Monday, November 1, 2010

Election Day 2010

Tomorrow is Election Day.  (Or today, depending on when you’re reading.)  It always reminds me of an old joke I used to tell in high school, before political correctness was invented.

“The Japanese Foreign Minister was visiting the White House and at a cocktail party, the First Lady asked him, “And when did you last have an election?

The Foreign Minister blushed and stammered, “Before blekfast.”

Election Days aren’t so funny to me any more, especially not this one.

Two years ago, there was a public groundswell for change and a young, articulate Midwesterner rode that wave to the White House and he carried a lot of like-minded people with him.

This year, the ground is swelling again, but now it’s not a wave of hope, but one of fear, hate, and misdirection.  It’s hidden behind a lot of lofty but amorphous ideals like “liberty” and “freedom.”  It has to be hidden because they can’t just come out and say “We need to go back to Republican government now because the businesses need to start paying big bonuses to their executives againThose Democrat do-gooders are upsetting the applecart, with their oversight and regulations.  Things go so much better for us when we regulate ourselves.

What upsets me so much is that it’s working.  We have this childish need for immediate gratification, stoked by talk radio and Fox “News.”  Sarah Palin was quoted in this morning’s paper quoting “the voters” as saying, “You blew it President Obama.  We gave you the two years to fulfill your promise of making sure that our economy starts roaring back to life again.”
  
  
Two whole years.  The Democrats inherited an economy battered by 8 years of neglect and mismanagement and the Dems are at fault because they couldn’t fix it in two years.  I’ve made this point several times before but it’s still no less valid.  There wasn’t a fucking peep out of the Republicans when President Shrub and his business cronies turned a surplus into a huge deficit.  When they cut taxes, you and I got our beaks wet, but Big Business sucked up 98% of the dollars.  There was zero complaining from the right about the deficit.  But as soon as the dollars start going to the middle class, they’re all crying about the deficit, and their “liberty.”  As soon as it’s not their guy doing the spending, it’s socialism.


"Liberty" is what you fall back on when you can’t win an argument on merit.  “Patriotism” and “Freedom” work just as well.  It’s a way to move the masses when you don’t dare tell them what you’re really up to.

So every year, the usual boogiemen are trotted out: Gay marriage, abortion, stem cells, and now, illegal aliens.

I’ll tell you what; the Republicans could stamp out illegal immigration in a heartbeat if they really wanted to.  All they’d have to do is put their effort to prosecute employers that hire illegal immigrants.  The jobs dry up, so does the flow of immigrants.

But they’ll never do that, because they are beholden to the businesses.  The businesses are financing their campaigns, now more than ever.  (Thank you Justice Roberts.)  Plus, prices would rise because the cheap labor would be gone.  So what do they do?  They rail about building walls and anchor babies and welfare and dozens of imagined rights that they have.  Meanwhile, the porch light is still lit.  Wouldn’t it be easier just to turn out the light, you know, if that’s what you were really after?

But the immigration is more useful as an issue than it is as an actual problem to solve.  Immigration can be used to tell lies about finding heads in the desert and panic people into voting Republican. 

I remember seeing an interview with a Republican operative, back during the last Presidential campaign.  This guy was suggesting that it was actually better for Republicans if Obama won.  That way, he’d be saddled with all the problems of their making and when he couldn’t solve them in a reasonable time frame, (ie. right now), the Republicans could ride right back into office. 


Why do you think they put so much effort into stuffing conservatives into all the lower and mid level government posts and lobbying outfits?  They were laying in reserves for the long run.

It’s disturbing that this is exactly how it’s working out.  They’re running the playbook perfectly.  The only problem is once they get back into control, we instantly revert to the year 2000.  And that would be great news, if, of course, you’re one of those top 2% in the country.

I doubt that the Republicans will regain control of both houses.  Probably the House, and they’ll draw closer in the Senate.  And if you think nothing got done these last two years, just wait for the next two.  The Right doesn’t care what happens to the middle class, and whatever does happen, they will blame on the Democrats.  Hell, they’re doing it right now.  They are actively harping about nothing getting done and the awful state of, well, everything, but they oppose every single piece of legislation put forth, whether they agree with it or not.  I say when you are ridiculing ideas that you, yourself put forth in previous years, you are too goddamned disingenuous to be taken seriously.

