Midterm Elections and Texas Politicians

I just watched meet the press, and the discussion was about the midterm elections and which party would win them. By the numbers, its a very vulnerable year for the democrats just given the number of seats that are expected to be in competitive races.

By the issues though, or should I say, by the message, which is a distorted reflection of the issues, things are much more complex, mainly because it seems that republicans really don’t have any interesting ideas for how to deal with unemployment and the economy any better than anyone else.

It was particularly embarrassing was when David Gregory asked Pete Sessions about what the Republicans were going to do about the rising debt (see here, start at 27:10). There was really no answer, and of course there’s no answer, because everyone likes to complain about the debt, but no one wants to take the politically unpopular steps of actually refusing to SPEND the money that contributes to the debt. Also, all the talk about the debt is pretty worthless anyway. The debt is not out of control, though it is higher than average. However, most of that debt is due to automatic responses to a depression: unemployment claims go up and revenue goes down. In the short term, the debt is expected to fall and then grow again later. So the real question is: what will we do in the long term to put our financed on track. The answer from both sides of the aisle is nothing, so everyone should just relax and focus on other issues that might actually matter.

Two other small lesson I got out of this segment. First, Chris Van Hollen is REALLY on top of the issues. Wow he really impressed me with his command of the numbers at every stage, and at one point, he even seemed to be more familiar with republican positions than the two republicans on the show. Also, his name reminds me of Van Halen.

Second, the difference between John Cornyn, the Texas senator and Pete Sessions the Texas congressman, was night and day. I wonder if this reflects a general proficiency of senators over congresspeople. Sucks that neither one was very good and both are from Texas. O well, guess I should update my voter registration to vote in Texas and gets these guys out.

All in all, from this debate, I would say democrats are in a fine position regarding these midterms. I think they’ll hold the house and that’s my prediction.


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