Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Don't Know

I read in one of my liberal blogs that the blogger-in-charge of that blog -- a lone ringmaster who must run his circus without clowns, elephants, or Bulgarian high-wire acts -- had been sitting there blogging away for nine hours and needed a break. That made me feel better, as having a life often does. Still, sometimes I would like to be one of those guys who makes some useful political judgment given the fact the election is so close in both senses of the word.

I don't want to be a pundit; I just want to play one on the WorldWideWeb.

But I don't know anything, not on my own anyway. I read somewhere that maybe the polls are undercounting the Republican vote because of the proven ability of the cash-sodden GOP apparatus to get the vote out. Thus, the likely voter screens are missing Republican votes. And I also read that maybe conservative voters are embarrassed to tell phone pollers that they are going to vote for the more liberal candidate or the woman or the black candidate and thus phone polls are *undercounting* Democratic voters. So I am equipped to have had "inside knowledge" no matter what happens. And I can't link to the originals because I don't remember where I read either of these things. So my ignorance runs deep, of both source and validity.

I don't know anything about what the Democrats might do if they do manage to take one of the houses of Congress. I know it's popular in some quarters, both liberal and conservative, to fault the Dems for not having a clear agenda for this electoral season that all the leading Democrats support. But the whole point of taking all or part of Congress back is just to slow Bush down, isn't it? What could the Dems possibly pass in a closely divided House of Representatives, and, if passed, what would happen to it in a closely divided Senate and -- if it stumbled through both those minefields, miracle of miracles -- what, of course, would happen when it hit the President's desk. Certainly investigations could be held and questions asked and ground work laid for the future. But ground work has a way of coming unlaid. What I'd hope for from a slim Democratic majority would not be more of anything in particular, just less of G. Bush. Stagnation and obstruction: That's my agenda.

Now, here we are in California where Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to win reelection easily. I don't have any insight into that situation except the obvious. He's a movie star. By cooperating on some things with the Democratic majorities in the California legislature, he comes off as a raging moderate, at least compared to most of the Republicans in most of the country and certainly next to the typical California Republican. So the squishies will vote for him. Also, you can't caricature him. He is his own caricature, and some people are going to vote for him -- I believe this down to the bottom of my heart -- because looking at him makes them smile, a pleasure one finds in things like Coke bottles and glass eyes and tacos with shadows on them that look like Jesus. When you combine the familiar and the odd, it's irresistible. Yes, he supported two or three (or was it all four) big bad initiatives here in California a year ago, and they all lost, and I cared passionately about all of them losing a year ago, but I'll be darned if I can remember what any of them were about right now a year later.

I'll be voting against him and he'll win anyway, and he'll probably veer back right as he attempts to become Maximum Dictator, and who knows? Maybe he will become Maximum Dictator. But there are other, more imminent, dangers with plump white-meat Republican faces that worry me more.

So when it comes down to it: I know nothing. Well, not quite nothing.

1 comment:

david silver said...

i hear ya.

But the whole point of taking all or part of Congress back is just to slow Bush down, isn't it?

yes, that's correct.

that and maybe a single, just one, congressional hearing focused on how the war is being run and paid for.