Super Tuesday talk in Oklahoma, at least within my earshot, has been less "yay for my candidate, boo for yours" and more "At last we're getting some attention!" This is consistent with the part of the state mythos that declares that nobody cares what happens in Oklahoma unless something dreadfully terrible has happened, sufficiently bad to warrant more than perfunctory wire-service coverage. In practice, this has meant one of two things: hellacious, or perhaps hail-acious, storms, or an incredibly stupid legislative proposal; the fact that no one, Senate or House, has yet introduced a bill to make tornadoes over EF0 illegal, continues to boggle my mind after all these years, because it's exactly the kind of denial of reality that keeps the Legislature hopping and The Lost Ogle mocking.

Not everyone is aware of it, but in Oklahoma County, at least, there's something more than the Presidential primary going on: the county wishes to fill the unexpired term of departed County Court Clerk Tim Rhodes, who moved on to the Corporation Commission. As an actual registered Democrat, I get to choose between Charles Gray and Anastasia Pittman, although I have to admit that I have no idea why Ms Pittman — excuse me, Senator Pittman — would want to take this job, unless it's to kill time between legislative sessions. It's not a mistake or a timing error: she really did file for this office, and it's not like she'd have to give up her state Senate seat to be Court Clerk. Most rational conclusion: the specter of term limits — Pittman served six years in the House before her election to the Senate in 2014 — has apparently persuaded her that she ought to have some additional governmental experience before being tossed back into the Real World. This is not so much of an issue with Charles Gray, who has run for seemingly every office in the state at one time or another and occasionally has been elected to a few; still, I'm leaning Pittman's way, if only because I don't think she's worn out her welcome yet.

No fewer than seven Democrats appear on the Presidential ballot, and had this campaign gone the way I expected it to, I'd have gone for Martin O'Malley, on the basis that (1) he's not Bernie Sanders and (2) the least I can do is not add to Hillary Clinton's total. This approach has its problems, not least of which is the fact that it came up once before, in 2008, and I wound up voting for the junior Senator from Illinois, who had, in my view, the distinct advantage of not being Hillary Clinton. But O'Malley faded quickly, and Sanders is actually competitive in this state, which shouldn't be that surprising considering the history of brand-name Socialists in Oklahoma, major players in the first years of the 20th century and during early statehood, only to be wiped out in the wake of the 1917 Green Corn Rebellion down in Pontotoc County. And registered Independents were invited to take part in the Democratic primary this year, which surely adds to Sanders' support. (The Republicans made no such offer.)

The downside of Hillary, of course, is simply being Hillary: a shape-shifter with no actual convictions. (Then again, she hasn't been tried yet.) Apart from her long-established solicitousness toward women who will do anything to avoid pregnancy except not have sex, there's no way to know what she'll do in any particular situation, except for the obvious default: first and foremost, the care and feeding of the Clinton machine. I'm not particularly keen on Bernie's Marxism 3.0, but I get the distinct sensation that he believes most of that stuff, which at least makes him reasonably predictable.

And yes, before you ask, I do find the idea of a Sanders/Trump election interesting: the WTF factor alone should be off the scales. It might even mean additional revenue for struggling newspapers, which in some cases might be a Good Thing. But I can't do a thing to get Donald Trump into the finals: that's up to you GOP folks.

The Vent

#955
  1 March 2016

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