Midterm Elections Of 2010

Final Reflections As America Votes In Midterm Elections Of 2014

As America votes today in the Midterm Elections of 2014, polls indicate that the Republican Party will win control of the US Senate and will gain seats in the House.

As far as Governorships are concerned, the indications are that the Democrats are likely to gain a few seats, and defeat some Tea Party leaders.

To a great extent, this election is more negative–that is, throw out the rascals—as there is great disillusionment with government and with politicians.

Not that this is something new, as many Americans are ignorant about politics, and just think change for its own sake is good, which is often NOT the case!

The reality is that midterm elections generally favor the opposing party to whoever is President. But with the strange situation of a split Congress, rare in American history, it becomes much more complicated.

If the Democrats do, indeed, lose the Senate, which this blogger does not believe will happen, it will be seen as a defeat, which it would be, but it is a forerunner of a certain regaining of the Senate majority two years hence, as two thirds of the seats up in 2016 are Republicans, many of them winners in the major GOP gain in the midterm election of the first Obama term.

That fact, of two thirds of the 2016 seats being Republican, and the strong likelihood, that a Democrat will be heavily favored in the Electoral College in 2016 and beyond, as things stand right now, we can expect a massive gain of seats by Democrats then, hitting the high 50s, if not the magical 60 to overcome all filibusters.

The Republicans might win the majority tonight, but they will then have the onus of producing a record of accomplishment over the next two years to give them a chance to keep control of the Senate in 2016.

Based on their negativism and obstructionism for the past six years, that scenario is highly unlikely.

Instead, one can expect the Tea Party whackos on the right, led by Ted Cruz in the Senate, to do everything to prevent any progress, any action, any accomplishments, that they will be able to use in 2016 for Senate races and to support the GOP candidate for President.

Expect instead blockage of Presidential appointments to the cabinet and the courts; loads of phony investigations that will get attention, but accomplish nothing, except to demonstrate that the GOP are a group of showboats with no substance; and probably a move to impeach and put President Obama on trial, to besmirch his record, which will cause further stalemate and bitterness, and prevent any kind of positive action on so many signature issues.

And the GOP, continuing its racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia, will therefore self destruct and put themselves into the grave of history, instead of being a party that offers a bright future to more than just the elite one or two percent of whites who vote their interests, while middle and lower class whites vote against their interests because they are drawn to the disgraceful appeals mentioned above, even while many claim to be “religious”, but promote discrimination against minorities, immigrants, women, and gays and lesbians!

The Crucial Importance Of A Democratic Senate And President For The Future

The battle for Democratic control of the House of Representatives, the need to gain 17 seats, is a bitter one, with right wing groups spending millions to make sure that the Republicans keep control, and prevent any furthering of the Barack Obama agenda.

Due to the reality of gerrymandered districts, created by Republican legislatures and governors, as a result of the 2010 midterm elections, the concept of majority rule has been distorted, with Democrats winning more total votes nationally in Congressional races, but Republicans able to win a majority of seats, and oppose everything Obama wants, and cause a shutdown of the government in October.

Due to the extremism of the Republican House as a result of the “hostage” situation created by the Tea Party Movement, the 2013 session of the Congress has been the worst since records were kept in 1947, but now the “establishment” Republicans are declaring war on the Tea Party right wingers, and trying to insure that the mainstream conservatives, led by Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will be able to control the future.

At the same time, right wing pressure groups are trying to defeat a group of conservatives in House and Senate primaries, so the civil war may give Democrats the opportunity to gain enough seats to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker again in the 114th Congress of 2015-2016. That would allow the budgetary power of the House Ways and Means Committee to be back in Democratic hands, giving them the opportunity to reverse regressive policies perpetrated by Republicans since 2011.

But even more important is the keeping of a Democratic Senate majority, with the ability to get appointments of the President confirmed by a majority, rather than needing 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. This is particularly important for federal district and circuit court nominees, and for the eventual approval of Supreme Court nominees on the aging Court.

Part of this is also the need to have a Democratic President after 2016, as that reality, plus a Democratic Senate, would guarantee that social conservatism would lose out on such issues, as abortion, gay marriage, civil liberties, civil rights, and so many other issues that are crucial to the long range future of making America a nation of fairness, justice, equality, and tolerance!

The Reality Of The Next Decade: Split Government Control!

