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On the eve of the election . . . HERE'S A THOUGHT from Charles Shaughnessy

The Democrats are doing it again! Not so much shooting themselves in the foot as blowing their own brains out! 

Despite a self-described “obstructionist” Congress and a relentlessly personal and vicious campaign of vitriolic hate, this President has not only saved the country’s economy from utter disaster (it had already fallen off the cliff in 2007) but actually managed to substantially lower the deficit, claim a string of Stock Market records, lower joblessness to almost record lows, place millions of new Americans under HealthCare (whilst lowering it’s overall costs) lifted immoral restrictions on women and Gays from serving their country in the Armed Forces, fought for (and won)  Equality in Marriage for millions of Americans, exhibited cool and effective leadership abroad where he oversaw the elimination of Public Enemy number One, nudged Libya into removing a tyrant and navigated the most troubling and dangerous complexities of a wild-fire in the relentless, inter-nicine violence of the Middle East. All of this accomplished in the face of a steady fusillade of opposition and derision. It is significant that “Obamacare,” the avowed “wedge issue” for this election has been totally ignored by the GOP – remember Death Panels, bankrupt doctors, shuttered ERs ????

So what do the slate of Democratic candidates do in this vital Mid-Term cycle? Proudly stand by the man, the ideals and the toughness that has made the country healthier, richer, more secure, more “fair” than it was under eight years of GOP bungling?  No! Instead, they buy into the GOP generated culture of resentment, hate, greed and racism and distance themselves from the one man they should be lionizing as one of the most resilient and effective Presidents in decades.

By distancing themselves from President Obama, these pusillanimous, apologists have not only played into the GOP “worst President in History” myth, but opened the door to a legislature that has declared itself “honor-bound” to obstruct anything and everything on the President’s agenda. No more judges seated, no more meaningful legislation, no more federal budgets etc. etc. 

I shed no tears that we will see no Senator Grimes unseat Mitch McConnell, but it is a tragedy that she and her ilk have chosen to roll over and usher in what may be the darkest two years for this country.

I urge you to vote . . . It is the ONLY way to make a difference!

Those are my thoughts on this mid-term election.  What are yours?

Additional comments by Charlie: 

charles shaughnessy03 November, 2014 18:10 
charles shaughnessy03 November, 2014 18:17


  1. (1) Joblessness numbers are fictional; the numbers don't include people who have stopped looking for work. Real unemployment is several percentage points higher than the numbers indicate (and higher than it was when Bush 43 was president).

    (2) "Public enemy number One" was eliminated using the plan developed while Bush 43 was president. Obama wasn't responsible for killing bin Laden, although he certainly had no problem taking credit for it.

    (3) That "obstructionist" Congress--does that include the Senate Majority Leader who, according to my Congressman, is currently preventing over 300 bills (passed either unanimously or with substantial bipartisan support in the House) coming to the floor of the Senate for a vote?

    Perhaps the Democrats are wising up and realizing that the president isn't an asset to their campaigns, but a hindrance. Oh, and that "worst president in history" myth--you might want to check the poll by USA Today, which indicated that Obama is the worst president since World War II. Last time I checked, USA Today wasn't a conservative mouthpiece.

    Incidentally, if any other president had done what Obama has done, he would have been impeached by now. He took an oath to support and defend the Constitution (twice, in fact), yet somehow he doesn't think he needs to follow it. Of course, I guess there is that "activist" Supreme Court (which has unanimously overturned some of his actions) that is the real problem, correct?

    1. Rising consumer confidence is not fudged; Bush's plan was no more complex than simply "Get Bin Laden" and was actually developed under Clinton - Obama just "got it done;" the most impeachable offense in living memory was lying to the American public in order to wage a trumped up war that has cost thousands of American lives and, in the meantime, betraying the identity of a covert U.S. CIA agent during this same war! As for SCOTUS....the erroneous jurisprudence that streams out of Scalia's mouth is just plain embarrassing.

    2. Trumped up war? Even the New York Times admits that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (which was one of the main reasons for the conflict). Obama didn't "get it done"; that was Seal Team Six. Using that logic, Franklin Roosevelt was responsible for the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor because it happened while he was president. And the last time I checked, lying to the American public is not an impeachable offense--or else Lyndon Johnson should have been impeached for lying about the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

      Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster (no president has involved the U.S. in more global conflicts than him--great accomplishment for a Nobel Peace Prize winner). The nation is not respected globally. You can't blame Republicans for that. Yes, mistakes were made during the Bush 43 administration, but he didn't act without Congressional approval. Obama can't say the same, especially after the Bergdahl debacle.

