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Special elections lack predictive power.

Between the regular elections in 2008 and 2010, Democrats won 7 of 10 special elections for positions in the US Congress. You may recall the 2010 midterms, in which Republicans won 63 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate, showed that those earlier special elections did not set any sort of trend.

There is a special election in Georgia today for a single seat in the US House of Representatives. It is being hailed (by, for example, the BBC) as "important" and potentially "a major blow to Donald Trump's presidency". I don't want to downplay the impact congresspersons can have on their constituents. Every election to a position of power and visibility is important. But this doesn't have major national implications outside of messaging and mood--and those are outsized and largely irrational.

If Jon Ossoff wins, it won't tip the balance of power in Congress. If he loses, Republicans won't be more powerful than they already are. And in less than two years, the seat will be up for grabs again.

The biggest implication of this race has come from something that already happened. Trump's victory has rendered at least some previously 'safe' districts competitive. Once solidly Republican suburbs may now be seen as vulnerable, for example. That will hold whoever wins this particular seat.


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More Political Notes

-Rick Santorum seems a somewhat likeable guy who believes several crazy, distasteful things. It may not be helpful to say his ideas are nuts, but it still is less useful to fashion him an evil man because his discriminatory views don't jive with the left, centre, or centre-right in America.

-Calling a person a 'front runner' before votes are counted is just plain wrong.  Calling one a front-runner after some votes are counted is slightly misleading.  The race isn't about who the media thinks is ahead, and it is only indirectly about who gets the most votes.  What really matters is accruing the most delegates.  In the race for a major party's nomination for POTUS, the guy with the most delegates-who-will-actually-vote-for-him-at-their-national-convention is ahead. If no delegates have been awarded, there isn't really a front-runner, no matter what polls might say.

-I doubt the primary process will hurt the eventual Republican nominee for POTUS all that much.…

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.