Post-2010-Election Thoughts

I’ve studiously avoided posting much in the way of politically-tinged content here for at least a few years — I’ve constrained much of my flip commentary to my Twitter account, but my thoughts on yesterday’s election results exceed that limited format, so if you’ll bear with me for the span of a post, I’d like to jot down some of my thoughts/reactions.

  1. As strange as it sounds, I think the GOP’s failure to capture the Senate could be a good thing for the Party’s prospects come 2012. Securing both houses could have induced intellectual laziness on the part of Congressional Republicans and it could have raised unreasonable expectations from the voting public as to what, exactly, the GOP could accomplish over the following two years. The gridlock will likely be impressive and the fact that funding bills must originate in the House are decided advantages.
  2. The best news of the night: Senators-elect Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio and Ron Johnson; Representatives-elect Tim Scott, Dan Webster, Allen West, Renee Ellmers and Chip Cravack; Governors-elect Tom Corbett and Nikki Haley
  3. The night’s biggest losers, in order:

    House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi/DCCC, the myth of TEA Party invincibility, the NRSC/GOP Senatorial leadership, Sarah Palin’s potential for a 2012 Presidential run, and Chuck Schumer. Reasons?

    • The first three should be obvious.
    • The NRSC was atrocious this year: endorsing candidates in the primaries, withholding funding after non-preferred candidates won said primaries, anonymous sniping, refusal to strip Murkowski (ptui!) of her chairmanships and a general lack of investment in high-visibility races. While Miller in AK may yet pull it out, chances are slim for Buck in CO and lack of adult supervision likely helped sink Angle in NV. Rubio succeeded in spite of the “establishment” in FL. O’Donnell called it “party cannibalism”, a term that (while it may not have sunk her individual candidacy) aptly sums up what went on in my opinion. John Cornyn should lose his job.
    • Palin’s reputation as a kingmaker for electable candidates has taken a beating in the Senate contests (in particular O’Donnell and Angle) while her last-minute robocall for Tancredo in CO seems to have done little. Fair or not, the general public views her as out-of-the-mainstream and little better than O’D and Angle and the voters have shown that, even when confronted with terrible candidates like Harry Reid, they’ll vote for the dirtbag over the loon.
    • Chuck Schumer was really hoping for a Reid loss last night in order to assure his coronation as Senate majority leader. I’d watch my back if I were Harry Reid, though — I’m still not convinced Schumer won’t back an insurgency under the guise of “fresh blood in leadership”.
  4. The prevailing pre-election conventional media wisdom held that voters were “angry” and were looking to “punish” “incumbents” in a vengeful, largely logic-free vote. These results would suggest otherwise. In order to carry as many governorships and yet lose corresponding Senate seats, the GOP had to have been facing a lot of folks willing to split their vote, a practice that hardly ranks as “angry”. Instead, it seem that voters were well-informed and sought to make careful, well-thought-out decisions in the voting booth.
  5. I like Mike Pence. I think his Presidential ambitions may well be overselling his prospects and his refusal to run for a House leadership post may well end up being a bad thing for both himself and conservative interests in the Congress.
  6. The results of this election most profoundly affecting the nation will likely not be felt until at least the Presidential election of 2012, if not the midterms of 2014. The GOP took a tremendous number of state legislatures and governorships which will allow for a great deal of redistricting that could end up being net benefits to the GOP.
  7. As a certified Person of Pallor, I feel slightly unqualified to comment upon issues of diversity, but it seems as though a lot of non-WASPs won GOP seats last night — Allen West, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, Raul Labrador, Marco Rubio and a few others I’m forgetting. I think this is a great thing, as it brings in a lot of fresh perspective and demonstrates that, counter to the prevailing narrative, the Republican party is indeed one that can and will embrace people of all races, creeds and origins, as long as they’re united in their view of the proper role of government.

All-in-all, it was far from my ideal night, particularly in regards to the Senate results, but I’ll certainly take the statehouse results over the alternatives.

Looney Tunes U

If stinkin’ Warner Brothers can coherently explain Economics 101, what the heck is wrong with our elected officials?

They can’t be bothered to read the bills they sign — maybe they can at least watch a cartoon or two.
(Also required viewing: “Debt, Tyrannosaurus”)

Stuff I Learned On The Internet[s], Recent History Edition

People approach me and say “Doug, we haven’t seen you post recently. What have you been learning on the Internet these last two weeks that you haven’t been posting?”*
I learned that Matt Mullenweg started WordPress partially of a desire to help out his church.
I learned that one does not mess with Finns named Simo Häyhä, particularly if one is Russian.
I learned that Guy Ritchie is making a “Michael Bay version” of “Sherlock Holmes” (“I command ‘Sherlock Holmes’ to be awesome“):

I learned that Ted Vigilante is the single best superior court judge name ever and that he will likely have to be played by Chuck Norris, should a made-for-TV movie ever be produced based solely upon his name.
I learned that Sen. Jim “R0xx0r Your S0xx0rs” DeMint is not afraid to drop the XML Bomb on his crotchety Senate colleagues. (I also learned he desperately needs a new headshot that doesn’t make him look like a goober.)
Continue reading “Stuff I Learned On The Internet[s], Recent History Edition”

Your Daily Dose Of “…What The Crap?”

[With apologies to Scott Johnson, of My Extra Life fame, for his coinage of phrase.]

Dear President Obama, what the crap?

Obama Considers Zany Climate Engineering Gadgets to Fight ‘The Warming’.

Obama is apparently considering using a machine that would suck up smog and shoot it into the upper atmosphere—reflecting the sun’s rays—as a way to fight global warming. I’m not joking.

Dear IRS, what the crap?

Tax deductions you’ve never heard of, including allowances for kidnapped children:

Back in 2000, the Internal Revenue Service issued a ruling that members of Congress called “cruel, heartless and anti-family.” It said that parents of a child that had been kidnapped could only claim the child as a dependent for the year in which the child had been kidnapped, not for later years. Congress threatened to write a law to remedy the situation, but the IRS quickly revised its ruling. Now parents whose child has been kidnapped can continue to take all credits and exclusions for which they would be eligible if the child still lived with them, until the child would be 18 years old or is found dead. The one caveat: the child must have been abducted by a stranger and not a family member.

We have a really screwed up tax system…
Continue reading “Your Daily Dose Of “…What The Crap?””

Internet Future-/Navel-Gazing

A quick thought (and corresponding question) occurred to me: Bill Clinton was the first President to face opponents on the Internet, George W. Bush the first to face organized opposition, and Barack Obama the first to capably utilize that opposition to get elected. What “first” will the next President likely face?