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Payback at the Polls

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Posted on Nov 3, 2010
AP / Ann Heisenfelt

Members of Tea Party Patriots celebrate at an election night party in Washington as televised returns show Republicans gaining a majority in the House of Representatives.


Q & A - Live Chat with Robert Scheer


A live Q & A session related to this column took place on November 04, 2010 at 11:00 am PT.

Click here to view the transcript.


By Robert Scheer

 
Let’s not shoot the messenger. Yes, the tea party victors are a mixed bag espousing often contradictory and at times weird positions, the source of their funding is questionable and their proposed solutions are vague and at times downright nutty. But they represent the most significant political response to the economic pain that has traumatized swaths of the nation at a time when so-called progressives have been reduced to abject impotence by their deference to a Democratic president. 


Barack Obama deserved the rebuke he received at the polls for a failed economic policy that consisted of throwing trillions at Wall Street but getting nothing in return. His amen chorus in the media is quick to blame everyone but the president for his sharp reversal of fortunes. But it is not the fault of tea party Republicans that they responded to the rage out there over lost jobs and homes while the president remained indifferent to the many who are suffering. 


At a time when, as a Washington Post poll reported last week, 53 percent of Americans fear they can’t make next month’s mortgage or rent payment, the president chirped inanely to Jon Stewart that his top economics adviser, Lawrence Summers, who was paid $8 million by Wall Street firms while advising candidate Obama, had done a “heckuva job” in helping avoid another Great Depression. What kind of consolation is that for the 50 million Americans who have lost their homes or are struggling to pay off mortgages that are “underwater”? The banks have been made whole by the Fed, providing virtually interest-free money while purchasing trillions of dollars of the banks’ toxic assets. Yet the financial industry response has been what Paul Volcker has called a “liquidity trap”—denying loans for business investment or the refinancing necessary to keep people in their homes.


Instead of meeting that crisis head-on with a temporary moratorium on housing foreclosures, as more than half of those surveyed by the Post wanted, the president summarily turned down that sensible proposal. Instead he attempted to shift the focus to his tepid health care reform and was surprised that many voters didn’t think he did them a favor by locking them into insurance programs not governed by cost controls. Health care reform was viewed by many voters with the same disdain with which they reacted to the underfunded and unfocused stimulus program. Neither seems relevant to turning around an economy that a huge majority feels is getting worse, according to Election Day exit polls.


That is a problem that is not obvious to the power elites whom the leaders of both political parties serve or to the high-paid media pundits who cheer them on. The tea party revolt, ragged as it is, fed on a massive populist outrage that so-called progressives had failed to respond to because of their allegiance to Obama. As a result the Democrats squandered the hopes of their base, which rewarded the party with a paltry turnout at polling stations.

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But it now remains for the tea party victors to prove that they are a viable alternative, or by the next election they too will find that their base of support has evaporated. This should be of great concern to the libertarian wing of that movement, which scored a considerable victory and a much-enhanced national presence with Rand Paul’s Senate victory in Kentucky. Will he stick to his promise to hold the Federal Reserve accountable and oppose the continuing favors to Wall Street that he has blasted as “a transfer of wealth from those who have earned to those who have squandered”?


The tea party is now in the awkward position previously occupied by the Obama hope crusade of having to deliver and will suffer a similar political fate if it fails to deal with the economic crisis. In particular, the Republicans who will control the House, thanks to the tea party, must come up with proposals to solve the housing crisis or they will stand exposed as political opportunists who intend to exploit rather than deal with the economic anxiety felt not only by their base but much of the country.


Some Democratic leaders will urge Obama to follow President Bill Clinton’s lead after his party’s electoral reversal in the 1994 election and move even further to the right to strengthen his prospects for re-election. It was that opportunistic shift by Clinton that led to his signing off on the radical deregulation of the financial industry that caused the economic meltdown. If Obama follows such advice it will spell further disaster for the nation.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”

 

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Aaron Ortiz, November 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Good question, Inherit. I meant better for the low and middle-class American
people, and the world in general.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Aaron Ortiz, November 3 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

I want to congratulate Mr. Scheer for this article, very clear and incisive. I agree with
his prediction, I doubt the Republican congress or the Tea Party congresspeople
will be able to do any better than the incumbents they will replace.

