The Midterms Are Over. Now What?

So, the 2014 midterm elections are over, and the Democrats got their asses handed to them (no pun intended). Mitch McConnell retired from his old job as the Tootsie Pop spokesowl and is now living his dream, Frank Underwood-style, as Senate Majority Leader.

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“I haz the Senit Majoritee Leeder job!” -Mitch McConnell, probably.

Now, the majority of Democrats, myself included, were overwhelming aware that we were going to lose the Senate to Republicans (except VP Biden, who wrongly predicted that we’d maintain a majority of 52 seats). Yet, when the polls closed and the races were called, I wanted to pull a Teresa Giudice and topple the nearest piece of furniture. This would have been my Ikea dresser and while it was cheap, it took me six hours to assemble so I refrained from destroying it.

If the thought of a Republican Congress terrifies you, that means you are either an informed citizen or President Obama, who will now be tasked with the unenviable position of having to “work with” McConnell and his cronies (read: he will have to fight their obstructionist agenda with the power of his veto pen and executive orders, which will only further their claims that he is a totalitarian socialist Kenyan Muslim something or other). In sum, this is all very, very bad, and I predict this Congress will be the most ineffective to date.

So, what can we expect of our new Congress? For starters, we can use govtrack.us to search bills that have passed the Republican-held House over the past few years, but that died in the Senate when the Democrats had the majority. I predict that these will be some of the first bills to be brought to the floor since the GOP now holds the majority of seats in both houses. This means that abortion access and reproductive rights will soon be up for a vote, since Republicans love nothing more than bonding over their disdain for a woman’s bodily autonomy. McConnell has long wished to restrict abortions after 20 weeks and as Senate Majority Leader, he’s now perfectly positioned to fulfill this agenda. Some pretty terrifying anti-choice bills have made their way through the House over the past few years and with no Democratic majority in the Senate preventing those bills from passing, there’s a good chance we’ll see more abortion restrictions proposed over the coming years (and possibly even months). President Obama, have your veto pen at the ready.

If there’s one thing I want to stress about this democratic bloodbath of an election, it’s that the midterms are more important than any Presidential election. Seriously. Our government was structured to operate with a system of checks and balances, giving each of the three branches of government the power to limit the others. This was done primarily to prevent our country from falling ass backwards into tyranny. As wise and prudent as the delegates at the Constitutional Convention were in crafting a document that would help limit tyranny, they failed to predict how the progressive nature of society would impact the psychosis of the Republican Party. Terrified of change and adjusting their schemas to incorporate a world many of them don’t recognize, Republicans are committed to creating a society that better suits their ideological limitations, which unfortunately do not involve the majority of Americans. Conservative activism is alive in well in all branches of government- the most obvious and frightening of which has manifested itself as the Roberts Court (see: anything Antonin Scalia says about anything).

In our post-election daze, let’s not forget why so many of us campaign, volunteer and canvass for our chosen elected officials. Democrats lost big time, but we’re always standing on the right side of history. So use today to eat your feelings, sob uncontrollably in the shower (Tobias Funke-style) and generally feel sorry about the current state of politics.

Tomorrow, it’s time or organize, strategize and galvanize, because the place for justice is not on the sidelines.

 

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