Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Post-Election Thoughts...

Yes, naming this blog post with anything having to do with "post-election" has probably guaranteed that nobody will read this blog. I'm as over-saturated with political commentary about it as all of you are. But hopefully you'll bear with me for just one more tidbit. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

First: The election results were awful! No, not with Republicans winning. We can deal with those clowns. No, I'm talking about Prop-19 being defeated in California. Prop-19, for those who aren't aware, would have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in the most medical-cannabis-friendly state in the nation. Yet in the state where nearly 100% of the people have smoked pot, 53% somehow found the hypocritical hubris to vote against that which they've done, presumably on the notion that it will prevent their children from doing it, as if that ever works. How is it conceivable that, at a time when the tsunami of LESS government intrusion was overwhelming, people would vote for MORE government intrusion?

I'll tell ya: Those who are raking in the dough from cannabis' illegality suddenly woke up and realized that Prop-19 would cut into their profit margins. I think they suddenly began to grease the opposition palms to keep the status quo, just to avoid having to pull up stakes in Beverly Hills and move back to Oakland. Why else would a referendum with a nearly 2/3rds pre-poll approval suddenly crash to below 50% in the final two months?

But I have another thought: Yes, we've had a big pro-Republican swing. And the Elephant is dancing, dancing, dancing. BUT, beware what you wish for! Historically, when an opposition party takes over, the sitting party has about 2 and 1/2 months to strike one final blow before exiting, stage left. Remember when the Republicans took back congress in 1994 under Newt Gingrich's Contract With America? One month afterward, on December 1, 1994, President Clinton signed the bill that created the World Trade Organization! (Interesting, huh?) Some doubt he would have had adequate support from his own party, but when you're a lame duck, you have the luxury of voting exactly what you think without fear of reprisal.

The G.O.P. picked up 60 house seats and 6 senate seats last time I counted. That's 66 democrats who have absolutely NOTHING to lose -- more than enough to swing some BIG legislation! What that means for happy conservatives, I predict, is this:
1.) You can kiss your precious stem-cell research ban goodbye! It's history!
2.) You can forget the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%. They're gone.
3.) Expect at least one more economic stimulus package to breeze through, unhampered.
4.) President Obama will likely use his Executive Authority at least once after late January.

About that last one, there's again precedent. In January of 1993, blocked by the Republican-led Congress, President Clinton used Executive authority to rescue the national debt of Mexico -- a bad idea, in retrospect, but illustrating that Congress can be sidestepped, if the Pres. really feels he must.

And he will. Why? Because the Republicans under the Contract With America were bright, young, idealistic, and open-minded. They made a great foil for a Democrat president, and we saw the deficit eliminated, and the national debt begin to get paid off. This time, however, the new Republicans are neither bright nor young. They are not open-minded, and rather than idealistic, they are idealogues. Clinton had to deal with intellectual opposition. Obama will have to deal with opponents who are one tick shy of carrying pitchforks, torches, and rope! I fear this, truly.

But mark my words: Backlash swings both ways!

In defense of Ron Johnson and Scott Walker, I'll say this: They're comparable to the Contract With America style of Republican, and so at least there's hope on that front. If people like them can reign in the Tea-Party wing-nuts, we should be able to stop them from pulling the temple down over our very heads.

Eric

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