Will Durst

Democracy’s Labor Pains

By - Nov 9th, 2010 04:00 am
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First things first : this is a post election wrap-up, not a post apocalyptic wrap- up. Yeah, the GOP did well. After a change in Administrations, the minority party won a bunch of House seats in the following midterm election. Whoop-ti-do. In itself, this is about as unusual as a piquant odor emanating from the dumpster behind a fish market.

It happened to Reagan: 27 seats in ’82. To George H.W. Bush: 31 seats in 1990. Clinton: 54 seats in 1994. Would have happened to George W. Bush if 9/11 hadn’t gone down the year before? It’s a natural contraction. Democracy’s labor pains. Only the gestation period is a bit longer, the soreness more lingering and felt thousands of miles wider.

Admittedly, the number of seats changing hands this time around was a bit high — north of 60, and about fifteen percent of the total lower body, effectively erasing Democratic gains of ’06 and ’08 combined. But look at the bright side. Ummm. Wait. Hmm. Okay. Got some: The Democrats can book a smaller banquet room for their Freshman Class Induction Party. Plus,  franking costs go way down with shorter Christmas card lists.

Like Newt Gingrich before him, John Boehner will discover that conducting the train is different than throwing bottles at it. Fortunately for him, it’s a train and not a bicycle, and he can run right over all that broken glass. Because there’s about $2 billion worth of it from untraceable sources lying on the tracks.

The red tide seemed to congeal after hitting the Rockies. California, Oregon and Washington avoided the brunt of the anti- incumbent wave, most likely due to the fact that the weather is nicer, giving Hope and Change a longer shelf life.

You could make a good argument that the Tea Party is responsible for throwing one House of Congress into the GOP’s column and another out of it. The wrestler’s wife lost. Christine O’Donnell may not be a witch, but neither is she a U.S. Senator. Same with Sharron Angle, except for the witch part. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was preordained to lose and to lose bad to any halfway decent opponent. But as luck would have it, he didn’t face one.

But don’t be distracted by the parties incessantly trading bipartisan air kisses. Like the handshake before the first round of a prize- fight, it’s simply a ritual and nobody expects any true civility.

When the Administration says they want to work with Boehner and McConnell, they do — in the same way a five-year-old with a magnifying glass wants to work with ants. Same goes for Republicans. Sure, they’re offering up an olive branch now, but be careful; it could just be a painted,paralyzed asp with the anesthetic timed to wear off on January 8th.

Categories: Commentary, Politics

0 thoughts on “Durst: Democracy’s Labor Pains”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would like to think that Boehner is not as much of an idiot as Gingrich was (is). The majority of the citizens that voted have asked for this about face from two years ago. If they were so right two years ago, why are many saying that they are so wrong now? The people have spoken, much like they had spoken two years ago. I’ll wait until the dust settles; which BTW may actually not settle until 2012.

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