Friday, October 27, 2006
Once again, it's election time and we are forced to choose between the lesser of two weevils. In this particular case it's between Jennifer Granholm and Dick DeVos. What makes the choice even more frustrating is that DeVos isn't really nearly as bad a choice as he makes himself out to be. But first, to the former weevil.
Granholm, the pretty, blonde Canadian cutie, who made her name as Michigan's Attorney General, has been Governor of our great state for four years, now. She is fond of offering as an excuse for the current state of the State, that she "inherited" an economy in decline and a gazillion dollar deficit (or something like that). Fact is John Engler, the former occupant of the Gubernatorial Mansion, did cut out like a thief in the night, taking a huge salary increase and leaving the dot-com bust in the hands of Ginny. It made it all the more palatable for the legislators in office at the time, that they themselves received about a thirty percent increase in salary at the same time Engler got his, so "no harm, no foul".
When the current Democrat governor came to power, you didn't hear her talking about the fiscal crisis the state faced. She was talking, instead about all the goodies she would be getting for all of us Michiganders. 'Cause that's what gets ya votes, people! After nearly four years, the state's economy is in the dumper. We are the only state not hit by a hurricane last year to lose jobs. There's plenty more bad news about the state's economic condition but I'll leave you to read about it in the papers. What I want to talk about is what frustrates ME!
I don't know what it is about politicians but they totally piss me off! DeVos, by most honest accounts, is an honest man, with good business sense and a "free market" attitude about the economy. He is well-known in Michigan for working tirelessly to approve vouchers for this state over the past few years, though unsuccessfully. He seems largely to be a libertarian-minded, Christian conservative. He has steadfastly maintained his opposition to abortion, especially any federally or state-funded abortions. On this he has not wavered. But that's about the only thing.
I can forgive him the inability to schmooze as well as his opponent. She is a first-class phoney and able to tell anyone what they want to hear, regardless of her beliefs or the truth. In short, she's the consummate politician. DeVos should not be dissed for looking like a "deer-in-the-headlights" at the debates, because he is not a politician and is not used to lying so much. What I fault him for is his centrist moves to make himself more "electable".
In the first couple of debates (I admit I didn't watch the third, it would have been too painful), he played political softball with his challenger, while she raked him over the coals. She accused him of exporting jobs to China, of being responsible for nursing home patient abuse and of being an "extremist" on abortion (implying of course, that he was a religious nut). All the while you could just watch him staring off into the distance, thinking, "I can't believe this Beeyotch"! He could easily have countered these false assertions by stating...wait for it...it's really revolutionary...THE TRUTH! But he didn't. He waffled and wavered and covered and sounded like he had something to hide, when he actually didn't. He was right and she was wrong. Oh, so wrong, in oh so many ways!
The actual simmering point for me was his waffling on the positions that I know he holds, for political purposes. When he was asked about vouchers, which are the simplest and most effective manner of dealing with failing public schools-effective virtually everywhere they've been tried, he waffled. When asked about his opposition for stem cell research and abortions, instead of articulating his positions and qualifying the issues that Granholm confused (on purpose, of course), he waffled. I was literally going to the cupboard to get the Mrs. Butterworth's, I tell ya!
When are these consevrative politicians going to realize that liberals are never going to vote for them? So why pander to them when all it does is dilute your base?
OK, I'm done with my rant. But check out this article from Sikha Dalmia for a short account of what I'm talking about, OK?