Thursday, November 09, 2006

Post Election

Everyone I voted for on Tuesday lost, even the Democrat. Of course, I'm used to this. When you live in a somewhat rural part of an urban state, your vote almost never counts. I was surprised that Robert Ehrlich lost to Baltimore's Mayor O'Malley. I thought Ehrlich was doing a pretty decent job as governor and deserved a second term.

I guess I should be happy that O'Malley won. He campaigned on the idea of increasing funding for higher education. Of course, more funding here means less funding there, or more taxes. The Democrats tend to favor the later. I'll try to maintain an open mind with O'Malley.

I should be happy that liberal Marylanders allowed a republican to serve one term as governor. It'll probably be another 40 years before it happens again.

I was most disappointed that Michael Steele lost. He seems to be a very intelligent, articulate, principled man. I hope he doesn't give up on Maryland politics. It has always been difficult for Republicans to win a Senate seat in Maryland. The state has always had the distinction of having two of the most liberal members of the Senate. On the bright side, I don't think it's possible to be any more liberal than Paul Sarbanes was. I'll try to keep on open mind with our new senator, Ben Cardin, until I find out otherwise.

On the other hand, I'm angry that Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and other congressional lifers got re-elected. There needs to be a mandatory retirement age. Bartlett is 80 years old! Robert Byrd (D-WV) is 88! Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is a "youngster" at 74. Congress is the grayest it's ever been. It's not so much their age as their tenure. Byrd and Kennedy have a combined tenure of 91 years in the U.S. Senate! Bartlett will be serving his 8th term in the House.

Congress should not be a career. It wasn't meant to be. We should have citizen legislators -- school teachers, farmers, businessmen, etc. We need fresh faces and fresh ideas. We need leaders who can walk without a cane. That's what our forefathers envisioned. I'm becoming more of a proponent of term limits than ever before. That and removing retirement benefits. If you take away their bennies, they'll have to get a real job, like the rest of us.

Initially, I was mad that "my team" lost, but after some thought, I realized it's no big deal. It happens to every President who gets a second term. After six years into the presidency, the American public gets tired of the current administration and puts the other party in charge of the Congress. We like division. We like partisanship. We really don't know what we want. That's why we elect a government that won't be able to agree on much. It happened with Clinton. It happened with Reagan. It'll happen with the next two term president. It makes a strong case for the American President serving one 6-year term.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next presidential election. There will be a stream of Democrats lining up to throw their hats into the '08 presidential ring. The party will move to the left to appeal to the party faithful. Two years is probably not long enough for the Democrats to alienate the American public, so they're not likely to get ousted from Congress (yet). Usually, we elect a president of the other party. If w don't, I can always move to the Caribbean. Yeah, mon.

In the end, who sits in the White House, Governor's mansion, Statehouse, or Congress has little effect on my every day life. Life goes on. The ecomomy chugs along, hits a few stumbling blocks along the way. You pay taxes. You celebrate birthdays. You feed your dogs. The political climate remains the same. The cast of characters just changes every two years or so.

At least I exercised my right to vote.

Footnote: Al Queda was very pleased with the results of the election. Boy, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzing inside! Thanks, my fellow Americans.