So Many Messages Sent In November 2010, So Many Interpreters!

I’m so sick and tired of hearing about all the damn messages that voters sent on election day in 2010. Not because I don’t like the “messages” as I’m sure some will assume. No, I’m sick of hearing about it because when people vote for a particular candidate or proposition or bond issue, they are voting for just that, nothing else. I’ve been voting since 1980 and not once have I walked into the voting booth intent on sending a message, not once. I go into the voting booth with the clear intention of voting for the best candidate…always a Democrat in my case…but voting is a clear choice, one party or the other, one candidate or the other. I’ve never seen any “messages” to vote on, never saw any higher purpose to my vote other than to choose who the hell I want to represent me. And it seems like only in recent years has the media tried to decipher messages from these votes, interpret them as smoke signals or ascribing some deeper meaning to them than there actually is, a choice between two local people, usually a pretty stark contrast and easy to pick the one that represents you. I did a little googling to get a sampling of all these messages that were sent in November of 2010. The emphasis is mine…

It would be unwise to assume they [the voters] prefer one way of thinking over another. That wasn’t the lesson that I took when I entered into office and that’s not the lesson today. So, while our ideas may be different, our goals must be the same,” President Obama said on Monday. Link

Ah, a sane person who realizes that people are not monolithic, we are all different, think differently, believe differently and vote for many different reasons.

“It’s very clear that nationwide we have a movement … a mandate to make sure the federal government gets reversed in its growth. Not just slowed down, but completely changed out in a way that we have increased power to the [states],” according to Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller. Link

I see, it’s all about State’s rights.

Tuesday’s election results sent a mixed message on alternative energy, with Republican victories in Congress likely to curb national alternative-energy policy while California results look set to help the sector. Link

No, not conflicting messages, that can’t be. Who didn’t get the memo?

Recession-weary Washington voters delivered a strong anti-tax message Tuesday, rejecting a state income tax on the richest 1 percent while also rolling back increased snack taxes and making it harder for the Legislature to raise taxes in the future. Link

It’s the “snack taxes” people, don’t you get it?

“This president has over promised and underdelivered. People expected more change than they got,” said Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “Americans are trying to issue a midterm correction to Obama, to nudge him back to the middle, where they thought he was when they elected him. They’re surprised he’s as liberal as he’s been.Link

Speaking as a liberal….ROFLMAO, it’s all relative now, isn’t it.

Americans said they want President Barack Obama to move to the center, fix the economy and cut spending. Link

Wow, that was a pretty safe interpretation of what the American people said on election day.

The mid-term elections, according to the conventional wisdom, were a referendum on the Obama presidency. But in the race for the 10th Congressional District, it was a referendum on Jeff Perry. Even before the primaries were over, the race was all about Perry, irrespective of party affiliation. Link

Now here is where I get really angry. How in the hell can anyone claim that when millions of different voters vote for many different candidates with varying positions and policies on a whole range of issues…that somehow you can add it all up and declare that it was a referendum on the Obama presidency. His name wasn’t on the fucking ballot, there is no coat-tails effect and anyone who tries to claim a referendum based on the votes for other people are just fucking making shit up. The midterms are all about turnout and history has shown that the pendulum always swings back for the party in the White House. And of course, coming off a very contentious battle in the Democratic primary in 2008 and a very bloody battle over health care within the Democratic party, is anyone really surprised that the Republicans swung the pendulum back. Not me, for sure. I was hoping it wouldn’t swing so far back, but that’s politics, baby.

In the Campaign for America’s Future-Democracy Corps poll, voters sent another message, one that Boehner, Cantor and Pence might note. Ranking a close second to the “Make it in America” sentiment was this: “The country needs leaders who will work together across party lines on the economy and jobs, deficits, health care and energy and do the right thing.” Eighty-seven percent of voters endorsed that message.Link

Go read the above link, AFL-CIO site that cares about real people.

Taiwanese Voters Send Message to Taipei — and Washington Link

Damn, even the Taiwanese voters are sending messages all the way to Washington. I can’t even speak Taiwanese, how am I supposed to interpret that.

Voters sent a clear message on Tuesday: They don’t like the way Washington works. But they sent a mixed message on what would make it work better, which adds up to a virtual guarantee that it might be a long time before Washington actually does work better. Link

Ah, mixed messages. There we go, the heart of the matter.

That’s one way to send a message…

…but maybe not the only or the best way. Was it really necessary to “send a message to Washington” by doing the electoral equivalent of tossing a brick through a window? Link

Well that rhetoric would sure fit in well with Beck and Limbaugh’s way of putting things.

For Jordan, there’s no confusion. Voters, he said, sent a clear mandate to Republicans on Election Day: lower taxes, reduce spending, and repeal health care reform. It was a mantra he repeated ad nauseam during a 30-minute interview, and one that likely forms the crux of his pitch to become the next RSC chairman.

“In my mind, it could not be more plain,” said Jordan. “That’s what we’re sent to do; that’s what we should do.” Link

So I guess the voters in his district are all employed and doing just fine, huh? It’s all about the rich people!

Compromise should occur only if Democrats recognize the message voters sent them on November 2, he said, and change course to help Republicans oppose new taxes, reduce spending and repeal the health care law.Link

You see, the voters were saying that Democrats have to become Republicans now, do a complete 180 on what they believe, stop representing your constituents who thought you were Democrat and say “fuck you, I just got a message from 2010”.

“Voters sent a message that change has not happened fast enough,” said Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Link

I love Tim Kaine, he does an excellent job beating back the Republican bullshit. But he is just one person, we need more people like him to fight for our liberal ideas.

I’ll wrap up this post with a post by Eric Zorn from the Chicago Tribune which highlights why any messages that are sent by voters should be filtered first.

What good is a message sent by ignorant voters?

A Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 24-26 finds that by a two-to-one margin, likely voters …think taxes have gone up, the economy has shrunk, and the billions lent to banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program won’t be recovered.

“The public view of the economy is at odds with the facts, and the blame has to go to the Democrats,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm that conducted the nationwide survey. “It does not matter much if you make change, if you do not communicate change.”….

The view that taxes have gone up is shared by a majority of almost all demographic groups, including 50 percent of independent voters, among the linchpins of Obama’s victory in the 2008 election.

Even a plurality of Democrats, 43 percent, holds this misperception.

So why, exactly, aside from political expediency, should politicians “listen” to voters when voters aren’t evidently listening to or reading the news? When they don’t know what’s going on?

Or am I just being an elitist?