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Corporate Money Wins

It is just after 9pm on the west coast, and Nate Silver is predicting that the Republicans will take over the House while Democrats will keep control of the Senate, but just barely. But what makes me a bit sad is that Silver is saying that the Republicans seem to be doing slightly better than the polls predicted.

Why sad? Because for the Republicans this election is the triumph of Rovian politics over governance. You can drive the country into the ground, lie the country into war, torture, give billions to your friends, and still win elections by just attacking the other side relentlessly and with little regards for the truth.

The results show that the American people are less interested in how you actually govern the nation, and vote more based on politics — how things are spun. This is a victory for political pundits, and the organizations (and corporations) they work for. It isn’t just that a majority of people in this country believe things that are most certainly not true. It isn’t just that the reason that corporations are pouring unprecedented amounts of money into political ads is because it works, so we are getting the best government that money can buy. It isn’t just because racism and intolerance are alive and well in the US. And it isn’t just because the media has abdicated their vital role.

No, it is because that after all the Hope that was inspired in us for the last election, the voters just don’t care any more. It isn’t Obama that has let us down, we have let ourselves down. We have the power to take back the country from the corporations, but we are too busy eating hamburgers and fries at MacDonalds.



  1. Bard wrote:

    Bravo, No one has yet to explain how a Party that has said NO to everything these last two years is going to somehow fix things.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  2. TJ wrote:

    I agree with everything, especially BARD. I have yet to hear a concrete example of something that will be cut to create the magical deficit reduction without raising taxes.

    However, I still hold out some hope (because what else can I do – we’re stuck with these people for 2 and 6 years now) that some of the new Republicans coming in mean it when they say things like this:

    “We’re making a great mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican party,” Mr. Rubio said in his 15-minute speech. “What they are is a second chance — a second chance for Republicans to be what they said were going to be not so long ago.” – Senator-elect Marco Rubio (R-FL)

    Also, I really liked the speech of Senator-elect Joe Manchin from WV.

    Finally I hope that the Democrat takes the Senate seat in WA and the Dems actually control the Senate, rather than relying on the 2 independents for that.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  3. Jonah wrote:

    Arnold should thank whitman and fiorina for the close to 200M stimulus. I’m sure it was appreciated.

    I’m hopeful because the nuttiest of the tea party candidates didn’t get elected. I’m disappointed that the republicans after having won the house are now intent on repealing HCR instead of improving it.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 5:27 am | Permalink
  4. patriotsgt wrote:

    I hate to break the bad news to everyone but this did not have to do with corporate money. If it did then Meg, Carly, Linda and Sharon would be in office. Unless you are saying that corporate money elected their opponents (which alot of corp money did go to the opposing campaigns). What you are not seeing or realizing is this was less about a republican victory, which is why there was no fireworks, and more about “cut the bull washington and start thinking about the american people!”. Americans are sick of 2000-2006 big spending Repubs and the 2006-2010 bigger spending dems. They want washington to live within its means like the rest of us and do their jobs, or in 2 years they’ll change them out again.
    I have heard time and again that Obama is a moderate, but he has governed from the left driven by his far left. Now, he will be forced, like Clinton who went kicking and screaming (Gov had to be shut down)to the middle and he’s now thought of as a great president. If Obama is 1/2 as smart as people say he’ll do the same. If he does, he’ll be a 2 term president, if not a 1 and done like Carter.
    Like it or not the US is a middle right country, always has been and though we lean too far one way or the other at times, the voters seem to pull us back to where we need to be. On the doomsayers worried about healthcare, wait, see what develops, with no “my way or the highway” Pelosi in charge and a muzzled and humbled Reid it will be easier to fix HCR then repeal it. It would be a monumental undertaking to repeal it and distract from real other work like it was during its creation.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:05 am | Permalink
  5. no u wrote:

    Maybe if Obama’s government didn’t pass the bill saying corporations could fund campaigning unlimitedly…this wouldnt be happening.

    Doesnt matter anyway, Rep and Dem are the same thing, just giving you the false sense that you have a choice.

    [wow, this has to be one of the stupidest comments anyone has ever left on this blog. Does anyone actually believe that Obama “passed the bill saying corporations could fund campaigning unlimitedly”? — iron knee]

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:25 am | Permalink
  6. Jason Ray wrote:

    The amount of spending in this election cycle was obscene, and when big corporations invest hundreds of millions of dollars you have to ask yourself what they are trying to buy. With deficits where they are, and the economy where it is, you know that if the Democrats had remained in firm control they would have focused on big business – and big business just hired the Republicans to prevent that from happening.

    Obama and the Democrats swept in 2008 because people were angry – Republicans took control of the House because people are STILL angry. What is going to be the biggest challenge for BOTH parties is that while the anger is clear, the solutions are not, and if the Republicans try to take this result as a “mandate” to go back to the same policies they pushed under W, they will lose power as fast as they gained it. From a series of recent polls on big issues, voters split:

    39% want the highest priority for the next Congress to be reducing the budget deficit, while 37% want Congress to increase spending to create jobs and 18% want Congress to focus on cutting taxes – which will also increase the deficit.

