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A look back at the 2010 elections
Posted By Bill Larson On Thursday, November 4, 2010 @ 3:58 am In Commentary | No Comments
The results of the 2010 election were predestined. Here is a look at why that was the case.
There was a simmering dissatisfaction by progressive voters who came out and supported the Democrats in 2008; expecting the Obama administration to fight for the them on the issues such as the economy, jobs, health care reform, financial reform, and ending the never ending wars. Instead the administration supported more right of center positions on these issues, which caused many long time Democrat and Independent voters to be unwilling to go out and support them in this election.
The Democrats surrendered before the fight began in the name of bipartisanship. For example on health care reform to secure Republican support the Obama Administration removed the popular single payer health option from the table to protect the interests of for-profit hospitals and private insurance companies. In the end not one single Republican crossed the aisle to vote in favor of the plan. This has been the case in policy after policy. Bipartisanship is a two edged sword, which only works when both sides come to the table in good faith; and this has not been the case from the very beginning of the Obama Administration.
Then you have the skill that Republican operatives have in shaping the message, and the fact that the Democrats let them, again and again, “Death panels” anyone?
We also had the sirens’ song coming from the corporate controlled media that implied “Don’t bother to go out and vote, the election is already decided anyway, it will be a Republican party landslide.” This is also reflected in the way the election results are announced with candidates and parties being declared the winner on the east coast before the polls close further out west. When the media presents the meme of a landslide for one party or the other, it can lead to undecided voters who have yet to vote, following what they perceive as preordained success.
Perhaps most importantly we had the terrible Citizens United decision in the Supreme Court which equated money from bottomless corporate treasuries with free speech, blocking any attempt by the states to limit corporate influence in the election process. According to the Wikipedia:
The majority opinion, delivered by Justice Kennedy, found that 2 U.S.C. § 441(b)’s prohibition of all independent expenditures by corporations and unions was invalid and could not be applied to spending such as that in Hillary: The Movie.
Justice John Paul Stevens said in his dissent:
Going forward, corporations and unions will be free to spend as much general treasury money as they wish on ads that support or attack specific candidates, whereas national parties will not be able to spend a dime of soft money on ads of any kind. The Court’s ruling thus dramatically enhances the role of corporations and unions—and the narrow interests they represent
In the end the effects of this decision were clear, with Republicans out spending the Democrats by a factor of 2 to 1 in this election.
The Republicans Party has functioned as a well oiled political machine in Tennessee in this pivotal year. Republican voters were more interested and active, spurred on in part by local Tea Parties, wedge issues such as immigration, and in Tennessee by the use of constitutional amendments designed to draw their supporters to the ballot box. Couple that with divisive issues such as health insurance mandates, and you have the recipe for an electoral victory. The stakes in this election were very high, by increasing their gains in this election, the Republican Party will get to exercise even more control the upcoming redistricting process.
To view a gallery of images from the 2010 election visit:
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