You all know my position: you don’t put the car back into the hands of the people that drove it off the fucking cliff, even if you don’t have all the dents banged out of it yet.

Don’t believe the commercials… any of them.  It’s all bullshit designed to strike emotional chords.  Just look at what happened for yourself.  Eight years of George W. Bush and friends brought the economy in this country to the abyss.  Complaining about spending the money necessary to fix it is laughable. 

Your taxes went down, not up.  (If you make over $250K, I apologize.  Your taxes went up.  You still make many times what I do.  Cry me a fucking river, pay the bill and go back to the country club.) 

More people can get health care now.  Not everyone, yet, but it’s better.  The insurance companies can’t screw you as vigorously as they were before.  (They’ll have to find new ways… they’re working on it right now.  First priority, when the Repubs get back in power they’ll remove the bans on disallowing pre-existing conditions and all the public safeguards that were just passed, BUT… They’ll keep the requirements that everyone has to buy health insurance.  This is a fact.  The Insurance Industry is lobbying on it right now.)

Bans on Morning After contraception have been lifted, as have the gag rules that withheld funding to any international aid group that dared to even talk about abortion.  The “Conscience Rule” has been lifted, which allowed pharmacists to deny dispensing birth control if it was against their personal principles.  That one always struck me as particularly stupid… it’s like allowing a vegan cashier to refuse to ring up your bologna sandwich.

The Justice Dept. is actually pursuing Justice cases and is not being sent on election fraud witch-hunts.  We’re actually somewhat respected in the world again, because we have a leader that considers all angles, weighs information and makes decisions, as opposed to his predecessor that went with his gut and whichever way made the most money for Halliburton.

Things are finally turning around.  It’s not fast and it’s not easy.  There’s still a long way to go.  But if we turn the keys back to this collection of back-slapping, Big Business-dick-sucking frat boys and puckered-bung moralists, then we deserve what’s coming to us.

But at least we’ll have plenty of “freedom” and “liberty.”


Thank you, as always, to First Door on the Left, for being a fabulous go-to source for political cartoons.

17 comments:

  1. Don't even get me started on my hatred of the Bush-a-nanny years. And all the "he hasn't done shit" in the last 2 years. God, I'm sick to my stomach.

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  2. That makes 2 of us, sister!

    You can't obstruct every action and then complain that nothing got done. Unless, of course, you go on Fox "News."

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  3. We may just be headed for another civil war in this country--If the Republicans have their way, we'll end up back in the"olden" days, and everyone will be packing a six-shooter.

    I am so sick of this shit that I could just scream!!

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  4. The one that burns me is: "Balance the budget. But make the Bush era tax cuts permanent." The fastest way to balance the budget would be to let those puppies expire, but that is never going to happen. Even the Dems will only let the ones for the rich expire, which is all well and good for you and me, but still counterintuitive to the "balance the budget" mantra.

    Go vote. That's all you can do. I've even tried educating a few people (hello, FIL), but it just hasn't worked.

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  5. "The Democrats inherited an economy battered by 8 years of neglect and mismanagement and the Dems are at fault because they couldn’t fix it in two years."

    Amen.

    I know all political ads are disgusting, but the ones here in Louisiana take the cake. David Vitter who publicly cheated on his wife with whores, and who has done virtually everything under the sun to repress women will most likely win simply because he is a republican. And his attack ads against his democratic opponent? All focus on how he supports the president. Seriously?! That's all you have against this guy is that he supports the president?!

    It pisses me off so bad that that jackass will probably win despite his horrible record.

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  6. So they get indoor plumbing and ALLA SUDDEN, they're REPUBLICANS! Ain't this America!!
    Here in the Florida Panhandle, we also hear Alabama and Louisiana election ads in which the word liberal is uttered with disdain as the ultimate condemnation. Coupled with president's name, it is the quintessential insult aimed at deterring any voter who would DARE choose such a candidate.
    One ray of hope is Alex Sink for governor. She says she will target businesses and contracters who hire illegal immigrants. She does not play the fear card nor smear her opponent, Rick Scott, who has done a great job of that himself.
    As for our liberal President, consider how far he has advanced education, farther than any other president. While all pay lip service to education, none have really done anything to improve the system. Obama will talk about "bad teachers" and teaching standards as no one ever has. "Race To The Top" has focused states on education reform as no other program has. Stimulous money has prevented teacher lay-offs. He has expanded student loans, given greater support to community colleges, making higher education more accessible to more people.
    Enjoy your new toilet and all the Republican shit that you will need to flush.

