Sunday, August 8, 2010



A friend of mine sent an e-mail soliciting some thoughts in response to an e-mail I sent him. I haven’t posted anything in awhile, and thought a version of my return e-mail might make a good post:

As de Tocqueville said, and Wynn quoted, democracy in America will work until the politicians figure out that they can bribe the people with their own money. We reached that point a long time ago.

It's hard to be optimistic.

On specifics, Daley will run unless his wife's illness prevents it. If that situation remains status quo, he's a go. And he'll win if he runs.

Quinn's, well, not a buffoon (He’s an intelligent man.), just a showboater and a preening poltroon. Brady's a good man, a businessman who knows how to run something with his heart in the right place. The problem is that people don't look at what he's saying and think about it. Why do that when you can just react and luxuriate in the syrupy flattery other politicians, and especially Pat Quinn, are so eager to dish out. "Nothing is your fault; you've been exploited all your life. All your problems are caused by someone else. Vote for me and we'll get those bad guys, like Brady, who wants to deny women health care coverage and lower the minimum wage because he just hates ordinary people, like you." I still think Brady can win, but only because Quinn is such a failure, not because of Brady's rationality. Rationality doesn’t sell with the American electorate; shameless, treacly flattery does.

On the bright, or somewhat less dark, side, I have come around to the idea that this will be a big Republican year, more than the usual 20-25 House seats the incumbent party loses in the off year election of a president's first term. They may not take the House, but they likely will come close. On the Senate side, it will be tougher—10 or 11 seats is a lot of seats. And if they do, the Republicans will be in charge, so how good can that be? A pox on both their houses, I’ve always said. But at least we'll have divided government, which served this country so well from 1994 until 2000.

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