I think we can all agree that democracy is a crappy way to run a country – unfortunately, it’s still a lot better than every other way we’ve tried so far. Maybe in 50 or a hundred years we’ll figure out that the best way to do it is have a computer rule everyone, or decide elections by having the candidates fight with butterfly knives in a K-Mart parking lot. Until we reach that enlightened age, though, we’re stuck with a system where between one third and one half of us choose which millionaires we want writing our laws. The problem with this system is that rich people are dicks, and sometimes people vote for the biggest available dicks.
The Republican Party has for years now been little more than a country club pissing contest where everybody’s trying to out-conservative everybody else to appease the oldest, whitest, and craziest of their constituents. How that plus an official anti-gay marriage stance remains an attractive prospect for voters in this day and age, I’ll never know. But I’ve also spent my life working my way southward from one West Coast blue state to the next, so I’m probably pretty out of touch.
The economy is doing well, unemployment is dropping, the deficit is shrinking, healthcare sucks less than it did, and people still hate President Obama. I’m not the starry eyed groupie I was in 2008, but scandals and human rights abuses aside the guy is doing a decent job of running the country. Yes, there’s ISIS and Ebola and a host of other disasters, but unless you work for Breitbart it's pretty tough to pin those on him.* If anything, he should get some credit for running one of the few countries on Earth that is experiencing no more disasters than usual.
*If you were about to say that it was his idea to pull troops out of Iraq, you should be aware that you would be making an incorrect statement.
I mean, for fuck’s sake, America. Everybody blames Obama when gas prices go up, but when they go into free-fall for weeks before the election this is the thanks you give him?
But to be fair, the Democrats ran a bunch of crappy candidates in difficult states. And there was the NSA business. And the IRS business. And the VA business. And the Obamacare launch business. Some of these scandals are more valid than others. Some have since been fixed. Some of them were a long time ago. But they were all scandals that happened while Democrats were in power, and to lots of voters, none of the other subtleties matter.
If you shit yourself in front of 316 million people, it doesn’t matter how quickly you get cleaned up afterwards. They’re not going to forget that you shit yourself. And they’re going to remember that later in the voting booth, when it’s time to choose between the people who shit themselves or the people who want to take away everybody’s birth control.
I would definitely prefer it if the Democrats had not lost control of the Senate. But you know what? That’s what happens when you fuck things up. If the Democrats really wanted to stay in power, they should’ve built a better website and made sure the IRS wasn’t doing shit that made them look incredibly guilty.
Yes, running the country is an extremely complex task and it’s unfair to expect our leaders to get it right all the time. But lots of voters do nonetheless, so if you want to win a lot of elections in a row you have to fuck up as little as possible or be able to spin all of your fuckups so they look like successes. The Democrats, who six years ago were able to get Indiana to vote for a black guy with the middle name “Hussein”, were not up to this task, and as a result Congress is going to be run by a bunch of white trash dipshits who can’t agree on anything other than the fact that they’re not scientists.
But that’s not necessarily bad news. I mean, Republican control of Congress is definitely bad news for pretty much every American who isn’t a white man with a high paying job. But in a way, it’s also good news. The Republicans have spent years making huge promises to their senile, blue haired base about what they’d do if they were in power. Now that they’ve actually got the power to deliver on those promises, they’re fucked.
Even some Republicans admit they can’t get rid of Obamacare. First, any bill they pass to completely repeal the president’s landmark legislative achievement would require that same president’s signature to become law. Second, regardless of how Americans feel about the law, it’s given healthcare to millions of people, and even the dimmest GOP politicians know that taking something away from millions of eligible voters is a bad idea.
They can’t come up with a more conservative healthcare system that works better because it turns out you can’t make Obamacare much more conservative than it already is without breaking it. About the most they can do is repeal a 2.3% tax on medical devices, and if they’re able to pull that off I’m sure they’ll talk it up like they traveled back in time to kick Karl Marx in the dick.
With a slim majority, a Democrat in the White House, and five or six senators trying not to look too crazy in advance of a 2016 presidential bid, the GOP won’t have much more luck on any of the other issues that your grandma sends you racist email forwards about, either. Individual tax rates aren’t going to change. Welfare and unemployment systems won’t go anywhere. Eleven million illegal immigrants will not disappear overnight.
It’s going to be the same dysfunction and gridlock as before, only now the people causing the gridlock and dysfunction will be taking the blame for it because they’re in power. For the next two years, a divided, out-of-touch, and radicalized Republican Party is going to repeatedly shit itself in front of 316 million people. And it is going to be a mess.
And then, in 2016, an assload of ethnically diverse young people who sat out this election are going to be voting because they want to elect the first female president – and they’ll succeed, because regardless of what you think of Hillary Clinton, everybody else likes her more than anybody who could conceivably run against her. Senate Republicans are facing a nasty electoral map that year too.
The stupid coming from Washington in the next two years will be a meaner, more destructive, worse-informed sort of stupid than we’ve ever seen before. But I have full confidence that we’ll be back to a more familiar level of stupid by early 2017.