Loner made a very decent point concerning the banality of focusing on the horserace aspect of the current election. If one dreams of elections determined by observation of reasoned debate between candidates articulating carefully considered positions then one has to look at the current election campaign with horror.
The Republicans are starting a new ad campaign today that will clarify that the sole issue in this election campaign is power - who shall have control. They're going to focus on names sure to cause ill ease among Republicans with a bit of political awareness. What Republican doesn't feel nauseated contemplating a Speaker Pelosi or Majority Leader Reid or Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Conyers or Chairman of Ways and Means Rangel? This is the stuff of nightmares.
It is the stuff of nightmares, though, because each of those politicians has articulated positions concerning the issues of importance before the nation. They may hedge and stammer and elide but there is no question that they will seek to diminish anti-terrorism efforts while increasing patronage jobs for cargo inspectors at ports - they've promised to do so. Not to go to the shipping point and hunt down those who would fill a container with danger but to wait until danger is in the port and deal with it (or not) there. They have also promised to reverse tax cuts for the productive and to increase spending on the non-productive. That's not new - or news. They have proposed nothing else since at least 1964.
The other issue of interest upon which we may have an absolute degree of certainty regarding the Democratic approach is education, where the Democratic approach will not change from that of the past. Reward the teacher's unions with additional money for "smaller classes" where the horrors of discrimination will be opposed by failing to teach the techniques which allow students to discriminate between right and wrong and where loving tolerance will be taught - to the point where toleration of subjugation becomes generally acceptable.
The horserace aspect of following elections is truly banal - as are both parties. Granting the privilege of suffrage universally (or enshrining the privilege as a right) guarantees banality. How could it be otherwise? Issues must be reduced to cartoons in order to be understood by those whose intelligence does not quite make it to the mean, they are after all, almost the majority - as they have always been.
So, who's ahead today?