Vail Valley Voices: Silly season heads to a close
Politicians across Colorado really had intended to take the high road this time. But it’s just too lonely up there, says satirist Peter Sagal.
Winston Churchill is still correct: Politics are the only sport adults should be allowed to play. As this silly season mercifully draws to a close there is this one obvious correlation between sports and politics this year, says humorist Tom Bodett.
George W. Bush sold the Texas Rangers in 1998, and now they’re in the World Series. That tells us it takes 12 years to recover from Gee Dubya.
The 30 percent
As late as today, Election Day, local true believers are trying to convince you to see things their way.
Because people who do politics for a living know that up to 30 percent of those who cast ballots in general elections don’t know how they’ll vote when they step into the booth. They also found those 30 percent tend to be as enlightened as gravel.
Carole Onderdonk heads the local Democratic Party.
Randy Milhoan heads local Republicans.
God may have rested last Sunday, but they didn’t.
“We’ve hosted lots of rallies that have drawn lots of voters — Republicans, Democrats and independents,” Milhoan said.
Both sides have papered the county with campaign signs. They’ve perfect ed the honk-and-wave, where candidates and their supporters stand beside busy roadways, waving campaign signs at passing motorists who honk and wave back, or occasionally cut loose with the California howdy — if you know what we mean and we think you do.
“We just want people to know that we’ve been working hard …,” Milhoan said. “We’ll be working right through 7 p.m. Tuesday,” Onderdonk said in a rare note of cross-party agreement.
Local Kaye Ferry is a Republican running to represent the 2nd Congressional District on Colorado’s state school board. She and her yellow signs have been nothing short of ubiquitous doing the honk-and-wave.
“I know many of the people who drive by and I’m happy to see them,” Ferry said.
There are a few rules for the honk-and-wave.
Most make sure all five fingers and your campaign sign are in plain sight. Sometimes wavers mix it up with the occasional index finger point, or gyrating like that guy saluting and signaling fighter jet pilots that it’s time to launch from the deck of an aircraft carrier.
Occasionally, though, a motorist does flip off a candidate or volunteers. One of Ferry’s friends was doing the honk-and-wave upvalley while she was campaigning downvalley.
He called with a couple questions that weren’t covered in campaign class:
1. “If someone goes by and flips you the bird, I assume you’re not supposed to flip them the bird back?”
2. “If an ambulance blasts through a roundabout with its lights flashing and siren blaring, and the patient in the back gives you a thumbs up, should I chase him to the hospital and give him an absentee ballot?”
“The correct answer is yes to all of the above,” Ferry said.
A Grand County woman called Ferry, a Republican, and kept her on the phone for 40 minutes, trying to decide who to vote for, Ferry or her Democratic opponent, Angelika Schroeder of Boulder. The Democrat did not call her back. Ferry did, so she’s voting for Ferry. The Grand County dame has called everyone on her ballot list, including judges. She has her own list, Ferry said, and candidates who don’t call her back go at bottom of what we’ll call her bovine byproduct ballot.
“I called her back, so that’s one vote I know I’ll get,” Ferry said.
New Yorkers are dealing with a bed bug infestation, and some in the Big Apple insist bed bugs are tough on their love lives. NPR’s Sagal points out that apparently some Big Apple babes will go to bed with one rapacious, blood-sucking parasite, but not hundreds.
And speaking of blood-sucking parasites, politicians will mercifully leave us alone soon so they can be about the business of giving away millions of your dollars to study wildlife in Mexico’s Sonoran desert. (Source: grants.gov)
The Democrats are already trying to put a happy face on today’s election. If they lose the House of Representatives today, that means they cannot lose it in 2012.
Colorado’s Republicans, meanwhile, put the goober in gubernatorial with their Maes-McInnis mess.
Both sides insist they’re saving us from the evil clutches of the other.
But then, Sagal says, that’s like BP claiming it saved thousands of ducks from predators in the south Louisiana bayou by making them more slippery.
Campaigns are often compared to a circus, which is upsetting clowns.
“Before you call anyone in Washington a clown, consider … that clowns make people happy,” says Kinko the Clown.
In Brazil, Tiririca the Clown ran to represent Sao Paulo in that country’s congress and collected more than twice as many votes as the second-place finisher.
His platform? “It can’t get any worse!”
So as we celebrate surviving yet another silly season, Eagle County voters also will decide whether they’ll allow reefer retailers in areas outside towns.
As we cast that vote, political satirist P.J. O’Rourke reminds us that marijuana is the only thing that makes teenage boys drive more slowly.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.