By now, the hype and spin surrounding Tuesday's critical mid-term elections has begun to wind down. Both sides claimed "victory." Democrats failed to satisfactorily explain why "victory" in a set of elections that "weren't important" was worth celebrating, and even casual observers have already figured out that it will be the Democrats who will spend much more time during the next twelve months licking their wounds and trying to figure out what went wrong.
Yet I think we owe Democrats credit where credit is due. During the last eight years they mastered the art of using popular culture to stir up negative sentiment against the sitting president (Bush) and the congressional leadership (Republicans). After winning control of Congress in 2006, they continued their use of populist rhetoric in an attempt to further damage the legacy of the Republican party and to pave the way for a "new leader," full of "hope" who would "change" the status quo, who would transform America into what it always had the potential to become. They promised to "drain the swamp" of Washington, DC corruption. They promised an end to the eeeeeeevil "Republican" policy of deficit spending. And above all, they used their command of populism to impress upon the American people that they were listening to them, and that they would govern from the bottom up.
This past Tuesday proved, with absolute certainty, that Americans have finally figured out that they were scammed -- big time -- by Democrats.
Never in my lifetime have I seen a political party make so many broad promises, and then break so many of them so quickly, and in a manner so chock-full of arrogance and an utter lack of regard for the will of the people.
Draining the swamp? Never has corruption or cronyism been more rampant. Never has political payola and favoritism been more in fashion. Never has a White House been more closely tied with questionable and extremely powerful political and labor organizing groups and lobbyists. And well-known corruptocrats continue to hold positions of power.
Openness, transparency? You've got to be kidding. Midnight authorship of legislation behind closed doors, with the press and Republicans locked out, has been the norm for this Congress. President Obama has more unelected "czars" than imperialist Russia. And declaring war against Fox News, concerned senior citizens at town hall meetings, and the Chamber of Commerce doesn't exactly make the Democrats look like they have nothing to hide.
Fiscal responsibility? Now you've really got to be kidding. Billions of dollars in bailout money and sweetheart deals for banks, while the rest of the economy is still faltering. $787 billion in "stimulus" debt that utterly failed to live up to its predicted effects. A $1.8 trillion budget deficit that can rightfully be described as the largest single annual deficit in the history of civilization. The Fed with an out of control printing press. Foreign nations, particularly China, buying up enough debt to eventually control our economy.
And I haven't even touched on the looming nanny state foreshadowed by the takeovers of the automobile and banking industries, the threats of a government health care takeover, and the odious "Cap And Trade" scheme.
None of these things paint a picture of "hope and change" that would appeal to a broad base of sensible Americans.
The moral here? If you are going to promise to listen to the people and govern from the bottom up, you can't cover your ears, declare a "mandate," and cram your agenda down the throats of the American people.
Democrats haven't learned that lesson. Hopefully the Republicans will.