Wednesday, November 03, 2010

About last night...

I have a few thoughts on the election from last night that I didn’t bother sharing because everyone on the planet was sharing their thoughts on the election and to be honest no one cared. I doubt that anyone will care now but at least my voice will have a little less competition. Also, I like to say that I completely avoided watching any election coverage because it is quite possibly the most boring coverage in the world. It is just a bunch of numbers on a screen and that is incredibly uninteresting and this is coming from a guy who looks at spreadsheets all day.

I think the big story of the election is not the Republican victory but which Republican candidates lost. Particularly the triumvirate of Christine O’Donnell, Sharon Angle and to a lesser extent Linda McMahon. I’m not targeting them because they are women though there is an interesting argument that they are anti-feminist candidates to be made. My main point is that they ran as outsider, rather radical candidates in elections that they could easily have won but all lost, often at great expense. Their losses will probably be the biggest strike against a Sarah Palin presidency run.

There is only so much one can do as an outsider candidate running on a platform that contains outrageous statements. You can tap into a vein of popular sentiment against the incumbent but unless you have some bona fide credentials behind you the tactic tends to not work. Sharon Angle is a clear example of this. Despite the fact that everyone, including members of his family, hates Harry Reid she still couldn’t beat him because voters could not rally behind her image and her message. We want change, we want new voices, but there is a point where we get really nervous. I did not want to vote for Chris Coons in Delaware but Christine O’Donnell gave me no reason to vote for her other than she was mildly attractive.

Sarah Palin is going to fall right into this trap. She can’t run as the experienced candidate when she quit the governorship to star in a reality TV show with Kate Gosselin and whatever number of kids were available for filming that day. Candidates running as free speaking outsiders without credentials don’t win on the level necessary to be president. The fact that the Republicans didn’t take the senate shows that the party is going to need a candidate more towards the middle and more traditional in order to win the presidency in 2012.

(Yes, I know that Rand Paul winning in Kentucky despite saying quite amazing things such as that he wouldn’t vote for the Civil Rights Act kind of shoots a hole in my theory. However, it is Kentucky where it is a state law that the senators be technically insane. It is in the same section of the constitution that states that all elected officials must down a fifth of Jim Beam every morning.)

Basically what I am saying is that we are going to be returning to politics as usual. Washington will be gridlock, which is usually the best we can hope for. The best government is one that doesn’t actually accomplish anything and that keeps the politicians off the streets where they could do real damage. We’ll see both parties merge towards the middle, the rhetoric will die down some and we can all get a little bit of peace and quiet. Hopefully.

Wednesday Night Music Club: I’m in a Soul Coughing mood at the moment plus this video features cartoon angst. All you really need to ask for.

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