Barack Obama will be the president of the United States a year from now, and I think that’s great news. I’m happy about that.
Last night, Junglemonkey and I watched some of the live election coverage on the Beeb and they had a couple of American dipnuts on, I guess to explain U.S. politics to the British audience. The Republican they had was saying that, having lost the bid for the presidency, the Republican party needed to spend some time in introspection to figure out how they could reach out to more people. I think that’s true, but I’m a little doubtful. It feels to me as though the Republicans have become the Taliban. I’ve seen several people tweet comments along the lines of, “Okay, now we’ve finished with the election, can we please talk about climate change?” (or whatever issue they want to talk about that was ignored during the campaigns). I think that’s a little naive, as well. If the issue wasn’t something the candidates thought was important enough to get people to vote for them, how will the winners think it’s important enough to talk about now? This election seemed to be all about enfeebling (or not) the federal government, allowing (or not) women to control their own bodies, and giving (or not) medical care to Americans. What’s to be said about climate change? It’s real, it’s happening, and major campaign contributors don’t want the government to do anything about it. Nobody’s talking about it because, what is there to say?
For the last four years, the Republican strategy has been to oppose any legislation proposed or supported by any Democrat. This isn’t a secret; heck, Republicans started out Obama’s first presidency saying this exact thing to any news organization that would listen. The presidential election and the senatorial election look to me like a slap to the right wing crazy talk, but the house looks like it could be more of the same. I consider this Republican house and then I think about the crazy signs up and down the central valley of California claiming that it’s the government’s fault there’s not enough water, and I think about the scared old rich white people we’ve met. I worry that we’re still in the midst of a national temper tantrum and desperately need a time out.