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  7. I love those political ads that say, "He sided with OBAMA. Do YOU want OBAMACARE?!"

    I just want affordable health care, damnit. That's all. Relax rich repubs. You can afford it.

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  8. I am of the firm belief that those who don't bother to vote don't have a right to bitch, so GO VOTE. And, I will be so glad to be able to watch television again without 100000 political ads.

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  9. Our only hope: maybe two years with Boehner in charge will remind people of what 8 years with Bush was like. Nothing makes Democrats more popular or active than having the GOP in charge.

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  10. Judie,
    That’s another of those panic-inducing issues… “They’re coming to take your guns!” No matter that reforming gun laws are nowhere on the horizon right now… But it makes a good rallying cry.

    RPM,
    John Q Public doesn’t give a shit about balancing the budget. Have has, never will. Those that are crying about it right now are using it as an excuse because it’s not their guy doing the spending. Also, someone somewhere that they don’t know might be getting help. So they want to oust the “Muslim” because he doesn’t share their “Christian values.” Like Jesus ever said we needed a stronger defense budget and tax breaks for the wealthy.

    Can you tell I’m still pissed about all this?

    Jessica,
    What’s wrong with you Louisiana ladies that you can’t vote down that misogynistic A-hole? Exert a little “pull” with your men folk! Say “No gumbo for you unless you get that bastard out of here.”

    The Obama strategy is country wide… they’re all linking the incumbent Dems with Obama, Reid, and especially Pelosi.

    Mary Ann,
    They think things like “facts” are for Northeastern Elite Eggheads. Fear and smear is so much easier than presenting (or accepting) actual data.

    Cassie,
    You’re right… it was all so much better when we were getting our claims denied by Insurance Industry bureaucrats. (In other words, Private Sector “Death Panels.”) People are too stupid to realize that they’re getting a better deal. I guess that doesn’t count unless your own guy gets it for you.

    I have a proposal for the yahoos that think they’re being infringed upon by having to buy insurance: See how far your “freedom and liberty” get you at the doctor’s office. Just ask Sharron Angle… I’m sure they’ll take chickens in exchange…

    Lastly, refusing to worry about anyone but themselves is how they get to BE rich Republicans.

    DGe,
    Addendum to your statement: Unless you’d vote Republican. Then, feel free to stay home and bitch till your heart’s content.

    Bagger,
    I look for more of the same in 2 years… the Republicans running the “Stall Offense” and complaining that the Dems didn’t fix anything.

    Of course with a divided Congress and inevitable stalemate, I wouldn’t be surprised if the voters throw them ALL out.

    Can Jon Stewart run, I wonder?

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  11. Cassie,
    Maybe they can come up with a punch card. Every 10th visit is on the house.

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  12. It all just makes me so mad I can't even leave a coherent comment. The fact that the Repubs have taken over the House scares me, though I am glad we at least retained the Senate. The fact that people expected 8 years of tearing this country down to be resolved in 2 is just asinine. Arrgh.

    Anyway, like I said, too angry to be coherent.

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  13. It is 10:27 AM here in the Florida Panhandle. We await election results for governor.
    THINK SINK.
    SCOTT STINKS.

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  14. Raven,
    The people have spoken (or stayed home) and they have loudly proclaimed, “I have no concept of economic reality other than “I want it now. And Liberty, I have to have that Lib…ooh, look at the shiny thing.”

    Mary Ann,
    I hope to God that you no longer have Katherine Harris overseeing the vote count…

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  15. No surprise that Jessica R. the Web Mistress took the words right out of my mouth.

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  16. MBG,
    What, you and Jessica R are joined at the hip? How am I not surprised.

    The sad part is that Vitter still won commandingly. Was there no opponent willing to get up there and say, “Why would you elect a guy that cheats on his wife with whores? Are you not good Bible-following Christians?”

    You know, use the “God card” against them, in the same crass way they play it themselves…

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