Ditto what BA said.The President's approval ratings were in the toilet -- and Congress' were even lower -- so this stunning degree of change shouldn't have been a surprise.
Over the past few years, many people adopted an oversimplified "Republican/Conservative/Good, Democrat/Liberal/Bad" philosophy. It's what got Bush re-elected. However, the Republicans really got away from what they traditionally stood for: a small, fiscally responsible government that got things done. In fact, the only thing the term "conservative" really stood for were a series of wacky religious beliefs -- instead of a restricted approach to spending and legislation.
Look at the ridiculous drug plan the Republicans passed. The government pays full retail price for prescriptions, then distributes them to the public at a subsidized cost. A ridiculous plan straight out of the FDR administration -- with the multi-billion dollar tab going onto the national deficit -- which ballooned under Bush and a Republican Congress. That's a completely liberal piece of legislation -- but as long as Rush Limbaugh would shoot his mouth off and say Republicans/Conservative/Good and Democrats/Liberal/Bad -- the Republicans thought they could get away with it as long as empty headed nit-wits like my sister in law believed it.
Look at what the Republicans accomplished over the past 6 years with complete control of Washington: no oil drilling in the Pacific, a $58 a barrel tax on Brazilian methanol, continued funding of corn-based ethanol -- which is a complete joke -- and spending time on divisive, hateful stuff like a constitutional ban on gay marriage and jumping into the Terry Schiavo mess. And let's not forget about the rather iffy reasoning behind the invasion of Iraq -- and the complete mismanagement of it.
That kind of crap really turned me off -- along with Bush appointees like that clown who ran FERC, who turned a blind eye to the energy companies looting California during the energy shortages a few years ago. A small issue, yes, but symbolic in that the government no longer was capable of viewing right and wrong -- because the influence of outside money was so great -- blowing any sense of trust in the process.
Fortunately, a lot of the Democrats who got elected are quite conservative. Conservative in the fiscal sense. They really should help balance out the Republicans who were drunk on their own power. Will it be easy? Heck, no, as a lot a Democrats are total whack jobs -- just like some Republicans are.
Right now, everybody's playing nice. I hope they keep it up -- because this country needs to come up with a unified policy on Iraq, a real energy policy, a way of truly getting tough with the Chinese and other ruthless "trading partners" that are driving our middle class to the working class and the working class to poverty -- all while finding a way of cutting spending so we can begin paying down our nation's $8,600,000,000 credit card tab.
And before anybody begins to sling mud at me as some goofy California Democrat tree hugging liberal -- keep in mind that pretty much all of votes on Tuesday were for Republicans -- the old school, small government kind.
http://www.electoral-vote.com/Many people have pointed me to the Iowa Electronic Markets as an indicator supposedly better than the polls. This market allows people to buy and sell futures contracts on political outcomes. In effect, it is a form of legalized gambling with real money on the election results. At midnight on Nov. 6, the day before the election, the closing prices were as follows for the following contracts, each of which paid $1 if the outcome matched the contract:
Democrats win House, Democrats win Senate $0.30
Democrats win House, Republicans win Senate $0.54
Republicans win House, Democrats win Senate $0.01
Republicans win House, Republicans win Senate $0.17
An example in practice: suppose the night before the election you expected the Democrats to win the House and the Republicans to win the Senate. For $540 you could have bought 1000 contracts. If the result had turned out as you expected, you would have collected $1000., otherwise you would have gotten nothing. If, on the other hand, you expected the Democrats to win all the marbles (as happened), you could have bought 1000 contracts for only $300 and collected $1000 after the election. In other words, the market was effectively giving 3:1 odds against a Democratic sweep. So much for the wisdom of the markets.
:cheersQuestion: Why do candidates spend millions of $$ to get elected to a job that pays less than $200K a year? (The current salary for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $165,200 per year.)
It's not about 'money' per se. You don't see any working stiffs running for Congress, it's wealthy businessmen and women who have already made their fortunes. They don't want the job because it pays well, they want the job for the power that comes with the position. When you reach that level, you get to make the rules, and the rules you make benefit you and your rich cronies and the corporations that bought you into office. Republican, Democrat, it doesn't really matter. Washington is for sale to the highest bidder and has become corrupt beyond belief. If you do happen to get someone in office who's idealistic and genuinely wants to make things better for the PEOPLE and not just himself and his buddies, the rest of Congress stonewalls him and he can do absolutely nothing unless he plays the game too. Personally I don't look for much to change until we march 25 or 30 million people on Washington and shut the place down for a couple weeks and DEMAND changes. I honestly believe that's what it's going to take. Things have gotten so out of control and are so skewed by all the graft floating around in Washington, and nothing is going to change until the American people stand up and demand changes. The only thing this election said was "We're tired of the Republicans screwing us over, so we're going to let the Democrats screw us over for a while."