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Nearly Half of Americans Don’t Care Who’s Going to Congress, and That’s a Bad Thing

Nearly Half of Americans Don’t Care Who’s Going to Congress, and That’s a Bad Thing

A pox on both houses. That seems to be the general feeling of almost half of Americans when it comes to a preference on who controls Congress after the 2014 midterms. The latest polling shows a remarkably ambivalent public, many of whom don’t really seem that concerned about even voting in the first place.

According to the Associated Press, a recent poll about the upcoming election has people preferring that Democrats get control of Congress at 37 percent, Republicans at 31 percent, and another 31 percent saying they have no preference at all. Furthermore, only 53 percent care “a good deal” about who wins.

As the article notes, a great deal of the apathy is a rather normal state when it comes to a midterm election. After all, voter turnout is traditionally much lower than it is during a presidential election, with a mere 40 percent of eligible voters turning up to cast a ballot.

That’s a tragedy. Midterms can make or break a country, as we saw during the 2010 GOP sweep. There are many life changing reasons to vote in this midterm, and yes, it really does matter which party controls Congress.

1) The Supreme Court and other judgeships: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Anthony Kennedy are nearing retirement age, and although both say they aren’t going anywhere soon, you never know what might happen to either of them, or any justice on the court. A Senate majority that flips to the Republicans is a body that is going to hold up any nominee for the bench in the hopes that 2016 will bring a Republican president into the White House with his or her own conservative nominees. That strategy is already playing out in the massive number of federal bench spots that have remained vacant throughout the Obama administration, which are only now starting to be filled.

2) Obamacare: No, Democrats aren’t going to flip enough seats to potentially take over the House, so we will inevitably be watching another 40-50 “defund Obamacare” show votes there. But if the Senate flipped, those “show votes” will become real. The first thing that you could expect is a budget cut to force states to roll back their Medicaid expansions, which would cause a gap coverage that would make many of the newly insured unable to afford their premiums because they would no longer be receiving a subsidy. Once that happens, they could justify ending the mandate all together because insurance would again be unaffordable, and more people would return to being uninsured.

3) Budgets and Debt Ceilings: Sure, government shutdowns as the House and Senate fight over debt ceilings and the annual budget have been both pointless and harmful. But the alternative would have been massively regressive budgets that were balanced completely on the backs of the poor, with giant tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. That GOP “austerity” budget proposed by Paul Ryan would be a reality in a Republican dominated Congress a budget that would eventually end social security, make government assistance virtually non-existent, and change Medicare into a program that could bankrupt our country’s elderly, if it survived at all.

4) Big business: Corporations are dumping just as much money into 2014 as they did into 2012, including special interest “anti-tax” and “anti-regulations” groups intent on dismantling government oversight on industries like banking, environmental protections, workplace safety and food and drug safety. Both parties have the support of big business in some ways, but will the battle for living wages, housing reform and paid sick leave and fair work place practices continue if the GOP could control both chambers?

Republicans in the House have made it their job to block any positive reform or policy that the current administration or Democrats have proposed, making much of the last six years mostly gridlock. If Republicans had control of both chambers, however, that gridlock could be changed for the potential to actually enact some of their policies. The question you need to ask when you decide whether or not to vote is are those policies you believe in?

Not voting is just as good as saying yes.

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146 comments

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3:21AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

This is why we have so many idiots in Washington now. They are in both houses on both sides of the aisle! We need to start running and voting in some new faces with some good common sense!

12:18AM PDT on Jun 12, 2014

Mr. Obama is a person that has to take a lot of comments on what he and his congress does.
As he is black...there is a lot of resistance to this. We still have a lot of racism in our country. For him to fail' as a president would put a feather in the republicans caps. Personally I do not like some of his decisions....but I don't know how he could do anything different. As he is not in 'charge' in the first place.
The republicans do not seem to have much interest in our daily lives, like schools, hospital or any community needs. They want them all to be private institutions. Which of course lets out most of the American people now.
someone mentioned there are 3rd parties. There is, and they do not get much showing, because the main line news will not cover them.
We do need to make changes in our government.
Start by finding honest people...and I know there are some. People like Elizabeth Warren and some the new people in the democratic party. There are some republicans that want to work with the citizens...not many. Our government was to be by the people for the people...so I don't know who the congress is.... they are not people like we are. They seem to feel they are something different. That is sad.

1:09PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Sad day for US politics.

12:10PM PDT on Jun 3, 2014

(continued) and Chaney who should be in prison, and the criminal do nothing congress that refused to raise the minimum wage, set a record for filibusters, refuses to work with Obama, Blames Obama for everything even though republicans destroyed the country, and blocks everything Obama tries to pass, so they can take back the country, serve their corporate masters, and finish destroying it.

