G’mornin” folks. The sun is rising, the trees and the traffic are still with us. So life goes on. Just as I suspected.
America is engaged in a ping-pong political process, typified by continued legislative gridlock. The GOP took the House, the Dems held on to the Senate and we are back to politics as usual. Good for Harry Reid, although I am bummed out about my local situation: Virginia, the perennial swing, purple state, went to the righty whities once again. I hurt for Tom Perriello but temper that heartbreak with the knowledge that we will hear from him again. The only district that went Democratic is my own 11th, where Gerald Connolly looks like he will hold on to his House seat.
Some races are still too close to call: the Alaska Senate race will take days to sort out, Rick Scott has edged out Alex Sink for Florida governor although there are still many uncounted votes from southern Florida which usually runs Democratic (based on previous experience we know there is no guarantee that these votes will be counted), the Colorado Senate contest is as yet undecided as is Patty Murray’s Senate race in Washington. On the positive side, Meg Whitman, despite spending $163 million of her own funds, discovered that victory does not always go to the highest bidder. American politics is not Ebay. And Governor Moonbeam, Jerry Brown, is now the oldest governor in history. Thirty seven years ago when I lived in California, he was our youngest-ever governor. I like that symmetry.
I will get over my sadness of my state’s results. Not to worry. However, these midterm elections were a statement by the people and for the people, a plea for cooperation in our legislative process. Will the newly minted “ins” and the Luddite regulars concede the fact that America wants conciliation and progress? Probably not. Mitch McConnell’s admitted primary goal is to get President Obama out of office. As for taking care of business, seeing to the electorate’s needs, McConnell is as far removed from that purpose as he is from fulfilling his job description.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of these midterms is that Sarah Palin’s picks received no mandate. In fact, her support of the Tea party candidates brought defeat more often than not in the Senate races. Within the larger scope of relevance, her failure this election cycle bodes well for her own come-uppance in the next election cycle, especially in the race for the Presidency. Might Mama Grizzly have stepped in bear shit? Her goal is to “take back this country.” Well folks, we need to take it forward, not backward.
Hold on to your hats: the next two years are going to be just as clogged and indeterminate as ever. People are saying that John Boehner will now actually have to govern, not just obstruct. I tell you this: he will never govern. He doesn’t know how to. Watch and see. America, politically speaking, is still 50-50. Always has been and will continue to be so. We have our work cut out for us over the next two years. Can we face facts, do the work and be proud of ourselves? The youth vote was down by 9% in this election. How the hell am I supposed to fight for our next generation if they won’t fight for themselves? You tell me. Better yet, show me.