Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Worm Has Turned

I've been fighting cancer so I haven't written much so here goes.

Even with that going on, there is something going on that has made me happy and sad at once.  Namely how things have turned since the elections of 2010.

I was told by my friends on the right how devastated I was going to be on election night because the "Marxists" would soon be out of power.  I'd be just a quivering, weeping little pile they told me.  Well, I'll be the first to admit that last November could have been better and we did have our asses handed to us when it came to the House.  Always the optimist, I took what comfort I could over the fact that even with the losses in the Senate we managed to hang onto that and the President was still a Democrat so the nuttier ideas from the House GOPers would go nowhere. Some things were going to slip through though, given how the Democrats bend over backwards to avoid annoying the other side too much.

I was also bemoaning that so many of our side decided to stay home last November as well but I wasn't surprised that it happened either.  The less ideological Democrats were being bombarded with a pretty steady diet of how either evil Obama was or how he had "betrayed" the progressive cause since he was actually in office.  The atmosphere was pretty darn negative when it came to our President and by extension the message being sent out was why bother voting, you're just going to get screwed no matter who gets in.

The Republicans, as is their wont, read the elections wrong.  Instead of seeing it as the beneficiaries of low voter turnout and a successful campaign from both the far right and left to demonize President Obama, they saw it as a resounding endorsement of their ideas.  ALL of their ideas, even the ones they neglected to mention on the campaign trial.  So they went for it, policy-wise first in Wisconsin by going after the hated unions then going after Medicare and Social Security.

Then something very interesting happened.

I don't know which one it was but somewhere along the line people hit the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.  Maybe it was the public unions being attacked or the push to privatize Medicare and Social Security but one of them did it without question.  Then something happened that my friends a bit further left than I had promised and I doubted would ever happen - things had finally gotten so bad that the people woke up.

Suddenly state capitols were overcome with protesters.  People were out on corners, waving signs at passing motorists.  They even shut down phone exchanges with their actual phone calls to actual legislators, state and federal.  People were actually doing more than signing online petitions, they were out of the house standing up to the right live and in person.

In normal times, that would be a signal to the party doing things that all these people didn't like to back off a bit.  But the Republicans, tone deaf as always, had convinced themselves that they still held the majority position and decided to double down on it.  How did they accomplish this?  First they threatened to shut down the government if they didn't get their way entire but cooler heads prevailed that time.  Those same heads lost it when their "genius" Representative Paul Ryan came out with his budget for 2012. 

This was a wishlist of every thing the Republicans have wanted to do ever since the South went from solid Democratic to pretty-solid Republican.  Make Medicare into a voucher-like system instead of the single payer system it is now, cut back Social Security, defund NPR, Planned Parenthood and even more like cutting food stamps and school lunches.  Now, it would have been bad enough for them if this budget abomination had just stayed in the realm of "proposed" but they had to go that one more step and go ahead and pass it in the House.


Big boo boo.  Now there's actual votes to have to defend to the folks back home.  No denying that or saying you really meant to do something else there.

The Republicans are now getting a taste of what they try so hard to avoid: reality.  The new Tea Bag members of the House are holding town halls while they're off and instead of friendly crowds shouting down pesky liberals they're finding they are the ones being shouted at and not in a good way.  Why, their "courageous" Rep. Ryan even got BOOED by a home district crowd.

Knowing the Republicans, they'll ignore even these clear signals and go even further with their policies.

Election night 2012 just might be a lot more fun than the one in 2010 was.


Southern Beale said...

I hope you are right but I suspect the 2012 election will be flooded with Koch money and ratfucking and dirty tricks and voter suppression and all sorts of things so that we barely squeak out a win and even lose a few key races to the Usual Suspects.

I hope I'm wrong and you are right, though.

Rebecca said...

It will be more fun if we have a truly progressive candidate to vote for that is also electable.

Patricia said...

Wonderful post! You spoke my mind exactly!
To the previous posters, I too agree with both of you, also.

Anonymous said...

so u think the worm has turned. what planet are u on? unemployment is sky high and wont get any better soon. be happy u had better be because come nov 2012 your muslim pres. is done.