Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Post-Modern Mortem

The days after elections are so much fun. Sort of like the day after Thanksgiving when the turkey and fixin's get a chance to mature and mellow and the remembrance of a holiday is still fresh in the memory.

Well, at least it's like that for the Republicans. They get a chance to gloat and tell the country just how much they're loved and how the voters want them to change the tenor and direction of the debate in Washington and how the war on women didn't work and Hispanics are more interested in the economy than immigration and that the president is not relevant any more and other things that, take a breath please, just aren't true.

Democrats did a terrific job with those rose-tinted political spectacles on their noses hoping that the poll numbers were under-counting the young and African-American and female voters who were poised to spring out of their homes and rescue the party one final time before Obama takes his techno-laden GOTV effort back to... well, wherever he's going come January 20, 2017.

What this election will be remembered for is that the South went all Republican, completing a 150 year flip from solidly Democratic and segregationist to solidly Republican and conservative. We can talk all we want about how diverse the country is becoming; the South is having none of it, even in Georgia where the left left its heart in the not very capable hands of the descendants of Carters and Nunns. What, none of the Mondales or McGoverns wanted to run? And who's up next? A Clinton? We might need to rethink this one.

This election will also be remembered for how ordinary it turned out to be. The unpopular president's party took a beating in his sixth year. Yawn.

The Republicans had better candidates who mentioned rape not once and found that they could win more votes than the Democrats who ran Usain Bolt-like from Obama. Yawn, roll over.

The right finally learned how to use the new media and mobile landscape to close the techno gap that the Democrats owned for two election cycles. Bound to happen. Yawn, toll over, hit the snooze button.

We also got the day-after sermons from the pulpit about how Boehner, McConnell and Obama will now learn to work with one another for the good of the country and find common ground on the major issues that concern Americans in their daily lives. And they said all of these things with straight faces.

What will really happen is that the Republicans will take out their pent-up frustrations with Harry Reid with laser-like precision, using their slim majority to pass as many bills as they can using reconciliation, which only requires 51 votes, rather than submitting legislation that could be filibustered. There will be no climate change regulations or carbon taxes, but we will get the XL Pipeline. There will be no immigration bill with a path to at least being able to stay in the country, but we will get a bigger, thicker, more secure fence in Arizona and New Mexico, ensuring that fruit prices will skyrocket because it will be rotting on the vines and in the fields for lack of pickers. We might even get some modifications to the ACA, but just enough to mess the law up for those who need it most. And we won't get any judicial nominees through the Senate. Period.

The country will muddle through for the next two years with the economy continuing its slow $8.25 per hour recovery, states will continue to lead on marriage equality and legalization of marijuana, lower gas prices will help squeezed households, and technology will wow us anew with its ability to make us more productive and efficient.

Big change, though will need to wait.

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