***********************

Define “better”. George W. Bush and the Neo-Cons did an OUTSTANDING job when they were in power.  They did 75% or more of what they set out to do.  That this 75% was TERRIBLE for you and me is irrelevant, because they never had any intention of serving you and me, just in giving us a cow-patty sandwich that we were supposed to swallow.

I’m sure they are going to do far better at achieving THEIR goals to burn down our democratic institutions.

After all, it takes hammers and saws and tape measures and plans and lots of muscles to build a house.  It only takes one psycho asshole with a match to burn it down.

Report this

By christian96, November 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

I just listened to Gov. elect Rick Scott’s acceptance
speech.  His first words were, “Florida is open for
business.”  We’ll see.  I live near Fort Pierce,
Florida.  Drive the streets of Fort Pierce and you
will see empty business offices with “for sale or
lease” signs on them. 
As I was voting yesterday and observing the electronic
machines involved in the process I wondered, “What is
the check and balance system for these machines?”
Anyone have an answer.
It’s almost time 1pm.  Time to listen to President
Obama’s speech.  Then, I’ll watch FOX news reactions
to the speech.

Report this

By Aaron Ortiz, November 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

I want to congratulate Mr. Scheer for this article, very clear and incisive. I agree with
his prediction, I doubt the Republican congress or the Tea Party congresspeople
will be able to do any better than the incumbents they will replace.

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, November 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

What a load of crap:

“Barack Obama deserved the rebuke he received”

Just keep it up liberals, keep the door wide open for the extremist right, who have reached unbelievable levels of power, by your goddamn lack of vision.

Report this

By vikkids, November 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

People are too willing to believe a lie when the truth hurts too much.  Blame the black guy, that’s what this is because it’s too hard to see Bush did this on purpose.  Why? Because the middle class had too much power. So to keep us down, they setup this bubble with the housing industry.  This was done purposely.  It’s a hard pill to swallow if you voted for Bush.  But it’s the truth.  Deep down we all know it.  McCain was never intended to win.  They all knew the hole they created was huge, more huge than we’re willing or capable of realizing.  This is going to affect the remainder of our lives, and deeply impact our children’s.  It’s sad.  All because of the ole might dollar, and power.

Report this

By frank, November 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The real news comes today from the real owners of the plantation-the federal reserve. Inflation anyone?

Report this
mindful's avatar

By mindful, November 3, 2010 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Obama should have bailed out main street, not Wall Street, but…

Putting the GOP in power spells disaster. Disaster for any domestic programs, social security and education.

Its a win for the corporations, the rich and Wall Street.

Report this

By felicity, November 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Accept it, Americans are just like everyone else.  The
Depression caused political upheaval almost world-
wide.  Enter nationalistic demagogues put in place by
desperate citizens. Hello, teabaggers. 

Fat Freddy - would you agree that there’s a difference
between capitalism and democratic capitalism and the
latter is the more preferable?  (In that vein, Robert
Reich has said, “Separate capitalism from democracy
and guard the border between them.”)

Also, Freddy, would you argue that the Democratic
ethos of social obligations, economic security, and
industrial democracy (not industrial autocracy) is a
bad idea?

Report this

By John Sullivan, November 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There already is an “independent left.” It’s called the Green Party. Look it up: http://www.gp.org.

Report this

By vikkids, November 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately, the voters for the Republicans, are not doing their research.  Bush gave the banks the money discussed in the article.  The economy, lack of jobs and people losing their homes,is a result of Bush and the Republicans.  I am one person living this, and will make sure I say it enough, no one will forget.  No matter how much people try to change history.  Now, their back in power to finish what they started.  This is a scary time. However, I do not fear for myself, but my children and grandchildren.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Interestingly, in Alaska, a NON-Teabagger Republican running as an independent write-in is kicking the GOP nominee’s sick, perverted, fascist butt. Lisa Murkowski will keep her Senate seat and Joe Miller is already pouting and turning his back on reporters.

Report this

By DHFabian, November 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

The only way to keep a measure of balance in govt, to prevent a total capitulation into something like fascism, is to have an equivalent of the TPers on the Left.  Unfortunately, it appears that this generation is incapable of organizing and actually doing something.

