They call him a “Communist and Fascist” without understanding either
Or is it an Indictment of a Fickle Electorate?
Although Michel Steele, the verbose colored lickspittle who fronts for the mostly white southern and reactionary Republican Party, was crowing like a barnyard rooster over the Republican victories in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races, his claims of a Republican resurgence is a bit premature. In spite of hand wringing at the New York Times and gloating at the Wall Street Journal, reading the numbers tells a quite different story. The portrait of American political culture painted by the numbers suggest that we are living in a Barnum and Bailey world where anything can happen. For instance in both states that elected Republican governors the exit polls show that the vast majority of voters did not consider their vote to be a repudiation of the President’s policies.
In New Jersey for instance 19% of the voters said they were voting against the President and 19% said they were voting in favor of the President. The rest of the electorate said that their feelings about the President played no role in their decision. And a majority of Virginia voters said the same thing. These elections appear to have been decided strictly on local issues. And interesting enough, the election in the 23ard Congressional District upstate New York also suggest that localism was the principal determinant of the outcome.
In this instance the Republicans lost a seat they had held for over a century. And the way they lost bodes well for the Democrats in coming elections unless the Republicans can find a cure for the plague of right wing zealots who have infected their party and are destroying it from within.Had the far right Republicans stood solidly behind De De Scozzafava, the local citizen’s and their party’s choice, they would have won this election just as they have done since 1907. But the far right lunatic fringe decided to go against their Party’s candidate and support the Conservative party candidate a right-wing kook named Doug Hoffman, because De De wasn’t far enough to the right. Incensed at Sarah Palin and her minions meddling in local affairs, the Republican candidate pulled out of the race and cast her support to the democrat Bill Owens, who will be the first Democrat to win this Congressional seat since it was created.
The Alaskan Barbarian
She Screwed the Republican Party Candidate!
The Mayor’s race in New York City also taught us a couple of interesting lessons in the way it played out. Along with millions of New Yorkers I was convinced that a Bloomberg victory was a foregone conclusion. After all, his campaign had total dominance of the are waves. It seems that we hardly heard a peep out Mr. Thompson but Bloomberg’s ads were everywhere all the time. The reason why can be seen in the vast difference in their campaign expenditures: 8 million Vs. 100 Million dollars. It has been estimated by analysts on MSNBC that Bloomberg spent $180.00 for every vote cast for him. It seemed like a slam dunk for Bloomie. Yet he only won by five percent.
This tells me that a solid coalition between the white working class, the progressive middle and minorities could have defeated him in spite of the disproportionate spending. And it also suggests that the electoral process would be better served by changing the way we finance elections. First we should place a legal limit on how much private money can be spent on a campaign for public office…even if it’s the candidate’s own money. These steps will insure fairness in elections even more than term limits, which, in a town as big and complex as New York, can only serve to deprive us of experienced competent leadership because it denies those who wish to continue that leadership a voice.
Finally, when we consider that the issues which drove the elections in Virginia and New Jersey were jobs and taxes the Republican victories defy logic and presents us with an enigma since the economic crisis was caused by eight years of Republican mismanagement. Furthermore the congressional Republicans backed by the Governors were willing to stand by and allow the banks and the auto-industry to collapse rather than have the government intervene and clean up the mess they manufactured!
If these Republicans had had their way, our economic problems would be infinitely more horrifying because the economy would have plunged into a deep depression. That the Republican victory was the result of the vacillations of the Independents, only confirms my suspicion that their ranks are generously populated with morons. For how can any thinking person fail to take sides in this monumental struggle over the future of American civilization? Alas, I am afraid the real lesson of this election is that the struggle to educate the American electorate on the critical political and economic realities that confront us …continues.
Commentaries on the Times
Harlem New York
November 4, 2009