November 29, 2018

Hyde-Smith Wins in Mississippi

Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith returns to Washington as a solidly loyal supporter of President Donald Trump after he stumped for her in a divisive Mississippi runoff... Hyde-Smith on Tuesday defeated Democrat Mike Espy, a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary."

AP News

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From the Left

The left is divided between feeling optimistic about the stronger-than-expected performance of Democratic candidate Espy, and pessimistic that Hyde-Smith’s many controversies didn't deter enough voters in the end.

From the Right

The right defends Hyde-Smith against allegations of racism, and is optimistic about the increased GOP majority in the Senate.

The optimists argue that “it was an underwhelming victory. Hyde-Smith won by only about 8 percentage points in a state where Republicans normally clobber Democrats by twice that margin — the other Mississippi Republican senator, Roger Wicker, won by about 20 percentage points earlier this month. Donald Trump won the state by almost 18 points in 2016."

Bloomberg

“While some on the left might still be discouraged by Tuesday’s loss, the results are reason to believe that a Democratic candidate who can continue to motivate the left’s base while winning over some Republican voters could eventually turn one of the country’s reddest states blue."

Washington Post

“The mere fact of a competitive Senate election between an African-American Democrat and a female Republican is a sign of civic progress that defies stereotypes and marks progress toward rebuking some of the ugliest aspects of our shared history."

CNN

The pessimists, however, point out that “she secured the victory just weeks removed from the infamous reference to ‘public hangings.’ She won on the strength of racial polarization at the ballot, after embracing Confederate symbols and history, and after local news reports revealed she’d [sent her daughter] to a private school designed to resist racial integration...

“Espy’s defeat is the final moment in a series of demoralizations of black voters in the South. While the politics of Espy, Gillum, Abrams, and Jealous are substantially different from one another, they did represent the chance to accomplish something historic, and to finally reach a breakthrough point for the dream of racial political equality. After a century and change of waiting, the tantalizing defeat on the brink of success is especially bitter.”

The Atlantic

"Hyde-Smith, ultimately, was not Roy Moore, a man accused of being a sexual predator. She was more run-of-the-mill: a white person ignorant of the blood in the soil and the sins of those who came before her. For most voters, this was entirely forgivable."

The Guardian

From the Right

The right defends Hyde-Smith against allegations of racism, and is optimistic about the increased GOP majority in the Senate.

“The Cindy Hyde-Smith ‘public hanging’ controversy has been particularly dumb, but par for the course in the current environment... This has been obvious all along, but it’s even more obvious with the full version of the video clip, where she also offers to fight a circle saw for Hutchinson — and, again, not because she relishes the prospect of fighting circle saws."

National Review

Hyde-Smith invoked public hangings as an example of something terrible. She used the expression to say how much regard she had for Hutchinson. Her line works as a compliment of Hutchinson precisely because she’s willing (she says) to do, on his invitation, something she abhors...

“Clever little ‘gotchas’ that can land one in big trouble in the swamp of political correctness and identity politics tend not to work in the real world of electoral politics. Gaffes normally have to be obvious to the common ear. Innocuous comments that can be characterized by academics into microaggressions or dog-whistles won’t cut it.”

Power Line Blog

Many point out that “Espy was fired from his position as Agriculture Secretary pursuant to a 39-count corruption indictment... Espy also [received $750,000 for] a lucrative lobbying gig on behalf of third-world war criminal Laurent Gbagbo. These little foibles got far less coverage than did Hyde-Smith’s 2014 visit to a state historical site where she briefly donned a Confederate kepi."

American Spectator

While the margin may have been narrower than expected, “the end result is a 53 to 47 Republican majority in the Senate, which is a taller order for Democrats in 2020 than they expected. From this early perspective, Democrats have a shot at flipping control of the Senate, but not a great one. If Trump wins reelection, they’ll need to win four seats; if Trump loses, they only need three."

National Review

“The added cushion not only means that it will be easier for McConnell to get nominees confirmed, it also means that Trump and his team can have more leeway to nominate more conservative judges... If Trump fills all of the current vacancies, nearly one in four federal judges will have been appointed by Trump... This could have a transformative effect on the judicial branch."

Washington Examiner

On the bright side...

You can preorder an Alexa-enabled Big Mouth Billy Bass for $40.

The Verge

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