November 08, 2006

...another day...

Öanother sad excuse for a post.

I donít know what it is but Iím totally derailed this week. Well, okay, I do know what it is. Iíve had two very long days at work, both of which involved getting to work when it was dark and leaving work when it was dark. Pain in the ass, right? Because of bed times, Iíve spent approximately an hour with my daughter over the last two days. That sucks. Donkey balls. Sweaty donkey balls. Although really donkey balls are bad enough without them being sweaty. This all leads me to the conclusion that some evil physics-defying villain has been sucking valuable hours out of my day. Iím calling him Chronotron The Time Plucker. Chronotron is really chapping my ass.

So, instead of a crappy post about nothing (like Seinfeld for the digital age), the least I can do is mention the election. Some good things have come out of it thus far:

  • A shitload of people voted.
  • A shitload of that shitload voted for Democrats which resulted in, at the very least, a Democratic controlled House.
  • Turnout was strong in traditional Republican strongholds like my home state, Virginia. It looks like it could be a while before we find out what happened to the Senate as a result.

Now, I know not everyone swings my way politically and that's cool. It's up to everyone to vote his or her conscience. But in each of the last two of three elections, I've personally felt somewhat disenfranchised. Or, at the very least, as if I was jinxing my favorite candidates. They never won. This year, while my candidates might not be doing so well, it feels like the momentum is there.

This election season was nasty. I have lots of solutions but I doubt any will work. Election day should be a national holiday, candidates should be given a finite amount of money and television time and a month in which to campaign, and special interests should not exist. I know that's all pie in the sky talk but I do have one solution that, if enough people get behind it, might work - refuse to vote for any candidate who goes negative.

If you're anything like me, you were verbally assaulted by recorded phone messages, sleazy campaign literature and television ads that made you feel like you'd been slipped a roofie and violated in a back alley. So refuse to vote for candidates to do it. Consider it the logical extension of my Zero Tolerance For Asshats campaign. Just remind me next year when the campaign season starts again because I'll probably forget.

Okay...enough with the political crap. So...Britney and K-Fed split up, huh?

Posted by Chris at November 8, 2006 07:23 AM
Comments

Maybe they could also be forced to wear 'I'm an asshat' buttons, if they are indead asshats.

Ok, that'll never happen, but the thought makes me giggle just a tiny bit.

Anyway. Yeah. OMG Britney and K-Fed broke up and I hear she looked totally awesome on Letterman!

(ok, that's as much of that shit as I can take...or dish out)

Posted by: Contrary at November 8, 2006 07:43 AM

I Vote No! on Proposition Asshat!

Posted by: Leah at November 8, 2006 07:56 AM

Then who would we vote for? Everybody goes negative.

I totally agree with your statements on feeling disenfranchised the past few elections. As the polls were reporting last night, initially things started to look bad for the Dems in VA and I got depressed. Happily, it was a different status this morning, though I'm still pissed about the marriage amendment. Sigh.

I just hope that '08 goes better than '04 did. That was a rough post-election period, for sure.

Posted by: Nicole at November 8, 2006 07:59 AM

Here I was all set to joke about "roofies" being construction labourers and "ruffies" being a street name for rohypnol, but googling taught me that there is no standard spelling for that colloquialism. :)

Up here in the Great White North we're about eight years behind your curve (we just tossed our Liberal {=Democrat} government for a Conservative {=Republican} one earlier in the year), so I've got a few years of this nonsense left before the cyclical nature turns it around... you've got two more before T4: Aahhnold v. Hillary!

OK so maybe things won't be any better after the next election. Nevermind.

Posted by: Jeff at November 8, 2006 08:04 AM

I tried the not voting for negative campaigners and was left with no candidates. I ended up voting against the more despised candidate. *shrugs*....

Posted by: Lisa at November 8, 2006 08:05 AM

I think that anyone who is running for political office is probably an asshat and shouldn't be elected. I'll tell you, I'm thinking that there are too many really stupid, crappy people in Washington.
Anyone who has been in office more than 8 years should be sent home.
I could go on and on, but I won't. I just hate the day after elections. The only good thing is that there are no more stupid commercials on for the said crappy candidates.

Posted by: Maribeth at November 8, 2006 08:08 AM

Republican stronghold, huh? So why is your Senate race so close? :) Not that I'm complaining, of course.

