Monday, March 15, 2004

So the Spanish Right falls from power because people feel their alliance with Bush has made them a target for terror. The Socialists have promised to have all Spanish troops home by July. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? If I lived in Spain, I would vote Socialist no matter what, probably. But I hate to see terrorists get what they want, for fear it might encourage them to keep killing people. In my view, the whole thing stinks. I feel for the Spanish people, whatever they chose to do, on the war or in the elections, would make dangerous people angry. The whole thing stinks and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The St Patty's Parade was today but politically, it was a bust. Dan Hynes is a neighborhood kid, and was the only candidate to show. In addition, most of the participants seemed to be wearing Hynes campaign stickers, ("Fight Cystic Fibrosis and Vote Dan Hynes for U.S. Senate") so the whole thing gave you some idea what it would be like if Ireland was run by Kim Il Sung. Barack Obama is the most popular candidate right now, but Hynes will win the primary if turnout is low (90% of the people at the parade vote Democratic at least once on primary day). Both are South Siders, as is Gery Chico, who's running about fourth in the polls. The Republicans will run a social conservative from DuPage county, who really cares which one? Kerry will take this state by 20 points and the Democrats will probably pick up a Senate seat as well. While that's good from my point of view, local politics is still crooked as hell. We have a great system of picking judges - they are elected, but the local papers, TV news, even public radio do not cover them, so no one knows who they are. As a result, most people just vote for women and people with Irish names. So if you want to be a judge, just move to Illinois and change your name to Shannon O'Sheahan, you'll be in like O'Flynn.

IM portion of my post: Tony, I sort of envy you. I don't have any Republican friends, other than on Indian alcoholic I occasionally see who is studying econ at the University of Chicago. Where would I meet them? The only party loyalty in question here is Cubs v. White Sox. So I really have very little idea of what those people are thinking at all. The only Republicans I know are blood relatives, and they seem reluctant to discuss politics at all anymore. I think they are embarassed by the Bush Administration's corruption, irresponsibility, and incompetance, although they remain of course pro-military (some of them are military, after all). For that matter, I think of myself as pro-military at this point as well. It's the civilians at the Pentagon I want to see fired, especially the Office of Special Plans.

One last parade note: the crowds don't cheer for the NYPD boys anymore. After 9/11, they were like celebrities. I'll never forget this guy Muphy, the dorkiest cop you ever met, with a babe on each arm at the Irish Oak, St. Patty's 2002. What a difference two years make.
Hey, is there an e-mail address to which readers can respond to this blog? People have actually asked me about this.
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