Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What does it mean? Not much

If there are signs today that the problem of global warming has increased, the main culprit was most likely all the hot air spewed into the atmosphere by the so-called experts (there were at least eight of them on CNN at the same time) trying to analyze what happened in Tuesday’s off-year election. And the answer, after all the pontificating is, really, not very much. Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele declared that the victories by GOP candidates in gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey proved the Republicans are "a transcendent party" with a future so bright they’re gotta wear shades. Leading Democrats say those same results were in no way a reflection of overall dissatisfaction with their party or its leader, President Barack Obama. The truth, as the old saying goes, is somewhere in the middle. There was really little doubt that Virginia would choose the Republican gubernatorial candidate, and there were few people in New Jersey less popular than incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. But at the same time, it would be foolish to say that the results bear no connection to dissatisfaction with Obama, even if that dissatisfaction comes mainly in the form of angry Republicans who are now energized to get revenge. For the Democrats, it's a valuable wake-up call before next year's really important midterm elections. If they want to maintain their advantages in the House and Senate, they're going to have to work very hard to motivate voters – especially young people and minorities – who turned out in droves to elect Obama but stayed home in droves on Tuesday. You can try to pick apart Tuesday's races to conjure up trends, but none really exist. In very large part, next year's elections will hinge on one factor: the state of the economy. If people have more money in their pockets, if jobs are being created and if people feel optimistic about their futures, that bodes well for the Democrats. If the economic recovery stalls out, Republicans could make major strides toward proving that reports of their demise were greatly exaggerated.

A few other thoughts:

– The special congressional election in upstate New York, which filled a vacancy in a seat held by Republicans since sometime close to the Bronze Age, didn't go quite like far-right conservatives such as Sarah Palin had in mind. The right-wingers forced the Republican candidate from the race because she wasn't "right" enough, leaving an ultra-conservative to take on the Democratic nominee. The Democrat won, but again, don't read too much into that. There's an election for a full term representing that district next year, and there's a good chance the Republicans will reclaim it.

– It personally saddens me that voters in Maine chose to overturn that state's law allowing gay marriage, but a struggle such as this, for the hearts and minds of a people, isn't won in short order. Thirty years ago, a proposal to allow gay marriage probably would have been defeated by a 90 percent to 10 percent margin. Today, the votes are much closer, and eventually gay marriage will be the law of the land. The good news, from my vantage point, is that voters in Washington state appear poised (votes are still being counted) to expand the state's domestic-partnership law to give gay couples all the rights of heterosexuals. It would mark the first time a gay-rights measure had won statewide approval in this country. It's far from a major victory, but it's a small step.

– While switching over to watch the 10 p.m. local news last night, I happened to catch the last few minutes of the new "Melrose Place" on the CW network. If you are a fan of terrible, over-the-top acting, I urge you to tune in sometime. It was cringe-worthy.

– Is it just me, or is political commentator James Carville, above left, looking more and more like Skeletor from Masters of the Universe?

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Blogger Ellipses said...

James Carville is one of the gooniest looking guys I have ever seen...

November 4, 2009 at 3:29 PM  
Anonymous SPIN THIS said...

If they want to maintain their advantages in the House and Senate, they're going to have to work very hard to motivate voters – especially young people and minorities –

Did that really just come off your keyboard?

So what you are saying is that the dems need the young and minorities to win? Pretty much the poor? People that would benefit from govt entitlements? I think people in the know call that wealth redistribution.

Gov entiltlement programs like welfare, ghetto housing ect. are meant to keep the youth and minorities down. They don't help!

November 4, 2009 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

He sure wouldn't need much make up.

November 4, 2009 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Gee, Spin This, do you generalize much? There are millions upon millions of young people and minority folks in this country that don't take a dime from the government. But if it helps you sleep better to think they're all leechers, go ahead.

November 5, 2009 at 7:01 AM  
Anonymous I sEe druGgies getting ssi said...

they're going to have to work very hard to motivate voters – especially young people and minorities –

you are the one that banged that out on your keyboard!

