Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Minnesota Senate Race

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

October 29, 2008

The Minnesota Senate race is one of the most watched electoral contests in the country, and sittin’ here in Northwest Wisconsin, I got a front row seat!

This three ring circus is a prime example of one of the biggest problems confronting our Democracy; the major parties are offering sub-par candidates, and the independent and third party folks are totally outspent, making their chances of victory very slim. Poor Minnesota is gonna get a shit sandwich without bread. The candidates cranking out negative ads one after the other is mind boggling and getting totally out of hand.

Incumbent Norm Coleman drifts with the wind. He started out as a Democratic mayor, became a Republican mayor, lost a gubernatorial race to a professional wrestler, then beat a last minute replacement offered by the Democrats for a Senate seat. When Coleman first entered the senate, he was one of W’s favorite lap dogs, but as Bush’s popularity waned, he’s taken a much more moderate path, and has actually been doing a decent job. He still supports the Iraq War, which has lost moderate support, but he is doing better than most Republicans on such things as the environment and health care. He is reliably anti-abortion. Can he be trusted to stay within striking distance of center? His history says probably not. Plus he loves the hell out of lobbyists. Many questions linger over his relationships with representatives of special interests.

Democrat Al Franken will never act like a moderate. He is left wing at all opportunities; his extremism strongly resembling Ted Kennedy’s. He has questions too. He paid taxes to the wrong states over a period of years. Overall, he was paid up, just had to get the money to the right jurisdictions. Then there is an issue with Franken’s corporation failing to cover it’s employees with workman’s compensation insurance. Is this guy some sort of slick shyster or is he just totally ignorant of financial law? Which is a better quality for a senator? People are crying about Franken’s humor. I’ve told a lot of bad jokes myself, and I’m sure you have, too. Get real.

There is an Independent party candidate. Dean Barkley is fairly moderate, socially progressive with some fiscal responsibility. He is seen favorably by almost everyone that has a clue who he is, and is currently polling a strong 18% with no real advertising budget. He was a senator, briefly, appointed by Jesse Ventura to fill the late Paul Wellstone’s seat until Coleman’s inauguration. Barkley is about as colorful as pavement.

So it is a lose, lose, lose situation. Does Minnesota re-elect the shape-shifting opportunist? Or do they elect the left wing clown? Do we want the Senate to be filibuster proof? Or do we want to let the Republicans continue to grind the Senate to a halt? All the while the independent candidate doesn’t have a prayer because hardly anybody knows he exists. Which eye do you want the sharp stick in?

P.S.: Anybody from Minnesota’s 6th district reading this? Get rid of Michelle Bachmann. She is a bigger embarrassment to the state than the Vikings!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Howling at the Moon

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

October 14, 2008

The Moon is full again, and this month I really gotta howl.

I am supporting Obama for President. This is scary, a Democratic President over what is sure to be a Democratic Congress. A McCain Presidency wouldn’t be bad, we’d just have to hope to high heaven that he lives to fill his term.

Just imagine, if McCain gets elected, and either passes away or decides not to run for a second term, we could see Sarah Palin vs. Hillary Clinton in 2012!

I wonder, would the campaigns get more negative every 4 weeks?

I am normally against capital punishment, but people that pass you on the road and then go slower than you were going in the first place makes me reconsider.

Obama has a better plan for the economy. McCain’s plan is still based on the old, and never worked, trickle down theory. Obama’s plan is more rise up theory.

Bailout! What a dumb idea! Talk about rewarding screw-ups. This will really give bankers a sense of responsibility. Not. We could help retirees and other little people a lot cheaper than giving welfare to unscrupulous lending institutions. McCain and Obama both blew this one.

Anybody remember we are at war? It amazes me, that subject got thrown on the back burner so quickly, like it wasn’t an unnecessary drain on the economy itself. Oh, by the way, people are still dying.

Republicans can’t win. The big news went from their bungling of the war to their bungling of the economy. Where’s Paris Hilton when they need her?

Three states now recognize Gay Marriage. I wonder if it should be left at that for a while just to see what happens. Will it create more, or reduce, domestic abuse? Child custody cases in 47 states aren’t even debatable in gay dissolutions. What will happen in the other 3? Let’s make sure it’s a good thing before we make gay marriage law in all 50.

Even with all this howling, I haven’t vented enough. But I have to leave; Animal Control is coming after me. Good night.

Monday, October 6, 2008

What’s Wrong With Moderates?

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

October 6, 2008

I look at polls and try to divine what moderate opinion is. This is not an exact science, and you are all welcome to disagree, but if you chose polls carefully, use polls that display what questions were asked and who was asked, and they appear designed to get an accurate answer, the pulse of moderation can be found.

By looking at polls that get extreme responses, I’ve determined that the extreme right and it’s sympathizers are about 31% of the voting population, and the left wing and their ilk are about 29%. In the middle are people, over a third, that could be described as moderate.

The problem is that there isn’t a moderate platform. Moderate opinion can vary widely. Not all possible positions have a gray area, so we have to chose either black or white, and we don’t always go in the same direction. Some of us lean to the right, and some lean left, without falling into the extremes.

Most, but not all, moderates are against gun control. Most, but not all, are for gay rights. Etc., etc., etc. Capital punishment? Split right down the middle. We don’t like taxes, but don’t like spending money we don’t have like we had a stolen credit card, (the current Republican strategy.) We prefer a right to abortion, but not without limits, (please see my post of July 2, 2008). How can we get exited? How could we possibly form a platform? We just can’t. All we can do is choose between ignorant, frothing at the mouth right wingers or over intellectual, bleeding-heart left wingers. Which is the least evil this week?

I am sorry to say, but we moderates are really, really lame. We don’t have the wherewithal to decide if the glass is half empty or half full. We are the most tormented, the least represented, but the largest group of voters in the country! But we have no hate. If we have any anger, it’s without direction. We have no platform to rally around. We are just a bunch of defeated wimps.

So go ahead and vote for the least evil this November. There may be a good independent candidate out there, try it. He/she may not have a chance, but if you help get him/her over 5%, he/she and his/her party will get some money and recognition.

It just plain appears that until man grows a third testicle the middle won’t have any balls. Let us hang our heads in shame for being lame-ass wimps.