By Jeffrey Page
I may be the only person who actually bet on George McGovern in 1972 – $5 down the drain – so you can believe me when I say I’m familiar with hope, naïveté and disappointment. I’m sitting here looking over the Times on the morning after the elections. I’m looking for assurance. It’s there, but in extremely small measure.
–With a little luck, we’ve seen the last of Carl Paladino. In New York we don’t abide Paladino’s threatening to have a reporter killed for raising troublesome questions. And we don’t tolerate his sending emails showing African tribesmen dancing outside a grass hut with the caption “Obama Inaugural Rehearsal.” We don’t accept Paladino’s pornographic emails. Nor do we accept his referring to former Governor George Pataki as “a degenerate idiot.” Maybe Carl Paladino will do New York a favor and just disappear.
–How did anyone in Connecticut decide whom to support for Chris Dodd’s Senate seat? On one hand was Linda McMahon whose claim to fame is her association with World Wrestling Entertainment, which has as much to do with wrestling as Carl Paladino has to do with good taste. WWE is about sex and violence. McMahon’s opponent was Richard Blumenthal, the state attorney general, whose war record is exemplary but for one fact: It doesn’t exist. Not just once or twice but on several occasions Blumenthal claimed to have served in Vietnam and even suggested that he got a hostile reception when he returned. In fact he never set foot in Vietnam. This is called lying, right? Never mind finding the lesser of two evils; I couldn’t have voted for either one.
–In losing a bid for Joe Biden’s old Senate seat in Delaware, Christine O’Donnell actually conned 123,000 people into voting for her. Unbelievable. She’s the Tea Party darling who couldn’t name a Supreme Court decision she opposes – “I know there are a lot,” she said – and promised to list one on her web site. I still can’t find it. Her site described her as someone who “strongly believes in protecting the sanctity of life at all stages,” which is pretty nervy talk for someone who not only opposes sex outside marriage but masturbation as well.
–As of this morning, Tea Partier Joe Miller is a loser, but his race for senator from Alaska may take a while to decide. He challenged the Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski, got Sarah Palin’s endorsement, beat Murkowski in the primary, and then was shocked when Murkowski announced she would wage a write-in campaign against him. Right now she’s up by 7 percentage points. Why do I care? Because it was Miller and his little band of hired thugs who held a reporter incommunicado for 25 minutes for asking questions Miller didn’t want to address. That’s cause for disqualification.
–Running for governor of Minnesota, Tom Emmer came in second by just 1 percentage point. With luck, that 1 percent will stand during the likely recount. Emmer is the candidate who dismissed a portion of the people of Minnesota by reducing his position on gay marriage to 12 words: “I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman.” That’s like being asked about Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and responding “I don’t buy it; next question.”
–Happily, Cuomo vanquished the loathsome Paladino. Maurice Hinchey is going back to the House; would that John Hall were going back with him. Meg Whitman learned that even spending $140 million of your own money doesn’t get you elected if the voters perceive you to be a hypocrite. She railed against illegal immigrants but paid one to clean her house for nine years and the claimed she, uh, didn’t know.
–Good news was overwhelmed by the fact that plenty of Sarah Palin acolytes were elected around the country. Palin? 2012? Can’t happen. Bet you $5.
Jeffrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.