Saturday, November 8, 2014

The 2014 US Elections

The recent round of elections in the US concluded (except for some run-offs scheduled for December) yesterday, with the Republicans riding on an anti-Obama wave and emerging victorious in ways that even they would not have imagined. The GOP now holds the strongest majority in the US House of Representatives since the 1940s, enabling embittered House Majority Leader Joe Boehner to breathe a little sigh of relief even as the toxic breath of the Tea Party continues to encircle him.

But that's probably the smallest of reasons to cheer, for the Party has also taken back the Senate, although not with a sufficient majority to counter any filibusters.  This makes things extremely difficult for President Obama, who will need to rely more and more on executive orders than legislation. Republicans still do not have the power to override a Presidential veto, if it comes to that. But certainly, Obama's lackluster leadership has been punished by the voters.

In Illinois, it was also a Republican sweep, another body blow to Obama. Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner defeated incumbent Patt Quinn, who himself is under the scanner and could add to the illustrious list of Illinoisan Governors behind bars for corruption. This was not entirely unexpected, given just how much Quinn has wrecked Illinois in his term. But his defeat together with that of other prominent Democratic politicians marks a departure in a state that had come to be a stronghold for the party. Incidentally, the 13th District voted back Rodney Davis with an enhanced margin.

What this means for the future of politics in this country is continued gridlock and increasing apathy. After all, this election saw one of the lowest turnouts yet. 

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