by Jack Landsman, Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 10:10:59 AM EDT
- Barack Obama is a wretched excuse for a president and leader of the Democratic Party. Nevermind this nonsense about a blanket “anti-incumbent” fevah. This was a repudiation of our party’s leaders and their policies. Instead of offering voters anything in the way of changed course—mortgage moratorium? Timothy Geithner’s head?—the White House decided to essentially ride out the clock. The thing about congressional politics is this: most representatives are hack politicians—one way or the other. Not every Democrat that voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, corporatist health care “reform,” etc., was Barney Frank or Obama. That is to say, left-wing agents of finance capital. The vast majority of these folk merely toe the line. Consequently the onus is on this president and he sacrificed a great deal of decent people last night. Many of them would have been willing to go down for a hell of a lot more than Mitt Romney’s health care plan. This man has to go.
- A Republican rout of 60+ seats in the House of Representatives will probably retire Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Mrs. Pelosi was—nay, is—a tough broad, a trailblazer and a savvy operator. Over the past two years, her considerable talent has been in the service of either flawed or outright failed policies and that’s regrettable. I continue to regard Mrs. Pelosi as a relatively decent establishmentarian who would have been fantastic if given a real Democratic president on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
- Grandpa Edwin is Governor of California again. Ironically, I suspect the failure of Proposition 19 will engender the least bit of griping from the progressive base. For all intents and purposes, ganja is already legal in the Golden State. There isn’t much either Gov. Brown or a Gov. Meg Whitman could have done to arrest the systemic problems the state faces otherwise, so it’s a wash.
- Florida’s Marco Rubio bested both Charlie Crist, the orange governor who pole-vaulted to independence, and Rep. Kendrick Meek, the good guy. Once again President Obama disgraced himself. (Granted, Mr. Meek was an early, enthusiastic and loyal supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008.) There wasn’t any reason to believe Marco Rubio would lose in either a two- or three-way race and many of us said so. Kendrick Meek may be a meek, small-time politician, but there’s no reason why Gov. Christ had to siphon as many Democratic votes from the Democratic nominee as he did. Meek’s supposed vulnerability was an entirely self-fulfilling prophecy. Barack Obama’s condescension towards the only possible black U.S. senator—aren’t we supposed to care about that kind of thing?—was stunning. “Don't say I never gave you anything,” Obama quipped after buying Kendrick Meek a sandwich while in town for a token visit.
- In 1952 Barry AuH2O ousted Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland in Arizona. Harry Reid managed to avoid the same fate. This is a crowning achievement, to be sure, but pales to the point of transparency in comparison with him making a liar out of Jack Landsman. The latter was quite certain the harlot from Reno, Sharron Angle, would dispatch Mr. Reid electorally. Guess that “2nd Amendment” solution is back on the table, eh?
- What else can possibly be said for our patron saint Russ Feingold—murked last night by a random reactionary named “Johnson” or some such? Ultimately Sen. Feingold has no one to blame but himself. In conservative districts around the country, numerous Democrats took the extraordinary step of running against their own House speaker or professing support for John McCain in 2008. And it was necessary. For his part, Russ Feingold should have thrown in with the left opposition to Barack Obama months ago. Obama and Feingold are not the same kind of liberals, but he nevertheless allowed himself to be caricatured as such. Instead of going out like a boss—a fitting end to the lone dissenter against the Patriot Act in October 2001—Russ Feingold went out like a punk, carping about outside expenditures, as if anyone cared about process. I want to believe he’ll be back in some fashion or another.