      Off to vote before class--and my decision will be made on the best candidate for the office, regardless of party. For me, the decision not to support the incumbent governor was made in November 2011. The decision to continue to support my current Congressman (who has introduced a constitutional amendment for term limits for representatives and senators that is stuck in committee) comes after reading his views on issues and meeting with him at a local town hall meeting (how many people can say they met with their congressman at a pizza parlor?). The only other position on the ballot is for our state representative, a Republican who has been endorsed by my union (yes, you read that correctly--a union endorsed a Republican candidate in a contested race). All three of the candidates I support are expected to win, which will be a nice change. My mother has already cast her absentee ballot (which required a stamp--I guess that's the new version of a poll tax).

  2. While I agree with some things that Obama has done, ( like lifting the restrictions of women and gays in the military and marriage equality. ) I do not like the way that "Obamacare" works. There are plenty of people out there who would rather pay the penalty for not signing up, because they cannot afford to sign up for it. There should be affordable health care for everyone. Also as a result of "Obamacare" my own health care insurance has gone up and we now have deductibles that we have never had to pay before. Now some would say that it's not because of "Obamacare" I however strongly disagree. It's funny that it happened not to long after "Obamacare" was passed.
    I do believe that everyone should have affordable health care. President Truman believed and wanted health care to available to everyone. So it was debated back then and I find it fascinating that it was. I goes to show that they felt the need for affordable health care back then.
    So tomorrow I will go out and cast my vote. I don't go out and just vote for someone because they belong to my political party. I vote for the person who's views that I agree with or support, be it Democrat, Republican, or Independent. There are times when I don't agree with any of them, and I chose to vote for the lesser of the two evils. To me you just shouldn't go and vote because you can. You should who and what you are voting for. After all knowledge is power!

    1. I agree absolutely, Tracy, that one should not vote blindly for a "Ticket", but get informed on the issues and vote accordingly - even if your own self-interest conflicts with the majority, you should do what's best for you. That is the point of one man/ one vote. I disagree with anyone, however, that extends the idea financial donations where millions of dollars can have the effect of making one man's vote more influential than anyone else's. I am sorry that the new Health Care law has impacted you negatively. Have you checked with the local exchange to see if there is a better option? I also enjoyed seeing a letter in the Truman Library from an irate citizen who complained back then that his Health Care reforms were going to cost him an increased rate! Plus ca change! :-)

    2. I have checked with the local exchange and it is cheaper for us to keep our current insurance. We do get a better rate through the company my husband works for. It's quite a shock to go from zero deductible to having to pay one.
      I also remember reading that letter in the Truman Library. I do think that there is some price gouging going on with some insurance rates.

    3. I have to agree that Obama has done some very positive things involving creating a greater level of equality among American's, no matter if we agree personally with everything about their lives or beliefs. I will also say that I disagree with some things he has done. I have long believed that the health care system in our country has needed improvement, though I don't believe that forcing people to buy health insurance is the answer. Nor is forcing companies to provide insurance for every full-time employee. I actually experienced a cutting back of my hours at work in order to allow the company to keep from having to offer me insurance. This has caused me to have two under-employed jobs, neither of which provide me with insurance benefits, in order to make ends meet. I have since had to go back to school to get a Master's degree to make it possible to get a job that will pay me enough to get by. We have a privately owned insurance policy, so as far as I'm concerned, I would just like to have a job that I enjoy and that will allow me to provide for my family. At the same time, I have some very close friends and family get better health insurance coverage where health problems have prevented them from getting out from under poor and insufficient health insurance because no one else wanted to cover them. I also have to agree that we should vote for the candidate, not the political party. Voting for the party's ticket is like saying that there is only one kind of answer to every possible question and problem in the country. Every issue and every situation is surrounded by a different set of circumstances and therefore requires distinct thought and an individual approach. Sometimes that approach will lean to the left, sometimes it will lean to the right, and sometimes it will be straight down the middle. We need to educate ourselves on the positions of each candidate and determine how well those positions address the demands of each different situation, and then we should vote for those who's positions best address the many different issues.

