After the first debate, a comment I heard in the post debate coverage (sorry- I don’t remember who, or even if it was a “hard” news person, a pundit, or a political operative) to the effect that “Obama seemed like he didn;t want the job (of president), and Romney did”.
And it’s been kicking around in the back of my head ever since. In large part because it reminded me of my predictions during the last election that the GOP was intentionally throwing the election- because they knew how bad things were, and that things would get worse before they got better. And that whichever party was in power during the next four years would have one hell of a struggle to maintain any power.
And frankly, after watching what has become of country, and our government over the last couple of years I don’t know why Obama would want the job. Sucker for punishment? Or is he really that idealistic?
And they almost gambled right. As anyone paying attention predicted- the floor continued to fall out on our nation during Obamas first year, as he raced to actually do something.
But then something they didn’t forsee happen. His plans worked. Not only did the bottom stop falling out, but things started to improve. But by this time we already had the far right be swept into power in congress. And suddenly, things stopped.
For the first time in my 40+ years I watched as americans were put behind power struggles. As the right decided their agenda was more important then the good of our country. We saw a record setting rise in the use of the fillibuster in the senate. And the GOP controlled house setting new records for blocking debate and votes on bills. Setting new records for congress doing…nothing.
At a time when America most needed a wroking government, the far right decided americans be damned- it’s our way or nothing. Let’s make no mistake here. The right has blocked, not defeated, dozens of Obamas jobs bills, as well as budgets and countless other pieces of important legislation. Blocked. Often not even allowing discussion. And certainly not even allowing a vote. Because it’s far easier to point fingers. Because it’s easier to not have to decide to cross party lines for a plan that might actually help americans. Because many on the right have signed Norquist’s pledge of no tax increases, regardless of how many spending cuts they get in return, no matter how much the math says there must be tax “increases” (repealing certain tax cuts and returning them to historic levels).
Our country, and our people, are being held hostage by those with an agenda. An agenda that includes things that have been tried, time and again, and failed. Isn’t that one of the definitions of insanity?
So I am considerring the unthinkable. Calling on those in swing states to vote for Romney. Yes, it will be a hellish 4 year ride. But only 4 years. And the far right catering GOP will not see control, of anything, for a decade or more.
I don’t know, I miss the America we have so often had. When neither party had aboslute control most of the time (and despite the rights claims Obama never enjoyed full control- he had a 1-2 vote majority in the senate for 2 years- a majority too small to override filibusters and that ignores that southern democrats, like northern republcians, often vote with the other party on many issues). An America where politicians actually understood that we had a diverse nation. That ideology came second to the good of the country and its people. Where compromise and the sublime game of give and take that made our country great for so long was the norm, and not a traiterous act.
This election is about far more then two men. Or their ideas. It is about the very things that made this country great vs the narrow beliefs of those who want a country conforming their narrow views. And as such, the congressional votes. the local votes, the judges, governors, mayors etc, are as important, if not more so, then the one everyone seems focused on. And we, the people, get to decide- whether America as our country has known it survives. Or if we choose to become the shortest lived major nation in history.