21 June 2010

Will Irony Defeat Logic in November 2010?

When voters in the United States reckon their President isn't getting enough done, they often make it harder for him in the "off years" by voting for his opposition.
Logic evidently doesn't over-rule their gut reaction. It may not even enter the calculation.

Veteran Texas Congressman Joe "BP" Barton is the ranking GOP member (and former chair) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  That means if the Republicans gain a simple majority of seats in the House, Barton is the heir-apparent for the chairmanship.

You can bet your colourful-deleted-British-expletive that big oil is looking forward to that day, and supporting those who are willing to apologize to BP in the November 2010 election cycle.

Consider the 2nd District in Minnesota, where a below-the-radar Rep, John Kline, is hoping nobody will notice how closely his votes parallel Bachmann and Barton's.  As his challenger Shelley Madore (a former MN House Rep) has been saying since she announced her campaign for U.S. Congress in January of this year, Kline is no less extreme then Michelle Bachmann if you look at his votes. Kline, on the other side of the Twin Cities from the infamous Bachmann, is just Michelle in sheep's clothing.

And I use "sheep's clothing" with all seriousness, because John Kline has done almost nothing but follow the Republican flock during his entire time in office.

We all know that the "off years" are when the party that doesn't hold the presidency traditionally gains traction. People realize the President can't actually get done everything they hoped he could, and so they decide to make it harder for him.

What? You were expecting logic from the voters?

Here's the hard fact about elecctions: Most folks vote for a gut reason, not a head reason.  They'll cite logical reasons in many cases, but the truth is they mostly vote for politicians they like, or they think they'd like to have a beer with, etc.

Here's more truth: The GOP is about to spend a lot of money in key races, including big oil money, and the more headway they make the more gridlocked Washington becomes.

The GOP has decided to prove that government is ineffective, as part of their "small government" platform that sounds so good until you realize that only our elected leaders -- our government -- is sufficient to stand up to BP and hold them accountable.  The Free Market sure the heck can't do it.

Will voters pick the party of Joe "BP" Barton and Michelle Bachmann, with their faithful flock of followers such as John Kline to take on the aftermath of the disaster in the Gulf?  Opinions vary, but I'd rather see folks running the government who not only know how to get things done, but who believe there's more to being in Congress than saying the government should apologize and get out of BP's business.

That's why I like Shelley Madore's track record, and leadership, and her chances running against a "below the radar" extremist in Minnesota (where, let's face it, all eyes are on the Bachmann~Clark contest, and massive amounts of money are being raised and spent.) It's time for proven, effective leadership that knows how to partner with small businesses, not bail out and apologize for big business.

I admire hard workers such as Madore, and Tarryl Clark, and the bravery they show taking on the broken system. I hope more voters like that kind of person this time around.