There’s one number that says it all about the mid-term elections in this state (Nevada) and I’d guess it would be comparable to other states as well: 45.51% – that’s the turnout percentage. [SoS] Voter turnout in 2012 was a nice 80.77%. [SoS] However, it could have been worse – in the 2010 election the statewide turnout was a miserable 30.12% of active voters. [SoS] Perverse as I am when it comes items in the humor category, there are some things I will find amusing in the next two years as a result of the Big Fizzle. Here they are in no particular order:
Senator Mitch McConnell may very well want to share more Kentucky bourbon with Representative John Boehner. Merely because some newly elected senator shares the same party label doesn’t necessarily mean he or she loves you. Now, who might such hide-bound ideologues like Colorado’s Cory Gardner or the Iowa Pig Snipper Joni Ernst love more? McConnell or Cruz? As Representative Boehner discovered to his periodic humiliation after 2010, one party can have a majority and still not be able to function like a well ordered caucus. The Republicans may have figured out how to make the Tea Party candidates more presentable, but they’ve yet to calculate how to make them useful. I could enjoy watching this scene play out.
Age and craft will be hard pressed to dampen youth and enthusiasm. There are some wonderfully symbolic things the Tea Party GOP members would like to do – like “repeal Obamacare” however doing so would toss millions of Americans out of the health insurance market, and this won’t be very popular even with the insurance corporations which are now making money off the new customers. Youth and Enthusiasm will at least want to allow employers to refuse to offer contraception coverage in group plans – enacting this legislation will alienate yet more female voters, especially those of child bearing age – and the husbands who agree with their wives about family planning.
Should McConnell and Boehner retain their leadership positions, they’ll have to face members of their own caucuses who want to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, defund or dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, disassemble the Department of Education, allow the government to shut down, and impeach the President – for something, anything. Since for many Republicans history only begins in November 2008 they’ll not remember what happened in the wake of the impeachment debacle of Bill (now wildly popular) Clinton, and perhaps not even remember how unpopular their own shut down was not too long ago.
Kids say the darndest things. If the nation learned to love Michelle “Loony Bin” Bachmann from Minnesota, they’re going to be equally enamored of “Granny Get Your Gun” Ernst from Iowa, or Cresent “Bundy Boy” Hardy from Nevada. Politicians don’t get elected without talking, and the more the likes of these two talk the more 24 Carat Comedy Gold will be mined from the veins of Republican politics.
“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned,” spoken by Zara in Act III, Scene VIII The Mourning Bride by William Congreve (1697) Want to get better turnout in the 2016 elections, especially among women voters? Keep opposing equal pay for equal work, and opposing insurance coverage for contraceptive prescriptions, and opposing abortion services for women with life threatening pregnancies, and opposing affordable student loans for the women’s children, and opposing increases in the national minimum wage …. that should do it. And, while we’re being poetic —
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” Robert Browning (Andrea Del Sarto) The aforementioned activities like government shut-downs and impeachments are difficult to stop once the Beltway Bovines start moving as a herd. A free, headlong rush of cattle/Congressmen in a mass impulsive action, makes for great television. The networks will be only too delighted to broadcast these events. But then there was the Gallup polling which reported the following on December 24, 1998:
“Despite the fact that he is only the second President in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, President Bill Clinton received a 73% job approval rating from the American public this past weekend, the highest rating of his administration, and one of the higher job approval ratings given any president since the mid-1960s.”
I’m sure the President would like to see a 73% approval rating. Then there was that 9%-11% Congressional approval rating after the government shut down of 2013. That would be a drop from the current 14% rating. How low can they go?
“Be careful what you wish for,” or was that the title of a Jeffrey Archer novel? Okay, the Senate will be controlled by the Republican(t) caucus. Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell has already offered some timely advice under this heading to the Republicans in Congress:
“I think the Republicans, be careful what you wish for, because if they win the Senate, they better do something, they better send the president some responsible pieces of legislation or they’ll get crushed in 2016,” the former Democratic governor said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
And what might that “responsible” legislation be? If we assume the newly elected Representatives and Senators want to stay in office? 69% of American voters want an increase in the minimum wage. [HuffPo] Gallup did a bit of polling of working women and found the #1 issue among them was equal pay for equal work, none of the other items in the open ended poll came close to the 42%. We’ve known since last July that 92% of gun owners support universal background checks. [TheHill] One could ignore these, or one could “get crushed in 2016?”
Get the popcorn buttered.