Mid-term Malaise: I am experiencing mid-term malaise. The loss of the problematic Senator Dodd was expected and leaves the door open for AG Dick Blumenthal to keep the seat in Democratic hands in Connecticut. North Dakota’s 30 year Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan is a huge loss but he probably would have lost anyway in November. He read the tea leaves and North Dakota is a red state. It is a year incumbents are in disfavor as there will be Republican loses as well which may eclipse the Democratic ones.
Those turnarounds are not at the center of my sadness. It is those dyspeptic tea leaves that have me concerned. Something much more profound and much more disturbing is the culprit. If I wrote a book I would entitle it "How I Went from the Heights of Hope to the Depths of Despair in One Year." Last year, at this time, I was ebullient. The same time this year I need Prozac pills. It’s a dramatic change. What accounts for it?
The president I loved and thought was different from all other politicians morphed into something I loath -- just another politician. In order of importance my reasons are as follows: First: the economy. Barack Obama picked a treasury team who were part of the very cause of the economic disaster. Geithner, Summers, their mentor Rubin, Bernanke and others are sunk knee deep into the swamp that is Wall Street and were, in fact, the choreographers of the exotic instrument dance which led to the fall. In other words, he put the foxes in charge of the chicken coup to pull us out of the quicksand they created. Should we be at all surprised that our tax money went to Wall Street bonuses? Those bonuses if not unethical should have been illegal. They should have been fought, if they had to, in the courts until the proverbial hell freeze over. It means that while Wall Street looks (for now) a bit improved. Main Street remains in double digit unemployment and worse the same exact bank/investment too-big-to-fail dance continues.
Second: Healthcare. He was NOT engaged when we needed him most during the right wing gun toting, Obama is a Nazi sign-carrying summer of insanity which saw people yelling at each other and literally biting fingers off. He decided a nice vacation in Martha’s Vineyard would be in order. He should have hit back hard at those intellect-starved tea baggers and sign carrying lunatics. He didn't until the autumn. By then it was too late and worse he abandoned the very thing he said was the most important part of healthcare during his campaign – the public option. He let a divided Congress tediously construct a complex bill with no one, seemingly, at the helm to steer the ship.
Third: Obama is losing his base. The president reneged on almost every promise of his campaign. He is not holding Bush illegalities accountable and he is committing this country to yet more expensive, never-ending and eternal war. He has abandoned gays as well as those who care about a small matter of Constitutional civil libertarian principles and who supported him 20 to 1. He fed them crumbs because Rahm Emanuel said it wasn't important to worry about the base. But it is very important because the base provides excitement and the fervor he needs to sustain his presidency. If we do not vote, he will not get re-elected.
Without jobs for Main Street Democrats and the president will have cooked their own goose malaise. He reached out to Republicans who turned their backs. He turned the other cheek which works nicely in religion but does NOT work in politics. You NEED your base and I need to take my pills!