Wednesday, November 3, 2010


On election night, every time I turned on the TV, what I heard were Democrats coming up with one excuse after another for their election defeat. I heard about 'enthusiasm gaps'. I heard about how historically the party in power loses mid-term elections. I heard long discussions about why the Democrats 'get-out-the-vote' efforts didn't seem to work.

But there was one word conspicuously absent from these discussions. "Change". You remember that word, don't you? Two years ago, Mr. Obama always spoke from a podium with the word "Change" plastered onto the front. Mr. Obama stood underneath giant banners that read "Change". Mr. Obama's speechwriters seemed to have the competitions on how many times they could put the word "Change" into his speeches.

And, if you want to know why the Democrats just went down in defeat, the word "Change" is the answer. Mr. Obama and the Democrats ran for office promising "Change", and they failed to deliver. Even worse, Mr. Obama and the Democrats failed to even try to deliver.

The sad thing is that the best politics for Mr. Obama and the Democrats would have been to be very aggressive in trying to deliver "Change". With that strategy, if the Republicans were to try to block this popular President, then that would have set the Republicans up as being the party going down to an historic defeat in these elections.

Instead, the Democrats adopted the same Republican policies that had ruled the country since Mr. Obama's favorite President, Ronald Reagan. This combined with a massive spin effort to try to fool their base into believing that they really had delivered "Change". But with the bizarre notion that somehow everyone had missed this fact.

The Democrats apparently based this campaign on the assumption that the American people are stupid. I heard one Democrat analyst talking about how Mr. Obama and the Democrats had cut everyone's taxes but weren't getting credit for it. This assumes the American voters are stupid. Does he think that no one notices how much they pay in taxes when they file every April? If our taxes had gone down by any significant amount, does he think we are all too stupid to have noticed? Somewhere down in the decimal points, he's probably factually correct. Maybe our taxes did go down. But not so much that anyone could notice without pulling out last year's tax return and getting out a magnify glass to see the "Change".

Meanwhile, an antiwar majority in America has tried in two straight elections to end the wars by voting Democrat. Anti-war America elected a Democrat majority in Congress to end the wars in 2006. Then they sent Mr. Obama and even more congressional Democrats to Washington in 2008 for the same purpose, to end these wars. Instead, what they got was first the Democratic congress serving to guarantee Mr. Bush's war funding. Then they got Mr. Obama expansions of these wars in Afghanistan and into Pakistan. Then just before the election, they got raids on antiwar activists, and talk just before the election of sending 'hunter-killer teams' into Yemen. In other words, "No Change."

Americans had been telling pollsters for years that their biggest issue was health care. The Democrats had always twisted this into trying to insure a few more of the uninsured. A worthy cause, but only a fraction of the health care concerns that Americans have had. This redirecting of the issue ignores all the problems with insurance companies denying care and coverage. And it ignored for-profit hospitals charging $3 for an aspirin or $20 for a bag of salt water.

What the Democrats did once they were in Washington was to immediately take any real health care reform off the table. Instead, the Democrats made it very clear that protecting the profits of some of the most hated corporations in America was their top priority. After all, Obama alone had gotten $30 million from big health corporations in the last election. So, the CEO's of those companies were getting private meetings to plan health care 'reform' in Mr. Obama's oval office, while advocates of single-payer were being led out of the Democrat's congressional hearing rooms in handcuffs.

What we got handed to us as 'health care reform' was instead a plan to help corporate profits at the expense of the health and wallets of Americans. The Democrats passed a four year ban on any reform of health insurance. That's just the opposite of what the "Change" the voters were asking for. The American voters were not asking for the Democrats to prevent any health care reform for four years. And American voters were certainly not asking to be forced into becoming mandated customers of the very corporations from which they were crying for help and protection.

Last night, the Democrats were on the television talking about how they aren't getting any credit for their reforms. I'd say the Democrats were getting exactly the credit they deserved.

Meanwhile, another fact that the American voters keep telling pollsters is that they think corporations and Wall Street have too much power in America. Again, the Democrats did just the opposite. The first week in power in January 2009, the Democrats ran around telling everyone that we had to pass bailouts of hundreds of billions of dollars for Wall Street. Remember how that just had to be passed on a Tuesday, because if we waited until Thursday to open our treasury to the Wall Street robber barons then we would all be doomed?

Then we saw the Democrats pass a 'Wall Street reform' bill that was so loophole ridden and useless that Wall Street cheered when it passed.

And in this election, where voters were telling the pollsters the obvious fact that in the middle of the biggest "downturn" since the Great Depression that their biggest concerns were the economy and jobs. The Democrats responded to this by giving Americans the economic policies of Mr. Obama's favorite President, Ronald Reagan. The Democrats gave hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars to Wall Street in the hopes that some of this might trickle down to the rest of us. Then, when Americans asked for some real stimulus or job creation programs, Mr. Obama told us that all the money was gone, that we had a big deficit, and that ordinary Americans were going to have to be responsible for their own recovery.

Given all of that, is it any surprise that the American voters rejected this bunch of Democrats yesterday?

None of this was coming from the mouths of the Democrat spin machine on the television last night. We heard of all sorts of reasons why the Democrats lost. But the one thing that they would not say is that the Democrats had lost because they had failed to deliver the "Change" they'd promised.

Overall, I feel that last night was a major victory for the progressive movement and the left in general. It may not seem like it with the Republicans in charge of the House, but look at it this way. The Democrats will certainly run on "Change" again. In a country where a majority of the voters have been telling pollsters that they think the country is moving in the wrong direction for decades now, its become standard operating procedure for politicians to run on "Change". We even get the strange sight of incumbents running on "Change" because the idea is so popular with the voters.

So maybe, just maybe, somewhere deep within the bowels of the corporate Democrat political machine, maybe a smart analyst is thinking the thought that maybe the next time the Democrats get power, that they should actually deliver some real "Change".

That's the good news. In the long run, last night the American voters took a positive step forward towards actually getting some "Change" by defeating the politicians who had failed to deliver what they had promised. We were not getting any "Change" today no matter who won last night's elections. But, with this defeat of the politicians who had failed to deliver, we sent a powerful message that tells future politicians that they had better plan on delivering the "Change" that they so easily promise in every election.

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