Monday, October 22, 2018

The House Might Be ThisClose - Chaos Will Ensue

With all the talk of a "blue wave," there's a much more likely scenario that no one's talking about, and God help us if it happens. That is, the House is won by one party or the other by one or two seats.

Why do I say this? I went through every House poll I could find for any district that is even remotely competitive, and I just added them up. If candidate A is up by even a point, I give the race to him or her. (Obviously, that is within the margin of error but it cuts both ways.)

Here's what I got:

Republican seats flipping to Dems:        26
Dem seats flipping to Republicans:          3

Net Dem pickup:                                    23

Dem pickups required to take control:   24

Yes, that's right. Democrats fall one short. I realize there's a lot of potential error in this, but the possibility is real. The signs point towards a rather average gain for the out-of-power party in a midterm election (which is 25, by the way). No blue wave, just average-ness.

I checked the history books, by the way. There's never been a one-vote margin in the House.

Think about the craziness we'll have to endure if this happens. Neither party will take losing by one or two seats well, but I think it's safe to say the Democrats will take it less well. They fully expect to win this and if they don't, they will take to the streets. They will also send thousands of lawyers out to every district that was within a couple of points. There will be endless recounts. Cries of fraud and voter suppression will be heard across the land (even if they never seem to find someone whose vote was actually suppressed). Next year's House will be called "invalid." (Sound familiar?)

Scorched earth, like the Kavanaugh hearings. I, for one, hope it doesn't happen, but the alternative would be even worse.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

(Don't) Speak Your Truth

Has anyone else notice the rapidity with which this bit of rhetoric - speak your truth - has crept into the cultural firmament? I first took note of it a few months ago, and now, like the proverbial buzzing of a light fixture, I can't stop hearing it. 

Apparently, it was Oprah who first popularized it, saying it is the "most powerful tool we have." By we, I am quite certain she did not mean me, as I do not fit the demographic profile of those allowed to have their own proprietary version of the truth.

Let me explain. What is meant by the phrase, by those who wield it, is that if you have been abused in some way (presumably by a white male), or you have been generally oppressed (again, by white males and the patriarchy), "speaking your truth" is having the courage to give testimony to your experience.

Most recently, we heard the odious Cory Booker use the phrase to describe Christine Blasey Ford's Senate appearance. Her truth was most definitely that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her.

I have two problems with all this. One somewhat minor, the other not. Using Blasey Ford as an example, let's say, for the sake of argument, she's telling the whole truth. That would mean it was the truth, would it not? Not her truth. Calling it her truth implies there could be other truths. Isn't there only one truth? That's what I was taught. I am bothered on a lexical level - it undermines our language. Words have meaning.

Aly Raisman, the gymnast (pictured at the top), was in fact abused by the abominable Larry Nassar. We know this to be the literal truth. Why undermine it by calling it "her" truth?

Back to Blasey Ford. Let's now say she's not telling the truth about what happened, or more to the point, is telling a story that, while not being exactly truthful, speaks to her broader life experiences. Not truth, but truthiness. This is where I have a big problem. Perhaps she was abused by someone at some point, someone who wasn't Kavanaugh. She certainly seems troubled by something. Projecting on to Kavanaugh could be an outlet for her anguish or maybe a bogus recovered memory - who knows? In that case what she is doing is making Kavanaugh guilty by association. The left has gleefully accepted this approach, basically because Kavanaugh's a man and they don't like his politics. (His being Catholic doesn't help, either.)

The concept of white privilege ties closely into this. It basically says that all white people harbor subtle forms of racism no matter how enlightened they think they are. It's weaponized political correctness, and it is a growing trend. It means anyone can be made guilty of anything if you run afoul of the left's agenda. 

What did Beria say? Show me the man and I will show you the crime.

So please, don't speak your truth.