on the American voting public, or, smearing feces on the walls

It is always interesting to me that when there is an election in a single state the talking heads of various stripes can then make large pronouncements that "the American people have spoken." The Massachusetts voters definitely spoke in this election, but in the Kennedy era wasn't that considered to be an outlying voice? Suddenly Massachusetts is being held up by the right wing as the salt of the earth. Somebody make note of this.

Anyway, it still seems to me that the "American people" spoke quite a bit clearer when they elected Obama and an overwhelming majority of Congress.

Given that there is still a strong Democratic majority in Congress (though no longer overwhelming), it is interesting how quick the mood and tone of public discussion shifts despite popular realities. When you consider what a tiny portion of the American population the minority senators represent it is even more striking how quick there is a rush to discuss the supposed voice of the American voter. The system is seriously flawed when an almost population-free federal colony like Wyoming (population 532,668) has two senators that count for the same votes as those of Virginia, not to mention California, New York, or Illinois, to pick but a few examples.

That all said, no doubt the Democrats have proven themselves to be almost completely incompetent in accomplishing anything other than giveaways to the banks. They have certainly lost any leadership on the major issues of the day. Incompetence and misdirection should be punished. The sad thing is that it is being punished by the republicans, who have proven themselves multiple times to be utterly incapable of leadership, competence, or fiscal responsibilities.

This is like having the monkeys take over from the drunk zookeepers. And monkeys excel at smearing the walls with their own feces, as do Republicans in a theoretical sense (and perhaps literal, though I have not witnessed that). Drunk zookeepers can be kind of charming as long as you keep the keys away from them.

Monkeys, feces, and drunks aside, I think the real lessons from this election, and that in Virginia in the fall that gave us a Republican governor, is that the Dems are running chumps and the bulk of the population simply does not care enough to vote, let alone for a chump. When they did care enough to vote, those much heralded "new voters" and younger voters produced a seriously historic moment with the election of Obama. The numbers of them are more than capable of shifting elections in every state. But these voters have all been staying home, and the elections are being won by the forces of reaction that are quite flatly more organized and committed. Obama won in 2008 through organization and commitment. It is increasingly clear that it could be said the Democrats did not, it was Obama alone.

These new voters tend to be on the lower end of the socio-economic scale, and it would make sense that in this recession they are even lower. Why don't they vote? I actually have no idea. I don't believe that it is because they think they can't make a difference, because the example is that they can and do. I think people simply do not care, which is pathetic.

Which makes me think that this country is going to get what it is asking for and so what it deserves. Indeed , it is not just asking for it but is actively embracing it. What we have coming is accelerated overall decline, lower standards of living and health care for the bulk of the population, continued decay of the national infrastructure, greater disparities in the distribution of income, the continued embrace of imperialism and excuse of torture, and a diminished life in all ways in a fraying society that has passed its prime and refused to make the changes necessary for continued prosperity and development. It is a sad, if not terrible, thing to behold.

Things could change. Witness how quickly the mood shifted from the Democratic realignment last year. But don't count on it. Make way for President Palin...

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