This headline would have cracked me up before November 2nd. But the results of that election raised some interesting questions.
- What does the election really say?
- Who are the Tea Partiers, really?
- Why was Delaware different?
To get the answer, one had to ignore the media (and those sycophants of causes who butter up to that media). To get the answer one has to go to the people who voted and find out exactly why they felt the frustration and voted the way they did.. The answer, if one takes the time to listen, is that they wanted change. Ironically, as some of you may remember, that was Obama's message from the last election. 2 years ago we voted Obama in for a change. 2 weeks ago we voted tea partiers in... for a change..
The common denominator between both elections, is that the electorate is unhappy with the status quo.
The common denominator between both elections, is that the Republicans lost big.. first to the Democrats, then to the Tea Partiers.
The Republican Party is in crises. They may lose party leadership battles, adopt or absorb the Tea Party's doctrine, but from what Tea Partiers are saying, they want nothing to do with Republicans. Here locally, Mike Castle's and Tom Ross's bashing proves it. Party activists on the ground floor, see the Republican party only lip syncs to their libertarian streak; then turns a blind eye, tending to keep things locked down in status quo.
Funny thing was, when Tea Partiers talked after the election, as I listened I was agreeing. I was saying to myself, " Hey, that sounds like me 2007-2008... the exact same thing.'.. For one, Tea Partiers are infuriated that costs for small businesses are climbing, while multinational corporations are able to buy their congressmen to slip in a waver so they can import specialty chemicals duty free. Is that fair? NO. For two, Tea Partiers are infuriated that they had to scrape and scrimp to pay their tax obligations, and Exxon-Mobile was given a $23 Billion dollar tax break during a period when gas was $4.25 a gallon. Is that fair? NO. For three, Tea Partiers are infuriated that the Republican Party, diligently undercut, undermined, and underfunded their candidates, thereby pushing them to independent status. Only after smashing party endorsed candidates, did the Republican Party cold heartedly endorse who ever it was they had on the ballot... Is that fair? NO.
If one looks at the political landscape. .. .. The two parties out there, are the Tea Party and the Democrats. The Republicans are non existent, except in name and corporate donors... Only because of the financing laws as they are today is the Republican organization still a player. Were this the 1850's, they would be as dead as the Whigs.
Secondly. The wave of Democrats elected to Congress in 2008, meant that some very Republican districts, dismayed with everything the Republicans had done under George W Bush, went blue with the Democrats.
Therefore, during this past session even though their representative was Democrat in name, they were answerable to their conservative electorate. It would he suicidal for those congresspersons to vote for any liberal causes. It appears the restraint of the Blue Dogs wasn't enough; each of those went back Republican this time around.
Of course Republicans would be fools not to spin this as an indictment of Obama Healthcare and Economic Salvage. After all, they have nothing else going for them. We should expect they spin something positive out of their own collapse, and point out to all that is exactly what they are doing. Though they do so, not everyone out there agrees with them. After all, the electorate remembers the havoc Republicans did to our economy. After all, the electorate remember that Clinton actually helped all five quintiles of America grow richer over his tenure...
They don't have faith in Republicans. Their faith is in America, ie, as in American values. What they saw over the past two years is that the Democrats were ineffective in making a dent against Republican stall techniques. And so, ... they pushed back and made change happen within the party.
So what did the election really say? It says the GOP failing streak has continued. It says the population has no confidence in their leadership. Ironically, the old time Republican values are alive and well. They are in Tea Partiers instead. Those possessing them, are disillusioned that Michael Steele's official Republican Party, as it stood Nov. 2nd, could deliver.
So who are the Tea Partiers? Most are new at politics. Most came to politics in 2009 as their incomes shrunk back, and tales of stimulus corruption spread rampant. Most are small business persons, either running a family business or a small corporation. From their viewpoint, they see a government still cut back from the Bush years, unable to deliver services while asking for more and more money. And they didn't see results coming from Democrats.
