"Looks like the Republicans will now run Congress, but their entire campaign was focused on repudiating Barack Obama, who wasn't on the ballot and won't be on one again. They didn't offer a single new idea, no constructive proposal, no suggestion for moving the country forward. Can they possibly govern? Are they even interested in governing?" - Robert Reich, on FacebookPeople have been tossing about the word "shocking" rather freely this morning.
It's HARDLY shocking.
The Democrats fielded largely unappealing candidates who ran s**tty campaigns, on nothing more than "they suck," utterly devoid of policy, versus lavishly funded (a problem, I know), disciplined GOP campaigns laser focused on American dissatisfaction with the Administration – dissatisfaction shared to a point by the Left, albeit for somewhat different reasons. Despite horrific GOP approval ratings, with nothing to vote FOR, disappointed, disillusioned and frustrated Democrats and Left-leaning Independents stayed home in droves while the GOP base was highly motivated to vote, smelling blood in the water.
As an example, I had followed Allison Lundgren Grimes' campaign with some interest, and weeks ago decided that she was hardly deserving to win. She was unappealing, weasely, and came across as unprofessional and untrustworthy. Take a chance? Most Kentuckyians were content to stick with Mitch McConnel, a known political quality. The Left? Not interested. A lot of the Democratic candidates were deeply unappealing and ran terrible campaigns. And we've been dying for some actually inspiring policy here. If the democratic party has some policy, we'd LOVE to gorram HEAR about it. Have a PRESS CONFERENCE for once, GOP critters seem have a Press Conference every time they frakkin' pass wind.
I recently shot down a caller from the Democratic National Committee - I told her, " 'Vote for us. We're lame, but they're crazy,' ISN'T a platform, it's a cheer, and it's a crappy one. If you want to motivate the Democratic base or influence Independents from staying home in droves, give us something to vote FOR instead of just opposing the GOP and whining for money. Send THAT upstairs to whoever keeps track of this stuff." She hung up on me, didn't want to hear it.
And that's part of the gorram PROBLEM. They say, "when Democrats vote, we win." It cuts both ways. Take us for granted that we'll turn up just to oppose them, and you'll keep losing.
If you want to energize your base, you've got to bring something to the table other than, "they suck." We already know that, and guess what?, we kinda think so do YOU. Based on their voting habits, whining and silence, other than Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who've become almost the de facto entire Progressive Wing of Congress by themselves (oh... wait... Bernie's an Independent, sorry), the majority Democrats, seem to be as OWNED as their GOP counterparts by the wealthy elites and the Corporations. They have exhibited startling cluelessness, stunning political cowardice, and an utter lack of leadership or anything remotely resembling statesmanship. The current crop of Democrats for the most part are no more deserving of the reins of this Nation than the reactionary obstructionists across the aisle. Not the most appealing opposition to the destructiveness of the Right. The varsity bench is nearly empty, folks.
Going into this cycle, there was a perverse voice at the back of my head whispering, "let the wookie win."
Hey, why the frak not? Give them a chance to really screw things up, or not, and perhaps then the citizenry might catch a clue-by-four upside the head and take our damn country back.
There's a reason why when I relocated from NY State to West Virginia this summer in a measure of economic survival, I re-registered as an Independent. If Democratic elected officials actually stood up for and fought for Democratic principles, I might still be one. The past couple of decades, Progressives have gone to the polls and held our noses and voted for what we've prayed might be "less worse."
"Do you want to run the country, or do you want to run your mouth?" - Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe, MSNBC, 11/4/14So it's Christmas morning for the Republicans. Good luck with that. Let's see if they can actually govern. No excuses now, show you can run a government, or shut up and sit down. It either won't be boring... or painfully tedious. Will the GOP show enough adult behavior to pursue governance, or two more years of even less accomplished? If they are not effective in 2015, 2016 will be very interesting.
We'll see what happens, but don't blame me, I voted. I've earned the right to bitch.