And quit being so polite. It is NOT ok that people vote against their best interests, but go with gut religious reasons instead. Like this marriage thing - I don't know about there, but here in Wisconsin it's going to have serious repercussions. Both the state and the state university system recognize civil unions for their employees, as do a number of the state's major employers, and they won't be able to any more. And no more legal protections of any kind for any unmarried couple.

Posted by: Jen at November 8, 2006 08:15 AM

I am definitely happy that campaigning in the Netherlands is not that nasty (yet).

To cheer you up a bit, here's a link to a campaign commercial for the municipal elections in Belgium. It is, ahum, unconventional. and no you don't need to know Dutch to get it. :-) I'm pretty sure this language is universal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?eurl=&v=Lng91QmzdkE

Oh and Genesis is going to tour again! (http://music.guardian.co.uk/rock/story/0,,1941738,00.html)

See, two good reasons to cheer up.

Let's make it three, your daughter is absolutely adorable! (Just saw the film on Beth's site.)

mikkie

Posted by: mikkie at November 8, 2006 08:19 AM

I'm a big supporter of term limits for all offices. I think that alone would help tremendously.
Voter turnout in my tiny town was way high yesterday, which I thought was great.
And I second the asshat buttons idea - that's fabulous!

Posted by: Traci at November 8, 2006 08:50 AM

Texas will never get out from under the thumb of dumm-ass governors. First Bush...now Rick Perry. We're doomed.

Posted by: wordgirl at November 8, 2006 09:09 AM

If nobody voted for negative campaigners, then nobody would vote. Of course, there is always the write-in option to vote for someone who didn't campaign, and therefore was not a negative campaigner. :-)

I was glad to see people voting yesterday. Even though there may not have been a great candidate, it was nice to see people voting for their choice of the "lesser of two evils".

However, the "I'm an asshat" sticker is a great idea. Can we use them for more than just politicians? I know a few people who deserve them but keep out of the public eye.

Posted by: Krush at November 8, 2006 09:26 AM

"Election day should be a national holiday," that is one thing Thailand gets right. Our elections are held on Sundays. No alcohol is served anywhere during election day as well.

One of the city council candidates showed up at our door to personally hand out his flyer. Brandon was impressed by just that and probably voted for the guy.

Finally, Clint Eastwood left a message on the phone about the secretary of state he endorses. That's the coolest one of the calls we've gotten this year!

Posted by: oakley at November 8, 2006 09:30 AM

I agree with all of your propositions. Totally.

Ohio has a Democrat Governor, the first in forever. Yay! I'm soooooo thrilled, especially since the Republican he was running against, Blackwell, "helped" Bush win Ohio in 2004. Take that, you lying, cheating, asshole scumbag. And from what I can tell (I tried to avoid the campaign commercials as much as possible), Strickland didn't go negative on Blackwell. He just told the truth.

AND, Ohio has a new Democrat Senator! My day is looking rosy!

Posted by: candace at November 8, 2006 09:32 AM

do i get extra points because i voted...and i live in canada?

i think i should...that's much more of an effort, i think!

Posted by: ali at November 8, 2006 09:33 AM

Yay, no more ridiculous "my opponent eats kittens" campaign ads! And it looks like democracy might actually be working again, so I suppose that's good news. Can't wait to hear the conservative spin on it, though.

Posted by: Fraulein N at November 8, 2006 09:34 AM

yeah, I was pretty surprised about the Britney split. I mean, I totally thought they were in it for the long run. Totally.

Posted by: s@bd at November 8, 2006 10:20 AM

I screwed up my voter registration (hooray for moving to a different city and forgetting to reregister). So, I didn't get to vote yesterday. But, you know, I'm a flaming liberal and I live in Massachusetts... so I don't feel so horribly guilty.

They had a guy on the Daily Show last week to talk about his book called "Going Dirty" (about negative campaigns). The Daily Show also created a mashup of some of the worst negative ads this election season. An uber negative ad, if you will. It was hilarious.

Posted by: Hope at November 8, 2006 10:25 AM

If we institute a zero-tolerance policy for negative campaigners then there's going to be a whole lot of blanks on people's ballots, and the only people who will get votes will be those who seemingly don't campaign at all!

I do like the idea of a fixed amount of tv/radio campaigning, and fixed campaign budgets - but that'll never happen. They'll weasel out of it just like they weasel out of any other rules they don't like.

