Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Final Election Thoughts

This is it, which I'm sure will make some readers happy -- specifically, those readers saying "Gone for three months and when he comes back he writes all this nasty political stuff?!" Yeah, I know. Anyway, some random thoughts:

:: I hate that California passed Proposition 8. I hate that. Hate it. That is probably the single most disappointing result from yesterday's elections, as far as I'm concerned. Not only did the most populous state in the Union decide in favor of continued bigotry, but they did so in a way that will tell thousands of married people that they aren't married anymore. What crap.

:: For once, the New York State legislature isn't split into one house controlled by Republicans and the other controlled by Democrats. What does this mean? For me, it means that there is absolutely no excuse for the state Democratic party to not at least get some kind of wheels turning toward New York's re-emergence. I'm glad that maybe we've got the start of the end of the "three men in a room" stuff that dominates New York governance, but it's got to get moving now.

:: Local races: I just voted a straight Democratic party line. Lazy? Maybe. But I'm damned if I'm rewarding any Republicans any time in the foreseeable future.

:: Did the general success of the Democrats herald a shift in the country to the left? Possibly, but I think, not quite yet. The Democratic success heralded a willingness in the country to try some liberal policies, but the only way this will turn out to be an actual election of realignment is if those liberal policies produce results. If the economy is still stagnant in 2012, look out. It's tempting to see 2008 as the Democratic version of 1980, which saw the beginning of nearly three decades of Republican dominance, but if Reagan hadn't had a nicely humming economy to run on in 1984, things might well have fizzled for conservatives back then. So, Democrats, let's get working, shall we? (Matthew Yglesias makes the same point here, and he made it before I did, but I'm slow.)

:: When the new Senate convenes, and the Republicans start using the filibuster in order to block things, I hope that Democrats will actually force them to filibuster.

:: What to do with Joe Lieberman? Bust him from his committee chair position, and then tell him to go do whatever he wants. Who cares?

:: I found the mechanism for the network coverage last night hard to follow. The electoral counts would only be updated on the hour, unless the states coming in were "small" states that weren't likely to add anything substantial to the ultimate result. NBC had Obama stuck on something like 210 electoral votes for an hour, and then, all of a sudden right at 11:00, they went ahead and called the whole race for Obama. Now, that's obviously how it turned out, but it just seemed really weird.

:: In Buffalo, Channel 2's coverage of local races was almost amateurish. At times, it just looked silly. I don't know if the use of greaseboard-like effects was supposed to be some kind of tribute to Tim Russert, but it was just annoying, and it seemed as if every time one of the anchors said that they were going to update a certain local race, the station people would put up a wrong graphic some other race. And I'm not sure why they had laptops sitting in front of each anchor; this was pure cosmetics. Plus, they made the NBC results marquee almost impossible to read by reducing the amount of screen devoted to NBC by almost one fourth to get the local results in there.

:: I didn't watch any election coverage at all until about 9:45 pm, after I'd put The Daughter to bed. When I turned on the teevee, they'd already called Ohio for Obama. My jaw dropped at that moment, because I knew he was on his way.

:: Less than eighty days remain in the worst Presidency since James Buchanan's. George Bush can't go away soon enough.

:: Finally, here's Leonard Cohen:

It's not coming, though. It's here.


Anonymous said...

"This is it, which I'm sure will make some readers happy -- specifically, those readers saying "Gone for three months and when he comes back he writes all this nasty political stuff?!" Yeah, I know."

Nope, I've been enjoying it. Probably because I agree with you on pretty much all counts. :-D

Lynette said...

The only dark cloud in this otherwise sunny sky is California and Prop 8. I'm outraged by this and I hope that they will jump on this one soon and rectify this unfathomable error in justice.