Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm Voting Today and I Am Not Excited About It

I will be so glad when this midterm election is over. I have never seen so many people geared up for something that will do absolutely nothing to change the country. I was going to vote earlier this morning but realized I didn’t know who I wanted to vote for yet so I changed my mind and will go later. I’m not excited about this at all. We already know what’s going to happen anyway. There’s been a poll taken every 15 minutes and the experts have it figured out so well that John Boehner is already writing his acceptance speech when he becomes speaker of the house. Today is just a formality in an election cycle that never ends. Tomorrow everyone will just move on to the presidency and keep campaigning.

I get much more excited about local elections than the national stuff because I feel like those folks have more of an effect on my day to day life. You can have one crazy mayor with a lot of power and cripple a city for decades. The federal government doesn’t really work like that. There are so many people involved in what goes on that unless 60 districts are going to send the same kind of person you did to the Senate there won’t be any real radical changes.

Take the current president for instance. I would vote for that guy 20 times over because of what he represents to me but once he got in office he had to play the game. I knew he was in trouble when he hired Rahm Emmanuel who never met a campaign contribution he didn’t like. My personal opinion about President Obama up to this point is that he has tried to do as much as he could for the average everyday American without pissing off Corporate America more than he’s had to. We got some tax cuts in the stimulus and a few new programs but he didn’t go hard at those insurance companies in the health care bill or kick Wall Street’s ass during financial reform the way I would have liked him to. I’ve accepted that because I know to get re-elected you need money and you can’t piss off every affluent person and expect to win.

Then you have the Tea Party. They might have been something new and different until they forgot about what was supposed to be their core message of limited government and went crazy. They let the mainstream Republican Party attach themselves to their anger and now they are just part of the two party system like everyone else. Sure, they got rid of a few old senators but when you look around the people speaking for the conservative agenda or the same old people who have been for a long time. The saddest thing about that is after two years of yelling, screaming, and rallies all we got out of it was the debate whether to extend the Bush tax cuts or let them expire. We have almost torn the country apart for an idea that’s been in effect for 9 years already. Our main focus on change is something we don't even have to change.

There you have it. Two years of drama to end up with a debate over decade long tax cuts that already didn’t stop the economy from collapsing. I hope Republicans enjoy their victories tonight. I’m watching a movie.

6 comments:

sussah said...

Hi Cliff, the perpetual election cycle is relatively new, and I think it's annoying. I suppose it changed with the advent and expansion of the electronic media. Some people are saying that after this mid-term election, maybe the administration will be able to be more effective, but as you say, then it's on to 2012. sp

Deb said...

"I’ve accepted that because I know to get re-elected you need money and you can’t piss off every affluent person and expect to win."

A very sad, but true commentary on "democracy" in these United States - always for sale. If I ever believed in (and I'm certain I once did) "government of the people, by the people and of the people..." I certainly don't anymore.

A movie - rather than watching election returns on TV with the talking heads - sounds great, for real!

Deb said...

"government of the people, by the people and of the people..."

Make that last one - "for the people"!

K. said...

I'm currently taking a class in Health Policy. There may nothing in this country that needs systemic change more than our health care "system," and nothing where major change is more difficult/impossible to accomplish. There are a ton of moving parts all of which are more organized, more single-minded, and have more resources than patients/taxpayers.

Accomplishing even incremental change -- which describes the Affordable Health Care Act -- means neutralizing one of the main players. For better or worse, Obama chose this insurance industry. But if it hadn't been them, it would have been Big Pharma or Big Biz, or the medical/industrial complex.

IMHO, there are two paths to systemic change: (1) the complete collapse of the Rube Goldberg machine we have now, leaving an open field, or (2) a sustained popular movement from outside of the political system that forces major change. For various reasons, I believe that the first is more likely than the second.

Push will come to shove, if only because Medicare costs are increasing much more rapidly than income, exacerbated by the aging of our population. Also, at some point in the next 30 years, 40-45% of the population will be ethnic minorities comprising a majority of the work force. How they will feel about paying the medical bill for a mostly white retired population is an open question.

Apologies for the long-windedness!

Deb said...

K...

"IMHO, there are two paths to systemic change: (1) the complete collapse of the Rube Goldberg machine we have now, leaving an open field, or (2) a sustained popular movement from outside of the political system that forces major change. For various reasons, I believe that the first is more likely than the second."

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you.

And yes, regarding health care -"Push will come to shove," - for the reasons you mentioned, as well as the fact that as a result of that "incremental change," there are now medical professionals who feel a little duped by Congress and the president regarding that bill they helped write - but didn't bother to read fully. Now, more and more doctors are saying because Medicare payments to them - scheduled to be cut first, 23%, then another 6.5% - they will stop accepting Medicare patients completely: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/31/AR2010103104425.html?wpisrc=nl_most

Hospital administrators are laying off staff to compensate for cuts in reimbursement dollars to hospitals - also in that bill nobody bothered reading: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/layoffs-at-hospital-where-i-was-born-obamacare-blamed-106494913.html

Hell, I'm a member of that Baby Boom, "aging generation" to which you refer too - and I'm a minority! I don't, however, see it as having anyone else "paying the medical bill" for me, 30 years from now (If I live that damned long!) - I have worked since I was 14 years old and I don't ever remember having the "option" of them taking FICA(http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-fica.htm) out of my paychecks for some 40-odd years!

I'm pissed that they felt it okay to leave an IOU in my SS account and then blew my hard-earned money on Wall St. - and then turn around and say "Well, there might not be enough money for Social Security."

There is no way they can defend that - and they don't - they just lie. I still cannot understand why there's not been a "sustained popular movement" about this mess way before now! It doesn't matter who's running the Big House, they are all complicit. Yet the top 1-2% still dictate to the rest of us what will happen, how it will happen and when it will happen. And the majority of us 98-99% just say, "Okay." {smdh}

"Power concedes nothing without a demand..."

Cliff, I also apologize for my long-windedness - but thanks for letting me vent! :-)

Reggie said...

I'm always excited to vote. The reality is that most of the time, the guy or gal I voted for lost.

I remember voting in Metairie, years ago when I lived there; and voting against David Duke time and time again.......to no avail. He won because my neighbors believed in that nonsense that he used to spit.

It is what it is.