I'm going through one of my "God both parties really suck shit" phases. Let's start with the Democrats who got their asses handed to them in the last election. Obama is a terrible president. For the last two years he's been entirely reactionary on foreign policy. Domestically he's, well, something, but I don't know what. The Dems desperately need new leadership and blood, but right now the Hill is managed by the old guard (they re-elected Reid and Pelosi for God's sake) and there is no meaningful state apparatus anywhere outside the NE and California. They've abdicated the entire center of the country to the Republicans, who, when elected, slash and burn state budgets (Kansas), pass abortion and voting restrictions and little else.
What the hell to the Democrats stand for? If you can find a consistent policy proposal, please tell me. Because I can't find it anywhere. And -- 35 years after Reagan -- the Democrats will haven't learned the lesson: have a few basic selling points, frame them in simple terms and find a charismatic person to sell them. The closest things the Dems have to that is Elizabeth Warren. While I don't agree with her on several issues, I think she's great because she's a highly articulate person who stakes out her policy positions clearly and effectively.
Texas was a very big disappointment; Davis lost by 20%. Some of the post mortems have been very interesting, with several noting that running a candidate who's position on abortion was the centerpiece of her campaign was a really stupid idea for Texas. And, frankly, they're right. Houston and San Antonio do democratic mayors and ours is actually very good; Anise Parker is a pure technocrat. The city works, and it works well. But she's an openly gay woman who isn't that photogenic, which will probably limit her on the larger Texas stage.
The Republicans -- dear God, where do they find these people? Stupid doesn't begin to describe the dearth of intellect. And yet, people still take them seriously. Consider this: in 2008-2009 a number of conservative economists signed a letter saying QE would lead to hyper-inflation and spiking interest rates. Invictus and I wrote a response to this over at the Huffington Post arguing it wouldn't. Krugman also debunked this line of thinking. A few months ago, Bloomberg first calculated that making an investment based on their advice would have cost you $ 1 trillion. Next, they called these idiots to get their take on why neither had happened. Their answer? No change in thought! The best response was from Amity Shales:
“Inflation could come, and many of us are concerned that the nation is not prepared.”
“The rule with inflation is ‘first do no harm.’ So you always want to be careful.”
Translation: I'm going to write a few sentences that contain the words inflation in the hopes no one will notice that I'm untrained in economics."
And then there's their whole stance on climate change. Here's a question for them: they keep saying that global warming is a liberal plot. OK -- assume that to be true. Why hasn't Fox news and Rupert Murdoch created a giant "there is no global warming" convention to write a giant paper in response to the UN's climate change paper? They've had 10 years to do it and haven't. That tells me in no uncertain terms that the "there's no change" crowd is full of it. And yet, they continue to spout their crap and no one calls them on their bullshit.
And what is their response on health care to the ACA? Nothing that would come even close to working -- and they've had 4 years to come up with something -- hell, anything. For God's sake -- OmamaCare is Roomney Care which is based on several bedrock Republican concepts from the 1993 response to Clinton's health care reform. And yet, now the ACA is somehow bad despite the dropping rate of uninsured people in the country and slowing down of overall health care costs.
And this is before we get into their long-standing desire to turn the science classroom into a theological indoctrination platform where the earth is only 6,000 years old and evolution is only a "theory."
So, on one side, we have Democrats who don't really stand for anything and who have an aging and more and more ineffective leadership. With the Republicans we have a pool of people who represent the largest known pool of collective stupidity we've ever seen.
What's there to be happy about?