Wednesday, November 3, 2010

About Last Night...

Before last night's election, all the polls showed that Republican members of Congress had a lower approval rating than Democratic members. Polls showed that more people trusted President Obama to handle the economy better than Republicans. But due to the frustratingly stagnant economy and desperate people with no jobs, when asked who they were leaning towards on Election Day, they would inevitably say the Republicans. That's called cognitive dissonance. But voting against your best interests is nothing new.

And I'm not going to try to sugarcoat the election by saying it wasn't huge for the GOP, even though some of my colleagues may disagree. Before last night the Democrats controlled 255 House seats, the GOP 178. Starting January 20th, currently the Republicans are at 239 seats to 185 for the Democrats and counting. Losing seats is a dent. Losing the majority by 5-10 seats hurts. Losing by 56 and counting is big.

Now, do I believe the current spin that the results last night are due to President Obama's policies? Absolutely not. This is about Americans being fickle bitches and expecting an economic freefall to stop on a dime. This is about not having the patience or not having the comprehension to understand what it takes to turn the tide. After eight years of mismanagement, some say even 30 years of Reaganomics, how is it even fathomable to think it can all be changed in 21 months?  So of course, the political party of the president in power is going to pay in the midterm elections. It's happened before (FDR, Truman, Reagan, Clinton) and it'll happen again.

So should've priorities shifted to economic growth and job creation? Perhaps, although a bigger stimulus was rejected by the GOP and weakened by the insistence of including tax cuts. But because we haven't completely crawled out of the biggest recession since the Great Depression, that's not to say that health care reform, credit card reform, financial reform, fair pay acts, the stimulus (a third of which were tax cuts) and a myriad of other policies enacted by the Obama administration hasn't helped American citizens.

As the President said today, you have to separate the policies that were enacted from the emergency spending that was necessary to stop economic collapse. Had they not bailed out the auto industry another million jobs could have been lost.  Had they not continued the TARP policies of the Bush administration (and tweaked them to make the banks accountable while returning a profit) the bank collapse could have led to a global financial meltdown. Had they not passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it's possible we'd be another couple of million jobs in the hole.

So while it was a tough loss yesterday, let's keep things in perspective. Democrats still run The White House and the Senate, and with everything needing 60 votes to proceed in that chamber, we're basically in the same shape we were before. Chances are that just like the Senate is sitting on 400 pieces of legislation because of the Republican filibuster gridlock these last two years, things will now slow down in the House as well.

So okay, Republicans. Show us what you've got. You can't be the Party of No anymore and hide in the shadows. You're out in front now. And here comes the hard part. You're going to have to work now instead of sitting back with arms folded and holding your breath because it wasn't advantageous to your party. Time to work. Alas, time to actually read some bills instead of tossing them around as stage props. Boy, so many pages!


jhw22 said...

Love it. My favorite part is when you refer to me as your colleague. ;)


Anonymous said...

Desert Crone

NowhereMan said...

Well,now they don't have Pelosi to kick around anymore!Now the drunk with the orange glow in the empty suit has the gavel and is expected to "lead".Ha!He will be as successful as Joseph Hazelwood was steering the Exxon Valdez.
As for Mcconnell saying his objective is to defeat Obama in 2012,yo!Mitch I hate to break it to you,but after the vote, you were still the MINORITY leader douchebag.