The older I get the more disillusioned I become with politics.
Of course I’m all for third parties and their candidates, but this time, I don’t feel comfortable voting for one knowing that it could possibly mean that the Democrats wouldn’t control the Congress for the next two years. But, I’ve always said that I encourage persons to vote their consciousness, but my consciousness is that the Democrats maintain congressional control.
But, there’s no way the Democrats should lose when the final votes are tallied on November 2nd.
The list of Democratic party accomplishments combined with Obama administration successes speaks for itself. The last two years have been nothing but wins for liberals. Perhaps the true progressives may have some aught, but all and all here’s a list of accomplishments that the Democrats have done in the past legislative term.
The stimulus package prevented an even worse economic decline. Let’s just be clear about that for a few moments.Unemployment numbers could very well have been at 11% or 12% if the stimulus money through TARP and other avenues hadn’t come through. Yes, it had its bugs as far as CEO’s getting major severance packages and God knows what other bureaucrats were able to leech from that. Not to mention all of the pork barrel projects that GOP representatives were still able to get money for.
However, the bailouts worked for the automobile industry in this country. That means that auto workers on the assembly plant lines didn’t lose that many jobs as it would have been if they had folded. Yes many workers were forced to do early buyouts, move if they could to a town that still had a plant operating, and yes some did lose their jobs over the years leading up to 2008. But certainly in the automotive sector, as DaimlerChrysler and General Motors begin paying their loans back, this is certainly a W in the books.
The health care passed by Congress is the best yet. Say what you want, but this was a moral victory for me. As a citizen of this planet we call Earth, it’s simply unconscionable that we live in a country where persons, who claim to be Christians, believe that health care is a privilege; a privilege only earned through “hard work” and “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. By simply getting insurance companies to begin to cover pre-existing health issues, and allowing children to stay on health care until 26 is still a monumentous step in the right direction.
Certainly I wanted the public option. Not to mention, at this point I wouldn’t mind paying higher taxes if it meant that we had health care like that in Canada or in some European countries. Granted Michael Moore left out that convenient fact about higher taxes in his movie “Sicko” he clearly painted a much more progressive image of health care in those countries. Again, if there’s even one story about a mother who’s child is denied health care at a hospital because that particular insurance isn’t valid at that hopsital–and the child dies because of it–then we’ve entered a state of emergency.
Addressing the citizen and their private financial concerns. This goes for the credit card bill of rights, lowering taxes on the middle to lower income brackets and even addressing student loans. The credit card bill of rights is nothing but good news. Credit card companies used to set up on college campuses with freebies such as t-shirts and other college dorm needs if 18 year olds would sign up for a credit card, one that they undoubtedly would be able to pay. Meaning that as they are concurrently racking up student loans. Additionally, anything that begins to pull American citizens out of the sinkhole that is credit card debt is anything but a positive.
There’s also a plethora of other miscellaneous stuff that both Obama and a Democratic Congress were able to achieve. That ranges from declaring an end to official combat in Iraq (clearly we haven’t left, but you get the idea), stem cell research has resumed again, Obama took a declarative stand against the militaries Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy (and just this week came out saying that he wants that decided in Congress not the courts).
And the list goes on.
What the Democrats have failed to do, and seem to always fail to do is capitalize on what they have accomplished. Perhaps this is because this is one of the few times in recent history that a Democratic Congress actually has a list of accomplishments to point to that aren’t full of attempts but actual passed legislation. No, Democrats have sat on these accomplishments. The Democratic campaign mentality seems to operate on reactions rather than setting the discourse; always reacting to GOP (and now we can add Tea Party) criticisms.
The Tea Party has been quite clear that this mid-term election is a mandate vote against the Obama White House and a Democratic Congress. Sadly, the GOP is having to contend with Tea Party backed nominees who have so many political foibles its becoming comedic. From GOP nominee Sharron Angle from Nevada making a comment about Asian-looking students in front of a mostly Latino high school audience to Delaware Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell not being able to speak on Supreme Court decisions in a televised debate has made this laughable. Not to mention other Tea Party candidates running for various gubernatorial offices.
