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
Politics in 2010...a mixed bag at best depending upon the political party with which you most closely align.
The polls generally tell the pollster whatever the pollster was looking for based upon the construction and wording of the polling questions. The polls in Massachusetts show that both the Democrat and the Republican could be winners. The polling that favors the Democrat candidate for Senate is aimed at the voters at large, while the polling that favors the Republican is aimed at likely voters.
Likely voters are those more usually voting in 'mid-term' elections while the major presidential election years tend to attract those as well as the general party members.
Wisconsin could elect a Republican candidate as its next Governor, and it could see a change in control in one of the two houses of state government. Or, it might simply elect a Republican Governor to oversee and challenge the Democrats in both houses as a protection device. It seems unlikely that it will again elect a Democrat and keep the Assembly and Senate solidly Democrat, as well.
Similarly, the nation seems to be actively considering making some changes in Congress in 2010. It remains to be seen, of course, just how broadly any possible change might be, but there is talk that the House could flip from Democrat to Republican control. It is possible that changes in the Senate could remove a few Democrats to provide for the Republican's to effect some control through cloture votes (requiring 60 votes), but that is more unlikely.
We voters seem to rest uneasy when we have all our political eggs in a single basket, and there is amply-demonstrated reasoning behind that mood. Too often, the perceived "mandate" that party leaders take away from broad wins that shift the majority of both houses, are not solid mandates so much as they are the demonstration of disgust by the voters. These shifts are not the people saying they want a complete reversal so much as it is the people saying they want the good old "checks and balances" to work.
When the 'perfect storm' of the White House and Congress being dominated by a single political party occurs, it is to be expected that the ruling party will be carried away with its perception of its own importance. That is not the sole territory of either the Democrats or of the Republicans; both have a decided tendency to get "drunk with power" and to abuse the will of the very people who elected them.
Once again, we witness the wisdom of our founding fathers who intentionally created a republic that had a system of checks and balances. Why, when it is so obvious that our system works, do we continue to have people working diligently to undo the very checks and balances through the writing of laws that attempt to thwart those same founding fathers and their wisdom?
For example, in a current context, why would the Democrats do their very best to completely alter the health care delivery system and the health care finance system simultaneously and then, pompously, include language that attempts to constrain future such bodies from making changes to their handiwork?
2010 carries the promise of a righting of the ship of state so far as restoring some semblance of equality in our government. Let us hope that is borne out by the results of the elections.
Political power vested solely in one party or another to the detriment of the checks and balances we need in order to sleep peacefully, while Congress and the Supreme Court are in session under the watch of a President with the same political goals, is not healthy. It isn't healthy for the people; it isn't healthy for the country; and, it isn't healthy for the ruling party. While the Supreme Court has yet to be fully changed to a liberal bias, that will happen without checks and balances.