Sunday, November 09, 2014

Running Away From Obama: How'd That Work Out For Ya?

The Pilot Newspaper: Opinion

So what happened this past Tuesday? What was the cause of this so-called “Republican Wave”?
You can blame the gerrymandering, which marginalizes Democratic votes and concentrates Republican ones. That certainly didn’t hurt Renee “I need MY paycheck!” Ellmers in her race against Clay Aiken.
But that doesn’t explain Kay Hagan losing to Thom Tillis, nor does it explain Republican victories in other U.S. Senate and state governor’s races.
You can blame the pernicious influence of money in politics. But the fact is, both sides spent huge amounts of money, and in North Carolina, Hagan actually outspent Tillis.
So what was it? You might come to the conclusion that people just don’t like Democratic policies. But then you’d have to explain away what happened when certain measures were actually put on the ballots in various states:
— Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota passed bills to raise the minimum wage, even while electing politicians who opposed such an increase. Not only did these measures pass, but they passed by wide margins. (A similar bill passed in Illinois, but it’s only considered “advisory” and doesn’t have the force of law.)
— Washington state passed a referendum that mandates universal background checks for gun purchases. The bill passed with 60 percent of the popular vote, despite millions of dollars poured into the state by the NRA and other gun rights groups to fight it.
— Voters in Colorado and North Dakota rejected so-called “personhood” laws, which define human life as beginning at fertilization of the egg. It’s clearly a back-door attempt to restrict reproductive freedom, and voters in those states soundly defeated both measures.
— Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. A solid majority of Floridians (57 percent) voted to legalize it for medical use, but that measure fell short of the 60 percent it would have needed to become law.
It seems that voters, when asked to choose, favor liberal policies on the minimum wage, gun control, reproductive choice, and even legal weed. Yet they don’t seem to like Democratic candidates. And I know why.
It’s because they act like such wimps.
One of the recurring themes of campaign coverage was how Democratic candidates were “running away” from President Obama. He’s “wildly unpopular,” the press assured us, despite the steadily decreasing jobless rate, a declining deficit, millions of Americans getting health insurance as a result of the much-reviled Affordable Care Act, and 63 months of economic expansion.
And boy, did they ever run away. Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes refused to even say whether or not she’d voted for the president. Clay Aiken told reporters he didn’t want the president to appear with him. Incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan spent all her time touting herself as the “most moderate” senator.
Republicans, on the other hand, constantly repeated, “Hagan voted with Obama 96 percent of the time."  They painted Hagan as “the deciding vote for Obamacare.” (Funny how every incumbent Democrat in every state was “the deciding vote for Obamacare.”) In the last days of the election, they even put it on the signs: HAGAN=OBAMACARE.
And not once did I hear her stand up and say, “Yeah, I voted for Obamacare, and here’s why: No pre-existing condition exclusions, no lifetime caps on coverage, more people are getting insured, and you can keep your kids covered until they’re 26.” You know, all the things people tell pollsters they like — so long as you don’t call it Obamacare.
Here’s the thing about trying to run away from the president from your party: You’re also running away from the policies that you voted for. That doesn’t work. The Republicans aren’t going to let you do it, and trying to do it makes you look weak, craven, and wholly dependent on polls to determine your loyalty.
Not only does it not work, but as we’ve seen above, it’s so unnecessary. Remember, the president you’re so shy about being seen with got elected twice by large margins. People actually want a lot of the same things the Democrats claim to want. You want to motivate your base voters, the ones you really need in the midterms, then stand up and say, “Yeah, I voted for that, and I’d do it again. I did it because it’ll help the people of my country and my state, and here’s why I say that …”
You want better turnout, Democrats. You need to move the polls, not chase them. You need to stop listening to overpaid Beltway consultants who tell you people won’t like you if you come out strong for the things that help people. You know, the ones Democrats are supposed to believe in.
A few noisy people may not like liberal policies, but everyone hates a two-faced coward.

The comments in The Pilot since this column went live show that the Right's not even trying to hide the racism any more:
From commenter "PearlHarbor":  A couple of articles I read called the election white man's revenge.
Articles where? The KKK Journal? 

And of course, our old friend "Francis" spoke from beneath his concealing hood of anonymity: As much as it pains me to say this Obama may have been just what we needed, something had to wake White America up, we have been far to lenient and passive when it comes to allowing others dictate their demands, from illegal immigrants marching in our streets to the moral Monday crowd driven by the NAACP trying to use their numbers, it's always been about them, never us, time to think about what we want for a change.
Yes, Francis, let's never forget that it's the white man who is the truly oppressed minority in this country. Wake up, white men!