Wednesday, November 5, 2014
You know, There Were Some Elections This Year.
I have issues with these results. See, in my mind, someone like Rick Scott, who is, to paraphrase The Big Bang Theory, a lab accident away from being a super villain, shouldn't be re-electable. I'm not sure how he got electable. He's a Medicare fraud artist in a state where a lot of folks go to enjoy their golden years. But he ran on an improving economy and blamed his opponent, former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, for blowing the economy in his term in office. That Scott is benefitting from the national economy Obama created, and that Crist was in office right about when the economy kind of took a dump at the end of Bush's presidency, probably never properly got aired. Even that little cock-up over a fan couldn't have put enough wind in Crist's sails--maybe the Democratic party wants to run a Democrat next time?
I'm kind of actively pissed that WI Gov. Scott Walker won re-election. Although the unemployment rate in Wisconsin has vastly improved of late (and just in time for the elections, too--sustainable much?) he didn't quite deliver on his campaign promise regarding jobs. But I feel like the campaign there existed in partisan half-truths and different realities.
In GA, Nunn/Perdue was supposed to be tighter than it was, Braley/Ernst should have been tighter in Iowa, and c'mon--how is Cotton king in Arkansas? There was pretty clearly no bias in favor of Democrats in any polling, given the margins here. Purdue openly boasted about sending jobs overseas. Ernst is an Agenda 21 conspiracy theorist who think that the number of people with Ebola in this country might have been a matter of opinion. And Tom Cotton is a down-the-line unoriginal ideologue who will make Ted Cruz look like Claiborne Pell.
Looney-tune Governor LePage, foul mouth and all, remains Maine's choice for governor. Pat Roberts stays senator from Kansas whether he even lives there or not.
I feel like the Democratic party has to reevaluate what the hell they are doing out there. The War on Women meme is fine enough for feminists like me and maybe all the single ladies, but it didn't save Udall's ass. We need a message that is comprehensive to a lot of folks' needs. We should have hit stronger on economic issues, tied it directly to the successes of the Obama administration, and not let the polls lead.
It shouldn't be so hard to be an unabashed liberal. We have successes to point to, and we have a reasonable constituency if we can only articulate what we intend to do. I think Debbie Wasserman Schultz is, although I like some of her game, not able to work a multi-state strategy. I think we need to recruit younger and meaner candidates; I think we need to go negative in the face of sheer nonsense also.
I don't think younger voters turned out the way they could, and I don't think candidates the past so many months necessarily did what they needed to do to overcome certain GOP advantages. Sure, I can say these contests hinged on narratives and low-information--but if Democratic campaigns didn't introduce their own narratives and educate wherever they could, maybe this is a learning cycle for us. So, like, let's study and learn.
I was never terribly optimistic because numbers and maps say what they say--but Democrats could have still and all done better. I don't know how this will effect future policy. Maybe some folks who sit this election out though, will want to take note.
I also want to address this election as a referendum on President Obama. It strikes me as sincerely stupid that there was no messaging that enabled Democratic candidates to support the natural figurehead of our party--really? Is it not possible that solidarity might have raised everyone up a notch, and that pointing to good Obama economic policy might have counted for something?
To little, too late. Maybe more people should pay attention, though, to how the outcomes of these elections impact us all. Maybe we can change a few things to register as more authentic and cut out a better choice from what the GOP offers. I am disappointed, but hopeful.