It’s amazing to me that there are still people out there willing to somehow believe things are going to change due to an election. Is this a sign of how jaded I’ve become? It’s just that I’ve seen too many people make big promises leading up to an election, only to turn around and do a whole lot of nothing once the election is done. (The fifth season of The Wire actually brought this into focus quite nicely. You had a real up and comer politician who thought he could make some real changes get elected. Then what happened? The system wore him down in about two seconds, and he turned his sights on getting a higher position.)
The Republicans won the Senate? Great. Is that going to make any real difference whatsoever? The good or bad news (depending on your political persuasion) is that I don’t really think it will. Two years from now at the next general election, my bets are on Congress still being loathed, the country still being mired in gridlock, and us all looking back to see not a lot has gone on in the last two years.
I would love to be wrong about this. Anything that broke this cycle of ineptitude would at least get the country moving again. Sometimes you have to go backward before you can go forward–sort of like what happens when your car gets stuck in the snow.
On a local level, I’ll admit to being very surprised that LePage managed to win his race. Even though I didn’t vote for either him or his biggest challenger, my bet would have been on Michaud pulling it off, especially after Cutler backed away from the table last week. The thing is, I hear a lot of people still blaming Cutler for Michaud’s loss–and Mitchell’s loss the last time around. If anything, I think LePage’s victory both times can be laid squarely at the feet of the Democrats. Cutler almost won last time. He would have if Mitchell had bowed out. This time, if the goal was “LePage shall not get a second term no matter what,” then Michaud should have backed off and let Cutler have a clean shot at the governor. I think you would have seen almost 100% of Michaud’s supporters go to Cutler’s camp.
But hindsight is always something something.
Our country and our state seem to get along, one way or another–in spite of the best efforts of our political process. If you’re a staunch Republican, my advice would be to not get your hopes up. Give these guys a few months, and we’ll think they’re bums just like the rest of them. A staunch Democrat? Chin up. Gridlock beats party lines every time.
It’s a wonder I still follow politics, with this sort of attitude . . .