Report this

By Mike, November 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here comes bipartisanship. I can pretty much guarantee that Obama will give the GOP almost everything they want, will rarely veto anything, in the spirit of “bipartisanship”

Tax cuts for the wealthy? Sure, lets be bipartisan!

Cat Food Commission? Gut social security cause its
the bipartisan thing to do!

Erode our civil liberties even further? Have to because anything else wouldn’t be bipartisan!

Endless wars? Sure thing! Got to have me some of that
bipartisanship!

I can’t wait to vote for Obama in 2012, where else can we go for that home baked bipartisanship smell?

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Someone predicted that the Teaparty clowns who were elected will turn into ordinary ossified DC Republicans by 2012…I FERVENTLY HOPE SO! THEY ARE LESS DANGEROUS THAT WAY!

Report this

By mdgr, November 3, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Glad you finally owned your anger, Mr. Scheer. Now—see below—let’s move on to your rage.


America voted for Berlin last night, but that’s not such a bad thing considering that the other choice was Vichy.  Let’s get used to it, noting that gridlock will continue, and Obama still has veto power. He will may even play-act at being a bit more liberal than he has for the previous two years based on his need to strike some dramatic contrasts, if for cosmetic reasons only.


Personally, I was glad for the results. I dealt a serious blow to Vichy and it raised the temperature level. Given the fact that it was a faux-election to begin with, it could not yet be called “do or die.


The next election might be.


Something to consider on the morning after: This comes from Naomi Klein, who cannot be called an airhead.


http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/naomi_klein_building_an_independent_left_20100914/


The “Shock Doctrine” author tells Laura Flanders, “We have to build that independent left. It has to be so strong and so radical and so militant and so powerful that it becomes irresistible.”


A political vacuum was created last night, and the Dems will be subsequently excoriated. I see that as a goodness. Remember that nature likes to fill her vacuums, and in that she is both predictable and ruthless.


The emphasis is on the words “strong, radical and militant.” Now all we need to do is get Arianna Huffington, Jon Stewart and Robert Scheer to stop trying to manage (deflect/suppress) progressive rage.


We finally need to renown it, integrate it and cherish it. Therein, we might begin to find a measure of sanity.


Without it, we can have all the rallies we want, but it will always elude us.

Report this

By Chandler, November 3, 2010 at 11:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We Americans are such fools.  There is nothing we can do.  We’ve bought their false goods and lies for so long we don’t know how to get out of our situation.  An existential situtation we are unable to resolve.  From the Bush’s and Clinton fiascoes while presidents to the misjudgments and betrayals of the Obama circus, we are doomed.  We ahve faileld to perform our civic duties and be watchdogs on orown system of government.  I about puked in my breakfast when Boehmer said he was a “patriot.”  We are flim-flammed”
so easily, so afraid, so timid, and so hesitant to do or say anything against those who have crippled us and our children’s future. Standing up in this nation beholding to any principles is what we all should be doing.  Today, we are unable out of fear.  Our children are doomed and will payh a terrible price due to cowardice failure of the citizens of today.

Report this

By Jean JB, November 3, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Leftists are fools to vote against the Democrats, even if they are unhappy with Obama. The situation in Washington looks pretty grim now. More empirical reasoning and less ideology would be a good start:

http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

Report this

By robertr, November 3, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

While many of your criticisms of Obama are warranted, Robert, your demonization of him has become exaggerated and ridiculous. Need I remind you that no Republicans were in favor of any sort of Wall Street regulation? Or health care reform? And the Tea Partiers, for whom you seem to have some degree of respect, will not be in favor of any such reform either, regardless of what Rand Paul may say. As I recall, the Tea Party and Republicans have been tagging Obama as a Communist and a terrorist. I don’t recall any of them lamenting that his attempts at reform haven’t gone far enough. Your representation of the Tea Party as some sort of populist movement simply isn’t supported by the facts. Come back to Earth, please.

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By Hammond Eggs, November 3, 2010 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

“Some Democratic leaders will urge Obama to follow President Bill Clinton’s lead after his party’s electoral reversal in the 1994 election and move even further to the right to strengthen his prospects for re-election.”

