Before we get to the meat and potatoes of this week’s update, let’s all take a moment to thank all our veterans for making this country safe for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is only through their service that you enjoy the freedom to vote (and protest, and celebrate, and Tweet) even if forty percent of you never got around to fulfilling that particular voting duty. Aren’t you glad that our soldiers always fulfill theirs?
And of course, a very happy 241st birthday to the United States Marine Corps, the most lethal fighting force in the history of mankind! You haven’t aged a day!
Raise your hand if one year ago, you bet that you would be watching President Barack Obama congratulating President-elect Donald Trump on his Election Day triumph. Yeah, sure you did. Fibber.
Leaderless, rudderless and disheveled, national Democrats immediately began the post-election soul searching process, and in true Democratic fashion, many were calling for blowing up the party and starting over. This seems like an odd bit of overreaction for a party whose Presidential candidate actually won the popular vote. When our car has engine troubles, we usually don’t fill it up with dynamite and blow it to smithereens. Just take it to the shop and tune it up, people.
Despite Hillary Clinton’s call for unity on Wednesday, protests over the Trump victory began almost immediately, with people marching in major cities across the country. Apparently, some Democrats are about as interested in listening to her after the election as they were beforehand.
Many pundits are calling Tuesday’s somewhat shocking (to everyone except Trump himself) results a repudiation of pollsters, since pretty much none of them saw the Trump Train a-comin’. Dewey, meet Truman. After all the name calling is over, we will be interested in how heretofore reputable pollsters will explain this one.
Moments after the elections were over, President Obama called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss Congress’ potential lame duck agenda. We imagine that was a pretty short call.
Congressional leaders have already begun making plans for January, when the repeal of Obamacare will be front and center on the new agenda. For any of you out there who believe this will be an easy task, we would politely remind you that unless the “replace” part comes with it, repealing Obamacare would have pretty dire consequences for about 20 million Americans. The governing part is always tougher than the running for office part, folks.
Governor Tom Wolf responded to the election results in his typical calm and measured tones, pledging to work in a bipartisan fashion for the next two years, which is probably more out of necessity than anything else, considering what happened to the General Assembly on Tuesday.
What’s that, you say? There were elections in the General Assembly? Why yes, Virginia, and once again there was a Santa Claus if you happen to be a Republican. The GOP increased its stranglehold on the legislature by beefing up their numbers in the state Senate to a veto-proof 34 members and a whopping 122 members in the state House. The silver lining for legislative Democrats? Yeah, we will get back to you on that one.
A ballot measure that would raise the mandatory retirement age for judges from the current seventy years of age to seventy-five also passed by the skin of its teeth Tuesday. We like our jurists well-seasoned in Pennsylvania, it would appear.
The most expensive U.S. Senate race in the history of the entire planet yielded a win for incumbent Pat Toomey, who will be sworn in for a second term in January. The end of that particular kerfuffle could not come soon enough for anyone who owns a television, we can assure you.
All was not lost for Pennsylvania Democrats on Tuesday, however, as they maintained their recent death grip on statewide row offices. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale coasted to re-election, while Josh Shapiro and Joe Torsella will assume the duties of Attorney General and Treasurer, respectively. Best of luck to them as they audit, prosecute and do whatever it is that Treasurers do on a daily basis. Just kidding, Roy Wells!
And our election wrap-up would not be complete if we did not send out a hearty congratulations to our longtime friend and (former employer of Roy Wells) Dwight Evans, who heads off to the Federal City to represent Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District. Way to go, Congressman! We will see you on Ogontz Avenue soon!
So you are happy and relieved that the elections are finally over? Looking forward to returning to some peace, quiet, maybe a few nights of binge-watching some new series on Netflix? NOT SO FAST, SLICK! Election 2018 got underway today as state Senator Scott Wagner announced that he will challenge incumbent Governor Tom Wolf twenty-four months from now.
Voter in New Jersey this week nixed a plan that would allow casinos outside of Atlantic City. Apparently, voters took a long, hard look and A.C. and said “Nah, you just keep that all to yourself.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney this week reiterated his stance that Philly would remain a sanctuary city, despite President-elect Trump’s campaign promise to strip all federal funding from such cities. Looks like the next four years will be awfully interesting in the City of Brotherly Love!
Finally, in our We Can’t Make This Up section this week, we take you to Wyoming, where a woman claims that a possessed bottle of salad dressing attacked her and did $2,500 damage to her home. Given the events of this week, nothing really surprises us anymore, so we threw away all of our salad dressing this morning just in case.
That is what passes for news around here at the end of one of the most historic weeks in American history. We checked once again this morning and indeed the Republic still stands, despite dire predictions to the contrary. From all your friends at Triad, have a great weekend!