Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stream of Election Consciousness

Prop 19 fails in California, meaning marijuana remains illegal.  Support for it dematerialized on election day as most of the people who would vote for it probably stayed home and a large number of opponents operating under the same information we've been giving out since the 1950s.  Maybe this was the wrong way to go about it, but the defeat of Prop 19 leaves a lot of people shaking their head as we continue to spend billions across the country to combat a drug less dangerous than alcohol.

Rand Paul won a seat on the U.S. Senate   This is the same Rand Paul who criticized the government for blaming BP for the oil spill, claiming that it was "Un-American" to blame a business for "an accident."  He said of the economic crisis - "government created the crisis, government created the panic, government created the entire problem."  So do big banks not bear any of the blame?  Does the auto industry have nothing to do with it?  None of the collapsed financial institutions and multi-billion dollar abuses by big business would have happened if not for government?  I suppose that's true in a way; with more government regulation those things might have been prevented, the same type of newly-instituted regulations Paul seeks now to repeal.  If, against all sanity, this somehow works, maybe he'll have the money to build the underground electric fence along the border to Mexico he proposed.

I understand his libertarian views.  I respect the way he adheres to them and is, on an intellectual level, an honest and genuine politician, ready to adhere to unpopular views.  They are, at this point in time, completely repugnant to me in view of using them as a way to fix the economy (the economy which, by the way, has already recovered to a large degree, jobs are always the last thing to come back around in a recession).  More likely they will throw us backwards, or, in an extreme scenario, into worldwide economic chaos.  Rand Paul has promised to filibuster the upcoming budget meetings on the debt ceiling.  If anyone remembers the government shutdown of 1995, this will be like that, only incalculably more devastating to the economy of America and the world at large.

Blue Dog Democrats lost their seats in large numbers.  The entire Blue Dog caucus has been decimated by this election.  In a way it reminds me of natural selection.  So the question is, will a more left-leaning Democratic party now move forward in lockstep, or will they suffer from more political infighting as Democrats who kept their seats, wary of future challenges, try to distance themselves from the President?

The Republicans swarmed over the Blue Dogs and flipped a few genuinely Democratic seats as well to retake the House.  Any chance they had of taking over the Senate was ruined as newcomer Tea Party candidates helped Democratic incumbents keep seats by either beating out more experienced Republicans in the primaries or creating 3-way races which divided the Conservative vote.  What will happen to the relationship between the Tea Party and the Republicans now?  The GOP has long been trying to bring the Tea Party into the fold, will this sour their relationship?  A lot of Senate seats are still blue because Sarah Palin backed the Tea Party.  What will the Republican stance on her antics be after this?

A referendum was given last night on the incumbents, just as it was given in 2008 and 2006.  How many more times will Congress flip before things actually start to happen that people get behind?  What will make people satisfied?  Are politicians just as jaded and disenfranchised with voters as voters are with them?  

Historically, a good economy is good for incumbents.  If unemployment drops in the next two years, does that mean we'll be looking at President Obama and a Republican House until 2014?  Or will discord in the ranks of both parties completely change the landscape by the next election?

10 Governorships changed from blue to red last night.  Democrats retook the mansion in California following Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision not to run again.  This gives Republicans 10 more states in which they have control over redrawing district lines.

Is Health Care reform really that bad?  Is the unpredictable Boom/Bust cycle perpetuated by massive deregulation really preferable to sensible government intervention?

Nobody runs on finance because if you actually understand the numbers you appear elitist and alienate people.  The "$700 billion stimulus" has actually cost $30 billion so far and succeeded in staving off another Depression. 

Roland Burris's retirement means, following last night's elections, there will be no black Senators in office come January.

It is 10 years until I am old enough to run for President during an election year. 

The only thing I can imagine more upsetting than watching FOX News at this time would be watching MSNBC.

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