06 November 2010
On 21 October, Harry Reid said that his constituents are "too far down the economic food chain" to realize that "but for me, we'd be in a worldwide depression." I considered making a posting about how this arrogant imbecility (the most recent in a breathtaking spate of bizarre comments by our Senate Majority Leader) ought to usher in the close of Reid's career as a public "servant," but I saw little point in doing so, since he then trailed in the polls anyway (albeit by a number of percentage points that was within the margin for error). Inexplicably, however, the very people that he insults and betrays have re-elected this man, whom non-partisan reform groups routinely cite as one of our most infamous malfeasants. I'm probably not the only one to feel appalled by this, but most, or perhaps all, other commentators will give a shrug of resignation and pronounce that the will of the people must be hallowed. I, on the other hand, will speak forthrightly: Nevadans—and not Nevadans alone—have forfeited whatever right to vote that they might have had, and their State ought to revert to the status of a territory, the residents of which have no say in elections to the federal government.
The worst consequence of Reid's return to office would seem to be the fact that it, in conjunction with questionable decisions by other segments of the electorate, denies Republicans a majority in the US Senate to go along with the one that they have attained in the House of Representatives. (The Republican Party has its faults, such as a penchant for worship of "America" and of what we term "democracy," but most of its members sincerely care about the future of their country; the same certainly is not true of the Democrats, who didn't even try honestly to alleviate the first phase of this likely "double-dip" recession, but instead exploited it to try to remake the USA into a leftist paradise.) In a perverse way, however, Democratic retention of Senate leadership is a blessing, or at least the closest that one can get to a blessing in the USA's no-win political system (see below). Had Republicans gained control of both houses of the Congress, we might have a repeat of what happened in the 1990's, which I have already mentioned in Dem Dumb Dems: President Clinton's unpopularity during his first two years in office resulted in a Republican midterm legislative landslide, which resulted in economic and other improvements, which resulted in an increase in Clinton's popularity, because the average person is too obtuse to distinguish between something effected by the president and something that merely takes place during his administration. The Constitutional principle of "separation of powers," which is the reason why the president and the congressional majority so often represent different parties, is, in my not-so-humble opinion, a serious flaw.
Overall, of course, Election Day 2010 was a very good one for the superior of the two major parties. It's quite a contrast with the 2008 version, which was the most unsatisfactory in US history; it further demonstrates that even when Democrats win they lose—alas, so do we—because then they have to rule, and their corruption and incompetence in doing so inevitably produces a voter backlash. Is this, though, the best that we can hope for: an unending oscillation between Democrat and Republican, each party in turn—depending on who actually or apparently is in power when things go wrong—being discredited in the public eye? Opinion surveys have shown for years now that displeasure at the government has reached an all-time high. If people really desire change, they ought to show that they do so by being receptive to truly new ideas, even if those ideas are for the drastic reform of some things that we deem secularly sacrosanct.