Ideal outcome (for who??) for tomorrow?

November 1, 2010

Republicans win both Houses of Congress with a small majority (1-2 seats in the Senate, ~10 seats in the House)

This means:

  • They are in charge for the next two years. No more claims that the Democrats are forcing their agenda with their big majorities. No more unconditional blocks on legislation and not offering alternatives. If the Republicans do nothing for the next two years, they have nothing to show the electorate come 2012.
  • There will be bipartisanship. They have to work with a Democratic White House to pass legislation.
  • Obama will finally get to drive an agenda given the adversarial relationship he would have with Congress. No more letting Reid and Pelosi take the lead on important policy challenges and giving the impression that he’s detached from the process.
  • Republican efforts to repeal healthcare/financial regulations will face Obama’s veto threat.

Apathy?

October 26, 2010

Two days after Wikileaks released ~400K documents, there isn’t a single reference to wikileaks on nytimes.com or wsj.com (checked at 15:53 EST) . Did the release really reveal nothing? Or, is the media and/or citizens don’t really care about what was released? What does this nonresponse mean for the efforts of the people who try to expose these secrets?

On a larger level, can apathy and democracy coexist?

The attack of the attack ads

October 25, 2010

Anti Baker ad: When Charlie Baker was the CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, he cut x number of jobs, raised premiums y percent, and his salary increased z times.

Did he alone do all that? Didn’t the board of his non-profit approve his choices? Didn’t they reward him for, presumably, increasing the firm’s  endowment? And if these things are true, doesn’t that mean, given a competitive marketplace for insurance, that he is a good executive?

Anti Patrick ad: When Deval Patrick ran for governor, he promised to never raise taxes. Yet, our taxes have gone up x times during his time in office.

First, why do we, as constituents, want  our politicians to make promises to not raise taxes when they for office? Wouldn’t we want our elected officials to have all tools on the table when unforeseeable events (will the geniuses who foresaw the great recession please stand up??) happen? Isn’t it possible that because Patrick raised taxes, the fiscal health of the Commonwealth is better than what it would have been without them?

I hope a majority of the electorate considers questions like these, and possibly find answers to them, before they vote instead of taking the attack ads at face value.


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