The midterms, a colossal waste of money?

Republicans clinched control of the US Senate on Tuesday, unseating Democratic Senators in at least six states in a predictable midterm result that will see President Barack Obama spend his last two years in office with a Republican-run Congress.

The so-called Republican wave was widely anticipated and blamed on the president’s sagging approval ratings, in what is known in Washington as the “six-year-itch”. (At the same point in his own eight-year tenure, George W. Bush suffered approval ratings of 30 percent. Obama is currently on 40.) 

No one issue monopolised the campaign, leaving many Republican candidates focused heavily on emphasising the obvious link between their Democratic rivals and the unpopular president.

More than a million campaign ads were commissioned, almost half of them negative. The most popular subject in Republican ads was Obamacare. Pigs, guns and beer were also featured.

The result -- a very costly election.

In fact, the midterm election was the most expensive in history, with an estimated near-4 billion spent overall.  In Kentucky, which is an impoverished and (in terms of population) minor state, Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell, suffering low approval ratings and tough competition from gun-friendly Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, spent some 55 million on securing his re-election.

Political historian Allan Lichtman told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that the election did not merit its cost.

“For all of that money, one searches in vain for the great ideas, the grand principles, the inspiring ideological clashes between the two parties,” he said. “Where were the creative, bold and innovative solutions to the enormous problems facing the environment and the world?”

Lichtman complained that almost four billion dollars was wasted on “bland puff pieces” and “vicious, negative attacks,” and may as well have been burnt, “or better yet, given to some good, charitable causes,” such as doctors and aid workers fighting Ebola -- one of the concerns that voters brought to the ballot box, in vain.

Meanwhile in Washington, the Republican’s new-found majority in both houses of Congress will be stifled by President Obama’s executive powers. Most analysts believe that the shift in power will result in a continuation of gridlock, making the midterms seem very expendable indeed.
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Laiyee, if you are going to comment, you really should read the article before you do. "Political historian -- THAT MEANS SOMEONE WHO KNOWS MORE ABOUT HISTORY THAN YOU -- Allan Lichtman told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that the election did not merit its cost." The point is that there was no policy involved in the election. So it's a waste of money. Get it? It's morons like you that make us Americans the laughing stock of the world.
I would suspect you are not born and raised in America. Americans are not Socialist or Communists, and Obama does not understand this fact. It had to be made clear to him we will not tolerate the continued degradation of the American Constitution. We will live free or die. We are self-reliant benevolent people who do not need a government to be our caretakers or act as our mommy for our livelihood. It's why my French grandmother immigrated to the US. As for your comments regarding the election being a waste of money, I can't think of a better way to keep my country free than to use my tax money to hold elections. Prior to this election, Congress was on the verge of planning to confiscate even more of my earnings through unconstitutional means. You should realize, a government does not earn money, it takes, by any means of any force they deem necessary, the money from people who earn it. And the government will decide for you what to do with your money. The new Congress will keep this despot of a president in check, and his corruption will be more contained. And I am proud of one of your own French Generals, Marquis de Lafayette, a great man who helped this country attain it's freedom from an oppressive King. He came to America to fight for liberty. After France helped America win the American Revolution your own sailors went back to France with new ideas about freedom, hence, the French revolution ensued. A government must be controlled. It is it's own prosecutor when they are corrupt and officials need to know they will lose their jobs if they do not lawfully serve the people of their nation. The threat of getting fired must be in the forefront of every politicians mind. They are managing my money and the ultimate livelihood of a nation. Elections are the tool to fire corrupt politicians. If you are going to comment on politics, you really ought to read history and understand that human nature never changes. There are always tyrants looking to seize power. Elections need to be held to keep tyrants at bay. I am exhilarated that my tax money is used for this purpose.

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