    39% want all Bush era tax cuts extended, 37% want them extended only for those making less than $250,000 a year, and 15% wants to let them expire for all.

    48% think the health care reform bill should be repealed, 47% think it should be left as is or expanded.

    And those are the numbers from people that backed the Republican sweep – give the independents some more negatives on the Republican side and all of those polls could easily move the other way.

    Bottom line, the country and the voters are deeply conflicted and no one trusts EITHER party to get the job done, so it will be interesting to see what happens now.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink
  7. TJ wrote:

    Patriotsgt – assuming I accept your premise that Obama will be forced to the middle now and that that is a good thing, the problem is that the right was not and presumably will not be forced to do the same. You say Clinton did it. Obama will have to do it. But Bush II didn’t have to and dragged out his last two years kicking and screaming and staying right where he was. If the right was forced to come back to the middle too, we’d be a lot better off.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:37 am | Permalink
  8. Jeff wrote:

    My favorite point during the evening was when Katie Couric spoke with GOP whip Eric Cantor, asking him about CBS exit polls that showed that those who wanted health care repealed were equal to those who wanted it to stay the same or be expanded. Eric Cantor then turned the argument around and cited different data that broke the question along party lines and showed the GOP overwhelmingly opposed, Dems overwhelmingly for, and independents right in the middle. Cantor said this showed how a “majority” of the American People wanted reform to be repealed.

    It’s a sign of our times when a prominent politician like Cantor can completely disregard factual evidence and logic to make a point that doesn’t make sense.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:39 am | Permalink
  9. jonah wrote:

    PGT, i;m not sure what your definition of the left is. If obama was a true lefty he would have withdrawn from Afghanistan, he would have pushed for a public option, he would have pushed for a bigger stimulus and he would have probably tried to pass legalization of marijuana amongst the many other leftish things he could have done. I don’t think you can define Obama because unlike most of our previous presidents he is intelligent and that means he tries to be pragmatic about his position. IMO the country is lucky to have a president like him.

    I also disagree that the country is center right. I think the country is center left with the center referring to americans being frugal and the left referring to their acceptance of several social issues they would not have accepted several years ago like a black president and gays in the military.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:46 am | Permalink
  10. patriotsgt wrote:

    TJ – I don’t think Bush 43 kicked and screamed his last 2 years. He pretty much went along with Pelosi and company because he had to or they wouldn’t fund his war effort. He put immigration reform on the table and allowed the last 2 defense spending bills loaded with 40% pork to go through which helped send the deficit through the roof. No, i think he was a whipped puppy his last 2 years. He didn’t lead or fight just hid in his house and left quietly.

    Jonah – On the center L or R. Center R on fiscal conservatism and perhaps several other issues like constitution, God, church and military. We are also capable, as you pointed out, of being tolerant and/or accepting of pro choice, gay rights, immigration reform, and green issues. If you take away the 2 coasts (east and west) then we have solid middle right. The 2 coasts (must be the ocean air)are solid middle left. I guess I can see it going either way on non fiscal matters. However, given the current economic issues and challenges the fiscal conservative approach apparently won over in the election. I know the analogy used by the President and others that republicans drove the car into the ditch and dems pulled it out, but what voters just said was yeah, you pulled it out of the ditch but now your headed for the financial cliff and were putting on the brakes (3 plus trillion in 16 months scared many and yes Bush added 5 trillion in 8 years as well.) IMO fiscal conservatives saw 1.3 to 1.4 trillion in debt per year, no budget, no plan by dems to reduce spending just wanting to spend more and got very very concerned (they’d rather be in a ditch then fall off a cliff).
    I think Obama will compromise (he already called the speaker elect)and will achieve some great stuff. He’s a master politician, very intelligent and now he’ll learn the fine art of running a country like Clinton did (hopefully without the lewinski like distractions).

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink
  11. Michael wrote:

    “Americans are sick of 2000-2006 big spending Repubs and the 2006-2010 bigger spending dems.”

    This claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. I haven’t checked the House, because frankly I don’t feel like parsing through the recent history of the 435 seats. But here’s what I get from the Senate:

    There were 35 races yesterday. 3 involved people appointed in 2009, and don’t tell us much. 2 won and the third (Roland Burris in IL) did not run.

    6 Republicans first joined the Senate in 2005, all sought re-election, and all won. Of those 6, 5 served in the House before joining the Senate. So they were all part of that 2000-06 Rep majority.

    In 11 races, the incumbent was not on the ballot. Of those, 2 (Bennet in UT and Specter in PA) lost primaries. The other 9 retired or are seeking other positions. Of those 11 races, 3 of the victors are House incumbents and 1 is a former senator.