Sure there are millions of this demographic that don't take a handout. Spin it the way you want. I didn't say all of this group did take a handout.

The Republicans are called the party of old rich guys.

What do the Dems run on? The young, poor, minorities? I know George Soros and Bill Gates fit right in there. Do you think the dems would pass legislation that would pander to this group? Give nothing take something, isn't that like buying a vote? Sure I will hear, old rich guys get tax breaks! Shouldn't they? I mean the top 1% pay 40%. Sure they should get a break. How much do you think Uncle Sam should take from the top 1%? 65%? Is that fair?

Pretty soon all the major cities will reflect the leadership of that city and broke.

Here is a great idea! Before you get one red cent from a program... you should have to take a drug test. Even down to your kids getting a free lunch at the school house. Cause if welfare mom is sitting at home doing nothing all day, she sure does have the time to hit the pipe.

November 5, 2009 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Every political party has a faction that people on the other side might consider distasteful. Certainly, Democrats, moreso than Republicans, pander to people suckling at the public teat. But at the same time, Republicans, moreso than Democrats, tend to attract racist boobs. The Republicans also attract many very sensible people who are concerned about government spending, while Democrats attract a lot of people who are highly educated and progressive.

November 5, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Anonymous B.Spears said...

Democrats attract a lot of people who are highly educated and progressive

Progressive is the new word for bs artist. The progressive is going to vote the way that progressive feels. It's so new! 90% of the people in a district call and tells them vote no.. and they vote yes, but look you in the eye and say some don't know whats good for them, let us the state take care of you. Sit back go to sleep crowd.

November 5, 2009 at 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many of us can't resist the urge to paint with a broad brush: "Democrats are ..." "Republicans are ...". I'd like to think that people are individually driven by what matters to them. In Virginia, I think jobs mattered. Where don't they matter? But the fact is that unemployment was on the way up when Obama took office. All those screaming about the "government bailouts" and stimulus adding to the national debt didn't say diddly when Bush erased the surplus Clinton left him with his rebates, then jumped headfirst into Iraq.

I suppose some of the vote in these two gubernatorial races was fueled by resentment against Obama, but if voters actually expect a president to solve all the country's problems in 11 months, then no president is safe.

As for Republican party chairman Michael Steele screaming "We won!" like a banty rooster, all Republicans would be wise to remember two words associated with another famous Republican before proclaiming victory: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

November 5, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Anyone else think the election coverage was bizarre? There are a lot of individual factors that go into each election, and I think it would be unwise to generalize any results or predict what it means in 2010.

Voter turnout in Pennsylvania was 20 percent for a bunch of judicial races and useless municipal elections. New Jersey was under 40 percent, which represented the lowest turnout there since man first walked on the moon. These races (NJ/VA and NY23) are hardly a harbinger of things to come.

November 5, 2009 at 1:56 PM  
Anonymous 2 mths since troop request said...

and stimulus adding to the national debt didn't say diddly when Bush erased the surplus Clinton left him with his rebates,

Are you talking about Clintons projective surplus? Well, his projection was wrong!

I have two words for you. PHOTO OP!

I would take that photo op over DOVER PHOTO OP!

November 5, 2009 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Dawn Keller said...

I don't think it was anti-Obama as much as anti-incumbent because people are not happy about the state of the economy. If the economy is in the same or similar state next year, I think a lot of current members of Congress are going to find themselves looking for work and it won't matter if they have D or R after their names.

November 5, 2009 at 2:25 PM  
Anonymous 85 Rocks with Strohs said...

America knows being gay is immoral. We will tolerate it but put it on a secret ballot and the gay marriage will go down every time. Its unnatural.

November 5, 2009 at 10:15 PM  
Anonymous C.Bates said...

