This sure doesn't feel like victory.
Republicans hypocritically yet successfully blocked the ascension of Dr. Susan Rice to Secretary of State and are now attempting to stop the Secretary of Defense nomination of former republican senator Chuck Hagel. Though they are occurring with greater frequency, there is no mass shooting that has yet compelled Congress to stand up to an organization formed for the specific purpose of selling more guns. Congressional republicans continue to hold the economy hostage in favor of ideologically-driven and horribly failed economic policies. Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country press forward with the disenfranchisement of workers, the government intrusion into the health decisions of women and the selective application of rights to the American citizen. In spite of the fact that democratic congressional candidates received 1.1 million votes more than their republican opponents, John Boehner - or perhaps someone worse if that can be imagined - will be Speaker of the House, leading a coalition whose sole mandate is the care and protection of America's most powerful. Republican legislatures are as we speak preparing legislation to have the Electoral College votes apportioned by gerrymandered congressional district boundaries instead of by permanent state boundaries. Both in the state legislatures and in the Congress, our representatives are whored out to polluters and to financial middlemen, further pushing back the day when America is able to ween itself off of fossil fuels and insulate its economy from speculative meltdown of capital markets.
We have only ourselves to blame.
America is experiencing the damage of demolibergressive fecklessness in mid-term and off-year elections, particularly at the state level. Across the country, republican-controlled legislatures re-drew congressional boundaries in order to maximize republican seats in the House of Representatives. Such redistricting occurs every decade after the US Census and whichever party controls the state legislature at the time has the opportunity to create a potentially insurmountable majority in the House of Representatives. No doubt Democrats have done the same thing. The issue is what happens next. In a clear case of "what in the hell were you thinking", I'm certain that there are public workers bitterly regretting their votes for Kasich in Ohio, Snyder in Michigan, Scott in Florida and Walker in Wisconsin, as well as the state legislators who ushered through the anti-worker, voter suppression, anti-choice and other damaging laws that those governors signed. I suspect that the American people would not have knowingly allowed congressional republicans to become America's rectal sphincter, deliberately blocking progress in the quest for power and the maintenance of plutocracy. But that is exactly what they have become and we have allowed it to happen.
Fortunately, there is a fix.
Clearly, demolibergressive focus must be on maximizing 2014 turnout in congressional, state legislative and gubernatorial races. The preparation should include continued emphasis on voter registration, early voting and election day turnout efforts as republicans will continue to engage in voter suppression actions that would make Jim Crow himself shed an admiring tear. Governors Kasich, Walker, Scott, Snyder and Corbett are all up for re-election in 2014. Those horrified by the 1,000 laws put on the books inserting the government into the uteri of women must show up. Those disdainful of blatant republican attempts to eliminate the votes of those who disagree with them must show up. Those repulsed by the continued obstruction of presidential appointees and judges must show up. Those disdainful of the selective application of citizenship rights based in sexual orientation must show up. Those upset at the elimination of collective bargaining rights must show up. Those who believe that all Americans should have the best possible education for the sake of long-term American competitiveness must show up. The American people sent a message to the Wall Street community, the Koch brothers and to ALEC, stating in no uncertain terms that the people were not going to allow them to buy the White House. In 2014, we must double-down on that message, letting them know that our statehouses are also no longer for sale.
Only when the people speak as loudly during the mid-term elections as we do in the presidential elections will the people have true victory.