Thursday, November 4, 2010

"The Times They Are A-Changin'"

"Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’."
~Bob Dylan

Last night I watched a political climate change that hasn't happened in 70 years. The GOP regained more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives to hold a 239 majority. The last time a swing of this magnitude occurred was in the 1938 midterm elections when the GOP gained 72 seats. I hope that I can paint a picture of what the 2010 midterm elections mean to Americans by recounting the state of America in 1938.

FDR was pushing his third New Deal project. He had an overwhelming following in the election of 1936. The GOP had been struggling the previous eight years. FDR seemed to be unstoppable. And may have been had he not been the end of himself. His confidence lead to a court packing scheme that shifted the tide even in Democrat circles. His plan was to make a law that increased the number of Supreme Court Justices to twelve from nine. That way he could appoint three more judges that suited his political agenda. He expected others to die during his term and would then appoint others that also suited his politics.

Amidst a steadying Great Depression, the Roosevelt Recession pushed the unemployment rate up to 20%. Union violence escalated. A Gallup poll showed 66% of Americans wanted FDR to pursue conservative politics. He didn't.

"Que the '38 midterm elections please!" In comes a true "switch-in-time" that saves more than nine Justices. This one saved the GOP and the American people. After the House went to the GOP with a gain of 72 seats, the GOP controlled politics until 1958.

This short history lesson cannot truly convey the major political upheaval that America experienced by trying to pull a marauding President in from a drastically changed landscape.

Today is just a little bit of history repeating. Obama has given the American people rhetoric, lip-service, and a plan for two years. He has been the Democrats' President for two years. He has been pushing agendas that have grown the deficit by more than $3 trillion since he took office. The unemployment rate is at 9.6%.

America has decided to take the country back from a marauding President with an abnormally progressive agenda.

My "Hope" is that this midterm election "shakes [Obama's] windows and rattles [his] walls, for the times they are a-changin'."

1 comment:

  1. Interesting analysis. I'd like to add on a little bit about Roosevelt's court-packing scheme and these elections.

    Iowans voted to "not retain" three State Supreme Court justices because of their activism this past term. The justices said that Iowa's Constitution guaranteed same-sex marriage rights. Roosevelt wouldn't have succeeded in his court-packing plan because of Congress's makeup, but did succeed in appointing activist judges because some died and some retired.

    With only a few exceptions, voters rejected big government and activist judges. Americans are beginning to demand a normal representative government.