Thursday, November 4, 2010

Foley vs. Malloy and other thoughts

After a period of uncertainty — or perhaps even chaos — it looks like we might have a winner in the Connecticut governor's race. But this thing is so complicated that, judging from state GOP boss Chris Healy's appearance on yesterday's Colin McEnroe show, it might very well end up in court — just like Bush vs. Gore in 2000. Stay tuned for the finale.

I have been inundated with emails and Facebook comments from people on opposite sides of the aisle who are convinced the state or the country will go to hell because the wrong party won. I know conservatives who are depressed that Connecticut re-elected all five of its Democratic congressmen and sent Dick "Sue-'em-all" Blumenthal" to Washington as U.S. senator.

I know liberals who actually described Connecticut as "the sane state" for bucking the national trend in electing all Dems. Say what?

If we're so sane, then why did we elect Johnny Rowland governor three times? And elect an empty vessel like Jodi Rell? And the corruption is endless: Ganim, Perez, Rowland? At one point, we actually had three former mayors of Waterbury all serving time. And we 're staring at a $3 billion deficit, while jobs are fleeing the state. No, Connecticut is far from sane, I'm afraid.

I also know liberals who are also profoundly disgusted at the results of the midterm Congressional elections. I am not one of them. As I have written in this space before, recent history suggests that divided government often works better than having one party running the show.

The question for me is how Barack Obama saves his presidency. As the sage Dick Morris said, triangulation, of the sort that Morris himself prodded Bill Clinton into after the 1994 midterms, is not really possible.

Quite simply, Obama has unmasked himself as a political amateur who was either unwilling or unable to control the narrative as Republicans hijacked his agenda and convinced a great number of Americans that it was deeply flawed.

Unless he learns from his mistakes, Obama will have a terrible time governing. And unless the economy improves significantly over the next year, he will surely be a one-termer.


  1. Terry,

    There are 151 state representatives and 36 state senators in the Connecticut legislature. According to my rough count, a whopping total of eight incumbents were voted out Tuesday. And two of those races are in recounts, so it could be as few as six.
    Are the people running our state doing such a bang-up job that they deserve to be rehired?
    I believe the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.

  2. The reality is that an equal portion of left and right makes a strong constitution. If you look back at when Clinton lost both the house and senate to the Republicans our country was able to enjoy some prosperity, but before that he couldn’t get anything done. The genius of Dick Morris’s triangulation strategy was to pass the Republican agenda and take credit for it. Then the Bush administration just about had it all, they had control of the Executive, Judicial, the House and Senate, and they still couldn’t get anything done. After the Bush administration lost the house and the senate to the Democrats things didn’t get any better, so hopefully Obama will end up doing what Clinton did and maybe we can get this country back on track. Charles Krauthammer says that the Republicans are in a beautiful position politically because they have enough power to enforce their position but not enough to take the blame for any failures that the Obama administration might have, and this could be good, or end up being just more of the same. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  3. Conservatives are mad. Liberals are mad. Democrats are dismayed. Republicans are...whatever. Moderates are sane, discourse is no longer civil. This year we'll throw out the bums and vote in hope and change. Next time we'll throw out the bums and vote for Tea Parties. Red, blue. Black, white. Up, down, in, out. Round and round we go.

    There are good explanations out there, if you care to look for them, that make perfect sense out of all of it. They are worth reading whole, but here are the Cliff Notes: The elections are nothing more than an incohate expression of helplessness and hopelessness. Change is a myth. The ruling class is in charge. Democrats and Republicans are creatures of the ruling class. They run for power and riches. They rule for power and riches. Their political lives are dependent on money. Money comes from Wall Street and from corporations. Power comes from domination abroad and at home, and from keeping people confused, fearful, and powerless -- while giving them the illusion of power in the form of "the vote." Oh, yes: and power corrupts, which is why so many politicans are inevitably corrupt.

    If you shift your perspective, it begins to make sense.

    Footnote: Not all of these things totally apply to local politics and elections, but once you get to the federal level (if not sooner), fuhgedaboudit.

  4. Steve, those numbers are pretty damning. We have a patently irresponsible legislature that has been almost unanimously re-elected. I don't know if people simply aren't paying attention or if it's the old political paradox — throw the bums out except for my bum; s/he brings home my bacon.
    Victim, I mostly agree with that analysis, especially the Krauthammer bit at the end. I think it's called plausible deniability.
    Fred, if one "shift[s]" ones "perspective" toward yours, "it begins to make sense" [to you]. How clever.

  5. I am specifically speaking to Fred and the last part of his post …

    Footnote: Not all of these things totally apply to local politics and elections, but once you get to the federal level (if not sooner), fuhgedaboudit.

    It is obvious that you DO NOT follow local politics.

    That is where all of this begins!

    Look at the 'mind numb' in my 'so called' intellectual Town (Salisbury) … If it has a D next to it, they vote for it.

    If their well padded nest is in tact, they don't care about the rest.

    As long as no one is infringing on their property value or wealth, and the local officials are seeing it THEIR way … LIFE IS FINE!

    While I concur with much of what you said before the FOOTNOTE … I remind you that the TREE GROWS FROM THE ROOTS.

    Much of what is happening in Hartford and Washington DC is a product of what we IGNORE locally because we have FOOLED ourselves into believing that everything is above reproach in our little secure 'burbs'.

    That which you ignore inevitably comes back to bite you in the ...

  6. Republicans cheer up, and try to remember that this area is vital to the survival of the Democrat’s system. It’s one of their most important strong holds, and since they had to work extra hard to keep it this time, it caused them to expend an exorbitant amount of time, energy and money to maintain control of their strong hold states where victory is usually considered to be a certainty, and it allowed the Republican to sweep the rest of the country.

    The Republicans took sixty four seats in the house, the most since Roosevelt in “1938”, and six in the senate, which isn’t too bad either, and we took eleven gubernatorial seats away from the Democrats. The Democrats all puff out their chests around here as if they actually won. I guess they’re just looking for that silver lining, but in this case it’s more like a filament fiber, or a delicate silver strand and that’s all they need to convince themselves that they did in fact over come the Republican onslaught so as not to lose this state with it’s whopping total of seven electoral votes.

    What I’m saying is, we did our part, and should be proud of the fact that we helped to cause these Democrats to scurry around like a bunch of second graders at recess, which aided in securing the real victory. It’s the victory that the Democrats would rather not look at. Well done!