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?

Governing On A Scorched Earth – Republicans Get What They Bargained For!

The Republicans have successfully used the “scorched Earth” strategy to take control of the House of Representatives. We’ve had political party’s do some scorching in years past, but nothing like the all out “burn the damn planet down” tactics that were deployed from the day President Obama was sworn in. Booman gives us his take, giving “credit” where credit is due.

I like Bob Johnson’s take on why we had our asses handed to us last night, but one thing most liberals won’t admit is that the Republicans deserve a lot of credit. I know that it’s hard to give credit to a party that decided to obstruct everything even before Obama was sworn in, and in the midst of an almost unprecedented economic collapse of their own making, no less. It’s hard to credit an underground smear campaign to question the president’s religious faith and U.S. citizenship. It’s hard to credit a near-uniform decision to oppose a stimulus bill to give the economy a heartbeat again. It’s hard to take seriously, let alone credit, their decision to talk about pulling the plug on grandma. Their astroturfing of townhall meetings with shouting loons is hard to credit. Their characterization of the Wall Street reforms as another bailout is hard to credit. Their freakout on ACORN over some doctored film footage is hard to credit. It’s hard to give credit for their refusal to allow up or down votes for weeks on bills that they wound up supporting overwhelmingly. I could go on for quite a while listing the cynical and dilatory and dishonest things the Republicans have done since Obama became president, none of which are easy to credit. But, it worked.They knew the left would get dispirited and frustrated and start fighting amongst themselves. They knew their own base would love it and reward them for it. They knew the media wouldn’t be an honest referee. They knew that in a bad economy, white majority America would respond to their ACORN/Henry Louis Gates Jr./New Black Panther Party/Shirley Sherrod/Health-Care-is-for-minorities/Sharia Law/Ground Zero mosque/illegal immigration themes. And they knew that if they only stuck to the plan, there wouldn’t be a damn thing the Democrats could do about it. And there wasn’t. They went scorched Earth, and if you’re honest, we didn’t have the tools to combat them.

So, before you go blaming this policy or that decision, be honest. The Republicans deserve a lot of the credit for their victory. They can be proud of themselves.

I’m glad I am a Democrat, a party that actually has a moral base and wouldn’t sacrifice the good of the nation for cheap political gains. Yes, I said a moral base…we actually care about people, not corporations and the wealthiest Americans and foreign corporations.

I don’t think the arsonist Republican party thought this all the way through, though. They have made their beds, now they have to “lie’ in them.

It Turns Out, You Can’t Buy An Election!

There are many good news stories from Tuesday’s elections, but you have to look hard to find them. There were several more examples of mega wealthy people trying to buy an election who ended up wasting large parts of their fortunes. Here in Michigan, we witnessed this in 2006 when Dick Devos, one of the children of Amway founder Richard Devos, spent $41 million trying to buy the governorship only to be beaten by Jennifer Granholm. This election cycle saw Meg Whitman spending an unprecedented $142 million in her effort to take the California governorship. From ABC News…

“This election cycle saw some very notable examples of candidates spending well into the seven if not eight-figure range and effectively getting nothing for their money,” said Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign spending.

In particular, self-financed candidates for federal offices “got obliterated,” said Levinthal. Besides McMahon’s failed run for the senate in Connecticut, fellow Republican Carly Fiorina spent $5.5 million to lose to incumbent California senator Barbara Boxer, and Florida Democrat Jeff Greene spent $24 million and never made it out of the Senate primary.

According to Levinthal, the results are confirmation that despite a larger-than-usual number of self-financed candidates, and a wave sweeping Republicans into office, one historical pattern has remained fairly constant. “History says that self-financed candidates typically don’t do well at all,” said Levinthal.

I always wonder how much good could have been done with that money, instead of pissing it away on television ads, advertising agencies and payola. It’s quite amazing how egos can drive a person to waste huge sums of money trying to feed those egos.

Let The Finger Pointing Begin!

There are going to be a lot of sprained fingers after today, progressives and liberals will be pushing out those fingers to cast blame on everyone but themselves. I have one finger for some on the left, Hamsher, Marsh, Uygur, Schultz, Greenwald, Susie Madrak and the rest of the firebagger brigade. I’ve been saying it all along, they haven’t been doing themselves any favors by tearing down President Obama, the leader of the Democratic Party. They have been joining in the pig pile that the Republicans and Teabaggers have created, piling right on top, smothering fellow Democrats in the process. Of course some of the self-serving, egotistical, money-grubbing, populist pandering fuckers actually were encouraging Democrats to stay home. Those assholes have no right to complain about anything Republicans do for the next two years, SHUT THE FUCK UP! I don’t want to hear it, and of course I don’t give the assholes clicks and don’t read their bullshit anymore so if they do bitch, I won’t be hearing it anyway. They are dead to me.

That “wave” that swept over us last night was made up of the natural swing back of the pendulum after Democrats had two great election cycles, the last one on the coattails of Barack Obama. So the majority of the wins last night were totally expected, remember all those seats Democrats picked up in traditionally Republican areas….well, they swung back without Barack Obama to help get out the younger vote. 2012 will see some swinging back to the left, I’m sure. The rest of that wave can be accounted for by Republicans getting their mojo back after the last two cycles where they got there ass whipped. Nothing energizes people more than revenge and of course the Republicans and the media did an excellent job of pandering to the Tea Party crowd who’s collective IQ is less than 50. That’s a pretty easy sell. Death panels anyone, birth certificates anyone, socialism anyone, sharia law anyone…..I could go on forever with the dog whistles too.

