Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election results

Well, not as bad as it could have been.

It was nice to see awful candidates lose: Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, Carl Paladino in New York, and Carly Fiorino in California. Both Angle and O'Donnell are true Tea-Screamer religious loonies -- not part of the reality-based community. Fiorino is a rich contemptuous corporate has-been, and Paladino an outright thug. Hope we never see any of them again.

It was terrible to see Russ Feingold lose -- and hard to understand. If ever there was a senator who voted from principle and often against the wishes of his party, it was Feingold. His defeat was emblematic of the sheer idiocy of the "vote out all incumbents" position. And I was just beginning to think that Wisconsin might actually be a non-coastal state with a reasonable voting population...

Generally speaking, the distribution of intelligent voting in this election reinforces my sports-rooting algorithm: North over South, Coastal over Central and (for a tie-breaker), East over West. (The World Series SF Giants over Texas Rangers was a no-brainer, even considering my ex-New Yorker sensibilities against the renegade Giants and Dodgers.)

Here in New England, sanity generally prevails. In fact, with the exception of the Senatorial race in NH, Republicans did very poorly, as they ought. Deval Patrick, the mediocre Governor with a heart of gold beat Charlie Baker, the rather effective ex-healthcare administrator with a heart of ... well, whatever stout Republican hearts are made of. Baker turned around Harvard-Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) when it was on the brink of financial disaster. People who worked for HPHC seem to be impressed (which is more than the folks at HP were with Carly Fiorina). However, his prescription for Massachusetts was the usual Republican tax-cut & trim waste, less regulation less government spending baloney.

Barney Frank was also re-elected, in spite of his screw-up over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (he thought they were in fine shape until they collapsed). This lapse is more than made up for, in my opinion, by his generally good work for his constituents (ranging from upper middle-class professionals in Newton to people in the fishing industry at the other end of his district) and his recent efforts on behalf of consumer protection in the recently passed financial regulation legislation.

We still don't know whether Lisa Murkowsky will win in Alaska. I for one don't care: Alaskans are, generally, both greedy and not too swift. They get far more than they deserve or contribute in federal funds, yet maintain that they are "independent" and don't need government. This is typical swinish behavior. Most states where voters complain about "big government" get more from the feds than they contribute in taxes. Murkowski will do her best to continue this; her Palin endorsed opponent (Miller) may try to as well. Since the Democrat McAdams will not win, one can only, perhaps, hope Murkowsky's write-in win would discredit Palin -- whatever discrediting Sarah Palin might mean at this point.

All in all, it could have been worse.

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