Friday, September 08, 2006

Your Neighborhood Librarian announces her endorsements

Well, I don't know much about your politics
I only pick up stupid little bits that stick
That's from a song by the Jazz Butcher about the murder of the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. Best lines in that song?
Oh, what'd they have to go and shoot him for
Plenty of Prime Ministers deserve it much more.
So, we're about to do primary 'lections. I'm a registered D, big surprise. Ordinarily, in a primary, I vote for the women and the avowedly pro-choice. Also I ask Bob. Oh god, isn't that awful? I'm a housewife and a part-time librarian and I ask my husband who to vote for. Jesus, I might as well subscribe to Women's Day and give up orgasms.

(There's this horrific book called The Surrendered Wife that I picked up because I thought it was erotica. You gotta read the excerpts to believe it, I'm not going to gross myself out by describing it further.)

In my defense, Bob works for The Government and has met a lot of the candidates, plus he's more of a strategic thinker than I am.

So, right, the election:

Ugly (not her, him).
William Donald Schaefer, our Comptroller, has been in a major elected office for my entire life. He's 84 now, and is being challenged for another term as comptroller by Peter Franchot, who has the endorsements and the numbers, and Janet Owens, who is a woman.

Schaefer has always been an impolitic dickhead, calling the Eastern Shore a "shithouse," saying idiotic and offensive things about immigrants and HIV-positive people. He was recently actually videotaped asking one of the governor's assistants to demonstrate her going-away view during a public meeting (kid sued, and I'm glad). He ALWAYS calls female staffers "little girls," and he calls the mayor "Muscles," alluding to the sleeveless t-shirts Mayor O'Malley wore when he used to perform with his Irish rock band. (In his defense, the guy has great arms.)

During this race, Schaefer has blearily focused on Janet Owens. Keeps talking about her hair and her outfits, using terms like "Mother Hubbard" and "little prissy miss." When a reporter asked if he should maybe apologize for this bullshit, he said, "An apology? An apology for what? I can't help it how she looks."

Nice. Like one time I called my ex-husband an asshole and he asked, "Why am I an asshole?" and I ignored the implied second half of the sentence ("...in this situation") and said, "I don't know. Your mom is nice, your sisters are nice... it's a mystery to me too."

So of course I want to vote for Janet now. I actually think she looks cool, in a I've- had- this- hairdo- since- Eisenhower- and- I- have- more- important- things- on- my- mind- than- figuring- out- a- new- one kind of way.


Look at her: ain't she groovy? So I remark to Bob that Schaefer's so stupid - he's gonna inadvertently get out the female vote cause we're all going to show up and flip a lever for Janet! Woo Hoo! and Bob says, "Well of course the danger there is that all of those voters would have voted for Franchot."

Oh. Huh. Pulling votes away from the stronger opponent and giving them to the weaker one. Splitting the anti-Schaefer vote. Maybe the repellent old bigot isn't suffering from some kind of senile-dementia Tourette's after all.

I do hate it when batshit and crafty look the same.

We also get a new Senator this year.
Sounds-like-a-porn-name-but-isn't Michael Steele will be the Republican candidate, a black man with friends in Vice Presidential places. The major contenders in the Democratic primary are both seasoned Washington men with good track records, Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume. There's been some actual discussion about their relative merits - it's been nice, it's really resembled an election.

But the other day the Baltimore Sun (of all things) made a good point. Cardin is white, Kweisi is black (we're on a first-name basis because a part-time magician I used to drink with used to write speeches for him. I'm like that.). If Cardin wins, all the Democratic candidates for the major spots will be white men.

The Sun thought that that might throw some African-American voters over to Steele. I give people more credit than that - I do not think that a black Baltimore Democrat will vote for a Republican simply because he is black.

(I do think that a socially conservative black Baltimore Democrat might vote for a Republican because he is against gay marriage or for school prayer, however, and I think that Democrats are missing this point.) (This opinion I stole from Bob, although I might have formed it myself after getting to know our next-door neighbors, socially conservative black Democrats with two children in Iraq who support the President.)

Too many words - now a brief endorsement for beer:


Ok back to the whole race/politics bummer thing.
When discussing the Sun article with Bob, he pointed out that an all-white Democratic slate might reduce voter turnout. I could see that. Not that, at this point, I miss a chance to vote, but I used to not do it, and I know that if I had a woman to vote for, I made the extra effort to get to the voting booth. And in Baltimore, lower turnout among African-Americans means fewer votes for Democrats. And we do need to get that Republican governor out of there.

So, much as I'm going to miss evaluating Kweisi v. Cardin on their merits, hopefully we can look forward to an actual discussion of the issues in a Kweisi v. Steele race.

In conclusion: Kweisi for Senate! Franchot for Comptroller! Beer for everyone!