Election 2014: A Clear and Present Danger For Progress
by Marc Belisle
Nate Silver, the statistics guru who has flawlessly forecast previous elections, is predicting that the GOP are “slight favorites” to take over the Senate this year. His models are based on likely voter turnout. We progressives have to do better. Early voting in primaries has already begun in some states and Washington, D.C. We need all hands on deck, at battle stations, starting today.
In 2008 and 2012, progressives won nationally. In 2010, the Tea Party movement swept into the House in reaction to Obama’s historic victory. They could do the same in the Senate this year. Midterm elections are primarily focused on local and state issues, which conservatives can dominate. Conservatives, generally, are more organized, streamlined and motivated. Without a national narrative, progressives tend to be disorganized and apathetic. These dynamics allow the right’s gerrymandering, Citizens United Koch funding and voter suppression to tip the balance in their favor. We need to take this election as seriously as the 2008 and 2012 election, and we can’t count on Obama to do it for us. If the progressive coalition that gave Obama two of the broadest margins of victory in the last 60 years shows up to the polls, we can crush the Teanderthals, regardless of their funding and tricks.
Preaching to the choir is not enough. We need YOU to hit the streets, knock on doors and organize.
If we don’t organize, and we don’t get every Obama voter in YOUR area out the door to vote, the national situation will be dire. Congress will clog up the legislature with constant votes to repeal Obamacare, even as it diminishes the number of people dying and going broke from lack of coverage. There will be constant trumped-up investigations that will dwarf Darrell Issa’s witch hunts in reach and impact. They will seek to cannibalize the administration one person at a time, and attempt to go as high as possible. The White House will not be able to appoint another federal judge. Courts will either be packed with rabid corporate lackeys and misogynist ideologues, or be allowed to lay fallow, gumming up the works of justice for years. Congress will seek to weaken the president internationally as he delicately negotiates in the some of the world’s most intensely simmering hotspots in decades.
The Congressional agenda will focus on expanding gun rights while slashing mental healthcare, destroying access to women’s healthcare, handing over large chunks of national parks to unregulated polluting energy companies while slapping sanctions against successful clean energy manufacturers, expanding corporate campaign funding and gerrymandering, helping big business keep their wages low, their jobs overseas and their funds in foreign accounts, expanding private prisons and pressing forward a cruel and vindictive immigration reform bill. Obama will be able to do nothing but veto their most abusive measures. With the president a lame duck and both houses of Congress funded by Koch money, it will be the first time in American history that the US government is primarily run by a vanishingly small cabal of oligarchs. The destructive precedents that could be set in just two years could affect us for decades. If YOU help organize and YOU vote, YOU can help prevent this disaster.
Check our Elections resource HERE.
He writes a political blog.
He taught university English in South Korea from 2005-2009.
He has a Masters in International Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies.
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