We're about 10 weeks away from the midterm election and all political indicators suggest that Republicans stand to gain ground against Democrats in Congress this November. Nothing unusual for a new president's party to lose seats in the midterms. Everyone's question, naturally, has been: how many seats?
Republicans need a 39 seat pickup in the House to gain the majority, ushering in (if one can even believe it) Speaker John Boehner. Even though I'm still skeptical of claims that the GOP will retake the House.....it is going to be close.
In a GOP landslide midterm, Republicans would also retake the Senate majority. Looking at the races and the early projections, I think the chances of GOP success in the Senate are more remote. Not impossible, but remote.
Either way.....the end result, come January, 2011....only 4 months away....will be an entirely non-functional Congress. I'll be surprised if simple budgetary issues will be agreed upon.
If Republicans retake the majority in the House.....the next two years will be filled with investigations into President Obama. It will be a non-stop sh*t-throwing-til-something-sticks program.....similar to the witch hunting of Bill Clinton. There won't be any there there.....but that didn't stop the Gingrich-led GOP during the 90's, now, did it? Ask yourself, do you think it's less crazy now, or more so?
Our failed and decomposing corporate media, just as they did during Clinton's time, will gaze at the sh*t thrown against the wall and "report", in all Seriousness, which turd of a story is legitimate enough to run on a 24/7 loop for weeks on end.
One of the liberal blogosphere's biggest complaints about President Obama has been his inexplicable willingness to pre-emptively compromise with Republicans in order to appear bipartisan. That approach has been a fool's errand, at best. President Obama has been pre-caving, as it were, and doing so with a rather large Democratic majority in the House and the Senate.
I say this not to denigrate Obama. I still regard him as a breath of fresh air, especially after the noxious atmosphere of evil the nation was forced to breathe from 2001-2009. Instead, I say this in order to take a realistic view of how a President Obama will respond to a GOP controlled Congress.
One thing is certain. Come January 1, 2011, while Obama is figuring out what he can compromise on in order to, you know, appear bipartisan.......the 2012 presidential campaign will have begun....and in earnest. In fact, in our current hyper-political environment, the 2012 presidential campaign will officially begin November 3, 2010.
All that the American people will be left with is government by hysteria.
Consider any of several recent government-by-hysteria events and you will understand what I'm getting at. Take the totally inexplicable "birther" hysteria. Or the despicable defunding of ACORN over entirely fraudulent accusations ginned up by a still-pissing-in-his-pants, Jimmy O'Keefe, channeled through the propaganda arm of the GOP, Fox News. Or the embarassing Shirley Sherrod all-in hysteria.
How about the "American SuperMax prisons and American courts aren't safe" hysteria in which bong-hitting conservatives successfully kept America's first offshore gulag open for business? Or our current shame....that American Muslims are America's enemies.
Consider those hysteria-driven insults to all Americans, and many more I could mention......and then ask yourself, do you think that with a tighter Congress or a GOP controlled Congress.....the pattern of government by hysteria will lessen or intensify?
What can be done to alter our government by hysteria trajectory?
I have no freaking idea.
Hillary's infamous "vast right wing conspiracy" of the early 90's has matured into a fully developed hysteria machine of mass destruction. That machine, daily, pours the gasoline of embarassingly ignorant hysteria over the millions of already-poorly informed American voters. Non-voting Americans, about half of us, left through the exit doors marked "cynical", long ago.
I know that democracy is messy. Even though I'm a progressive, I consider myself a realist. Making progress, moving forward to solve national problems is hard.
I just never counted on this level of hysteria.
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