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Last week demonstrated once again how narrow and how uniform is the view of the “Chattering Class” in the news media, and likewise how like a pack of fox-hunting hounds they are in the main.
If one of them thinks he or she has detected the vulpine scent, off said detector goes, baying as loudly as possible, and all the rest of the little chatterers goes a-baying after him, whether any scent be detected or not.
One dare not be left out of the pack, and one dare not go off in a different direction, even though Brer Fox is clearly still in view hieing himself in a different direction.
We refer, of course, to the comments and commentary concerning the Wisconsin election.
Similar to their comments about the employment figures about which we wrote last week, the analysts all, displaying their most pontifical mien, and speaking in their most magisterial voice, pronounced another disaster; this time for all labour unions, for all progressives, for the President, and for Democrats at large.
Maybe this doomsday pronouncement is correct, but we doubt it.
The first aspect which we think material in explaining the election’s outcome, is the methodology that Wisconsin has adopted, whereby the referendum on removal is coupled with a partisan election conducted just like the regular November election.
We think it would have been more sensible, and probably would have produced a different outcome, to have had a simple up or down, yes or no, plebiscite on the question of whether the sitting governor should be removed from office.
If removal were to be approved, then the lieutenant governor should temporarily take the reins of government with the requirement that a special election be held, in which both parties (or all parties if more than two) could nominate candidates, with the winner to take office in the usual course.
Second, we think it was a fatal error for the Democrats to nominate the same man as their candidate who was defeated in the general election less than two years ago.
We suspect that many voters felt that they had seen this same scenario such a short time ago that it made no sense to go for the same man they had rejected just 19 months earlier.
Others with a finely honed sense of fairness may have felt it to be inherently unfair to take the office away from the fellow who won it a year and a half earlier and give to the man who had lost it then.
We think it highly possible that a different candidate might well have prevailed.
We are confirmed in our analysis of this situation by contemporary polling results:
As we understood these poll results, respondents still favour collective bargaining — so the unions didn’t suffer a rout as alleged.
And party affiliation identification seem to indicate a predominance of Democrats over Republicans — so, neither were the Democrats routed.
And finally, when asked how they would vote for president between Gov. Romney and President Obama, the president had a seven point lead over the governor.
So, it would seem that this Wisconsin ballot did not signify a pending disaster for the President, as so widely reported— or, speculated.
Our interpretation is strengthened, we believe, by the fact that the four state senators who were also on the recall list were in fact recalled, and the partisan status of the state senate switched from Republican over to Democratic.
Since this fact doesn’t fit into the Chatterers’ theory, they choose to ignore it.
After all, we can’t let anything like a contrary fact interfere with a desirable fiction, can we?
Above we touched upon the speculation about the up-coming presidential election, which has dominated so much of the attention of the news media, oral, visual, and print from early last fall.
Much of this speculation has been completely premature.
Come November, no one knows what will be the status of the economy; what will be the jobs picture; what will be the status of Europe and the Euro; what will be the situation with China; what will be the situation with Iran, or Syria; and on and on the list of imponderables could go.
However, we know right now that there will be a bomb shell exploded within the next few days that could, and most likely will, have a great impact on that election, and that is the Supreme Court’s ruling on “Obama Care.”
This right wing dominated Supreme Court has already demonstrated that it feels no obligation whatsoever to abide by the Rule of Stare Dedsis, despite the sworn undertaking of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito strictly to abide by that rule, which provides that the Court will, insofar as possible, abide by previous rulings and opinions of the Court.
The Citizens United case alone would prove that that side of the Court is perfectly willing to disrespect, ignore, undo, or overrule any previous holdings with which they disagree, even though more than a century old.
So, no one can tell what to expect when it comes to such an important element of the nation’s welfare.
Our personal preference would be for the Court to strike the mandate requiring purchase of private insurance companies’ policies, thus putting us in the position to adopt one of the other options such as universal Medicare, the public option, or a single payer plan, and leaving the balance of the Act intact.
But what they will do is unpredictable.
We also know that the privatizing of Medicare called for in the Ryan Budget, adopted by the Republican dominated House, and endorsed enthusiastically by Gov. Romney, will be brought to the fore no later than the presidential debates.
When it becomes widely known and understood that the Ryan plan will mean that Medicare as we know it will be abolished, and all of us will be in the hands of the private insurance companies, it seems most likely that a huge majority of the Medicare beneficiaries, whether Democrat, Independent, or Hard Shelled Republican, will vote against those who want to implement Ryan, including Mitt Romney.
Remember the Republicans who have spoken out in the primaries saying: “Keep your hands off my Medicare!?”
We conclude today by calling your attention to the beauties of nature, specifically the glorious displays over the past weeks of two of the common plants which have been “showing off,” namely the mimosa trees, and the old-fashioned orange daylillies.
As we have driven around in recent days we have been awed by the blooms overhead of the fluffy tropical appearing mimosa trees, while complemented at a lower level by wide swathes of the bright orange daylillies.
These displays will soon be gone, so enjoy them while you can.