I'd settle for lobbying and special interests being banned from federal buildings, mud-slingers being disqualified from running for the current and next two terms, and campaign finances being a matter of public record (and published and analyzed in national newspapers).

But then you'd have special interest groups "approving" their own negative campaign messages lobbyists setting up camps in the underground tunnels connecting all of the capitol buildings, and candidates selling time shares or envelopes or cars or whatever to interest groups for millions of dollars more than they are worth to defraud the regulations.

It's enough to make me want to cry myself to sleep tonight, and only my Xbox and HDTV save me from such a fate. Now we just need someone to mod a Soul Caliber / Mortal Kombat / etc game so that we can take out our real world frustrations on their digital manifestations.

Posted by: Adam at November 8, 2006 10:34 AM

Also, a little part of me died inside when my polling place was all out of "I Voted" stickers.

Posted by: Adam at November 8, 2006 10:34 AM

Oh my god... ran out of stickers on a non-presidential election day? How cool is that!

Power to the people! And let's not even talk about what happened in WI. Is time spinning backwards? Shite. Or have they just gotten so good at writing those damn things with so many double negatives that people do NOT know what they are voting for.

Posted by: Keri at November 8, 2006 10:54 AM

I've never even seen "I Voted" stickers at the polls here in NJ - nevermind receiving one. I think it might be time for me to move to VA (and bring my liberal voting habits with me!)

Last night some cable news guy was talking about how, even though Americans seemed to be voting to oust the Republicans from office and send a message to Bush, we're still socially conservative and voted with the Republicans on the actual "issues," whatever that means. I turned the TV off at that point so I could go to sleep feeling hopeful about our government.

And way to go Britney - she finally wised up!

Posted by: erin at November 8, 2006 11:07 AM

I agree with the whole 'roofie' analogy. It was an ugly election - but see... it worked out!

So now these guys better do what they said they would do.

Posted by: Snidget at November 8, 2006 11:33 AM

GOPWNED! I will now resume my Happy Dance.

Posted by: Jason at November 8, 2006 11:43 AM

My lovely state of MN nearly ousted the republican incumbent who has not been as big an asshat as I expected. However, they guy won by about 14,000 votes.
Better news: We elected MN's first woman (democrat) to the U.S. Senate,who happened to run an extremely above board, positive, and great campaign. Our fine state also voted the coutnry's first muslim (DFL) to congress. It's a mixed bag, but I am decidedly pleased today. My faith in people is beginning to be restored!

Posted by: Meghan at November 8, 2006 11:55 AM

Rather than "don't for for the negative guy", vote for the one you think will do the best job and then when he wins (hopefully), write him a letter telling him/her that although you voted for him/her, you really disliked the negative portion of the campaign and hope that future campaigns when he/she is the incumbent will avoid such actions. Since the incumbent usually has $$$ and support the new competition can't amass, a smear campaign is not necessarily needed. And if enough people wrote in expressing this opinion...maybe, just maybe, someone would listen?

Posted by: Ross at November 8, 2006 12:12 PM

I am so sick of political ads, and so glad they're over (For now.)

Posted by: Heather at November 8, 2006 12:21 PM

Our elections went the way I wanted, so I am pretty happy. I hope yours turns out well!

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at November 8, 2006 12:36 PM

Maybe they were all out of "I Voted" stickers because they keep giving them away to people who cannot vote--my children always get stickers the second we walk through the polling place doors. You can see this edition over at my place.

Posted by: nrp at November 8, 2006 01:07 PM

Chris,

I havenít been here in a while. Reading your blog always gets me thinking, in a good way.

I like your platform:
ē Cap spending and time available for media
ē Equal time for legitimate candidates (subject to interpretation)
ē Disallow special interest funding or at least cap. If a cap doesnít work, the candidate must pay taxes on any over budget spending. This will be tough because both the politicians and the interests seeking influence will fight this until it becomes a condition of running. Anyone caught cheating after the fact is immediately tossed out of office and either the runner up is put in place or a special election is held with a 30 day run off.
ē Term limits. Warren Hatch was re-elected last night in Utah. Heís been in the Senate for more than 29 years. Besides self interest, what motivation or incentive does this public servant (emphasis on servant) possibly have?

