Economy Trumps Social Issues, Foreign Policy

Candidates Avoid Debates Over Civil Rights, Middle East Conflict
                       By Mike Cyr
   (RPC) - 11/6/10 - As expected, the recent midterm election has elevated the spirits of the populist, relatively-out-of-power political right. The question is, for how long?
   Despite their gains, it's a near certainly that those who consider themselves left wing, centrist or otherwise different from the right will soon find their own spirits becoming energized in near equal proportion, as has been the case throughout history.
   One of many oddities of the Nov. 2 election was noted in a Nov. 5 article by Michael Cooper of the New York Times. That is, even though voters turned over a large number of seats to Republicans they did so with a striking degree of trepidation. If it was a vote for the "lesser of two evils," is was only by the very slightest degree. Exit polls, Cooper points out, showed 53 percent of voters disapproving of the Democrats and 52 percent disapproving of the Republicans. Apparently some weren't afraid to parcel out blame to both in equal measure.
   As pertains to blame, Cooper notes poll results which show voters blaming Wall Street (35 percent), President George W. Bush (29 percent), and President Barack Obama (23 percent). See Debunking the Myths of the Midterm.
   Rather than presenting either major party with a  mandate, the results suggest a public that is profoundly confused, incredible impatient and nearly schizophrenic in some respects. Maybe the economy was beginning to turn around. Maybe not. Either way, today's elected officials--of whatever ideological persuasion--are being asked to govern in an almost lose-lose situation.
   Two addition observations: There was a near total lack of debate in this past election over social issues such as abortion and gay rights, and over foreign policy--issues that are certain to hold sway over the election of 2012. Baring an economic miracle, time may be the only remedy to escape the vicious "get in, get all you can, then get out" political pattern that appears to rule the day.