Hildegarde

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Notes on the Aftermath

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I learned something very important this election.

I’m an old person.  I can no longer stay up all night to listen to the returns and then do a normal day following. 

I did indeed do my entire normal day yesterday, but I spent the whole time feeling as if I was about to fall over.

And then there’s been the weather.  We had a nor’easter move in over night.  First they said it was going to dump one and a half inches of snow.  Then four to seven inches of snow.  Then ten inches of snow. 

Then I went to bed.

This morning, the entire state seems to be closed except my place, which is apparently carrying on as usual. 

I think if I’m going to have to shovel, or make offspring shovel, I should at least get a snow day.  But nobody listens to me.

At any rate–the election.

1) I told you so. 

I have been saying for months that Romney had  no chance of winning this election and that the outcome wouldn’t even be close.

I was right on both counts.

2) But I don’t think the reason was what Democrats want it to be.  I don’t think Tea Party candidates dragged Romney down.

I think Romney dragged the Tea Party candidates down.

The Tea Party hated Romney and didn’t come out to vote for anybody, meaning to send a clear signal to the party brass that they were no long willing to put up with rich guys  whose only interests were to funnel taxpayer money to corporate welfare clients and to protect those clients from their mistakes.

I think the Democrats got their analysis extact 180 degrees wrong. 

The Tea Party was not astroturf being manipulated by rich people.

The Tea Party was trying to turn the Republican Party into the agency of what they want, which is actually much worse for the rich guys than anything the Democrats have on offer.

The Democrats were just as much behind saving the bankers as the Republicans were.  The Tea Party wanted to see these guys crash and burn.

For a while, TP rallies featured people with signs saying “Let the failures fail.”

There were hysterical blog posts across the left wing declaring  that the TP protestors might SEEM to be calling down retribution on bankers, but that wasn’t what they REALLY meant.  What they REALLY meant was that poor people should be left to starve.

No, what they really meant is that people like Dick Fuld and Jamie Dimon should go down with their firms and lose all their money in a combination of the collapse of the enterprises they ran into the ground and the lawsuits from investors that would surely follow.

TP candidates would have done much better with Santorum on the ticket, because their base would have been willing to come out and vote.

3) What we are actually seeing here is the death of Establishment Republicanism. 

The Establishment types yelled and screamed that the world was going to end if the TP didn’t rush out and vote “against Obama,”  never mind who Mitt really was or what he represented–run, run, the world is on fire!

The TP wasn’t having any of it.

If the Republicans are ever going to win an election again, they’re going to have to ditch the rich guys and find people who are going to be willing to throw those same rich guys under the bus the next time there’s a financial scandal.

4) That said, I also think that the more extreme religious right candidate isn’t going to do very well either.

Of the two poster boys for ton deafness in this race, I’ve go some sympathy for Mourdock and none at all for Akin.

Akin was an idiot, and he should have dropped out of the race. 

Mourdock, on the other hand, had a point that he seemed constitutionally incapable of articulating.

If you honestly believe that abortion is the act of murdering a child, then making exceptions for rape makes no sense.

Making exceptions indicates that you are, in fact, viewing pregnancy as punishment for sexual behavior.  If she gets pregnant she has to live with it–unless it turns out it wasn’t her fault, then it’s okay.

Such a position is not just incoherent, but morally reprehensible.

But it is also the case that adhering to such a position will lose you elections, because people instinctively recoil from it.

They recoil from it because being forced to carry a pregnancy to term under those conditions is a punishment, no matter what else it is.  It is suffering inflicted on a person who is already the innocent victim of other suffering.

And people are just not going to have it.

5) Anyone who thinks that nobody votes because they want to stay on welfare needs to meet some of my students, a good knot of whom declared that they’d voted Democratic because the Republicans wanted to take their food stamps and welfare away.

I still think my answer to this one is the right one.

Let’s move away from a system where we have a patchwork of “programs” offering a little bit of this here and a little bit of that there accompanied by gargantuan bureaucracies with tentacles reaching further and further into private life in an attempt to “fix” the poor–and anybody else they can get their hands on.

Let’s replace all this with an expanded earned income tax credit–maybe four or five or six time larger than it is now, paid for by all those social work and administrative salaries and benefits we will no longer have to pay after we’re no longer trying to build the New Englightenment Man.

Let’s give the poor money and treat them like grown ups.  Let them make their own decisions for themselves.

Some of them will, undoubtedly, make very bad decisions–but that’s their business and not yours. 