This is precisely what Obama will do because by inclination he is a right winger.  It will not do him any good.  The forces destroying the nation will continue their onslaught.  The only question is what will voters do after the next disaster wrought by this election?

Report this

By christian96, November 3, 2010 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

I just watched Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club.  Pat
of course talked of the Republician landslide. On
the program it was said, “Joe Manchin held on to the
late Robert Byrd’s senate seat though he did it by
renouncing much of the Obama agenda.”  Then they
showed a picture of Joe while he said, “We acknowledge
that Washington is broken.”  See how deceptive Pat
is.  Joe saying, “We acknowledge that Washington is
broken” DOES NOT renounce Pres. Obama’s agenda.
President Obama has only been in office two years but
people expect miracles.  It’s like they have transferred their televisiion programs to Washington.
They expect Washington, like a soap opera, to fix
in 30 minutes what the cowboy from Texas did in 8
years.

Report this

By ger, November 3, 2010 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It would have been interesting to see what happened if we’d had four more
years of Bush/Cheney instead of Obama.

Report this
3rd party voter's avatar

By 3rd party voter, November 3, 2010 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Feingold lost because he voted to force people to buy insurance from for profit companies without a public option that was promised by the liars that ran the charade.

It’s all at google, if you care

Report this
3rd party voter's avatar

By 3rd party voter, November 3, 2010 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

It’s not about “Liking” Obama. Sheesh. What is this, 7th grade? Who or What perfected this insane personal into the politick?


Feingold: It will be denied until the sun blows up by diehard false democrats (no real democrat would support mandatory insurance from Wellpointe etc) but Feingold was fired for the health care vote, as were many many others.

Some of us are NOT going to accept Health Insurance Thievery

Period. Maybe the new guys will get it, otherwise they’re gone too.

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, November 3, 2010 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Well, I don’t know, but considering the candidates that were elected (all Progressives were thrown out) it seems that the people want the financial sector to win.

All new Republican candidates are corporate candidates and are elected to accelerate the merging of government and business.

Not the opposite.  Obama is a corporate Democrat, but not corporate enough apparently.  No Progressive was elected.  How can that be a rebuke to Obama’s non progressive policies?

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Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, November 3, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

In fact, the democratic party, and all the apologists, are the reason why real progressives stopped supporting the democratic party. As far as the tea partiers, short sighted fear and greed based insanity is the only explanation for their success.

wwww.AttilaAndTheHUNZ.com - check out the song Don’t Trust the Govermment

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By lasmog, November 3, 2010 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

The problem with ‘paying-back Obama’ is that you reward the even more corrupt Republican Party.  That is the dilemma we face in a corporate duopoly. Its hard to be optimistic when the most progressive member of the Senate, Feingold, lost in Wisconsin.  Maybe things will have to get a lot worse in this country before a real progressive movement can gain strength.

Report this

By Floridatexan, November 3, 2010 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree that some of President Obama’s policies were to blame for this setback, notably the failure to prosecute the previous administration and put a serious end to the wars of agression.  But the massive, secretive amassing of money behind the scenes and the targeting of tight races with these funds is probably more to blame.  I also suspect electronic voter fraud in key races, but that won’t be investigated until it no longer matters. 

As for the bailout of the banks and Wall Street, that was Bush in his final days, but I think many voters confuse it with the stimulus bill (Obama’s) that followed so closely in time.  As for the public relying on the GOP to fix the economic mess we’re in, that’s just crazy.  It was the Republicans that got us into this mess, and they’re more likely to start yet another war and start cutting social programs to pay for it.  I agree that some DINO’s are responsible for the losses, but to think that the GOP is the solution to our financial quagmire is just plain stupid.

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By balkas, November 3, 2010 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

The party one again—oops, won again. Of course in accord with the constitution
or its demands.
And few americans dare even hint at this fact, let alone prod people into study of
it. tnx

Report this

By - bill, November 3, 2010 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Well, Ted, when the alternative to electing Republicans (whose party created at least a great deal of the mess) is electing Democrats (who perpetuated the mess), then there’s NO good choice for the short term.  If that were the only consideration, people would just stay home (and many did just that).

