Yet another morning-after Wednesday in the doldrums; I should be inured by now to the folly of voters but the misalignment is unsettling. No matter how we spin it the results augur an ill-wind for November.
To think it was a mere 3 ½ years ago when I was drunk with Obama and what seemed like the death of the Republican Party. His victory was resounding. The demographics appeared to have introduced a new generation of minority voters and a tide of new consciousness. The opposition, with aged McCain and lunatic fringe Palin, was regarded as irrelevant and insubstantial.
What happened is one of those perfect storms of a stagnant economy, virulent racism, and a fiercely, emboldened Conservative block in Congress along with possibly the most right-wing Supreme Court majority of the past century which unleashed an obscene amount of corporate money into state and local elections.
The inundation of political financing, floods the Internet, radio and T.V. with commercials never seen before. The old Hidden Persuaders are at work with truth-bending and repetitive deceit. Elections have become an exercise in consumerism. Candidates are bought into the same way we buy brand names over generics. Never under estimate the gullibility of the general public. Just get the name out there often enough and it worms its way into the psyche. If Coca Cola pulled their entire advertising budget its absence would be palpably felt.
Obama promised change, whatever that means, and clearly it meant different things to different folks. It has translated into business as usual on Wall St. having retained Bernanke and Summers and installed Geithner. Change has been imperceptible in terms of our Rendition policy and renewal of the Patriot Act, with drone attacks ratcheted up at the risk of a diplomatic breach with Pakistan. Quantanamo remains due to Republican intransigence.
Change from the previous administration came in a new spirit of conciliation, a reaching toward the opposition party as if they were a reasonable, rational, responsible body. Every extension of the hand got slapped, if not bitten off. Even when he adapted moderate Republican positions they were rejected. Liberals gnashed their teeth. Independents turned their back and now assign equal blame to both parties for a gridlocked Congress.
He got no points for killing the bad guys and points off when he attempted healthcare reform. He now finds himself presiding over a falling Dow due mainly to the maxed out credit in Southern Europe. Most importantly, he has taken a hit for the failed Bush economy and impossibility of moving corrective legislation through an implacable Congress.
At the end of the day I’m feeling those familiar post-mortem blues; out of sync with the winds that can bring us to port. What will it take to waken the slumbering undecided? Where have all the flowering students gone? Will the non-white population vote only their wallets? Are we witnessing the numbing effect of sensory overload ... along with intellectual impoverishment? I’d like to believe Wisconsin was an apparition but it may be that I am the apparition and vanishing fast.