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11/07/2002: Oh that election

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When the clock radio clicked on yesterday morning, the reception was pretty fuzzy, but I could understand enough to hear that they were talking about election results. I focused long enough to hear that Grey Davis was reelected, at which point I heaved a huge sigh of relief that California was at least not saddled with the babbling idiocy that is Bill Simon. I freely admit that the gubernatorial election in my state was yet another case of trying to choose the lesser of two evils, and that Grey Davis is certainly no prize. But at least he's better than Bill Simon, and that's apparently all we can hope for.

I heaved another huge sigh of relief because I knew that, at least for a little while, the incessant campaigning would finally cease and I could actually start answering my phone again instead of letting the machine screen my calls to avoid political ads. In our town, one of the measures on the ballot was for a bond to generate money for a new high school. In the sample ballot, where there's usually a brief "for" and "against" description, there was no group against the bond. It was one of those things that seemed rather obvious (after all, who in their right mind is going to vote against building a new high school when there's only one in town and it was built to handle only a quarter of the students it currently holds). Apparently, however, despite the fact that it seemed like a sure win, a rather dedicated group has been peppering the entire town for weeks on end, canvassing neighborhoods, ringing doorbells, making phone calls. It had gotten to the point where when I knew what the call was, I would hastily assure them that I really was going to vote for the measure and then hang up as quickly as I could. I know other people were fielding calls from candidates, but one small bonus of registering as an independent means that neither the republicans nor the democrats have me listed on their radar to harass with annoying recorded messages from the candidate or celebrity of their choice.

It wasn't until I logged onto a bit later that I realized that my relief was a bit premature. For the next two years, unless a few rather large miracles take place, the GOP controls both sides of Congress. This scares me in far too many ways. Granted, I do tend to lean more toward the left than the right (yes, yes, I'm a liberal. So sue me) but I would be this scared if it was the Democrats who ran everything too. This is not good. No one party should control everything. The balance of power has been seriously disturbed, and unless some of their own party find a conscience and decide to vote for what their constituents think instead of the straight party line, it's going to be a dark and uncertain few years.

And the worst of it is, most of the blame can be laid on the shoulders of those who run the defeated party, for being so incredibly wishy washy on every issue; for hanging to the middle of every decision instead of finding the guts to actually take a stand. I may disagree rather strongly with a good number of the platforms that form the basis of the Republican party's campaigns, but at least they *had* opinions and platforms. Not so the Democrats, whose only platform seemed to be just a rather whiny "vote for us just because we're not *them*".

I shudder to think of what the Shrub will try to push through now that he's got his good-ole-boys network firmly in place. If there was any uncertainty before this election, there can be none now. With all his little cronies behind him, the Shrub is pretty much guaranteed to get his little war on Iraq, where he can send hundreds of American soldiers out to possibly die in battle, just to defend his daddy's honor (oh, and also to keep that oil flowing. But wait. This proposed war has *nothing* to do with oil. Silly me. How *could* I have thought otherwise). I'm not sure any of us are prepared for the amount of damage this man is going to do to our country in the next two years if there is no resistance from Congress. I'm not sure if I even want to begin to imagine it.

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