Midterm elections are over and the president whose party lost seats and control of the Congress has had his obligatory post-election meeting with GOP leaders. The mainstream pundits, commentators and columnists insist voters sent a signal: Government needs to work and people are tired of gridlock.
If that was the signal voters aren’t likely to see much evidence the message was received. Voters should settle in for two years of acrimony, few legislative accomplishments and blame shuffling between the Democratic president and the Republican majority which now controls the House and the Senate.
This time around the Republicans didn’t come out declaring that making the president a failure was their goal and agenda, but sentiments expressed by House Speaker David Boehner before lunch with President Obama weren’t far from it.
When talk arose of the president using executive orders to push changes in immigration policy, Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) issued the sound clip of the day. “I’ve made clear to the president that if he acts unilaterally on his own outside of his authority, he will poison the well and there will be no chance for immigration reform moving in this Congress,” Mr. Boehner said. “When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. And he’s going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path.”
Likening the president of the United States to child playing with matches could be seen as another way of using the old time reference of “boy” when Whites refer to Black men.
“A fresh blast of public discontent reshaped American politics yet again in the 2014 midterm elections, handing the Republican Party control of the Senate and its largest house majority in 86 years. Its source: Seemingly unending economic woe–and the political discord it fuels,” reported ABCNews.com.
“Seven long years after the economy tanked, 70 percent of voters Tuesday said it’s still in bad shape. Seventy-eight percent said they’re worried about its direction in the year ahead. Only three in 10 said their own economic situation has improved in the last two years. And nearly half of voters said they expect life for the next generation of Americans to be worse–by far the most to say so in exit polls asking the question back to 1996.
“These results inform views of the country’s condition and the quality of its governance alike. Sixty-five percent said the nation is headed seriously off on the wrong track, the second most in available exit poll data back to 1990, trailing only its level in 2008. A mere 20 percent said they trust the government in Washington to do what’s right all or most of the time. Fifty-five percent disapproved of Barack Obama’s performance–up by 10 points vs. 2012, looking much like it did in his first midterm election in 2010, when his party lost 63 House seats,” the article noted.
“Key Republican groups came out swinging. Eighty-five percent of conservatives voted Republican, the most on record (albeit by a single point from 2010). White men voted Republican by 64-34 percent, the widest GOP advantage in this group in data since 1984. Seniors–22 percent of voters–backed Republicans for the House by 57-42 percent,” it added.
It is not unusual for mid-term elections to go sour for the party in the White House but this election may have hit the Democrats a little harder than expected. And given that the party was already in disarray, with some Democrats running away from the president and his record–one even refusing to admit to voting for him–grumbling that the president has problems inside his own party has surfaced.
What America faces between the parties and even inside the parties are division and rancor–which is not good for the country. The United States faces serious problems ranging from economic woes to educational failures, corporate abuses, distrust of government, federal debt, stunted wages, the high cost of living, divisions between the rich and poor and racial division. None of these problems can be solved by one party nor by avoiding these major challenges.
“In the Holy Day of Atonement keynote address from October 14, 2012, I stated that it’s going to take ‘radical solutions’ for the problems we face here in America to be solved. And by radical we mean: ‘1) of, or going to the root, or origin, of the problem; fundamental’ as in ‘a radical difference,’ and ‘2) favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms’ as in ‘radical ideas’ or ‘radical and anarchistic/revolutionary ideologues.’ As long as leaders lie to the American people, they literally cause the American people not to do what is in the best interest of America to solve America’s many problems,” said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in a message delivered in Chicago on October 21, 2012.
The most radical idea that could strike America’s politics is the idea that government should actually serve the people instead of high rollers who bankrolled what will be the most expensive congressional election year in history.
“Republicans made the most of their fundraising advantage and routed Democrats in Tuesday’s midterms, but they seized the majority in the Senate and built their lead in the House even as fewer donors participated in the process and more of the dollars came from secret sources,” reported OpenSecrets.org, which tracks and analyzes political donations. The website is run by the Center for Responsive Politics.
“The real story of the election’s campaign finance chapter was not which side had more resources, but that such a large chunk of the cost was paid for by a small group of ultra-wealthy donors using outside groups to bury voters with an avalanche of spending. … Democratic/liberal groups channeled most of their money through organizations that disclosed donors, while their more conservative counterparts relied heavily on secret sources funneling money through political nonprofits,” wrote Russ Choma in a opensecrets.org piece headlined “Money Won on Tuesday, But Rules of the Game Changed.”
“Every election since 1998 has been more expensive than the one before it, and predictably the 2014 election will follow that path, CRP has projected–though the total projected cost of $3.67 billion is only a slight uptick over the price tag of the 2010 midterm,” he added.
Between the influence of the money spenders and the bitter anti-Obama ideologues of the Tea Party don’t expect anything like compromise or service to the American people. The country’s political leaders and system are largely blind and morally bankrupt and voters have blinders over their eyes. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall in the ditch and America’s final fall looms on the horizon.