The Final Week (Thank God!)
It’s the final week of this never-ending election and people who can make up their minds await the decision of the 10% (or so) who can’t. I can never figure out how you could be undecided at this point, but people are.
In the Senate, despite the conviction of Ted Stevens (AK), it still looks to me like the GOP will hold on to 41 seats, with McConnell and Chambliss stronger than they look and Wicker holding on in Mississipi and Al Franken will win Minnesota. Regardless, we’re a whisker away from Democrats having total, unchecked control in Washington, D.C.
But that won’t bother Rhode Islanders, except the few who wonder how much further we will tilt towards one-party government. No, most will go to the polls and pull the same old lever, thus enabling more of the same that enabled the NY Times and This Week to use us as the canary in the recessionary coal mine for the rest of the nation.
But our particular political insanity (“doing the same thing over and over…”) is exhibited by more than the leaders we elect. We’ll probably also approve the highway bond again, just like every year, because we never seem to figure out that the General Assembly could appropriate the money through normal, budgetary means, which would still allow us to obtain the Federal funds “we got comin’ to us.” On the flip side, though Rhode Islanders will probably fall for that particular shell game again, we might make themselves feel better by denying $3.5 million bond towards open space. We’ll buy the car and refuse the performance package (including a rear spoiler and alloy wheels!) and pat ourselves on the back for being sharp bargainers. Oy.
But, who knows, maybe Rhode Islanders will finally get cranky and make some changes. Maybe the transportation bond will fail and a few local, high profile pols will be defeated. Small victories are victories nonetheless.