Monday, October 4, 2010
Guess what folks? We're less than one month away from midterm elections and you know what that means! Only a few more weeks before you get to cast your ballot for your pick for senator, congressman, governor, local representative, dog catcher, rodeo clown, art project, etc.
Last week President Obama hosted a raucous rally in Madison, Wisconsin which drew around 17,000 supporters, in what probably felt like for White House officials, a vindicating moment of "I told you we still had it." In this rally and in a recent Rolling Stone article, Obama lists the things his administration has accomplished, and in a moment that must have suprised even him, the whole freakin' arena goes nuts when he mentions the health care bill, like Lady Gaga just played...that song she plays.
What's important to look at about this rally, and about this article, is Obama once again engaging with the huge amount of young people who elected him, many of whom might not even realize there's an election right now. There's one point during the rally where he's saying something along the lines of, "They're saying it's all over. That they've got it won. That you guys aren't energized- that you don't care." Than he catches himself, and says, "Well, you know- you read the newspapers, you watch the television." But the truth is, that many of these supporters don't, and have totally lost touch since the election which energized so many young people.
And while many have simply just lost touch, lost interest, fatigued from the political whirlwind that was 2008- there's of course a huge number of liberals disenfranchised with the Obama Administration and see no reason to go to the voting booth to elect a bunch of bumbling Democrats who watered down and prolonged legislation for months and months, and now refuse to campaign on these issues. And while I'll be the first to point out the pitfalls of the first two years of the Obama administration, it is pretty gratifying to hear the president list off the things we've achieved legislatively. The health care bill, the financial regulatory bill, the stimulus (which may seem like a waste because of the vast unemployment, but saved us from another depression and was a huge investment in a number of progressive causes), and a list of other things that have gone virtually unnoticed.
The bummer of the whole thing is we spent a lot of time trying to get bills passed. We had Rahm "fucking" Emanuel (Who announced he was peacing out this week out to run for mayor of Chicago) running around strong arming and sweet talking congressmen into voting for this stuff, and an extremely focused and united Republican blocking it and delaying it to a point of sheer ridiculousness. And this still goes on. Nothing can get done. And what's sad about it all, is if those 17,000 in Madison had made the fuss in the way the Tea Party had, had been as loud as the right has been, they probably wouldn't have been able to have gotten away with it.
Following the rally, Obama attended some much smaller, and not as welcoming events, trading in the arena for the back yard. The older folks got a little testy with him, and he got a little testy back. At one point one older fellow said "I'm very concerned about you raising taxes on those making over $250,000-" to which Obama replied curtly, "You haven't seen your taxes go up at all under me." He's gotta be sick of repeating that one.
Next week I'm going to go on another big long rant about Carl Paladino. Get ready. Have a good week.