There are many things I don’t understand about the recent mid-term elections, but one thing seems perfectly clear to me: the American people didn’t do or say anything the talking heads have been going on about. There was no “message,” no “mandate” no “rejection” of the President. In all its sweeping claims about what these election results mean, the media fails to note that only 1/3 of eligible voters cast their ballots.
THAT, folks, ought to be the story. Too few Americans exercised their franchise to glean much of anything from the election. And why is that? Sure, some states lacked competitive races. but many others cut polling hours or reduced early voting periods, and in other states new voter ID laws likely kept some voters away.
Then there are public opinion polls such as the one released by Gallup earlier this week that suggested fewer Americans gave a rat’s ass about this election than they did about elections in previous years. I think that has a whole hellava lot to do with the unprecedented amount of money–some 4 billion in some estimates–spent on this election, much of which went to negative advertizing. By the time the polls opened, even I was saying “enough”!
Add to that the last several decades during which Republicans in Congress, governorships, state legislatures, and local school boards decimated funding for public education, cut teacher’s pay, revised everything meaningful out of the curriculum and promoted the hell out of charter school, and you have exactly what they GOP worked for: an undereducated and so wholly gullible public. The GOP plan to scare the shit out of the uninformed worked.
So, very few people voted and the majority of those who did, voted for many of the same asshats who’ve been at work fucking up the country for the last several years despite exit polls indicating, as ABC news reports, that while 34 percent of voters expressed that they were voting in opposition of President Obama, more than “61 percent expressed that they were dissatisfied or even angry with the Republican leaders in Congress.” So angry, in fact, that the reelected incumbent and brought new crazies into the fold.
So I ask, has anything really changed? Sure, the control of the Senate changed hands, but nothing fundamental about the way the Senate has functioned will.
Let’s not forget that soon-to-be Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has spent the last six years leading a party that does little more than obstruct. I don’t see any reason to think that’s going to change.
And, the GOP can talk compromise all they want, but let’s recall that John Boehner can barely bring himself to utter the word. Add to that the fact that poor schmuck has spent the past four years in a futile effort to control the tea party crazies and get them to see reason, and any real governing seems impossible.
I see no reason to think he awoke Wednesday morning and suddenly figured out what to do with the crazies. And, he and McConnell both of more of the same if not worse to work with in the new Congress come January.
The obstructive ways of the GOP has been so extreme that President Obama has spent the past two years rightly convinced that executive action is his only hope of getting anything done. Since nothing much has changed, there’s not much reason to think he’s changed his mind about that. As for the public, they don’t seem to want compromise. Reelecting the asshats suggests to me all they want is for the other side to give in. Nothing has changed there. Washington politics have barely budged.
With that in mind, my prediction for the next two years isn’t pretty: more attempts to overturn the ACA, to outlaw abortion, to cut funding for social programs, to give tax breaks to the wealth, to make it easier for corporations to pollute the planet, to deny climate change and to make life even harder for the ever dwindling middle class.
At this moment, I’m beyond hoping people will answer the clue phone; I’d be happy of they would just hear the damn thing ring.