Electioneering Eve

30 Oct

I love this country.  Where else is public policy and governance turned into such a glorious spectator sport?

Tuesday is election day, that glorious American institution where people of all ages from 55-80 amble down to the voting booth (at the local church, high school, or in some random asshole’s garage) and take their stand for what they believe in.  Everyone under 55 who can be arsed to give a damn has of course already voted by absentee ballot, being too busy to actually show up on Tuesday–plus they don’t like the neighbor who’s house was chosen as their polling place.  Did you hear what he did to the Hendersons’ dog?

Like most Americans, I have a lot of money riding on this election.  The Republicans expect to take back Congress, and then to roll back the tide of tyranny that rained down from Barack’s Sinai (let’s see how many of them think that’s some Muslim accoutrement of his).  After all, the skyrocketing taxes have hammered the economy and buckets of tea have been dumped into Boston harbor (to the chagrin of the hard-working harbor pilots who must be wondering what they did to make Middle America hate them so much).  This is the story I keep hearing anyway.  My favorite synonym for ‘story’ of course, is ‘lie’.

When I say that I have money riding on this election, I don’t mean that I give a damn about marginal tax rates.  Three percent here, ten percent there–that’s chump change.  Worse, it lacks the visceral thrill of having money really riding on the election.  I once worked as a canvasser, a stone cold mercenary for hire ready to lie to any and all to get the vote.  The result is that it’s difficult for me to get aroused by politics anymore.  It’s like the creepy guy in the porno store every week–he’s seen so many fetish films that ‘normal’ sex doesn’t faze him–it’s just anatomy slapping about without any interesting or arousing characteristics.  When I read about this or that campaign in the newspaper my brain immediately shifts into hack-mode: how would I sell it?  What sob stories (lies, remember, there will be a quiz at the end) would I tell?  What facts would I strategically omit, and what extenuating factors would I present if the voter threw them in my face (pesky things, facts and voters)?  It’s all a game to me, and I’m incapable of seeing it as anything else.

So to get myself roused for this year’s election, I decided to take drastic action.  I started tracking polls and calculating odds.  It started as just a statistical exercise.  Could I predict the trends and call the various elections/ballot measures reliably?  But my mathematical fetish only got me to half-mast, I needed something more extreme to arouse me fully.  The choice was obvious.  I had the numbers, and an irrational faith in those numbers (I felt like the everyone who bought subprime mortgages a few years ago–what could go wrong?), and a few hundred bucks I wasn’t too terribly attached to.  So I started looking for suckers.

The best thing about California?  It’s paved with suckers.  I had no problem finding takers.  So here’s my wagers:

1. Prop 19 — Legalize Marijuana in California

Based on the data I collected, and a little statistical modeling I decided to give 3:2 odds to anyone betting Prop 19 would lose.  My numbers suggest that the actual odds are 2:1, so this should give me a healthy edge.  I had four takers.  Too many people it seems think that ‘THEY’ (whoever that is) would never allow Prop 19 to pass.  I’ve heard some hilariously stupid arguments as to why it’s supposedly bad policy.  None of which matters.  This is politics folks.  It’s all circus.

2. California Senate — Barbara Boxer vs. Carly Fiorina

This race interests me a little more, but only because I despise both the candidates so much.  If there were any justice in the world both of these witches would return to the underworld tomorrow night before the votes are counted on Tuesday.  Seeing as this would require us to live in a world where God didn’t hate us all, I’ve given up hope on that front.  My odds here are 3:2 against Fiorina as well.  I only had one taker.  Most people seem to think Fiorina has no chance.  So do I.

3. California Governor — Jerry Brown vs. Meg Whitman

O Governator, my Governator! Farewell to thee.  Once again, I was taking bets at 3:2 against Whitman, but I had no takers.  I upped the odds to 2:1 (against the judgement of my analysis), but still no takers.  Even here, in Republican Suburbia, no one thinks she can win.  Welcome back Jerry.

Now, if you’re one of those fools who thinks you have to vote for winner (‘Voting for a third party is just throwing your vote away’ crowd, I’m scowling at you), there’s my picks–Yes on 19, Boxer, and Brown.  Not the outcome I’d like (as a matter of policy), but that outcome isn’t on the ballot anyway, so the point is moot.  This is the fundamental flaw of the craps shoot we call American Democracy–it doesn’t matter who wins, someone’s still getting fucked, and if you don’t who’s getting fucked, well, it’s you.  Lube up America.  Things are about to get rough.

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One Response to “Electioneering Eve”

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  1. Not the bar, man. « Vanitas Vanitatum - November 23, 2010

    […] because I lost $150 this week, though there is that.  Not because Community sucked this week.  It did.  I’ll harp on the […]

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