There are many factors leading to a big shift in power towards Republicans on election day 2010. The only one that makes sense has to do with what has become a cliche on election days -- "It's the economy, stupid!"
None of the rest of the rationale for the expected very large turnout of disenchanted Republican voters on November 2 carries with it much in the way of logic. It's all about emotion, and that's a much stronger motivator. For many of those disgusted with the current state of affairs the emotion of choice is hatred -- hatred for President Obama. Much of the hatred is based upon fears planted in the psyche of the American populace by those who will gain by a return to power by Republicans.
Even before he took the oath of office there was an increase in the activities of militia groups and others who started arming themselves for the eventuality of Obama's civilian army coming for their guns. Those who refused to give up their guns would be rounded up and thrown into concentration camps. Sales of guns and ammo hit record levels shortly after Obama won the election of 2008. Conspiracy theories like this one stoked the fires of fear.
As a result, a movement began. Already mad at a Wall Street bailout, when Obama suggested some kind of "Main Street" bailout to help individuals weather the storm of the burst of the real estate bubble, the propaganda machine went into full swing, fanning the flames of fear that a bailout would cause a collapse of the economy and that Washington was moving towards total socialism.
Brought on by the excesses of Wall Street and the failure of the Wall Street regulators, the financial crisis we were all facing prompted Obama to suggest a massive financial stimulus package for "Main Street." Responding, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli launched the rant heard around the world condemning any bailout of the "losers" who couldn't pay their mortgages and calling for the launch of the Tea Party. The securities traders behind him (whom he referred to as a cross section of America) cheered. How out of touch do you have to be to think that securities traders represent the average American?
No such cries were heard about the Bush administration's bailout of Wall Street when they couldn't meet their obligations. Bailing out American citizens who were victimized by sub-prime loans, lax regulations, and downright fraudulent bond ratings was too much to bear. The Tea Party was born.
The rants of the Tea Party group are many, but the only one based upon reality is the mantra of many outside of the group -- mostly conservatives -- that the government taxes and spends too much. Aside from that, most of what we see and hear on the mainstream media outlets from Tea Party rallies centers around hatred for Obama. He is characterized as a Kenyan-born Muslim, socialist, terrorist coddler, and is often depicted on signs as a caricature of Hitler while simultaneously being called a socialist, communist, and fascist.
Group members shouted down anyone who opposed them at town hall meetings organized to discuss health care.
Add to this melee the fact that the largest cable network in the country, Fox News, has not only expressed, but shown its full support of Tea Party activities and ideals, and you have the brainwashing of America. Fox played a vital role in the misinforming of the American public about health care reform. The terms "death panel," rationing, and "government takeover" became so repetitively used on Fox that the average American came to think it was all true.
Fox's standard bearer in this has been the controversial Glenn Beck who shamelessly joined Sarah Palin on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the famous Martin Luther King speech on the same site to rally the troops against all things left of extreme right. No longer just reporting the "news," Fox became part of the news.
More than half of all Republicans actually believe Obama is Muslim. "Not that there's anything wrong with that!" (Seinfeld reference) But to this group, there is definitely something wrong with that as witnessed by the so-called "Ground-Zero Mosque" demonstrations and hysteria.
Finally, throw in a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case that now allows corporations to spend as much as they want on political ads and you have this "perfect storm" now facing Dems. Now, it seems, not only will corporations have wholly owned subsidiaries, they'll have wholly owned politicians.
We have already seen some of the results of this opening of the flood-gates of special interest money. A Karl Rove-led group has spent millions on negative campaign ads to unseat select Democrats in key races. The Koch brothers, likewise have spent millions. To nobody's surprise, Fox News has joined the fray in funneling millions to support Republicans and take down Democrats. Republican-leaning groups are outspending Democrat-leaning groups nine to one.
To make matters worse the American public is kept in the dark about who is supplying much of this money because it is done through "charitable" organizations whose supposed main goal is education. Education? How about mis-education? Such groups don't have to disclose the names of donors.
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