The elections are over, although some recounts are still in progress. If they were a referendum on the president, then he lost big time.
The Democrats took over the House of Representatives with at least a 34-seat gain. The Republicans added perhaps one seat to their previous one-seat advantage in the Senate. (Some vote counts have not been completed at this writing.)
The new Congress will be the most diverse in history, with a total of about 104 women in both houses. The Democratic side in the House will include Muslims, Native-Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans. A record number of 15 Asian-Americans will be in the next Congress, up from the current 11 members. The total includes 12 House members and three senators.
Incumbent Sens. Tammy Duckworth; Mazie Hirono; and Kamala Harris, who is half Tamil Indian-American, will make up the ranks of Asian-Americans in the Senate.
Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House, will be joined by Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), who will be the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to Congress.
However, the Congress is still more white than the nation. Overall, nonwhite (including blacks, Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans) make up 19 percent of the current Congress. By comparison, nonwhite Hispanics and other racial minorities make up 38 percent of the nation’s population.
The various criminal examinations of members of the administration and persons close to the president continue.
A known enemy of the Mueller investigation was appointed to be acting attorney general. Mueller is making sure that copies of his evidence is available for the Congress should he be shut down by the Trump administration as expected.
Both parties need to be developing presidential candidates. Based on current polling Trump will not win again against any reasonable alternative.
On the positive side, there may be a bipartisan infrastructure bill negotiated between the two houses and presented to the president.
On Sunday, Veterans Day, the president spoke at the cemetery containing many of American war dead from the First World War. He stayed on message and represented our nation well. My father served in a National Guard unit before he went to West Point. That unit took one fatality in France.
Locally, two of our newly elected commissioners favor converting the form of county government to the county executive format. No doubt each sees himself to be chosen as the first such executive.
In that format, most local bills can be handled locally without approval in the state legislature. As I noted previously, one of the prominent Republican clubs in the county has been in opposition to any such form, whether county executive or code home rule. The reason is simple. That club has influence with the legislative delegation. If the county adopts either the county executive form or code home rule that club would have less say in county affairs.
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Years ago there was a group that put code home rule on the election ballot. Unable to stop the change by other means they put an alternate question, which changed the county government from three commissioners elected countywide to five commissioners elected by district. Then they drew a gerrymandered district map that put two of the then-current three commissioners at a disadvantage. Both were defeated.