When the Right Gets It Wrong: A Truly Brutal Election

Nice try Jon Stewart - but "Sanity" wasn't restored and our country failed to think outside of the FOX.

There is no doubt that Tuesday's results will make for even harder times for our country.

It is crazy making to realize just how extreme and misinformed much of the new Congress will be.

There is little reason to expect any useful legislation from the Tea Party-dominated House or the dysfunctional Senate.

Swing votes in the Senate have really troublesome names like Lieberman, Nelson, Manchin, and Pryor. In fact, this Congress will do damage to anything even remotely progressive.

The Republicans shrunk the first "stimulus" package and filled it with tax breaks, even as corporate Democrats helped them along, blocking any effort to restructure mortgages in bankruptcies, freeze foreclosures or force banks to lend money.

The election outcome was partially baked in early 2009, when the White House preemptively conceded on the scale and provisions of the stimulus package and chose to coddle the banks. To watch this unfold was simply maddening.

Making matters worse were other factors. Among the most damaging were the actions of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, which seemed energized by the new President, and took the radical step of rehearing a campaign finance case — now known forever as Citizens United.

In ruling 5-4 that corporations have the right to spend unlimited amounts of money for and against candidates, the Court transformed the electoral landscape in a way potentially more profound than its 5-4 ruling that seated George W. Bush as president.

As many predicted, the Citizens United ruling unleashed the greatest wave of corporate spending in history.

In an astonishing turn of events, the right wing was able to kill — essentially murder in public view — the organization that registered millions of poor and working class African-American and Hispanic voters in the last six years.

I am speaking of ACORN, of course. By editing video completely out of context, and using the right-wing media machine to perfection, Andrew Breitbart was able to convince the mainstream media and eventually Congress, that ACORN was an election-stealing organization that had no qualms giving advice to pimps on how to increase revenues.

Fulfilling Karl Rove's wildest dreams, Congress, including most Democrats, voted to block public funding for any of ACORN's laudable and effective housing or tax assistance programs, and ACORN died a quiet death. There would be no millions of new registrants.

Republicans walked away from any serious healthcare discussion - muttering bizarre comments about reforms "killing grandma" and setting up "death panels." It would have been laughable if it were not so utterly destructive.

FOX News misled and misinformed the American people on every issue, and effectively became the public face of the Republican Party.

How did we get to such a mess where climate contrarians attacking scientists and their work is not only acceptable, but helps win elections?

Glenn Beck's show became so toxic and spewed so much venom that one of his devoted fans took it upon himself to plot the execution of key leaders of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, who had figured prominently in Beck's rants.

Fortunately, the madman (the fan, not Beck) was stopped before he accomplished his mission.

For those of us who had hopes that the Obama Administration could seize the moment and enact popular progressive changes, this is a bitter pill. And like many, we grieve at the lost opportunities.

But now we need to brush off the dust, suck it up, and plunge back into substantive fights.

Politics is not fair — indeed, U.S. elections are rigged in profound ways - but walking away is not an option.

Are you angry and exhausted at this point? I know I am.

But let us not forget that the values and ideals we fight for are greater than any one election. They still endure, and so must our fight.

So roll up your sleeves, we have a lot of work to do.


Skeered In Florida said...

Another excellent summary of fact, thank you. I'm crying for your eloquence and mastery as well as for my lost country.

My Painting Studio said...

It is important to acknowledge that these people didn't get into office on their own. They are backed by big oil, the coal industry, and electric utilities—opponents who have deep pockets and a singular goal of protecting their own interests.

Anonymous said...

As a landacape painter, I want Congress and the President to:

Defend the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to reduce power plant, transportation, industrial, and agricultural global warming emissions;

Push state utility commissions to shut down the oldest and dirtiest coal power plants;

Pressure the administration to further boost fuel economy for cars and trucks and decrease tailpipe pollution, and cut our nation’s oil use in half by 2030;

Advocate for strong, science-based state and regional climate programs that can reduce heat-trapping emissions at the local level;

Bring agricultural experts and scientists together with government officials to build support for scientifically sound, forward-thinking farming practices that can improve our air, water, and climate;


Reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security policy, further reduce their numbers, and prevent the development of new weapons.

My Painting Studio said...

Amen to that.

Administrators said...

I love your blog for the art information. But I must say your political analysis is spot on, too!

My Painting Studio said...

Scarcely had the much super-hyped midterm elections ended when Republicans are now threatening to usher in a new era of vicious partisan politics that will retard any hope for growth in the American economy.

I feel as if my hearty is broken - these are sad bad times and the wars are endless, mindless and horrific.

Oliver Studios said...

I agree. Here is today's Headline:
"Tea Partiers Protest Clean Water Rules Meant To Prevent Bladder Cancer"
See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/11/tea-partiers-protest-clean-water-bladder-cancer_n_781059.html

My Painting Studio said...

It's not that they are stupid. It's that they are actively against knowledge.