I would add to that:
ē We also need better mechanisms to track Congressí activity. Both with respect to who they meet (Jack Abramoff visited Senator XX 4 times in the last year) and how they spend our money. Currently they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Unless a meeting is of national security, all Congress activity should be documented and posted if it involves any use of taxpayer money.
ē Complete transparency on Congressional spending. This is starting to happen with groups like the Sunlight Foundation, Porkbusters and Taxpayers for Common Sense.

My only other comment to the posters here, applauding the Demís takeover of the House and possibly the Senate is that I hope you hold ALL politicians to the same standard? Everyone that you voted for and got elected last night should be getting an email and/or phone call from you asking, ďwhatís next and when do we get started?Ē If you donít hold these people accountable then their human nature will be to take the path of least resistance and to look out for their survival, and despite what politicians think in their Machiavellian bubbles, thatís not why we elect them. Power is not given away, itís taken away.

God, I hate this crap, but itís like crystal meth and a good male hooker! Once you start, you just canít stop. (Honey, just kidding about the drugs and hookerÖheh!)

Posted by: Johnny "Jaded" Smoke at November 8, 2006 01:20 PM

K-Fed was too good for her.

Posted by: whit at November 8, 2006 01:21 PM

NO MORE RUMMY NO MORE RUMMY NO MORE RUMMY.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at November 8, 2006 01:28 PM

In Atlanta we didn't have much of anything really juicy to talk about other than the governor's race, which didn't end well, in my opinion.

Posted by: amber at November 8, 2006 02:16 PM

Sign me up for the Zero Tolerance For Asshats campaign team. Imagine the great tee shirts we could have.

The state we live in is not our "home of record" and so we aren't registered voters here. I highly recommend this situation if you can swing it cause we didn't receive ONE election/campaign/"No, I'm not, you are!" phone call this entire season.

Posted by: Annie at November 8, 2006 04:45 PM

Ha. I'm already following your rule. Well, sort of. For governor I voted for a guy that hasn't had a single commercial on TV. I feel the same as you - sick of all the crap and negativity.

Posted by: Sijbrich at November 8, 2006 04:56 PM

I didn't want to get my hopes up this year because I was crushed so badly in 2004. But this year I actually donated to a political campaign for the first time - granted it wasn't much but it was a donation none the less. And wouldn't you know that early this morning we discovered that Missouri will have a Democratic Senator! Yea! Unfortunately this means I will have to donate every election now because I'm superstitious like that.

Posted by: Beth in StL at November 8, 2006 06:09 PM

It was a good day except we're stuck with the Governator for another four years. CA seems to have this fixation with celebraties. He and the Insurance Commissioner were the only two Republicans elected to state office (excluding our Legislature of course which is majority Democrat).

When you find yourself with nothing to do, take a look at Canada's election campaign system. Nothing is perfect but it sure beats ours.

Posted by: ann adams at November 8, 2006 07:09 PM

That's a great look for you! If I were American, I'd have voted. :) And, yeah, Federslime is toast. Can't wait to see who Brit hooks up with next! ;)

Posted by: Haley-O at November 8, 2006 08:10 PM

Ack! Your site ate my comment!

Anyway....
Ideas for next election:
1)put a hold on your mail for Oct/Nov--won't work, don't read the smut ;)
2)record all of the television you watch so you need not watch the slur ads (I recommend that you record all tv regardless of elections, who wants to watch commercials?)
3)unplug your landline answering machine and turn off the ringer, no landline and they call your cell, sorry :P

And a rant....about my frustration with campaign finance....Orrin Hatch made over 6 million during the past 6 years, his opponent Ashdown, 270,000 WTF? Let's just say that Orrin could get re-elected here in UT if he showed up on the front page of the paper on election day confessing to raping and murdering young children! /end rant

Posted by: Nanette at November 9, 2006 07:29 AM

I am very pleased with the way the MD elections turned out.

This morning, they were talking about K-Fed's new nickname... Fed-X. You know, she was too smart for him, and she was holding his talent back.

Posted by: Karen at November 9, 2006 01:47 PM

I seriously think you ought to go into politics and overhaul it! I would vote for you!

Posted by: Krista at November 9, 2006 03:26 PM

Mr. Anderson, did you vote?

Perhaps it's just me, but I think you've got a bit of a Hugo Wallace Weaving look going in that pic . . .

Posted by: Betti at November 9, 2006 08:08 PM