The teabagger-endorsed candidate in my congressional district has a real chance of winning, against a pretty mainstream and fairly thoughtful Democrat. In his latest ad, he says he wants to lower taxes and balance the budget. Cool. With a deficit of over a trillion, which would go up with further tax cuts, that's a lot of spending reduction. How would he do it? Doesn't say. Won't say. Can't say.
O'Donnell is a creature of an age in which politics have no meaning beyond performance art. She is the Creature from the Green Room, with no apparent public career beyond being available whenever some teenage booker from the cable shows needed someone to say something reliably stupid. ...
Her résumé is so thin as to be opaque, and a lot of it seems to be a lie. She seems to be something of a deadbeat, and "U.S. Senator" seems to be her idea of an entry-level position. This morning, she stands one step away from the job.
She is what politics produces when you divorce politics from government. She is what you get when you sell to the country that nothing government can do will help, and that the government is an alien thing, and that politics is nothing more than the active public display of impotent grievance.
She is what politics produces when you turn it into a game show and the coverage of it over to a generation of high-technology racetrack touts. She is what you get when political journalism reduces politics to numbers on a scoreboard, divorcing it from the real-world consequences of what are increasingly seen as cute little eccentric decisions.
She is what politics produces when we abandon self-government for self-gratification. And that's the real obvious irony in her victory on Tuesday night, and the only thing about it that truly matters. Christine O'Donnell's campaign is a successful exercise in angry, misfit masturbation, with as little to do with the deadly problems this country faces as some guy wanking in the balcony of a grindhouse has to do with Romeo and Juliet.
We're in the age of politics as aggrievement and accusation, of substituting pouts and provocations for policy. In times that demand seriousness from all parties, one has abandoned it entirely, to the delight of -- at the behest of -- its supporters. (Nor do I have a heck of a lot to say for the weak-kneed congressional dems, afraid, evidently, to do the most obvious -- and, ironically, poll-supported -- of tax hikes. Stupid meets pathetic. Equals screwed.)