Looks like a lot of Mama Griz's fellow Alaskans dropped their bear rifles and picked up the lowly pen
I've spent some time this morning reading editorials about last night's election. After laughing hysterically at Jim DeMint's musings on The Wall Street Journal, and David Brook's delusional take in the New York Times (neither of which is worth linking) I found this extract from Dan Glickman summed up some of my own beliefs:
The American public is growing increasingly tired of our political leaders seeming to argue for the sake of winning power, and our political leaders rarely reaching a satisfactory conclusion on any issue of public policy that benefits the public as a whole. Americans want to believe that the art of politics is to promote the common good where necessary, not to serve as a podium for the perpetual gain of political power by our elected leaders. If the election demonstrates anything, it is that the public is weary of excessive gamesmanship and is demanding that American politics become more realistic and responsive. And we have all grown more cynical about where any of this can happen.
I have some of my own thoughts about this past election, and most of them are strangely positive. First I was heartened to know that wealthy individuals can not buy political office. Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Carl Paladino, and Linda McMahon all lost. All put millions of their own money into buying their election. Add up all that money and they could have bought up the deficit in a number of States. They could have done something positive. My hope is that in the next election Americans will figure out allowing corporate interests to buy elections for their personal lobbyists is an equally bad idea.
The Republican party has a huge tactical victory but it will turn out to be a huge strategic loss. Mama Grizzly and her cubs, coupled with the heavy handed use of moneyed attack ads by corporations and wealthy individuals have destroyed any semblance of a Republican center. It appears the Repubs have harped on too many fears for one party to handle coherently.
When I think about the 'gamesmanship' in politics, I think about 'point guard Palin' treating the political process and her own party as if it's some sort of basketball game she is orchestrating against the 'big boys'. Unfortunately for her and her party, some of her players traveled way too much and cost her team some victories. Sharon Angle's loss in Nevada was a huge win for the Democratic party. On the other hand, the idiocy of Christine O'Donnell points directly to the stupidity of the Republican National Party if they think Palin is some sort of national player they can pin their hopes on in 2012 or that the Tea Party can be fully integrated into their ranks. All they need do is look to Alaska where Mama Griz'z pet personal Tea Party cub, Joe Miller, appears to be going down to a write in campaign for Lisa Murkowski.
The decimation of the Democratic Blue Dog contingency also sends a similar message to Democrats. Placating Repbulicans in your ranks does not help your cause at the polls. Over one third of the Democratic losses in the House came from the ranks of the Blue Dogs. It's time the Democratic Party stopped playing footsy with ideological traitors in order to feed from the corporate trough. Corporate money swung virtually in total to the Republican and Tea Party candidates in spite of the fact Dems like Max Baucus handed corporations all they could want on health care reform, Obama sent 900 billion more to banks 'to big to fail', and then bailed out much of the Auto Industry. The one place our corporations weren't handed everything they wanted was in finance reform. Thank God Massachusett's Barney Frank is coming back.
The jury is still out on Archbishop Neinstedt's attempt to influence Minnesota's election for Governor. Democrat Mark Dayton leads Neinstedt hero Tom Emmer by some 9,000 votes with all but four precincts reporting. That margin would trigger an automatic recount. If this one follows the same path as the Al Franken victory, it might be a while before we know whether the K of C has to keep their ceremonial swords in their sheaths. In the meantime the State Republican party is already hinting at voter fraud, which is interesting since they took both houses of the legislature. Maybe voters only cheated on voting for governor.
Pro life politicians had a mixed result, as some stalwarts went down to defeat including VA's Tom Perriello. GLBT politicians did much better, indicating the culture wars are not nearly as persuasive as the fact the economy is in the toilet. The message is that the rights of the pre born take a very back seat to the availability of pay checks for parents. Some of us have been trying to make that very point for a long time. Too many abortions are the result of poverty. Maybe now it will be heard.
Over all Prez Obama has no one to blame but himself for the Democratic debacle in the House and even more sadly, he also has to thank the Tea Party for the fact the Dems still hold the senate. His dithering on progressive issues like DADT did not garner him one single political advantage in the battle for centrist votes and cost him dearly in momentum and enthusiasm in his own base. I hope he looks around and realizes there is absolutely no reason to placate any more Blue Dog Dems, or Republican Tea Party turn coats like McCain. Mainstream politicians of both parties, who truly reflect the sane constituencies in their respective parties need to work across the aisle and pull this country out of it's economic mess. They also need to make it plain to our corporations that the era of buying legislation is over. Nothing else matters