You can’t say you weren’t warned. It was repeated over and over again: just because there is no presidential election, does not mean that it is not as important to vote in 2010 as it was in 2008. The bleat in this space went this way:
We are at a very difficult point in our history. The moment we are in always seems more significant than those of the past, and I suspect this election, or this crossroads may not be as much a moment of decision as it seems today, but, as Rachel explained perfectly the other day, we almost seem to have lost the will to do anything but hunker down, tell each other why we don’t trust one another and whimper about our broken political system.
This is not the time to put one’s head in the sand, or to complain about things we wish the President had done, but did not. Dreaming about third parties, or making ours more liberal, has no place as we approach this election.
Although your faithful blogger is often set straight on any number of websites, the only person who annotates the blather posted under this name at The Public Servant (and thank goodness for that)directed the President’s fan club, a dwindling bunch of us, to be sure, to the sage comments of Michael Tomaskyand former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and there is nothing in either of those posts with which a sane person could disagree. Elizabeth Drew’s exasperated rant in the the New York Review of Books has received a fair amount of attention, and there is nothing there either which is not absolutely unassailable.
When the truly brilliant Melissa Harris-Perry, substituting for the essential Rachel Maddow, was presenting her soliloquy for the Governor of North Carolina for vetoing all sorts of garbage, even in the knowledge that her vetoes would be over-ridden by a Republican controlled Legislature, only the most dense could miss the comparison to the Governor’s federal counterpart:
She might not be winning all these political fights with the Republican assembly. But Bev Perdue is doing one thing very effectively. She‘s giving the voters of North Carolina a choice in 2012.
You and your uncommonly steely backbone are the thin blue line standing up against what they are trying to do to the state, this new wave of conservatives. And it‘s not just you‘re the one standing there saying nope, nope, nope. But in doing so, you keep articulating that there is another North Carolina, that these people don‘t get to have the last say on everything, that there‘s another way to think about what this place is and why these issues matter.
And so, even though Bev Perdue keeps losing, the fact that she‘s there and keeps fighting, that is awfully important. Bev Perdue is the thin blue line in North Carolina, and I‘ll tell you what? If you don‘t have that thin blue line, North Carolina, well, you‘re Kansas.
It is true. The President has not lived up to the unreasonable demands placed upon him on a magical day in November, 2008. After eight years of a frat boy and his evil handlers as president, following eight years of a president whose intellect was constantly subordinate to political polls and an obsession with finding out just how much he could get away with, cerebral replaced political calculation, and we found out just how far that can get you.
As it turns out, a party can elect the President, and control both houses of Congress at least in a nominal sense, and still be unable to make the sweeping changes which appeared to be required. It turns out that the majority does not rule, at least in the Senate, which requires overwhelming support for anything it might want to enact into law, and some of the people who got elected as Democrats are not, at least in the way we have come to understand what that means. Nonetheless, with an opposition fueled by recklessness, and, unquestionably a disrespect for the President elected over their objection, the Congress and that President were able to do things that had not been seriously contemplated for a generation.
It was not enough. Nobody said it was, but the “everybody” who David Gregory or David Brooks respect, announced over and over that it not only was not enough, but that it was a failure. And that failure had to be, and was sure to be, punished.
And so it was. Not in Nevada, where people came to their senses in enough time to make sure that Sharron Angle was not elected to the Senate, but all around the nation. Fool after fool was elected to Congress by people who believed that government was doing too much, and spending too much, when almost any fool could see that it was was not doing enough and spending way too little. (You have to just gag, which laughing at Senator McCain or at supposed journalists calling him courageous for supporting his party leadership. If these “tea party” fools are hobbits, as he said on the floor the other day, they are his hobbits since his choice of the Grand Hobbit Palin, to run for the office that would place her in the presidency if they were elected and he could not finish his term, did more to embolden Them than anything else that anyone has done in the past ten years.)
The result is what we have watched over the past seven months. The President has not acquitted himself well, to be sure, by adopting the same foolish mantra that sounds as much like the Church did in excommunicating Copernicus over the whole sun as the center of the universe question as anything that has been done at least since most of the nation came to the conclusion that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.
But the problem, as Walt Kelly famously instructed us once, is not the President, or at least it is not the President alone. It is us. We elected these fools, and we knew better when we did it.
P.S. In reference to Melissa Harris-Perry, who has presented critical historical perspective on just about everything at least since she started appearing on MSNBC, it can only be hoped that those who can only decide things based on the superficial, might observe that the buffoon, self-promoter Sharpton only satisfies some self imposed burden to give some “black person” an hour every day, if the object is to demean people and show them to be craven fools. Melissa Harris-Perry fills your quota, if that’s the idea, but adds so much more, not just by insisting that truths not be swept under a rug of nonsensical self congratulations, but by intelligence, education, and ability to present complex issues in a digestible way, and, there is no way to avoid this coming from a adult heterosexual male, extraordinary beauty. When NBC finally comes to its senses and gives Rachel Maddow Meet the Press to restore it as the place to be on Sundays Dr. Harris-Perry ought to take over the 9 pm hour. In the meantime, there should be a place for her now. Like right now.