Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Voters Have Spoken...or Have They?

It was a great night for the Republican Party, with remarkable House, Senate and gubernatorial victories across the nation, as well as impressive state and local wins. And it was a terrible night for voters, whose bipolar behavior may cause the worst political gridlock these next two years that Washington has ever seen.

Republicans and Tea Party braggarts are beaming that voters have spoken.
But have they? The truth is, I don't think they've said much of anything.
Rather, what they did Tuesday instead was grunt and groan, letting out
unintelligible gasps of exasperation. These schizophrenic voters, with their
short memories and misguided rekindled love affair with Republicans,
demonstrated what an angry, impatient and uninformed electorate is truly capable of.

To be sure, the economy still faces many challenges and unemployment remains unacceptably high, as it was in 2008 when Barack Obama and Democrats were swept into power. Yet while we give our presidents four year terms, these voters expected a miracle fix in just two, utterly ignoring the progress he did make and the fact that the GOP opposed him virtually uniformly on every single measure he tried to pass for them. So they punished Obama and sent him an even more obstructionist body of Republican opponents, ensuring that even less gets done for them these next two years. And who does that hurt the most? The poor, the middle class, the sick, the unemployed, the elderly, and everyone else the Republican Party traditionally hurts. It hurts those who are most impacted by the struggling economy and slow-moving jobs recovery. It makes no sense at all. Voters simply brought back to power the very same people who screwed things up for them in the first dang place. Hey voters, are ya forgetting why you gave controlling victories to Democrats in 2006 and '08? Apparently so.

Voters' inexplicable, illogical and counter-intuitive shift back to the right is without question the over-riding takeaway from Tuesday's midterm elections. As NBC's Tom Brokaw marveled, "There's a wild bull loose in the arena, and it's the electorate." But there's so much else to comment on that I'll just list a few key thoughts and observations in no particular order:

-The super-rich trio of Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina and Linda McMahon proved that pouring GOPzillions of your own money into a campaign won't buy you victory. And, it's borderline criminal that they spent $200+-million on such selfish, ego-fueled pursuits. Think of all the good that money could've been used for.

-A delusional Christine O'Donnell declaring in her concession speech: "We have won! We were victorious because the Delaware political system will never be the same....The Republican Party will never be the same." I guess that's what you say when you were literally embarrassed out of an election because of your bizarre comments about evolution, mice-cloning and masturbation. This witchy nitwit then arrogantly gave advice to her winning opponent Chris Coons, the New Castle County Executive and Yale Law School grad, to listen to Delawareans and to watch her moronic 30-minute campaign video so he can get in better touch with voters' needs. Get on your broom and leave us alone already.

-Although it was way too close for comfort, thank heavens that that other cracked Tea Potter Sharron Angle in Nevada lost to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Had she won, I think I'd have moved to Canada with Alec Baldwin.

-Tuesday's results, for sure, badly damaged Sarah Palin's stock. Her biggest failure was in her home state of Alaska, where her personal, vitriolic hate campaign against incumbent Lisa Murkowski, the write-in candidate, and her support of lying Tea Party loon Joe Miller, appears to have backfired. Angle's and O'Donnell's losses are a huge embarrassment to her as well.

-Tea Party favorite Ken Buck's loss in Colorado is a major win for Democrats and another solid repudiation of Palin-esque radicalism.

-A cocky, arrogant Rand Paul declaring "There's a Tea Party tidal wave" and that "We've come to take our government back." Get ready, as the new Senator from Kentucky who claims we are "enslaved by debt" will, as MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell warns, likely kill any effort to raise the debt ceiling, currently around $14-trillion, which would result in America's default and cause a global depression. Something chilling to think about.

-During MSNBC's election coverage, a frustrated Chris Matthews to an evasive Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who responded to every question with the same mindless partisan spin: "Are you hypnotized? Has someone put you under a trance tonight?"

-How one of the smartest, most dedicated most honest politicians with unparalleled integrity like Wisconsin's Russ Feingold can lose his Senate re-election bid. Utterly disheartening, and devastating for his state's residents and, quite frankly, for America.

-The GOP's impressive gubernatorial wins will now strongly favor Republicans in the redistricting process and hurt Obama in 2012.

-After Miller, Angle, Buck and O'Donnell's losses, is Tea Party extremism dead? Has the "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" crowd been marginalized? And let's not view Paul's Kentucky win, where he replaced the retiring conservative Jim Bunning, or Florida's victory, where Democrat Ken Meek and independent Charlie Crist's boneheaded strategy to give newcomer Marco Rubio a split ticket gift, as an indication of Tea Bagger success. These two guys got lucky.

