After a night like tonight (last night, already?) the urge to give up is great. I cannot really say that I am disappointed with election results. I am disappointed with what happens in between elections.
This time I am particularly disappointed, because Democrats held the legislature whole, and the executive, and they still managed to fuck things up. Democrats squandered a once in a lifetime opportunity to accomplish meaningful reform. They did everything too timidly, like--for example--they way the handled so-called health care reform: they compromised everything desirable away, and the remaining meaningful provisions, like insurance exchanges, will not kick in until 2014. Are you kidding me?
For a couple of weeks leading up to the elections, the President scuttled around the nation saying "Lookee here! Look at all we have done!" People must not have been impressed, if the results of the elections are to be believed. Rightly so, I might add.
We were promised health care reform. We got an expansion of the current, morally and financially bankrupt(-ing) insurance system.
We were promised Guantanamo would be closed. It's still open.
We were promised the end of war, and all that happened was that more troops were sent to Afghanistan and the soldiers who remain in Iraq were simply re-classified as non-combat troops. Go tell the Iraqi insurgents who routinely attack them.
We were promised financial reform. We bailed out the people that ruined us with hardly any consequences for them.
We were promised help to the middle class. Ask the middle-class folks who lost their job, their home, their savings.
What's worse, pundits will tell us that the mid-terms show that progressivism is the big loser, because Feingold lost his Senate seat and Alan Grayson and Tom Perriello lost their first-term House seats. And I am afraid they might be right, because those who say that progressives stayed home because they felt betrayed cannot apply to Grayson and Perriello. It simply looks like fear won once again, as it does so often.
We were promised hope. No promise was ever betrayed more egregiously.