Back in the heady days right after the 2008 election, there was a lot of gloating going on in various Democratic circles, particularly on the progressive blogs, about the Republicans whining about what “could happen.” One of the sayings thrown back at them was the title of this post, “Elections have consequences.” It can be put more rudely as “We won, you lost. It sucks to be you.” There was a lot of chatter about a “permanent Democratic majority,” and on the state scene here, discussions on how Democrats could take the last two Republican held seats in Congress. Looking back over the past 4 years, that was hubris, the “pride that goeth before a fall.” You see, despite saying that elections have consequences, they didn’t believe it.
Tag Archives: Republican Party
Over the past several years, I’ve had to listen to conservatives talk about “job killing environmental regulations” and how we should be doing more exploitation of fossil fuels. As they put it during the 2008 campaign, “Drill baby, drill!” Yes, if only we would wave aside all those “greenies,” open up public land and offshore areas to drilling, build the Keystone XL pipeline, and get out of the hair of those who want to frack new areas, we would hit the promised land of cheap gas and energy independence. Life would be good, right?
Over the past week since the election, I have seen a number of political blogs talking about various progressive ideas that are favored by “the majority” of the American people, and they’ll cite various opinion polls to back that up. Want a higher minimum wage? Immigration reform? Equal pay for equal work? Those are just a few of the topics that opinion polls will tell you that a majority – sometimes a large majority – of the American people support. It’s comforting to see, but then you have to look at the actual election results. Republicans, who have been stridently blocking action on any of those topics, and in many cases are actively against them, just got handed a majority in the Senate and increased their existing one in the House. There’s a reason for that: Only about 36% of the eligible voters actually showed up.
One of the myths surrounding vampires is that they can’t see their reflection in a mirror. I’ve come to the belief that there’s a certain “vampiric” nature with conservatives, at least when it comes to seeing their reflection. I started thinking about this while reading an article about Laurel County in Kentucky.
In southeastern Kentucky, hardship and need seem to spring forth from the cracks and crevices of the lush green rolling hills; they line the dulcet tones of the people who matter-of-factly recount their struggles to stay afloat. For the last half-century, the conundrum of calcified, generational poverty has stumped policymakers, with the luckless denizens of Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains one of its most enduring symbols.
I’ve seen the same story repeated in many of the rural areas where I’ve lived. Jobs are few and far between, with those that are there often paying substandard wages. People struggle to “get by,” and the young leave for better opportunities elsewhere. Sad? Yes. But here’s the thing: They’re also often represented by … Republicans.
One of the subjects I’ve devoted some time to here over the past few years has been the subject of regulations. As I pointed out earlier this year, there are reasons we have regulations. Most often, those reasons are remembered when … they aren’t followed, enforced, or not there to begin with. According to conservatives, regulations are “unnecessary” and the “free market” will behave properly or correct itself if left alone, all evidence from the past and present to the contrary.
One problems I have with conservatives is that they’ve turned the debate into defending the need for them in the first place. I’d rather have a much different conversation.