Syria, Obamacare, and gun regulation remind us what a pain in the ass democracy can be. We don’t elect people to be our vote proxy, we elect them to represent us as best they see fit, so you can’t always blame Congress for ignoring the will of the people when their mandate is to do what they think is best for us.
Ultimately all you can do is call/mail/email them and attend public meetings and tell them what you want them to do, and then hold them responsible for their votes during the next election.
That said, it’s amazing to me how often voters find themselves in the position of being ignored. I like to tell people often that democracy means not always getting what you want, but if it’s the rule and not the exception, what do you really have?
Misc issues today:
* The two Democrats facing NRA-generated recalls in Colorado in retaliation for passing new gun regulations are trouncing their GOP opponents 3-to-1 in early voting.
* The people trying to block military action in Syria is roughly the same that tried to shut down NSA domestic spying, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Tea Party right and progressive left never came together over Wall Street but they shared a lot of the same complaints. That’s three major issues where members of Congress are backing their constituents and standing up to their leaders.
* Republicans have been busy in North Carolina since winning control of the legislature in 2010. They redrew districts to make it next to impossible for Democrats to win control short of a landslide, enacted a voter ID law so regressive that the Department of Justice is going to sue the state to block it, and voted yesterday to gut an immigration law to make it much easier for undocumented immigrants to work in the state longer without being caught.
Now their decision to reject a federally-funded expansion of Medicaid for the state’s 500,000+ poor (AKA the middle class these days) has directly caused a 60-year-old hospital to close and 100 people will lose their jobs, just to thumb their nose at Obamacare.
* Paul Krugman notes the irony that the government did what the free market couldn’t or wouldn’t do, it created a competitive market for health insurance, and it was with conservative ideas implemented by liberals that conservatives now oppose that got it done.
* Jonathan Cohn looks at attempts to sabotage Obamacare, and the American Enterprise Institute agrees with him. The closer we get to full rollout the more obvious it is that Obamacare is mostly going to work. All that leaves opponents for strategy is to try to actively make it fail on purpose.
* The government reported 169,000 new jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 7.3%. June was revised down from 188,000 to 172,000, while July was revised from 162,000 to 104,000. The main reason for the slowing job market is probably spending fights coming up in Congress since the government has otherwise sat on its ass for the past few months and done nothing to create any jobs.
In other words, threats to shutdown the government over funding Obamacare and threats to let the United States government default on its debt unless the GOP gets more spending cuts like the sequester that it blamed on Obama after promising it in their 2010 Pledge To America.
* The Federal Reserve promised earlier in the year to keep their Quantitative Easing program running even after the economy has fully recovered in an attempt to make businesses hire based on the idea that interest rates will remain low well into the future. Then it said it was going to slow QE down even with unemployment above 7%, sending the exact freaking opposite message it had in the spring. Then the economy slowed down.
Good job, guys.