But for the longer term, there’s at least some chance that if we consistently kick out lousy representation (even if that means electing new representation that’s also likely to be lousy), eventually the idea that in order to keep their jobs they have to do it better will begin to sink in and things will improve.

Alternatively, if we think that we need more progressive representation and neither major party is willing to provide it, then kicking out Democrats makes sense, since they’re the ones stifling the growth of political organizations to their left (by regularly sucking all the wind out of their sails using the ‘lesser evil’ and ‘spoiler’ rationales).

Most of yesterday’s voting was likely not due to the second option above (though my own was - I even voted for a Republican in one House race to help ensure that the incumbent Democrat lost).  But I suspect that a lot of it was at least somewhat motivated by the first.

That’s about the only answer to the question that you implied that makes sense to me, anyway.

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By tedmurphy41, November 3, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

The President deserves all he gets, promising much and delivering little; however, what I cannot understand, for the life of me, is how the general public re-elected GOP candidates, whose party got America into such a mess in the first place.
Americans run other Countries down for the way they vote and who they vote for, but now, the laugh is on you, the American public, the ones who voted in these losers, “again”.

Report this

By C.Curtis.Dillon, November 3, 2010 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

The Dems are a mess because they have absolutely no definable center.  How can a party have a raging liberal like Anthony Weiner and a raging conservative like Ben Nelson?  They are on opposite poles.  The 50 state solution articulated by the DNC created such a mess that no one can figure out what the party stands for.  It was a truly stupid idea.  What we actually got in the Senate was not a 60-40 split but more like a 52-48 split.  There was never enough progressive juice to get anything passed.  Now, of course, we have a barely Democratic senate but still have those pesky conservative Dems who vote more like Republicans than Democrats.  That means, contrary to the MSM, that the senate is soundly in the Republican camp when it counts.  All it takes is for a Blanche Lincoln or Mary Landreu to vote with their philosophical companions on the Repug side and they pass their caustic agenda.  Look for several years of incessant investigations and impeachment threats from the lunatic fringe.  Obama is going to be buried under investigations from here on out.  And, with Congress chasing that tail, nothing gets done to help us normal folk out of the big hole we’re in.  Welcome to hell guys!

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By - bill, November 3, 2010 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Obama and the Democrats got the axe yesterday not so much because they failed to meet the expectations that they set when campaigning but because they failed even to TRY to meet them (and in fact often worked actively AGAINST them).  If the Tea Partiers make any credible effort to live up to their campaign pledges, they won’t be in anything like the same position after two years.

I was going to add that Obama’s message of ‘hope’ and ‘change we can believe in’ (both of which seem a morbid mockery now) appealed to a far wider audience than the Tea Partiers’ rather incoherent rants, but while that may be true it may also be true that the ranting nonetheless struck a chord in a country ravaged by the results of continued inaction (i.e., inspired people to individual revolts even if those were not directly connected emotionally with the Tea Party movement).

Thus, oddly, Obama, by raising great hopes for change and then doing nothing to achieve it sowed the seeds of his party’s destruction, aided and abetted by the rest of the national Democratic establishment (including the nominal progressives who followed like so many sheep rather than doing the jobs they were elected to do).  As you observed they fully deserved the rebuke that they received, but unfortunately they took down a great many far worthier state and local Democrats who had no hand in their treachery.

If there is any justice neither Obama nor the rest of the party will benefit from running farther to the right for the next two years.  But unless progressives make it clear that this will only bring further destruction upon the party (and that we’ll actively foster that destruction) that’s exactly what they’ll likely do.

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, November 3, 2010 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

glider

Grayson is a victim of his own douchebaggery. He ran some very false ads, and was caught. It was covered here on TD, IIRC. It’s a shame. He worked very hard with Ron Paul on Audit the Fed and some other things like defense spending. He pointed out, that we spend as much on defense as the rest of the world combined, and that was not including the two wars.

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By glider, November 3, 2010 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

This spin that this is a reaction to Obama’s failures is questionable.  I fear it is more about the stupidity/gullibility of the American public in the face of a sold out media.  While it is correct to protest against Corporatist Obama intelligence would dictate a shift to Greens rather than the Tea Baggers.  How does one put such a spin on this election when a decent politician like Alan Grayson is soundly defeated?

