That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
--Macbeth: Act 5, Scene 5
I've been avoiding the news today, in large part because all the hoopla about three races and one referendum frankly is insignificant and immaterial, in terms of Barack Obama's success or failure as President. I'm sick of all the importance being given to a congressional seat that's been held by Republicans since before the Civil War; sick of all the prognosticating and interpretations regarding the prospects of Virginia's gubernatorial election going to the party not in the White House, which it has for the last twenty-seven years; I'm sick of hearing about the race in my ancestral state of New Jersey between a corrupt fat man (no, Rush isn't running--he's the fat & cowardly man) and a former Goldman Sachs chairman pretending he really gives a damn about ordinary people.
It all doesn't mean shit.
NY-23 has been warped by outside money and influence. Doug Hoffman, the Conservative candidate, doesn't even live in the district, has received 95% of his campaign funds from outside the state, and is clueless about local issues, only able to parrot the Sarah Barracuda talking points he's memorized. I wouldn't trust him to collect my garbage, much less be my congressman; he's a weak, opportunistic wingnut who called Glen Beck "one of my mentors"--but it's not up to me. The fact that Palin and our erstwhile governor Tim Pawlenty endorsed him over the Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava portends a nice, nasty civil war in the Republican party between now and the 2010 midterm elections. Good luck, NY-23! And remember: Jefferson said people get pretty much the government they deserve. Hope you've been good.
(Speaking of Pawlenty, who does he think he's kidding, dissing Olympia Snowe? Answer: probably the same people who think he'd make a good president. However, I seriously doubt that that group extends much beyond who he sees in the bathroom mirror in the morning.)
Virginia has gone with the opposite party from the one in the White House for decades, and the Obama machine has been largely offline in the off-year election. So why is this even remarkable, that the state might elect a Republican? Why, because the Rethugs have little to cheer about, and every little, incremental step they make towards regaining power must be trumpeted as "the beginning of the end!" for Obama. Yeahhhh, right.
New Jersey? Anyone who says he'll cut taxes in NJ has a shot, and the battle for most insulting attack ad has been more of a sideshow that anything that makes a material difference. With the nation's highest taxes and insurance rates, a good lie will go a long way against the truth here...whatever that may be.
Lastly, I think Maine will do the right thing, and uphold the rights of it's gay and lesbian citizens.
All this together means very little towards the passage of meaningful health care reform, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fixing the economy, getting people back to work, and restoring America's place in the international order. But hey, I guess when you've got twenty-four hours of news to fill, and little to say, you have to do something.