Political Thoughts

I haven’t talked politics in a while. And I’ve become *very* disinterested in policy, at least at the federal level.

Here is why: at the present moment, what matters is what party controls Congress and the White House, and any policy that gets passed has to be approved by the party national level; in some sense it doesn’t really matter what policy nuances my US Rep may or may not support.

And right now, the Republicans are so awful that the important thing is to elect a Democrat.

Demonstrators attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol building during a protest in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. Capitol was placed under lockdown and Vice President Mike Pence left the floor of Congress as hundreds of Demonstrators swarmed past barricades surrounding the building where lawmakers were debating Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Until the Republicans can agree to accept the election results, I want absolutely nothing to do with them.

So, IL-17 is a tight race between Eric Sorenson (a Quad Cities weatherman) and Esther Joy King, the Republican who ran in 2020 and held Cheri Bustos to 52 percent (though Trump was on the ballot..that helped her a bit). Obama won the district by 17 points in 2012, Trump won by 0.7 points in 2016 and 1.6 points in 2020. It is sort of Iowa like, with a couple of urban areas (Peoria, Rockford) added to give a boost to the Democrats.

In 2020, Peoria gave Bustos her margin of victory.

Joy-King is running a Bush style campaign (right wing issues, social issues), but as of right now, distancing herself from Trump; she is not running as a MAGA. That is one of her biggest challenges. And she has a ton of money and so do the Republican PACs.

Sorensen is a political rookie, and I think it shows. It appeared that he fell for the age old Republican trick: some campaign surrogate (or PAC) makes a bigoted cultural attack (Sorensen is gay and open about it). The Democrat responds with a cultural counter..instead of focusing on the fact that the Republicans, as a party, want to reduce taxes on the wealthiest, deregulate business and cut services, Social Security, Medicare, etc.

Such cuts are deeply unpopular with the public, so the focus is on cultural stuff .

Note the images of Biden and Pelosi.

Here is a fact check by a Democratic PAC ad:

Ok, one of the PAC’s claims was false.

So, how will it go? The race is viewed as being very close. (via Fivethirtyeight.com)

The big problem, as I see it.

I’ve posted this several times. It still applies.

It is frustrating.

I think one of the divides is by education.

On a college campus, anything that smacks of xxx-ism or bigotry is immediately and loudly denounced; deans and administrators leap into action.

It doesn’t work that way off campus.

Here are a couple of incidents:
In one of the games, there was a very questionable “roughing the passer” call:

Troy Aikman responded on the air with a suggestion that the NFL competition committee “take off the dresses” on the quarterback.

Most blue collar fans wouldn’t have a problem with that statement (“gee, the NFL IS too soft”) but college educated people ..let’s say would respond immediately “that’s misogynistic“; we are trained to react that way (any hint that women are weaker and need more protection then men is just awful, etc.)

But college graduates …especially recent college graduates, are not the bulk of the voting population, and if you want to win an election, you have to know how to talk to non-college graduates and do so in a way where you aren’t “educating them out of their …” whatever.

I am not sure that Democratic politicians, on the whole, do that well.

And then you have this:

There is that Republican trick again: bait Democrats into fighting about culture, while they strip away Social Security, Medicare and other services.

Yes, the Democrats make it easy with moronic slogans like Defund the Police (and yes, some favor reparations) but no Democrat is “pro-crime.”

Of course, the people to which this “Senator” is referring to (poor urban Black people) are the victims of said crimes, and they certainly aren’t in favor of it. In fact, if you live in an urban area and pay attention, there is *always* some anti-crime program going on, often funded and supported by the churches and the people who live in the area. They are constantly pleading for help from the city to stop it.

So, the Senator’s statement is not merely “impolite”; it is false. It is a smear.

But it is also a distraction from the agenda that Sen. McConnell wants to enact and it behooves the Democrats to note that.

Will we fight back effectively? I am not optimistic.