"Which is worse? The wolf who cries before eating the lamb or the wolf who does not."— Leo Tolstoy

Thursday, November 4, 2010


The most important development coming out of Tuesday's mid-term election results is that the conservative, HB1070 worshipping cabal of the Arizona Republican Party now has a veto-proof majority in both the Arizona House and the Arizona Senate.  They immediately flexed their muscles by electing Russell Pearce - the Godfather of the HB1070 anti-immigration movement - to be the  new President of the Arizona State Senate.  Everyone needs to brace themselves  for  two years of increasingly draconian budget cuts and more tax money being wasted on frivolous litigation defending indefensibly unconstitutional legislation relating to immigration.

All I can say is thank God for term limits, which appear to be the last best hope for idiot proofing Arizona government.  However, it increasingly looks as if term limits in Arizona politics is as fruitless an exercise as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.    

In the coming days I will be reporting on the devastating impact that the last round of budget cuts has had on the poorest and most vulnerable of Arizona's citizens, and the irresponsible budget slashing we can expect from the legislature over the next two years.  Watch for an increase in the level of suffering among Arizona's poor, particularly poor children. Also watch for the 14th Amendment anchor-baby cloud to grow larger each month (more  later on the unintended consequences and dangerous implications of the  efforts to modify the 14th Amendment on Arizonans' Second Amendment rights). 

It is mind numbing how badly the Democratic Party misread the mood of the country leading up to this election, and how badly many pundits have misjudged the election results.  I was dumbfounded when I read John Fund's column in the Wall Street Journal last week which contained an interview with a retiring six-term democratic congressman who revealed that as late as September the Democratic leadership's pollsters were telling members of the democratic caucus that their constituents didn't care about the deficit.  Post election analysis by pollsters and pundits are equally tone deaf.  

My congressional district in Phoenix is the most heavily democratic district in the State and home  to Congressman for Life Ed Pastor, the only Democratic Congressman in Arizona that did not have a credible challenge in the general election this year.   My polling station in downtown Phoenix was like a ghost town.  I had to side step the tumbleweeds rolling past the empty voting booths.

ASU Pollster Bruce Merrill appeared tonight on PBS' local Horizon program and opined that the poor turnout by the democratic base was the result of the absence of President Obama on the ballot this election cycle.  He didn't describe the statistical basis for his opinion, but my reading of the political zeitgeist has me convinced that he has underestimated the anger and frustration consuming the democratic party's liberal base.  47% of Democrats believe President Obama should face a primary challenge in the 2012 elections.

I believe that if Obama had been on the ticket this year the democratic turnout would have been much worse.  The young people who worked so hard for Obama's election in 2008, the old left and the aging hippies who thought that they had finally reached the promised land, all stayed away from the polls in droves because they were simply sick and tired of being repeatedly lied to by the Obama Administration.  

Over the past two years the Obama Administration has
  • continued the most draconian Bush Administration privacy and soul destroying "war on terror" policies including the renewal of the Patriot Act and the shifting of the unholy rendition program from outsourced torture by foreign countries to the Iraqi and Afghani governments' torture chambers; 
  • continued to fight tooth and nail in the Federal courts to preserve the military's discriminatory "don't ask don't tell policy" barring gays from service in the armed forces; 
  • shelved any meaningful effort at comprehensive immigration reform and abdicated the immigration reform debate to kooks and racists; 
  • continued prosecuting State law sanctioned dispensaries and individual users of medical marijuana under Federal drug laws; 
  • failed to even initiate the promised closing of the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp; 
  • allowed the greedy one-percenter bastards from the major financial services companies - who were allowed to run amok during the Bush Administration - to gang rape small business and the American middle class and repeatedly pillage the public treasury; 
  • delegated the writing of his "signature" health care legilsation to Congressional Democrats and then abandoned the "public option" at the drop of a hat, thereby abandoning Americans to the whims of the insurance companies; 
  • engaged on a regular basis in the same unethical cronyism that has corrupted American politics for generations (including the targeting of Republican-owned auto dealerships for closure during the bailout of the auto industry, and the granting of numerous exceptions to the strict new anti-lobbyist policy on Executive Branch appointments);
  • granted exemptions to four countries from a Federal law that  bars U.S. Military assistance to nations that use child soldiers.
  • delayed the deadline for beginning the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanaistan by four years, breaking perhaps his most important campaign promise.
      And on and on and on with example after example after example of the inconvenient truth that President Obama has broken nearly every major campaign promise that was supposed to set his Administration apart from the mistakes of the Bush Administration. There has been a lot of hope and very little change.

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