Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Branches of Government

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The Legislative Branch: The bailout passed the Senate last night. It's an interesting list in terms of who voted "no". In the House, the more vulnerable one's reelection chances, the more likely a Rep's chances of voting no. It didn't happen that way in the Senate. I'll have a full analysis up in Sunday with the Senators.

Intersection with the Executive Branch: Yesterday Barack Obama made a floor speech about the bailout, and what it could and couldn't do. He pointed out that it was a stop gap, and in a few months we'd get to step 2. He was, as always, elegant and nuanced and smart. 75% passage rate in the Senate.

Last Saturday night, while ostensibly working the House, John, Cindy, Turncoat and Hadassah went out for a gourmet dinner and then on Monday morning John claimed responsibility for the bill passing the House. I'm sure dinner was great, but the bailout bill failed the House.

The Judicial Branch: You've all seen the video, if not, Oreo was kind enough to post it. This is why it pays to own base knowledge. For example, it is unlikely that anyone who has ever watched a cop show on TV does NOT know about Miranda. Many of us also know that those rights came from the 1966 Miranda vs. Arizona Supreme Court case. Supreme Court decisions touch our lives. ALL our lives, in one way or another, on a regular basis.

The Executive Branch: It's DEBATE DAY!!!!!! The big question will not be whether people who read left-wing blogs, read multiple newspapers, can name all 9 Supreme Court justices, etc. think Joe Biden won. It will not be what the pundits say. Tonight's issue will be whether the people who love Sarah Palin because she is JUST LIKE THEM believe that knowing "stuff" matters.

I only wish I were joking.

When I was in Texas a few weeks ago, I actually met a woman who told me she loved Sarah Palin because "She belongs to the PTA, just like me." I hear something similar in canvassing voters. (Not from that many people, but I hear it on occassion.)

There are people who will listen to gibberish and generalities and think that it doesn't matter because they do not know the difference. While people like me are appalled that someone would only know Roe v Wade, there are a lot of people who think that sort of base knowledge is useless because there is Wikipedia. (Which is NOT a legitimate source, please don't send me nastygrams on the topic.)

In yesterday's poll, 53% of you felt that she will win if she can appear somewhat coherent. And if that's what YOU think, imagine the limbo bar set by her supporters.

It's my personal opinion that John can't dump Sarah from the ticket. Not because it wouldn't be a good idea, but because I do not believe there is anyone who would step in. I cannot think of any professional politician who would be willing to join this ticket.

The MSM has reported that Palin is a better debater than her interviews would indicate. I watched the tapes, and she may be charming, but she never showed an actual grasp of any issues from the clips I reviewed. It is inconceivable to me that someone would put themselves out to the press and portend to know NOTHING if one knew ANYTHING.

I know you're all expecting a poll, but any question I would post this morning would be obnoxious. My thoughts run to: how many Supreme Court Justices can you name, how many Supreme Court decisions can you name, what percentage of wingnuts will still support the McPalin ticket after the debate because they think she owned knowledge, you get the idea. I cannot bring myself to poll "are you watching the debate?" because I can't get my head around the idea that anyone who isn't working, in third stage labour, or in lock-down would possibly miss it.

So, help me out - use the comments to let me know some things you'd like to see me poll. And enjoy debate day. Don't forget the popcorn.