cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The fall elections are drawing nearer and nearer, thankfully. The two major parties are scrambling to get the word out, to energize the voters they believe most likely to support their candidates, and to continue to raise campaign money. The television and radio stations are basking in the spending that will give them all a good quarter or a good year financially.
So far, it appears that we will have a Republican by the name of Walker as our next governor. Barrett must gain significant vote counts out-state if he is to make this a cliff-hanger. So far, the race for senator is close and Feingold could close the gap quickly in the remaining weeks. The idea that Feingold has never gotten to a 50% approval level may well be telling in this race. He is apparently not comfortable with appearing together with the President in Madison or so it would seem since he again has “other plans” as he did on Labor Day.
The Young Guns, including our own Paul Ryan, have had a significant effect on the national Republican Party. The Pledge to America has been produced and has taken the expected hits from opponents. It may or may not prove to have been helpful. It was intended to give some organization to the disparate Republican messages and yet party candidates will use it only if they believe it will serve their purpose. The Tea Party voters seem to have gotten into the parade behind their candidates who, in large part, seem to have been accepted by the Republicans.
We are about to see the real heavy slate of negative advertisements as the time draws close for the trip to the voting booth. We decry negative campaigns but they work, so we’ll continue to live with them. The party faithful are working their fingers to the bone dialing for dollars and working to get the people to the polls. It is those who work behind the headlines who really determine a campaign’s success or failure after the candidates’ message has been perfected.
By most all accounts, there will be sweeping change this November. The prospects for effective governance will hang in the balance. At the national level, there may be a need for re-thinking within the Oval Office. That will be propelled by the changing of the guard as Axelrod and Emanuel move back to Chicago, and as President Obama selects his new team of senior advisors.
Most with whom I talk believe that there will be a change in control in the House while fewer believe that change will sweep through the Senate. The House, of course, controls the purse strings and thus wields much power. The President will still have his veto pen handy and it is unlikely that the Republicans will gain enough seats to override a veto. The big deal will be who does what about ObamaCare. I seriously doubt that it will be shoved into the ditch and replaced. I do think it more likely that major portions will be denied funding and thus will be made impotent.
The economy continues to be a very large issue and is not showing signs of any significant improvement prior to election day.
At the state level, we could see a sweep in control of the assembly, the senate and the governor’s mansion. That always makes me a bit queasy since there is no one for Republicans to blame if they screw up.
There is the old thing about Republicans and how they govern or don’t govern when they sweep into power. We’ll see if any real lessons have been learned if they are as successful as they think they’ll be in November.
All in all, it seems that our democracy is working as conceived by the founding fathers. There is that controlling effect to be wielded by the voting populace whenever it feels one or the other party have over-stepped or have failed to deliver as promised.
Voters are not always the dumb sheep they’re often made out to be by the political pundits. They may be fickle, but more voters are engaged these days than are unengaged. That is a good thing no matter who wins.