Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Yup. I think I'm startin' to get the hang of this rhyming business. No wonder I've always got a sense of deja vu. Higher education has warped my fragile little mind.
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I'm tellin' you guys, Minnesota is the forerunner state. The more moderate candidate (meaning the one closer to the center of the bellcurve of the ideal qualities that the population values at the moment,) will win in '08. The center is a moving target.
The party that adapts better to centrist values is generally the party that wins big. If these two parties don't get it in gear, then 2012 might see the birth of a new major American political party. (No, I don't count Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, or Jesse Ventura as anything other than protest votes.) It's happened a few times before. That's how we got from: Whigs and Tories to: Know-Nothings, Democrats and Republicans. The history of American politics is strikingly similar to sausage and Much Ado.
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Hurrah! This is why we have the individual labs of state governments. Even in the Dakotas, Roe v Wade can't be nullified, by legislation or ballot. (My feelings of warm fuzzy faith in humanity are increasing slightly.) Take that you anti-wankers!
I'm pleased that Arizona decided that banning gay marriage was a questionable idea. I've yet to be impressed by anything happening in cheesehead land. (That's the same state that wanted to legalize the hunting of stray cats.) Wisconsin is not Minnesota nice. Cheese has blocked their higher neural functions and beer has numbed their senses.
My more cynical side says that this is a sweet opportunity to inject some young libertarian blood into the GOP while they're reeling and sulking. Let the Dems play to the greens. The smart money should be wooing the libertarians.
I think we're either going to get legislative gridlock or we're going to get a bunch of useless or worse legislation. (Not terribly different than it ever was.) On the other hand, I think that like Greenspan, they may have just dodged an economic bullet. If the economy goes south now, it's even more difficult to point fingers.
Bush is now the lamest of lame ducks. He doesn't have to answer to much of anyone in the next 2 years. He campaigned for them, but congress is a seperate branch. I for one am pretty tired of hearing about the latest drunk driving, intern groping, pocket lining shenanigans happening on both sides of the aisle.
I will overlook affairs with women close to your own age. I will overlook lobbyist-funded dinners and golf outings. I will overlook some slightly grey conflicts of interest when it comes to any individual legislator's area of expertise, (if they're promptly disclosed.) These personal indiscretions aren't really an employer's business. Cash in the freezer, bridges to nowhere, multiple DUIs, and dead interns are not ever OK. Romantic or sexual contact with someone under the age of 16, or close to your own offspring's age, is wrong. And the doctors, lawyers, pilots, and business people who are smart enough to make money and get elected darned well know it. Screw moral leadership. I'll settle for leadership with a healthy blush of consistent ethics.I really doubt that the Dems are up for trying to impeach him, and both houses are pretty darned close to evenly split. Plus, Lieberman got reelected despite being locked out by his own party. If they don't get that message, they don't deserve to lead. If the Dems start pushing for immediate troop withdrawal it'll be like committing hara kiri at your own victory party, (but I wouldn't be surprised.)
The good news though is that voter turn out, even during an off year, was way up. Everyone I've heard from says that the numbers were much higher than expected at the polls. The more I reflect on it, the more I believe that there are probably 30% of registered voters that'll only turn out if they're really pissed off. (Jesse Ventura got college kids voting.) If the stakes aren't high, they just ignore it and stay home. What I wanna know is how many votes Mickey Mouse got yesterday. I bet there's some good humor in the write-ins.
I reiterate: brace yourself for 2008. You ain't seen nothin' yet. Assuming we're not being bombed or quarantined with bird flu, I expect that election season to start cranking up to a fever pitch before spring of '08. If you thought the last 3 elections were contentious... This is gonna be a fight for the direction of the country. Enjoy this brief respite from that nonstop high-pitched political whine. The parents will be back to bickering before the end of the vacation.
(Update: Aw nuts. It was brought to my attention that Lieberman is not actually from the Live Free state. He's from the transplant state. Almost as good. At any rate, he got shut out of the Dem primaries and won reelection as an independent. With the nearly split senate he's got quite the negotiating position. I plead living in the midwest.)
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