Prairie Country had an election yesterday—not to worry, no presidential races on the ballot. Yes, the presidential primary season is truly over. We were voting for City Commissioners, County Commissioners, School Board, Park Board. And a primary at the state level, but no cross-overs allowed, so that doesn't indicate a whole lot. Oh, yes, and whether we can smoke in bars.
Some results gave me pause, so let's talk about 'em a bit, because even small elections can be microcosms of the macro-election coming this fall.
Women incumbents were voted out of City Commission seats in both Fargo and West Fargo, one, the largest city, and the other, among the the fastest-growing cities in North Dakota [sidebar to Chris Matthews: Tweety, you came to North Dakota and you didn't call? You didn't write? I'm not feelin' the luv... and you looked so gosh-darned cute in that black cowboy hat. What's the metaphor, Chris?]. We are now back to business as usual in both cities—greying white males with boosterism and sports arenas in their hearts and guts. Chalk up one in each city for the Fatcats.
Was there a Hillary Factor? Unquestionably both were targeted by the business [bar and restaurant owners] crowd. Will there be a backlash against women candidates after Hillary's campaign—the law of unintended consequences coming into play? I don't know, but it's something I'm chewing over.
The pro-smoking crowd lost bigtime and this morning their spokesman predicted they'll need to gear up statewide in the future against a likely campaign by those awful charities with their nasty mortality statistics and campaign dollars. Chalk up one for Families and better, proactive health management. Wait a sec. Management, isn't that a bigbiz kinda thing? They should be happy about that.
Across the river in Minnesnowta over the weekend, Al Franken won the Democrats' endorsement to run against former Democrat-turned-Republican-turned Opportunist...nah, that's not right...Opportunist-Democrat turned Republican [yeah, that fits] Norm Coleman.
Don't know what Minnesota's Republican Governor Tim Paw-plenty was doing over the weekend [*cough* McCainiacism *cough*]...sure wasn't showin' up for his job. In the true spirit o'Katrina, it took until Monday morning for P'lenty to do a fly-over in the North Country/Hubbard County after the force-3 tornado blew through Friday morning. Heckuva job, Timmie. Guess he wants to show his chops for that veep slot on the McCain ticket.
Now we turn to the General. Come November there will be clear choices. You might find a few here on the distinctions between Republicans and Democrats.
Or, in the weeks to come, expect to be flooded with screed. That Obama woman, she's too proud, she's not proud enough, she's...why, she's...
"Yes"? The strong mother of a loving family, a wife who truly cares about her husband and his campaign and his causes which are all our causes.
Or, that wacky Cindy...was she proud stealing drugs from the charity she was working for? Proud that she could buy herself a political rising star? Proud that she could be holier than thou in the best tradition of hypocritical Republicans? Think anybody will ask her?
Or, in the state elections, like Minnesota, will it be about how racy Franken's writings were back in the day? Or how racy Coleman's little woman's poses were back in the Washington Post?
Or could we maybe—with the help of a shamed press corps that will no longer allow themselves to be used for political, partisan propagandizing—talk about the real policy differences that separate us, and work for and vote for the candidates at all levels of government who will work to restore the "US" in USA.
Nah, I'm not holdin' my breath, either.
Brace yourselves, America, it's gonna be an epic battle.
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, just sayin'.
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