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, November 3, 2010 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

William W. Wexler

I agree that Rand was “lame” in his attempt to articulate Libertarian positions. I really don’t consider him a true Libertarian. The true Libertarians are in New Hampshire, where 10 supporters of the Free State Project won State House seats. I currently live in NJ, the least free state, where government control has strangled the entrepreneurial spirit. Yet in NJ, a town like Haddonfield, has one of the highest average incomes in the country, and one of the best school systems, is only about 5 miles away from the city of Camden, that has one of the lowest average incomes, and one of the worst school districts. There’s your “liberal” government control at work. Who needs Libertarians when you can have results of government control like NJ?

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By BumbleBee, November 3, 2010 at 8:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You just HAD to mar a very insightfil analysis of yesterday’s election with a dig at Bill Clinton. CDS is still alive and well here.

Until elite Democrats start hearing Americans (I would have thought they would have heard when an R won Teddy’s seat.)and talk with and bring back to the fold working class, seniors, and women, groups that love Clinton despite his flaws, Ds will expereince more of last night in the coming years. Ds have no one to blame for this but themselves.

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By StormeeATL, November 3, 2010 at 8:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I agree with this article in principle, the frustrated populace unwittingly
just gave the country at least partially back to the people who are more
responsible for this mess than Obama, and don’t kid yourself, the tea party
candidates are in bed just as if not deeper with Wall Street. They rallied about
repealing health care when a far greater % of Americans want the tax cuts for
the richest Americans to end, yet THAT they seem to not want to listen to “the
masses” on. The Dems lost the house not necessarily on theirs or Obama’s
performances, but because so many people are angry and frustrated and scared
in this country right now, and you don’t always think straight when you are in
that state of mind. The Republicans are just better at channeling that anger and
getting people to target their anger - in this case at the Democrats - while
keeping them from really looking deeper into whoever they may end up voting
for. Because if the electorate were really educated on candidates, and were not
just relying on the venom that Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, and the attack ads
orchestrated by Karl Rove, and mostly bought and paid for by Wall Street and
big business were spewing, we would not be having this conversation this
morning.

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William W. Wexler's avatar

By William W. Wexler, November 3, 2010 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Love the comments, even the ones with which I disagree heartily.  Some thoughts on the comments and Scheer’s analysis…

1.  I don’t think Rand Paul’s victory is a symbol of anything.  He’s the son of a political family who won a seat vacated by a GOPER.  He has no qualifications to hold that chair other than what he learned from his dad by osmosis.  He lamely tried to articulate Libertarian positions when interviewed and despite his inanity the bottom line still came through; Libertarianism is a throwback to two centuries ago, when loner he-men wore hats made of dead animal skins and went huntin’ for dinner with muzzle loaders when they weren’t fightin’ Injuns and protecting the women-folk at the stockade.  Libertarians have few ideas that are relevant to the 21st century, where the complexity of our interdependence in the nuclear age has overcome their simplistic macho-vellian notions.

2.  I agree with the comment that this election has shown that we have a two party system that actually functions as a one party system.  It figures that the proof of this could only be illustrated by a runaway conservative movement of 2nd Amendment whack jobs, GOP-funded Astroturfers, politically disfigured outcasts like Palin, and other alien-types who loosely orbit around the idea that our President is a darkey socialist from another country.  Rational progressive realists like Nader who actually have a list of specific problems and specific ideas about how to fix them could never hold a candle to a Wal-Mart fatty holding a “Keep yor handz off mah Soshul Securty” sign in one hand and a Freedomworks-printed Obama/Joker sign in the other.

3. The Democrats will move further to the right because of this, not back towards the center.  They just don’t get it.

4.  John Boehner is now 2 heartbeats away from the Presidency (assuming he is elected Speaker).

5.  It remains to be seen if there are actually any adults in the TeaBaggers ranks, and if there are, what they will do when we start seeing legislative action regarding Obama’s birth certificate instead of any action to fix what’s wrong with the system.  Since none of the TeaBaggers has a clue about what is actually broken and can only sputter vagaries about taxes, the Fed, progressives, and Glenn Beck conspiracy theories, it will be interesting to see what they draw when you give them a fresh clean piece of paper and a new box of Crayolas.

