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Victory and fury signify nothing but entertainment

November 09, 2006|by TIM ROWLAND

As I sit here writing this Tuesday morning, Nov. 7, on a little thing I like to call Election Day, my thoughts - as with all pundits worth their salt - turn to projections of the outcome, of peering into my "crystal ball" of knowledge to tap into my great newspaper columnist's storehouse of wisdom to glean trends and outcomes that the "common man on the street" is not for availed of.

It is a skill, a talent really, that we spend many years perfecting in Columnist College, where they offer numerous courses in political science and predictology that would have vastly increased our storehouse of knowledge if we had ever bothered to attend any of them.

So anyway, without further ado, here is what my keen insight tells me.

The Democrats, I'm afraid, have set themselves up for a crushing loss. True, people are dissatisfied with the overall performance of Congress, but these polls only gauge our opinion of Congress as a whole, not our individual congress members. If we could vote out other people's congressman, we would happily do so, but we will not vote out our own congressman, basically because we once got to see him in person riding on the back of a parade float.

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(editor dude: if the republicans win, please use this paragraph above and delete one below. thanks, tim.)

Clearly, the incompetence of the failed Bush presidency has long arms that will reach deeply into state races and roust many Republicans from office. The Democrats, therefore, will make significant gains and even pull a couple of upsets in states such as (editors, be a dear and toss a couple winning names here) and with this a seachange in politics will have arrived signaling a clear, new course in government that will have an impact for years to come.

(editors: if the democrats win use this paragraph and delete one above it. thanks much. it's always good to know you guys have my back. i've always said, if you can't trust an editor, who can you trust? t.r.)

So there you have my forecast, and I will leave it to you to judge for yourself this morning how good of a job I have done at having my finger on the pulse of the nation.

I myself haven't voted yet, although I assume that I will. I keep hearing about all the extravagant "get out the vote" efforts, but as of this writing no one has got me out. Personally, I'm holding out until Karl Rove himself pulls up in a van and drives me to the polls.

Of course, by the time you read this, no one will care about the outcome anyway, because politics has become like sports and Christmas. The buildup to the big event has become so dramatized and overhyped that when it's over, we're too exhausted to enjoy it.

OK, so it's Wednesday morning and your party, your candidate won. Now what? Is anything materially different than it was Monday night? No it is not. Will anything be materially different six months or six years from now because your party or candidate won? No it will not.

So what, precisely, is there to enjoy? The victory and the fury, signifying nothing, as Macbeth said. Or maybe it was Macbeth's cousin, Macbernie.

And since there is nothing tangible to hang our hats on, the only real fun is in the predicting and the anticipation. So in the end, the pundits and politicos have become the Mel Kipers of the C-SPAN channel. The day after is such a letdown.

At least with Christmas, we have a couple of days of playing with the toy before the thrill wears off. In fact, this could be the next big avenue for the prognostication class. "Yes Imus, early polls were trending for an Xbox for little Chauncy, but the new wave of Game Boy advertising has closed the gap, and this is looking like it's going to turn into one of those battleground gifts where we won't know the results until Christmas morning."

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