News Roundup for November 7, 2018

November 7, 2018

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Top News and Analysis

Democrats Capture Control of House; G.O.P. Holds Senate, The New York Times

“Democrats harnessed voter fury toward President Trump to win control of the House and capture pivotal governorships Tuesday night as liberals and moderates banded together to deliver a forceful rebuke of Mr. Trump, even as Republicans added to their Senate majority by claiming a handful of conservative-leaning seats….Propelled by an unusually high turnout that illustrated the intensity of the backlash against Mr. Trump, Democrats claimed at least 26 House seats on the strength of their support in suburban and metropolitan districts that were once bulwarks of Republican power but where voters have recoiled from the president’s demagoguery on race. Early Wednesday morning Democrats clinched the 218 House seats needed to take control. There were at least 15 additional tossup seats that had yet to be called.”

A great day for democracy, Washington Post

The Washington Post editorial board writes, “The Democrats’ return to control over the House of Representatives is much more than a victory for one party. It is a sign of health for American democracy. Distrustful of untrammeled majorities, the authors of the Constitution favored checks and balances, including, crucially, the check that the legislative branch might place upon the executive. Over the past two years, the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have failed to exercise reasonable oversight. Now the constitutional system has a fresh chance to work as intended. The Democratic victory is also a sign of political health, to the extent it is a form of pushback against the excesses, rhetorical and in terms of policy, committed by the Trump administration and propounded by President Trump during this fall’s campaign. Turning against the dominant party in Washington even in a moment of economic prosperity, voters from Key West to Kansas refused to accept the continued degradation of their nation’s political culture. Republicans retained control of the Senate, where the map this year favored their defense. But voters nationwide refused Mr. Trump’s invitation to vote on the basis of fear of immigrants; they did not respond to his depiction of his opposition as dangerous enemies.”


Democrats won the House — and Trump’s foreign policy may be in trouble, Vox

Now that Democrats control of the House of Representatives after the 2018 midterm elections, one of their biggest priorities will be majorly challenging the Trump administration’s national security and foreign policy….Democrats in the House generally disagree with how the Trump administration is steering the ship. Controlling the House allows them to actually do something about it.

Democrats pick up Senate seat in Nevada with Rosen win, CNN

Rep. Jacky Rosen will win her bid to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada, CNN can project, delivering a key Senate pick up for Democrats.

Democrat Abigail Spanberger Ousts Trump Ally Dave Brat in Virginia, Daily Beast

Democratic newcomer Abigail Spanberger ousted incumbent Republican Rep. Dave Brat in Virginia’s 7th congressional district election on Tuesday night despite Brat’s last-minute endorsement from President Trump. Spanberger, a former CIA operative, claimed 50 percent of the vote to Brat’s 49 percent, dealing a major blow to the rising conservative star just four years after he dethroned Eric Cantor in the GOP primary and took a foothold in the Trump-friendly House Freedom Caucus.

Races for California House seats that Democrats hoped to flip are still too close to call, Los Angeles Times

A prominent Republican congressman in California appeared to have lost his seat early Wednesday but election returns showed some of the hardest-fought House races in the state remained too close to call as votes still came in. With 100% of precincts reporting, Democrat Harley Rouda held a lead over longtime Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa, although the race had not been officially called. Rohrabacher was first elected to Congress in 1988.

Edward Snowden: Israeli Software Tracked Khashoggi, Jerusalem Post

Technology made by an Israeli company was used to target groups of journalists in Mexico and other problematic areas, including slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Edward Snowden, the infamous “whistle-blower” who leaked classified NSA information, told a conference in Israel on Tuesday. Snowden spoke via video-conference from an undisclosed location in Russia to the closed audience.

Opinion and Analysis

Trump Has Bitterly Divided Us — And Election Offers No Easy Answers, Forward

Jane Eisner writes, “The Democratic ripple that wasn’t quite a wave on Tuesday restored some balance to America’s dangerously lopsided political system. It ensures that at least one chamber of the Congress will fulfill its constitutional duties and serve as a genuine check on the executive branch. It broke some of the racial barriers and glass ceilings that have prevented more good people from taking their rightful place in government. It repudiated (though only partially) the racist, mendacious campaign led by President Trump and enabled by too many in the Republican Party he now controls….Democrats took control of the House — and really, how could they not? — and made history in other notable ways. A massive margin in the popular vote. A record hundred women elected to Congress, including the first two Muslim women and the first two Native American women. Lots of Jews will join them, including a few surprising victories. Minority candidates won in several white swing districts. The first openly gay governor was elected. And yet. The Republican Congressman in Florida who peddled a malicious conspiracy theory that George Soros was funding the infamous ‘caravan’ to Mexico won re-election. A neo-Nazi Holocaust denier lost in Illinois — but still, an estimated 45,000 people voted for him. The ugly underbelly in the American character still maintains a hold on power.”

Trump First, Jews Later, Foreign Policy

Mairav Zonszein writes, “The 11 people murdered in Pittsburgh were not targeted just for being Jewish, but also for being identified with a pro-immigration, pro-refugee, liberal worldview that is anathema to Trump’s nativism, which peddles in classic anti-Semitic tropes. As the philosopher Slavoj Zizek argued last year, “In the anti-Semitic imagination, the ‘Jew’ is the invisible master who secretly pulls the strings, which is why Muslim immigrants are not today’s Jews … nobody claims they secretly pull the strings—if one sees in their ‘invasion of Europe’ a secret plot, then Jews have to be behind it. The toxic combination of Israel’s alliance with the Christian right and Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric has led to a reality in which, just 70 years after the Holocaust, Israel is excusing and normalizing the sort of violent anti-Semitism that it so often reminds the world is the reason why a Jewish state exists.”