Indeed, they are; state and local governments are closer to the people. It’s just that the people they’re closer to probably aren’t, well … you. So, here’s a question: Why isn’t, say, Kay Hagan, who’s running against the Speaker of the State House*, or Charlie Crist, who’s running against Florida governor Rick Scott, um, mentioning this in their campaigns?
Beats me, although it may actually be that they don’t know about this, since apparently the news media in these states and the other six that have enacted similar laws hasn’t bothered to report it. It’s part of what I now think of as vacuum-packed politics, in which only the Republicans ever say anything, and in which for nearly six years now we’ve had a Democratic president who doesn’t trouble himself to respond to falsehoods about policy, or ever actually educate the public about, like, anything. Normally, I would expect the president to, for example, inform the public that, as the New York Times puts it in an editorial today, complaining about the self-defeating cowardice of most of the Democratic Senate candidates in “red” or “purple” states, that the reason he has not imposed a ban on travel to this country from “African countries with Ebola cases [is that] most publichealth experts say such a ban would be ineffective and could make the situation worse. But I don’t expect that, because this president just plain doesn’t do explanation to the public. It’s pretty difficult for a senator or Senate candidate to educate the public about something of this sort, but it would be very easy for the president to do that.
But this president doesn’t feel comfortable speaking from the Oval Office, according to an article I read two or three months ago that noted that Obama had not spoken from the Oval Office since 2010. And this president places an extremely high priority on never doing anything that’s outside his comfort level unless it’s absolutely necessary—which he apparently concluded a few weeks ago it was, regarding ISIS, and spoke about it, in TV prime time, from the Oval Office. There are, of course, things that would be very, very easy for Democratic Senate candidates to explain—such as that Kynect is Obamacare rather than just a healthcare-insurance shopping website, and that if Obamacare is repealed root and branch, Kentuckians who are receiving substantial financial help to pay their premiums will no longer receive that financial help because the financial help is not coming from a website or from the State of Kentucky but instead from the federal government. But the candidate whose decision to run, and who got the support of the Democratic Establishment because, well, the person who otherwise would run would have explained such things to the public, won’t explain such things to the public. These days, of course, many of the people whom state and local governments are closer to are the same people whom the feeral government is closer to. And that will be truer still, come January.
The silver lining in this silly debacle that is the 2014 Democratic-candidate mess is that, next time around, we’ll have genuine progressives running—for Congress and for state-wide offices, if not for president.
About that “State and local governments are closer to the people” thing…. How’s that workin’ out for ya?
*Post corrected as per Sandi’s comment below. The post originally said Hagan’s opponent, Thom Tillis, is North Carolina Senate Majority Leader. 10/23 at 5:16 p.m.