Sometimes You Can’t Win For Losing

Write-in campaigns are almost always an exercise in futility. Every once in a while, though, the stars align just perfectly and a candidate with high name recognition, a weak opponent, a ton of money, and a short, easy-to-remember-and-spell name comes along.

Alaska’s 2010 senatorial election doesn’t look to be one of those times. Poor Lisa Murkuski Murkwski Whosis.

NOTE TO CANDIDATE: If your campaign team can’t spell your name rite wright write CORRECTLY! – for the website, you might want to reconsider your decision.

Just a thought.

Kill the Chicken

Ok – so following on the heels of the last post, maybe the theme of this post is not-so-politically-correct, but then I don’t get accused of being politically correct all that often anyway…

Today’s primary election in Delaware (along with Nevada’s, South Carolina’s, and Alaska’s earlier contests) brings to mind an old Chinese proverb – “Kill the chicken, but make the monkeys watch” (or in some translations, “Kill the chicken to scare the monkey” – my Chinese isn’t that precise – but I’m sure you get the point either way.)

There’s lots of chatter out here in conservative blogland about the message that is being sent with these elections and the relative merits thereof. The consensus seems to be that the success of these come-from-behind (or out-of-nowhere) TEA party conservatives is a good thing for the Republican party because it will serve as a reminder to the “elitist RINO” faction that they had better toe the conservative line or suffer the consequences. I have some reservations about the validity of that philosophy in that I’m not sure just what exactly the “conservative line” is. Be that as it may be, however, I do think the message has real potential as a warning for all incumbent senators and reps running for re-election for the next seven weeks: Vote against the will of the majority of the American electorate and the odds of your continued employment could be in jeopardy. This goes for all incumbents – Republicans and Democrats alike. I base this astute observation not so much on the results mentioned above as on the turnout.

Conservative voters are motivated.

In Montana last June we saw almost a 2-1 advantage of Republican ballots over Democrat in a state that traditionally is pretty even. In Delaware – a heavily blue state – today the turnout was 12% Democrats, 32% Republican. Other states have experienced similar numbers. You can say all you want about the quality of the candidates, the message, and how and with whom it resonates – but in the end the motivation of the electorate trumps all conventional wisdom when it comes to election results. “They” said O’Donnell couldn’t beat the really popular Castle. “They” said the same thing about Joe Miller running against the entrenched Murkowski machine. And “they’re” still saying that Sharron Angle can’t beat Harry Reid. “They” don’t have a great track record this year so far.

I say if the Obama administration tries to shove any more of their unpopular agenda down the throats of the American public, any incumbent who supports that effort is likely to be toast in 2010 and those senators who are safe this year, but are running in 2012 better learn Chinese real fast. The majority of Americans are fed up with being ignored and dissed by their elected officials.

You saw it last year at the town hall meetings and you’re seeing it this year in the primaries: Round up the chickens – it’s time to teach the monkeys a lesson.


The recent TEA Party kerfluffle here in Helena has underscored just how much of the message that we should have learned from 9/11 seems to have been missed by some. An essay in the Onion way back then was a thought-provoking reminder of the basic “love thy neighbor” message of most religions. Re-reading it today, one paragraph particularly struck me (but I have to quote more to give you the flavor and context):

Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday. “Look, I don’t know, maybe I haven’t made myself completely clear, so for the record, here it is again,” said the Lord, His divine face betraying visible emotion during a press conference near the site of the fallen Twin Towers. “Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don’t. And to be honest, I’m really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand…I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you’d get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important,” said God, called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions. “I guess I figured I’d left no real room for confusion after putting it in a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to Moses. How much more clear can I get?

…Worse yet, many of the worst violators claim that their actions are justified by passages in the Bible, Torah, and Qur’an. “To be honest, there’s some contradictory stuff in there, okay?” God said. “So I can see how it could be pretty misleading. I admit it—My bad. I did My best to inspire them, but a lot of imperfect human agents have misinterpreted My message over the millennia. Frankly, much of the material that got in there is dogmatic, doctrinal bullshit. I turn My head for a second and, suddenly, all this stuff about homosexuality gets into Leviticus, and everybody thinks it’s God’s will to kill gays. It absolutely drives Me up the wall.” …Growing increasingly wrathful, God continued: “Can’t you people see? What are you, morons? There are a ton of different religious traditions out there, and different cultures worship Me in different ways. But the basic message is always the same: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism… every religious belief system under the sun, they all say you’re supposed to love your neighbors, folks! It’s not that hard a concept to grasp.”

“Why would you think I’d want anything else? Humans don’t need religion or God as an excuse to kill each other—you’ve been doing that without any help from Me since you were freaking apes!” God said. “The whole point of believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can you get?”

So how does this tie into the TEA Party controversy? It comes down to people trying to justify un-Godly behavior in the name of lofty principles.

I tend to be a smart aleck and admit I have a quirky sense of humor, so I don’t tend to get offended too often when somebody is being verbally clever and witty even if the message is a little inappropriate – but when I read about the FB exchanges (the actual FB link has been taken down, so this is the best I can link to now) between Tim Ravndal, Kristi Allen-Gailushas, and some of their friends I was more than offended, I was disgusted. Not surprised, mind you – but offended and disgusted. Tim and Kristi had both been publicly discussing the proposed sex-ed curriculum for the past several weeks, and it was obvious from their comments that neither of them was very open-minded about the school district’s agenda, especially in relation to homosexual issues – about which they were very aware and outspoken. Common pejoratives fell trippingly off their tongues in group situations. These self-proclaimed “Christians” and “Patriots” had no compunction about demeaning a segment of the population and arguing for limiting their civil rights. This is the basis of hatred that leads to violence and murder, and the unimaginable slaughter of not just one or two but thousands in the name of God.

If we take nothing else away from that horrible day, can we please just stop a moment and remember that one Commandment?

Oh – here’s how the essay ended…

“I’m talking to all of you, here!” continued God, His voice rising to a shout. “Do you hear Me? I don’t want you to kill anybody. I’m against it, across the board. How many times do I have to say it? Don’t kill each other anymore—ever! I’m fucking serious!”

Upon completing His outburst, God fell silent, standing quietly at the podium for several moments. Then, witnesses reported, God’s shoulders began to shake, and He wept.

It’s not enough to simply remember – we have to vow “never again”.

Harry, Harry, Harry

You have to wonder just what he’s been doing for all those years…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, facing a tough re-election bid in one of the states hardest hit by the recession, said today that the economic downturn was not his fault. “I had nothing to do with the massive foreclosures here,” Reid said during an appearance on the ABC News/Washington Post “Top Line” program, adding that he also had no part in contributing to the state’s dismal unemployment figures. At 14.3 percent, Nevada’s unemployment rate ranks the highest in the country.

So I guess if he isn’t responsible for any of the bad stuff, he doesn’t get credit for any of the good stuff either. Which leaves the question – why is he even there?

Hopefully the voters of Nevada will elect a RESPONSIBLE senator this year!