As I sit here in the cheap seats and watch the election math test unfold, I'm reminded of Stephen Covey's Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern. I'm concerned about the results, but I have very little influence, though I certainly did my best. Therefore, I'm kind of shrugging as we slide into these final two weeks.
I don't watch a lot of TV, and what TV I do watch is on my DVR - which allows me to skip the commercials. The local political ads for the Congressional race are mostly from the Democrat incumbent, Leonard Boswell, and he's throwing every negative ad he can at his cheery opponent, Brad Zaun. Boswell was down 10 points in the polls a month ago. Are the ads, which are ludicrous, having any effect? I guess we'll find out how easily swayed Iowans are...
Which kinda gets to the point I want to make: there are two ways to win elections.
Have a ton of money, to persuade people with your message via the media.
Have a ton of people who can personally ripple your message out to those they know
The latter is much harder, which is why money rules in politics.
If the Republicans win election, I'm not convinced that they will stop the stupid spending in Washington - or in Iowa, for that matter. The Republicans, in my view, are only slightly better fiscally. Take this message from Chuck Grassley:
That's exactly what we don't need: an attack ad on drug companies that can hire people during a down economy and that touts Grassley's big spending solution. And that's a campaign ad for this election cycle from Iowa's top Republican. Hell, that could have been from Tom Harkin.
So the Republicans have a lot to prove, which is why I'm not heavily invested in their success. Color me skeptical, but when Grassley comes out with an ad like that after all the tea parties and town halls last year, it just goes to show that he doesn't care to listen at all. So I find it hard to care back.