Monday, November 06, 2006

My Thoughts on 2006 Midterm-Election Eve.

I really hoped I could get away from politics for today's entry. I had every intention of reviewing the book that I'll finish tonight. I just can't seem to get away from this obsession. Every time I think I have about exhausted the subject, I feel compelled to mention something else. It is pretty clear to me why I am in this situation... I continue to read and listen to media coverage of the upcoming election.

If you haven't yet heard, things are tightening up. I'm loathe to make predictions, but what do I have to lose? The Democrats, as anticipated, will take the house. The ramifications of this will be known shortly after the final vote tally is in. I do believe that a few renegade Dems will begin to make noise about subpeonas for members of the Bush team. But the "opposition party" has heretofore been way too cowardly to for me to expect a systematic or partywide call for substantive investigations. Hopefully I'll be proved wrong.

I fear that the Senate is going to remain in the hands of the GOP. I do expect a net gain for the Democrats of four seats. It's going to get sticky if there is an even, or 50-49, split. Lieberman, who looks to take the senatorial election in Connecticut has pledged to line up with the Democrats... but I have no love for that bastard. He is a collaborator, for sure. The Republicans will offer him all sorts of incentives to side with them, and I just don't think he has enough integrity to refuse them favors. He's going to get his revenge on the party for being ousted in the primary. And then, of course, if there IS a true tie... Dick Cheney gets to cast the final vote. As if he needs more power.

Largely overlooked stories of this pre-election period include the gubernatorial and state congressional races. Projections suggest that a number of state houses (including PA) may see changes in party dominance. The races that determine these outcomes are not as "sexy" as those on the national level, but they are significant because party control translates into the power to effect redistricting. This has the potential longterm consequence of eroding the structural advantages the GOP has gained from their gerrymanding activities of the last twelve years.

There is already evidence of "voter irregularities". Have you heard about "robo-polls" yet? Evidently the HRCC (House Republican Campaign Committee) has contracted a Richmond, VA firm called "Conquest" to administer an automated poll that begins with a claim to have special information about "so-and-so Democratic congressional candidate". What follows is a negative ad about said candidate. But the introduction of the call is intended to make the recipient believe that the poll was sponsored by the Democratic target. The especially insidious thing is that if the recipient of the call hangs up, he/she is subsequently called between 5-8 more times over the next couple of minutes. And this has been happening in the middle of the night! The Democratic candidates mentioned have received a slew of complaints from people who have received these calls. They Democratic party has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the HRCC, but the calls continue.

I have also heard about voter purges in Ohio. It turns out that registration volunteers were empowered to strike voters off the eligibility lists for certain "irregularities". The rub is that the potential registrees have never been notified about being made ineligible. Not surprisingly, the focus of such activity has been in largely Democratic districts. It is anticipated that many thousands of voters will be turned away at the ballot box... and they have no idea what is in store for them. Once more, I hear echoes of Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004.

Meanwhile, here in Pennsylvania, there are reports of the receipt of twice as many absentee ballots as anticipated. Long time election observers cannot account for the discrepancy. Registration numbers are not up significantly, and expected voter turnout is only supposed to increase by 5%. Forgive me if I suspect foul play.


Blogger Dirk_Star said...

The new Republican theme song, "All we are is meth in the wind..."

8:53 PM  
Blogger neonprimetime said...

My Prediction here

8:53 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

dirk star...

Every extremist seems to carry a deep, dark secret. Their stridency stems from inner dissonance.

Nice avataric photo, by the way.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


I'm glad you had a chance to check out my predictions ahead of time. That way, at least, you weren't too shocked at the outcome of the election.

1:32 PM  

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