In my previous post on civics, I talked about the structure of the federal government and how it works. Knowing that is a fundamental part being able to get things accomplished, as well as knowing what needs to be fixed. Ideals are wonderful, but if you don’t know how to make those ideals become reality, they’ll remain just that. Ideals. Nice theoretical constructs, but nothing that actually happens. But that’s just one of several governments you should be concerned about if you’re talking about getting progressive ideals into progressive reality. As it turns out there’s another 50 to look at, and yes, the Constitution as well as Congress gives them certain responsibilities. Those are the states.
Tag Archives: Republican Party
As long-term readers of this blog may attest, this was the year that I seemed to disappear. In terms of blog posting, this has been the least productive I’ve ever been. While the circus that is the Republican debates rolls on, as various Republican governors around the country demonstrated that their adherence to the conservative ideology they’d touted while running was real, and as various other things took place, I was sitting on the sidelines when it came to offering up my opinion. To an extent, my lack of posts was due to a case of “been there, done that, got the t-shirts.” Not that that has stopped me in the past, but this year that wasn’t the only reason. This has been a very busy personal and professional year, with some good and some bad. While I had the urge to write something every now and then, it just wasn’t one of my priorities.
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.
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.