Hanif on Media

News Media, New Media, Politics, Culture & Spiritual Perspectives from South Florida to Infinity.

Hanif on Media header image 1

Don’t like election results? This too shall pass

November 13th · No Comments · Barack Obama, Florida Weekly, news media

Like every other Tom, Dick and Hanif, I too have thoughts regarding what President Obama called the “shellacking” of his Democrats by the Republicans. Thus my latest commentary in Florida Weekly’s Palm Beach Gardens edition, here, here, and click to see this week’s entire Digital Edition here. Or just keep reading:

Just one question. To all the people who voted for Allen West.

What the heck were you thinking?

OK, that concludes my analysis of the midterm elections.

Or not.

Like every other Tom, Dick and Hanif, I too have thoughts regarding what President Obama called the “shellacking” of his Democrats by the Republicans.

To better inform them I trucked down to the Forum Club at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.

There, Ken Rudin, National Public Radio’s political editor, during his talk three days after the election, was “trying to explain what happened Nov. 2.”

Mr. Rudin confirmed my sense that in the universal picture, this too shall pass.

“We keep thinking that these sea changes will last forever,” he said, “and they don’t. They turn on a dime.”

For a perfect example he pointed back to November 2006 when President Bush was unpopular, the invasion of Iraq was unpopular, the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina was being ridiculed and reviled nationwide, there was the corruption in Congress, gasoline prices were out of control, all of which helped usher an historic win as the Dems took back the House and Senate.

In 2008, he noted, it was more of the same. Sen. John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate excited the base but ultimately sank GOP chances of succeeding President Bush, amid more gains for the Dems.

That had folks thinking the Democrats’ coalition of African-Americans and Latinos, seniors and younger voters, and rural people who had been voting Republican for years would last a long while, Mr. Rudin told Forum Club, of which I should note I am a member.

“The Republicans were deemed irrelevant if not worse, the party of Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, who would be in the wilderness for the longest time. And obviously the longest time lasted less then two years.”

While it’s true that a House majority and 60 Senate seats suggests a party can do what it wants, Mr. Rudin said, “The reality is when trying put together the health care bill, everybody had their own special interest” and there was a feeding frenzy. Recall Dem senators such as Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska demanding that to garner their vote, this or that must be added to the bill.

“Many Democrats forgot what got them there into the majority to begin with.” People were worrying about their jobs and their children’s future, he said, “And that was the underlying fear and feeling that was going on in this country.”

But sea change?

Mr. Rudin noted that Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater carried six states when routed by Democrat Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Two years later the GOP gained 47 seats in the House. Two years after, Richard Nixon was elected.

Same in 1972. “Richard Nixon carried 49 states as George McGovern was seen as a left-wing extremist, and it seemed the Republican control would last forever.” Two years later came Watergate, the Republican Party was routed in Congress, and two years later the nation elected President Jimmy Carter.

“For those of us who have followed and studied politics for a long time,” said Mr. Rudin, who has for several decades, “you can say of the euphoria for the Republicans in 2010, or the euphoria for the Democrats in 2006, it doesn’t last forever and it could change on a dime.”

In other words, for folks who are happy or not about the election outcomes — and I’m not — this too shall pass.

To me the question is how long we, our children and the world will have to endure what comes next: more missed opportunities before leadership brings us together, rather than continue playing the politics of division that keeps paying off so nicely for the Gingriches, Limbaughs and now congressmen such as West.

“Take our country back?” How about taking our county forward. Together?

And what the anger-focused media keep missing is the frustration among those Democrats, Independents and, yes, Republicans who have watched the Democrats fail to stand strong in the face of opponents who from the beginning said their objective was to see the administration, and by extension our nation, fail.

“I am independent. I am also moderate. I am part of the American non-partisan electorate,” said “theprofessor007” in a comment I saw over at huffingtonpost. com. “It is mostly the Democrats’ own failures to start real change, change that was clearly mandated by independents in 2009, what (sic) is causing your 2010 midterm election problems.”

President Obama still has the potential, because he hasn’t abandoned the high road. He’ll have to work harder than ever now to stay on it and still get done what voters elected him to do.

Thus I was surprised when a friend told me at the Forum Club that she had voted for West, who ousted U.S. Rep. Ron Klein in Florida Congressional District 22.

It’s obvious to anyone who cares to notice that West, the tough-talking former military contractor, who rails against “Coexist” bumper stickers while trying to grow up to be John Wayne, is the Tea Party’s Great Black Hope, supplanting perpetual GOP candidate Alan Keyes.

My friend said one thing that had endeared him to her is he consistently had attended Forum Club luncheons during the past two years. I appreciate the affirmation that such attendance can help take one all the way to Congress.

But she also said she “just felt good about him in my gut.” And while I have too much regard for her other than to graciously differ, perhaps there we have the story of the election: one person’s gut feeling, anger, fear or other emotion, is another person’s common sense.

Let’s hope our newly elected officials show they have the guts to do right by our nation. For now, I’m not optimistic.

But I trust that too shall pass.

— C.B. Hanif

Tags: ·······

No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment