Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Morning After by Tom Degan

The Morning After

On Sunday evening the American people set their clocks back one hour. Last evening they set them back two centuries. Ain't politics oodles of fun?

Rick Scott - reelected
I was tempted to call this piece "Stupid Fucking Americans", then thought better of the idea. The sad truth of the matter is that I know quite a few people - a heck of a lot smarter than I - who voted the straight GOP line yesterday. While it would be grossly inaccurate for me to imply that all Republicans are idiots, it is beyond dispute that most idiots are Republicans. You don't believe that? I'll tell you what: The next time someone in your general proximity says something rib-ticklingly stupid, ask him or her what political party they're registered with. Get back to me. 

No, in many cases it has a lot less to do with stupidity and a whole lot to do with a deplorable lack of information. If the electorate had so-much-as a remedial knowledge of American history, they wouldn't be casting their lots with that disgusting party. Consider these unconscionable facts: There were more Republicans elected yesterday than any Election Day since 1946. Come January, there will be more Republican representatives in Washington than at any time since 1928! Is that a kicker or what?

Early in the evening when the trending was pitifully obvious, I had a couple of very strong drinks and went to bed. What would be the use of waiting up to view the political carnage? When I woke up at 2:30 and got the official word from broadcast news, I went outside for a smoke. Noticing the little flag that I fly to the left of my doorway, I quietly and unceremoniously took it down. Even at that late hour, in the dark of night, I was a embarrassed having it there. I'm not kidding.

There were pockets of good news here and there. My representative, Sean Maloney, barely squeaked by in a close race against former congresswoman and Tea Party robot, Nan Hayworth. As of this hour poor old Nan has yet to concede. She wants to wait until all of the absentee ballots are counted. Fine, let her wait. But other than that and a handful of other little oases in the national desert, most of the news this morning was devastatingly bad. One Republican congressman - under felony indictment - was able to keep his seat. What does that tell you?

Hideous Mitch
Most depressing of all was in my ancestral homeland, Kentucky. I've written before how proud-as-freaking-peacock I was to be connected with the place. Those days are over. A people moronic enough to send a corrupt, hideous gasbag like Mitch McConnell back to Washington as their representative deserve everything that happens to them. For thirty years Mitch has been nothing more than a handmaiden to corporate wealth and plutocratic greed. You would think - you would hope and pray - that his utterly clueless constituency would have caught on by now, wouldn't you? They haven't. It really is kinda funny when you think about it - a dark comedy.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over what transpired yesterday. In fact, I have been handed - on a silver platter - at least two years worth of dynamite material - possibly as many as six years! I'll be fine. As I've mentioned too many times to count, for people who blog about politics and politicians, these extremist freaks are the gift that won't stop giving. There is most definitely a silver lining behind this horrifically dark cloud. To tell you the awful truth, I can't believe my luck.

"There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment."

-Hunter Thompson

It sure is sad. Any possibility of Barack Obama having a successful administration went into the toilet evening last. My prediction of a Democratic victory in two years are now "inoperative" (as Nixon's press secretary would have said). Between January and the election of 2016 you can count on them passing more-and-more restrictive voter suppression laws that will seal their power for possibly decades. Kiss this country goodbye....and get used to living in a nation in ruins.

Mah! Mah! The ol' plantation sho' has changed!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

The Sun

America gets the government for which it votes and then deserves.  Thank God for the blue Houses of the Massachusetts delegation with sterling senators and representatives and thank God for the President.  One hopes it is a veto proof Congress which I think it is.

Some good things occurred last night if one is a strong Democrat:  The concession speech of the charlatan carpetbagger Brown was ear music, the all blue Congress especially Seth Moulton in the Congressional 6th District whom I adore makes my love for Massachusetts stronger.  Watch Representative-elect Seth Moulton and help keep him in office. He is brilliant, his military record is spotless with two medals of valor, he is humble, and his Harvard academic record is excellent.  For the cameras (excuse the looksist comment) he is handsome!  He has it all and I call him Kennedyesque except he does not have the personal destructive baggage so many Kennedys had.

Two other good things: Republican governor Corbett of Pennsylvania was unseated and Mark Warner won the Senate in Virginia.  I am sure there are some more good things but I cannot think of them and, clearly, the bad at this moment with a 7 seat pickup by Republicans in the Senate and an increase of 12 Republican seats from 2010 in the House prevails.

A quote from NECN:

A majority of Americans who took to the ballot box Tuesday disapprove of Congress and of President Barack Obama, an initial wave of national exit polling suggests. Exit polls showed 54 percent of voters disapprove of Obama, while 44 percent approve. A whopping 79 percent of voters say they disapprove of the job Congress is doing, with just 19 percent saying they "somewhat" or "strongly" approve of the job performance of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Just 31 percent of voters say they believe the nation is headed in the right direction, versus 65 percent who say the country is on the wrong track.

How voters can disapprove of Congress so thoroughly and then elect more of those responsible for its obstruction and impotence I will never on planet earth know.  I can only conclude that the American memory is shorter than I ever before thought and its understanding of national history is perilously flawed.

Michael Moore in his documentary “Bowling for Columbine” tried to assess the difference in levels of violence between Canada and the US when Canadians possess just as many guns but the US death rate from them reaches the heights of Everest.  In his documentary "Sicko" Canadian single payer health care is reality.  His conclusion, I think, in part, was that Canadians have the feeling that government cares and its people care about each other.  They care whether one lives or dies, that it is not a sink or swim nation and in times of national peril they will unite.  Its neighbor to the south, us, has an Ayn Randian spirit of selfishness that courses through our body politic–almost tribal isolationist in nature.  It makes for a very violent, lonely and insecure nation where each of us plays a survival-of-the-fittest game and military might takes the place of social safety nets to protect us as there is little else that will.

Howard Zinn said change comes from the bottom up and Noam Chomsky asked me if there is an alternative to action.  No, I suppose there is not and the Nirvana election of 2008 showed good through people power can happen here.

We keep on going, play the ball where it lies and know there are decent people who, in our nation, care. As Little Orphan Annie the musical said: "The sun will come out tomorrow."  It has come out before in times of great national peril and we simply hope it will again but as President Kennedy said “God's work must truly be our own!”