Posts Tagged Midterm Elections Of 2010
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
The latest polls indicate total disgust with Congress, with 82 percent, the highest ever, seeing Congress in a negative fashion.
But even more astounding, 54 percent would like to replace the entire Congress if that was possible–throw out every last member of both houses of Congress, and start all over with new membership!
This is an astounding idea, totally based on emotion and anger, which is understandable with the deadlock between the political parties on Capitol Hill.
But in reality, it is the FAULT of the voters who set this up by creating a split Congress, which meant divided power, which guarantees gridlock and stalemate!
By voting in the Tea Party Republicans, the voters demonstrated that they had no clue as to how government works best!
What they have done is put anarchists in office who hate government, want to destroy its ability to be effective, and themselves are totally ignorant about the responsibilities and role of government in the lives of the American people!
This is not a small town, rural, 19th century America without prominence in world affairs, and no matter how much these Tea Party people and their voters want a return to nostalgia and the “easier” life of the 19th century, it cannot come back, and the Tea Party is a total disaster for the nation and its future!
To throw all the “rascals” out would make things worse, leading to total chaos and anarchy, as lack of experience and knowledge about government would condemn us to mediocrity and inferiority in the world!
What must be done is get rid of the Tea Party radicals and restore Congress to a status of cooperation with the President to deal with the crises we face in a sensible, sane fashion.! The last eight months of Tea Party influence should be enough to convince those who voted that direction the wrongs of their ways!
So the answer is to throw out those who are obstructionists, and support a Congress which is willing to work together for the advancement of America in the 21st century!
Any sane, centrist oriented American, who might be disgusted with and frustrated by how the federal government is working these days, and therefore is tempted to join the Tea Party Movement that has taken over the Republican Party in the House of Representatives and in many state governorships, needs to realize what would happen if the Right wing tilt that began in the midterm elections of 2010 went all the way to a dominant Tea Party Republican House of Representatives, Senate, and a President Perry or Bachmann!
The purpose is not to promote horror and fear, but to make people realize, based on the agenda of the Tea Party Movement, what would happen without any barrier in the way, such as one of the legislative bodies or the Presidency being in the hands of the Democrats.
In no special order, the following would be likely:
1. The repeal of the Obama Health Care Plan in its entirety
2. The privatization of Medicare over ten years
3. The cutting of Social Security benefits over time
4. No government assistance for home owners in trouble on their mortgages
5. No federal limits on greenhouse gases, and the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, and therefore no limits on strip mining of coal or regulations on oil drilling
6. A “war” on labor unions, and the elimination of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, plus the end of the minimum wage laws
7. The elimination of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and lack of regulation of big business and banking, regarding consumer rights, including the right to lawsuits for malpractice or discrimination
8. The cutting back or elimination of the federal Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, and Health and Human Services, or agencies within those cabinet agencies at the least, as well as the Federal Reserve Board
9. Promotion of anti abortion legislation to end legal abortions
10.Enactment of laws to discriminate against gays, and return “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military
11. Restrictions on immigration, and deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants
12. Promotion of Christianity in all areas of government institutions and activities
13. Refusal to raise the debt level, and ruthless cutting of government programs to deal with the elderly, the poor, racial minorities, and the disabled instead
14. Further cutting of taxes on the wealthy and corporations
15. Promotion of a right wing based education system in the areas of science and history in the schools
16. End of funding for National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting System.
17. Cutbacks on civil rights enforcement for African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, and native Americans, and total end of affirmative action programs
18. Growing hostility and confrontations with the Islamic world, as part of the Christian crusade against Muslims
19. Civil liberties limitations in the name of public safety against domestic terrorism, including against social media and public demonstrations of protest against government policies
20. Making the Supreme Court more right wing than it is now, guaranteeing the longevity of conservative Republican Tea Party policies for a generation or more
Can anyone reading this list NOT be terrified at the thought of a Tea Party Republican dominant Congress and President?
This is why it is ESSENTIAL that at the worst, we have a divided Congress as we had under President Ronald Reagan from 1981-1987, with a Democratic House and Republican Senate and Republican President, with the House under Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill preventing the worst excesses of the Reagan agenda, and in the process, actually making Reagan look a lot better in history than he would have without a Democratic House of Representatives.
And based on the present situation we face, it is clear that it would be better to have a Democratic House and Republican Senate, the opposite of what we have now, as the House has greater impact and control over spending and the budget. A Republican Senate, as has occurred five times in the past century, is far less negative and destructive than the present experience with a Republican House!
While hating to think of a Republican Senate, it seems likely now with only four seats needed to gain control, while for the Democrats, regaining 25 seats for a majority in the House, seems more than likely to occur!
So a split government the opposite of what we have now might be the best scenario, if not an all Democratic controlled Congress and President, to avoid the nightmare of a Tea Party Republican dominated government!