Four years ago, it was right around 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) when a stunned commentariat realized Donald Trump was likely to defeat Hillary Clinton. A nationwide freakout promptly ensued.
“Safe spaces” were established on college campuses to accommodate tearful undergraduates. Media talking heads could have used such spaces too, but they tried to tough it out — with less than great success.
Now, once again, it’s 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Election Night. It’s not clear what the final outcome will be — not even close to clear. However, it’s likely that Democratic expectations won’t be met. In all likelihood, there will be no Blue Wave.
Democrats fully expected to win the House (most Republicans expected this result too — shades, again, of 2016). Now this victory seems to be in some doubt, though certainly it may occur.
On the Senate side, the Democrats have already lost one toss-up race — Indiana, the one they seemed most likely to win. Florida, which was said to lean Democrat, looks like a toss-up. Some preliminary indicators in Arizona are favorable to the GOP’s McSally, though it’s way too early for Republicans to get excited about this race.
But we can get excited that Democrats so far are underperforming in relation to expectations. The Blue Wave isn’t happening. There may be a Blue Fizzle.
In the event of a full fizzle, we should expect another freakout. Will it be of the same order of magnitude as the one in 2016? Probably not. But it won’t be pretty.
UPDATE: I just read that Van Jones declared the election results “heartbreaking.”
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: It looks like the Democrats will capture the House, but fail badly in their attempt to take the Senate. This outcome won’t please the freakout crowd, but it probably won’t cause a meltdown, either.
If it does, then “snowflake” is too kind a description of the kids.