Donald Trump’s Minister of Information, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has a Thanksgiving gimmick going this week in the briefing room that’s less Norman Rockwell and more Kim Jong Un. Before not answering their questions or ignoring the not-bearing-false-witness commandment, she’s asking reporters what they are thankful for.
Here’s what Democrats are giving thanks for this week:
The suburbs. If the off-year elections of 2017 are any indication, the suburbs might save our collective asses next year. National elections and control of the House and Senate are won and lost in the smaller cities and midsize towns that surround Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland, D.C., New York, Las Vegas, Houston, Denver, Miami and Tampa. If you don’t believe me, ask about six dozen petrified Republican House members how Donald Trump is polling in the ‘burbs.
Roy Moore. I’m thankful to Roy Moore for settling the question of who and what the GOP is today. The Republican Party is no longer the aspirational GOP of my parent’s youth or even of mine. The transition from the Leave it to Beaver conservatism of Dwight Eisenhower to the Aaron Spelling fantasies of Ronald Reagan was a pretty easy one. No more. Republican elders may be publicly embarrassed by Roy Moore, but voters are closely aligned with the Alabama Bannonite. The DNA in the nucleus of current GOP is a bolt of race-based religious rage that electrifies a furious, largely less than educated white tribe. And while it’s true that the superrich take advantage of this engine to push their policies, make no mistake that the party ultimately reflects the voters themselves. This Thanksgiving, I am indebted to Roy Moore because he’s brought it right out of the closet, and we can no longer pretend that the GOP writ large is anything more than a tribal movement electrified by contempt and suspicion. It has more of a problem with Colin Kaepernick silently kneeling than Roy Moore seizing a 16-year-old girl by her neck and attempting to force her face into his crotch, so long as he has a crucifix and a shredded copy of the Washington Post in his other fist.
2018. I feel that rumble. What do you call congressional Republicans prioritizing billionaire donors, D.C. politics and Donald Trump over middle class families? A blue wave and it’s coming. What goes up must come down, and Republicans are in for a long fall.
Women. I am thankful to women for being the heart, soul and spine of this party and for being the brave warriors this country needs in this perilous, ongoing moment of reckoning. If women steered each company and occupied each elected office, we would be in a much better place. The last major female candidate fell short, but I have a strong feeling the next one won’t. And they may not be the most faithful to Democrats, but I am thankful to women especially in the suburbs because they turned out two weeks ago and are poised to do so next fall. Note: I exempt Kellyanne Conway from this gesture of thanks, because how she can advocate to put a man who molests young women in Congress and still look her daughters in the face?
Great candidates. When I look at the contenders who won earlier this month, those running next year, and those building momentum for 2020, a shock runs up my spine. Shout out to tickets like Ralph Northam and Justin Fairfax—a mix of grounded gravitas and young, diverse energy echoing the Obama-Biden chemistry. I go to sleep with visions of Kamala Harris-Tim Ryan in my head. I can think of about 25 combinations of tickets that may well have what it takes to sweep us to victory and set the country right.
Robert Mueller. Let’s drop the pretense: It’s abundantly clear to every persuadable voter that Team Trump—from Jeff Sessions, to Michael Flynn, to Paul Manafort, to Carter Page, to Uday and Qusay, to the bathroom attendant at Mar-a-Lago—are guilty as sin and had abundant contact with Russia with an eye towards manipulating our last election, and they absolutely must be held accountable for this most perverse and treasonous abomination of justice. Not only are they liars, but they are as incompetent and ham-handed at lying as they are at running the country. Mueller and his team are digging past the election and into Trump’s business, which looks like a massive money laundering operation. Who knows what the increasingly paranoid Trump knew and when he knew it? That’s the last mystery, and hopefully it’s just the golden ticket that the object of my thanks will dig up. Lock them up.
Vodka: I’m thankful for you, buddy. I couldn’t have gotten through the last year without you. Until that door slams behind the Trumps—the Corleones of the Capitol, our first crime family, en famille en masse on their way out of the White House—please, keep it coming.
Jon Reinish is a native New Yorker who works in political communications, strategy and media. His opinions are his own and can be taken with a deer lick’s worth of salt. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram: @jonreinish