Ugh. There’s nothing like the morning after a big election. If you’ve bothered with the media today, they’re saying that there was a GOP tidal wave that swept the House last night. Look a little closer and you’ll see a silver lining there—though not in the short run—for those of us with our eyes on the prize of progressivism.
Much of the Democratic “failure” to craft a pro-active legislative agenda through the House of Representatives over the past two years can be credited to the Blue Dog Caucus—those members of the liberal party with a proclivity to vote with the GOP on issues like Health Reform. The Blue Dogs were decimated last night, losing over half their 46 members. Contrast this with the Progressive Caucus (79 members) which lost only 4 members.
The silver lining here is that the newly elected Republicans – now in the majority – have a only year or so to make good on their ridiculous schemes to “fix” the economy they helped wreck. When these fail, they will face the same voter wrath that was the foundation of yesterdays’ election results. Progressives, meanwhile, have the same amount of time to recognize districts where superior candidates can be elected with the proper organizing, funding and messaging.
Overcoming the cascade of cash the GOP will have, thanks to a select group of billionaires and the Supreme Court ruling that opened the door for corporate contributions will be no easy task. But we’ll have Meg Whitman’s failure to inspire us.
In the meantime, get ready for some gridlock. The chickens will be coming home to roost in the GOP and we can expect a bruising (albeit mostly behind closed doors) fight between party traditionalists and the tea party rebels they’ve recently embraced for control of the right side the aisle. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Americans will be exhausting their savings, using up the last of their unemployment benefits and watching helplessly as their homes are repossessed.
Those lucky enough to still have cable will be able to watch Darryl Issa’s crusade to crush the White House with subpoenas. It should be at least as entertaining as “Dancing With The Stars”.
So here’s my pitch: the election is what it is. As the great labor leader Joe Hill once said, “Don’t mourn. Organize!” The assholes will give us all the ammunition we need. We need to focus on building networks that will support progressive causes, provide a stream of information outside the corporatized media, educate voters and engage in positive actions that will stand in stark contrast to the essential thuggish and selfish nature of the reactionaries. We’ll win more elections by looking beyond the election cycle.