Aside

Mister President, You Have a Mandate

The American people are behind you: Do your job

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 9th 2012

 

When the Electoral College count moved above the magic 270 mark on its way to an eventual 332, your victory, Mister President, was far bigger than most people realize.

For the past two years, I had been saying that you would win an honest election. There was never any doubt in my mind about that. What I wasn’t so sure of was if you could win a dishonest election, one in which the GOP and their corporate masters managed to stack the entire deck against you.

Well, they did manage that, we had a dishonest election, and STILL you won.

They spent over $2.4 billion for their corporate causes, these glinty-eyed, secretive, paranoid plutocrats with their compensatory contempt for the rabble. The Kochs, the Adelmans, all these vicious and imperious bastards, spent and spend and spent, giving the professional liars they employed the means to create a vast river of bullshit, calumny, deceit and fear-mongering.

And still you won.

Faux News and Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh and the thousands of other outlets for the vast rightwing circus that serves as a disgraceful parody of a free press spewed lies and hate and racial innuendo, swearing that supporting you was socialist and anti-Christian and anti-American.

And still you won.

The nuts of the furthest right, the Ann Coulters and Donald Trumps and Ted Nugent, made the most insane, disrespectful, and ridiculous claims their diseased minds could come up with, not because they thought many people would be stupid enough to believe them, but because it made liars and fear-mongers at Faux News and Murdoch’s hateful media empire look almost rational in comparison. When you have a lunatic billionaire claiming you’re a secret Moslem born in Kenya, it’s easier to take a smarmy well-groomed liar on TV more seriously when he says you have socialist inclinations.

And still you won.

The GOP seized and corrupted a goodly chunk of the voting process, caging voters, putting up scary billboards threatening to punish voters who didn’t “look American” and sending a criminal enterprise out to gather Democratic voting registrations and throw them out. In a display of cynicism and corruption that would have given strutting generalissimos in third-world banana republics pause, the company that owned the voting machines in Ohio were largely owned by your opponent’s oldest son.

And still you won.

They spent four years obstructing any and all legislation that might help the economic recovery, serenely confident that if the economy failed to make a full recovery, you would be blamed. In the days before the election, I saw right wing propaganda that falsely claimed that you had promised to leave office after one term if you couldn’t fix the economy in that time. They made tens of millions of people suffer in hopes they could frighten and cow the dispossessed into opposing you.

And still you won.

Republican states shamelessly gerrymandered and manipulated redistricting, with the result that even though they have a 20-seat majority in the House, they actually lost the cumulative House vote by over half a million votes. It’s worth noting that in California, where the population demanded an independent commission do the redistricting, they elected super-majorities of Democrats in both Houses, and for the first time in over twenty years, have a functioning legislature.

And still you won.

Republicans lied, cheated, stole, defamed, fear-mongered, and even tried shaming people into voting for them. No dirty trick was beneath them, no element of the Democratic process outside the scope of their disdain.

And still you won.

A lot of Tea Party extremists were defeated in the House this week, and many of the remaining Democratic Blue Dogs. If there is one thing the electorate is as tired of as they are the strutting fascists of the far right, it is the self-styled “moderates” who kow-tow to them.

But the GOP haven’t learned a thing. They are convinced that inverting truth and paying for “common knowledge” will see them through this setback. Even as tens of millions of Americans cheered your win, they were on GOP television, demanding that you take the “lesson of this election” to heart, and stop leading the country down the road to socialism.

You WON, for fuck’s sake. The lesson learned is that if you oppose the GOP, the American people have your back!

If the election had been truly honest, you might have gotten 85% of the vote.

John Boehner, the reptilian orange clown who is Speaker of a House the majority of voters didn’t want, is already saying that he will attempt to extort you on the looming “fiscal cliff”. He plans to make extending the debt limit a pawn in his extortion, like he has before. Indeed, it’s the same pawn he used to inflict the agreement that is leading to that “fiscal cliff.”

Is that cliff dangerous? Certainly. It means a sudden decrease in government spending of $600 billion, a meat-ax across the board cut that will make nearly all government functions non-functional. Quite aside from the fact that this means an immediate contraction in the GDP of between 1% and 2%, the fallout from it could result in a contraction of 8%, a downturn not seen since 1930. And 1930 was an incredibly horrible year. Paul Krugman warns it could be that bad, and his record for accuracy is about as good as Nate Silver’s is for polling. So when he says something, it’s a good idea to listen carefully.

I know you want to avoid that horror. Any sane person would.

But Boehner and the rest are already announcing that tax cuts are off the table, they will use necessary functions such as the debt limit as bargaining chips, and they are quite prepared to play the same vicious games that gave this last Congress an approval rating as low as 9%. They haven’t learned.

Have you? Are you willing to stand up to them? Will you use your bully pulpit to remind the American people, over and over, as many times as is needed, that the only reason we are in this looming crisis is because the GOP played the same game of chicken that they play now for their morally bankrupt and intellectually absurd ideology?

Your win was far, far bigger then the raw numbers show. You didn’t just defeat Mitt Romney; you defeated a mentality that believed it could buy, lie, cheat, steal and defame their way into power. The American people showed that they don’t surrender to contemptuous plutocrats that easily, and they have your back.

Do you have theirs?

It’s crunch time. Will you stand up to the liars and bullies in Congress?

You have a mandate, Mister President.

Now is the time to do it right.

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