And Tea Partiers were furious at corporate meddling in the election process. All of them had to plow through tremendous amounts for corporate money thrown against them. All had to overcome big bucks coming from just a few people. All of them are cynical as to how the election process works. I took some comfort, in how in almost every post election interview, the Tea Party candidate emphatically made a point to scold the Republican Party. The Republican party is corrupt. It is bought and owned by corporate interests. It only pretends to want to alleviate peoples pain and suffering, until it gets their votes. Then, it is about assuaging the large corporations who keep their campaigns afloat.
The Tea Partiers realized that money doesn't vote. People do. And whether for a Tea Partier, or for a Democrat, overwhelmingly, people voted anti-Republican which loosely translated, means they voted anti corporate.
So this is the crystal. Americans are fed up with the corporate takeover of our government. Leave small businesses alone, both Tea Partiers and Democrats say. But stick it to the corporations. They are fed up that a conservative court can scuttle the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. They are fed up with robo calls, fed up with character smearing literature appearing daily in their mailbox, fed up with talk-show blathering ad nauseum, and they know,... they know.. that the only reason that stuff is getting spit out, is because someone with a lot of money is paying someone else to do so.
Money is ruining our politics.
On this Tea Partiers and Liberals agree. They were attacking the exact same problem: the corporate political takeover; just tackling it from two different directions.
Why didn't Delaware follow this same trend?
Delaware is different. But in a certain way, it did follow the same trend as the nation. Delaware supported Christine O'Donnell while she was an outsider. But as soon as the Republicans stepped in .... she lost that support. Republicans told her not to speak to reporters. She did what they said and lost. Republicans told her not to talk to the media. She did what they said and lost. Had Christine done a full court press with the entire media immediately after her win, and personally engaged in all the attacks with which she was presented, the electorate would have been tired of all that witch stuff by election day and would have begun to listen to her message: that its the people who matter.. In the general election, the voters voted for the anti-Republican: which in this case was Coons.
Vance Phillips lashed out at the Republican leadership. He won. Winners don't attack their own party unless something is seriously wrong. With Delaware's Republican party, something is seriously wrong. Vance Phillips is not a corporate sponge. He's a candidate in touch with his electorate.
Delawareans gave their vote to Coons because he is the better guy. Christine is great, but seeing her standing next to Coons it was obvious to all but her most ardent supporters, that he was simply a better fit for Delaware. Nothing against Christine. Had the Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tony DeLuca been the Democrat's choice, she might be sitting in Congress right now..
Likewise, Delawareans gave Flowers the treasurer's spot because they saw through what Bonini was. Everything bad about the Republican party... he exuded from foot to toe... and it stunk. Against two unknowns, they went for the one which smelled like flowers.
Korn just did not win the State Auditor's spot. His opponent, Wagner is not a Republican despite whatever political party is attached to his name. He is a good guy, and though very few people know the details of what he does, they do know that he hasn't messed up anything so far, and therefore between two unknowns, the one currently doing ok appeared to be the safer choice. No doubt, Korn would have made the better auditor. He didn't make his case out where it could be seen by most of the electorate.
But had Wagner come out like Bonini, spitting Republicanisms left and right.. ... Korn would have won.
What's different in Delaware is that with it's small size, it has a rather active blogging community. A citizen's news-rag so to speak, made up of many individuals that simply talk about what they know. In that environment it is hard to spread lies. "Obama is a Socialist"? I don't think even Urquhart muttered as such. Yet such statements were commonly printed in red state's editorials, where there is no independent source to discredit that slant. Delaware's one paper, The News Journal tried to spin royally up through the primaries, but Christine O'Donnell flatly put them in their place with her win. They licked their wounds all the way past Nov. 2nd, afraid to get caught propagandizing again....
If you have an outlet for truth to be heard, it usually rises to the top. That is why totalitarian governments work so hard to suppress truth anywhere they find it. If you don't kill it.. it kills you. In Delaware the electorate had a balanced opinion. They were able to listen to both educated citizens and corporate shills.
They chose wisely.
To succeed this next session. Tea Partiers and Liberals will need to kill corporate money influencing elections. After all, it goes against one of the values instilled by our founding fathers, that our nation would rise, or fall, upon the principal of one man... one vote. We desperately need campaign finance reform eliminating all corporate sponsors from donating to campaigns; so our elected officials can return to worry about what 'We, the People' think, and not the thoughts of just a handful of their campaign donors.