Friday, November 5, 2010

Charge of the Right Brigade

The Charge Of The Right Brigade

Morons to right of them,
Morons to left of them,
Morons in front of them
Morphing like chameleons;
Storm’d at by Fox,Will,Parker and McConnell,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the 310 millions.

George F. Will, Nov4, 2010: “This election was a nationwide recoil against
Barack Obama’s idea of unlimited government.”
Kathleen Parker, Nov4, 2010: “This election was a referendum on policies that
are widely viewed as too overreaching and ultimately, threatening to
individual freedom.”
Mitch McConnell, Nov4, 2010: “…. if our primary legislative goals are
to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut
spending; and shrink the size and scope of government…. We can hope
the President will start listening to the electorate after Tuesday’s
election. But we can’t plan on it.”

What idiocy,arrogance and hypocrisy it is to maintain that people vote for or against “big government” ! Since 1946 when Gallup began polling, the President’s party loses an average of 14 seats in the US House in the midterm elections if the President’s approval rating is above 50%, 36 seats when that approval rating is below 50%. With Obama’s most recent approval rating at 44.7%, it comes as little shock that the Dems dropped 60+ seats.

So why is Obama’s approval rating so low? Duh, it’s the economy, stupid!
Unemployment has been hovering at or near 10% since May 2009. Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs while many more tens of millions of
Americans are worried about their jobs or have relatives and friends who’ve lost
theirs. What concerns virtually every voter (outside of the DC beltway)? Economic survival/well-being or the right-wing ideological campaign scare term “big government”?
Some brief history of the unemployment rate:
It rose sharply from under 4% in 1948 to 7.9% in 1949; Dems lost the
White House in 1952. It rose sharply from 2.5% in 1954 to 7.5% in 1958;
Repubs lost the White House in 1960. It rose sharply from under 4% in 1970
to 9.0% in 1975; Repubs lost the White House in 1976. It rose from under 6% in 1978 to nearly 8% in mid-1980; Dems lost the White House in 1980. It rose from 5% in 1988-89 to over 7% in 1991-92, Republicans lost the White House in 1992. It rose from under 4% in 2000 to 6.2% in early 2008; Republicans lost the White House in 2008.

Virtually every major uptick in the unemployment rate during the past 60 years has led to the Party in power losing the White House at the next election(Gore won the Popular vote in 2000). To maintain that a larger-than-average midterm loss in the House by the Dems in the midst of the worst economy since the Depression is some kind “rejection of big government” is absurd. It represents “inside-the-beltway” right-wing conservative ideology and campaign-speak:
self-serving, elitist propaganda which ignores the ample historical unemployment data.

It is idiotic and arrogant that “respected” conservative columnists can’t be bothered to do some simple research, preferring instead to mouth the “anti-big government” Republican campaign platitudes. It is hypocritical of Republican candidates everywhere to maintain that they are (or will be) the party of “making government smaller” when the two biggest post WWII increases in US government spending occurred under Ronald Reagan and GWBush.

What’s even more astounding is that there is no mention in McConnell’s
legislative goals of ‘job creation’. And indeed, as always, there is no Republican
plan for job creation except for the magically wishful “keeping the Bush tax cuts
for the wealthiest 2%”. “Shrinking the size and scope of government” is a
tried-and-true campaign red herring; it really means “bullshit ‘em and scare ‘em into voting for us and hope the economy turns around after we get in or we’ll be out just as quick”.

Some final comparisons between the Depression era and today.
After the stock market crashed in 1929 with Republican Herbert Hoover as President, the Dems picked up 53 seats(and the majority) in the House in the 1930 midterms (there is no readily available unemployment data prior to 1948, although Wikipedia says it rose from 3% in 1929 to 25% in 1933).
As the Depression worsened, in 1932, FDR won the Presidency in a landslide as the Dems added another 97 House seats to their majority. Were the voters voting for “a big government liberal” or was their economic survival perceived to be at stake? Was the rise of left-wing parties in the 1930’s a desire for “big government” or an anti-status quo reaction to the tremendous economic fear so prevalent at the time? Wasn’t McCain polling ahead of Obama after his announcement of Palin as his running mate until the stock market collapsed in mid-September 2008 and the panic that ensued? Isn’t the “tea party” of today (whether or not it’s already been co-opted by the Republican establishment) just an angry anti-status quo reaction to the tremendous economic fear caused by the current historically high unemployment rate?

So what’s in store for 2012? If the unemployment rate comes sharply down,
Obama will get re-elected and the Dems will gain in Congress. If the unemployment rate changes little or moves higher, we’ll likely see the Republicans gain control of the Senate and the Presidency as well as adding to their House majority. It’s all about jobs, stupid! Spare us the tiresome “tax cuts/anti-big government” scare tactics bullshit, enough already!!