It is ironic that on the heels of this year’s election, a movie sequel is coming out called, “Dumb and Dumber To” (Two). The Republican wave of 2014 is also a sequel to their bigger wave in 2010 (they won many seats but sequels never perform as well as the originals).
In 2010, American voters were manipulated by their fears to vote Republicans into power and as we all know, it produced fantastic results for the American People. A government shutdown and other threatened ones, threats to refuse to pay our national debts that harmed our economy and credit rating, at least 50 votes to repeal the ACA and strip 10 million Americans of health care, witch hunt investigations into manufactured Obama “scandals” and refusal to pass immigration reform, minimum wage increases, jobs bills or pretty much anything that would help the American People. Near total gridlock and dysfunctionality. Mission accomplished.
And how do Republican and independent voters who elected these Republicans into power respond to that in 2014? “MORE!” At least, in a de facto way they are saying that but is that really what they were thinking? Perhaps not.
Looking back to 2010, Republicans used their tried and untrue approach of fear mongering and lies to scare the public into voting for them. The economy was still crippled and the ACA was on the horizon. So of course, Republicans spread lies about both to terrify voters against their new, traitorous and inept black President who was surely leading the nation to its doom. Republicans claimed Obama was in over his head, feckless and unable to rescue the economy. He was also trying to “shove down our throats” a healthcare plan that would use death panels and bankrupt our nation even if it could recover from The Great Recession. Republicans also promised that if given control in DC, they would fix the economy and bring back jobs.
Even though every one of these lies was proven to be a lie, even though they’ve spent four years intentionally damaging and gridlocking our government, even though they haven’t lifted a single finger to help Americans with jobs, health care or a falling standard of living…a majority of voters have rewarded them with more power to further their destruction of government and economic balance. One big difference though about 2010 was at least they lied about giving people a reason to vote for them. This year, Republicans didn’t even give a reason to vote for them, they didn’t feel they even had to, all they ran on was, “Vote Republican if you hate that traitorous and inept Obama!”
Considering that last night, Republicans elected multiple charged felons, adulterers, open racists, misogynists, economic extremists who have devastated their state and religious fanatics who have urged assassinations, there doesn’t seem to be a “too low to go” for Republican voters. They don’t demand to have a reason to vote for their candidates, they just need to vote against the black President no matter how far more horrible their candidate may be.
To get back to the nature of sequels, the rule of thumb is to copy what was done before as closely as possible while taking for granted that the audience from the original will come anyway, no matter how hollow and poor the sequel is.
In 2010, Republicans spread the fear of a permanent economic purgatory for the nation, a Kenyan Islamist overthrowing our nation and a health care plan that would turn the whole country socialist, intentionally kill Americans and destroy the health care system. I remember Pres. Obama initially not responding strongly to all these lies because he couldn’t believe the American People could be dumb enough to believe such obviously politically manufactured absurdity. He learned a big lesson then and last night, that lesson was repeated for Democrats far and wide.
Obama is letting Ebola into the country and we’re all going to die from it. ISIS is coming to kill us all through our broken borders and Obama is the cause of that. The economy isn’t helping most Americans get back to a better standard of living, and it’s Obama’s fault (after all, he opposes the two dozen permanent jobs that the Keystone pipeline would create and slashing taxes on the wealthy which would create millions and billions of jobs). The world is in turmoil in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, etc. and it’s all Obama’s fault. Presidents should be omnipotent (just like Bush was) and should always be held responsible for anything that happens in the world anywhere that’s bad…well…Democratic Presidents should be (if only we had elected President Romney, neither Ebola nor ISIS would have happened!).
Since so many Americans have the memory capacity of a flea with head trauma, most of those voting Republican yesterday likely had no recall of just four years ago when they were again stampeded by fear and outright lies just to be used as tools to give power to Republicans who have no actual interest in improving their lives.
Too many Americans have become “dumb” voters, they vote on little more than emotion. They feel upset at DC so they knee jerk vote for the party that doesn’t control the White House…even though it is the party they’re voting for that has caused the problems that led to their being upset. The simplistic mindset is that of a toddler, just wanting to throw a tantrum because it’s upset. And how are Americans trained to throw their political tantrums? By voting against instead of voting for.
It’s about as open a secret as there could be. There were no policies, agendas or visions that Republican voters were voting for, the GOP has been very clear that they had one and only one issue to run on against all Dems this year, how horrible Obama is. So there was and is no awareness of these Americans of what they have voted for or what will be in store for them and our government over the next two years (putting aside the vague and ridiculous fairy tale BS they’ve been fed by Repub pols, that jobs and money will fall on them like manna from Heaven if only they were put in power).
It’s like voting against the common cold because you hate it with no thought about having instead voted for the Ebola virus which has been spending billions on running really negative ads against the common cold.
The voting in 2010 was dumb. The voting in 2014 was dumber.
Many of these voters said in exit polls, they wanted change and an end to gridlock. Yet they vote in the party of “no” to more power. It’s just plain dumb and dumber. The Repubs have proven to America that they are dishonest in elections and even go as far as to prevent people from voting so they can win. And yet these voters think their interests will be better served by putting power in the hands of those who claim that they oppose government having power and using it? Then again, maybe these voters just can’t think like that, they’re just upset and desperate and like many who are in that position, just can’t see the big picture no matter how obvious it is.
One can only imagine what will transpire once the Senate changes hands next year. Will the impeachment supporters in Congress be energized? Will financial and environmental protections for Americans be attacked? Will Congress declare one or more new wars? Will Congress try to restrict entry to the country by those aiding Ebola-stricken nations and harm programs to contain the spread? Will it be open season on immigrants, women and civil rights? One thing we know won’t happen is compromise with Obama on important issues so when it comes to the public’s interest, it will be neglected for another two years in favor of politics aimed at 2016. We can probably expect more intense budget and deficit showdowns, wouldn’t be surprising to see a Republican Congress again blackmail the nation, sending a budget bill at the last minute to Obama that contains an Obamacare repeal provision, Keystone Pipeline approval, etc. so they have politically cornered him into doing their bidding or government shutting down.
And an entrenched political battle in DC that shuts down government or defaults on our debt is really going to help you get that new job or higher pay, Republican voters, good thinking! Who knows, you may even lose your health care or drinkable water supply as a dividend! Well done!
There are segments of American voters who have become smarter and better informed, using multiple sources of information, seeking out truths and facts and not relying on the corporate controlled media. Unfortunately, they don’t represent a majority of those who vote in off year elections. Instead, we appear to have a majority who vote their emotions, insecurity over race, disease, terrorism, finances and the future. Scared people and those who scare more easily (including many seniors) are such easy marks for the cynical and power hungry mercenaries of the elite class to manipulate. And people who vote based on blind allegiance are treated like idiots by their own party which doesn’t even feel it needs to give them a positive reason to vote for their candidates, they know such voters will vote blindly for taking away their own job or health care as long as they can vote for a Republican.
The one silver lining here is that if fear and anger are the main motivators of getting Americans to vote for your party’s candidates, after two years of Republican control and abuse of Congress, Democrats should be in a pretty strong position in 2016.