Friday, November 5, 2010

Mid-term Reaction

As disappointed as I am with the results, on a national level, I'm not despairing. I think we'll be ok -- better this wave come now than in 2012. Timothy Egan had a great article in the New York Times. Its premise was that Obama and his actions saved capitalism, and now he's paying the price politically. Obama seems serious about governing and tackling our nation's problems while the rest come across as foolish. I am sad that Nancy Pelosi is losing that leadership position; I think history will treat her better than our news media.

I'm more worried about what this red tide means on the local level. Republicans swept both state houses and the governorship here in Ohio. Our outgoing governor, Ted Strickland, was a good smart man. He cares about unions and was well-tuned to needs of Appalachian regions of the state. But Ohio's been hit especially hard--unemployment is above the national average. The governor-elect wants to reject the $400 federal subsidy to build high-speed rails from Cincy to Columbus to Cleveland. It strikes me as ridiculous; this is something that would create jobs. He actually said that killing this program is is #1 priority.

So while a part of me still rails against the right-wing media and the manipulation of the public, that obviously wasn't the only thing going on in this election. It wasn't biased reporting that determined the results. There's something larger going on, and I'm trying to figure out what it is; a feeling that we were moving too fast on so many fronts and yet unemployment rose. I think there's a racial element, but that can only account for so much. The youth vote was horrendous; something like 8%. Had they voted at the same rate as the Medicare crowd, maybe results around the country would have been different.


george rede said...

An excellent piece, indeed. Nick Kristof made the same point in his column, too. Obama's getting saddled with all the blame and little or none of the credit for averting another Great Depression. The question is how do you get the electorate to understand that? Are there really that many voters who don't get it?

Anonymous said...

I don't live in Greene County, but Democrats are a rarity there, so I was imported to act as a poll observer...and promptly given ten precincts to watch.

Two of these were in the lobby of an apartment community catering to students, not five minutes from Wright State University. The average age of the voters I saw was STILL somewhere between "How do I use this Google thing?" and "The country went downhill once kids started wearing caps backwards".