Election Night post-mortem [11/5/08]

You just can’t put together a drunken election night bash once you have kids. Its’ always on a school night. Some of the purest fun I’ve ever had was gathered in an apartment in 1992, drunk near to oblivion, as Bill Clinton took enough southern states to doom Poppy Bush and shouting “Four More Minutes!” until the neighbors called the cops.

Now, three beers, while my son dutifully sat next to me and colored in his map for his homework assignment. He was fairly torqued that it was all over (electorally) at 9pm – his theoretical bed-time anyway. He thought he might have an excuse to stay up until midnight.

My children are quite honsetly a little puzzled at why its’ such a big deal that an African-American was elected president. I think that’s a good sign.

The only thing the Obama campaign accomplished by announcing last weekend that they felt Arizona was in play was to turn out the GOP base, which doomed several state house democratic candidates, who might have had a shot with lower turn-out. McCain still carried his home state by 9 points, like everybody else on the planet assumed he would.

The truly retarded ballot initiatives went down in flames. Almost gives one hope for the Republic.

Sadly, so did legislative pay-raises, which must be approved by voters directly. These lose big every year, and our state reps have been stuck at $24k/year since the 70’s. We’re a grown-up state now. Running it is no longer a part-time job.  I’d like to see an initiative installing an automatic cost-of-living increase. There’s polling data that suggests doubling the salary would do better than the puny 10% that has failed every election cycle since I started voting. It couldn’t do worse. I can see the billbaord now: “YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR…”

Its awful difficult for a Democrat to win county-wide office in Maricopa County – the GOP registration advantage is like 20%. Even so, Dan Saban’s showing vs Joe Arpaio was embarassing. Arpaio’s a scandal machine, and every year he sits in office (at least four more – damn it!) the county hemorages more money in lawsuits and self-promotional nonsense. He can be beaten – but not by Dan Saban. It wasn’t dirty tricks, this time, Dan. Whatever your qualifications as a law-enforcement officer, you’re just not a competent politician.

I think a Hispanic, former police chief with any kind of record of success can come to this county and clean the clock of America’s Dumbest Sherriff. Now to find that guy…

Still, it was nice to be a happy drunk by the time it was all over.

Now you know.

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