U.S. 2010 Mid-term Election Results III

More material and thoughts on the impact of U.S. 2010 Mid-terms.

First, two things to note: The House Republicans don’t have to try to rescind Obamacare, so-called, to do the thing in. They will control various committees including those concerned with funding. They can simply not bring up for a vote the funding needed for various parts of the health care reform legislation. That’ll deep six the thing. LSW is not too clear on why the Tea Bags don’t want to have legislation regulating what the health care insurance covers or who or for how much, but there you go. The genius of the people manages to win out again, depriving themselves of healthcare.

The second thing to notice is that the debt ceiling will need to be raised in order for the government to pay its bills. This vote will come up in January or February and the Tea Baggers don’t want to allow the government to borrow more money and say they may vote no. Good move, basically forcing the government to default on its loans and prevent more loans being taken out. May lead to utter pandemonium in the financial markets screwing up any hope for a return to some sort of normal economy in the U.S. (and elsehwere but we don’t care about them do we?). Tea Bags are really working for the common dude.

On to other fronts –

Bluedog (largely conservative Republican-like) Democrats lost 22 of 46 of their seats up for re-election went down to defeat, according to the Huffington Post. This result LSW finds to be positive as the Blue Dogs stymied progressive legislation as much as the Republicans and as far LSW is aware, made it possible for the Republicans to wield the fillibuster threat, given that defections by Democrats made it impossible to for the Democrats to override the fillibuster. LSW has written about the right leaning strategies of the Democratic Party and the place of the Blue Dogs in that strategy. Along with the fellow that to LSW seems to represent this Republican-in-Democrat-disguise strategy, Rahm Emmanuel who is leaving town to try to fool the folks of Chicago into voting for him, good bye and good riddance to the Blue Dogs and the policy of trying to mollify the perceived Republican leanings of the electorate.

For many years now, since the rise of the Democratic Leadership Council (LSW believes) the Democratic Party seems to be more concerned with winning elections than with running and winning  legislative seats based on principled policies. Rahm and his Blue Dogs seem to be the latest expression of this way of thinking, which has resulted in the Dems getting trounced. Let the Democrats run on progressive policies or just give it up. Who needs pale imitation Republicans?

The Blue Dogs defeat also means according to some observers that the Democratic Party as now conceived is finished in the south. This is a very interesting notion. Seems that the Party along with progressives will have to rethink electoral politics in the south.
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Democracy Now has an interesting segment with Rep. Raul Grijalva (D – Arizona), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. One example:

“And I think, given what the makeup of the House of Representatives is going to be, the role of the Progressive Caucus and progressive members, in general, is going to be beyond the role of loyal opposition to be ineffective and to assure that the legislative items that have to be challenged that the Republicans are going to bring up are also challenged by alternatives that are put together by progressives and Democrats. That lacked the last session, in which we compromised and watered down many, many important initiatives, and I think we paid the price for it.”

He makes the point that the Democrats were too timid regarding their legislative initiatives, in order to protect their vulnerable members (a strategy which it seems to LSW that the Dems have been following since they won the House in 2006). The irony lies in the fact that the voters tossed out the Dems anyway, not taking notice of their careful-not-to-disturb the great unwashed, or maybe it was exactly that lack of initiatives which could have benefited the great unwashed that got them tossed out.

“And, you know, I find it kind of ironic that many of the pieces of legislation—immigration is a good example—that we did not take on was because we needed to protect vulnerable members of our caucus. And as you saw, the opposition to them was not any less, if we had or hadn’t. And you see by the losses that the biggest chunk of losses, huge chunk of losses, for the Democrats came out of that string of conservative Democrats that we spent two years trying to protect”

LSW would like to point out that this Democratic strategy for the timid extends to President Obama’s game plan which seems careful not to disturb the Republicans who ignored him at best and at worst sabotaged his every effort at conciliation thereby preventing any action for the betterment of the common folk.

The segment with Rep. Grijalva also delved into legislative moves on immigration and the possible use of privatization of education as common ground with the Republicans much as Bill Clinton did after the 1994 Republican ‘revolution’ regarding welfare.

LSW quotes Rep. Raul Grijalva in full:

“Yeah, that’s my sense and also my concern, to be quite honest, in that, you know, we had an opportunity to reauthorize elementary and secondary education. We didn’t do that. Now we go back to a session in which the Republicans are going to control the Education and Labor Committee, of which I’m a member, and to deal with the issues that we already rejected. We told Secretary Duncan that his four prescriptions for fixing schools, which were essentially to privatize, close them—we rejected them as a caucus of that committee, as a Democratic caucus. I see those coming back on the table. And, you know, what essentially it does, it makes—when 80 to 90 percent of the kids going through school in this country are coming from urban and poor communities, and this is the time we invest in public education. So, yeah, I see that as a place where people are going to look at a common agenda between Republicans and the White House, but I also see it as a—it could be for public education—very, very slippery slope. And we have to be very cautious and very protective of public education as one of the agenda items.

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