The elections are over. Now the Monday morning quarterbacking will begin.
Revelations by Congressman Jim Walsh that he had “a little hole” in his heart because of the close election drew sighs and comments from corner stores to the Southside News Stand and beyond. The impression made is kind of like, “after all that I’ve done for you.”
“He just didn’t get it!” exclaimed one Southside News patron who’d supported Walsh and several Republican candidates in the past. “This was about the War in Iraq and his blind support for President Bush, not about the aid he brought into the community.”
“No, it’s about stem cell research, and he’s lined up with people who were deeply involved with the Terri Schiavo mess,” said another in my gym in the eastern suburbs of Syracuse.
A young lady who works at the desk when asked who she voted for giggled and said, “the Democrats.” This response is just an example of what younger voters were thinking; they watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report on Comedy Central not the Evening News anchored down.
There are many people who are caring for parents who may be helped by research. The stem cell issue and several others – minimum wage and support of the war – formed a series of chinks in Congressman Walsh’s seemingly impenetrable electoral armor.
Republican voters received at least two glossy well produced mailers that demonized Nancy Pelosi as a “San Francisco liberal” and Ted Kennedy’s photo with the caption “Massachusetts liberal.” And on the back page was a shot of Ronald Reagan with the message “keep the spirit of Ronald Reagan alive by voting Republican.” These glossies never mentioned one candidate running for office.
Photos of people who live thousands of miles away don’t scare Central New Yorker’s. This year’s election made people wonder out loud “what’s that funky smell?” Answer: It’s your television and a message that’s someone’s approving.
Like the 1950’s film “Reefer Madness,” the state Republican Party created such over-the-top scenarios that people stopped listening and started using the glossy mailers for their best use, scooping up dog crap or creating make shift dust pan.
The people abandoned Congressman Walsh and other Republicans because of the war in Iraq, minimum wage, stem cell research and hypocritical neo-conservative controversies. There’s the growing impression that our elected leaders are increasingly out of touch with those of us who are forced to Wal-Mart in search for cheap microwave ovens or other needless junk to keep our minds off the mess that’s been made of the world under your party’s watch.
We all have a little hole somewhere after this election.