Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Damage Done. The Damage To Come.

Well.  Elections 2010 is over.

The damage is done.  Republicans reclaimed a majority in the House.  More disastrous - for a reason - is that the Republicans gained control of a majority of state legislatures and governors' seats.  Worse of all, it's obviously emboldening the teabagger wingnut crowd into thinking the World is Theirs.  WORST of all: the state of Florida now has as our governor a well-established, well-known MEDICARE FRAUD CEO in Rick Scott, the one person in the state most likely to crash and burn a financial institution with massive acts of fraud and embezzling.  Nice job breaking the state, voters.  /fume

So.  What is the damage to come?

At the state level for Florida, tons of damage is coming.  Remember that "Kill Tenure" bill - SB 6 - the State Lege passed last April that Crist vetoed?  With the anti-teachers Republicans still in charge of the state legislature and with a new governor willing to sign such a bill into law, the fear that an even harsher version of SB 6 - which killed tenure and job protection, shortened teachers' contracts, eliminated salaries based on degrees or experience, rewrote evaluations based on standardized testing which by the way isn't helping our students learn, and was basically an attempt to break the teachers' unions - will pass the second everybody gets sworn in at Tallahassee.  How quickly it will wreck our already wobble educational system isn't certain, but given the horrified response from a majority of citizens (even Republicans) back in April suggest this isn't a way to go.

There's also the fact that voted back into power was a Republican majority in the state legislature that was led by crooks and pork-barrel spenders, a majority that had little true interest in balancing the budget outside of cutting social programs down to practically nothing.  Having a hard core social conservative like Scott with his own history of financial criminal misdeeds holding the veto pen as Governor (and most likely ignore using it to cut wasteful projects) is going to make our budget woes worse.  Considering the state of Florida has 1) massive unemployment and 2) massive underemployment, anything that threatens our social safety nets is NOT A GOOD THING.

Looking at the national level, with Congress divided with a GOP-held House and a smaller Democrat-controlled Senate, creates an even bigger headache.

On the national level, the Republicans were elected with one mandate: Get Rid of Obama.  Seriously.  There is nothing else the Republicans have planned.  Anything they've claimed about balancing the budget?  When confronted to give specifics - "which programs would you cut first?  by how much?" - the party leadership waffled.  The ones who DID give any specifics tended to threaten cuts for things like Social Security and Defense that are still Third Rail issues both inside the Beltway and outside it.

So what should we expect from the Republican-led House?  We already know Congressman Issa is going to press for hundreds if not thousands of subpoenas to investigate Obama's White House on any useless issue, any hairbrained "scandal" that does not really exist merely for the purposes of embarrassing Obama.  And that will be minor league stuff to what Issa and the House are apt to do: Impeach Obama for being born in Kenya Hawaii by going after his Long Form birth certificate.  Hell, the Republican Party and their media cohorts with Limbaugh and FOX Not-News have spent the last two years decrying Obama as "illegal" - an illegitimate fraud who doesn't qualify for the Presidency - and getting millions of their Far Right voters to buy into that bullshit.  And now that they've got a branch of government that can "investigate" (aka harass) Obama on that "issue", they are going to have to appease a voting base that's been convinced Obama is a Socialist Boy From Kenya threatening our freedoms.  The Republican leadership created this fake meme: now they have to live or die by it.

The other campaign "pledges" of the GOP was to balance the budget and reduce the deficit.  And guess what?  Even this week after their massive win it's showing that the Republicans realize it's going to be harder than their campaigning suggested it would be.  There's already a struggle over the issue of the debt ceiling - an artificial cap on the amount our government can officially borrow - and while the Republicans are making noises that they will use the issue to force a deal with the Democrats in the Senate and White House, there's solid evidence that the large number of incoming Republicans (with their Teabagger agenda of "Damn All Hazards") are going to rail against the debt ceiling no matter what.  There's a good possibility that the GOP leadership that wants the compromise knowing that hitting the debt ceiling is disastrous is already losing their newcomers who find themselves obligated to defy the "corrupt old ways of bipartisanship"... something the GOP already defied the last two years just to get here...

Not to mention the fact that the Republicans are still stuck in the ideological mode of "Kill All Social Programs", "Kill Social Security", "Kill All Furriners", et al, and you've got a hard two years coming up until the 2012 elections.

Wanna hear something scary?  The state of Texas is now so solidly Republican, that they got not only the Governorship but also 2/3s majority in both their state houses, that they could easily pass state amendments all over the place.  Get ready to see Texas turn into a Right Wing "Utopia" of anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-workers rights, anti-regulation, anti-human decency inside of 5 minutes... 4... 3... 2...

And you know what?  Considering that our electoral system has been industrialized and turned into a $4 billion cash cow, we're never going to see an end to campaigning and calls for fund raising and all that.  We've already got jokers lining themselves up (even on the Democratic side, damn them) for the 2012 Presidential primaries.  STOP POLLING FOR 2012, GALLUP!  We don't need that crap right now...

On second thought, odds are the way our economy's gonna be the next two years - crappy and painful - I might as well get in on that action.  I'm gonna go get myself signed up to run for Congress in 2012.  I already got my slogans.  "Vote for ME.  I Need The Work."  Plugging away...

3 comments:

faj9778 said...

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Paul Wartenberg said...

(arched eyebrow)

Hey, is this one of those Chinese posters I kept getting on my Witty Librarian/writers blog...?

Paul Wartenberg said...

Oh no, I think it is!

She's cute though... just don't click on that ......... link she has! NOOOOOO I said don't click it! Sigh...