Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Making A List, Checking It Twice

     I printed out my ballot listing and made a set of first-round selections.  Most of them are easy choices, since the majority of downticket contestants are not particularly rabid and they're generally upfront about their positions if you do a little research.  --Not that you'd know that from the TV ads, which rarely mention party affiliation unless it's already well-known.

     Democrat Evan Bayh is a sort of kindly-seeming Bond villain, a second-generation U. S. Senator who moves in a cloud fragrant with entitlement and toes the party line while trying maintain a crumbling facade of being a good old aw-shucks Hoosier youth.  He is waging a vicious smear campaign with Republican Todd Young, a fresh-faced former Marine hoping to move from the House to the Senate.  If you went by the ads, you wouldn't vote for either one, though Bayh seems to have been up to a little more barely-okay stuff than his challenger.  Meh.  I went by which one I can trust on firearms laws and invasive government, which gives Young the edge.  Remember, kids, the President gets up to all kind of highly visible nonsense but he doesn't make laws; it's the House and Senate that can really mess things up long term for you and me, usually with POTUS as a distraction.

     The U. S. House race has been much more quiet, perhaps because incumbent Susan Brooks and Democrat Angela Demaree haven't got up to much in the way of mischief.  Or -- hey, it could happen -- perhaps they've got more decorum than the boys tussling over the lucrative Senate seat.  The LP has a horse in that race but Matthew Whittlief is starting way back.  Brooks is a known quantity in a pretty safe district and I'm betting we'll see her win.

     Down the ballot, the GOP is running a Ruckleshaus for state senate, a long-familiar last name in Indiana politics, and I need to see what he's about.  I'm leaning towards the LP's Zachary Roberts on anti-dynastic grounds, but I'm persuadable.

     Way, way down, we've got the non-partisan Indianapolis Public School Board at-large candidates.  Most of them have barely a web presence and their mailers are long on pretty pictures and empty phrases.  I try to find the one who has done the most public service with the greatest amount of "sweat equity," with an eye towards small businessmen over rising politicians (though there's a lot of overlap).  It's a thankless job and you need people who understand there's hugely more work to it than headlines.

     We've also got a couple of ballot questions, one on a state constitutional amendment preserving the right to hunt and fish -- a resounding Yes from me -- and the other wanting to establish a special tax for the city to replace a crummy, low-use bus line with a crummier, dedicated-lane electrified bus line with the main purpose of shuttling hipsters and old yuppies between downtown and Broad Ripple.  This line will tear up College Avenue, my main route to work, for a year or more, permanently remove one lane* from it, and stuff big bus stops into the center at numerous intersections.  People who park on the street will lose spaces, which will hurt the various small businesses. No, No and Hell No.

     There are a lot of other offices up for grabs.  Assume I'll be voting Libertarian by default -- and I never vote to retain a judge. If that was supposed to be a lifetime job, Your Honor, the legislature would have made it a lifetime job.  They did not.
* To be fair, we only have three lanes on College Avenue because there used to be streetcar tracks up the middle.  We did not, however, had big ugly streetcar stops up the middle; the thing just stopped and people got on or off.  If it was raining, they carried umbrellas and they always wore hats.  Also, the streetcars carried low- and middle-wage workers between home and work, not from one area of trendy bars and hip apartments to another area of the same.


Blackwing1 said...

With regard to, "the President gets up to all kind of highly visible nonsense but he doesn't make laws", that would have been true up until the past bunch of years.

But now all the Prexy does is sign an "Executive Order" that somehow has the power of actual law, and we all sit back and watch as the "Loyal Opposition" party (aka, the "Stupid Party", aka, the Rep wing of the DemoPublican party) also sits back and watches. Be nifty if they actually grew a spine with the consistency of something other than cooked noodle. The presidency has become a truly imperial position to occupy.

I don't know if I'm going to bother this year. I live in the middle of the Minnesnowta Hive which voted for Keith "Muhammed X" Ellison by 75% last time. I've watched itinerants being bused from polling station to polling station with printed-out lists of Dem-wing party candidates for each precinct (and not been able to get the cop at the polling station to even look at them). I've seen the passing vote for Obamacare cast by Franken, whose election was clinched by "finding" lost votes in a car trunk, and for whom thousands of convicted felons voted illegally (yet the local Rep-wing was too squooshy to bother challenging).


rickn8or said...

" -- and I never vote to retain a judge."

That makes two of us, for the same reason. But I can't think of anything more useless/dangerous than an ex-judge.

pigpen51 said...

I remember Ruckleshaus and Bayh. Back when even hardliners had some decorum and respect for the Constitution. If only we could find candidates who even would read it, yet alone follow it. To think that here in my state of MI, our votes might actually mean something, is hard to fathom. Wait, what was I thinking. Haven't the powers that be already decided the presidential election and just announce the winner on Nov.8? Damn, I knew I shouldn't have followed that link to Alex Jones site. At least in MI, we have term limits. Which of course the politicians love, until they get into office.

Roberta X said...

Rickn8or: what about caltrops?

Roberta X said...

Blackwing1: What? "Executive Orders" date back to George Washington. They don't work any differently now than they did then.

rickn8or said...

Sounds good use of them, but there might be a few used up in R&D.

Blackwing1 said...

Yes, things called "executive orders" have been used by every president. But two things became radically different in the 20th century:
- The sheer number of them, and
- The scope of things that they affected.

We've gone from Geo. Washington's 8 to a peak of 3,721 (good ol' FDR) (source: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php). While Obama has (to date) issued "only" 256, that number doesn't count the numerous "memoranda" or "discretionary executive actions", much less the classified ones that citizens aren't allowed to be aware of.

Our two candidates seem to have completely different understandings of the US Constitution (the document, not the ship). The Shrew simply wants to override it using Executive Orders on things like the 2nd Amendment. The Bloviating Sales-twit has no comprehension of its limitations on the overall power of government and appears to simply want to ignore it.

We're not going to like the result of either one of them in the office. But I think that I can safely predict that the only way that the lame-stream media will actually function as a watch-dog rather than lick-spittle lap-dogs is if the Shrew loses.