Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wow, not as bad as I had been expecting

Well the House will be in Republican hands as was expected and the Senate will stay in Democratic control-- if you don't count filibusters and if you do, it never has been in Democratic control.

Yesterday I kept the news off all day. I worked on an oil painting which was challenging enough to worry about. I checked the internet off and on, but I let the pundits have the airwaves. I had voted. I had done what I could, and I didn't need to listen to the drumbeat of drivel all day. Since I never listen to any talk radio, it was a pretty peaceful day here at the farm.

Last night I went to bed really angry that money had bought this election-- more money than has ever been spent on a midterm election. If this isn't fixed before the presidential election, can you imagine what that will mean? Well, it means a lot of money for advertising firms but also a lot of lies and ugliness for the rest of us-- and both parties are capable of that.

When Kentucky's Democratic candidate for the Senate ran his ad trying to dredge up some questions about Rand Paul's religious sincerity, I think that determined the outcome in Kentucky. It was a stupid, revolting ad that was condemned by even Democrats and it didn't do what the Democrat hoped. He had been gaining on Paul before that but it ended his chances, I think.

The tea party favorite in Nevada may have gone too far with her own ad using scary photos of Hispanic criminal looking types and claiming Reid was on the border helping them cross. Or maybe it was when she said she'd bring shock and awe to Washington that the Nevadans began to think they weren't so sure shock and awe was what they had in mind. A lot of money went into Nevada to defeat Reid.

We had been seeing the results of that money in our state in an election that usually gets very little attention. When we drove anywhere, and I mean anywhere, we would see tons of signs for a guy running against one of our United States Representatives, one of our best representatives, Pete DeFazio. This Republican candidate was an extremist and a tea partier but that's not why all the signs or ads. Those take money.

DeFazio has won his elections with as much as 80% of the vote, that's how popular he has been. This time he had to really work for a victory, but it looks like he did manage to pull it out. It should not have even been close against a candidate like that. DeFazio's district has two universities in it, some large industries but it also is rural and has voters influenced by the guns and god type of ads. Although in this case it was more there is no global climate change, some appeals to bigotry, and anger at the Congress in general that made it so close.

We donated to DeFazio's campaign, something we have never done for someone out of our voting district, because whether we agree on all his votes in Congress, this is one good man, one of the really rare, intelligent, informed, honest politicians.

So why did he nearly lose? That's because he voted for financial regulation which impacted one hedge fund billionaire and that guy funded a group to defeat DeFazio with big amounts of money coming into a district to make the Republican choice look like a wise alternative despite what he has said, despite what he would do for Oregonians... or rather to them.

Come on, seriously, do you think the guy funding this campaign had the best interests of average Americans at heart? If you said yes, you are drinking the kool-aid.

So I went to bed thinking that money was going to buy a lot of this nation's elections. I thought putting all those dollars into it by the billionaires would mean from now on all elections would be bought and paid for to the good of the powerful and the harm of the middle class.

I woke up to find it had influenced it but not to the point that some predicted, that Harry Reid managed to pull it out in Nevada despite all that money. That it was even close though with a candidate as incompetent as Republicans put up against him, well it was a lot because of out of state money that wanted Reid gone. Reid was very unpopular in Nevada before they even chose a candidate and anybody more competent, less extreme than his opponent would have walked away with the election.

I also admire that Alaskans overran the party leadership and did what they say Americans can't do-- wrote in a name. My gosh what an amazing thing that they could write in a name. Well it might be that the current Alaskan senator, who ran this write-in campaign, won't win in the end, but it is looking promising for her and for party leadership not being able to roll over Alaskans at least. She won't be a vote for Obama policies but voting for her was a vote against a party thinking they can put just anybody up there and win an election even in a state that always votes Republican.

If the candidate the Republican party had chosen should win, the senate would get an admitted liar (after he could no longer avoid admitting it) and another of those who runs on the cut taxes, cut government and that will solve all our problems. I wonder if he knows that all of Alaska gets a reverse income tax funded by the rest of us every time we buy gasoline. After all, he's against the dole. Well he probably did as he had been on it himself at various times but that was different. It always is.

Anyway I think that overall the American people did pretty good. It's not like I have been thrilled at the performance of the Democratic party. They acted as though they could do whatever they wanted and forgot their promises. Pelosi left Earmarks alone probably hoping it would buy this election. It didn't. The powerful billionaires (not just from this country) did try to buy it and in some cases, they probably succeeded but not to the level they had hoped.

Now we'll see what Gridlock does for the problems we face. The voters have spoken and we should all hope it works, that the tea partiers they elected will work for the good of those who sent them.

We'll see but at least the Republicans can't continue with their vote no as they now have all the House committee chairmanships. We'll see what they do with them. They have accountability. That's not a totally bad thing... maybe...

And I may watch a lot less news over the next year which would be good for my blood pressure probably. I sure don't want to see Boehner in my face every time I turn it on *s*


Kay Dennison said...

We didn't fare as well in Ohio. My Congressman lost.

This election drained me, I need rest. However, I fear for our country. All I can say is that our new Congressman better be careful -- I'll be on him like white on rice when he screws up and Boehner.

That said, I'm scared.

Paul said...

Nikki Haley won in my state(South Carolina) and I voted for her...:-) "Fear doth make cowards of us all"...