Suffice it to say, the GOP party and certainly the Tea Party has pushed its “party of No” ideals against constituents by capitalizing on fear and “taking back the country.” Capitalizing on flashpoint issues such as abortion, gay marriage and gay rights and now immigration (read: Mexicans coming into this country), Tea Partyers are running amok telling lies about this country being founded and solidly Christian ideals and using code words that specifically speak to a white and conservative base.
What many self-professed Republicans, conservatives and certainly Tea Partyers suffer from is this Joe-The-Plumber Syndrome. This syndrome is symptomized by conservatives who benefit from social government programs such as government assistant programs, food stamp programs, universal health care appeals, a credit card holder bill of right, you get the picture right? Somehow, and some way, these persons with this syndrome have bought into this American dream that one day they’ll be the next millionaire. So they’ll come out against raising taxes on the wealthy in some distant hope that they’ll one day be a millionaire and they want to keep their money.
Let’s be honest, Joe-the-Plumber will never be a millionaire. But they are so moved to vote as though they will be–one day. I think the big gotcha gotcha is that the GOP’ers and Tea Partyers that engage in the political rhetoric that corners conservative voters to align themselves with these ideals truly divide the country along racial boundaries. As I watched ABC 7 Chicago political reporter Charles Thomas ask bluntly to GOP nominee for Illinois U.S. Senate Mark Kirk and Democratic nominee Alexi Giannoulias what are they going to do for their African American constituents if they were going to serve in an all white Senate. To which Mark Kirk prefaced his comment by speaking against government assistance programs and creating economic and small business initiatives. Well, this was clearly a comment directed at the white voters south of I-80, and my mother commented that probably more whites would benefit from economic business initiatives than black owned business on the 79th street corridor!
The Democrats should win and maintain their congressional seats this fall, but probably won’t.
If the Democrats eke out a slim majority in both the House and the Senate it will be probably from the same impetus of Obama. People in rural districts who lost their job when the clock factory closed and their left with no pension and payments still left on their Pontiac that they bought just three years ago, and mounting credit card debt as they try and give some money to their oldest who started school last year and trying to pay for braces on Junior. And thankfully the husband was able to have a buyout of a pension, but the wife is on unemployment because she lost her job at the antique store as Main street jobs closed, and the husband’s pension doesn’t include health care for his spouse because of the buyout options.
Those are the people who need to vote Democrat, Green Party or something other than Republican.
But, no, whilst living in rural small-town America they get swayed into believing about “immigrants taking their jobs” and higher taxes and that Obama is a Muslim, and of course, Muslims, all 1,000,000,000 of them flew into the World Trade Center on 9/11 — and that Sarah Palin is heralding the second coming of Jesus.
This is what the Democrats are up against. And it seems like it took until October as Dems continued to slip in polls for Obama to step out and start campaigning. Typical rookie mistake. Hopefully come 2012 (if the earth isn’t preparing to self-destruct) he doesn’t make the same mistake and hopefully Democrats will have mastered the art of capitalizing on the horrific blunders of the Tea Party.
It’s the same song and dance routine that I’m sure liberals and progressives alike are tired of having seen repeated to no avail. Because of liberal and progressive thought processes, they truly believe that the American electorate as a whole has good sense, and clearly that’s not the case. The Tea Partyers have deluded themselves into thinking having the likes of Rand Paul or Sharron Angle will be enough to effect policy change. So, I urge liberals, progressives and Democrats alike to get out and VOTE on November 2nd as the Tea Partyers come back from the planet Zotron where persons like O’Donnell and Sarah Palin are lauded as intelligent.
Please vote! Before it’s too late.
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL
P.S. If my blog did nothing for you, hopefully this Bill Maher clip will. Enjoy. [NSFW]