It is now clear that our political system is facing a long period, probably at least a decade, of split government control on the national level!

The Democratic Party has a long term edge with the electorate, as a result of the two Barack Obama Presidential victories, with the only difference being the loss in 2012 of Indiana and North Carolina.

But with the growing Hispanic and Latino population in Arizona, Texas, and Georgia, the likelihood of those states turning “blue’ from “red” over this decade, is becoming more likely, and with that manifestation, the Electoral College situation will become much more one sided than it is now, and yet still allow for some states to wander over to the other side without affecting a Democratic victory for the White House.

Additionally, with the surprise gain in seats by the Democrats in the US Senate, only losing one state, Nebraska, and gaining Maine, Massachusetts, and Indiana in return, and more Republican seats up for reelection in 2014, the likelihood of the Senate staying majority Democratic for the long term, continues to grow.

However, with the gerrymandering of seats by Republican legislatures and Governors in 2010, even though the Democrats won more votes for the US House of Representatives, the Republicans were able to hold on to the majority, although reduced by about eight seats. The Democrats will have trouble gaining 17 seats or more because of the gerrymandering, and even if they do gain a slight edge, could easily lose it two or four years after winning the majority.

So the likelihood of a Democratic President, Democratic Senate, and a Republican House becomes more a normal situation until at least the next reapportionment of seats after the 2020 Census, and the Presidential and Congressional Elections of that year, but with the advantage that 2020 is a Presidential year, while 2010 was not.

So this means the odds of a long range stalemate and gridlock in American politics are clear cut!

2012 Presidential Campaign Proved That Billionaires Could NOT Control Result!

The Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and other billionaires spent tens of millions of dollars in 2012 to make our country a plutocracy, and failed.

Linda McMahon spent $100 million to “buy” a Senate seat in Connecticut and failed.

Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman spent $100 million each to “buy” the Senate seat and Governor’s chair in California in 2010 and failed.

So the Citizens United Case in 2010 failed to change our system as much as we feared, and the Court looks horrible, and it is time for them to accept a case and reverse themselves IMMEDIATELY!

Theodore Roosevelt was right 100 years ago—the powerful plutocracy should NOT control our political system!

Interview with WWRL (New York) Morning Show with Mark Riley

This morning, I woke up bright and early on the 4th of July to discuss the American Presidency, the Tea Party, and more with Mark Riley of WWRL in New York. Click on the link below to listen to my interview.

Interview with WWRL (New York) Morning Show with Mark Riley

Republican Run State Governments, Their Social Agenda, And The Effect On 2012 Elections

Many states witnessed Republican takeover or consolidation in the Midterm Elections of 2010, but now, 18 months later, the record of those states run by Republicans could come back to haunt them and lead to Democratic victories across America.

Of course, many states have Republican Governors whose voters have “buyers remorse” over, including Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who faces a recall vote on June 5. But also, there is a lot of discontent with other “Bully” Governors, including Rick Snyder of Michigan, John Kasich of Ohio, Rick Scott of Florida, Paul LePage of Maine, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, and in some polls, Chris Christie of New Jersey. Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, and Dannel Malloy of Connecticut are among the Democratic Governors looking great in the polls.

The Republican controlled state legislatures proceeded to pass laws on social issues, including gay rights, abortion, gun rights, laws against teaching of evolution, and laws allowing invasion of privacy of women’s bodies.

States including Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Maine have passed all kinds of laws that will cause a revulsion among Independents, women, Hispanics and Latinos, and young voters

Even the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business backed group which promotes conservative laws at the state level, has recognized how there could be a reaction against the right wing extremism in many states, and is now focusing on economic issues.

It will be interesting to see how this all works out in November, regarding state legislatures.

Florida In Play For Democrats In 2012: A Shock To Republicans!

Florida has become in many ways the center of right wing conservatism, what with the election of Governor Rick Scott, Senator Marco Rubio, and Congressman Allen West in the midterm 2010 elections.

The state legislature is about three fourths Republican as well, and only six Democrats serve Florida in the House of Representatives.

No one is saying that the Democrats are about to take over state politics, as that will be a long haul, but public opinion polls show that Barack Obama leads both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in state polls about the Presidential election, and that Democratic Senator Bill Nelson has a big lead over Congressman Connie Mack IV, and that former appointed Senator George Lemieux is not even in the equation for the upcoming race.

