The Very Rich Hours of the Lambrights

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Some Election Night Thoughts

November 2nd, 2010 · No Comments

A few thoughts and opinions on this Election Night:

Things I Liked

  • The heavy debate schedule in the Minnesota Governor’s race.  The three candidates for Governor had 26 debates.  If you didn’t get a chance to see these guys in action, you weren’t trying very hard.
  • Watching PBS election coverage on Ustream while monitoring Twitter and various websites.  Much better than watching it on TV.
  • Minnesota Public Radio’s PoliGraph website, which did valuable fact-checking on statements and ads from a variety of MN candidates.  We need more of this kind of coverage.
  • The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.  Great political satire with a serious message hidden in the jokes.  I liked Joe Scarborough’s take on it even more.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • All these self-appointed Challengers who have taken it upon themselves to monitor polling places looking for voter fraud, which they seem to define as any voting by people they don’t like.  Minnesota Election Judges generally do a pretty good job of administering elections.  They don’t need some Minuteman-style vigilante group “helping out”.
  • People in the news media complaining about all the negative ads while the media industry they work for does absolutely nothing to discourage or eliminate such ads.

Some Things I Think I Think

  • I’ve read and heard many Tea Partiers complain about Progressive’s smugness and arrogant know-it-allism.  It’s a fair complaint; sometimes we do come off that way and no one wants to be lectured to.  But I have to say, it’s hard sometimes not to feel a little smug when the political opposition spends most of their time shrieking wild and over the top claims that we’re about to become a socialist nation, the President is a secret Muslim, our leaders have destroyed the Constitution, etc.  How ’bout we all make a deal?  Progressives will stop lecturing and looking down their noses at Conservatives and Conservatives will accept that we also love the United States and aren’t all part of some secret plot to bring it down.
  • After two years in office, it’s reasonable to hold the President accountable for the state of the economy.  But it’s also reasonable to remember how it got that way.  The damage caused by eight years of greed on Wall Street, tax cuts we couldn’t afford, and a government run by a party that was determined not to interfere in the excesses of a few top finance firms is not going to be fixed in a couple of years.
  • I’m not going to say that I like the Republicans getting control of Congress but it might not be that awful.  Now, they will have to lead and participate; it won’t be enough to simply block everything and engage in irresponsible rhetoric.  It will be interesting to see what happens when the rhetoric that got them elected meets reality.
  • The internet is going to eliminate the media as the place to get informed, accurate political information.  It will also be the place for those with narrow horizons to insulate themselves and only hear from people who they agree with.  We have to put the tools online to allow people to do the former rather than the latter.  One way or another, traditional media will have to give way to the new way.
  • We need a constitutional amendment that explicitly states that money spent on political campaigns is not protected from regulation by the First Amendment.  Furthermore, the amendment should ban any and all political spending by any organization, including labor unions, corporations, private businesses, non-profit groups, and political action committees.  Only individual people should be allowed to donate to any candidate or party.  And those donations must be made public.  There has been way too much anonymous money in this election.

Tags: Politics

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