Thursday, November 06, 2014

We won and we lost

Well, no surprises here.

Everyone expected a national bloodbath for the Dems this year. The mid-terms during the second term of a president tend to favor the other party, and this was no different. We expected a slaughter, and we pretty much got one.
The good news is that we won in Connecticut. Gov. Dan Malloy won by a larger margin this time over Tom Foley than in 2010. All our Congressional Representatives are in. The closest race in the executive branch was for Treasurer, with Denise Nappier barely edging out Trumbull's First Selectman Tim Herbst. I would imagine we'll see more of him in the future, especially if Nappier runs her campaign as rough-shod as she did this time around. Her unsettling style of campaigning left many Democrats scratching their heads.

The bad news is that the Republicans bulldozed their way to a solid majority in the US Senate, which means that pretty much every bill that crosses the President's desk over the next two years are going to contain toxic bits and pieces that will likely punish and injure the very same deluded voters that put them in the majority in the first place.

I won't list all the negative things that may happen because of this shift in power, because I'm tired and somewhat disappointed. Besides, I just returned from three days in DC with Joyce, where we stayed at a lovely studio apartment in Foggy Bottom, via Airbnb. This was our first time using this alternative housing service, and we're very pleased with it. For less than what the crappiest downtown DC hotel would charge for a very minimal room, we got a well-equipped studio apartment that was a 5-minute walk to the Metro, and a 10-minute walk to the great restaurants and shops of Georgetown.
We watched the returns come in at Shelly's Backroom, a top-notch cigar bar on F St. about three blocks from the White House. Over cigars, IPAs and sparkling wine, and a chocolate/peanut butter cheesecake, Joyce and I watched CNN slowly proclaim the loss of the Democratic Senate. It seems Republicans were in the majority at the bar, because every time they reported that another Democratic senator bit the dust, there were cheers. After 11PM or so when the GOP hit 52 seats, we decided to walk the 1.5 miles back to our apartment.

We walked by the White House on Pennsylvania Ave. and took a few photos. But our view was not perfect because the police had put in additional crowd barriers about 20 feet out from the fence, so I couldn't walk up and put my camera through the bars to get an unobstructed shot. Thanks alot Fence Jumpers!
The weather was unseasonably warm, so we enjoyed the walk and discussed what we may be faced with in the next two years. Basically, we agreed that so little had been accomplished lately anyway, there probably won't be much different. The Democrats still possess over 40 seats in the Senate, and as the Republicans taught us, 40 is a filibuster's majority! So yay, you guys won another two years of next to nothing happening!

The next night we had the pleasure of seeing our dear friends Maura Keaney, Pete and Hugh, and Melissa Ryan and Michael at Maura's house. We feasted on Dixie Bones BBQ and traded stories about past elections and present events. It was a very fun time and it ended all too early.

One thing about election night that distressed me was how long it took this year to get the returns tabulated in Connecticut. I'd like to hear why it took so long for the numbers to come in, when in 2010 it seemed like everyone made their victory speeches not much later than 11PM on election night.

And another thing is that every online CT news outlet seemed to do a piss-poor job of accurately updating the returns. The Courant even posted vote totals for the major races but neglected to include the percentage of precincts reporting! Rookie mistake, and I'd bet that's because they have rookies in charge of updating and formatting these stats. It wouldn't surprise me if it was because the competent people they had doing this in the past have been "downsized".

Just because it looks simple doesn't mean it is simple.

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