The last election around here at thejuiceblog*** was a sad night. Here are a few thoughts on a how much the political tides can turn in just 2 years. (***this blog at the time was titled Will Carroll Presents)
I watched MSNBC, as I like the cast of characters on the channel. I’m bored with the major networks coverage of politics. CNN manages to be even more dull than the commercial broadcasts, as I don’t see why anyone watches the channel anymore, except when Lou Dobbs starts slinging his conservative populism.
So this leaves me with Foxnews and MSNBC. I actually watched some Foxnews, as I have this perverse desire to listen to the opposition when they are losing. This is why I will turn it to Ron Santo when the Cubs are playing poorly. While I don’t agree with much of what they say, I find Bill Kristol, Mort Kondracke, and Fred Barnes interesting political observers. Following in the Fox tradition, Juan Williams is a poor voice for Democrats. Between him and Alan Colmes, I can see why Foxnews viewers think non-Republicans are lame. Finally, let me offer up that Brit Hume is sleep inducing. Hume is the roofie of TV journalism.
Most of the time I watched MSNBC, led by Crazy Chris Matthews. You never know what’s going to fly out of the Matthews meter, as he can offer a great point and a wildly strange idea, all in the same run-on sentence.
Keith Olbermann was the co-host and he was very subdued during the night, playing the part of actual journalist, whenever Crazy Chris stopped to take a breath. KO has been the most brilliant polemicist attacking the Bush administration over the past year. On election night you would never know it, though, as instead he acted like a NFL pregame host mainly just setting up the panelists.
I like Howard Fineman’s work for Newsweek and MSNBC. Pat Buchanan was underused, as he is probably the top person on this planet at getting under the skin of the Bush dynasty. The real star of the panel was Joe Scarborough, who has provided a really unique view of the current political scene, as he was part of the Republican revolution of 1994, but has been a strong critic of his own party the past few years. He seems like the kind of guy you love to have a few beers with.
I live in one of the most Republican controlled districts in the US, as there wasn’t a Democrat on the ballot for any judge or county positions. Besides going out to cast a protest vote against Dan Burton and a positive vote for one of the few sensible Republican senators, Richard Lugar, the whole voting process is really a letdown for me. So is life when you live as a political minority.
My favorite name of any candidate was the winner of a House seat in Ohio. Zack Space. Those 2 words together conjure up a a few different possibilites, but not one of them is US Representative. Zack Space sounds like a character that would appear on some Star Trek 4th generation show, like Deep Space Nine.
Watched a few victory speeches….
Dennis Hastert really needs to get a bigger podium, as his prodigious obesity made him look ridiculous. When I hear the words pork barrel, I visualize Denny.
Hilary Clinton is a lousy speaker. Bill was behind her and I kept watching him, as I imagined he was desperate to push her aside to energize the crowd.
I like Howard Dean, but here’s a guy who always seems one breath away from saying something he shouldn’t. While many knocked Dean’s plan of having a 50 state strategy, it seems to have worked even earlier than Dean thought was possible.
Rahm Emanuel is a brilliant strategist and should receive as much credit as anyone for the Dems gains.
Ken Mehlman has done a great job as Republican party chairman, so little blame should go his way. Karl Rove overplayed his playing to his base hand and independent voters finally made him pay.
Who knows when we will know who controls the Senate, but a close friend of mine is convinced that even if the Dems have a majority, Joe Lieberman will be a constant fly in the ointment. Knowing this potential issue, I suspect that Dems will offer Dick Cheney’s favorite democrat a committe chairmanship.
I’ve always liked Mr. Smooth, Harold Ford, but I wasn’t surprised he didn’t win. Corker was actually a fairly moderate Republican and too many old white people I think had a hard time voting for a unmarried, 36 year-old black guy. I really doubt that he will have to struggle too much to get over losing this tightly contested race. The Derek Jeter of the Volunteer state might have run the best campaign of any candidate in America.
The 2 things I most wanted to see was phony George Allen lose and to see Karl Rove’s smug face the day after having to explain how the polls that mattered most, his, were so far off. I’m still waiting, but hopeful.
While I’m a bit concerned that the Dems who will takeover the committee chairmanships are among the party’s most liberal, I still hope that there will be less partisianship in Congress. While there needs to be some hearings to expose so many of the disgusting actions committed by the current administration, hopefully some of the surviving Republican politicians will take a tip out of Bill Clinton’s playbook after the Gingrich-led revolution of 1994 and work together to push through some important legislation. We will see. Here’s my advice, Republicans. If you see Rove on your caller ID, pretend that you’re not home.