The odds for Lois Frankel to overcome Adam Hasner for the Palm Beach County seat, that West held before he chose to move to a new congressional district in northern Palm Beach County and Martin and St. Lucie Counties, is seen as very good. And West is facing a major challenge in a young, charismatic CPA named Patrick Erin Murphy.

This is probably due to the improving economy, and the growing alienation nationwide of Independents, non Cuban Hispanics, and women to the GOP agenda.

Since Florida is the ultimate “swing state”, this might improve the possibility of Senator Rubio as the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney, even though Rubio keeps on saying that he has no interest, at age 41, rising to that level.

Florida will certainly be paid a lot of attention in this year’s political races!

Reverberations Of The Citizens United Supreme Court Case: Sheldon Adelson, The Koch Brothers, And The Destruction Of American Democracy!

Two years ago this week, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, decided that corporations were “people” and had a right to “freedom of speech”, meaning unlimited ability of groups and individuals to spend money and form Super Political Action Committees.

As a result, the Koch Brothers (Charles and David) spent enough money in contributing to state and congressional races to be able to bring about a Republican House of Representatives and many Republican state governments in 2010, leading to the turmoil of the Tea Party Movement in the past year.

Now Sheldon Adelson, an extremely wealthy casino owner in Las Vegas, along with his wife, have contributed $10 million to the Newt Gingrich candidacy, so that he can compete against Mitt Romney, and it has led to the Gingrich success in South Carolina.

Our political campaigns are being “bought” by wealthy people, and distorting the concept of American democracy, making our political system a mockery!

Action must be taken as soon as possible to overcome this horrible Supreme Court decision, but even if it occurs, this year’s election has already been besmirched by the corruption of the extremely wealthy who are doing everything they can to make the government their private possession!

Two Year Anniversary Of Citizens United Supreme Court Case: The Corruption Of American Politics A National Tragedy

Two years ago, the Supreme Court, controlled by a conservative majority of 5-4, made a decision considered among the worst ever in their history.

After a century of regulation of corporate involvement in political campaign fundraising and advertising, the majority, claiming freedom of speech, allowed corporations and labor unions to have totally free access to spend and promote candidates and parties.

On first blush, some might have thought that it was not such a bad decision, as labor unions were permitted to do the same as corporations. On second thought, it became noticeable that labor unions could not compete with corporate money, and the result was the distorted political atmosphere of the midterm 2010 Congressional and state elections, which led to the success of the Tea Party Movement and the right wing direction of many state governments and the US House of Representatives. This has created a stalemate in Congress, and attacks on labor, the elderly, the poor, minorities, and the environment in many state legislatures, and the widespread attempt to limit the right to vote by discriminatory voter registration laws.

We have witnessed the damage done, and the continual enrichment of the top one percent in America, and the Super PACs are in operation, poisoning the political atmosphere for the 2012 election campaigns for President and the Congress, as well as many state governments.

Our democracy is being lost, negating a century of reforms under the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society.

A move is on to attempt a constitutional amendment to overrule the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, but that is not going to be easy, and meanwhile, or maybe for good, we are seeing corporations regain complete control of government at all levels, and bringing us back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

This is a national tragedy of massive proportions!

Republican State Governments Attempting To Create Hurdles For Voting In 2012

One of the manifestations of the election in 2010 of Republican Governors and state legislatures around the nation is that they have been busy passing restrictions and hurdles on the basic right to vote, in order to discourage or prevent likely Democratic voters from being able to participate in the Presidential and Congressional races of 2012.

More than a dozen states, including Florida, have passed laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, cutting down early voting periods, and putting new restrictions on voter registration drives.

About five million voters could be affected, mostly poor, young, college students, and African American, but also disabled, rural, elderly and homeless, all of whom tend to vote Democratic.

The claims of voter fraud, of people voting who are not who they say they are, has been shown to be almost totally untrue, and to have had no effect on elections, but making it more difficult to vote WILL have the effect of deciding close elections!

The Department of Justice is investigating these laws, in order to determine if they violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and it seems likely some will be overturned by such investigation, as well as by some referendums being conducted in this fall’s election.

It is not a good sign when governments try to cut back on the right to vote, particularly when it is promoted by one party against likely voters of the other party!