You are now entering the Jewish Currents archive.
by Gary Schoichet Shortly after Election Day, Blinding Light News Flash scored an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama. The president let his lack of hair down... SO SOME OF THE DISASTER of the midterm elections was my fault. I could be more of a back-slapper and back room guy. I could have channeled Lyndon Johnson. Wait, I did, didn’t I? That’s me right back into Iraq, that same Iraq I promised to get out of. Which I did. But now I’m back. It’s confusing. Like my fellow Democrats running away from the good things we did. Democrats: People like the Affordable Care Act. Some people see me as a little bit aloof and some people see me as plain uppity. There are lots of people who see me as the word I can’t use. You know the one. Unless, of course, I’m rapping. But, back to the midterms. H.L. Menken, astute reporter and social critic, anti-Semite and anti-everything else, and nobody’s friend, famously said, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” When I look at this past election I find myself understanding exactly what he meant. That is a terrible admission for the president of the greatest democracy in the world to make. In Iowa they elected Joni Ernst, a woman whose claim to fame is that she castrated pigs and promised that as a senator she will castrate Obamacare and any program that takes money from the Koch brothers and her friends. Helping the fading middle class and the less fortunate is out of the question. In her victory speech she said, “We’re headed to Washington and we are going to make them squeal.” Gives me the shivers. And get me a codpiece. Let’s not forget Oklahoma’s Senator James Inhofe talking about climate change: “God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” Jim, one of my favorite dopes in the Senate, is blaming God for global warming. Mark Pryor ran his campaign as far from me as geography allowed. (No one learned the Al Gore lesson.) So newly-elected Senator Tom Cotton, who has more cotton between his ears than all the bolls in his state of Arkansas, says that I am refusing to secure our borders and that “groups like the Islamic State... could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.” I mean, why would anyone want to go to Arkansas, let alone terrorists? There’s a guy in Colorado whose name is Gordon Klengenschmitt who was elected to the State House with 70 percent of the vote. This nut thinks Obamacare causes cancer, that Hillary and I are ruled by demons and are worthy of death, that the Bible tells people to own guns, and that was before there were guns, in order to defend themselves against leftwing crazies, and the FCC is allowing demonic spirits to “molest and visually rape your children,” and he says this on the radio. Michael Grimm of Staten Island was re-elected and he’s going to jail. FOLKS, THERE ARE SO MANY MORE OF THEM that it makes me wonder about the fate of our country. But I have faith in our country and our people and our democracy. Here’s H.L. Mencken again: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” I’m not bitter. I’m scared. Gary Schoichet is a prize-winning labor journalist, editor, and photographer. He writes and photographs what he sees. He nevertheless still has a sense of humor.