November 04, 2009

Election '09

So, last night was a pretty disappointing night for Democrats. Two Governorships gone and marriage equality lost in Maine. Still, we picked up NY-23 and Washington State approved equal rights (but not "marriage") for gay couples.

The worst part for me is that now I have to put up with months of conservatives on TV and in person talking about how this reflects a general shift in national politics and we probably shouldn't pass healthcare reform now. Nonsense. I'm skeptical of reading too much into single election years even if they have several races, so I'm certainly not going to make too much of this one.

Owens will probably lose the NY-23 seat next year if the Republicans don't make it into a national race about the soul of the Republican party. If they have a primary, which they probably will, they'll probably end up with a candidate a little more conservative than Scozzafava, but nowhere near as conservative as Hoffman, and that candidate will probably pick up that seat. It won't be because the President did or didn't pass healthcare reform, but because it's a more conservative district.

And ultimately, the Republicans will eventually win back Congress and the White House, and they may even do it at the same time. No party will ever have an unending majority, and it's not because Americans are constantly re-evaluating whether they want healthcare reform or not. It's because there are years with high turn outs and years with low turn outs. Years when the under-30 vote comes and years when they don't. It's because the economy goes up and it goes down and when it goes down incumbents are likely to lose, even though there's little if anything elected officials can do to stop the cyclical nature of the markets (note: I'm not saying economic policy is meaningless here). And of course, there's a strong tendency to "give the other guys a shot" every once in a while.

And then, of course, you have to realize that in any individual election there are local concerns that probably trump national politics. Corzine was not liked. Hell, I've never liked him, and that was before he ran an anti-fat guy campaign. So look, I love politics and I'm always game for chatting about what's going on, but politicos have to realize that, like any obsession, it's easy to take your thinking too far.


Unknown said...

You are, of course, quite correct.

Just one little note: the current economy has precisely nothing to do with the cyclical nature of markets. This was not a cyclical recession (which, generally speaking, requires little if any policy response). This was a recession caused by the near-collapse of the financial sector.

And while I think the media grossly exaggerated Corzine's anti-fat guy attacks, I was also disturbed by them. The one commercial I'm thinking of that used the phrase "Christie threw his weight around" was clearly a shot at his weight, but Christie did throw his weight around, using his position as a US Attorney to immunize himself from the consequences of his own actions.

And he's going to be a wretched governor.

dein said...

i agree with you drew....:-) curently we realized the truth about it... :-)

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