So, how did you like that sodomization by corporate America tonight?
John Boehner was just on my TV telling me that the voice of the American people was heard tonight.
Then he said that now is not a time to celebrate.
In the first election after the Supreme Court decided to allow unlimited corporate expenditures by anonymous outside groups with no limits on foreign sources of campaign funding, we saw what the Republicans are capable of when they are unfettered by the rule of law.
The voice of the American people was drowned out tonight by the disinformation and discord of the Republican "say anything" campaign apparatus, along with the megaphone of billions of dollars in anonymous attack ads.
I saw it here in Tennessee, where Lincoln Davis (of all people!) was relentlessly linked to the "Obama-Pelosi agenda" and the "big spending" in Congress.
We had 5 Democratic congressmen from Tennessee heading into tonight. After the election, we will just have 2.
No, the voice of the American people was not heard tonight. Many Americans - about half of all voters, by my early estimation - stayed home because they felt that their vote wouldn't matter and that there was no reason to cast a ballot. All politicians are the same. Why bother?
Well, you get the representation you deserve, I guess.
The Democrats had the organization in 2010. The organization was outstanding, the technology was first-rate, and the policy positions were solid.
We had the organization. But we lacked the inspiration.
Maybe it's a desire for all our members of Congress to be as inspiring, attractive, thoughtful, and articulate as President Obama. I mean, I don't know if you saw the last debate between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, but you know it's bad when Harry Reid is in a dead heat with Sharron Angle.
And yet, I can't blame Reid entirely. I think he'll probably pull out the win tonight, and I think he's a very thoughtful legislator who's trying to lead at a very difficult time in American history, with a tremendous amount of lobbying pressure for special interest groups vying for their piece of the pie.
And for all the talk about a Republican victory tonight, it was not so much a Republican victory as a Democratic defeat at the hands of corporate America. Corporate America simply spent enough money to create a reality that told Americans that they didn't get a tax cut (they did), that Obamacare will destroy America (it won't), and that Nancy Pelosi is a she-devil (she's not).
I think the real lesson from tonight's election is we have to restore government of, by, and for the people. The new crop of Republicans are likely to disappoint in this regard, because while they won an election tonight they are very unlikely to change the economic realities facing our nation. We are still a trillion dollars in the red. We are still planning to spend $895 billion on the US military next year (and that doesn't include Homeland Security budget either). We are still importing hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign oil. Unemployment remains around 9.5%. And the gap between the haves and have-nots remains enormous.
Corporations are not people.
Money is not speech.
It's time to get back to basics.
I choose to stand with those leaders and elected officials who tell the inconvenient truth.
Update 11:45 PM CDT: Thanks for the tips, rec's, discussion, and condolences. Quick stories on GOTV today:
- A woman who had said she wouldn't be able to make it to the polls yesterday called me back today. She said she'd need a ride but was willing to vote. She just spent 5 weeks in rehab from spinal fusion surgery. Such an inspiration.
- Another woman has been out of work on disability after she had a Celebrex-related coma and was found as good as dead about 3-4 years ago. She is shuffling along, had to learn to walk again, but she's still going. She's African-American. Worked at Metro General Hospital for 22 years. Said her grandmother told her, "Whatever God puts in front of you, it's for a reason." She proudly cast her ballot today - a walking miracle.
- Driving this evening at 6 PM, I saw a man waving a "Jim Cooper for Congress" sign. As I pulled closer, I realized it was Jim Cooper himself! Pretty cool to see him out there waving to folks driving home from downtown Nashville into the more suburban parts of the community. Cooper won - one of just two Democrats who won their US Congress races tonight. we go from 5 House Democrats to 2 after tonight.