It seems this presidential election year has been going on forever and its only January 22, 2012! It doesn’t help that myriad candidates for the Republican nomination have been running since the election of 2008 ended with the victory of then Senator Barak Obama. It also doesn’t help that there have been 17 (I know, the number seems like it should be much, much higher) Republican debates since May 5, 2011 with the 18th scheduled for tomorrow night.
Even as someone who has politics running through their veins, I am getting worn out. Politics is a blood sport, no matter how “civil” we profess we want it to be and in 2011 the blood flowed in many parts of the nation. The upper Midwest was a key battleground for politics as Republican governors and their very supportive Republican controlled legislatures sought to eliminate the ability of public employees to collectively bargain. In Wisconsin and Ohio the citizenry fought back and at least in Ohio have won and in Wisconsin Governor Walker is facing a recall election.
In an effort to diminish the ability of voters to participate in elections, many Republican controlled legislatures are attempting to enact draconian “voter identification” laws. Hell, even federal probationer James O’Keefe looks like he headed a conspiracy to violate both Federal and New Hampshire election law to “prove” the need for voter identification laws. Of course we all know that the Republicans’ love for voter identification laws is bullshit considering that no one had to provide photo identification to participate in the Iowa Republican Presidential Caucuses.
In Florida anyone receiving government assistance became required to be drug tested until a Federal judge halted the law. Now it seems Congressional Republicans would like to have even those receiving unemployment insurance benefits to be drug tested. I wonder if maybe we should require those in Congress and their staff to submit to drug tests.
In Arizona, author of the infamous “papers, please” SB1070 and State Senate President, Russell Pearce, was successfully “recalled” in historic election. The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission was attacked from the very start by the shadow group FAIR Trust and state “tea party” movement members, not to mention Governor Brewer and Republicans in the legislature. AIRC Chairwoman Colleen Mathis was removed by Governor Brewer and Senate Republicans only to be reinstated by the Arizona Supreme Court. The attacks against the AIRC and Chairwoman Mathis were about preserving the Republican super majority in the Arizona Legislature and the seats of incumbent Congressional Republicans.
In September, the U.S. military formally said goodbye to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as gays and lesbians were finally allowed to serve openly for the first time in our nation’s history. This, of course, caused undue stress for Republican Presidential Nominee Candidates as they promised to reinstate DADT while debate audience members booed a gay Army officer.
But now it is 2012 and President Obama is ramping up his reelection campaign, presenting “gifts” to all the liberals he cheated on when bowing Republican demands in 2011. First he recessed appointed Richard Cordray to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin to the National Labor Relations Board. Then he tabled approval of the Keystone XL permit application until 2013. Of course, these actions by the President are supposed to make liberals forget the last three years when we were chastised repeatedly for not supporting his milquetoast presidency.
As Senator Jon Kyl is retiring this year, Democrats will nominate someone who is Republican-lite to run against Congressman Jeff Flake and they will do the same in my new Congressional district. I won’t be alone as a liberal Democrat since even after redistricting there are four “safe” Republican Congressional districts, two “safe” Democratic Congressional districts and three “competitive” districts. That means that Arizona Democrats will be running Republican-lite candidates in at least seven of Arizona’s nine districts.
I just wish there was at least one candidate I could vote for instead of against their opponent. I wish there was one candidate come Election Day who truly believed in and acted for the enactment of liberal ideals. Is it too much to ask for a candidate to give me something to believe in?