I’ve actually had a good night’s sleep after the November 2010 midterms. I’d like to thank everyone for participating. It was fun. I learned how to Skype.
The election went pretty much as expected. Nate was spot on. His model was incredibly accurate. I was actually satisfied with the results. Everybody who needed to lose, lost (well, there’s Rand Paul, but eventually that might be useful. Oh and Russ Fiengold. Didn’t see that one coming.). O’Donnell, Nazi impersonator, Angle, Fiorina, Whitman, Miller; etc. All the crazies lost. We knew the pendulum would swing because people were distraught by the economy. But the American people were not fooled. We knew Democrats would lose some seats and likely the House. Sixty was pretty big but not that big. We held the Senate. That hasn’t happened, historically. Both Houses usually fall in midterm and the pendulum swings waaaaay to the other side. Didn’t happen. Patty Murray won. John Kitzhaber won. As our commenter Alki pointed out, “The western firewall has held”. East coast, West coast. Blue to the max. As far as elections go; it could have been worse.
Of course the conservatives will spin this into tsunami territory. They’ll be thumping their chest’s and claiming that this is a mandate from ‘the people’ to end the Obama era. That’s how they roll. Mitch McConnell, in a fit of hubris, has already announced the end of Obama’s Presidency. We’ll be in for a couple of more years of pain. Sometimes it has to hurt before you decide to stop doing that which is bad for you.
I am often puzzled by the ‘punishment vote’. It baffles me that people would vote against their own interests to punish a party they think has failed them when in fact the party hasn’t had an opportunity to fix the problem. Short attention span, I guess. I’ve always believed you vote for the candidate that would best represent the populace. But it doesn’t always happen. I’m amazed that the right wing talking machine can convince people to vote for things that will ultimately be bad for them.
In thinking about the propensity for electing right wing candidates, I’ve come to a conclusion. We live in a privileged country. I mean, America pretty much saved the world from Fascism and Hitler’s twisted perspective. We broke out of the great depression as a result of WWII. We agreed to work together to achieve a common goal. We made sacrifices. As a result of winning WWII we experienced an era of prosperity unprecedented in our brief history.
My suggestion is that this was a bubble. Much like the internet bubble. It was unsustainable.
My other suggestion is that much of the fundamental philosophy of modern politics is based on that bubble. There’s a perception that we live in that time. A perception of wealth, prosperity, unlimited growth. I suggest that perception is flawed. But the need to cling to it is palpable. Yeah, I remember it. I’d like to have it back. But IT DOESN’T EXIST. It was a blip on the radar.
So that means a large proportion of our populace is in huge denial. They think the world is like a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ episode. This denial of reality is not helpful. It’s the only reason I can fathom that Republicans andTea Partiers, keep being seriously considered. They are caucusing for a world which doesn’t exist. And they are fighting the rest of us to do so. That is so wrong.