Mid-Term Blues

By Grimaldi | The Public Manager, Fall 2006 | Go to article overview

Mid-Term Blues


Grimaldi, The Public Manager


As the old B.B. King blues song goes, "No one loves you but your mother, and she may be jivin' you, too." By the time you read this, the election may well be over. For some there will be elation, but for some very prominent folks in the public limelight it is time to sing the Mid-Term Blues. It goes like this (make up your own tune):

   "Used to ridin' high to bars in DC
   Everybody callin' to get in to see me
   But now I am in a terrible fix
   For I have lost mid-term in '06
   No more checks for my baby's new shoes
   I sho' got the mid-term blues."

Spreading It Around

Let us take a lighter look at some of the losers. As pathetic as they are, we cannot resist the temptation to examine what is giving them the blues. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) saw his handicaps jump after the lobbyist-supported trip to Scotland to play golf. He at least could see the handwriting on the wall and decided not to run and be embarrassed further.

He was preceded in this decision by Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-California), who resigned when he admitted taking bribes from local contractors to steer government business their way. As I recall, Cunningham was a veteran who served his country nobly--well, until he got the pre-mid-term blues. There will be no shedding of the tears for his humiliation.

Then there is Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-Louisiana). He had $90,000 in cash in his freezer. We haven't seen that much overt evidence since the Abscam days of the 1970s, when several Representatives were caught taking similar sums in suitcases offered by FBI undercover officers. Of course, he might claim that he was keeping cash against the next big storm. Hopefully, his cries of innocence will be overshadowed by the righteous indignation on the part of the voters in his district. His claim that he did nothing wrong is flawed. Even my conservative mother, who lived through the depression, took her cash out from under the mattre s s and put it in a bank!! A freezer??? Doesn't he know that's the first place even Grimaldi would look for con- traband! He's got the mid-term blues.

On the trail of those who have been having trouble with the law, we come upon Tom DeLay (R-Texas), former Majority Leader of the House. He, too, had involvement with Abramoff among other issues. He was also involved in the lawsuits in Texas challenging the gerrymandering of the legislature there. Some close followers of politics in that state will recall the shenanigans, but suffice it to say that the Democrats left when the legislature was in session to deny the majority a quorum. And they went to Oklahoma and New Mexico to add insult to injury.

But back to poor Mr. DeLay's blues. He was on the ballot to run for his seat. His registration was no doubt filed when he still was proclaiming his innocence. But he decided not to run. Now, his party had a problem. They petitioned the court to let them replace DeLay with someone who would run. And the court turned them down. So the Texas Republican party has the mid-term blues bad.

Poor Joe Lieberman. From vice-presidential candidate to ex-politician in so short a time. One cannot but expect that his threatened attempt to get elected as an independent in the Democrat stronghold that is Connecticut will fall miserably short. In political terms, you have to ask "WHAT WAS HL THINKING?" But Joe is a man of principle to be sure. One would find it difficult to discern where his support for Israel and his political acumen parted company when he decided to support the war in Iraq. And how is this for irony: President Bush endorsed him over the Republican Party candidate. That will cost him more votes. Joe's embraced his mid-term blues.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney has certainly got the mid-term blues. She is the Congresswoman from Georgia who scuffled with U. S. Capitol Police when she refused to show identification upon entering the offices.

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