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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cue the fat lady...

Thank goodness the madness we call politics in America is over for this year. Pull the ads, pick up the yard signs and cue the fat lady. Now we can all have fun watching America greatest reality show - Congress in action (or maybe that should have been inaction). The Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, but they don't have control of the 800-pound gorilla in the room - the Tea Party.

All-in-all the uber conservatives did well, which speaks to the level of dissatisfaction in the electorate more than anything. It seemed a bit easier for them to campaign for things they were against than to provide any insight into what things they might do to change the status quo. There was lively debate going on as the TV commentators watched the results come in on whether or not one Tea Party winner in particular might choose to stand on principal and shut the U.S. Government down rather than vote for the necessary increase in the federal government spending cap, thus adding more debt. We shall see.

I got a kick out of the interview with the Democratic Party Chairman on one network when he was asked what the message was that he was hearing from this stinging defeat for the Democrats. His reply was classic political evasion of the topic. He replied that the American people were obviously telling all politicians that they must work together, rather than continuing the bickering and stalemate in Congress. This is like a fighter who just got his butt kicked getting up off the canvas and stating that his defeat obviously signals the need for more friendship and cooperation among pugilists, so that they can present a more unified show for the fight fans. Fights are as unlikely to move towards "Dancing with the Stars" presentations, with smiles all around; as are legislative sessions in Washington to become bipartisan love fests

So the American public fired Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House; but, retained Harry Reid as Majority Leader in the Senate. We also have a conservative father-son team in Congress - the Pauls, Ron and Rand. They could prove to be a hand full for the leadership of both bodies and should provide many entertaining moments in the months ahead. Maybe C-Span will become the new reality TV leader.

In Michigan we have put a non-politician businessman into the governors office, surrounded by a legislature full of amateurs. That will be interesting to watch, too. Rick Snyder ran on a theme of "hire me to be the next governor", as if the governors office is a CEO position. To a certain extent it is, and I wish him well in trying to bring good business practices into the state governing process. Good luck with the union contracts and huge pension liabilities that you've just inherited Governor.

So the "throw the bums out" movement worked in many places and now we can all watch to see if the new occupants turn out to be bums, too. I have this uneasy feeling, lurking in the back of my mind, that says telling me it's a bunch of different faces but the results at my level will largely be the same. I hope I'm wrong
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