Random Thoughts: The Day After Edition

This makes me feel a little better: “In exit polls, 37 percent [of people voting] said the highest priority of Congress should be ‘spending to create jobs.’ The nearly equal priority was reducing the budget deficit, which 37 percent said was their No. 1 goal.”

Of course, there’s that “spend more, but reduce the deficit” contradiction that “we the people” keep saying we want. “More services, but smaller government!” When are “we” going to learn that we can’t have it both ways?

I sincerely hope the new majority hears this [emphasis mine]: “Repealing health care [reform] is not a priority. 48 percent want to repeal it, but almost the same number want to expand it or leave it the same. Still, it’s just not at the top of their lists. 62 percent said the economy was the most important issue facing the country. Only 18 percent said that of health care. Only 39 percent of the country believes Congress should expand the Bush tax cuts for everyone, another top GOP action item. John Boehner now has the task of pushing these tricky priorities with a caucus made up of many new members who came to Washington promising to be uncompromising.” Good luck with that, John.

See  the whole article here.

This worries me a little bit (from a different article at Slate.com):
“As to his own agenda, Boehner offered only the vaguest boilerplate: ‘cutting spending,’ ‘reducing the size of government,’ and ‘giving government back to the people.’ Instead of clarifying these terms, he repeatedly promised to ‘listen’ to voters and do their bidding. ‘The people’s priorities will be our priorities, and the people’s agenda will be our agenda,’ he said. ‘We are humbled by the trust that the American people have placed in us. And we recognize that with this trust comes the responsibility to listen, and listen we will.'”

EEK. Has Boehner been listening to the people? They’re incoherent!

Anyhoo, to sum up my own feelings about these here midterms:

1. I don’t think we gave President Obama or the Democratic congress enough time to right the wrongs of the previous administration.
2. I still really like our President. A lot.
3. He did, actually, get a lot of shit done. I like Mom-101’s take on it. To sum her up: “Policy over politics. Man, I wish we had more of that around here.” (And I also like Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson’s thoughtful article. I think it’s the thoughtfulness of it.)
4. If I hear one more person say, “They rammed health care reform through” after it took 18 months of crafting and compromise, Ima hurt something.
5. WHERE WERE ALL THE YOUNG’UNS who came out to vote in 2008? Maybe someone should have explained to them how important it was TO KEEP ON VOTING. (Okay, to be informed and keep on voting.) It’s not a one-time deal, or something they only have to do every four years in Presidential elections. Someone get on that, okay? Thanks.

Upshot: We now have a Congress that is going to have to work with the President. Or face the voters’ wrath over broken government all over again in two years. We now have a President who is going to focus on what the Republicans say they are interested in working on (smaller government, spending cuts, deficit reduction). They have claimed these issues; now let’s see how serious they are.

At least Boehner isn’t claiming a mandate, as Gingrich did in 1994. That gives me hope.

I also confess: I am already itching to vote Toomey out. I can’t believe I have to wait six years. Corbett I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Pennsylvania is the land of moderate governors, regardless of party (See: Tom Ridge, Bob Casey), so I’ll go with the flow on this one.

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10 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: The Day After Edition

  1. The young’uns voted. Facebook and Twitter told them to. I know kids in their 20’s who are conservative/republican/morons. They’re no longer my Facebook friends.

    • I hope you aren’t taking my comment personally. 🙂 In comparison with the number of “young people” (I’m guessing 18 to 25 is the demographic they mean; I really should look it up, huh?) that turned out to vote in 2008, attendence was radically down this year. And, yes, the majority of young people who voted were Republicans. They were charged up. Young Dems and independents weren’t feeling it (for the most part).

      I’m glad YOU voted. I did, too.

  2. That’s the great trick that the Republicans continually pull… misdirecting the people into voting against their economic self-interest. They use the boogie-man issues like immigration, gay marriage, gun rights, and nebulous concepts like “liberty” to scare people into voting in a crowd that will then turn to servicing their REAL constituency: the corporate execs, king-makers and other moneyed interests.

    Oh, my, how long was that sentence? I demand shorter sentences right now! But they still have to convey multi-pronged thoughts.

    • I sat down with my ILs and we had (believe it or not) a sober, non-confrontational conversation about this. And their big thing was abortion (and my FIL mentioned prayers in school). And I said, “What about jobs and taxes and the economy?” And they adamantly shook their heads and said their religious values came first. I was FLABBERGASTED. I am just as good a Catholic as my FIL, and I would never put stem cells or abortion (and I’m against the latter) ahead of jobs. Maybe it’s a concept of the greater good, or helping people who are already here (and maybe trying to end the cycle of poverty that can lead to unwanted pregnancy and abortion); maybe it’s just them swallowing the conservative message. I honestly don’t know. But it’s exhausting.

      Two years ago, the Republican party was dead; this year it’s the Dems. It’s a cycle, and I guess some of us are going to have to wait until our turn comes around again. And hope all the work and progress Obama made doesn’t disappear in a flash like Clinton’s surplus did under Bush.

    • Quite respectfully, immigration is not a “boogie-man” issue. In Pittsburgh, it may be, but here in the Southwest it is a huge problem and is interfering with the economy and the ability of states to carry out their business. Our borders are not safe. I live less than 3 miles from the most dangerous city in the world–please forgive me if I want to support candidates that are serious about securing the borders and making the area I live safer.

      • While I see your point, @Lauren, I think illegal immigrants can be cast as boogie-men in some cases. It’s unfortunate to hear about how they are going to steal our elections through voter fraud (not happening) or that the new health care law will cover them (it won’t). These scare tactics take away from real issues that you refer to. I know for myself that I would like to know that a candidate or candidates are working on reform, a way to turn illegal immigrants into law-abiding tax paying citizens of the United States. But I don’t live close to a border, so I can’t speak to border safety as well, although I certainly would want to feel safe in my hometown.

      • The problem with border towns is that the large influx of illegals puts a strain on both the health system and the legal system. Emergency rooms are crowded enough, but many illegals come here for care knowing that they will get it even if they can’t pay (having babies here is a HUGE deal because they won’t deport the mother of a newborn U.S. citizen.) Additionally, our state law enforcement often has to deal with the crimes committed by illegals in addition to the regular crime that goes on. It costs more and it takes their time from doing what they’re supposed to, which is protect and serve the citizens. Border Patrol does not have enough authority to prosecute crimes, all they really have the power to do is drop a border crosser off across the border, only for them to cross again.

        I would just like to see candidates that are for *securing the border* meaning adding additional numbers (and powers) to border patrol and additional national guard troops (Arizona got 200 troops for over 1000 miles of border, not enough) to monitor the border. Then worry about dealing with the ones that are already here. I am not opposed to them staying, but they need to be on tax rolls if they are sending their children to school and using our services, that’s all.

        In a country as large as the United States, everyone has their own issues (often based on where they live) that are important to them. I realize all this is not a huge deal in Pittsburgh (still the only place I’ve been to in the last 5 years where everything isn’t in both English and Spanish) but it still needs to be dealt with. I would hope securing the border is something both parties could agree on, unfortunately neither wants to upset the Hispanic voting block (Arizona immigration bill not withstanding.)

  3. As I keep saying, Democrats are never more popular or organized as when Republicans are in power. I only wish they would have taken the Senate, too. A 1 or 2 seat majority won’t do the Dems much good. (For Pete’s sake, a 20 seat majority didn’t do them much good!) If there was a complete GOP congress, then Dems could blame them when they fail to make things better. Now, the GOP will still be able to blame the Senate for their failiings.

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