  3. I agree that President Obama has done a great deal of good for the country and has moved it in the right direction, despite being hampered every step of the way. I disagree with Tracy, as I feel that Obamacare is a great thing, and I feel it will go down in history as one of his greatest achievements, despite its early growing pains. These will eventually be sorted out. Here in California, people now have the chance to get very reasonable health care.He has put a dent in unemployment and I applaud what he has done for women's and gay rights.
    I feel his affect in Foreign Policy has not been as good. He is pulling our people out of Iraq as quickly as is possible and is trying to defeat Isis without putting more boots on the ground. Not an easy task! Despite all he has done, he doesn't seem to hold the respect he deserves from foreign leaders, which weakens his position.

    It is a shame that some Democratic candidates are distancing themselves from him. This serves no purpose at all, and only weakens their own party. I'm afraid it's a case of thinking of their own future as apposed to the future of the country.
    My hope, is that people vote carefully, with a thought to the good of the country as a whole! Being informed is very important. Voting for the person who is the best candidate for the job and not because he is a Democrat or a Republican.

  4. The Problem

    A very large part of the problem that we have in Congress as well as when many consider anything that the current president has done or is attempting to do is the refusal to look past the political party of the candidate, blinding them to anything that might be positive that the candidate has done. Many people will even go so far as to say that a member of the political party opposing their own has never done anything good or worthy of their current position. This causes any civil conversation to come to a complete standstill and morph into a contest to see who can get the last word pointing out what has not gone perfectly for one political party or candidate. In these conversations, the problem escalates as members of each side simply try to knock down what the members of the other political party are trying to accomplish.
    The halt in conversation and in progress has caused our government to grind to a near halt in which little is accomplished. It seems that no matter what President Obama says or tries to accomplish, the republicans take an active stance in trying to impede it so that they can make things go their way. There is no purpose to this impediment other than saying that they are stopping something from happening. This only serves as a roadblock to any progress.
    This is not a one-way road as the democrats do the same thing when republicans attempt to accomplish something productive for the country. If anyone identifies themselves as a republican and indicates a desire to establish policy affecting the direction that the country is heading, they are immediately dismissed as being antiquated and against progress, no matter how progressive that idea. This puts the democrats in the same position of simply trying to stand in the way of anything that any member of the opposing political party is trying to accomplish.
    No matter the end of the political spectrum, it seems that our legislative representatives don’t want to hear that there might be a possible answer somewhere other than where they stand. So we stand caught behind multiple roadblocks that keep the government from going anywhere.

    The Solution

    The solution to this problem of impeding the other political party is finding candidates willing to reach across the aisle and collaborate to find the good that each side of the political spectrum can bring. There is no solution in the candidates who will simply focus on what the other party is doing wrong or what things have not gone perfectly from the other side of the spectrum. The solution, rather, lies in the ability of representatives to take information from each side, analyze it, determine what, from both sides, is not serving the identified purpose in the best way and eliminate it. The next step in this analysis is to determine what is working and serving a useful purpose in accomplishing the identified goal- meaning establishing goals agreed upon by both sides.
    With a firm understanding of the combined goal, and a willingness to take the positive aspects of each political approach to come up with the one approach that will benefit the country and most effectively reach the established goal. Then, the conversation and objective analysis should continue to determine what parts of the plan are working well and what is not in order to determine why some things are not effective and why others are effective in order to continue to keep the effective parts and alter the ineffective parts.
    Electing candidates who are willing to compromise and collaborate for the betterment of the country is the only way that we will see positive progress within our government.

  5. I agree Becky! We need to elect people who are willing to reach across the aisle and do what is best for the country. This attitude that they need to vote against the other party, no matter what, is getting the country nowhere! It's time to compromise and move forward!

