I’ll be the first to admit – I didn’t see last night coming.
When I went on the air, I knew that Trump had to win North Carolina, Florida and Ohio to have a shot – even a long shot at the presidency.
All three fell; North Carolina fairly quickly, Florida with a bit of suspense, and Ohio in a complete rout.
From there, as Brad Carlson and I broadcast from the Radisson Blue and the GOP Victory Party, we puttered around with various scenarios, watching the numbers creep up, wondering if it’d come down to Nevada…
…until events bypassed us all. When Wisconsin went Trump, I knew my math was out the window; when Michigan, New Hampshire, and – incredibly, finally, Pennsylvania – dropped in the bucket, I felt…
…like someone had dropped LSD into the cucumber water in the press pit. I was, for one of very few times in my talk radio career, reduced to jabbering nonsense on the air.
We recovered, of course; to the best of my knowledge, we predicted the flip in the Minnesota Senate before the rest of the Twin Cities media, yet again; only a math mistake on my part precluded Brad and me from being first on the ground with an official prediction.
Local highlights: The GOP broke their curse inside the metro: Roz Peterson crushed her challenger; Randy Jessup and Dario Anselmo flipped solid first and second tier suburban seats; Paul Anderson flipped Terri Bonoff’s old seat. Tim Walz is facing a recount against Jim Hagedorn; Obamacare cost him bad, but I have a hunch his ill-advised and arrogant photo with the Action Moms didn’t help much.
Nancy Laroche is now on the Crystal City Council!
And – Congressman Lewis. I love that. We finally found a campaign where cynical lies aimed at the lowest, basest common denominator (worst than the stereotype Trump voter, even!) lost. It restored my faith in Minnesota voters.
Downsides: Dave Hann, one of the most decent people in politics, is out. And Stewart Mills. That hurt.
But what about Trump? Kevin Williamson of National Review – an out-front non-fan of Trump (vide his coverage of Trump’s kickoff entitied “Witless Ape Ascends Escalator“, to telegraph the punch just a little) – has some advice, and I like it a lot:
The first and most important thing to do is to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that Trump sticks by the promise he made — his record on keeping his word is not very good — on his list of Supreme Court nominees under consideration. If a Trump presidency means ensuring a generation of decent constitutional jurisprudence on the First and Second Amendments, then that will be worth a great deal in the way of tradeoffs. What tradeoffs? Conservatives should meet Trump on his own ground on the question of immigration, especially illegal immigration. His proposals on the question have been fantastical — making Mexico pay for a wall and all that — but his insistence that this be addressed rather than being kept eternally on the national back burner is appropriate. There are reasonable steps on immigration that can be taken, an enforcement-first approach that secures the borders (and the airports and the visa system) and focuses on workplace enforcement before moving on to broader reform questions, such as replacing the reunification-oriented chain-immigration system with one based on economic criteria.
The whole thing is, as always with Williamson, worth a read.