Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
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Post-Election Blooz

January 20, 2010

Almost one year to the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated -- Martha Coakley lost.

I posted a couple of comments to the Boston Globe website. Here they are.

Going into the election, I figured that if Coakley won, we wouldn't win much, but if she lost, we would lose big-time. She lost. Not having Martha Coakley in the U.S. Senate isn't a big deal. Giving aid and encouragement to the Republicans who created the mess we're in -- that's a huge deal. I think this is a wake-up call to the Democratic Party: Stop acting like Republicans in putting the interests of big corporations before the interests of the people, the country, and the planet. The Republicans do it way better than you do. Even their sex scandals are better than yours. Start thinking and acting independently.

It's pretty pathetic that anyone could think that a vote for the Republicans is a vote "against the system," and that anything about the Obama administration is "leftist." Even a lukewarm leftist has some inkling that underregulated capitalism -- which thinks making more and more money is more important than the well-being of real people -- lies at the root of the country's problems. Maybe some Democrats get it, but the insurance industry's pawprints are all over the so-called health care "reform" package currently on the table. Get it together, Democrats. That way, when you win, the country wins too.

Another commenter wrote: "Now I know how the German people felt as they smashed down the Berlin Wall! The Revolution is on and the GOP is the new punk rock!"

Yeah? If punk rock comes out for abstinence education, I think it's sailing under a false flag. I know how the moderate, reasonably rational people in Germany felt when Hitler was elected chancellor. No, Brown isn't in that league. In a year or two, pollsters will be asking "How do you rate Senator Brown's performance?" and most voters will scratch their heads and say "Senator who?" But the "perfect storm" that an earlier poster mentioned is similar: a frustrated and scared electorate whose attention is easily diverted toward scapegoats and away from the real causes of the mess we're in. And we can't blame any Versailles Treaty for siphoning our wealth away: it's good ol' American corporations and mega-banks that have done it. It sure doesn't help that the Democratic Party is every bit as ineffectual as the moderates of Weimar.

The Democratic Party has GOT to start talking about class. For the GOP -- the party of Big Money -- to be capitalizing this way on the class fears that they've caused and exacerbated is totally absurd. It's like Henry Ford organizing for the UAW. It's a sign of how badly we've been suckered.

I've got my fingers crossed that the Republicans won't produce a leader as charismatic and ruthless as Adolf Hitler. So far we've been lucky, sort of. They haven't tossed up many who had both charisma and brains, so from Reagan to Bush II to Senator-elect Brown they've had to elect the charismatic guy and pull the strings from offstage.

Maybe in another 50 or 60 years we'll get to dance on the rubble of the walls that the Republicans built.


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