldn’t be filled, let alone outshone.

Nancy Pelosi is rarely if ever spoken of as "cute" (well, maybe by her youngest grandchildren). But she is renowned throughout political circles for being clever. And tough. History will record her as being one of the most formidable and consequential leaders of the House of Representatives.

She’s an impossible act to follow. Kev is doomed.

Finally, sadly, let’s return to West Michigan. Nov. 8 produced at least one grotesquerie.

For the sake of a handful of books (90 of 67,000) that offend the prejudices of some Christian Nationalists, all the citizens of Jamestown, and their progeny, will now wallow in the mud of factual ignorance and bigotry.

Patmos Public Library has lost its funding. A generous $50,000 donation from romance novelist Nora Roberts(!) and a GoFundMe page boasting 4,000 donors have raised operating funds to last just one year.

LGBTQ+ human beings exist. They deserve their personal dignity and our kindhearted acknowledgement. Denying your children — denying anyone, really — an understanding of that is purposefully distorting what is real.

You could call it grooming. In this case, with hate.

— Community Columnist Richard Wolfe is a resident of Park Township. Contact him at wolf86681346@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Richard Wolfe: Election recap: Highs and lows