… but still have a lot of hard work to do.

The wins? Obvious – Obama, and Brown winning here in Ohio. Warren winning in Massachusetts. McCaskill in Missouri. A net gain in Senate seats. It was about the “soft middle” deciding that they preferred the policies of Democrats. But more importantly, it was about voters rejecting the obstructionism and lying by the modern GOP. For now, at least. The GOP spent most of Obama’s first term (and all of the last two years) doing everything in their power to block any and all progress by Obama and the Democratic Party at addressing the country’s issues. And voters rejected that strategy. (Will the GOP walk back and return to more sane politics? Who knows.) This election also contextualizes the 2010 midterms, not as a rejection of Obama’s presidency, but rather a small and motivated bunch of extremists hijacking the election. I hope moderates sit up and take notice – midterm elections matter too, and staying home is a bad idea. Elections have consequences, and not participating cedes your vote to right-wing extremists.

But there is plenty of stuff to focus on. One particularly frustrating thing is that, despite the obvious public frustration with our broken government, voters have eschewed two excellent opportunities to reform broken government and make it more accountable to voters in failing to pass Issue 1 and Issue 2. If we want to address issues of corruption and unaccountability in government, we have to convince swing voters – not others like us – to support these kinds of reforms. And that’s going to be hard, because a) they tend to be low-information voters, and b) as the GOP have shown, it’s much easier to misinform and block reforms than to push big policy changes. The Democrats also lost seats in the House – but this should not be a surprise, since we just had a census and redistricting, and most of the State Congresses are held by Republicans. More evidence that state and local elections also matter.

If we all learned anything at all from the last 4 years, it should have been that our work starts with the election. It most certainly does not end there. We’ve got work to do.

  • namvetted68

    Issues 1 and 2 might have done better in an off-year election. There was too much else going on and too much money flowing into the major campaigns for even the most dedicated to get the word out during this cycle. Reform is difficult in the best of times. It has little chance during national election years.

  • Red Rover

    Issue 1 would’ve been a disaster if approved. Asking the same gang that just gerrymandered our districts, have been opposing women’s rights, are trying to dismantle public education, etc. to rewrite our Constitution is a horrendous idea! Let’s see what the make-up of the legislature is in 20 years… In the meantime we can still amend it by referendum.

    It is a shame that issue 2 failed, but that’s probably because of the way that they printed the entire text on the ballot, and people didn’t read or understand it.

  • MP Antonio

    Agree with Red Rover – Honestly, great news that Issue 1 and Issue 2 failed. More from our side of trying to cheat our way in voting every cycle and then attempting to legislate our way into redistricting to help our cause only raises more questions about our motives and denigrates our real agenda. We’ve been lucky twice on HOPE, but it won’t last forever, esp if positive economic changes don’t occur, regardless who’s at fault. We sadly are deadlocked in congress on both sides and will get nowhere. The righties will be gearing up with money and a party reconfiguration the likes of the TeaParty that will be even bigger, further reaching and well funded this next time around. They have a growing constituency of African Americans that are prominent and well funded. Hispanics are taking jobs that African Americans won’t, rather than succumb to government assistance. It skirts their moral values. We seem to be tapped out with ideas, they have taken our lead and are perfecting it, like the internet, social media and are beginning to use it against us as the electorate changes and becomes more ‘modern’. The media, although very favorable to our causes, are now blatantly losing self-control AND losing viewership at record pace, as a result. There is only so much money and the government can’t make it’s own (organically, anyway). Going after big business and taxation will only result in less jobs. Unions will soon be the next mess for us. They got close this time, but they weigh heavy on companies, and their effectiveness is waning. They are STEALING from democrat members too, to support their corruptness. Much our our constituency needs to understand that, and the do not. Don’t get too comfy, just yet…. This is a lame duck session, and both sides have virtually refused to cooperate. Good things may seem to be in the hopper or happening, but they come with consequences, and most will impact us individuals.

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