Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Riding A Gigantic Angry Wave

The voters of Massachusetts have spoken, electing Republican Scott Brown to fill the late Teddy Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat. Brown upset the Democratic challenger, Martha Coakley by winning 52 percent to 47 percent. The win gives the GOP 41 Senate seats, enough to block the health care legislation and to prevent Democrats from blocking their filibusters
Brown’s victory was a series of Republican wins in a nation driven crazy by the perceived jackbooted tactics of President Obama’s Administration, which began with thunderous approval and ovation a year ago.

Now, 12 months later, the country’s political landscape is fractured and festering amid renewed promises by the minions of a certain couscous-munching mastermind who wants Americans to be blown out of the skies and an economy struggling to jumpstart itself.

What a difference a year makes.

In January of 2009, the National Mall in Washington overflowed as millions cheered Obama on his momentous, history-making inaugural. Now, the atmosphere in Washington is buzzing with a new mantra, one where giddy Republicans who a year ago were about to commit political seppuku, rose phoenix-like from the ashes of a bungled health care reform and an America that reminds one not of the shining city on the hill, but of the childlike dystopia from Logan’s Run.

It began with a fierce partisanship not seen in years, when good people recalcitrant to accept a change of political ideology, boiled with rage at it, and even conspired to defeat it. At its core, the sunshine patriots, the Biblical zealots, the nomads and hermits seething with rage in their subterranean Montana bunkers at a president who seemed so out of touch with their values. But rapidly, the movement gained momentum and others came aboard for the ride: the Teaparty Republicans (or Teabaggers as they’re called in some circles), the Dittoheads, Birthers, the Ma and Pa Businesspeople forced to close shop, the Palinites, the moralists and anyone else who fears a large government branded as “socialistic.”

While the GOP started the torch and pitchfork party, they didn't finish it. The independent voters, pissed off at Beltway stagnation and special interests, joined in the backlash and voted Republican.

It only takes a little spark to grow a conflagration.

With the election of Republican governors in Virginia and New Jersey, the GOP touted its message and took it as a sign from providence that the Democrats were on the losing side of history. Robert Creigh Deeds, Jon Corzine and now Coakley were sacrificed on the pyre of Vox Populi, driven from office by a horde of unsatisfied voters. Democrats really have to screw up to lose Massachusetts, a state that's is so liberal, the state flower is cannabis.

Now all the liberals and social progressives and self-righteous Ivy League douchebags who sniggered at Republicans for being gun-toting Neanderthals are crying in their granola. Teddy Kennedy's corpse is doing cartwheels in the grave and the Democratic Party is like a one-armed juggler: sad to watch but morbidly entertaining.

Barack Obama had become the new Macbeth, driven by ambition without realizing his scheme will backfire into a bloody mess of political casualties as one loss after another his party disintegrates before him.

Unlike France in the 1790s, this revolution won’t have guillotines. Yet heads will roll in the corridors of Washington and around the country. The unwashed masses have spoken and sent a mandate to Obama.

For a while, it looked like the Democrats had turned a corner. It appeared the party of nebbish intellectuals who were too smart for NASCAR and too remote from Main Street had caught the imagination of the American voters with Obama. No more would the party field weak candidates like Al Gore or John Kerry. Obama was a different animal, a creature comfortable with his destiny and determined to live out his Horatio Alger rags-to-riches destiny on the American stage.

Yet that didn’t happen. Something got lost in translation. So focused to prove his might, he spent all of his political capital on healthcare instead of working to repair the economy, not with gimmicks like Cash For Clunkers or the bloated American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but with incentives for businesses that grow private sector jobs.

In wanting to be the dashing Paladins that would save America, the Obama Administration became the jesters pilloried and pelted to death by public distrust and scorn. Their enemies mustered enough resentment that drowned every good intention Obama meekly tried putting forward. Americans, tired of being lectured and scolded like they were to blame, rode that gigantic angry wave to the polls and spanked the Democrats.

Obama, in trying to be a Superman President and international wunderkind, became the catalyst for his own party’s undoing, accompanied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a liberal wing of the Democratic Party that cared more about pushing their own agenda than about bipartisan concessions.

This isn’t to say Obama’s critics should be canonized. Most of them are hired guns pushing their own agendas, distorting records and playing on the public’s fears of liberals as the 21st century bogeymen.

The tragic irony of recent politics is the tone set a year ago is like a cocaine high, one where the adrenaline-pumping rush pushes you to a dazzling state of euphoria. America thought it had found the answer in Barack Obama. They thought that prejudice and bigotry were antiquated concepts and that he’d lead the country into a new era of prosperity.

They’d bitterly discover that behind the fawning media coverage and idolization, Obama was only human, susceptible to mistakes and miscalculations. Instead of sweeping change, we got the same Congressional leaders. We got the same politics of acrimony and spite. We got pandering, pettiness and an egotistical party that made the worst dungeon-crawling nightmares that inhabited Dick Cheney’s inner circle seem like a high school glee club by comparison.

Now the pendulum is swinging the other way, and the Democrats, who showed so much promise a year ago, are fleeting like rats on the Titanic, shuddering at their recent misfortunes at the polls.

Is America better off for it? Only time will tell. Maybe a changing of the guard is a hard slap across the face and a cold shower for them. Perhaps the underdog’s seat is where they’re most comfortable. You can’t crow about standing up for the little guy if you control all the seats.

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