At MSNBC the “We Said No!” commercial was extracted from this Rachel Maddow rant to promote her show shortly after the election. As commercials go, it’s pretty nifty and set to the right music and in the immediate aftermath of a fairly decisive election away from the “conservatism” of the previous decades, it seemed almost iconic.
But in March of 2013, that commercial and the rant that inspired it only reminds me of why I was not impressed with the results of the election then nor the legislative achievements since. This election was not just a complete rejection of the most extreme conservative policies and tactics, but also a full on embrace of the alternatives. We didn’t just NOT want to be force fed feces spritzed with sugar, we wanted the steak and lobster dinner!
- We wanted a move towards fair tax policy that gets corporations and the wealthy contributing more to the country’s infrastructure and the education/care of it’s citizen’s while shifting away from war and tax cuts that favor the wealthy.
- We wanted to do our nation building here at home. To help our fellow struggling Americans and our economy grow, we wanted jobs bills to keep teacher teaching and cops policing our streets, first responders fresh, available and well- equipped and construction workers making our bridges safe and our buildings energy efficient.
- We wanted living wages for our people and affordable education that’s accessible to as many as who want it so the real element that drives our economy’s job creation and wealth, the purchasing power of the average consumer can be unleashed.
- We wanted a whole-hearted embrace of alternative energy sources as the next growth industry in America to make us energy independent, create jobs, and seriously combat the threat of global warming.
- We wanted immigrants illegal(schemers and dreamers) or not treated fairly(this doesn’t mean the same!).
- we wanted to be able to vote without being intimidated, misled or left waiting in line for hours on end.
We voted for these things for ourselves and our families across the political spectrum, but on Nov 6th, as I watched the election results come in and as Rachel Maddow waxed on about the rejection of the most extreme tenets of conservatism, I lamented the next two years as more of the same that we’ve had since 2010. The Obama Administration’s assessment that a resounding victory for him in 2012 would “break the fever” of the recalcitrant opposition to him in 2013 and beyond is laughable. Breaking that fever ALWAYS required that we make them irrelevant at the Federal level and with the House of Representatives legally stolen and Harry Reid’s calculated decision to give only lip-service to reform of the filibuster(he makes a different decision if the House is in Democratic hands, but at this point it’s hard to see him as anything more than just another Washington coward).
The Democrats ABSOLUTELY NEEDED to run the table including taking back the House of Representatives and it was clear that despite the almost one and one half million fewer votes(that’s right folk 1,400,000 fewer votes netted Republicans 18 more seats than Democrats somehow) Republicans leaders received there versus the Democrats across the country, they weren’t going to get it.
In Retrospect: The fix was ALWAYS in. The GOP hail mary southern strategy redux was just a ploy to distract from the years long well funded vote rigging procedure that was firmly in place: the Great Gerrymandering of Congressional Districts.
And so instead of the massive progress(muted by the impact of the Great Recession, an Obama Administration that thought their good works were so brilliant that they were self-evident needing little explanation and no defense, and a stupidly protracted battle over healthcare) we got in Obama’s first two years we get the filibustering, do-nothingness shenanigans of the last two. And of course we the people, the 99 percent are caught in the cross hairs of this divided dysfunctional government.
Instead of additional revenues and modest cuts we’re left with the Sequester that’s forecast to cause job losses and keep us out of a robust recovery. Most Republican leaders deny it up and down, but in a moment of sobriety(LoL!) House Leader John Boehner declared that in that deal he got 98 percent of what he wanted. NINETY EIGHT PERCENT, you have to be pretty happy to quip in such high, specific percentages. Since the sequester is such a huge part of that deal, you’d have to assume that it was a part of the 98 percent that made him so happy. The GOP members of the bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles Commission (specifically Paul Ryan) charged with crafting an alternative to the sequester, blew it up. A leader Nancy Pelosi in a Democratic House Majority would have solved this problem.
Instead of a move to make Federal Elections more fair across the states, there’s talk of striking down the voting rights act (which stopped most of the election-rigging voter ID tactics by the GOP run states in their tracks), we have Scalia characterizing it as an entitlement to be revoked and Republican led State Institutions trying to institute Congressional District Voting for the 2016 Presidential Election (only in battleground states). Had this method of apportioning the vote been used in the Presidential Election, we’d have President Romney to deal with for the next four years despite him receiving 5 million fewer votes nationwide. This puts in clear perspective how unfairly congressional district gerrymandering is thwarting the will of we the people. It’d take democrats in control of both chambers of the senate to present/consider legislation that would move us towards more uniform and fair federal laws governing federal elections. Federal law trumps state law period and this is a case (the will of the electorate intentionally thwarted for the benefit of the wealthy few) where that is good news. The House GOP simply won’t take something like that up, EVER.
After the newtown murders and the nearly 3000 (2728 when I added this link) Americans who’ve been murdered by guns in three months since, a serious attitude with serious measures to match are being considered. Meanwhile the gun manufacturer’s front organization the National Rifle Association is taking a cartoonishly aggressive stance to oppose any type of intervention except those that equip yet more people with guns. Their stance on this would be a lot different if they didn’t have the bulwark of the GOP House to hide behind.
So for those of you who in and with the 99 percent who voted in your own interest and are as frustrated as me that the other guys still block everything, call your representatives and send in some post cards to let them know that their days will be numbered if they don’t act in the interest of you and your family’s health care, education, and overall quality of life. If that doesn’t work(it won’t, but we have to try) start thinking about the mid-terms and overcoming the gerrymandered, stacked deck to get John Boehner and House Republicans out of power in 2014.