Monday, November 5, 2012

Voting for Gridlock

Tomorrow is election day. It’ll be the first election day – including primaries – in about 20 years that I haven’t gone to the polls and pushed the buttons for my candidates. When Bill Clinton was first elected, I was in Las Vegas on a business trip and had voted absentee. Because of all the talk in Florida about how the polls were going to be a mess, I did the same thing this year. I’m going to miss being there – the excitement, running into neighbors, and of course the “I Voted” sticker .

As of this writing, the national polls are tied, but all the polls in the battleground states show Obama with leads in all of them. So it’s possible he could lose the popular vote and win the electoral college, which would have the Republicans all up in arms. It’s also possible he could lose Ohio, Virginia and Florida due to shenanigans with absentee balloting, voting machines, people being refused the right to vote… which would piss off Democrats but, if 2000 is a guide, not nearly as much as it would piss off Republicans. Hey, Republicans have been calling Obama’s election illegitimate and he won with 53% of the popular vote.

These are not happy people.

I voted for Obama. I want him to win. But the polls also show the Republicans maintaining control of the House and the Senate staying Democratic by the slimmest of margins. Romney has lied about a lot of things, but maybe he’s right about this one: The next four years with Obama in the White House might not look a lot different from his first four.

Don’t get me wrong; the economic news is on the positive side and slowly getting better. The ACA will help control medical costs while making sure more people get the care they need. And there’s no question that the country as a whole, and women in particular, is better off when the children brought into this world are wanted. I’m certainly not agreeing that Obama’s first term was bad; just that some things could have been accomplished at a faster pace (and for that I blame Republicans).

But how much can Obama do with a Republican Congress eager to thwart him at every end? While the president made great strides over his last two years, realizing a lot could be done through executive order, how much work can he possibly do on global warming and other huge issues that Republicans refuse to engage in? How can he possibly begin to chip away at our debt when Republicans refuse to even think about raising taxes on the wealthy?

Obama believes that if he wins this election, the fight will be out of the Republicans and they will be willing to work with him. He is more of an optimist than I am. All I see is an angry bunch of old white men who’d vote against a proclamation honoring their own mothers if it came from a Democrat. They will spend the next two years trying to out-conservative each other in order to position themselves for the first primary in January 2016.

Nothing will get done, except by executive order.

But I guess that’s better than having Romney as president, teaming up with House Republicans to cut taxes, gut environmental regulations, overturn the Affordable Care Act and turn FEMA over to Bain Capital.

Sometimes it really is better to do nothing.

1 comment:

  1. I agree on how frustrating it is going to be for Obama. Still, I am soooo glad he won.