Race & Politics

Politics As Usual: What Does It All Really Mean?

It's gonna be a long two years, homey.

Like most people in America, I spent the majority of this evening flipping back and forth between various news stations watching as the election results came in. What most people assumed was going to happen is pretty much a certainty: the Republicans have taken back the House of Representatives and removed the supermajority that Democrats enjoyed in the Senate.

Obama’s own Senate seat that went unopposed just a few years ago was won by an Illinois Republican. Like it or not, the people have spoken. Just like they did back in 2008 when Obama was historically elected President.

A lot can change in two years.

Nobody – common man, pundit, or crackhead – is delusional enough to believe that this wasn’t largely an indictment on President Barack Hussein Obama. Obama campaigned heavily on hope and this belief that he could foster change in Washington. Most of us, much due to our own delusion, believed that it was possible for this one man to come into Washington and change a culture that has spent decades mired in political deadlock. For some reason, we all thought that despite the fact that an entire half of the country voted against him in favor of a man who can’t hi-five anybody and a woman who might actually usher in the hell promised in 2012, somehow, someway, Congress would ultimately work towards this greater goal of a unified government with a focus on the greater good.

We didn’t get that. In fact, what we got were a lot of things largely rammed through Congress using the fact that Congress was Democratic in both houses. Basically, using the majority present, Obama pushed through bills that, right or wrong, were largely opposed by huge sects of people. Health care reform, while necessary, was a beast that nearly derailed President Clinton in the early 90s. What we got was a confusing piece of legislation that even lawyers argued about where a significant portion of the provisions don’t even go into effect until 2014. It’s not to say that this was a bad thing, but it does speak to the main thing everybody wants from their government, especially during a time of recession: transparency.

Obama’s goal for transparency hasn’t necessarily been met. Most of us are very smart around here and short of the names of many of the bills and their intended goals, most of us – who don’t work directly on such things – probably couldn’t tell you the finer points of the health care reform bill, his financial reform package, or where most of the money for the two stimulus packages went.

Mind you, I’m not saying that Obama hasn’t done his job. I think he has done the best job he could with the resources and situation he was given…to a point. Communication is the corner stone of any strong relationship. Despite being the President who has to have clocked more face time than any other, when it came to the actual policies, I’d bet a lot of people really have no clue whats been going on. This is how Sarah Palin can use the words “death panel” and it becomes a hot topic in middle America. There are a lot of unsmart people in this nation. The only way to effectively get a message across is to make sure that even the slowest individual can get it.

Which leads us to where we are today. Republicans have convinced people that this Congress and President have been freewheel spending and forcing government down their throats. They are preaching an agenda that they probably can’t uphold either, but the fact is, thats what happens in politics. You sell promises and then do what you can to see your special interests through. The party in power that’s failed to live up to whatever alleged promises they made takes the hit. The Republicans went through this in 2006 after 12 years at the helm.

We are a whimsical bunch of people. We want change without really having any idea how to go about it or what that really means. Our only source of feeling like we’re affecting it is to vote for the people that represent us and craft the laws of the land. And what does that mean for the next two years? Well, a President who’s received very little help from Congress in general, or at the very least more opposition than perhaps any other President, will have a tougher job getting any of his policies implemented. But he’s still the President. And he still has two more years to attempt to right a ship that everybody agrees needs righting. And the Senate is still Democratic.

America is in an odd place right now. Obama was given a trick hand to play. However, he openly accepted that and has been doing his best to win with that hand since he took office. And he’s going to continue to have to do the same thing. I don’t feel bad for Obama. He’s the President. Part of the job description is to catch rocks being thrown at you by the people who didn’t vote for you. It’s on page four of the job description.

I was told at one point that the point of Congress is not to foster the passage of good ideas, but to hinder the progress of bad ideas. If that is true, this Congress will be living proof of it. But where do we go from here? I have no clue. I’m curious like the next man. The biggest tragedy in all of this, yet the one anomaly that make sense is this…

…Alvin Greene did not win the Senate seat. And for that we are all better off.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this election night? Anger, frustration, hope, joy, etc? Good people of VSB, what does it all really mean to you?


Filed Under:
Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://twitter.com/naimasmanifesto TheTalentedMs.Fiasco

    Statistically speaking, midterm elections generally roll the same way. If one party controls the executive and legislative branch, the opposing party usually gets control during midterms. Happened during Clinton’s administration and Bush’s administration, so I wasn’t surprised by what happened. In the end of the day, Obama has to unite his base.

    Democrats have the problem of not having a very unified platform. Ask 10 democrats what the democrats stand for and you will get 10 different opinions. Republicans have a very solid and simple base and they get all the patriotic people with their american dream rhetoric. However, democrats are more about social welfare…without being socialist.

