Makes Me Want to Puke
5:12 AM EST on November 5, 2009
By all accounts, I am a political junkie. But lately I have heard my self uttering the cliched, "I'm tired of politics" way too often.
The morning after the Tuesday "Off Year" elections, I found myself watching Republican National Chairman Michael Steele getting into a shouting match with MSNBC contributer Lawrence O'Donnell because the journalist had the audacity to ask him a question about the main failure his party had the previous night. Even worse, Steele refused to admit that mistakes were made in the RNC's handling of the New York 23rd district congressional race.
Would it really have been difficult for Steele, who is supposed to be a professional, to say something along the lines of, "Yes, that stings a little since our party had held that seat for 139 consecutive years, but we are already researching the errors that were made and plan on starting a new streak--hopefully longer--when it comes back up for election next year." Instead, he bristled that O'Donnell didn't gloss over the glaring loss and feed him more "How happy are you with last night's results?" questions like Joe Scarborough who handed off to O'Donnell. I'm sure the footage will be used in a future RNC mailing to prove bias in the media.
Later the same day, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was touting the results of Tuesday nights as a great victory. Finally, the kind of recognition that Steele wanted after referring to the night as a "transcendental win for the Republican Party." Problem is, Pelosi was declaring mission accomplished for the Democrats. What-huh?
I can see from her standpoint, getting two more Democrats in her caucus, that the night was a success. However, to pretend that Tuesday night was a night the Democratic Party should be happy about is delusional. She did see that the two governor's races in Virginia (not too surprisingly) and New Jersey (a typically liberal safe haven) both were won by members of the opposing party, right? Then in Maine, the hopes of getting equal protection for homosexuals through popular vote was shot down by a 53-47. Acting like Tuesday was just continued momentum after the 2008 landslides was stupid.
You know what else was stupid? The campaigns leading up to the elections. First, the New Jersey governorship was an issue-driven campaign...at least according to the victor, Chris Christie, whose acceptance speech was littered with self congratulatory idioms about how he proved you could win in New Jersey without resorting to personal attacks. Except the last few weeks of the campaign revolved entirely around the issue of whether Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine had been referring to Christie's weight problem with a subliminal message in an ad. To his credit, Christie stayed above the fold, unless you count his constant public statements questioning Corzine's machismo including, "Just man up and call me fat." (To be fair, the Corzine campaign probably was calling him a tub of lard.)
That New York 23rd was also a case study in clusterf'ing. As has already been established, the seat has belonged to the GOP since the Civil War, and typically isn't really contested. But thanks to Sarah Palin's efforts to become the conservative Ralph Nader, and the Republican's selecting a social moderate in the run-off, the campaign became about conservatives eating their own. In the end, the Republican nominee dropped out at the last minute and rather than endorsing the third-party Sarah Palin-approved conservative candidate (who looked like McLovin, had the personality of Bud Selig, and didn't even live in the district) she chose to rally her supporters behind the Democrat who was basically an afterthought to the race but will be living in D.C. for at least a year.
After all that non-election year drama, we have the "mid-terms" to look forward to next year. Think things will get any better with more races to draw our attention? I doubt it. Already, I'm reading headlines like this in The Oklahoman:
Oklahoma senate candidate's sentence for bogus check has ended
Apparently, Matt Jackson, a republican and former sherriff's deputy, will be running for the state senate seat that covers the district I live in. Apparently, he also is a deadbeat check writer who luckily didn't live in Wes Lane's district back in 1999, or else he would have been prosecuted. Instead, he didn't learn that the check he wrote for $43.15 in Lawton that didn't clear his bank account before it was closed until he did a background check on himself prior to declaring himself as a candidate. Upon learning of it, he pled guilty to writing a hot check, paid the fine, and just finished serving his probation. The article did not say if the store he wrote the check to ever took his check down from behind the counter.
Is this really news? Is this what the campaign is going to be about--a guy who changed banks ten years ago not reporting all the outstanding checks? Probably. And while I probably won't vote for Mr. Jackson, his poor book keeping at the age of 25 is not going to be one of the reasons.
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