Politics As Usual: What Does It All Really Mean?
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?
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka SPANKY SPANKADOCIOUS aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3