Now that Rip Van Obama has awakened from his 20-something-month slumber and is back on the trail reminding us why we voted for him, things might be looking up slightly for next Election Day—but it will still probably be a bleak night. Here are 10 things that I really don't want to happen, in order from Relatively Sucko to Potentially Life-Altering.
10. California passes its marijuana proposition. Their state is bankrupt; they're paying teachers with grocery coupons; and the solution is to make it even easier to get stoned? That will do wonders for productivity. And they claim that there's tax revenue to be had from a drug that will be legally grown in one's own back yard. Shrewd.
9. Carly Fiorina and/or Meg Whitman win in California. I don't care that they're women or that they're Republican. I just don't like what they're doing. A study by the National Institute on Money in State Politics found that 11 percent of candidates who funded their campaigns with their own personal fortunes ended up winning their races. I would like that number to be much closer to 0 percent. Oh, why quibble? Let's just make it a flat 0 percent, and I'll be happy.
It's legal for them to spend their own money, and it's fine with me if they run. I just don't want them to win. People with inherited money (Ben Quayle) have a sense of entitlement, and people who made a lot of money think that they're always right. Just because you're good and/or lucky at one thing doesn't mean you'll be good and/or lucky at another. Mostly, I'd just really rather not find out the hard way.
8. Arizona's "Medical Marijuana" proposition passes. No, I didn't mention this one before! Pay attention, Pothead. That narcotic done made you null and void.
7. Ruth McClung (or Raúl Grijalva) wins in Congressional District 7. McClung's whole "rocket scientist" shtick was cute, but it just shows that smart people can have some really dumb-ass ideas. The fact that e to the i pi power equals negative 1 is cool, but it doesn't apply to the real world. Neither do crackpot notions like school vouchers or privatizing Social Security.
As for Grijalva, he deserves to be slapped for that ridiculous boycott of Arizona he proposed. I'd ask what he was thinking, but he obviously wasn't.
Maybe it would be best if Harley Meyer won the seat and held it for a term so we could get fresh Democratic blood in there. And no, Ramón Valadez doesn't qualify as fresh blood. If they were still selling Geritol, he'd be the poster child.
6. Frank Antenori, et al. get re-elected. Then they will step up their scorched-earth campaign against teachers, public schools, safe drivers, those who don't want to sit down at a family restaurant next to a pistol-packin' mama, people whose names end with "z" and a whole lot of other folks and institutions. They make us look like Mississippi in the 1960s, and then they try to blame the tax structure for companies not wanting to relocate here.
5. Russell Pearce gets re-elected. If this guy gets his way, people born in California won't automatically be U.S. citizens.
4. Jan Brewer wins in the race for governor. She fell into the job, stumbled around, fell off the political map and then signed a piece of paper that made her an overnight hero to lots of people who look like Kid Rock. If she wins this thing, she'll stumble around for the next four years while the thugs in the Legislature complete their aforementioned mission from God.
There was an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer joins a super-secret society known as The Stonecutters. The members have access to perks including an exclusive road that bypasses freeway congestion. (They also take credit for making Steve Guttenberg a star.) And, if there's an emergency, they get extra-special service if they dial 9-1-2. With our luck, in the spring of 2014, the Republican Legislature will send Jan Brewer SB 1071—an even harsher version of SB 1070—to boost her then-sagging prospects.
3. Tucson City Proposition 401 passes. I don't care about the pay raises. I just wish they'd had the good sense to cut the terms from four years down to two. And while the thought of a city manager having the power to fire department heads might sound superficially appealing to some, it's absolutely insane. Those jobs are civil service for a reason. The department heads generally have engineering backgrounds and often have decades of experience in their fields. Replacing them with a bunch of know-nothing yes men who have to kiss a city manager's butt to retain their jobs is a recipe for disaster.
If a camel is a horse built by a committee, just imagine a bridge built by a bunch of political appointees.
2. Jesse Kelly wins in Congressional District 8. Gabrielle Giffords is not my favorite legislator, but neither is she the ditz who first ran for Congress four years ago. She seems to be getting the hang of it. Plus (and it's a big plus) she's not Jesse Kelly, who has some dangerous ideas and actually appears to believe the nonsense he spouts.
1. Christine O'Donnell wins in Delaware and casts a spell on everybody who has made fun of her.