Plumb Crazy


In addition to being sick, and just plain busy with a hundred things, it’s been hard for me to come here to write because most of my spare time has been spent following the election, and I just don’t have that much to say about the election. I’ve got the worst case of election burnout I can ever remember having, and instead of doing the smart thing and taking a break, I’m just going to tough it out for the next nineteen days. It’s not that long, and even though there’s a growing perception that the presidential election is over and done with (I agree that McCain’s chances of victory are diminishing but it’s not over until the fourth of next month), the growing possibility of the Democrats gaining a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is providing a bit of intrigue. As much as I have mixed feelings about Al Franken, I’m really pulling for him to win that Senate seat in Minnesota because it’s the old Paul Wellstone seat and I really don’t want that in Republican hands any longer.

I guess I got a bit of a break these past few days when I got to watch the Canadian elections. The difference in campaign commercials (I’m glad Hockey Night in Canada is back on, although the new format and new song do nothing for me) was refreshing, and watching CBC’s approach to the returns was refreshing from the usual political coverage I’m used to here in America. Of course, I still found plenty to get ticked off about because the Green Party got shafted up there as well, although at least the media and party leaders up there take the Greens a lot more seriously than they do here. I wasn’t that happy about the Conservatives gaining seats, but even with as little as I follow Canadian politics I knew that Stephane Dion was not about to lead the Liberals to retake government. Perhaps the unhappiest part is that because Canadian elections only run for five weeks, it didn’t provide that much material for Rick Mercer, especially since he was off for the first couple of weeks after Parliament was dissolved.

Of course, all of this Joe the Plumber business now has Toledo back in the spotlight for another completely insignificant episode. I know Holland well because that’s where the family lived after the fire while the house was being rebuilt; in the eighties a big strip mall called Spring Meadows was built down there, at the intersection between I-475 and the main road that leads out to Toledo Express Airport. Out hotel was on the other side of I-475. I still go down there sometimes — the smaller of our two Best Buys moved into Spring Meadows lately (the bigger is in a nasty part of town I try to avoid), and there’s also a Target there — but the mall as a whole is dying because of the office park a couple of miles south of there, and then further south are our two lifestyle malls, the Shops at Fallen Timbers and Levis Commons. I’m surprised that Obama spent so much time in the Toledo area this week, given that the votes he needs to get are in the southern, more conservative part of the state, but the economic crisis is probably enough to shift enough cultural conservatives over to Obama’s column to let him carry the state easily. Again, though, this isn’t Election Day, and a lot can change in the next nineteen days, so I don’t feel comfortable making any solid predictions. (Except that Nader won’t win, I know, but I’m voting for him anyway dammit.)

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