    Personally, I wish the Dems would just drop the center-left bs and actually care about the social welfare of the people. The rent is too damn high! I find debunking Republican ideology extremely easy, but why don’t the democrats do it?

    I’m so done with the political system. No one wants to take a strong position because they don’t want to alienate the rest of the public. I’m so sick of it.

  • Newbie

    Thanks for reminding me of what I already knew. No really. No sarcasm. After watching Boehner cry on tv, I was so pissed that I couldn’t sleep. Then I came here hoping you guys had a new post and I was reminded of why I can’t let this ish get to me. Love you guys for being able to give readage to my pms-infused logic (as in, this is how i really feel. my anger is my woman’s work. ugh). I’m gonna go back to creeping now :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/EksAmplified EksM

    the fact that Alvin Greene received approximately 260,000 votes is just… as a South Carolinian in DC i’m very often embarrassed at the mention of SC & politics… but this is definitely going to be a trying time for Americans (no matter the party) and Obama both…

  • It Figures!

    Big, sigh. Voters have very short memories. There are still too many people not registered to vote or registered but not voting. It is a sad day for the country because this time it is fueled by a lot of HATE, DISRESPECT and BLATANT RACISM. I am almost sad to be American. I will pray and have faith in God to work a miracle for our country and its people. We really need to call on Jesus.

  • Wenzel Dashington

    How can we do anything when the rent is too damn high?

  • poet10456

    President Obama spent/wasted too much time early in his term being too bipartisan. He tried to welcome the Republicans into his kingdome and they stayed the party of ‘no’.

    So then The House and Senate pushed through the agenda at a rushed pace: HealthCare, stimulus, Auto Bailout, Credit-Card Reform, Student Loan Reform, Close Gitmo/Can’t Close Gitmo/Don’t Close Gitmo, Cash for Clunkers, Remove Troops from Iraq/not all of them/Send’em to Afganistan. All of this like an Italian mother woh can’t stop effing feeding you.

    It became too much, and it made Pres. Obeezy [(c)Riley Freeman] look like a muddled puppet for the ‘Socialist’ Democratic Party.

    Personally I wished he didn’t even bother with the GOP initially. 8 years of bad policy shoved down our throats and you ask ‘them’ for assistance in fixing it? We needed less Barack Obama and more Brian Pumper 2 years ago. He should’ve just rammed his legislation through from jump.

    Right now we see some signs of improvment from policies implemented 6-8 months ago. More service projects, infrastructure repairs, etc. thanks to the stimulus. Unemployment has stayed bad recently, but hasn’t dropped. Some say its projected to improve in 6months time. If his programs were rubber stamped earlier, those improvements would’ve been relevent come mid-term time.

    Sorry for the rant, just really disappointed right now…

  • CT2DC2Brazil

    wait, did you just refer to McCain as “the man who can’t hi-five anybody” ?!?!? LOL #iseriouslycantwithyou *off to read the rest of the post…*

  • Kijuana

    In a world of instant gratification, this should come as no surprise. We (as Americans) expected this man to walk in and wave some kind of magical change wand and fix all of our problems instantly. Real life doesn’t work that way so why in the world did we expect this to? The optimist in me wants to believe that everyone will come together and try to fix what’s broken through compromise and effective planning but when we have a bunch of adults that bicker and fight worse than pre-schoolers, I’m sadly doubtful.

    Let’s hope they can agree on something…

  • Molou99

    Although I read this everyday I never comment on your articles….BUT, I have to agree with you that Alvin Greene not winning in S.C. is a silent win for Democrats, Black people, the inventors of SoulGlo and the afro pick with the fist!!! But that crazy a** mofo still got votes!! I’m from Ohio and live in S.C. now, and I think that S.C. is the most backwards place on the face of this earth!! There were still crazy a** mofo’s that voted for him. I wanted to unplug the machine at the ballots this morning just looking at his damn name!! SMDH!!

  • http://twitter.com/naimasmanifesto TheTalentedMs.Fiasco

    “It became too much, and it made Pres. Obeezy [(c)Riley Freeman] look like a muddled puppet for the ‘Socialist’ Democratic Party.”

    We don’t have much of a left at all! The left is too busy pandering to the neo-conservatives in the heartland. I don’t know why they got punked into dropping the public option. That was an failure of epic proportions.

    With unemployment, if you think about the late 1970s, unemployment was very high, but they didn’t do so much about it because it would balance itself out later on. The problem is that if you try to fix unemployment, inflation will go up. So there is a trade-off between the two and inflation would be a bigger problem.

    Anyway, I feel your frustration. I think I pissed off my politics and mass media class, but calling them sheep on the low. Seriously, I expect a lot from college students, but everyone is just acting plain stupid everything. >_<

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