November 12, 2014

Wondering, on Wednesday (v10)

Everyone's still talking about the election, how few people participated in it, what will happen in what's left of this illustrious Congress, and oh, about the stupidity of the American voter.

Several of the ads that were run in support of Republican John Katko in his defeat of incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei in the NY-24 talked about "Pelosi" and it wasn't until the very last week that one of the ads appeared to have been changed to refer to Nancy Pelosi. In states with actual races for Senate, Harry Reid was the one taking the hits. Almost none of the local ads mentioned President Obama, except in passing (as in 'Obamacare').

I'm wondering, on Wednesday, whether the rank and file in Washington will turn Reid and Pelosi out of their leadership positions. I think it's time now for the Democratic Party to turn to the future, to someone who might have a snowball's chance of working with the Republicans, and more importantly, of lighting a fire under the voters (and the President).

Speaking of voting, it appears the epic failure of the Dems in the races was topped only by the epic failure of Americans to vote: turnout was the lowest in decades, with fewer than 37% actually bothered. There are many schools of thought on this; on the one hand, Republicans have more 'passion for the cause' so they are more reliable than Dems, who are more complacent and only turn out during Presidential years (presumably for the Obama phones?).

I heard two actual registered voters express their opinions on this today on the radio. The first pointed out that it's too hard to vote in her state; her husband had to work twelve hours on Election Day, and the polls were only open for twelve hours, so he missed out. The second caller pointed out that he's registered but hasn't voted in some time; he's lived in multiple places and his issue isn't with having time to vote, it's all about having candidates worth voting for.

I'm not sure how to solve the problem for the second guy, but maybe there's a solution for the first one. I'm wondering why we don't have Election Day coincide with Veterans Day? It's already a government holiday and perhaps if we spent time focusing on the country, our veterans, and our future, it might make a difference.

And then there was the comment about "the stupidity of the American voter" which was made by the 'architect' of the Affordable Care Act. Supposedly the bill was written in an opaque way, rather than a transparent way, to fool voters into thinking it was a good thing, that the individual mandate was not a tax, and so on. Call me crazy but I'm wondering how many bills aren't written as obtusely as possible to hide one truth or another?

Take voter ID laws for example, or bills that say once you're in line to vote, you can't leave even to go to the bathroom.  If the bills were actually written to say that the intent was "to make it harder for people who tend to vote for Democrats to vote at all", would they pass?

Or redistricting bills: if they were written to say "we're carving up the state into districts that are almost unrecognizable, to make it nearly impossible to get us out of office once we get in" would people be in favor of them?

Or 'birther' bills, or gambling legislation, or ethics committees, or economic development programs.or gun laws.. There's nothing new here, folks. The big news is that people think we're stupid enough to think that politicians will ever be transparent and honest about anything of any significance.