Anger, alienation, and ignorance rule the ballot box
November 5, 2014 | The election results, as my Mama would have said, are a fine kettle of fish — a very smelly kettle from my point of view.
My Mama would also have been delighted with the trouncing of "those damned Democrats." In our house, the word Democrat was always preceded by "damned." No matter which map you look at this morning — Senate, House, or Governors — it is a sea of red.
My Mama would also have said, "No use crying over spillt milk." True enough, but since I did vote, I am allowed to comment.
One of the most closely watched races was for Senate from Kentucky, pitting Mitch McConnell against Alison Lundergan Grimes. She, of course, shot herself in the foot by refusing to even admit that she voted for Obama, so her loss was a foregone conclusion.
To his credit, Mitch said some nice things about Grimes in his victory speech (he could afford to be magnanimous, he won), which stood in sharp contrast to Grimes' truculent non-concession a few minutes earlier. He also said (say pundits) that he signaled willingness to work with President Obama if he, McConnell, is re-elected as majority leader: "I think we have a duty to do that [work with the president]. Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict, I think I’ve shown that to be true at critical times in the past. I hope the president gives me the chance to show it again" (Quoted in Washington Post).
Pardon my French, but what a pile of bull. Beginning in 2009, McConnell made it is mission to defeat Obama, deny him any victory at all. The perpetual conflict was McConnell's doing. And the icing on this cake is the final sentence: "I hope the president gives me the chance...." Isn't that just like the snake that McConnell is. He is still insisting that it's Obama's choice to be in conflict. Obama does not control McConnell's action, it is McConnell.
An op-ed in the NYTimes today quotes a retired political scientist saying the election results are the culmination of a concerted effort to make Obama "small." When he took office in 2009 he was hailed as the anti Bush/Cheney, a man with a formidable mind, the first Black president, someone to be reckoned with. But by these midterms, he has become "small, a punching bag, easily bullied, the one to whom small politicians could talk tough, abusively, the one whose ideas were ignored, the one whom his fellow partisans would come to avoid at all cost" (NYTimes).
No one could have lived up to the expectations that everyone had for Obama, the apostle of hope and change. (Partly those expectations were of Obama's own making, to be sure.) But the familiar pattern of exaltation followed by tearing down, combined with Republican instransigence and obstruction, sealed his fate.
Locally, two of the three city measures passed.
Voters up and down the valley approved similar marijuana taxes. Soak the pot heads! In DHS, neither measure has any effect until California legalizes the growing of marijuana, so they have no effect anyway. But the one measure (JJ) that would help the city dig out of its fiscal hole lost. But those same voters will scream bloody murder when any service that they use or like gets cut as a result.
One of the few bright spots in local results is that our incumbent representative, Raul Ruiz, won re-election to the House, handily beating his opponent who faced a formidable onslaught of negative (well-deserved) advertising by the state democratic party in the final week of the campaign.
A spot of mixed colors is the defeat of Bonnie Garcia in her run for State Senate against another Republican. The good news is that Garcia used to be in the Assembly where her record was anything but exemplary. The bad news is that the guy who defeated her, Jeff Stone, is even worse. I can't help wondering how many Democrats were unable to bring themselves to vote for Garcia, so didn't vote on the race. Perversely, the fanatic fringe of the Republican party was happy to vote for Stone, so failing to vote for the lesser of the two evils was essentially a vote for Stone.
It's anybody's guess. What I do know for certain is that I would not like to be Obama.
Last updated on Apr 29, 2016