So You Think

On Sunday, October 31, 2010, the front page of the New York Times presented its readers with a graphic, on the top of page 1 indicating that there were 19 Senate races in the mid-term elections which would determine the makeup of the Senate from now until the Presidential Election in 2012. 

Isn’t it odd that so many American political pundits use horse race metaphors for stories about the elections but don’t mention the coincidence that America’s Election Day coincides with Australia’s version of Kentucky Derby Day because the annual Melbourne Cup race is held on the first Tuesday in November?

Frank Rich, on page 8 of the Week in Review Section in that same edition of the New York Times, wrote:  “One dirty little secret of the 2010 election is that it won’t be a political tragedy for Democrats if a Tea Party icon like Sharon Angle or Joe Miller ends up in the United States Senate.” 

In the past one assessment of Republican strategy asserted that they like to take two steps forward and one step back and achieve a slow but continuous movement towards their goals.  Later in the first sentence of the fifth paragraph:  “Karl Rove outed the Republican elites’ contempt for Tea Partiers in the campaign’s final stretch.”  Rich casually adds that the Rove’s remark was made “when speaking to the European press.” 

Wasn’t denouncing one of your own an old Geheim Staatspolizei (AKA Gestapo) trick?

If the Republican steering committee (Rove himself?) has become impatient with the pace of slow but inexorable progress, is it not possible that they might, in an effort to speed things up, be crafty enough to go to a tactic of letting the Tea Party advocate three steps forward, denounce that as moving too fast, and (reluctantly?) settling for a compromise of two and a half steps forward rather than the three advocated by the Tea Party?

Surely the Democrats, who are leaking the aforementioned “dirty little secret,” have in their younger days, received their grandmother’s admonition to:  “Be careful what you wish for.”  (Grandmothers are permitted to end a sentence with a preposition.) 

Have many/any of the nationally recognized political pundits offered their audience the idea that perhaps all the instances of home foreclosures could be looked at from the Republican point of view and be called extreme voter suppression? 

Isn’t it difficult for the homeless to register to vote?  How many of the newly homeless would believe that the Republican candidates are on the side of the little guy and vote for the fat cats?  Is it possible that some of the new homeless would, if they could, cast votes that repudiate the politicians who authorized bank bailout money?  What, if any, effect would the votes of the homeless have on this year’s mid-term elections?  Well, it’s too late now to wonder about that because we’ve reached the point that is similar to the moment in the annals of music when Bill Graham would say:  “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s all about to happen!” and, indeed, it is.

The New York Time’s front page color coded assessment of the Senate races was a bit vague on specifics.  They did say that all tossup seats are held by Democrats and highlighted the races in the states of Washington, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.  Saying that 19 of the races are “in play” will make it a bit difficult to asses their clairvoyant-accuracy rating on Wednesday morning, but most folks, Republican and Democrat, will be so absorbed with assessing the “meaning” of the results, predictions from the previous weekend will be mostly irrelevant, except to Giants or Texas fans.

Does anyone remember that on the morning of the 2000 Presidential Election, CBS radio’s World News Roundup ran a spoiler item about the fact that there were three times as many TV news trucks gathered at the Bush home than there were at the Gore family residence?

This columnist maintains that the Republicans use the electronic voting machines to micro-manage the results and that contention is a bit too radical even for Berkeley.  Using our unpopular and much maligned criteria for making winner projections, we will try to be a bit more specific than the New York Times.   Please note that these projections, like the horoscope feature in newspapers, is presented for amusement and entertainment purposes only.

There are at least three good metaphors to use to frame the mood at the election desk at the World’s Laziest Journalist’s World Headquarters as it prepares to project the winners in the 2010 mid-term elections.  Similar situations would be:

The way French citizens felt as the Nazi army of occupation rolled into Paris.

The way the German generals felt when their leader denied them permission to retreat out of Stalingrad.

The way the men felt who stepped over the line in the sand at the Alamo.

Here are the World’s Laziest Journalist’s predictions/projections:

The Republicans will gain 75 seats (and a majority) in the House.

The Republicans will gain ten seats (and a majority) in the Senate.

Senate wins will be scored by Chistine O’Donnell, Sharon Engle, Pat Toomey, and Dino Rossi.

The big upset will be Alvin Greene who will simultaneously cause President Obama added grief in the effort to present a coherent picture of accomplishment, but will also rid Karl Rove of a challenge to his authority as the de facto Republican quarterback, by easing Senator Jim DeMint out of the limelight and into the footnote in history level of relevancy.

The Democrats will have some other good news.  We project Jerry Brown as the winner of the Californian governor’s race and that Barbra Boxer will hold on to her seat in the Senate.

Wait!  There’s more:  Assuming that the Republicans have a hole card that will deliver the impeachment of President Obama, then Joe Biden will be sworn in and will, during his time in office, have to contend with (according to our projections) Senators O’Donnell, Engle, and Greene, a few extra challenges such as a New York governor name Paladino, a Congress trying to repeal the Health Care Act approved by its predecessor, a Republican majority agenda that will deliver one humiliation after another to the Democratic occupant in the White House.

Last but certainly not the least of our predictions; since we believe that Jeb will become President, it’s piece of cake to make a long-term prediction that when the coach (Karl Rove) signals the bullpen for Jeb to take the “frontrunner” mantle and for Sarah Palin to “hit the showers,” at that point Sarah Palin will become a contestant on the next season of “Dancing with the Stars.”

[Note:  For more on this year’s Melbourne cup see:

http://www.3news.co.nz/Melbourne-Cup–a-guide-to-todays-field/tabid/415/articleID/184130/Default.aspx]

John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural address, said:  “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”  On Tuesday, America will bet that it can.

Now the disk jockey will play the Grannies’ “We Ruined It for Everyone” (off their Hot Flashes album), Johnny Clueless’ “I Don’t See Why” (from the Kissed in Kansas album), and the Galactic Cowboys’ “No Problems.”  We have to go and try to get to get to an Anti-Vietnam War rally.  Have a “So You Think” type week.

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