Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Changing Nothing

I listened to Garland Robinette on the radio last night. He noted that it took 40 years for the Democrats to lose the US House in 1994. Then it took 12 years for the GOP to lose the House in 2006. This time, it took 4 years for the Dems to lose it.

If the GOP didn't get the message the voters were sending (and I don't think they have any more of a clue than the Pelosicrats), this could turn out to be a short term gain.

Which is pretty much the way it is supposed to work, if it needs to. That's one very underrated thing this nation's founders got right. The House is designed that way for a reason.

That being said, Cliff's election day post is giving me a lot to think about. He doesn't think this election is going to change anything, and he's right in a lot of ways. These are the same GOP folks talking about the same solutions that didn't work the last time they were in office. They got rid of a bunch of Democrats too beholden to big business and interest groups to actually change the things that needed changing.

Our nation is faced with fundamental decisions coming up in the short term, and while the Democrats might have given lip service to some of those decisions, they were defeated by a bunch of Republican candidates, Tea Party folks, and right-wing media who wrung electoral victory from the most hyperbolic and destructive narratives I've experienced in my lifetime.

Playing revolution wins when the decisions you have to make are boring and complicated. (Though I'd get really wonky and argue that the GOTP was more playing pre-emptive counterrevolution, but that's for another time.)

But those decisions will not be made from Washington, D.C. That is the point of this election. People don't trust elected officials from either political party to do what needs to be done. If the change comes from Washington, it will always be viewed with suspicion unless it works immediately, and anything that actually does get done can be demagouged to death by the opposing party.

That's the other part of Cliff's post:

I get much more excited about local elections than the national stuff because I feel like those folks have more of an effect on my day to day life. You can have one crazy mayor with a lot of power and cripple a city for decades. The federal government doesn’t really work like that.


Local elections have more of an effect on your day to day life. You also have much more personal influence at the local level, and your voice and participation is more valuable. If you want to "take your country back" from whoever you fear in Washington, there is a very good place to start.

And I think, with the state of the country, your participation will be appreciated.

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4 comments:

Mavric said...

As many Democrats lost, it could have been a worse "schellacking". Self proclaimed tea party candidates only won 30 odd percent of their races. Without their fringe candidates alienating the middle, the Democrats could have lost the Senate too.

It will be very interesting to see the final analysis on how much corporate money affected the outcome of elections.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Mavric? Long time no see.

Unfortunately, the Senate, of all places, didn't get a lot done either way in the last session of Congress. This will only keep each Senator acting more protectively.

I don't think we'll ever have an accurate analysis on how corporate money affects the outcomes of elections in this country. Because then we'd have to take a long, hard look at how owned we really are by the special interests.

Mavric said...

S'good to be back! Hopefully a little more regularly now.

Well, the constant filibuster certainly did not help the senate's record, though your right that the election results only reinforce the likelyhood that it will continue to be a graveyard for the (112th?) session, unless of course we see the senates proceedures amended.

As to the corporate spending, there is a school of thought that while money and victory are correlated, money doesn't win elections. In other words, more popular candidates raise more money. There were several elections this cycle where the candidate who spent more still lost the election. On the flip side, the National COC & Karl Rove had impressive win ratios.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Good to hear.

If the Senate was going to change the rules, they ought to have folded that into the last session, when they had the votes to do it. Right now, it would just appear a punk move.

I do hate the political scientist school of thought that money = electoral wins, even if it is true in many cases. But narrative has proven a monetary equalizer. If you market your campaign well and have a story as to why you should be elected (or a story as to why the other candidate shouldn't), you have a better chance of leveling the playing field.

That's one BIG aspect of campaigning the GOP has figured out that continues to elude the Democrats.