Let's not forget Ohio
Posted in Elections by Peter W. Schramm
This Michael Gerson
op-ed is worth noting if only because it reminds us how the MSM is ignoring the huge Dem setback in Ohio, prefering instead to focus an amazing amount of time on goofy little girls who like to exaggerate everything, including stuff about their high school dates. Portman is up anywhere from 8 to 20 points
in the Senate race, while Kasich is up somewhere between 7 and 17 points
in the governor's race. The real story of the election is that independent and moderate voters are lost to the Democrats, and this is made perfectly clear in Ohio. The second story is that conservatives are very enthusistic in their opposition to the Democrats. The third story (which the MSM tries to make into the first story) is that the GOP is revealing some tentions within its ranks.
8:58 AM / September 21, 2010
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Yeah, well I could have written the Gerson piece...but on substance isn't there a bit more to the "Let's not forget Ohio" message?
I mean I am facebook friends with the Portman campaign, and from what I can tell the man is on point. But why is it that I have a much greater sense for national media, than local politics?
Why do I know who is governor of Kansas?(Mark Parkinson)(I sat next to Kathleen Sebelius in Kuwait, after she served thanksgiving chow, to our unit which replaced a Kansas national guard unit back in 2005.) So I also know she is secretary of health and human services, which required replacing her. I was actually somewhat mortified when she came and sat down at my table(technically I was sitting with the Kansas National guard enlisted trying to get a sense of what to expect), which was already full(behind her where three colonels who from the looks of things had expected to eat with her, but had no place to sit...and I had a full plate of food so getting up and leaving would have seemed rude.
But appart from a unique encounter,with a governor(and commander in chief of the National Guard) almost everything I know of politics has very little to do with personal experience, and almost none of it rooted in Ohio.
I know who is running for the senate in delaware (O'Donnell...and what she has to say about witchcraft and masterbation), the law on spot zoning in Montana(the three prong Little test)...really the list could go on, but I don't even know what school district I am currently living in,(let alone any school board members) and off the top of my head I can't remmember the state senator or state representative.
All this leads me to actually support some of the arguments made by the Ohio Supreme Court on school funding in the DeRolph cases, when in point of fact the Edgar case in Illinois is the conservative position born in part from that courts judicial restraint/respect for "an open and robust public debate is the lifeblood of the political process in our system of representative democracy."
That is, I can't help but think that there just isn't very much local and Ohio based civic participation. What the MSM is lacking, isn't really a Micheal Gerson, but an appreciation for the local. I have a skewed education, and the MSM in the broadest sense to include the right wing blogosphere puts so much focus upon the national that I can't help but think that those who follow it also get a sort of distortion towards the national.
There is nothing wrong per se with the article by Gerson, but Ohio is used as a hook to talk about the political mood of the nation. The focus is always national in the MSM. In other words what makes the Media "Main stream" is that it focuses upon national concerns.
There can be a whole discussion on if the "proggressives" changed america, and instituted bureacrats and the meritocracy....but perhaps the focus on the national is the true first derivative.
I mean the focus on demonizing Obama, or praising him, puts an undue amount of praise and blame upon the executive, ignoring the invisible elephant known as adminstrative law, and the countless GS-5-6-7...15's that do work.
Technically if I was proggressive I wouldn't worry about the tea party or Glenn Beck, the more they serve to stir up national fire, the more they contribute to the real education/media bubble that sees everything in national terms. To put it another way if I could buy state and local government and sell national government, because the first is underappreciated as to its effect and the second is carrying stratospheric P.E multiples that almost certainly mean it is overconsidered, overbought and overvalued.
In terms of the proggressive meritocracy, the way I see it is that the only ones who follow and participate in what the state legistlature actually does are lawyers, judges and lobbyists, and the occational concerned citizen that these recruit for a case in controversy.
If it is true in some sense that Obama is to blame for deflating the democratic brand, as the gallup studies indicate, then what does it really say about how much politics in Ohio matters?
It is the same thing you see when you look at the financial sector ETF's...all sector stocks are lock-step and move in tandem. So you have a national "reality" that moves in tandem.
What is hidden? the winners, loosers and real state actors. It is a way to hide the football, and hidding the football, keeps the conservative(those who wish to maintain the status quo) proggressive meritocracy in opperation. So it prevents new state constitutional conventions, which is probably a good thing. But it really leaves almost all of state government to proffesionals, and ballot initiatives are sometimes put on when pollsters think it will help turnout.
Is it possible to have a federal government more responsive to the people than a state or local government?
Sure, if more participation, education and energy is expended on the national side of the ledger. If for example school boards say "my hands are tied by NCLB". Certainly Ohio cannot do real deficit spending,and to a large extent everything in state law is a settled question, down to precise wording on jury instructions. Also Ohio districts do swing republican and democrat(prompted in part even at the local level by national politics) but for the most part are static.
So it doesn't hurt to deflect everything back upon a sort of lighting rod scapegoat president be it Bush or Obama, which only serves to increase the national emphasis bubble.
I mean I know more about Mitch Daniels than I do about Strickland(D) or Kasich(R). Which politically means that it probably doesn't hurt to get "presidential" talk going just to educate voters about your policies and accomplishments. Which means that if Mitch Daniels knows this maybe he honestly never wanted to or intended to run for president, and was just securing governor. He could even take heat on the social truce just to deflect heat on Romney. He can play a scapegoat role, to prove he is ready for the ultimate scapegoat role: president.