Now that I’ve had a few days to absorb the results of the midterm election, I’ve come to a few conclusions. First of all, there is something fishy about it, namely the absence of a fishy smell. I feel like I’m standing on Fisherman’s Wharf and I can smell the San Francisco values, but I can’t smell the fish. Like the good individual speculative investigator that I am, I’ve come up with a theory that might explain it. Hey, now that I feel like we’ve got a little breathing room and are not waking up each day to a situation exponentially worse than the day before, I have the luxury of looking at the big picture and asking myself why things are happening, rather than simply reacting to what is happening. Much more fun, if you ask me.
There have long been reports that the Bush Sr. crowd is disgusted with the Bush Jr. crowd, the big difference between them being that the 41s are pragmatists and never take their eyes off of the money filled ball whereas the 43s are ideologues and can play the game without a ball since they live in a world of make believe. Daddy has let Junior play his game, but now that it’s interfering with papa’s money making ability, Junior’s been shut down. George W. described the election as “a thumpin’” but to me, a thumpin’ is what you get from your dad when you’ve been stupid, a thump on the head as you’re sent to your room. I think Junior was fully convinced that Rove had taken care of things (thus the petulant outburst at the press conference yesterday suggesting publicly that Rove didn’t do his job), but perhaps Rove was overruled by the big boys. I have no doubt the power to manipulate our elections exists, I’m just not sure exactly why that power wasn’t exercised this time around. I’m willing to entertain the idea that it never was, but I have yet to be convinced of that and rather than simply relying on faith, we’d be better off securing our elections once and for all.
I had a discussion with Man of American Dissents about this last night, and his take is that Rove is willing to manipulate an election to save his boy, but not on behalf of a bunch of lapdogs, sorry, I mean Congressmen. I have a different take. I think that either Rove tried or, he was cut off at the knees before he had the chance. One possibility is that Rove did manipulate the numbers, but the big boys changed them back. But more likely is that Rove was sent a message early on in the day that changing the outcome was not going to happen and I think that that message was sent through the television coverage.
I noticed early on Election Day that the networks had started releasing exit poll data, not on the individual races, but on the general questions posed to the voters. I was shocked when they started reporting that a third of white Evangelicals had cited the war and corruption as their main concerns. Not shocked that they felt that way, but shocked that the information was made public. As soon as Rove heard that, he had to know that his cover was blown. Without the lie of the “values voters”, what could possibly explain the GOP holding on to control of Congress? Perhaps a deal was struck, “don’t impeach my boy and we’ll keep our thumb off the scale.” It makes at least as much sense as this election going smoothly for no apparent reason, I mean really, what has changed over the last two years that would explain the complete absence of “glitches” that exclusively favor one side and exit polls that are suddenly right again?
Of course there is one positive change since our last election and one I would love to attribute this clean election to. There are more people aware of the problem than two years ago and citizen activists were out in full force this time, ready to document any problems with this election. I’d like to believe that that alone could have scared Rove off, and whether or not it did, we all owe a debt of gratitude to those diligently fighting to protect the most basic of our democratic rights, the right to have our vote counted openly and accurately.
Clearly things are changing in the White House. Rumsfeld is out, Cheney is being swept aside and Daddies boys are coming in to clean up the mess. I never thought I’d be happy to see James Baker, Brent Scowcroft and Robert Gates, but one thing I’ve learned over the last six years is that old school Republicans are not nearly as dangerous as this new breed of neo-con lunatics that have run this country into the ground. As much as I despise George H.W. Bush, I’m thrilled that he has decided to take over for his delusional son. The devil you know and all that.
Of course all of this is speculation and, in the end, isn’t nearly as important as the fact that we now have the opportunity to start making progress toward repairing the damage this administration has done. I’m thrilled that we have restored some semblance of checks and balances to our government and I couldn’t be happier that the voters of this country are united in our desire for change. I have been wondering for some time when enough would be enough, and it appears that we’ve finally reached that point. And the best part is, we made our will known at the polls and our will is about to be implemented. That hasn’t happened since George W. came on the scene. Coincidence? I think not.