03 November 2010

The Election Is Over. What Now?

So, what does it all mean?

Frankly, I do not think anyone really knows.  When President Obama was elected, with a Senate and House majority, there was widespread expectation (hope?) of change.  Well, as the current cliche' goes, How's that turned out for you?

Here, in my view, is how it turned out.  Our GIs are still locked in hot engagements in the Mideast and central Asia (OK, maybe in Iraq, just hunkered down behind the bunkers waiting for the next wave of violence targeting them); unemployment is worse than even in the Eisenhower years; no meaningful new regulation or restrictions on unbridled and pernicious capitalism exploiting America's working families; tepid reform of health care, which in the long run will be a big bonus for drug and insurance companies; and the vocal and willfully ignorant thirty-five percent of the electorate calling themselves tea-bags have captured the attention of the posturing Hoople-Heads of the national and local media and landed a few elections in what are mostly red states any way--sort of like over coloring crimson with scarlet.

Hardly what we expected from an Obama administration, right?  But, it's what we got and where we are.

My suspicion is that the Republicans will mistakenly act as though they have a mandate to destroy Social Security by handing it over to the liars, thieves, cut-purses, mendicants, dementers and death-eaters of Wall Street.  They will attempt to further enrich their insurance czar and drug company oligarch buddies by attempting to "privatize" Medicare and the Veteran's Administration health care system.  They will do this under the banner of "reducing the size of government and bringing down the deficit".

On it's face, this is an obvious lie:  The services and health care will still have to be delivered and the costs will still be there, but instead of well managed and regulated, and very cost effective, federal programs that protect Americans from the avarice of faceless corporations, we would be saddled with the Huns, Visigoths and Vandals of health care for profit companies freed to rampage through the pocket books of Americans of all persuasions.

That is the change they are promising.  Very quickly they will run into the same realities that progressives have encountered with Obama, we don't control history--history controls us!  They are facing some hard and bitter truths beyond the rhetoric and posturing that helped them gain some level of ascendancy in this by-year election.  Democrats still control  the Senate and the White House and have enough House seats to impede them.  Reid remains majority leader in the Seante and Pelosi will be house minority leader, second guessing Boehner as he did her.  Nearly half the Blue-Dog Democrats lost their seats to real Republicans--meaning that the Democrats have the opportunity to assess themselves regarding their progressive roots.  The Democrats, having been dope-slapped behind the head, should awaken, abandon pretensions to the center or right, and take this opportunity assume a more unified opposition to the Republican's outlandish notion of fiscal management.

Republicans will find that this election was about anger rather than an endorsement of their policies, and they will find, as progressives found after 2008, that the promise of change is easily made, but delivering on that promise is not easy, and that they have set themselves up for monumental future distrust.

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