Two years ago progressives won a victory in the White House and a majority in both houses of Congress. Much was accomplished in the past two years, but the political landscape is different now. I am disappointed in the results of November 2, but I am reminded of a saying in AA, “This too shall pass.” I am also aware of history.
In 1994 the
Republicans won a majority of both houses of Congress, not just the House,
under a Democratic President. The next six years were some of the best in
recent history. By the end of
In the 1830’s
a small movement, consisting mostly of white male Protestants, opposed
the influx of Catholics, Jews, and immigrants in general. They feared the
Catholics would be controlled by the outside power of the Pope and the
This past election marked some of the meanest charges made by one candidate against another, but this too is not unusual. Two hundred ten years ago John Adams and Thomas Jefferson exchanged nasty barbs, but they died friends on the same day in 1824. Andrew Jackson’s campaign was marked by scurrilous attacks on him. The elections of the 1880’s were marked by political cartoons drawn by Thomas Nast that were despicable.
Clearly many voters are unhappy with Congress and have shown that by electing a Republican majority in the House. What does it mean? The words of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) give us a clue. He said on November 4, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” (2)
Dave Camp will
push for the implementation of A Pledge to
Neither McConnell nor the Pledge gives us much hope for civil leadership.
A poll after the election found that only 18% of voters said health care was their top priority and voters in general were almost evenly split in support of and opposition to health care reform passed in March 2010. (3)
I have heard people blame the health care reform for increases in health insurance premium. I sold health insurance in the 1970’s to 1990’s and witnessed double digit increases many years. We can’t blame the current increases on reform. Besides, most people have insurance through their employers and don’t pay the full premium. The employer is the one increasing the costs of insurance. My current insurance plan will be cancelled on December 31 but the new plan I chose has just as good coverage and with a lower premium. I pay the full premium. Can I say this is the result of health care reform? I don’t know.
Some Republicans are saying they have a mandate to implement the Pledge, but I think that the election is a mandate to conduct business in a more civil manner. Just as the voters were tired of Republicans in 2006, they are now tired of the Democrats. Both parties need to get into the act of governing. If they don’t, we will see a replay of this election in 2012 with voters ousting the newly elected Republicans.
(1) Know Nothing Party:
(2) Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president. Our single biggest political goal is to give [the Republican] nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful.”
November 4, 2010
(3) “Sorting Out the Election”
November 4, 2010
“In polls of Tuesday’s voters, only 18 percent said health care was the nation’s top issue. While 48 percent of voters said they wanted to repeal the health care law, 47 percent said they wanted to keep it the way it is or expand it — hardly a roaring consensus.”
“National Survey of US House Voters”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010.