Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mid-terms

The first paragraph of today's Times editorial:
"Times are tough, and Americans are understandably worried and angry. This year’s campaign has only made things worse. Billions of dollars have been spent to destroy character rather than debate serious ideas. Still, there is no excuse for staying home on Election Day."
The best paragraph from a stellar article by analyst Stuart Rothenberg in a non-partisan D.C.-based newsletter called, aptly, The Rothenberg Political Report, on today's event:
"Politics and political coverage has deteriorated to such a point that even I am offended by it — and I’m about as cynical as anyone. There is more polling now, and much of it is useless. There is more political coverage on TV, particularly cable, and most of it is embarrassingly stupid .... Prime-time programming decisions by senior executives at Fox News and MSNBC apparently make financial sense, but they have undermined civility and divided the country. The country would be better off if starting at 4 p.m., the two networks ran test patterns for the rest of the night. “Gotcha” journalism has taken over our politics and elections, with feigned and real outrage standard fare, no matter how small or unintentional the misstep.
"Finally, America’s celebrity culture has spilled over into politics. Today it is Sarah Palin. Tomorrow it will be someone else. People are so desperate to get their faces on TV that they will talk about anything.   Tomorrow, it will all begin again."
What I have listed on my Facebook page next to Political Affiliation:
"Rather weary of them all"
A succinct summation of this weariness, as described by historian and author Tom Engelhardt on Salon.com this afternoon:
"....  it's the whole airless shebang we call an election that's gotten to me, the bizarrely hermetic, self-financing, self-praising, self-promoting system we still manage to think of as "democratic." That includes the media echo chamber that's been ginning up this nationally nondescript season as an epochal life-changer via a powerfully mad -- as in mad elephant – populace ready to run amok ...

"Whether the country I once wanted to represent was ever there in the form I imagined is a question I'll leave to the historians. What I can say is that it's sure not there now. What remains, angry or depressed, has made for a toxic brew as well as the most dispiriting election of my life. For what it's worth, consider that my ballot box blues on this dreary Tuesday in November 2010."
The e-mail that Joshua sent me over the weekend:
"Insofar as you are the most politically literate person I know, I think it would be fun to get drunk to midterm returns together on Tuesday night. What say ye?"
Since I am thrilled my friend lives in Boston again and can't believe I'm the most politically anything and that, furthermore, Joshua and I have watched returns in almost every even-numbered year since, together, witnessing the famous Al/Tipper Gore kiss of the 2000 Democratic National Convention, how I replied:
"I say that even though the election cycle has me nauseous .... most likely, sounds cool."
Even though Joshua and I are heading to Beacon Hill to hang out, I don't have enough money or any huge desire to get drunk.  There's no chance that Al and Tipper Gore will be kissing later tonight, or at least that I'll get to watch.   I'll try not to get pissed when people that I didn't want to be elected get elected and think that's a good reason to kiss his or her spouse.

And I will try not to get aggravated at the television coverage and to remember that easily half my Facebook friends announced they had voted and encouraged their friends to do likewise, and that my Facebook friends are good people no matter who they voted for, and as Stu Rothenberg claims, "tomorrow, it will all begin again" and how, despite all the crap of our system and my weariness with it, how I ought to be glad it will.

5 comments:

Jen said...

My political status on FB is Disgusted with them all.


That totally described my mood. It is a good drinking game night however.

Anonymous said...

Now this is "Change to believe in."

Karin said...

@Jen. Yeah. I'm not exactly disgusted, but more just over the whole process of elections and the requisite b.s. and rhetoric required. On any side. Just stop the generalizations and the declarations of truth already.

In the spirit of the particular non-spending mood in the air, Joshua and I drank cheap beer. We had a good time.

Anonymous said...

Were you "equally disgusted over the whole process of elections and the requisite b.s. and rhetoric required" a couple years ago or now that things aren't going well for the Democrats that is the way you feel?

Karin said...

@Anonymous. No, I was sick of then too. I'm just more familiar with it now, having worked on campaigns in the meantime. The media shouting about it all, too, just seems louder now than it used to be (or, I could just be getting older).