What could be more fun than a few election eve predictions which, along with $1.50, would get one a cup of bad coffee?
At last, Election Day is upon us and the gusher of toxic sludge issuing from the nation's television receivers is about to be plugged and cemented. The oily mixture of lies, character assassination, innuendo, and playground name-calling has been brought to you by bagmen who, of course, were merely expressing their desires for good government with suitcases full of secretly-sourced lucre.
Now, for a few predictions on a Sunday afternoon:
The Most Populous State
Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't been wearing his cyborg get-up lately, but he might as well be. Schwarzenegger has been on a tear, leading the charge against Proposition 23, bankrolled by Koch drones and Texas oil companies, that would squash California's climate law, which is the centerpiece of Schwarzenegger's environmental legacy in Sacramento. In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, the Governator went off again on those oil companies "the same players that have been here for decades ruining everything" and the gutless wonders in DC who buckled under their pressure and folded the climate legislation tent this year "What wimps! No guts!"
The video is worth a look. Watch it twice, but the second time, turn down the sound and focus on the expression on Schwarzenegger's face during that interview. It could stop a freight train as well as a gang of polluters who picked a fight with the wrong guy and the wrong state.
Prediction: Proposition 23 Terminated
The Biggest State
Joe Miller, R-East Berlin, looks to be sinking like a stone into his own morass of extremism, gaffes, and deceptions. The latest and perhaps fatal blow was his admission that he lied about using government computers for politicking, then tried to cover his tracks. Ben Stein, a former speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford, called Miller a "dangerous, stupid clown" after Miller's entourage, apparently inspired by the boss' fondness for East German border security methods, cuffed a reporter who had a few inconvenient questions.
A Hays Research Group poll showed Miller pulling a paltry 23 percent, in third place behind Democrat Scott McAdams and a "write-in candidate." If that write-in, one Lisa Murkowski, pulls off a victory, she could go back to D.C. owing nothing to GOP poohbahs, who went all-in for Miller after the primary, and in a potentially powerful bargaining position if the Senate is closely divided.
Murkowski has not been a bowl of cherries on environmental issues witness her blunderbuss attack on EPA's plan to regulate greenhouse gases. Unlike the daft Miller, however, Murkowski is a practical politician who will listen to a good argument. Here's an anecdote several years ago, when Congress was on the brink of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, I was talked into attending a Wilderness Society tea and cookies reception that was impertinently staged across the street from a Seattle hotel where Murkowski was due to meet some VIPs. Her car pulled up, Lisa exited, saw what was up, and immediately crossed the street to engage the enviros. They had her surrounded like lionesses closing in on a wildebeest, but Murkowski spent a few minutes in honest give and take before heading indoors to her engagement. Let the record show that Lisa declined the plate of cookies that I offered her.
Prediction: Murkowski, the first write-in Senate victory since Strom Thurmond's in 1954.
The Smallest State
Lincoln Chafee is a former Republican senator and son of the estimable late Senator John Chafee champion of the California Desert Protection Act, which is celebrating its 16th anniversary on October 31. Chafee, chased out of the Republican Party by knuckle-draggers who disliked his like-father, like-son environmental record, is running for governor of Rhode Island as an independent. The Democratic candidate in a heavily Democratic state, Frank Caprio, put a foot in his mouth the size of Joe Miller's by telling the president of the United States to "shove it," which is a curious way to fire up the base. Chafee has enough name recogntion to last a lifetime, but his sales tax proposal might give voters pause. Still, his numbers look good.
Prediction: Chafee will be elected governor of the newly christened state of Rhode Island. State voters also will pass a ballot measure shortening the state's quaint official name: Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. How many of you, dear readers, knew that?
Remember to vote. Then, sleep in on Wednesday only 734 days until Election Day 2012.
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