Unemployment is below 6 percent. Gas prices are plummeting. Americans who have suffered without healthcare for all of their lives have it now. The deficit has been cut sharply and manufacturing jobs are beginning to appear again. These are just a few of the issues that were not mentioned during the mud infused midterm elections and the dissembling and hateful “Party of Lincoln”, that now has a hammerlock on the House and Senate, is laughing last again.
With approval numbers running in the low 40’s, Democrats ran from Obama like Usain Bolt and couldn’t beat the GOP at the midterm wire. With accomplishments enough to merit holding on to the Senate, Democratic candidates relied on attack ads and not the facts. They played into the practiced cynicism of the Republicans and Obama didn’t help. The President’s maddening habit of contemplating when he should be acting and then acting without contemplation has rewarded Mitch McConnell and friends for their treasonous pledge, made the moment Obama took the oath on January 20th of 2009.
They swore on a stack of lobbyist lucre that they would oppose Obama at every turn. In doing so, they sold their constituents out. Dark money and PAC’s provided cash out of nowhere to prop up tapped out candidates while buying their loyalty at the same time. This is the fruit of Citizen’s United, the Seventh Seal opened by the Roberts Court, which sold our Republic to the Koch brothers. The perverse contention that money is speech means only the moneyed can have influence. The rest of us are the broken gravel under their feet.
The new Neocon Majority must heartily thank CGI Federal, the contractor that turned the Affordable Care Act debut into a digitized soup of transcendent frustration. You say the government can’t make anything? It remade the Rube Goldberg machine that was the healthcare roll out and sprung it on uninsured Americans who were ready to buy in now. Instead, they were told to log in later. CGI Federal is now being considered as the entity that may run the General Services Administration. If they are picked for the job, billions more in government contracts await. It’s not enough to have good ideas if you’re the President and it’s not even enough to deliver on a promise, eventually. With every screw up and delay, the well of credibility and good will, the thunderous support that Obama had in January of 2009, was squandered. That was and is the real crisis.
As the clocks were turned back and gave us an extra hour of sleep, the Democrats could not wake in time to use their words. In their muteness, they could only wait for the darkness to come earlier. They could only indulge their nightmare of being the minority party, defeated by a new majority that took over through the artful spinning of obstruction into power and with that power, they cobbled the means to make good on their promise to destroy this administration. Only the President’s veto pen stands ready in its holder to block the way and ruling by executive order is the lone dagger he holds. The Congress doesn’t know its true function and the GOP will threaten another government shutdown while pursuing impeachment. They cannot govern. They were made to undermine, not build. It’s what they are.
The American experiment is over now. When complete corruption and avarice are the tools of the trade, when any effort to help many is not even worth repeating in a campaign commercial and when a President who graduated from Harvard and Columbia cannot make his accomplishments clear to a battered public, then we are truly not a nation anymore. When the Founders crafted a three pronged system to build accountability into governance, they made the fatal mistake of believing that men of good will would always govern. Even with men of good will in play, Citizens United has mortgaged this country to the rich and amoral hands of the few and their only goal is to take the last penny from your pocket. Grover Norquist said that he wanted a government small enough to drown in a bathtub. At least we are all drowning together, 99 percent of us anyway. As to future Supreme Court appointees with a GOP Super Majority? The horror goes on and on.
As many sit besotted with disappointment on the morning after, also known as November 5th, I think of Obama’s first inaugural on January 20, 2009. Cribbing from the Gettysburg Address, he called for, “A new birth of freedom” that day in front of a National Mall packed with his admirers. He must think of that time with unutterable regret. If only he could inspire like Lincoln in the bestial pitch of partisan battle, maybe Obama’s soldiers of 2008 turned slackers of 2014 would have gone to the polls on Tuesday. Though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, without the means to inspire anyone himself when the campaign is over and the governing begins, it is still only flattery for an idol who Obama falls well short of emulating. The Lincoln suit he tried to pull on since his first campaign is too large for most Presidents anyway. So is Abe himself.
Obama accomplished a great deal with the pathological opposition eying his jugular from the second he took his hand off the Rail Splitter’s Bible on that sun bright, bitter cold day of piercing promise. He just wouldn’t talk about it when it mattered the most. One of the great orators to hold the Presidency could not find the words to articulate his accomplishments. For that, his party has returned to the wilderness. Pack a thermos and bundle up, Dems.
It’s going to be a long, cold night and the first of many.