  6. So much of what I feel has already been said by the others, but of course I have to offer my 2 cents(ok, $1.43). Somehow the politicians have done it again...they have managed to divide us into 'Your side is terrible, vote for my side! Save our nation! War on Women! Repeal Obamacare!" camps, while they sit in their comfy chairs and wink at each other. Most of them will keep their seats, and the new people will be marginalized if they don't cooperate. It's not you vs. me, it's us vs. them. What will it take in this country to get the corruption out, and get an honest government in there? I fear the answer. And yes, the best thing to do is to get money out of government, but how do we do that when the people who will be writing the "campaign reform" laws are the same ones who need to reform?! Even if they *do* write a reform law, there will be 1200 pages of legalese in it, which will provide ways to circumvent the thing!
    I will address Obamacare, because it affects me personally AND professionally. I work in a small office(3 employees) so we do not have insurance provided by our employer. I purchase a plan for just me from my boss, and it went from $823/month to over $900. Why? Because my "mandatory full coverage" state insurance law did not cover all 10 of the mandatory ACA items! The "exchange" plan was the same premium, with "coming soon!!" as the info for deductibles and doctors. Coming soon? That translates to "Trust us! It'll be great! You're gonna love it!". I won't be uninsured, so here I go again...though it would be much cheaper to pay the fine. We were told that the ACA negotiations would be shown on C-Span so that we could see who was trying to wheel and deal. Where they? Nope. It was crafted in a back room behind a locked door with insurance lobbyists. Don't you find it "odd" that the really important financial mandates of this have been postponed till after the midterm elections, and some till 2017???? That should be a big sign that this monstrosity is not going to make the Dems look good!
    IMHO, Obamacare is the primary reason for his low approval numbers. When that facockte website appeared, people didn't like what they were seeing. LIBERAL websites were loaded with comments that pretty much said "WTH is this? I voted for him because of this! I can't afford this! ". And we still don't know what's really coming down the pike, because they're hiding it until the elections are over. And if what was coming was GOOD, the Dems would have pushed it through and be using it for votes right now.
    I know many "recovering Republicans" who are now Independent, and other R's who only stay registered so that they can vote in primaries. We've realized that BOTH sides are awful, and really are only one dragon with 2 heads. I will vote, and I plan on dividing my vote along party lines. My current Senator is a D who replaced a D who had passed away, and I want to give him a real chance. He's not perfect and I don't agree with him on everything, but he's a good man and has already formed a team with an R to get some things done(and it's my favorite, hope-for-2016 libertarian who runs as an R! *smile*).

  7. Dear Charles and all Americans who are reading this blog.
    Here is a thought…. You do not have the right but a duty to your country to vote. There are still countries where free elections are not allowed. So vote.
    And there is another thought; you have no right to complain if you do not vote.
    An American election is important to the rest of the western world, so vote.
    I hate when good politicians stupe to the lowest level of humanity and through dirt at each other and move the discussion away from politics, to personal cases. I know that is has been a method in your country, but the tendency has arrived to mine as well and it is so sad.
    Like the rest of Europe I am hoping for a democratic victory and are loving Obama. In Denmark and most of Scandinavia, we have free healthcare and it has helped the living standards and all who needs help gets it. It is a nice thought that all can get the best care if they are ill and not has to worry about paying for the it.
    In my part of the world, Obama is very much liked and he has, from a Danish perspective don a great job as president of the USA. It was a dark time under Bush and the Danish pm was not much better. During Bush period I missed president Clinton who in my opinion did a fabulous job as well as Obama.
    So just some thoughts from a Dane on your midterm elections.

    1. Well said Karina! You are absolutely right when you say that it is a duty to your country to vote. It is true that in many countries, people do not have that right. Perhaps it is because I came from one of those countries that I take it so seriously. It saddens me that so many people, especially young people, are so apathetic!

    2. Karina--we are hoping for a democratic victory, but not necessarily a Democratic victory (there is a difference here in the states). Neither major political party is truly democratic any more. Clinton was a great president in that he was willing to work with the Republicans (despite the fact that they impeached him); Bush also worked with the Democrats when they controlled Congress after 2006. It will be the true sign of Obama's leadership to see how well he works with Congress if the Republican Party continues to be the majority in the House and gains the majority of seats in the Senate. Great presidents know how to work with the opposition; not-so-great presidents complain about the opposition "obstructing" their policies.

  8. Exactly the same here!
    Although I regularly read some articles from The NY Times for example or discuss with Sharon & JoAnn about US politics, so although I know the situation in America is pretty complicated, I share this rather pro-Obama european feeling Karina is talking about.
    But our system is so different. Can we understand all this?
    For example we pay a lot of taxes to have these social services and subsidies (health-school-various allowances) for every person (in need or not).
    And the crisis that yet impact the people those last years are turning some of them in anger and bitterness... our danish or french extrem right racist political parties are gaining more and more voters lately! More than 20% in France! Yuck!
    That's a completely different perspective and effect in our european societies... and not a delightful one! :-s

  9. Good blog!!! agree with Tracey that Obama care is to expensive. Feel that President Obama is and has been a great president. Get sick of hearing how everything bad is always his fault!! Even heard him blamed for Ebola for not shutting the borders. Don't know how many times i have been thinking, you got to be kidding me!! He is being blamed again for this or that! I admire him for not just quitting.
    Very happy is mid term election day!!

