Voters, watch what you wish forWritten by Don Burnard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The elections are over and the people have spoken. Against all common sense, to my mind, they have decided to turn the state, and the U.S. House of Representatives, back to the very party that caused most of the problems we face. They were helped by a number of Blue Dog and gutless Democrats who were too afraid to stand up to the special interests, which they enabled through their obstruction. It’s almost like political Stockholm Syndrome. Now, we have the best government money can buy. Thanks to the $4 billion that special interests were able to spend without restraint, we were bombarded with lies, half-truths, and innuendoes to evidently great effect.
The polls showed that jobs were the No. 1 concern of the vast majority of voters, both before and after the election. Interestingly enough, in almost all the press events after the election, jobs were generally third or fourth on the list of what the newly resurgent GOP speakers took from the election. They didn’t really seem to get it. Does anyone truly believe that this election was decided on things like the repeal of “Obamacare,” smaller government, less regulation, extending tax cuts for the wealthy and on and on?
An interesting fact in this election is that the conservative Blue Dog Democrats — that the banking, oil and military-industrial industries could count on — were halved in numbers, while the progressive wing of the party actually increased in numbers. This whole election seemed to be rather counterintuitive. One thing that you can always count on though, is that enough people can usually be duped into voting against their own best interests. They are not, by the way, in the top 2 percent, who gained four-fifths of the increase in wealth from 1980-2005. Their interests were represented very well. Oddly enough though, they seem to be the first to cry “class warfare.”
To my mind, the Democratic Party in Ohio had the best slate of state candidates that I can remember since I’ve been voting. Each was qualified to do his or her jobs, and seemed, at least, to want the jobs for the right reasons. Unfortunately, they were taken out by huge amounts of out-of-state money from groups like American Crossroads, run by Karl Rove, and the Republican Governors Association, which was the beneficiary of the largesse of Rupert Murdoch, who felt compelled to donate a million dollars to his good friend and former employee, John Kasich. I hardly think that all these groups had your and my best interests at heart. Karl and Rupert don’t even have our problems on their radar screens. It will soon become apparent whose interests they do have in mind. Kasich said, “It’s going to be fantastic!” I don’t think he was referring to you and me. I for one have never trusted any politician from any party who speaks of how easy it’ll be to solve a longstanding problem, but won’t tell you how he’ll do it.
Mouthing platitudes, like “we’ll pluck the low-hanging fruit” to close a projected $8 billion budget shortfall and refusing to tell you any example of what that might be, flat-out scares me. What you and I consider important, I’m afraid, may very well be that fruit — things like education, services, Medicare and Medicaid, which many of our citizens depend on. Often, I’ve said that we need to pay attention. The fact that less than half the population took part in this election tells me that most of us aren’t. My other constant rant is that we need to remove money from the political process. This election, to me, could well prove both those points. But this was just the warm-up. Wait until 2012. We could have constant negative ads on TV. The sky’s the limit unless we do something about it.
Watch what you wish for. I will.
E-mail columnist Don Burnard at email@example.com.