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The view from the couch: Money, money everywhere

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The Obamas were campaigning at Ohio State on Sunday, the day after Ohio State's much revered (in Columbus, at least) football team lost its number one ranking in the polls. The Obamas can't catch a break. The signs of losing are everywhere. Or, so many, most, say. But not me. Call me Pollyanna-ish, but though the Democrats will lose some seats in the House and Senate, there won't be the bloodbath predicted.

I could always be wrong. If my Democratic Congressman, Joe Donnelly, loses his 2nddistrict race to the Republican woman, all grizzly and no bear, Jackie Walorski, then it will be the sweep forecasted. It's been an odd race up here in the north, all those right-wing-stealth-funded-committees-with-sweet-names ads attacking Donnelly for single handedly creating the deficit, being a baby killer, and, most damning, a lapdog of the evil witch of the west, Nancy Pelosi. It's happy days for the local television stations, though, getting all that ad revenue; also the printers who make up the attack brochures. Elections have always been a WPA project for the media class. According to reports, the mid-terms are on course to be the most expensive elections ever. The right-wing Republicans are spreading the wealth!

Donnelly, I wish, had not gone defensive from the start, claiming to be "independent", in his first television ads, from Pelosi and her gang, thereby certifying their badness. He should have been positive, saying on TV that the Republicans will be lying about him for the next few months, saying that he's responsible for the deficit, and nothing but a pawn of the evil-doers in the Democratic hierarchy, that he's a baby killer (since he voted for the no-money-for-abortion Health Care bill), etc. He should have said: If anyone thinks that I am not pro-life, they're nuts. And then keep saying it, calling the Republican ads to come liars on parade. And the parade of them would have vindicated him. Some of the out-of-state ads are boilerplate, just substituting a different person for a different district. But, Donnelly played into their hands by being defensive, claiming independence from the Democratic leaders. He is, of course, since he's pro-life.

But November 2ndwill be a test, something that should please all those education types, those Leave Children Behind advocates as We Race For the Top. We'll get to see how much the country as a whole, divided up into congressional districts, really knows. The more Republicans elected, the lower the score on the national intelligence test.

If Harry Reid loses his close race to Sharron Angle, though, he will only have himself to blame. The guy can't, by his recent example, even debate a crazy person. One thing that separates the Democratic Senate South Carolina candidate, Alvin Greene from Sarah Palin is that she can read. Her hands, notes, a Teleprompter, whatever. Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell can read, too, as she was doing directly from notes during her debate with the world's luckiest politician, Chris Coons (Coons!). Palin reads best, though.

It's a low bar set for 2010. However worrisome the Democratic incumbents are, their challengers are ludicrously worse. I was for letting the banks fail at the end of the George W. Bush administration, but, in this case, I'm much more prudent. It shocks me to say it, but I am for the status quo – at least in the case of these mid-term elections.

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