-Wexler

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By balkas, November 3, 2010 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

I do not criticize individuals; such as bush, obama, summers, et al. I look at
what constitution [and the dead, but rich fathers-mothers, who wrote it]
demands-commands above personalities to do.
Scheer does not even [in this piece.How ab. in any other?] adumbrate this vital
phenomenon; that of the fact that the set of laws appear as a set of diktats, let
alone call on people to study these ‘laws’ for what they actually mean.

‘Constitutional’ [diktatorial] ‘laws’ appear clear: u have no money, u no rule!
But one first accomplishes waging of poverty and ignorance; and only thereafter
wars, exploitation, torture, sending butiful boys to death or to kill innocent
people.
I wonder who told me this? Ah, i remember!! My great-grand 6yr old grandson.
tnx

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By omop, November 3, 2010 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Like les Francais say, “the more it changes the more it stays the same.

  David Broder recommends ( a la zionists ) invading and killing Iranians to
improve the economy.

  Invading and occupying Iraq, Afghanistan and drone killing Pakistanis has
already cost according to Stiglitz $4 Trillion dollars or some $400 million a day
every day of the year. So how come we are still in a depression DB and friends? Obviously the guys on WS know how to keep the DOW up but the guys in DC do not or will not do the same for the rest of the 310 million.

  Maybe its time we instituted a test of all those who run and/or are in office in
DC to determine their level of [in]competance? How many more paybacks can we
all afford?

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By surfnow, November 3, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Obama has done litle good,agreed. Bailing out Wall Street and the banksters was unforgiveable. But to re-elect the same crooks and fools who caused much of the problem- Bush’s tax cuts and two pointless wars was not the solution either.

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By WarrenMetzler, November 3, 2010 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

I agree that free enterprise is essential for personal freedom. I agree that free
people create governments that function. I agree that much of this election is a
message being sent to Obama, that his change is now seen as lies and deliberate
misleading. But I believe that what is at the base of society’s dissatisfaction with
Obama is his obvious lack of character, and totally deceitful nature.

I propose that if he had prosecuted the obvious criminals in the Bush
administration, closed Guantanamo and sent everyone back to where they were
originally caught (except for those he transfered to US courts, because of their
apparent guilt —of real crimes—), admitted that once in office he realized the
war in Afghanistan was ridiculous and brought all our troops home, from there
and Iraq, dealt with Israel in a moral manner, announced the administration
would establish a foreign policy that favored those countries who established
governments with the freedoms we have in this country (excuse me, used to
have), reported a major down size of the Pentagon (because we no longer need
to police the world), actively worked on eliminated the war on terror, and
repealing the Patriot act and all such laws, allowed the banks, and car companies
to go bankrupt, as well as allowing people who got unrealistic mortgages to
suffer their consequences, prosecuted every banker and financial type that had
acted illegally, and got rid of DADT; in other words, real change; the democrats
would have responded to such moral leadership, our country would be on the
road to recovery, and the Republicans would have been revealed to be the
oppressive, immoral, racist people most are, and the democrats would have
increased their seats in the house and the senate.

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By Fat Freddy, November 3, 2010 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

ardee

You do know the difference between “isolationism”, and “non-interventionism”, right?

I’ve got mine, huh? That stupid argument? Give me a break. You know better than that. Take a ride to North Philly and see how your government programs are working out. Libertarians want the same things, we just think that there are better and more effective ways to accomplish them. Unlike liberals, we follow the “non-aggression axiom”. Nothing good can come from the evil of theft by coercion.

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By Fat Freddy, November 3, 2010 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Tesla

Are you telling me that the free exchange of goods and services is anti-freedom? Socialism is the loss of freedom. It is the loss of the freedom to enter into voluntary, private contract, and the right to private ownership. You’ve got it bass-ackwards. Free people, freely exchange goods and services. It’s cause and effect. The cause is free people, the effect is free markets. Voluntary cooperation is much more moral and ethical than coercion from government, or any other collectivist organization of the masses.

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By JeffersonSmith, November 3, 2010 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

The President led us down the Primrose path of corporatist incrementalism in hopes of securing business backing for the Democratic Party and building a sustainable majority on the financing that would bring. It is a Clintonian betrayal and an example of the policy of the DLC that looked to the “Mc Mansion” set, Hi-Tech oligopolists and “finance, insurance and real estate” opportunists to fund and support the “New Democrats”.

