America’s Message: 2010 Election Recap

Vote here sign close up Politician in Training

If you ask Darling 1 what he wants to be when he grows up, he will tell you: Bruce Springsteen, a baseball player, an astronaut, a conductor of a symphony and a cowboy. But I think he might be in training to be a politician. What do you think?

Ways in Which My 4 Year-Old Acts Like a Politician:

  1. Darling 1 will tell you he doesn't like bananas whatsoever; the very next day he professes he deep love of bananas and eats two on the spot.
  2. Darling 1's Pre-K teachers talk about what a rule follower he is in class and how he never acts up, fights, yells or throws things, but at home it can be a very different story;
  3. If you ask him to clean up his toys, he might tell you he is too busy or too tired to do so, but if you tell him you will give him a piece of chocolate once the room is clean, he immediately puts the items away in order to get his bribe;
  4. When asked why his little brother is crying, he might respond something like this: "well, a giant gust a wind came through the house and knocked the (insert toy name) out of my hand and sent it hurtling at Darling 2's head"; or "I accidentally bit him on the arm even though I did not mean to do it";
  5. It takes asking Darling 1 the same question about 4 or 5 different times to get a straight answer; an answer that he will stick with and not change his mind about;
  6. Don't even try to negotiate with him, you'll end up giving him more than you ever even intended to offer and maybe more than you are authorized to offer; and
  7. Darling 1 thinks all of the money in the house is his.

Do these scenarios sound familiar to you? Does it remind you of your children or of a politician you may or may not have voted for this week?

As parents we have to deal with our spoiled, incorrigible, stubborn, spirited, and/or creative thinking kids. And as citizen of this democracy we have to put up with the people elected to serve as our government representatives on a local, state and federal basis. On some days and under some circumstances, this is a great honor, and on other days and under other circumstances, this can be a humbling experience, to say the least.

Eternally Optimistic

To recap the 2010 Mid-Term Election results: "America sent a message to Washington" was a catch-phrase heard often during the evening hours of Nov. 2nd. While this was not my message, it's one I can appreciate. I tend to be eternally optimistic about our government. For instance, I held out hope for a long time that George W. really did have knowledge of weapons of mass destruction when we went to war so many years ago (And I've never even been a fan of W. the politician. As someone to hang out with at a party? Well, that's another story. Remember, we go way back. He was my governor in Texas before he was my President); I bought into Edwards' humble family man act and am repeatedly shocked and dismayed when I hear of yet another cheating politician; and yet I continue to believe that those we elect really do have the American people's best interests at heart. I'll admit that I'm a sap when it comes to politics.

That said, I think that it could be a positive experience for our country for the Republicans to be in control of the House while the Democrats control the Senate and the White House. I believe this arrangement will force all involved to work harder to get the job done.

And speaking of jobs, creating jobs, lowering the unemployment rate and boosting the economy in general are apparently the issues listed as #1 on most Americans' national agenda. President Obama heard the message and has now pledged to work to "make clear to the business community, as well as to the country, that the most important thing we can do is to boost and encourage our business sector and make sure that they're hiring." Mr. Obama also promised to negotiate with the Republicans on issues such as, tax cuts, small provisions of the health care bill, energy, etc.

Election Results

In Monday's post, I discussed several points of interest to watch on Tuesday as the results came in. Here are the outcomes of those issues:

  • Marijuana Propositions: In SD and OR, the medical marijuana propositions failed; and in AZ it's too close to call at this time. CA's Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana was easily defeated.
  • Tea Party: Tea Party supported candidates did fairly well winning races in KY, AZ, FL, NC, NJ, MI, IN, WI, SD, NY, IL, LA, WA and AR. Tea Party candidates also lost some key elections; DE & NV to name a few. The Tea Party movement is definitely a force to be reckoned with at this time. Only time will tell if the group's strong influence will continue into the next election in 2012.
  • Iowa's Supreme Court Justices: In a historical upset, the three IA Justices lost their seats in a retention vote after conservatives mounted a massive campaign against the Justices based on the Court's 2009 7-0 decision that allowed gay couples to marry in Iowa. "In the end, the aggressive campaign to misuse the judicial retention vote, funded by out-of-state special interests, has succeeded," Drake University Law School Dean Allan Vestal said. "The loss of these three justices is most unfortunate, and the damage to our judicial system and the merit selection of judges will take much to repair." This action was purely retaliatory in nature. Dismissing these Justices will not change the decision. These Justices were merely doing their job, interpreting the laws and constitution of IA, not acting as activists as the smear campaign would have you believe. As a former IA resident and IA Judicial Department employee, I am deeply disappointed by this result.
  • The Senate & The House: The Democrats retained control of the Senate, winning 12 seats, while the Republicans won 23 seats, which means the Senate looks like this: 52(D) and 46 (R). In the House, Republicans took control with a net gain of 60 seats. Overall, there will now be 239 (R) and 186 (D) in the House, with 11 races too close to call.
  • Other Races Too Close to Call: At this time, there are still a few races left undecided. The gubernatorial races in MN, OR and IL are too close to call and likely headed for a recount. And there are two undeclared U.S. Senate races: WA and AK. It could be months before the AK winner is known due to write-in candidate, Lisa Murkowski, leading the vote. Each vote will have to be counted by hand and checked for correct spelling.
  • For more interesting tidbits about the 2010 Election results check out 9 Historic, Groundbreaking, Unusual or Downright Surprising Results From the 2010 Midterms from TakePart.com: http://bit.ly/dcUC3s

The Scoop

I will post on the best ways to contact a government representative to discuss an issue in the coming weeks, but I decided this week was not the best time to contact elected officials and expect to get answers from them. This election was quite interesting. The Tea Party added a new dimension to the campaigns; there were a number of unique propositions on ballots; and history was made by several results. No one can say that politics is dull.

What was your take on the results? How do you feel about the upcoming legislative session and the freshman class?

Don't forget to check out the ML Survey in the post below this one. By taking a moment to answer the survey questions you will me get to know you, the readers, better. It's quick and easy, I promise.

I will post a bit of Motherly Advice on Friday. Over and out…

Anna

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