12:05PM PDT on Jun 3, 2014

Dan B Carter was and is blamed to this day by republicans, as being a weak liberal, even though it has been over 30 years since he was in office. So republicans have no problem blaming Jimmy Carter, for decisions he made over 30 years ago, even though their Former president Reagan took the solar panels down from the White House, proclaimed dirty fossil fuels are the future of our energy use, got 241 marines killed after he was told to move them to safety, sold arms to Iran, when we supported Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war, supported terrorist thugs in Central America, and supported the rich corporate elite. Just because Obama has been in office for six years does not mean we cannot blame the republicans for destroying the country. Bush left Obama a 10.7 trillion dollar debt, tax cuts for the rich, along with two wars. In addition McConnell and the do nothing republican congress refused to work with him, and set a record for filibusters, so they could make Obama fail, so they could take back the country, serve their corporate masters and finish destroying it. Obama had to wait for the horrible Bush tax cuts for the rich, to expire, and wind down the two wars, so he couldn't stop the bleeding and damage to the country overnight. I don't agree with many things Obama does, including allowing oil drilling in the Artic, natural gas fracking, and his deadly use of drones, but we can't blame him for the horrible things republicans have done to this country, by the two war criminals Bush,

1:37PM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

Dan B

Your right, I do blame republicans for everything. Republicans are dirty criminal liars who are bought and paid for by corporate America. They have destroyed this country with their Bush wars that were based on lies, tax breaks for the rich, corporate welfare, refusal to raise the low minimum wage, misogynistic, homophobic racist bigotry, refusal to allow us to have universal healthcare, attempts to eliminate Social Security, and Medicare. Bush took a surplus, and turned it into a 10.7 trillion dollar debt for Obama to inherit along with two wars. No other president had to inherit such a bad situation. And to make things worse, Mitch McConnell, wanted him to be a one term president along with the entire do nothing criminal republican congress that abused and set a record for filibusters, so they could take back the country, serve their corporate masters and finish destroying it.

The point I was trying to make was the blatant hypocrisy of blaming Obama and the democrats for things prior republican presidents have gotten away with. I don't agree with many things Obama does, and as the president he must be blamed for what he does wrong, but to blame Obama and the democrats for things that prior republican presidents got away with, or things like the VA scandal where the republicans started the illegal war in Iraq, that overwhelmed the VA, and refused to allow funding, is blatantly hypocritical and stupid.

10:02AM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

Brian F.,
You criticized those who blame Obama for everything, yet you go on to blame the Republicans for everything. A little hypocritical, are we? Obama is in his 6th year. It is past time to stop blaming prior administrations.

8:48AM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

(continued) based on lies, caused an overwhelming influx of people that made it very hard to care for people. The Benghazi scandal was also caused by republicans who refused to fund our embassies. Bush was warned terrorist might be flying planes before 9/11, and yet no investigation was done. Ever since the humiliation of the Watergate scandal, republicans have been trying to blame the democrats for anything they can, and hope that it will stick and turn into a full blown scandal. Unfortunately, because the republicans are a criminal organization, that only serves their corporate masters , the billionaire Koch brothers, and corporate America, and given their own embarrassing scandals, they are not able to succeed in humiliating the democrats.

8:38AM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

The truth is that the person on top gets the blame. but Obama gets more of the blame then any president in the past, because the criminal republican party that hates him, wants to blame him for anything he does, so they can take back the country, finish destroying it and serve their corporate masters.

Past presidents made mistakes, and were not scapegoated and blamed the way Obama has been. Reagan refused to move 241 marines after being admonished that they were in danger. After a suicide bomber blew the 241 marines up in their barracks, an investigation made recommendations, but Reagan was never blamed. Had Obama or a democrat done this, the republicans would have went on a swift boat style impeachment crusade, like they did against Clinton. Bush had 116 people killed, on his watch in embassies, and no investigation was conducted. Bush had 130,000 Iraqis, and 4,400 Americans killed in the Iraq along with 30,000 American soldiers with traumatic brain injury, or missing limbs, and yet their is no investigation of Bush and Chaney, who both would be arrested in many countries. The republicans caused most of the current VA scandal, by Bush starting a war in Iraq that was based on lies. The VA is simply overwhelmed with soldiers. The republicans also refused to accept money to fund the VA, when Bernie Sanders introduced a bill. I'm not excusing Shinsecki, but how can you blame one man, when the republicans refused to fund the VA, after the republican Bush's wars that were base

5:14AM PDT on Jun 1, 2014

Danny G.
I agree. However, the person at the top always gets the blame (or receives the credit) for what happens. People need to take the time necessary to research the candidates, and vote for their best choice, regardless of party affiliation.

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