No real surprises yesterday in the big ones (NJ, VA, NYC), where Republicans swept. Most interesting was my fair city's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who won by a much narrower margin than anticipated, despite outspending challenger Bill Thompson by something like $100 million to $8 million. NJ and VA, being uniquely states with gubernatorial races the year after Presidential races, frequently vote against the party in the White House, and this year was no exception. And in NYC, Mike Bloomberg is actually a Democrat who cynically ran as a Republican to cut through the professional pols on the Dem side, and then left the GOP, and this year, after ditching term limits he once supported, took their nomination again... making this the 5th mayoral election in a row that the Democrats lost in an overwhelmingly Democratic city.
And where was President Barack Obama, who you'd think might want to help support the possibility of our nation's largest municipality having not merely a Democratic mayor, but an African American Democrat at that? While he wasn't damning Thompson with faint praise (and tacitly supporting Bloomberg), he was out there stumping for a man Democrats should actually be delighted to see go, former Goldman Sacks chairman and all-around jerk, now outgoing New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine who lost to Chris Christie, a man selected by Karl Rove to be U.S. Attorney for New Jersey (and who also seems to have issues with traffic laws). Christie actually ran one of the vaguest and mushiest campaigns since... Barack Obama. And Corzine was just never popular. The spin will be that it was about high property taxes; the reality is that no one really liked Corzine, who never polled above 43%... political death for an incumbent. (In VA, Creigh Deeds just ran an awful campaign; not much more to say there.)
Anyway... WTF re: the President? With Barack, it seems to be about "follow the money." It certainly has defined much of his own political rocket-ride. Thanks to money, Barack exempted himself from the exhausting (and often ambition and soul destroying) tedium that the rest of us have known as "careers" through the expedient of getting his million dollar book deal, plus his sweetheart gig at U. of Chicago Law School not to teach Constitutional Law (which probably explains why he doesn't seem to know any; "those that can't do teach," and "those that can't teach take positions as "senior lecturer" so they don't have to.") And he befriended investment bankers and others capable of bankrolling his meteoric rise. (For the most part, it's just professional jealousy on my part, because, quite frankly, there was a time in my life, probably a short time, but a time anyway, probably when we were both juniors or seniors at the same college, when I may have been better positioned than Barack... he just seized opportunities that I, taking a much more conventional path, did not even see... but I digress...)
TD... TD... Whoah, there, man! You're harshing our mellow about your college classmate the President, man! WTF? Oops... sorry. I sometimes have to say it like it is. I'll keep supporting Barack because the Republicans aren't going to give us any alternatives-- they're going to keep getting more and more bat-shit like they did in upstate NY's 23rd C.D. (where their suicidal/fratricidal idiocy allowed the Democrat to win.)
While the 23rd C.D. was, at least, an opportunity to see Republicans behave the way Democrats usually do (with the results that Democrats usually get for that behavior), the broader picture, of national-standardbearer Barack Obama behaving like just another DLC corporate whore simply aligning himself with the money... is disheartening. Throw in his stand on the Constitution and the continued glorification/expansion of the national security state... (one where torture of admittedly innocent men is now officially court sanctioned) and it's more than a little disheartening.
Well, we'll all have to take a deep breath, and go about our days, and try to make this a better world to the little extent that we can, I guess...
This has been... "Party building."