I tried. I did. I really tried to work up enthusiasm about Tuesday’s red-hot primaries. I mean, Arlen Spector being thrown out, Rand Paul being thrown in (maybe) … that oughta be exciting. Especially to an old political junkie like me — who started collecting politicians’ autographs when she was 12 (I still have my Richard Nixon) — who used to stay up into the wee hours to track election results — who, as recently as 1994 actually went to the local courthouse to be among the first to get precinct results.
But no. Couldn’t even work up a good yawn. Could you? Spector’s an old tyrannosaurus who’s already done all the damage he can. Paul may be a smarter politician than his daddy, but he’s still just a standard-brand conservative (even if not, thank all gods, quite of the Bush-Cheney ilk). (Here’s an interesting difference of opinion, though.)
The best I can do this week is give a grin of schadenfreude over the gloriously exposed hypocrisies of Connecticut A.G. (and would-be senator) Richard Blumenthal (William Salatan of Slate gives him a glorious working-over, using Blumenthal’s own “righteous” standards). And oh my lord, how about “Christian” fundie married drug warrior family-values do-as-I-say bully Mark Souder earnestly discussing the virtues of abstinence. On television. With his also-married mistress. Then blaming “the poisonous atmosphere of Washington” for his downfall.
That’s rich. You really can’t make that stuff up. These people’s brains are on some other planet.
But at the same time, my brain hurts from reading the hundreds of post-primary articles like this one. “Primaries reveal ‘new rules’ in U.S. politics!” “Voters upturn political establishment!” “Big change from politics-as-usual!”
Are these writers all fresh out of high school, or what? Have they lived their entire lives in a cave? Every decade or so, we get “sea change in politics” exactly like the one that supposedly happened on Tuesday (and started happening earlier with the election of Scott Brown and other newsbits). Every few election cycles we also get pundits proclaiming that one party or another is “dead” and will never rise again in our lifetimes. R’s, D’s, the party varies but the story never changes. This time it’s “anti-incumbent fervor” or “anti-establishment anger” — as if we hadn’t been seeing that since 1994, at least. Or 1968. Or whatever. No. Nothing changes in politics. Or reporting about politics. (Even if some of the reports, like the one just linked, are quite thoughtful.)
And nothing in government changes, either. Unless you consider more of the same — and more, and more, and more — to be change.
You know that. I know that. Do all these hundreds and thousands of professional commentators seriously not know that? The longer I live, the more all these declarations of “change” sound like Stalinist propaganda. “Look, little people! Your leaders heed the awesome power of your votes — and they respond!”
Pardon me for not getting all tingly about it.
But I wish I could. I really wish I could.
The Euro isn’t actually the ugliest currency in the world right now.
No surprise, the U.S. housing market is suffering from a post-April-30 hangover
Just in case you were wondering why people choose “illegal” over “legal” immigration, here’s a pretty funny look at some of the reasons. Bureaucrats> Gotta love ’em; can’t shoot ’em. (Some language NSFW.)
And there is political hope elsewhere, if not here. I really will get all tingly if it turns out to be something other than mere words.
“European dominoes turn into global cascade.” Read that even if you don’t follow any other links today.