Onward, President Obama can sharpen up his veto pen, gotta love that pen.

You Win Some, You Lose Some – Maybe Republicans Will Act Like Adults Again!

I’m not too distraught about the results, even though I have to admit I’m not torturing myself watching the dribbling in of results and pundits yapping their yappers about how angry everyone is, blah, blah, blah. I don’t think anyone is any more angry than they were in 2006 and 2008 when the Republicans were beat soundly. The media has been hyping this election since, shit, March of 2009….a couple months after President Obama was sworn in.

The one good thing about Republicans taking the house back is that maybe they will act like adults again. For the last two years, they’ve acted like junior high kids…”I’m taking my ball and going home”.  Now they will actually have to work or maybe they will just continue to do nothing, it seemed to work fine for them this time. The media phoned it in this cycle, didn’t even attempt to fact check any politicians…it’s a free-for-all now, politicians can lie with abandon and no one will call them out on it. Everything is just an opposing opinion, facts shmacts.

I’m glad the damn thing is over too, all the fucking commercials and phone calls. Our phone number must be on the top of the fucking call list. We were getting upwards of 20 to 30 calls per day. That’s ridiculous, there ought to be a law.


Morning Joe – Alternate Realities On Your TV!

What in the hell are those idiots on Morning Joe smoking so early in the morning? How can they sit around and blab about how unpopular President Obama is when in fact he is the most popular politician on the scene right now? His approval ratings have climbed to 54% in some polls, that’s about exactly what he got in votes in 2008. How can these boneheads pretend that he is unpopular when in fact he is very popular. I know they want to equate the whole pendulum swing back towards the Republicans as Obama’s fault, when in reality it is the natural course of midterm elections, combined with a bad economy. People are taking out there anger out on incumbents and there happens to be more D incumbents than R’s. Remember how in the last two elections that the Dems sweeped out a bunch of Republicans even in strongly Republican areas. The talking heads on Television, not just the idiots on Morning Joe, have their heads so far up their asses that I imagine it’s pretty dark in their worlds right about now. It probably stinks pretty bad too, thus the nasty looks on their faces.

In a poll conducted in 2009 on the media, 70% of the respondents said the media was out of touch with average Americans. Morning Joe proves that every single morning.  It’s one massive political circle jerk. It should be fun watching the media twist and turn their narrative to fit the results of the elections tonight. I’ll bet that the actual results will be 5 – 7% higher for Dems than the final tracking polls in most elections. The cell phone effect. Whatever happens, in two more years there will be another election with a very popular president running who knows how to run a race. I’m sure glad President Obama did more in his first two years than most presidents do in 4 or 8 years. It must be why his approval rating is exactly where he started, in the low 50’s. Reality….what a concept.

Vote Democrats – Just To Piss Off The Media Pundits!!!

I heard an asshole on MSNBC this morning say tomorrows election is a “referendum on the Democrat party”.  There is nothing quite like taking a person’s individual vote for an individual candidate and aggregating it into a convenient narrative, one line sentence that simplifies things for the low IQ folks who tend to gravitate towards journalism. I’m not saying all journalists are stupid, there are many who are very bright and intelligent, but in my experience working at a university with a journalism program, the folks who gravitate towards that major tend to be, how shall I say….well, not the brightest bulbs in the bunch. You don’t have to work at a university to know this, simply turn on your favorite cable news channel for about an hour and listen to some of the stupid shit that comes out of people’s mouths. Rick Sanchez used to be the best example of this, the fact that he ever made it as an anchor on a major news outlet like CNN, speaks volumes.

Our friend Grant in Texas gave us this link to a story about how the results tomorrow may not be as the media has been postulating. It’s a great read with a lot of good links. Go check it out.

I’ve always found comfort in the fact that people vote, not “polls”, and the whole bandwagon effect that the media and Republicans love to inject into our politics, only has an effect on a small number of people who are followers. Almost every single person I come in contact with on a daily basis, excluding journalism students :), aren’t swayed by “anger” in the country or at a particular political party. They don’t think as a group or follow trends or are distracted by shiny objects, they have principles they live by, they have well thought out reasons for voting a particular way, and they don’t blow in the breeze like the media and pollsters like to make you think. Most of the variations in polling data that swing back and forth are largely due to sampling errors, methodologies or random luck. When you poll 750 people and try to spread that out to an entire voting population, it is prone to all sorts of problems.

Yes, Democrats will lose seats, that is the norm in a midterm election for the party in power….nothing unusual at all. But how the media tries to wrap that up in their narrative and try to prove they were right all along, pat themselves on the back, high five each other, toast with a nice Chablis….whatever, doesn’t really matter at all to anyone except themselves. They are incredibly insulated from what really happens in America. A few weeks ago, Joe Klein was making the rounds bragging about how he was out in real America, talking to people. Man, you would think it was the first time he had left Washington in 20 years….and it may have been. He was so excited and kept repeating how he talked to real Americans, in the heartland. Jeez, dude, get out a little more often. I live in the midwest….Michigan, and I talk to real people every single day. I wonder if Americans become fake when they move to Washington or do they become fake and then move to Washington?