With votes still being counted, Democrats last week may have picked up as many as 40 seats in the House of Representatives. That would be their biggest gain since the Watergate year of 1974, and naturally progressives are expressing satisfaction. “Make No Mistake, the Midterm Elections Were a Democratic Victory,” chortled the New Yorker. Apparently American democracy works—at least when Democrats win.
Yet it’s worth recalling that this wasn’t the view two years ago after Donald Trump’s unexpected victory. Then the cry was all about a stolen election, Vladimir Putin’s collusion with Mr. Trump, the need to rewrite the Constitution to banish the Electoral College, and the looming threat of an authoritarian coup. “If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the US, You Should Be,” declared a headline in the New York Times as recently as mid-October this year.
So what happened to the coup? Did Mr. Trump call it off? It turns out the U.S. had a relatively normal midterm election in which the party not holding the White House gained a substantial number of seats. Conservatives aren’t complaining about their losses, other than to worry with good cause that Democrats are violating the law as they count votes in counties they control in southern Florida. At least one judge has already ruled in the GOP’s favor.
Meanwhile, the fair conclusion is that all of that talk about a fascist takeover was nothing more than partisan posturing intended to stigmatize the opposition and win an election.
— The Wall Street Journal