August 26, 2010

Trying to care about November

I'm sure I should care. The midterm elections in November, I mean. This could be momentous, and I'm going to start caring pretty soon. Others obviously do; I get several emails a day from, for example, imploring me to support Democratic candidates. Okay, I guess that's what they're saying. I haven't opened an email from barackobama since sometime in 2009, I'm guessing. I haven't given a dime to any candidate; I'm like you, Barack - fiercely bipartisan. I did give about forty bucks to a nice young woman going door-to-door soliciting money to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Regardless of how I feel about Democrats or Republicans, I like sea otters, sea lions, seals, dolphins, whales, fish. Even plankton. Even if I don't stop to say it often enough, I do owe a huge debt of gratitude to the lowly work of the plankton, and so do you. Floating around at the bottom of the food chain, getting swallowed in enormous quantities by the humpback whale, as he plays his game of migratory Pac-Man up and down the coast between Alaska and Baja.

Speaking of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, hereditary Senator and Republican from Alaska, is in real trouble. Some Tea Party guy named Joe Miller, with a slightly pudgy, high fructose corn syrup ingesting-looking wife (perfect for modern America), is ahead of her by 1,700 votes. Ominous! I should care about that. One thing to bear in mind is that Hitler, before rising to total power, actually never commanded a simple majority of all German votes. Didn't need to. Got close enough and then what you might call non-democratic tactics got him the rest of the way there. It took quite a while, actually, between the Beerhall Putsch in the early Twenties to his final victory in 1933. That's the way these things roll out. See, it doesn't matter all that much whether the Right Wing (Tea Party) of the More Right Wing Party in America (the Repubs) actually gain a majority in the House (or Senate) this time around. I don't think they will. But what's on their side is time. Do you honestly think economic times in America are going to be better in 2012? Nah, we're just getting started on the Highway to Hell. And massive unemployment, foreclosure, displacement, anxiety -- these classic sequelae of a Depression are driving the political process at this point.

Gee, what if Carly becomes Senator instead of Barbara Boxer? That should be important, shouldn't it? I get a couple of emails a day from Barbara, probably because of my halcyon days when I gave money regularly to Barry, Barry of the country club on Martha's Vineyard. Man, I'd like to be on the fairways at Martha's Vineyard myself, especially with the whole course essentially closed off just so I could play through. No sour grapes, though. Where was I? Oh yeah, Barbara. She's a stalwart when it comes to global warming. Too bad she's serving in the United States Senate, where there's no chance of any effective legislation ever being enacted. That's the thing that could happen if I don't start getting interested - Obama and His Merry Band of Democrats have gotten very good at passing big bills with the Names of Big Issues. What I call the Names Project: Healthcare Reform (with no reform), Financial Reform (ditto), the Stimulus (what can you say?). Bills With Those Names won't even get out of committee if the Democrats lose. And then you know what? The war in Afghanistan will get escalated, and then a new, secret, robotic war in Yemen will start up...

I'm trying to stay focused here. This isn't funny. The Tea Party is the leading edge of a very negative development, nativist, nationalistic, belligerent, intolerant, obscurantist. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - would you really be able to tell the difference? Sure you would, I say. We need some sort of rallying cry: Vote for Democrats! They don't do anything, except it feels okay, because they're not that scary!

Finally, I think I've found an approach that will work for me.

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