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To My Fellow Liberals, Including President Obama, Quit Yer Whinin’!

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We Democrats, progressives, and other liberals got “shellacked” in the words of President Obama, and maybe we did if we go by the standards of today’s 24/7 news cycle. But you know what? If we hold the 2010 midterm election up to the light of history, it becomes less of a shellacking by the Republicans and more of a Democratic victory!  That’s just sour grapes and desperate political spin after a devastating loss, you say? Again, in the harsh light of American political history, not so!

In the 1982 midterm election during what was then the worst recession since the Great Depression, the Republicans under Reagan lost 27 seats in the House and the Senate stayed essentially unchanged. Congress stayed Democratic.  In the 1994 midterm election with an economy that was still recovering from a recession that began under Bush Sr., the Democrats lost 54 seats in the House and two in the Senate. Congress became Republican-controlled.

So, how is this proof that this past Tuesday’s election wasn’t so bad for the Democrats, especially since we lost 60 seats in the House and six or seven in the Senate depending on how you count them?  Easy!

First, a first term president’s party normally loses seats in the midterm election.

Second, when we lost 54 seats in the House in 1994, that was following a relatively mild recession as compared to the great recession.

Third, we’ve got a black president, and this does make a difference, since race does play a part in voting and white conservatives are much more likely to vote in midterm elections; witness the plethora of race-baiting which was almost exclusively committed by those on the right.

Fourth, we’ve got a president with a funny name, including a Muslim middle name shared with a tyrant against whom we’d just fought and won a frankly illegal war.

Fifth, the Citizens United decision opened up the floodgates of corporate money which could even be from foreign governments.  As a result, more money was spent on this election than even the 2008 presidential election! And when the 527 non-profits are figured in, much more money was spent in support of Republican candidates than for the Democrats.

Sixth, this black president with the funny name is trying to lead America out of the great recession, by far the worst recession since the depression, and the Republicans were wildly successful in convincing much of the voting public to forget what they had done to drag America into the great recession, and that Obama should have been able to snap his fingers, wave a magic wand, and voila!, everything’s all good again!

Seventh, President Obama made a few serious mistakes in that he (1) didn’t trumpet every day how his efforts were indeed helping America out of the great recession, (2) didn’t make the stimulus big enough, (3) didn’t attack the Republicans day in and day out for what they’d done to the American economy during the Bush administration, and, in my opinion (4), didn’t haul many of the previous administration before the Hague for war crimes trials which were richly warranted by international and American law, which would, in my opinion, have damaged the Republican brand even further.

So my question, then, is this: why wasn’t the Republican victory in the 2010 midterms much bigger than it was? Given the above advantages they had, in my opinion they should have been able not only to take more House seats, but they should have been able to capture the Senate as well.  But they didn’t, did they?  What’s more, as of today, Obama’s approval rating (43%) is equal to the average of Reagan’s approval rating throughout 1982, despite all the advantages the Republicans have had this year over the black president with the funny name!

That’s why I love holding current events up to the harsh light of history.  For by doing so, I see that the Republican victory in the 2010 midterm elections, this great mandate of the American people the Republicans are claiming in their quest to unravel the Obama agenda is nothing more than a sizable speed bump in the liberalization of America,  for America as a whole is more liberal now than ten years ago, and far more liberal than a generation ago. Anyone with even a modest understanding of American history can see that from our very founding, our nation has undeniably grown progressively more liberal. Sure, we’ve faced other speed bumps of conservative obstructionism along the way, but in each and every case, said obstructionism has proven only temporary.

About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • Baronius

    “Why is that so hard to understand? You’ve been through this shit with me and claimed you were “misreading for effect.” Now here you are doing the exact same shit with someone else and, once again, relying on idiotic traps to cover your ass because you’ve realized your patent wrongness.”

    Correct, Jordan. Although, I do think Roger sometimes does complicate conversations with misreadings in some Zen attempt to attain a higher truth. I just can’t recall it ever attaining anything more than confusion.

    The real problem comes when the comments are confrontational. They burn more bridges in the short run than they could ever build in the long run.

  • Clavos

    So does Carly Simon…

  • Clavos

    Um 152 refers to 150…

  • Jet Gardner

    …so it goes without saying that I have every Carly Simon CD & LP on the market today and consider her one of the all time greats….

    Doesn’t it?

  • Christopher Rose

    Jet, it goes without saying that your musical taste is “special”…


  • Jet Gardner

    I love the mamas & the papas too Chris

  • Jet Gardner

    I keep waiting for lightning to strike me in punishment; according to most people here I only comment on my own articles….;)

  • Christopher Rose

    There is no comparison between them and CS. Some of the M&P stuff is truly great, Jet…

  • handyguy

    Carly Simon sings off key, but she has done half a dozen or so good songs. “You’re So Vain” is very clever, and brilliantly recorded by Richard Perry.

  • Clavos

    CS’s voice is nasal, annoying and grating to me.

  • Jet Gardner

    Clavos if Carly Simon sang right-wing dirges you’d declare her the most wonderful voice in the world.

  • zingzing

    well, i’ll say that once upon a time (dunno about these days), carly had a ridiculously nice body. and she did have at least one great song, that being “why?,” which was produced by chic (GOAT) and featured on the soup for one soundtrack. tribe called quest sampled it for “bonita applebum.”

  • Baronius

    I don’t know why, but I associate Carly Simon with all the baggage from her split with James Taylor much more than I associate the M&P with all their crazy stuff. Maybe because Carly and James wore it on their sleeves. Either way, the Mamas & the Papas recordings will stand up longer than Carly Simon’s.

  • Clavos

    Clavos if Carly Simon sang right-wing dirges you’d declare her the most wonderful voice in the world.

    Don’t be a smartass, Jet.

    If CS sang nothing but paeans to Clavos I would still be ungrateful enough to say she has a shitty, grating voice.

    Because, IMO, she does.

  • Unimpressed

    I think this article does liberals a disservice.

    First of all, it’s a mistake of the American left to call Obama a liberal. What has he done to diserve that discription? Be black?

    His stimulus is right down the middle being half tax cuts, his budget commission is mostly conservatives who want to cut social secruity to lower taxes for the rich, Obamacare is really BobDolecare, he’s let George W. off the hook for war crimes plus continued a lot of Bush’s complete and utter distruction the 4th amendment.

    Americans, rightfully so, HATE these things. I understand that Obama is working with a bunch of knuckle-draggers and flat-earthers, but many of his policies are going to fail (or at least not live up to expectations) and will take the good name of liberalism dowm with them.

  • Lisa

    I would live in the black neighborhood. Black neighborhoods are noisy and dangerous to live because of high in crimes.