Greenpoint’s resident clairvoyant Joshua Debbs has a prediction about the upcoming 2020 elections: “We’ll never flip the Senate,” he has repeatedly announced to his foolishly optimistic friends, family, and social media followers.
Yes! This is the kind of energy the Democratic Party needs right now!
Debbs’ prediction that the Democrats will be unable to win the majority of Senate seats doesn’t come out of thin air.
“I listen to a lot of podcasts,” he explains.
And while many of his fellow Democrats have been donating to close House and Senate races, making phone calls and writing postcards into Colorado and Arizona, and allowing themselves to feel energized and cautiously hopeful during a pandemic, Debbs has been busy doing his part for democracy: spreading hopelessness.
Debbs’ confident yet gloomy assertions enter into a long Democratic tradition of preemptive defeatism. But even if he believes that the chances of taking back the Senate are slim, what does he or his party have to gain from constant smug assertions that they’re already doomed? On this matter, Debbs’ position is clear: “Hope is lame.”
Debbs’ confident pessimism about a race that he doesn’t think will impact him has sent ripples of doubt through the Democratic Party.
“We thought we had a really exciting and promising candidate, a belief that has thus far been supported by the polls” said a staffer for Arizona congressional candidate Mark Kelly. “But we’ve had to totally rethink the viability of our campaign after hearing from this random guy who’s never so much as text banked for a candidate.”
Debbs has a long history of political premonitions, having told everyone who would listen that Hillary Clinton was going to become the worst Democratic president in modern history, that the Democrats were going to be soundly defeated in the 2018 elections, and that Donald Trump would never get impeached. While another person might have learned humility and cautious optimism from these outcomes, Debbs has been undeterred in his political pessimism.
“It’s important for me, as an American, to look back at any election that didn’t go my way and say, ‘I told you so’,” says Debbs. “That’s my contribution to the national discussion.”
And if you think this guy doesn’t have a gloomy prediction about when we’ll experience normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re as dumb as he thinks everyone is. “It’ll be December, minimum,” he says. “December 2045.”