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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Looking at the Election with a Positive Light ... sort of

Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010, at 11:10 PM

This past Tuesday night was hard to handle. Fortunately I was in class for most of the returns and by the time I got home the bad news had already rolled in, the Republicans (essentially the same group that drove us off the cliff in the 2000s) had regained the House.

Then a shimmer of light was flicked on when it looked more and more throughout the night that the Democrats would retain the Senate. The Tea Party played a huge roll in the Democrats keeping control of the Senate. Had Harry Reid had to face an actual opponent he would have very well lost. Angle spent so much time painting all Hispanics as drug-pedaling, illegals that they showed up in huge numbers just enough to push Harry Reid over the line for the victory.

In Delaware Christian O'Donnell beat out a fairly popular Republican to make it to the general election. Then her history came into play when it was revealed that as a teenager she had dabbled in witchcraft. Conservatives tried to downplay that by saying that it was no big deal (oddly enough one Senator posing nude in his younger days and another Senator candidate dabbling in witchcraft is no big deal for the TEA Party conservatives, but liberals, or people they believe to be liberals, not paying their taxes thirty years ago is so bad they should not be appointed to government positions. I will let the bigger irony of that rest with you) but O'Donnell lost in a landslide.

There was also Linda McMahon in Connecticut, Dino Rossi in Washington, and Ken Buck in Colorado. Had the Republicans fielded just three regular Republicans in those houses, the Republicans would have won the Senate.

Let us take a look at the numbers coming out of the elections. The one thing that was solid across every state and every district is that Americans are not happy with either party right now. Despite the claims that the American people want the Republicans to redo the last two years, the numbers do not actually back them up.

Despite this election supposedly being about President Obama and the Congressional Democrats "liberal" agenda liberals fared the best out of the Democratic caucus only losing three members. The liberal caucus now has a higher percentage in the party in Congress than the moderate or conservative Democrats. Out of 34 Blue Dogs (conservative Democrats) only 18 survived the election. Out of the 72 Progressive members 68 are returning (yes that's a total of 4 but one of those seats was won by a Democrat in an open seat). Of the New Dems that caucused with the Blue Dogs 9 of the 20 were re-elected. Out of the New Dems that caucused with the Progressives all four were re-elected. Out of the 45 New Dems who were in neither caucus only 28 were re-elected with the addition of 2 new Democrats this year in open seats. In other words non-Progressive Dems in the 111th Congress had 99 members, while the Progressives had 76. At this point (before the newly elected Democrats choose their caucuses the Progressives have 72 members, white the other caucuses have 53.

When we look at who voted for who, once again more moderates voted for Democrats than Republicans. In 2010 66% of Conservatives, 31% of Moderates, and 3% of Liberals voted for Republicans. 47% of Moderates, 40% of Liberals, and 13% of Conservatives voted for the Democrats. So, despite the narrative that moderates were tired of the Democrats and wanted Republicans in charge the actual numbers, once again do not hold up.

One final not. To show just how tired of both parties (and yes count me as one. I am currently seriously considering either joining the Green or the Unites States Populist Party) the American people truly are Rasmussen who is hardly a pollster that favors Democrats releases a new poll stating that 59% of Americans say that it is somewhat likely that the GOP will be a disappointment by 2012.

The next two years will be very interesting. (This is where the positive light kind of goes away) I really do not think anything will get done. Partisanship will still rule Washington. With the number of House Republicans already promising to investigate Obama under the table they really will not have any time to do anything. Their first goal is to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts (an idea that Obama is now apparently getting behind for some really strange reason) which will explode the deficit. It is very strange that the very first thing Republicans want to do is break their main campaign promise of cutting the deficit.

I could be just as silly as the TEA Party and the Republican leadership in 2009, when they demanded to know where all the jobs were at before the stimulus law had even taken affect but I will not. I will wait until at least the end of 2011 before asking the Republicans why they have not done anything. I could be wrong of course, which I will readily admit when that time comes.

(Back to the positive light)I must admit I like the Democrats chances in 2012, specifically Obama. Typically in the two to four years before an election where the opposition party won the white house we usually had a pretty good idea of who the front runners for the respective parties would be.

In the 1970s Ronald Reagan was the sweetheart of the Republican Party so it came as no surprise that he swept to victory in 1980.

Bill Clinton made such an impression at the 1988 Democratic Convention that many Democratic insiders gave him the inside advantage for 1992.

By 1996, George W. Bush was a rising star in the Republican Party and some Republicans thought that he could make a run for the 2000 election.

After the 2004 Democratic Convention all the Democrats could talk about was this unheard of then state Senator from Illinois Barack Obama and he rode that wave to the largest victory for a candidate since Ronald Reagan.

