Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mourning in America

Did you vote this past Tuesday (if not sooner)? 

I did.

At a little after 12:00 Noon, I arrived at my neighborhood polling place (Omaha's Dundee Presbyterian Church) and spent the next 45 minutes filling out my four-page ballot, being careful to fill the circles completely. (Lots of candidates and lots of special ballot issues this time.)

Yes, I got home just in time to rest a little bit before going off to my factory job. Man, I was still fired up about having voted.

When I got home from work and turned on my TV set to find out just how this year's US midterm election went, I was furious.  

MSNBC's and CNN's election-coverage hosts were talking about how the Nuts had just snagged complete control of Congress.

That's right. I said "Nuts."   

The Associated Press had reported that America's voters, as a group, were in a funk over the state of the nation's economy. The online article that AP reporter turned in talked about how a sizable number of electors were displeased over the way Barack Obama had been doing things lately. 

What's more, the report stated that, in general, those who cast ballots this past Tuesday didn't like the leadership of either major political party. 

That didn't stop most voters from giving the Nuts enough seats to give them 52 Senate seats all together when the 114th Congress convenes on 1-7-2015. To top it all off, voters enabled the Nuts to extend their lead in the House. 

That's right. I said "Nuts." (After all, Republican leaders had chased the moderates out of that party...leaving the Nuts to dominate it.) 

The way I tell it, voters had no good reason to give the so-called GOP control of the US Senate while giving the party more US House seats than it's presently got. 

Voters: You really believe the people who shut down this country's government and who continually ignore your needs because you don't have Karl Rove's or David Koch's or Charlie Koch's money actually have your back?

This past Tuesday, you poured gasoline on an already-raging fire.

And when John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Co. get through, we're all going to pay. 

You've signaled that you've given up on this country. That's the only way I see it. 
Today's Republicans- especially the Washington ones- have already made it clear that they don't care about passing jobs bills or infrastructure bills or immigration-reform bills or stronger gun-control laws or raising the minimum wage (let alone making the Affordable Care Act- whose guts came from Republican minds to begin with- better).

They only care about getting Obama out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It's a question of time when it comes to how fast McConnell will call for a vote to repeal the ACA...and another one to impeach the nation's first non-Caucasian chief executive (simply because he's non-Caucasian).

You voters, as a whole, let that happen...and so did the ones who wouldn't darken a polling place this week.

Tuesday night, a coworker at my job asked some of her fellow crewmembers if they'd gone to the polls that day. 

It HURT to hear some of those coworkers say "no," let alone hear their excuses: "I didn't study up." "I didn't know it was Election Day." "I forgot." 

Not even the presence of a minimum-wage-increase initiative here in Nebraska could get those folks to the polls. (Luckily, this state's lowest wage, now $7.25 per hour, will go $9.00 an hour by 2016.)  

And what about the Wisconsinites who've been complaining about Gov. Scott Walker's antics...only to let him get back in? And the Kansans who've taken their governor, former US Sen. Sam Brownback, to task over his gutting education funds in the Sunflower State...only to reelect him anyway?

These people had better not complain the next time their governors throw rank-and-file citizens under the bus!  

Now I've got a message for the Democrats who lost a couple of days ago (especially the ones seeking national office or trying to upgrade their national gigs):


Democrats keep throwing away all sorts of votes in midterm elections because these people just won't stand up for their accomplishments. For instance, instead of sticking up for the ACA, too many Donkeys ran away from it! 


Alison Lundergan Grimes really didn't deserve to trade her secretary-of-state-in-Kentucky job for a US Senate seat from the Bluegrass State. It hurts to say that...but when Grimes didn't have the guts to say she voted for Obama (in at least one leap year), she probably lost a ton of support.

And Bruce Braley ultimately cut his own throat by saying that Chuck Grassley was just a farmer without a law degree. Not even an endorsement from The Des Moines Register could bail Braley out. (Sure didn't help Willard Romney in 2012.) 

You just don't knock farmers in Iowa...home of some of the world's most productive topsoil. I spent most of my childhood in Des Moines, and even I know you don't knock the men and women who feed the world.

What's more, I wanted Braley to win in the very state I came from! 

Instead, voters in the Hawkeye State elected Joni Ernst...only because of her cute little "hog castration" commercials.

You know what? Ernst is going to prove just as embarrassing to Iowans as- if not more embarrassing than- the newly-reelected Steve King. 

I can imagine all the meetings Ernst, Thom Tillis (North Carolina's newest US senator), and Ted Cruz are going to have to spread their nut-job ideas. 

So, there you are. I'm still angry about what just went down.

It's hard for me to see whatever silver linings emerged from this century's fourth US midterm election...even the fact that some Florida voters kicked the oily, despicable Steve Southerland out of the US House and replaced him with Gwen Graham, or the fact that here in the Cornhusker State, some of us voters threw Lee Terry Jr. out on his rear end and enabled Brad Ashford to get the seat. 

Now Terry the Younger can enjoy that "good house" a lot longer. 

Still, I'm at the point where I'm reluctant to turn on my TV set and watch the 114th Congress spend the next two years doing further damage to the American Brand.

But then, too many of us asked for this.


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