To believe the polls and prognosticators, the Republicans — who have become simply the party of guns and loathing everything our twice-elected president has ever done — will win a bigger majority in the House and take a slim majority in the Senate.
Of course, a savvy survivor of midterm elections, in which sitting presidents always lose allies in Congress, knows that GOP control of Congress will change absolutely nothing. Republicans have held a House majority for the past two years, and the GOP exercised de facto control of the Senate for six years through a system of 60 percent majorities and anonymous holds on presidential appointees.
This is easily forgotten, even by a Utah Republican congressman who demanded a week or two ago that the U.S. Surgeon General take the lead in the existential fight against Ebola. He completely overlooked that Republicans have blocked the president’s nominee for the top doctor’s post for nearly a year because the National Rifle Association, that leading health care group, ordered it.
The knowledge that nothing will change, except new dance steps among hopefuls for president in 2016, eases my national election blues. As further protection, I will avoid all cable news coverage of the election tonight and any blog coverage chronicling how early returns showing how key races in lots of states other than California are shaping up. I say, to bend a quote by the English rock band Traffic, “See what tomorrow may bring.”
I would rather spend Election Night watching old Marx Brothers movies, reading year-old magazines or playing with our two young cats before they lose all interest in running after any of the 47 cat toys spread around the house like fallen autumn leaves.
Looking more closely at local races, I admit I have an interest in the anti-fracking measure in San Benito County, the Monterey County sheriff’s race, the District 2 supervisor race and the fate of a passel of local tax measures.
But again I can wait until Wednesday to find out the winners and losers. And it will probably be a longer wait to declare the winner in the Seaside mayoral contest, given the past two narrow duels between Mr. Rubio and Mr. Bachofner.
I don’t see a lot of drama in any of the other cities with council and mayoral races, where voters will probably decide to keep the bums in. The outlier, of course, is the Marina Coast Water District, which could undergo another of its periodic, violent mood swings.
When I used to cover elections in a newsroom, one of my methods to survive the hollowed-out feelings at the end of the campaigns was to make a few $1 bets with colleagues on some races. Sometimes I would raise it to $5 if my foe was being both boneheaded and profligate. I won far more often that I lost.
That would take the sting out of knowing that voters in Texas once again returned the stupidest House member, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Inhishead, to Washington D.C. I firmly believe they do this with Gohmert to either get him out of town or as a Texas-style Dada art piece.
But sadly, I no longer have folks sitting at nearby desks who are easy marks for Election Night bets. So tonight will be a tad more melancholy than usual.
What’s especially depressing, however, is that none of the $4 billion or so being spent in an orgy of political advertising, polling, consulting and go-fering this election will find its way into my pockets.
The real winners tonight — and you don’t want to bet against this — are the owners of local television chains, cable companies, web sites and other media that gleefully carried all the insane and infuriating video ads for the past few months.
They aren’t getting more gridlock, but “greenlock,” and happy days were here again, indeed, for them.