85 Rock, is that your age? Look the gays should have certain rights as a civil union. I don't think a gay cpl should reap the same benefits as a tradtional married cpl. Should a gay man be able to pick up his gay lover on his health care at the office? To much risk on the award. Should they be able to share in the tax breaks as a civil union? Sure! There is a lot of fine homosexual cpls out there. I think homosexuals will get some of the benefits but not all at first. It will creep into the system. That is the wave.. CreEEp CreEEp CreEEp CreEEp CreEEp CreEEp .... 50 years from now they will be treated like a married cpl. Remember that is called a stall. See your local politician can't give his voters all they want right up front! He was to chip away at, but he/she made progress! You'll vote his/her way again. If he did all that he said he was going to do in the first term, what are they going to run on in the second term?

November 6, 2009 at 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Big Gay Al said...

November 6, 2009 at 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike jones said
Voter turnout in Pennsylvania was 20 percent for a bunch of judicial races and useless municipal elections

Useless municipal elections? The elections in which your vote counts the most and the actual real effect on your life (roads, zoning, water, sewage) is the greatest.
The absolute ignorance of that statement shows what happens in off year elections. The Presidential elections draw the masses, the off year elections draw those that are interested in how government runs and effects their daily lives.
The result is that those that are concerned less with the daily back and forth on national policy are becoming massively disenchanted with the Democratic Party's version of change.
The Democratic Party would have done better on Tuesday nationally if more people turned out there is little question about that. But there are now chinks in the armor.
More importantly (sorry MJ some people carry about the races where they live including school board, my guess is that you don't pay property taxes) the Republican Party locally showed amazing strength for the first time in years.
But since that is not flashy enough based on previous responses by Brant (no sheriff candidate I believe was one of the complaints), no one notices but those that are in the trenches.
But hey MJ has declared schools, roads, sewage, water, zoning and more "useless".

November 6, 2009 at 3:18 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Now, tell me, Anon, how many of those municipal races went uncontested because no one wanted to run against the incumbent? The majority of these races were decided in May during the primary, where turnout was 15 percent?

In South Fayette, where I pay very high property taxes for the house that I own, I had five choices for four seats on the school board. In Washington, all the magistrate races were decided six months ago. If that isn't the epitome of a useless election, then I don't know what is. Municipalities and school boards are very important, but when the electorate is provided with paltry or no choices year after year after year, then that tells me the off-year election is useless.

So, anon, how do you feel about the choices on your ballot?

November 6, 2009 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

I hate being "labeled" any party. I want a choice not a party. When I lived in VA we were able to mix our choices for the election. In 1994 George Allan (Rep) was elected Governor and Don Beyer (Dem)was elected Lieutenant Governor they shared the Governing body quite well even though they were on opposite parties, and Don Beyer had worked for the previous administration, Governor (Dem) Douglas Wilder.
Govenor Allen cut expenses at the State capital by doing things like selling off the Governors Yacht. He felt the Virginia Citizens were not responsible for his personal entertainment. His political affiliation wasn't why I voted for him. It was that his ideas were sound and to get rid of Doug Wilder (whose only claim to fame was being the first black Governor of VA.) Good thing we didn't hold that against Don Beyer. I voted for Don Beyer (Dem) He was responsible for the original welfare reform legislation.
I want choice not a Party so the Left and the Right will stop putting me in a box.

November 6, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

There are no choices in this area because we've been basically under one part rule for decades. See where that's gotten us.
There are rare cases when the Republican can challenge the Democrat - see the DA race here in Washington County a couple of years ago – but that was largely because people were fed up with Pettit. The Dem party would have continued to back Pettit until he died in office or chose to retire.
But many people in this area would vote for Hitler if he was running on the Democratic ticket.

November 6, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C. Bates, I see you didn't answer the statement by 85Rocks. Rather, you poked fun at his handle, and then proceeded to tell us how immorality will continue to spread, degenerating our society.

November 6, 2009 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

There are no choices, Dale, because candidates can cross-file and be on both the Republican and Democratic tickets in the same election. Pennsylvania needs to end this practice immediately.

November 7, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous c.bates said...

anon @ November 6, 2009 6:10 PM

did 85 have a question?

if so please point it out.

November 7, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

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