See You In December!
The Triumphant Return of This Experiment
I ran this project in 2017 and completely forgot about it. But now if I look 90 days into the future, that brings us to December 26, 2020. The day after Christmas. Six weeks after the election. A month until the inauguration. Wow.
Oh, to have a crystal ball. No one knows what things are going to look like on that day, and there’s a lot of fear that things are going to be bad. Really bad.
So I’m going to bring this project back. I’m going to write about how we’re feeling right now, on September 26, and hopefully it will provide some interesting context when I post it in 90 days, the day after Christmas.
It Turns Out I’ve Been Writing Political Commentary All Year
In December 2019, I wrote An Illustrated Guide to the Primaries. In it, I explained how proportional voting (the opposite of winner-take-all) meant that the first four states to vote didn’t mean squat. I also wrote that Super Tuesday was going to crown the winner.
In January, I wrote How the 2020 Election Will Go. I said the Black vote would be everything, which is why Super Tuesday would crown the winner, which is why Biden was going to win, bitterly disappointing the left. I wrote that if Biden magically was able to unite the left, he’d win Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and beat Trump.
Then, six months later, I began a weekly series called All You Need to Know. My friend asked me to summarise the week’s political news for him, with a special focus on “good news” (where you define “good” as “Trump loses.”)
A Summary of My Weekly All You Need to Know Issues
June 14: All You Need To Know #1 set the stage with Joe Biden leading in all of the swing states, some by comfortable margins.
June 20: All You Need To Know #2 recorded the Supreme Court protecting the DACA program, showed Biden’s lead expanding, and explaining why undecideds aren’t as big a factor this year.
June 27: All You Need To Know #3 talked about the long American history of voter supression, and how Trump seems to be accidentally surpressing his own vote this time around.
July 4: All You Need To Know #4 showed Biden’s lead expanding even further, and the beginning of Coronavirus’ second wave.
July 12: All You Need To Know #5 somehow showed Trump sinking even further, and we got the first inkling that Kamala Harris may be the VP pick.
July 18: All You Need To Know #6 was about Biden’s brilliant “rope-a-dope” strategy. As the country became more and more consumed with racism, Covid, and economic issues, Trump somehow kept staking out the exact wrong stance. And Biden kept staking out the politically powerful ones.
July 25: All You Need To Know #7 is when the GOP convention was canceled and there were clear signs that the GOP was splitting in two.
August 1: All You Need To Know #8 discussed Karen Bass versus Kamala Harris. Biden’s lead began to shrink ever so sligtly, from about 5.6% to 5.3% in the swing states.
August 9: All You Need To Know #9 was when the Bass/Harris/Rice pick reached a fever pitch. Also, ominously, Trump’s approval began to tick up. And the fight over absentee ballots began to get more and more absurd.
August 11: All You Need To Know #10 was about New Zealand politics.
August 15: All You Need To Know #11 is where troubles at the Postal Service first hit the media in a big way. Also, Biden picked Harris and it was widely hailed as a good decision. And more articles came out explaining how Biden’s backslapping, deal-making approach worked better than Obama’s more lecturing style.
August 21: All You Need To Know #12 documented how the Senate documented that Russia definitely meddled in 2016. And Steve Bannon was arrested on a yacht. Then Trump tried to appeal a decision that said he needed to provide his taxes. And the DNC happened.
August 29: All You Need To Know #13 showed Biden with a smaller swing state lead of only 3%, and Trump’s emerging “law and order” strategy of terrifying people in the suburbs. Plus the RNC happened.
September 5: All You Need To Know #14 was the first week after the RNC and DNC, and showed Biden’s lead starting to widen. Covid continued to be a really big deal, especially with school starting up again.
September 13: All You Need To Know #15 detailed how Biden’s lead continued to grow, and we got the first inkling that Trump was running out of money right when Biden’s fundraising was taking off.
September 20: All You Need To Know #16 was the week when RBG died, and we all started doing the political calculations about what it all would mean. The big money was on the GOP taking a reputation hit, one way or another.
September 26: All You Need To Know #17 was written a few hours ago, where the biggest news on everyone’s mind is definitely Trump’s unwillingness to support a fair election. Also Mitt Romney caved, so Trump will definitely get his Supreme Court seat.
See You In December!
So that’s where we are today. I’m going to write a separate essay about how things feel today, the 26th of September. That essay will be published in 90 days, at which point the election will be over and the inauguration will have yet to happen. It’s going to be a wild time.