Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Election 2014: Where I Differ from the Punditry

This is America's idea of a leader? SMH.
Image from source, TPM.
I just got done reading the post excerpted below. It's from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo, one of my go-to guys on one of my go-to blogs. And I fundamentally disagree with him. And agree with him. Let me explain.

Election night was a doozy: great for Republicans, dire for Democrats. This much is true, and is indisputable. It is being described (by Marshall and others) as a massive "national tide" or "wave." Marshall goes so far as to say the results are, ". . .about the national political climate." Excuse me, but no, they're not. And yes they are. But, no first.

No, because this wasn't a national election, not really. As everyone knows, liberals and Democrats are notoriously difficult to rouse in off-year or mid-term elections. I don't know why this is so, but it's so. Also, the right-wing base is extraordinarily easy to get to the polls. Any time, really. So this "tide/wave" isn't really all that big. It was effective, but does not necessarily indicate the national political climate. Unless the only climate you care about is this small group of voters.

And yes, because, well. . .there is a level of political "truthiness" going on here. The GOP (and its support network, your FOX "News," your Rush Limbaugh) has done a bang-up job painting President Obama as a ruthless, Maoist, fascist, Marxist, socialist, communist, you name it, negative-ist caricature. He's also a feckless, gormless, lazy, rudderless, incompetent boob who can not, will not lead, except "from behind." Forget that he really can't be all of those things, the cognitive dissonance somehow sells. This sales pitch has become part of the national political climate whether it is true or not. And Democrats--by and large--treated it like it was true as much as Republicans did. Economic indicators are up. . .just about every measure that should have the president's party doing well is good. But people are angry! Why? Because they just are.

So, this wave is both not as large as it's being portrayed, even though its results were. And though this may portend a national political climate, it is also kind of baseless and lacking substance. How's that for some cognitive dissonance?

Now, let's see how crazy this gets.


What Does It Mean?
No two ways about it - a big, big night for the GOP. We won't know the outcome in Louisiana until December. But it's now looking likely that the GOP will end up with a 54 - 46 seat majority in the next Congress. We still haven't heard from Alaska. And we can't totally count Landrieu out. But this is close to a maximal win for the Republicans. . .

Read more at: Talking Points Memo

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