The excitement of off off year elections

It is a little easy to slumber through an off off year election, a jibber of jabber of localized election contests which theoretically should proffer nothing beyond their localized focal points but which pundits wrap around into an extended narrative.

Virginia forces a discomfitting question: I thought we defeated Clinton and their political apparatus in 2008 with Obama’s primary. And whatever the resultant effects, 2016’s general election provided an end point. And, okay, maybe the 2014 – 2018 gubernatorial service of Terry Mcauliffe had its virtues — I admit in checking in from afar I was moderately impressed by of focal on working to promote some rather unsexy industries — seemingly a good step away from the trappings of party line political fights — but we are still stuck on the echoes of staring at Bill Clinton’s unsavory money holder — which one can look away from with help from one of Virginia’s electoral quirks: no re-elections… a quirk which has the definite virtue of allowing politicians’ weaknesses to slide away, because what does it matter? — S/he’ll be out before they matter. McAuliffe served his time. Why is he back again? Virginia Democrats are left asking the state electorate to throw away the biggest asset they have built into their election system (Notwithstanding however it has played out historically — in undemocratic terms basically a long standing US Senator Harry Byrd plugging in a new no name governor each four year increment to squad any unionization and uphold segregation).

The finale of this election campaign leaves an ugly taste. Sure, “it’s politics”. The Republican makes hay of a parent complaining that their smart kid is reading a Toni Morrison book that has sex in it — you mark this to the problem of something I heard from Steven Pinker that one ought practice the opposite of setting up straw men in arguing and, if you want to get at rational meaning in discourse build up the most solid argument in the opposition and argue against / with that — Here, there lay reasonable public policy problems Youngkn’s end, but damned if he isn’t here gratifying the problem of a parent flummoxed by an advanced student asked to read advanced literature.

Meanwhile, there is a linguistic problem inherent in some media coverage of (sigh) when a bunch of activists with the “Lincoln Project” showed up donning the khakis of the “tiki torch” Charlottesville riot mob to “endorse” Youngkin. The conservative media and twittering goblets label this stunt a “hoax”. It is not a hoax — from my vantage point the members of this greeting never had any intention for this set-up to be mistaken for the actual item of Richard Spencer and crew. We note that there is an actualBlack man in the picture. No — this is roughly analogous to the man dressed in a chicken who followed George Bush on the campaign in 1992. Or perhaps more closely the organization ” Billionaires for Bush and Gore” who refactoring worked on behalf of Nader in 2000, making themselves pests at Bush and Gore campaign functions, before refashioning themselves as “Billionaires for Bush” and chasing after Nader in 2004. The problem with this group and this stunt that they are stuck in a bit of an enclosed bubble, and assume their message will automatically signify to the casual observer. Something like… We must defeat Trump again, and Trump means the Charlottesville marchers — a message which may get Macaulife to victory (though not this stunt), but is necessarily weakened by its very definitions — degrees of separation do indeed exist whether you admit it or not. The other problem is it is hard to take costumed . We land in a land of hypocrisy — the very same partisans complaining that Republicans like Senator Cruz are defending people at school board meetings throwing Nazi salutes (a crude sarcastic political message) are positioned to defend dressing as white supremacists. In a perfect world, they would lose no matter who wins the gubernatorial race.

Nothing else is on the list of great elections. There is a curious and familiar intersectional trip wire in Seattle’s mayoral race worth digesting — you get the feeling a Hail Mary Pass by the “Progressive, Stranger’s pick” Gonzalez blew up in her face. The real question is what is everyone to do to shovelling tax incentive favors and kick-backs to get the Sonics back in town?

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