Belated Election Correspondence

9 November 2006

Jeez, you get sick a couple of times, get behind at work, and all of a sudden it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve posted. It’s easy to lose momentum. But I gotta get back to it sometime, so that I don’t have to acknowledge “losing interest in things I used to enjoy” as depression inventories would say. So here goes:

I guess I’m not as elated about the dems taking congress as a lot of people are. I’m definitely glad, and I’m glad that Bush will have some accountability, but this won’t do it all, IMHO. Here’s the text of an email I sent my brother (shares my politics) and my dad (from the other side):

Well, of course I’m glad to see some balance in DC, and I’m happy about most of the outcomes (although I’d rather “Dollar” Bill Jefferson hadn’t made the runoff), I want to pre-emptively acknowledge some problems. First, I think Clinton–whose politics I mostly liked–became more effective, and things in the country improved once he didn’t have the House & Senate on his side. For my money, there was more gridlock when it was all dems; I assume that’s because they sniped over the small stuff but took their eyes off the big issues. I’m hoping some accountability will enable Bush to do a better job than he has so far. In that regard, I’m hoping the dems don’t try to act like this is a big mandate to get in there and be obstructionist, but I do hope they can reverse some of the exec-heavy moves of the last few years.

And, just as I agreed with you, dad, that Tom Daschle was a loser, I don’t understand how Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid become the big faces of the party. Same with Frist and Hastert; these guys are so unimpressive, but they’re the ones who get out there. So it doesn’t fill me with glee when Pelosi gives the party’s position on things, and that’s a drag. Frankly, I’d rather hear Dean give the scoop; even though he rubs repubs the wrong way, he’s pretty lucid and knows what he’s saying. Certainly better than Mehlman.

Then there’s Rummy. Probably good to drop him before he gets more heat. Although I’d sort of prefer him to clean up his own mess, I’m hoping that a change of sec will offer a change of course.

We also had an interesting article in the paper here about an issue I didn’t think about. Because most of LA’s house delegation is repub, several members were poised to be more powerful and have a larger role in setting agendas, etc, which would have meant more of an opportunity to try to get aid for the state. Now they will be the minority, and we’ll be more subject to the will of others. I’m hoping that the demos will see fit to get us a fair deal than other repubs would have been, but it doesn’t help that Jefferson got (appropriately) evicted from Ways & Means.

Alright, I’d appreciate y’all’s thoughts. It’s been a good week around here, since the Hornets are the last undefeated team (however, did you see that their uniforms here say “Hornets” and in OKC say “Oklahoma City”? Grrr. I thought the Sonics were OKC’s team), and the Saints have the 2nd best record in the NFC.

My dad and I have an interesting political relationship. Although he knows I’m liberal and he’s not, he talks to me as though I’m right with him. He’ll say things like, “Doesn’t he just make you sick” when Clinton’s on tv or something. It’s bizarre, but when I push him on it, he sounds a lot more moderate. He’ll acknowledge that Bush isn’t really conservative, but he couldn’t vote for Kerry for some sort of inarticulable reason. I wasn’t surprised. But he hates the religious right playing such a role, so we have that common ground. He’s still socially conservative, but, like a true conservative, he believes in people’s right to do pretty much what they want. Now, of course that doesn’t include gay marriage or other radical ideas, but he resents the influence of the evangelists.

So I expect he’ll acknowledge that these outcomes are not all bad for his beliefs, which is part of why I felt the desire to send the above email. I tend to be loyal to a fault to people I’ve supported, which is something I’m not proud of. I find myself trying not to acknowledge shortcomings in people I’ve voted for, in my university, or in my city for that matter. By virtue of my work, I understand why I do this, but it’s weird considering how much I value critical thought. I do think I investigate, analyze, and debate, but then once I decide (whom to vote for, where to work, where to live [and return]), I resist acknowledging their problems. That’s dumb, so I tried to give the first inch to my dad. We’ll see if he takes a mile, or if my concession is as meaningful as I think it is.