  10. Well, here we are....the morning after. I am THRILLED with the election of Mia Love and Tim Scott!! A black conservative in South Carolina, the first black since Reconstruction! My parents lived in SC, and had heard him speak about 5 yrs ago, and were so impressed. And sadly, Scott is being "Uncle Tom" -ed all over the internet. Tells me who the racists are, who can not see past a man's color.
    Although I'm conservative, I'm not going to join in the gloating. This isn't a sports game where "teams" win or lose. This isn't the first time this has happened, both Reagan and Bush got hammered in midterms. The see-saw battle is getting us nowhere. Republicans now need Obama and the remaining Dems to join them, and I hope they do so, rather than just say "we won!" and be jerks. They need to work together and not play "My dog's bigger than your dog".
    I'm also reading a lot online about how RACISM is the reason for this. It is NOT, and it is as much about Harry Reid as it is Obama and liberal policies. Reid has taken every proposal put forth by the House and put it in a drawer, to avoid the Senate having to deal with it and make hard choices. And Boehner allowed it to happen, so he's no prize either. I hope that this issue is addressed by McConnell, but I'm not counting on it.
    Think of you and Susan today, Charlie!!! ((hugs))

  11. I hope with the outcome of the elections, that the Democrats and Republicans can reach across party lines and work together. I think that people want change and are tired of people in Washington who are not doing their jobs.
    For the first time in history West Virginia has a woman as a state senator, she is also the first republican in 55 years. We also have an 18 year old Saira Blair in the house of delegates. History is being made and I hope that they work with and for the people. In this election I voted for the person whom I agreed with or liked their platform. So my vote was split between Democrats and Republicans. I may not agree with everything Obama does or even says, but he is my president and I respect that and the office.
    I am curious, as I'm sure others are also...What are your thoughts on the midterm elections?

  12. Correction:
    What are your thoughts on the outcome of the elections?

  13. How sad that only 36.4% of eligible voters, voted in this election!
    The last time voter turnout was that low was 1942 when 33.9% of voters cast ballots. People say they want change and complain about Washington, yet they can't take the time to vote! It's disgraceful that we live in a country that can't take a few minutes to maybe make a difference. There is no reason for voter turnout to be that low. Have we as Americans become that lazy or do they really not care? Plus what is it teaching our children? Another thing... how many of the none voters are living off government support and I don't mean Social Security? There should be consequences for not voting.

    1. Good point about the voter turnout. The truly disgruntled did exercise their right to vote, which contributed to the Republicans gaining control of the Senate. Some have mentioned having a national holiday to vote (but people would still have to work--someone would have to count the ballots); some have mentioned having mail-in ballots (absentee voting in PA is like that, except postage is required). Midterm elections traditionally have lower turnouts, but in some ways the lack of a voter turnout could also be showing that people weren't happy with any of the choices--so, instead of voting for the lesser of two evils, people chose not to vote at all.

    2. As one who fits the description of not really liking any of the candidates on my ballot, I can admit that it was difficult to determine for whom I was to vote. I can understand how some people who fit that same description might find it difficult to be motivated to go to the polls. It really did feel like choosing between the lesser of all the evils available. I know that I am personally very tired of hearing each side doing nothing but trying to blame the other party for everything that is wrong in the country. Oft times, I don’t even feel like there is much weight in the argument (that seems to come from both sides during election time and whichever side is not in the majority in between elections) that the politicians do nothing but break campaign promises because I don’t even hear the promises from either side to begin with. That really does make it difficult to decide how to cast your vote. This creates a cyclical problem because it means that the existing problem isn’t going to be solved because people aren’t getting out there to voice their disapproval, so the candidates that are causing the problem to begin with stay in office, and the situation doesn’t change. But the truth is, if we don’t like any of the candidates, we can still voice our opinion and actually express the fact that we are unhappy with the candidates.


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