That was the month that was. May was a comparatively busy month for news. It opened with the Osama bin Laden killing and proceeded through the Royal Wedding, the DSK scandal, and the terrible tornadoes in the South and Midwest. The month petered out at last with Sarah Palin doing something, or not doing something, I forget exactly.
With no offense to SEAL Team Six, Wills and Kate, the violated maid, those afflicted by the tornado destruction, or the formidable Mrs. Palin, I think the big political news of the month was the Democrats’ victory in New York’s 26th congressional district.
After I indulged in some I-told-you-so commentary about the upset on Radio Derb, three different listeners e-mailed in to set me straight. The district should have gone Republican, they said, but that evil Democrat Jack Davis’s masquerading as a Tea Party candidate stole key votes away from our gal.
Fiddlesticks. The Democrat got 47 percent of the vote, the Republican 43 percent. The Tea Party Democrat got 9 percent. To have won in a two-way race, the Republican would have needed 7 of that 9 percent — that is, better than three-quarters of Davis’s vote. Since polling showed only a third of Davis supporters to be Republicans, his previous affiliations being well known in the district, there was no chance of this happening.
The issue hammered hardest by the Democrat was Medicare. The result showed what we kind of knew anyway: that not many people want Medicare reformed, and enough Republicans are angrily hostile to reform to keep them home on polling day, or to get them out voting for a Democrat.
But of course Medicare must be reformed, if it’s not eventually to consume the entire national budget. The only people likely to reform it in a sensible way are Republicans . . . yet Republicans can’t get elected if they talk about reforming Medicare.
I’m reminded somehow of those coffee mugs you can get, one side of which says THE STATEMENT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS MUG IS TRUE, while the other side says THE STATEMENT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS MUG IS FALSE. (I got mine here, but they seem to have discontinued that line.)
No, I don’t have a solution. I don’t think there is one. Not every problem has a solution, not in politics anyway. We have bumped up against the limits of democracy here. There’s nothing for it but to wait for the crash.
K-K-K-Katy. To entertain us in the meantime, here come the Windsors with another royal wedding.
I didn’t pay much attention to the thing itself, but I took in sufficient images of the bride to know her when I see her.
Now I see her all over. At a gathering the other day I saw a dead ringer for Kate — same hair, same pointy features, same style of clothes with lots of limb display. This was odder than it should have been, as the sighting was in Turkey.
I’ve seen her in the streets of Manhattan, too, sometimes two of her in the space of a city block. No sightings yet here in the ’burbs, but time moves slowly out here.
It was the same in the lead-up to Charles-Diana. Suddenly every young woman had that Diana hairstyle and that Diana simper. I understand of course how the hair works, but how did they all learn to simper? Was someone giving classes? Same with the Kate lookalikes. Dress and hair, sure, but how do they get those pointy, somewhat mannish features? Cosmetic surgery? In this zone — fashion, celebrity-olatry — nothing would surprise me.