    That leaves 15 races in which a long-serving senator (serving since ’99 at the latest) sought re-election. 2 (Feingold in WI and Lincoln AR) lost. 2 races are still too close to call (Murkowski in AK and Murray in WA), but they are currently leading.

    In short, in the Senate, there were only 2 races out of 35 in which “big spending” incumbents who served during those years lost, and they were both Dems. The shift in the power balance essentially only occurred where no incumbent was on the ballot. In those 11 races, 3 of the victors were House incumbents during that 2000-10 years.

    At the end of the day, name recognition always trumps actual policy view points.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink
  12. Txjill wrote:

    Ok…now where is all that change in unemployment now that the party of NO and the tea baggers won? I would expect those hard working republicans to have fixed all these issues and “taken the country back” by 10 am this morning.

    I am waiting…still waiting…and in the meantime I will re-watch the movie, “Idiocracy” because that’s what we have going on now.

    Obama Compromise? Hell, that’s what he did for two years. Mr. Nice Guy shouldn’t have to compromise. Republicans NEVER compromise.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink
  13. Sammy wrote:

    So, if the Democrats obstruct the will of the Republican House, will the Republicans whine about the Democratic party of “No”? If the Democrats work to defeat every single significant piece of Republican legislation, will the GOP conveniently forget their own actions the past 22 months?

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  14. Michael wrote:

    So, I ran the House numbers. There were 365 incumbents running. 52 lost with 10 too close to call. So between the two Chambers, we had 380 races with incumbents. And the overpowering “anti-incumbent” mood kicked out 54.

    I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it. I remain firmly convinced that most voters don’t pay attention to issues. They don’t pay attention to policies. They don’t care about any of this. They vote based on the name they recognize.

    Democracy — a system of government in which everyone gets what the majority deserves.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  15. Jason Ray wrote:

    I agree with Michael’s comment about Democracy 🙂

    Patriotsgt & Jonah – I think this is where the conversation about the middle, and the average American (who is a “middle”) breaks down. I submit that the average is neither center-right or center-left. The average is lean right on the issues Patriotsgt mentions (constitution, God, fiscal management and military) and lean left on social issues (we shouldn’t have people starving in the streets and without medical coverage). There is and should be a healthy debate about how far to take either.

    If the early responses are any guide, we either will need a new third pary dedicated to the real avergae American, or we’ll need a political movement for the same that returns us to sanity and starts demonstrating that demonizing your opposition, lying, and spending huge amounts of money wil cause you to lose, not win.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  16. patriotsgt wrote:

    Jason Ray – spoken like a true middle American.

    Michael – i’m sorry the CA marijuana law didn’t pass, seems like you could use some.

    Sammy – the dems cannnot obstruct the will of the repubs since they now have the majority. They can say no, but like the last 2 years for the repubs it really doesn’t matter. They don’t need their votes. Now the Senate is a diff matter, it will come down to the ind’s and who they caucus with.

    TXJILL- they can’t legally change anything until they get sworn in. 🙂 Obama will compromise right away, and I predict it will be with the Bush tax cuts, blessing off on extending all cuts.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  17. ebdoug wrote:

    My thoughts. Obama is a Centrist. We need “ObamaCare” to get the health care out of the workplace so we can complete with goods overseas. He knew that he could never get this through if the Repugs had one of the houses. Hard enough anyway. So he had to push, push, push for the good of the Nation to get health care through.
    Now has lost the House, he can relax and push Immigration reform (my theory) I think he doesn’t have a stand on Immigration Reform, so two years of the Repugs blocking Reform on Immigration is going to show them up big time.
    Withdrawal of troups from Afghanistan: Read Obama’s Wars, I’m only half way through now. At the point where we are pouring billions into Pakistan to go after the Pakistan Taliban to keep pressure on the Swat Valley and on into Afghanistan. Object to defeat Al Quaeda. “If Al Quaeda wins, insurgents all over the world will feel they won.” Now that is Joe Biden whom no one in this book seems to have any respect for. Growning up in Wilminton, I know he got no respect there either. He’ll be replaced on 2012. Pakistan takes our Billions and doesn’t trust us or India. The President is a play boy
    Karzei is completely corrupt. They are using our money to build their palaces. But we hired the Arabs who morphed into the Taliban thirty years ago. Took the education from the people Took away Woman’s rights. So what is our obligation?
    I live in a Nation of fools. Repugs spent Clinton’s excess-sent it all to foreign countries, gave the rich beautiful tax cuts. Dems work for the middle class. Fox News tells the proletariat to vote Republican againts their own needs.
    On the other hand, I live in New York State which is 99.4% Dem. We have Schumer.
    Re:[wow, this has to be one of the stupidest comments anyone has ever left on this blog. Does anyone actually believe that Obama “passed the bill saying corporations could fund campaigning unlimitedly”? — iron knee]
    We really should have a test on Government before people vote. Again the Repugs would like lack of education like the Taliban did in Afghanistan. Control the

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink