Friday, October 29, 2010

After The Election

Well it's about time to begin examining the upcoming election, just four days away now.
I haven't discussed it that much because there's not much point in doing so. I've already made my thoughts known on the subject. I do not buy into to all of the right wing hyperbole that they will inevitably take over Congress. They say they will. The corporate media says they will. The common wisdom proclaims the Republicans will at least control the House after the election next Tuesday, and when they're sworn into office next January. Corporate CEOs, the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, oil and gas lobbyists, who, along with their colleagues in other industries such as finance and health care, are all salivating at the thought of Republicans being back in power.
I say be careful what you wish for.
Listen: There are only a four options that are possible for the outcome of this Congressional election.
1. The Democrats will retain control of both houses with large gains in seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
2. The Democrats will retain control of both houses with less seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives (what I believe will happen).
3. The Republicans take over the House by a small margin, thereby losing the floor (agenda) for the Democrats, allowing the Republicans the power to control what business is taken up, and they will gain chairmanship of the various committees.
4. The Republicans win both the House and Senate, again by a small margin.
Okay, now consider what has happened in the Congress since Obama took office almost two years ago.
The Republicans in both houses, but especially the Senate, have been the most obstructionist in the history of the country, using the filibuster and other arcane Senate rules to stop the Democratic agenda (and thereby the President's agenda) at every opportunity. Still, and this is something the voting public is not mindful of because the Democrats know nothing apparently about public relations, is that President Obama, despite the sociopathic (and I say this with all sincerity. To put political party before the welfare of the country is sociopathic, as well as being treasonous) resistance of the minority party, has passed more legislation in the little time he's been in office than most Presidents do in an entire eight year presidency. However, in order to do that the legislation that has been passed has been watered down with so many concessions to the opposition (and the monied interests behind the Republicans) as to be inconsequential, i.e., Health Care Reform with out single payer, Financial Reform without any reform, etc. All in all, except for mostly symbolic steps at overhauling the most problematic systems this country endures, the legislative and executive branches of the federal government have been deadlocked. The major accomplishment of the Obama administration, as far as I can see so far, is the aversion of a major economic meltdown, i.e., a depression. That is difficult to prove because it is a negative, it is something that didn't happen. Yet the proof is there to see. We are not in a depression! Still the voting public is unhappy with Congress, and for good reason, because the economy has not improved fast enough to relieve high unemployment rates, home foreclosures, stagnant wages, and consumer protections, among other things. It is interesting to note that the voting public is entirely fixated on themselves, via the economy, at this point in our nation's history. No mention of the two foreign military engagements is being made, at all, during this election cycle, which I find totally amazing.
Now the Republicans are counting (and I'm not even going to get into the empty headed, knee jerk reactions of the so-called "Tea Partiers." They are low information voters, a minor percentage of the populace that are being manipulated by corporate interests and Washington power brokers, that are making almost daily headlines because they make the most noise. That has been a dangerous contingent in the past, allowing extreme factions to take power, i.e., the Nazis, but it will not happen this time. They may however succeed in sending completely unqualified individuals to Congress, like Sharron Angle and Rand Paul. The elevation of candidates of this stature is an affront to common sense, and if they are elected, well the people of Nevada and Kentucky, and the thirty or so other elections tea party candidates are running in, will get what they voted for) on the American voting public to be angry with Congress for not getting enough done, even though they are the reason not enough is getting done. They offer no solutions to the problems this country faces (see the "Pledge to America?" series) except to continue the same policies that have gotten the country in the mess we find ourselves in. All they offer is promises to reduce the deficit (which in actuality should not even be a priority at this time. Continued economic stimulus through investment in infrastructure should be, but the Republicans have once again framed the debate, making a viable solution a political liability) while extending tax breaks for the rich. Ask any of them how they intend to accomplish these two opposing actions, and they run for the hills.
Still traditionally the majority party in Congress loses seats during the first midterm elections of a new President. This is exactly what should not happen.
We will examine why this should not happen, and what the four different scenarios will entail if they are realized, in the next installment of this post.

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