By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog
For the first time since I became old enough to vote, I'm thinking about staying home on election day. As I write this, early voting is underway in my state.
Should I care if Republicants regain the majority in this mid-term election? Will I even notice? Congressional Democrats have squandered their majority the way President Bush squandered international goodwill after 9/11.
This Congress did pass health care reform and Wall Street reform, but both in very watered-down forms. (If a Democratic majority can’t get universal health care passed in this country, who the hell can?)
To its credit, Congress quickly jumped into action in response to the Supreme Court’s misguided decision to remove spending limits on political campaigns; the resulting legislation, however, was essentially neutered by its exemption of powerful special interests such as the NRA.
The current Democratic administration has continued and/or defended a number of Bush-era policies, including the Orwellian Patriot Act, which takes away the privacy of ordinary, decent Americans. This administration has also disappointingly kept its promise to forego investigations of the myriad crimes (war and otherwise) and costly mismanagement of the former regime.
Obama's not up for reelection this year, but as the most prominent Democrat, he needs to think about how he's alienating supporters, and how, considering both that and the fact that he's widely reviled on the right, he will keep his job in 2012. It certainly won't be by trying to be all things to all people, and disappointing everyone. He needs to take advantage of the slender majority his party now holds and affect some substantive change before he goes before voters once again.
I left the Democratic Party in 2008 (pre-election), but still voted a primarily Democratic ticket. That party should no longer assume it can "count on me" for my vote. No one should assume disillusioned voters like myself will even show up.
PS: Consternatives may be inclined to say “I told you so” here regarding Obama, but should remember that in their eyes Obama could never do anything right. The push toward DADT repeal and a few other initiatives tells me he can – if guided by the right motivation. They despise Obama as a Marxist/socialist/Islamist/foreign-born liberal. My overall issue with him is that he has not been liberal enough.
PPS: If Obama does not "repent" and change course, I believe there is still hope for this country, with a man called Russ Feingold.