Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Voter Intent"

Panel appearing in today's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. My counterpoint to those ubiquitous badges everybody sports around election day, and an annoying reminder as why I'm starting to tune out the disproportionate sound and fury from either side this post-election. 
So at least everybody loses - but now how's that glorified American Exceptionalism workin' for ya? Sure as hell aren't working very hard for it.

Extended rant below the fold...
Ya gotta love Joe Miller’s most recent crusade in the name of ensuring everybody’s vote counts (at least for him). Reminds me of how loud the trumpets blew about “the people have spoken” over the primaries. You know, the ones where a whopping 34% of people got off their lazy asses and bothered to vote. Oh but wait - just barely half (52%) of the registered voters in Alaska turned out for the final election. Does anyone seriously think that an elected candidate or their constituents can claim anything remotely close to a "mandate," or for that matter even display a shred of humility by maybe acknowledging that the Emperor Has No Carhartts?
In fact, yes – the people of Alaska HAVE spoken, loud and clear: they irrefutably don’t really care. One solution therefore would be to simply not have ANY Senator, since that what an equal majority seem to agree upon. Alaska deserves what they get, you dug your den, now go hibernate in it. In other words, give ‘em what they want: nobody. Problem solved.

But seriously, I have to laugh, because 1) I'm a cynical bastard, and 2) it’s too funny to cry about: After watching for years how Democrats and liberals were mocked and marginalized over their sign-waving protests of Bush’s wars, the rampant theft of America’s wealth by the military-industrial complex and corporate interests, the expanse of intrusive governmental powers and loss of privacy rights etc. etc. – now we see the shoe is on the other foot. Or at least the foot is in the other mouth.
Now we see (well, mostly hear) vast crowds of Tea Partiers taking their turn at the flaccid bat of redressing the government for their grievances. Now we have this supposedly great uprising in the populace over wasteful spending and this outpouring of croco-shit-dile tears. Well boo-fucking hoo. Similarly, for years we’ve had to endure the sanctimonious point-and-giggle at the “conspiracy theorists” who suspected elections are stolen and the voting system is corrupt. So pardon the yawn at the newfound patriotism of the righteously indignant losers who've suddenly discovered that karma’s a bitch.

Because when all is said and done, it’s like a bunch of ravens fighting over garbage down at the local dumpster. Some of the most liberal and progressive bloggers in Alaska are practically falling over themselves to be first in line to open the door for Miller’s Constitutionalist challenge, damn near cheerleading his noble quest for electoral purity. Have at it, for what it’s worth - not quite a lost cause, but rendered somewhat impotent in view of underwhelming Alaskan apathy. Not to give up and embrace a nihilistic outlook, but it’ll be a hollow victory when the termination dust has settled, the uninformed citizenry’s collective anesthesia kicks back in, and the status quo reverts to neutered ignorance. Time will tell if this momentum can be maintained when the lights are turned off. Perhaps energy would be better spent getting people involved and invested in the process, at least caring enough to vote. Then again, maybe this will be an opportunity to demonstrate transparency, in turn ensuring voter confidence and thus attract more voters - but instead it'll probably reinforce public perception of a system so deeply flawed "why even bother." Plus there'll be a resurrection of the old disenfranchisement we saw in the Bush/Gore election fiasco: easiest to blame the damn Greenies and pointedly ignore the detached indifference of the masses. Either way it's a ying/yang cyclic symbiosis of problems and solutions, and I'm not sure which is the tick and which is the dog.

And as any given congressional year demonstrates, Democrats have honed the fine art of  appeasement capitulation in the name of bipartisan compromise, to the degree that liberals seem to have more spine defending blatant, hypocritical opportunists like Miller et al than they ever do for their own vested interests, much less standing up for any truly progressive principles. Case in point: if you sold out McAdams to Murkowski just to keep Miller out of office, you’re vote is worth about as much as a spawned-out salmon. What you want is over in the next aisle.

Basically this is all a mood-swing, which I’ll get over and stop advocating for militant ambivalence once the
ranting ebbs away and the cute, furry animals creep back into the picture. But it’s honestly hard to feign any sympathy with the opposition, or express solidarity for the cause, when we'll once again roll over and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Go right ahead and let Joe Miller have access to voter rolls on his lunch hour. Remember to eat refrigerate the leftovers.


  1. Wow! Thanks for this rant. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who noticed the Right's appropriation of our old leftie hippie protest ways. And I'm shocked, shocked to see Mudflats and all encouraging Miller's challenge of the write-in votes. For all that he claims constitutional purity, there's a strong taint of Jim Crow voter literacy tests in Joe's claim that write-in votes need to be spelled "correctly."

    I'd like to think the 48% who don't vote are cheechakos who don't yet realize how much one vote counts for in Alaska. Or they don't vote at the church that gives out the cookies!

  2. I think the support is mainly for Miller’s being able to LOOK at the rolls, and yes that’s about as palatable as defending the Klan’s right to march. One thing for sure is it’ll be interesting to see if this latest harrumphing will last as long as the earlier tantrums – or bear any fruit besides furthering voter malaise.

    Spot-on with the culturally biased literacy requirements and his thinly veiled backhand at rural residents. “Jim Raven” indeed…