Friday, November 9, 2012

The Election: Part II

In yesterday's post I discussed the changing demographics and the Republican party's inability to adjust -- or, at times, even acknowledge -- to them.

Why this election was Important

There are may signs that the American economy is improving -- albeit slowly and fitfully. Many things can go wrong, including serious and expensive consequences of climate change and serious and expensive consequences of Congress's inability to come to terms on financial policy in the face of the vast tax increases and spending cuts due at the end of the year. I think that some sort of compromise will probably be made, though it will likely be distasteful. In any case, in several years it is likely that unemployment will be down and GDP and the stock market will be much higher.

Had Obama lost this election, the credit for whatever upturn may occur would have gone to
Romney, the Republicans, and their crazy theory of trickle-down (ugh!) economics. This would enable the Party for The Rich (PTR, formerly GOP) to claim credit, as so often happens, for policy decisions made previously by others (e.g. Obama's "stimulus" package and the withdrawal from two wars). This in turn could easily have led to 8 or more years of conservative policies under several Republican administrations -- postponing the politically progressive effects of the changing demographics for perhaps another generation.

In addition, there is a real chance that Obama has learned enough about the PTR to understand that "bipartisanship" is a meaningless term these days, and compromise by Democrats has meant, too often, capitulation to off-the-wall Republican reactionaries. We have paid a price for Obama's on-the-job training, and it would have been a pity to lose that investment.

Maybe I'm a dreamer, but I like to picture Obama proposing serious recovery programs -- including transfer of federal funds from the military into "clean energy" and infrastructure. I'd like to imagine him accompanying each of these proposals with news conferences and public addresses explaining and advocating for them (something he barely did for health care), while asking people to pay attention to the responses they get from the Republicans. Wouldn't it be wonderful if each time the PTR tries to sabotage his program he calls them out loudly and publicly on it? That's what a real activist President -- like FDR -- would do.

Obama strikes back: Remember when Mitch McConnell said that the priority of the Republican party would be to ensure that Obama is a one term President? (If you don't, here is the video.) I hope Obama can skillfully rub his nose in that; also, dump on the cowardly John Boehner and the vile Eric Cantor. These three guys need to be surgically neutralized and ridiculed. Maybe Obama and the Democrats can get some of their "Hollywood friends" to write the lines: subtle, humerous, devastating. Oh, and while we're at it, what about some further examination of the record of that hood Darrell Issa? For more details, see the New Yorker article on Issa.

And then there's the Supreme Court: need I say more?

Finally, for today: Can we at last put Sheldon Adelson behind bars? He spent maybe $100 million supporting various Republican candidates for President -- first Gingrich, then Santorum, and finally Romney -- in the hope that electing one of them would save him and his casinos from further investigation into violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act -- see this Times piece for more info -- or Google it.

Whew: nice that the right person won the Presidential election a few days ago!

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