Political Relief Comes to Democrats

With a nod to Alka-Seltzer and Ray Charles

by Dan Bryant


The first indication that there would not be a tectonic shift in the political geosphere this election came from Pennsylvania. “The wizard of New Jersey” was not quite able to convince voters that the man behind the curtain really was one of them. Turns out “let them eat crudités” was not such a good campaign slogan. Meanwhile, not since FDR’s rarely seen wheelchair has a candidate so deftly worked around his disability as did the now Senator-elect John Fetterman. Call that a stroke of good luck.


The SCOTUS Dobbs decision appears to be for Democrats the gift that keeps on giving. Wherever reproductive choice was on the ballot, it proved to be what voters wanted. In Kentucky — where even the grass grows red and no one would bet against Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Derby, even if he were riding a dead horse — the pro-life vote was DOA. In many other states it was often the issue that most gave the Ds new life.


That other Florida guy won big in his state while a good many of those endorsed by He Who Must Not Be Named came up short. The much vaulted “red wave” elsewhere turned out to be more of a pink puddle that could not even lift a Heisman winner from Georgia to senatorial glory in the Nov. 8 general election. True, Kevin McCarthy surely will win the coveted speaker’s chair, which means we will soon see what happens when the dog succeeds in catching the car. It likely won’t be pretty. Good luck Val!


Speaking of fizzle, what the heck happened in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District? Lauren Boebert, that gun-toting representative from the community of Rifle (I kid you not), was given a rating of 97 out of 100 by FiveThirtyEight. When all the legal votes and nothing but the legal votes had been counted, Rep. Boebert had the smallest margin in the country with just 554 votes. If only we had a president who would call up Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and say, “Jena, I just need you to find 555 votes…” Nah, no president would ever do anything so illegal as that.

And then there is Arizona. It does not take a rocket scientist to tell us when an election is fair and honest, but it sure helps to have an astronaut on the ticket to ground an election denier. Can we change that unofficial anthem of the U.S. to “God Bless Maricopa County?” In so many ways not just Democrats but democracy was the real winner in this election. Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief…

It is, and now it is up to us to do the hard work to make sure democracy remains strong and healthy for years to come. Cue up Ray Charles: “Georgia on my mind.”

Dan Bryant is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a resident of Eugene since 1991. The opinions of this column are his own and do not represent any organization with which he is affiliated.

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