And life is going to be a lot better for everybody, when we’re  no longer trying to  micromanage  everybody’s private life in an attempt to coercive them all to behave just like all your friends in Scarsdale.

While we’re at it, of course, I’d get rid of all the other programs and regulations meant to “fix” people and “help” them by coercively changing their private behavior.

The people of the United States are not children, and they’re not patients.  They’re citizens, and they should be treated as such, even if they’re dumb as rocks or too poor to buy potato chips.

6) Those of you from outside the US might be interested to know that there was virtually no discussion of foreign policy at all in this race.

The old truism is that Republicans win when foreign policy is the focus of the Presidential election and Democrats win when the economy is, and that held up here.

I’m getting most of my news about the Lybian thing from the BBC.  Fox runs some stories, and the other stations say “Fox is lying” and then don’t elaborate. 

The liberal to left wing here continues to declare all kinds of thing “lies” that are nothing of the kind.

For some people, any difference of opinion or interpretation is automatically “lying” if they don’t agree with it, and so is telling jokes.

There aren’t very many times I sympathize with Ann Coulter, but, I mean, really.  You ought to be able to expect that your audience is literate enough to get it when you’re making a funny.

7) As to my local races, I’m completely flabbergasted.  I did not expect the Republican candidates to win, but I didn’t the races to be such complete blowouts, either, considering the way the Democrats were running their campaigns.

Elizabeth Esty’s entire campaigan against Andrew Rohraback came down to “OTHER Republicans take these stands on issues, so you should vote against him, even though he doesn’t agree with any of this.”

Is that what we vote on these days, really?

But Chris Murphy’s campaign was far worse, because it spent a lot of time telling outright lies.

And the lies weren’t subtle, and they weren’t matters of interpretation, and they weren’t hard to uncover.

McMahon would run an add proclaiming herself a pro-choice woman, and the next ad on your television would be Murphy declaring that you should vote for him because “I’m pro-choice and she’s not.”

We’re a blue state–damned near navy blue–and the two of them were going to win under any circumstances. 

I did think there would be more people here who, like me, didn’t think it was a good idea to vote for people who behaved like t his.

I’m going to go off now and correct papers.

It’s been suggested to me that I should get back to the education thing, and start with the Enlightenment and finish the argument.

I’m still in the middle of rewrites, though, and I’m going to have to get those done before I can write something as complex as that.

But I’m thinking about it.

I’d better go correct papers.

Written by janeh

November 8th, 2012 at 9:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses to 'Notes on the Aftermath'

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  1. I think our primary system works poorly. The time to get rid of lying scoundrels is before the alternative is giving one of Those People a seat in the House or Senate–whoever Those People might be for the voter in question. It has been gratifying to watch a few Republicans with far too many years of “public service” get the axe in primaries lately, but we need to do a lot more of it, and the primary winners have sometimes been second-raters.

    And in fairness to the blue staters–and I REALLY hate those color designations–overall party loyalty and party position may trump individual stands. A vote for a “moderate” Democratic congressman is also a vote to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker, which is not an act of moderation. What I think of as my home district in Indiana sometimes sends a Democrat to the House. Then the Dems round up everyone they have for some piece of legislation incredibly unpopular in the district and that’s the end of another one.

    Given the growing residential segregation by political allegience, I don’t know how to cure this short of my often-proposed partition into three countries. It still seems like a good idea–maybe a better one today than Monday.

    robert_piepenbrink

    8 Nov 12 at 12:51 pm

  2. Three countries? East, west and middle? Who gets Colorado and New Mexico?

    Cheryl

    8 Nov 12 at 4:04 pm

  3. Pacific coast, Northeast (DC to Maine, including Pennsylvania) and Heartland (the rest of CONUS)It’s not perfect, but it leaves three contiguous entities. Figure New Mexico and Arizona may wind up in Mexico eventually anyway.

    They work pretty well as cultural and economic entities. Pennsylvania west of the Philadelphia suburbs really belongs with the Heartland, and Madison, Wisconsin in the Northeast–but they’d both be hard to box and ship.

    robert_piepenbrink

    8 Nov 12 at 5:31 pm

  4. Here’s one conservative view from Down Under:

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2012/11/the-47-majority

    Mique

    8 Nov 12 at 6:47 pm

  5. “let the failures fail” would make me a Tea Party member!

    jd

    8 Nov 12 at 9:30 pm

  6. Me too.

    Mique

    8 Nov 12 at 9:46 pm

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