Monday, November 3, 2014

Some Observations as We Vote

No links today: it's out of the hands of the candidates, the pollsters and the pundits and up to the voters. The Curmudgeon will be spending the day doing his democracy thing, acting as an election judge at a precinct.
Be nice to your poll workers if you vote today: it's a long day for them, and the pay is Republican-low-minimum-wage low.

Some Random Observations

  • The nicest guy running for anything statewide has to be Supreme Court candidate Richard Bernstein. The man whose mantra is "Blind Justice" will be a breath of very fresh air for the court: perpetually upbeat, optimistic and truly interested in defending those least able to defend themselves. The Curmudgeon sees him as potentially the biggest vote-getter for the Supreme Court, with the two Snyder appointees also winning.
    Bernstein and Bridget Mary McCormack will bring combine to make this court a little less hostile to real people. The atmosphere between the justices will be far more collegial due to their influence.
  • Democrats made a huge mistake nationally by running away (a year ago) from President Obama's record. The turnaround of the national economy, health care, reducing the deficit, holding down taxes, and actually knowing how to pronounce "nuclear" will, in the long run, lead to historians assessing a very accomplished President.
    Conversely, Republicans made an excellent tactical decision six years ago to attack everything the President does, refuse to acknowledge any accomplishments, and work to undermine everything he proposes ... even when he was doing something that St. Ronnie and other Republicans had favored in the past.
    Yes, the GOP slash-and-burn strategy appears to have been good politics, but it has been very bad for the nation. A little cooperation from the GOP could have meant a stronger health care law, a more focused stimulus (with some major infrastructure investments), and immigration reform. But they chose, instead, to simply be the Party of No.
    History will be on Obama's side 20 years from now, and will be most unkind to Mitch "The Turtle" McConnell, John the Orange, and the assorted lunatics in the GOP's right wing.
  • The campaign for Governor, 2018, starts Wednesday. On the Republican side we'll watch mendacious perpetual candidate Bill Schuette do everything he can to stab Brian Calley in the back on a weekly basis. Assuming he's reelected (a big 'if'), Calley will have to fight to get into the spotlight on a regular basis. It's likely he'd have Snyder's help.
  • For Democrats, look for the women to take over: Hillary in 2016, Gretchen and Debbie in 2018: Gretchen Whitmer for Governor (if Schauer loses), and Stabenow coasting to reelection.
  • If Mark Schauer pulls off the upset, Gretchen Whitmer will figure out a way to stay in the spotlight for eight years and, like Hillary, become an early favorite (along with Lt. Governor Lisa Brown) for the 2022.
  • A Schauer victory, coupled with a Peters landslide, would give state Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson national prominence in the Democratic Party. His name will be floated on the short list for national party chair.
  • As governor, Mark Schauer will pull some surprises as he figures out ways to find common ground with the shrinking not-insane wing of the GOP. He'll actually get things done by forging a coalition of the willing, and leaving the wingnuts in the dust.
  • Democrats will get more votes for Congress, the state Senate and the state House than Republicans. Republicans will win more congressional races anyway, will control the Senate, and could well maintain a slim hold on the state House. Gerrymandering has served the GOP well, even if it damages our democracy by allowing the minority to inflict its will on the majority.
  • Look for at least one congressional district to flip to Democrats. The most likely flips will be in districts where the incumbent isn't running: Bobby McKenzie in Oakland County (thanks to a Bentivolio write-in campaign), or Eric Schertzing in the 8th. And don't rule out toppling Fred Upton or Dan Benishek ... but don't count on it. 

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