-Happy that Bill Owens retained his NY 23rd Congressional seat in the district that hasn't seen a Democrat win in over 125 years.

-Frustrated that the Republican Revolution of 1994 gave them 12 years of Congressional rule while Democrats imploded after just two years (or four, if you count the small majority after the '06 midterms)

-With all their talk of "listening to the people" (as in, 'most Americans don't want health care reform'), you can bet the first thing Republicans will try to do is extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which costs the government $700 billion, despite the fact that most Americas are firmly against it.

-The new House Speaker John Boehner so overcome with emotion over his long-awaited ascent to the top spot that he sobbed uncontrollably through his victory speech. Hey, I thought Democrats were the wussies? First Glenn Beck and now this the new and improved sensitive Republican Party? The guy literally came unglued with glee.

-And as Boehner was feigning humility by saying that Tuesday's victories are not a cause for celebration, GOP chairman Michael Steele and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, along with other giddy right wingers, were reveling in their new found success and literally getting drunk with power. "Get ready for a big ride," Barbour boasted. Yeah, a frustrating, gridlocked road-trip filled with Republican arrogance, elitism and staunch opposition to everything Obama seeks to accomplish. Strap on your seat belts, America...


Anonymous said...

Or, to put it another way, the American voters have proved that the old song by THE WHO, is CAN get fooled again.

VennData said...

Over the next two years the GOP media machine will tell the Tea Party how much they would have accomplished if only... and the swing voters who decide elections will either believe them once again, or not.

The Democratic party needs to start educating people, needs to respond to the ludicrous, bizarre right wing media claims, and have a central location that debunks the nonsense that was the other half of the peevish "party of no" strategy that paid of in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I am heartened by your attitude and encourage all liberals to embrace it.

That will ensure that those with your philosophy find themselves out in the political wilderness for years to come.

Blame the voters and invent your own facts. Obama was certainly given a 4 year term. Yet your view that he has achieved much in addressing the economy is extremely out of sync with reality. Even Democrats admit that he made a mistake of not prioritizing jobs as his number one concern was a huge mistake.

He did what he did because he operated on an ideological bent advancing HIS agenda - spreading some wealth around via the overreaching health care plan - rather than the agenda that most concerned Americans.

Your continued ad hominem remarks about those you don't agree with reflect poorly on you, although they are fully consistent with the typical leftist way liberals behave.

If you are truly happy about someone as "grounded" as Jerry Brown being elected - a man who was affectionately called "Governor Moonbeam" because of his personal behavior and extreme philosophy, I truly feel bad for you.

That said, I'm glad in a way that he was elected as well. The extreme left wing - the wealthy who are unaffected by transfer payments given their enormous wealth and the dependency class who thrive on them - have become the dominant force in California's population, what with so much of the middle class tax base fleeing. Thus, their hiring of a person to drive them deeper into debt and closer to bankruptcy will bring about the political revolution that the rest of the country is now experiencing happen that much sooner. So keep up with the Browns and the Boxers. It helps the cause immensely.

Anonymous said...

Since money by corps have free speech rights, it looks like game over.

Anonymous said...

I'd say strap the luggage to the roof of the car and RUN. RUN as fast as you can to some tiny country in the Caribbean owned by one of the sane countries from Western Europe. For the majority of the American electorate do not care if the super wealthy of the world control their entire lives.

Alan8 said...

I blame the Democrats, who approved the fascist Supreme Court justices that gave us the Citizens United decision.

100% of the Senate approved the fascist, Scalia.

I'll continue to vote for parties that represent CITIZENS' interests, not corporate interests. At this point, that only leaves the Green Party.

merlallen said...

What is wrong with Boner anyway? That dude cries at the drop of a hat.

Realist said...

Obama did nothing to promote his own agenda, nor did he focus on the issues most important to those who have now shifted allegiance to the GOP. Had he done so, and put America back to work instead of Wall Street, he would have finished off the GOP as was readily predicted by many sources (and which was almost achieved in Colorado in 2010). But no. Barry doesn't fight for anything. He cringes which Mitch McConnell's face shows up outside of Fox. He let's John Boehner shout him down without raising his own voice in protest.

Had Obama shown that he can fight for the American people, they would have turned out for him. But he didn't, they didn't, and the nation has now returned to the condition it has been in since St. Ronnie's halo fell off - looking for someone to lead them out of the desert of corporate enslavement.

merlallen said...

realist is right. Obama is more concerned with pleasing people who'd never vote for him than he is with pleasing the people who already voted for him