25 July 2006
Many [blank] returns
Thoughts upon today's primary election:
- Both lieutenant-governor runoffs are going to be extremely nasty; I will be most distraught if this ends up with E. Z. Million looking like the normal person.
- At least Frank Shurden is going to have to find a real job.
- Bert Smith still suffers from Bert Who? Syndrome. On the other hand, I refuse to believe that the 5th Congressional District is a lock for the GOP; it is indeed true that Republicans outnumber Democrats in Oklahoma County, but it's not by that much, and the 5th now includes Seminole and Pottawatomie Counties. Keith Gaddie once noted, "Take away the average nine-point incumbency advantage, and the district shows signs of competitive life. Throw $2 million in Democratic money into the mix, and you’ve got a potential political fight. Maybe." And while the DNC wouldn't throw $2 million at Bert Smith running against an incumbent, they might be able to scrounge it up for David Hunter running for an open seat.
- As expected, the rematch in House District 48 went to Johnson.
- David Dank and Chip Keating? At this level, you could run Henry Bellmon's hat and still make the runoff.
- With nominally all 15 precincts in, Dana Orwig beat Joe Hartman in District 87 by a whole 46 votes.
I think I'm going to have to sleep this one off. And apparently turnout was no better than they said it would be, no matter what I said.
Posted at 9:40 PM to Political Science Fiction
One question: Why the shot at EZ Million?
Do you know EZ Million?
EZ is definitely a different kind of guy. He's also a seasoned statistician and analyst. He's got a pretty good head for political strategy, as well. I'd suggest that if EZ had been running Bob Sullivan's campaign (instead of whoever-in-the-world Sullivan HAD running it...) that Bob would at least be in a runoff with Utah Ernie Istook this morning.
Notable among EZ's efforts was his years-early warning in the 90s that we were about to lose our 6th congressional seat. He offered strategies to keep it, but Gov. Keating was not interested -- instead, he reportedly walked out of a meeting with EZ on the subject without explanation. Part of Million's analysis involved the observation that no state that ever fell from six to five seats has ever gotten the sixth seat back.
His "other sin?" Insisting that OU-Texas should become a home-and-home game, considering that the Sooners have lately most often brought the stronger team to the fray -- and that our "traditional" willingness to let Dallas have the attendant economic boost says all that needs to be said about Oklahomans' view of their own state. (You'd think our "OU-Texas tradition" would embarass us.)
Unfortunately, most Oklahomans treat politics like football. If you love the Sooners, you naturally hate the Cowboys and vice versa. You don't have to have a reason, and you're free to be as ugly and nasty about it as you wish. Of course, on that level, the whole controversy is meaningless except in the widespread shallowness it reveals. As was once said about a certain college's search for a football coach, "You have to find a fellow who's smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it matters..."
Meanwhile, Oklahoma is now 46th or 47th in per capita income and fading -- while "Governor" Istook's "mecca," Salt Lake City, says Utah's already got its next congressional seat nailed for the 2010 census. Where's that seat gonna come from? Would "Governor" Istook not be happy to "share?"
Most Oklahomans who voted for Ernest Istook didn't mainly do so because they're "Republicans." They did so because they're uncritical "consumers." They "assume" a great deal. Istook is a bad guy doing bad things for bad reasons* -- but, in Oklahoma, guys like EZ Million, not Istook and his scurvy hangers-on, are "the butt of our jokes."
However bright a guy Million is, he's been sounding only one note lately OU-Texas and absent any indication that he's going to come up with something else, it's hard to accord him much more street cred than, say, Virginia Blue Jeans Jenner.
And regular readers will note that Istook hardly gets a free pass in these pages.