Because the old alliances can’t be relied upon, shrinking labor unions, youth, the elderly, and minorities don’t vote reliably Democratic and can’t contribute enough money to fight the Republican noise machine and big corporate cash. That’s the reasoning, it’s incorrect, but that’s how the Washington professional politician’s think.

Professional politicians don’t think about people, they try to balance powerful interests and set policy that has as a byproduct, an effect on the average person. Not necessarily a beneficil effect, but one that can be sloganized and spun so that, unless it’s carefully scrutinized, it can be passed off as reform or “change”. It is the powerful special interests and monied corporate/wealthy elites that move the hearts of politicians and President Obama is no exception.

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By ardee, November 3, 2010 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

In the end, this was not a victory of one ideology over another, but a rejection couched as a “throw the bums out” vote. As much as Freddy would love to crow about the election of a self incriminated racist, Rand Paul, whose politics advocates isolationism couched as a paeon to ending wars, believes that the poor are guilty of being poor and thus not entitled to any help whatsoever and the rest of the “this nation belongs to white folks”, “the money is mine and you cant have any” Libertarian rant, Paul will make little if any impact in the legislature. Like his father before him he will be outside the GOP circle of power.

The people are rightly fed up with Washington, but they will quickly understand, perhaps as soon as the next election cycle, that they threw the bums out and installed another bunch of bums in their places.

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By Tesla, November 3, 2010 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Maybe we can now begin building a true left in this
country that will bring us a socialist consciousness.

Capitalism always ends in loss of freedom and citizenship
for the “awealthy”.

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By Fat Freddy, November 3, 2010 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

The only winner in this election is the duopoly known as the two-party system, which is actually a one-party system, with different flavors of rhetoric.

Here’s Stefan Molyneux on the truth about voting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igbBItLemsM

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, November 3, 2010 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

I think we can all see the future at this point.  There will be a succession of “rebellions’ where we are offered yet the latest group of rebels who will guide us out of the wilderness but who, when they actually get to Washington, willingly become incumbents and money grubbing crooks.  It’s the way of Washington and politics.  Watch what happens to most of these new Republicans in the next 2 years.  They will be indistinguishable from the old crop by the 2012 cycle.

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By Fat Freddy, November 3, 2010 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

This should be of great concern to the libertarian wing of that movement,...Will he stick to his promise to hold the Federal Reserve accountable and oppose the continuing favors to Wall Street

Fair question. I don’t know. If he’s anything like his father, he will. Ron Paul worked very hard to get a consensus for the “Audit the Fed” Amendment into the Financial Reform Bill, only to have it gutted by backstabber Bernie Sanders. So, perhaps you should pose this question to Mr Sanders, not Dr Paul.

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By Steven Podvoll, November 3, 2010 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer once again indulges in sheer jejune, over-interpreting a mid-term
election.  To call this a rebuke suggests either hyperbole or ignorance.  First of all,
mid-terms typically go against the seated President’s party.  Secondly, much of the
demographic that turned out in droves in 2008 stayed home this go-around.

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By Fat Freddy, November 3, 2010 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

politicky

Here’s a sample of how stupid liberals can be:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_23Nt5XumaU

So what does it prove? Absolutely nothing.

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By politicky, November 3, 2010 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

Ok, that link didn’t work, here’s the article, the link there works
http://obrag.org/?p=26907

The tea partiers can be loud and nasty if they lose,-

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By Rudi Pawlitschko, November 3, 2010 at 6:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sorry Bob, but you lost me months ago and I didn’t catch up with you since then. Why do you believe that anything good comes from Republicans running the House? You don’t agree with the Obama administration because you have a more leftish position. The people who were voted into power yesterday have nothing in common with your “let’s make the stimulus bigger and punish Wall-Street for their sins of the past” stance.

You seem to be the only person on this planet who seems to believe that Obama really has a choice but to move to the right.

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By politicky, November 3, 2010 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Here is a sample of how ugly the Tea partiers can get.

It’s loud, so turn the volume down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?
feature=youtube_gdata_player&v=zO66Z3Fj7ME

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