In the years where the opposition party did not win there was really no clear front runner.

In 1984 Walter Mondale who picked the first-ever woman Vice Presidential candidate was never considered a true competitor to Ronald Reagan.

In 1988, despite George H. W. Bush not being a strong candidate for the Republican side, the Democrats came up with and even worse choice in Michael Dukakis, who continually shot himself in the foot.

In 1996, the Republicans were faced with a very weak presidential field and ended up nominating Bob Dole.

In 2004, the Democrats faced a similar dilemma as the Republicans in 1996. Though Howard Dean seemed to be the rising star his campaign was derailed when he screamed at a campaign stop. I am still not really sure how that caused him to lose support, but the American people can be fickle at times. Instead we got John Kerry. His Achilles heel that year was not himself but a group of former Vietnam Vets (who had never actually served with Kerry) who came out and claimed that Kerry had never actually earned his medals. Kerry did shoot himself in the foot by waiting to actually take on that group and the message was already out there.

To this point the potential Republican field consists of Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich (all interestingly enough employed by Fox News), Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, and Jeb Bush among others. Barack Obama despite his poor poll numbers does not trail a single Republican at this point.

Potential the only person that could beat Obama would be a member from his own party, Hillary Clinton. There is already talk that Obama may make a move to make Clinton his running mate in 2012 to eliminate this potential threat.

The Democrats lost this election for a very simple reason. They allowed the Republicans to shape the narrative for this election. Had they actually ran on what they did instead of running away from what they did, they would have fared much better. I am not going to go to the extreme as Rush Limbaugh did in 2006 and state that I am done carrying the water for the Democrats (oddly enough after no long water-carrying for the Republicans Rush is still carrying water for them).

I am, however, annoyed that once again the Democrats are allowing the Republicans to bully them into positions they do not support.

On a final note, back to that whole this election was a referendum on liberalism. Let us take a look at some actual liberal positions have been the last two years and see if this country was actually under the spell, as it were, to Liberalism:

Let u start with the stimulus package. This was supposed to be the top of the liberalism mountain. Yet compared to what some top liberal economist wanted and this stimulus was actually pretty small (let us not forget of course that many of the Republicans that voted against the bill, championed it when they went home.

Going into the health care debate the big ticket item for liberals was either single payer or the public option. We got neither instead we got a Republican idea the mandate which will start forcing Americans in 2014 to either take insurance or be fined.

Liberals wanted out of Afghanistan and yet we are still there and we are currently in a surge.

Liberals wanted Obama (and he had said he would) to shut down Gitmo yet it is still open.

Liberals wanted Congress to get rid of DADT and the Defense of Marriage Act yet both are still active (despite the rulings to stop DADT, other rulings have put the kibosh on those rulings).

Cap-and-Trade and Net Neutrality were big issues for liberals and yet no action has occurred on either.

So, despite all the attacks on Liberalism, Socialism, Communism, and somehow Nazism and Totalitarianism no actual policies occurred in the last two years.

So I am going to try to be as optimist as I can that some good will happen in the next two years and ignore that certain Republican leaders have stated that their only goals are to ensure that Obama is a one-term president or that they will impeach Obama. I will also ignore the threats to repeal Obamacare which is actually not even possible given the numbers.

I will be optimistic and hope that Republicans will actually take control in January and do something to end the recession and create jobs.

I will be optimistic, but not hopeful.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

"(oddly enough one Senator posing nude in his younger days and another Senator candidate dabbling in witchcraft is no big deal for the TEA Party conservatives, but liberals, or people they believe to be liberals, not paying their taxes thirty years ago is so bad they should not be appointed to government positions. I will let the bigger irony of that rest with you)"

Why do you find this ironic Mike? The TEA Party folks as far as I had seen billed themselves as fiscal conservatives not social conservatives. I kinda find it ironic that Liberals such as yourself are the ones who seemed to be trying to make a big deal out of social issues that you usually claim should have no bearing. Once again, Mr. Pot seems to be rearing his ugly head.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Nov 5, 2010, at 9:04 AM

Despite the claims (interesting how people that do not know me or how I think, though they do like claiming they do, know exactly that the election tomorrow is why I am backing off) no matter the outcome tomorrow I will not blog on it.

ala Michael Hendricks 11/01/10 5:58 pm

-- Posted by doodle bug on Fri, Nov 5, 2010, at 10:36 AM

Mike,

If someone wants to run the Treasury Department, they should pay their taxes and know how to fill out a tax return, at the very least. It is directly relevant to the job being applied for as opposed to someone who played witch games in high school or posed for some racy pictures. It's the equivalent of hiring an Attorney General who doesn't know how to file a court case. It's directly relevant to the position.

-- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, Nov 5, 2010, at 1:36 PM

I don't remember on what blog it was mentioned but a poster commented about Obama's trip to India costing $200 million a day, including several aircraft and an armada of Navy ships escorting.

Turns out that comments was based on a widely inaccurate story by an Inidan news agency.

http://factcheck.org/2010/11/ask-factche...

There is no facts to support the original story and the pundits I have seen on tv can't give any facts to back up the story.

The most interesting item from the above story that if this is true. Obama's trip is costing more per day than the war in Afghanistan.

Just another faux story cooked up to paint Obama in any negative light possible.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Nov 5, 2010, at 4:50 PM

Come on Mike. Some of your points here about Obama's policies not getting through are exactly like saying, "well the attacker pointed a gun at my head and threatened my life, but he never pulled the trigger, so everything is hunkie dorie!"

What?

We were so close to cap and trade! We were so close to haveing Gitmo shut down and having terroists running the streets!

Maybe you don't think cap and trade is bad for you, maybe it's not. I'm sure, judging from the past, that if consumer prices spiked 20% due to it, you would no doubt get a raise since the unions have their own wing in the White House.

I would be out of business, and so would 1000's of other small service businesses. As consumers that wouldn't get union raises would be struggling to make ends meet, they would certainly cancel services. Not only would I lose business, but I would struggle myself to pay for the skyrocketing costs of doing business.

Then, as we are all going out of business, we are now unemployed and NOT paying taxes. Federal tax revenue is going down, we still haven't paid off that $30 bil teacher and public sector bail-out, or the stimulus. Now we're paying $800 bil a year in interest on our debt. So there is no money left to "help" us out.

Meanwhile, the planet is still getting warmer or whatever it is you think is happening, ever though 1/2 of us are out of work. The government is still flying all over the world to meet people, and see stuff...buring up all kinds of fuel. Federal workers still get to put gas in their federal cars. It's great! We're saving the world!

Obama spent all this time TRYING to get his policies done, and wasted all this money and time and never helped what really needed help...the economy.

He spent 2 years vilifying business and what a surprise, business is not any better. His policy for punishing big business has worked! Just spending 2 years growing the federal government and pissing on the backs of people like me trying to work for other people on my own have been successful.

Now maybe he's made some poor people "feel" better by doing this, but are they any better off.

If I was truly a poor man, I would hope and pray that some millionaire somehwhere would spend his money on something that I could make for him or do for him to provide me with a job for my family. Moreso than wanting to be dependant on King Obama to throw me a bone so I can be a little better than poor, but always in his need.

I agree with you and the DADT. I don't think we can legislate morals and values. I certianly don't agree with gay marriage, but I also side with your dad on the level of victimless crimes and laws in this country. Are we truly free with this many laws?

-- Posted by Justin76 on Fri, Nov 5, 2010, at 4:55 PM

I just heard that John Boehner is using 200 million tax payer dollars a day to keep his skin dark.

I know it's not true, but when so little of the lies and distortion of the Democratic Party and Barack Obama are simply taken as truth with no question I figure what's wrong with a little white lie about Boehner. I'm sure he doesn't charge the tax payers $200 million a day, I'm sure it's closer to $175 million a day.

Ha now I know why people say whatever they want to about our leaders with no basis in fact and all the lying they can handle. It is so much easier than actually doing the research and telling the truth.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Nov 6, 2010, at 4:52 PM

I keep hearing that the TEA Party cleaned up in this years election and that they now represent the Republican Party and the 112th Congress.

Here's the funny thing, as natural the facts don't match up to the rhetoric.

There were 138 races involving a politician that was TEA Party backed. To this point, not including races not yet decided they are 44-88. That doesn't really seem like a clear victory to for the TEA Party. In fact, despite all the rhetoric it seems very laughable.

As I have said, and the facts back me up, Democrats actually voted more liberally, but the picture shows quite readily that Republicans voted much more moderate than the pundits would have you believe. This election didn't move Congress right, it moved it to the middle, which oddly enough in the bizarro world is still WAY TOO liberal.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 3:07 PM

"Why do you find this ironic Mike? The TEA Party folks as far as I had seen billed themselves as fiscal conservatives not social conservatives."

-Posted by SWnebr

I don't know SW, maybe it's because the TEA Party doesn't seem to know the first thing about what the tax system in the United States is. Maybe it's because they still believe that their taxes have gone up over the last two years when they have actually gone down. It's kind of hard to reconcile them claiming to be fiscal conservatives when they really don't understand spending in the first place.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Nov 15, 2010, at 9:29 AM


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