Many Republicans are saying they won simply because the electorate rejected everything that Obama stands for. Plenty of progressives peg the problem as weak-kneed Democrats caved to neo-cons. Other Democrats will say it was an inevitable reaction; blaming the party ‘in power’ for not fixing the economy fast enough.
They can’t all be right; but I don’t think any of them are totally wrong.
Yes, many people voted against what they were told ‘Obama stands for’. And some people voted against (or stayed home because of) the Administration’s pattern of pre-emptive surrender. I considered it; as a Progressive, I have been dismayed at how quickly our President folded. As a proud gay citizen I am appalled at just how clearly the Democrats show how little they value the promises made.
But I do believe that the most accurate reading of this election is, indeed, that the people are pissed. Obama promised greatness; he delivered something a few steps better than mediocrity. Rachel Maddow had a great summary of what was accomplished so far in our President’s term, but he failed to communicate in any meaningful way to the people who needed most to understand what his great vision was. The Senate fell pretty much in line- only the House really tried collectively to move this nation forward.
I did end up voting only because the reality of a Republican/Teabagger sweep of both Houses would be a disaster. I marvel at the ability of so many voters to ignore the fact that neo-con policies have nearly destroyed this great nation and take out their anger on so many incumbents. And I fear that too many politicians will agree with, or at least react in fear to, the idea that the entire Obama vision has been rejected. What truly should be rejected is the power that corporations exert, that the ‘top 1%’ (measured only by financial resources, not actual worth) use to further increase their wealth. And the lies they created, supported and rammed into the eyeballs of we, the people.
Neither power nor wealth is inherently bad. But neither are they inherently good. Used to damage the quality of life of the majority of people, as tools to amuse other-wise empty lives, as score-keeping in some perverse game of life, they are in fact evil.
As much as this election was an expression of voters’ anger at the failures of this Congress and Administration to act as Statesmen rather than power-hungry, egotistical, sold-to-the-highest-bidder corporate lackeys, it was not a blanket rejection of our President’s so-far-barely-enacted Great Vision. If it had been, the next Senate would have 60 or so Republicans. It appears at the moment that, although reduced, the Democratic majority will hold. Only the House has changed control- and so the Republican/Teabagger victory may be short-lived. In two years we get to re-evaluate them. Did they make the nation better? Did they make the lives of real (not corporate) people better? I know what I think the answer will be…