Thursday, November 5, 2009

560. In The News

For one thing, I was in the news, although if I had my 'druthers, I would not have been. Yesterday's edition of LEO carried a story, which had at least one mistake I've asked the writer to correct, concerning Ken Herndon's filing to close his lawsuit (while allowing the opportunity to reopen it) which was seeking to find who was behind a defaming mailer which likely caused him his race for Council in 2008. This filing brings to a close a long chapter of ugly politics which began in May 2008. I am glad that chapter has closed but I find it unfortunate that the evil-doers, whoever they are, will go unpunished. We can all expect this sort of thing again in the future. And when it happens, all fingers will likely be pointed at the same suspect(s) and probably for the same reason(s). One down side - of many - is that the handling of the mailing and of the subsequent lawsuit has caused friends to part and political alliances to crumble. The mailing was a mounmental effort with monumental consequences among a varied groups of people in the Louisville political and cultural community. So, this too, has passed.

More political news yesterday came in reports of what had happened the day before when elections were held in various places across the Republic. I pored through the electronic media pages from Virginia and New Jersey where the Democrats lost governorships. I also looked at the gay marriage votes and the mayoral votes in New York and Boston. It is a mixed bag of results but one thing is clear - the electorate in Tuesday's locations was, for the most part, down considerably from 2008, especially among younger voters and black voters, and in many places incumbency was a burden, not a help.

Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Thomas Menino are exceptions. Menino won a 5th term in Boston making him the longest serving mayor in that city, despite calls that he and his cabinet are too white, too WASPy, and all this in a town we all think of as Irish. He beat an Irish-American who had promised to hire as his deputy a Korean-American. Clearly the voters sought less diversity, weren't interested in hyphenated-ethnicities and Menino, the white guy, won easily. Bloomberg in New York barely won despite spending a fortune and running against a nobody. Bloomberg's win is unprecedented in that he just last year had the laws changed which would allow him another term. While the effort left a bad taste in some voters' mouths, he still eeked out a win. Out in both states, Republicans and challengers did better than Democrats and incumbents. Having said that, New York City remains a strongly Democratic city, with all the boroughs but one (Staten Island (Richmond County) - long a Republican center and the least populated - literally an island) easily electing Democratic leaders, Bloomberg being the exception.

In Maine and Washington, the vote turnout was better, in the 50s (it is hard to determine Washington's as they are still accepting mail in ballots). Both states pitted one side of the state against the other - in Washington it is coast v. inland, in Maine it is south v. north. Washington voted pro-gay marriage, Maine didn't. As a side note of interest, the same voters who turned down gay marriage in Maine overwhelmingly voted to expand the state's medical marijuana laws, which will now have the state actually growing and harvesting weed for sell to patients in need, an interesting step. It should be noted that marijuana legalization is not a liberal issue and draws considerable support from all sides, especially libertarians. I believe it is something Kentucky should take a serious look at. Hemp production was, at one time, something we were Number One in - and we're not number one on too many lists. And anyone who is paying attention knows the weed contiunes to grow, whether wild or cultivated, all across the Commonwealth. But, I digress.

I won't go into Virginia and New Jersey, where we lost both states. The New Jersey loss was something of a surprise. I think, like any local race, local issues combined with President Obama's lack of progress, gave the wins to the Republicans. Independents, very important voters for Obama in 2008, moved from leaning left to rambling right, tilting the scales even further. Obama needs to stop playing and start producing. Let me say that again. Obama needs to stop playing and start producing. Once more, say it with me. Obama needs to stop playing and start producing.

Finally, while everyone is talking about New York's 23rd Congressional District, where a Democrat was elected in this area (but not necessarily in the 23rd District) for the first time in 100 years, turnout was miserable. The vote was about 60% of those who voted in 2008, and about 3/4 of those who voted in 2006. Black turnout wasn't a factor here as this northerly-most New York district is 94% white. Last week Vice President Biden went up there for a rally - the turnout was 200 people.

The bottom line is this. A number those people who turned out to vote for change, to vote for the first African-American president, and to vote against eight years of the Borrow, Bully, and Spend tactics of the 44th Best President in America; they've done their part and are now sitting back. What's left are traditional voters in both parties and neither group is all that happy. We on the left are tired of waiting. We won the House and the Senate and the Presidency. We seek decisive action. Those of the right, an ever diminishing group, think all government is bad and wont be happy til Grover Norquist and those of his ilk control all the strings which make the government move. The great majority is in the middle watching and waiting. And like Dathan called to Moses in the Book of Numbers, their question is "How long must we wait?"

1 comment:

Wachovia Online Banking said...

I agree with you majority of voters are actually just sitting at the back, they are just waiting and watching the whole scenario. Everyone has there own issues to vote for and strange thing is that the nation’s interest has lost somewhere. Even i don't know how long we need to wait to get the issues settled down and in the benefit of nation.

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.