Failed Empire

Chronicling the collapse of a failed society

The Best of the Worst: lessons from the 2010 election

Tengrain has an excellent post over at Black Magpie Theory recapping the best of the worst election night speeches.  Although I’m not sure I can agree with his contention that “this election will absolutely change nothing,” he did manage to glean some bright spots from otherwise dreadful election:

  • “94% of the Progressive Caucus in the House was re-elected.
  • Only 47% of Rahm’s Blue Dog Democrat Caucus was re-elected, and oh, Fuck You, Tiny Dancer.
  • Every candidate – literally every single candidate that Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage endorsed lost. Not a single one won. They were the kiss of death…
  • Grover Norquist only sees on the horizon Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Haley Barbour as possible 2012 contenders. Hahaha!
  • Weepy-the-Orange cannot claim a mandate: Exit polls show us that the highest priority for Congress should be “spending to create jobs” (54% of the population is for some form of stimulus, 40% is for deficit reduction)…
  • Alaska humiliated Mooselini by re-electing Lisa Murkowski to the Senate as a write-in candidate over the Moose-Savant, Joe Miller. A write-in candidate has only ever succeeded once before in a federal election.
  • Speaking of Mooselini she lost the Senate, single-handedly for the GOP: Christine No’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Joe Miller, all of whom lost a sure-thing GOP Senate Seat. Additionally, she endorsed John Raise in West Virginia, who lost by a huge margin.”

So what can we learn from this?  It would seem that although a significant segment of the American public is uninformed and, let’s be brutally honest, idiotic when it comes to political issues, they may not be quite as stupid as we had assumed, since they seem to draw a line at the likes of Sarah Palin and her ilk.

We also learn what we have long known:  that there is a significant percentage of the American public that supports progressive, populist values such as those espoused – at least superficially – by the Democrats.  The two major reasons that our government keeps shifting to the right are closely related.  Namely, our corporate-controlled mainstream media defines the parameters of national debate, which has resulted in a steady slide to the right.  Intimately tied with this fact is that, as a result of this blanket, rightist media coverage, ordinary Americans who hold progressive, leftist values become isolated and fragmented; they do not realize that a large segment (perhaps even the majority) shares their views, and as a consequence genuine mass movements of the left never seem to materialize.  The 2008 campaign was almost one such rare example, but instead it became nothing more than a cult-following of the cleverly-marketed Obama brand.  Even though a majority of Obama voters likely shared genuine progressive ideals, the Obama brand never moved beyond platitudes and the endless repetition of the intentionally undefined “change.”

And it is truly sad, because the Obama administration managed to unite the splintered pockets of progressives around the country into a rare impassioned movement of the left, only to ignore that base once elected in order to pander to Republicans who have no interest in compromise of any sort.  And so we find ourselves in an endless cycle of two steps right, one step left – although often times the step left only appears to be a step left, as in the case of Obama’s continued prosecution of the Iraq War (in spite of Bush-like claims to the contrary) and his massive expansion of the war in Afghanistan.  When will progressives stand up and fight for their beliefs as fervently as the Right has always done?

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