I’ve been reading a lot of political blogs lately. So many words written in such places are silly, but I like the numbers. I guess it’s like how some men read the articles in Playboy and some just look at the pictures. I just look at the pictures. I just look at numbers. I know I’m not the only man like that.
So lately the numbers for Democrats in Congress have been the best they’ve been since the last of boll-weevil Democrats became Republicans. An average prediction has Democrats picking up 20 seats in the House of Representatives, up to 40 if a wave of change hits on Election Day. There’s about a 50:50 chance of Democrats taking over the Senate. Of course some Republicans scoff and say the Republican get out the vote effort will have them beating the polls again.
Still it’s interesting to me. I ask myself why. A couple of blogs this week pointed me to a USA Today poll done last weekend regarding how voters saw Democratic issues. The poll listed 11 steps Democrats might take if elected. One thing that struck me about the items on this list is that not one of them affects me personally. Some affect my clients a little, especially if Democrats could manage to pass universal health care. Increasing the minimum wage would help my clients a little, but only some of them. It wouldn’t do anything for my clients on disability or who are unemployed. It wouldn’t do much for the most painful problem my clients have, which is their anxiety about what they should do to get out of their neediness. Maybe if Congress could double their income, some of them could calm down, but a small change is still going to leave almost all of my clients on the wrong side of having discretionary income.
There never will be doubt how I’ll vote. I’ll never be a swing voter. In fact I already mailed my votes in for this election. In talking about that, I could pretend that it is critically important who wins the election like everyone does on their blogs, but I don’t think it matters much. So what do the numbers mean to me?
They mean that I’d like to see Republicans humbled. They take their governing for granted, however that happened. They shouldn’t. At the same time I know that, though, I also know that conservative Republicans have had this condescending attitude ever since I first remember seeing one in 1964. My Dad thought Ronald Reagan was wonderful that year as he spoke for Barry Goldwater, so noble in such a lost cause. I naturally paid attention. So did others, most of whom were old enough to vote, which made Reagan governor of California in 1966.
I know conservatives had a history before then. They wanted Taft in the fifties instead of Eisenhower. Men like William F. Buckley were around then. I don’t know anyone who dropped out of the limelight before 1964, but it certainly impressed me how much conservatives were alike after that, all egotistical about their intellect, even though they believed in simplistic ideas like everything being the best if people are given the greatest freedom, except for sexuality. Yes a well-regulated free market is a good thing, but isn’t it interesting how one needs both freedom and regulation to manage that? Such a balancing act is too complicated for these Einsteins. Fantasy makes for simpler and better slogans.
Even at their politically weakest, conservatives were insufferable. At least they were polite about it then. With power the conservative attitude has gotten so much worse. So I root for them to lose power even beyond my partisanship, though not with the life or death grip that some attach to each election.
Only if I think about it, no one’s going to be humbled by this election. Politics never ends. Whatever the outcome, both sides will try to spin the results into some sort of victory for them, setting the stage for an even greater victory in 2008. Both sides will claim that is their future. Only neither future comes. The battle just continues, 2010, 2012, 2014, …
Republicans have had most of the power since 1980. What is the result? Government spending is worse than ever. The Cold War ended, but other protracted international conflicts evolve. They haven’t overturned Roe v. Wade yet. Maybe they will soon. Of course that won’t change things in my state, California. Ah, it’s a reason to continue to ask for campaign contributions.
I’ve looked through the Republican agenda before. As with the Democrats, if the whole thing came to pass it wouldn’t change my life. It would change lives I know, but not mine. Yet both sides engage in rhetoric that choosing them is vital.
I have a feeling that this attitude will just go on. Maybe it will take economic or ecological catastrophe to change it. So I’ve started to prepare myself to be disappointed no matter what the result of the elections. No one will be humbled. No one will eat crow.
I wonder if crow is on the menu in the afterlife.