I am not happy about Tuesday's election results, with a few major exceptions, but I am going to hold off on diving into the mess, especially since so many others will do so in the next few days. I'll let the dust settle a bit, and see where we can go from here.
However, I do want to share with you some commentary from Robert Parry. I have a similar take: I am reminded of, and strangely comforted by, the studies that show that so many American voters do not know what they are talking about and voting on. There is a swath of ignorance in this country that is both astonishing and depressing. And more on that later as well.
As Robert Parry has put it:
"This Republican strategy that Reagan popularized in the early 1980s has – over the past three decades – returned the United States to a second Gilded Age of extreme wealth at the top, a shrinking middle class, growing desperation among the working classes, rampant stock speculation, and a bubble-and-bust economy.
Yet amazingly, millions of Americans went to the polls on Tuesday and voted for this approach. In Rust Belt states – such as Ohio and Pennsylvania – which have substantial interest in manufacturing jobs related to the auto industry, voters punished Democrats who saved General Motors and Chrysler, and favored Republicans who would have blocked the bailout.
Voters also sent the conflicting message that they wanted the federal government to focus on 'jobs, jobs, jobs' but also cut the deficit. They then empowered Republicans whose major idea for job creation is to slash taxes for the richest top two percent of Americans, an approach that has been ineffective in job creation but is expected to add about $700 billion in red ink over the next decade."
We political scientists have a technical term to describe this behavior: "fucking idiots."
On the other hand, I was extremely pleased that Colleen Hanabusa emerged victorious in her effort to take back Hawaii's first congressional district. In a race that the media frequently called "hotly contested," or somesuch, Colleen won 53% of the vote (to Djou's 47%). Still, only 55.7% of registered voters went to the trouble to vote.
Another plus was that Democrat Neil Abercrombie easily defeated Republican Duke Aiona in the race for Governor. And when you include the clear victories by Senator Dan Inouye and Representative Mazie Hirono, it was a Democratic sweep for Hawaii's congressional delegation.
Colleen's victory celebration was packed and festive. I am honored to have been able to contribute in some small way.