Graham Firchlis has a blog

2010 mid-term election recap

Posted by grahamfirchlis on November 4, 2010

Apparently I have once again over-rated the common decency and good sense of a significant cross-sectional share of the electorate, Right, Middle and Left alike.

For reasons inexplicable to me, apparently driven by delusion, irrational fear and a reptilian logic imbedded deep within the human brainstem, many voters decided to blame Democrats recently arrived in office for thirty years of systematic Republican cruelty and theft. That’s like continuing to befriend the criminal gang that stole everything you own and set your house on fire, while punishing the firemen who saved what they could for water damage. It doesn’t make any sense. Or maybe in the minds of some it is all about having “One Of Them” in the White House, “One Of Them” who isn’t a servant – hard to tell. Just when you imagine that after 100,000 years human beings as a group couldn’t possibly act more self-destructively….

Outside of the West, that is, where not all Progressives are feeling devastated. We remain largely immune to what ever it is that poisoned the minds of so many across the rest of the country, and kicked the crap out of the TeaPartyRepublicans. In California we elected a new administration of solidly Progressive Democrats top-to-bottom, empowered a mostly Progressive Democratic legislature to pass a budget without Republican blackmail demands (although raising taxes will still require a 2/3 supermajority) and returned a Progressive champion to the Senate.

Democratic Senator Ron Weyden won re-election in Oregon, and it looks as though Democrat Patty Murray will squeak in for another Senatorial term from Washington as well. In Nevada an astounding GOTV effort in Washoe County, expected to be a stronghold for Sharron Angle, instead overwhelmed her by going for Reid by a substantial margin. Trailing in the polls all summer, sometimes by double digits, Reid won by 40,000 votes, 50% to 45%. All are accomplishments to feel positive about.

We have a lot of work to do to get ready for 2012, that’s for certain, but the struggle was always going to be endless and brutal so this morning’s reality isn’t substantially different from the day before. What is needed instead of despair are new solutions, new approaches, new understandings and new policies, presented in new ways that can penetrate the biases and bigotry that keep holding us back as a nation. This election is a defeat only if we do not embrace it as an opportunity.

With that in mind, I’m open to any and all suggestions going forward. If you think you have a good idea, now is the time to bring it out.

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