Monday, August 29, 2011

Sorry. Don't care about the presidential race yet. Because its August!

Some would have you believe that since Rick Perry is in, the 2012 presidential race is set in stone.  The media treat Perry as the Republican nominee-to be because, well, the numbers say he is.  The latest poll from PPP (a Democratic-leaning firm but, skeptical GOPer, extremely accurate) has Perry surging to a big lead over his closest rivals Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, and the other guy from Texas that I won't name just to have fun with his vein-popping supporters.  Even when you include a hypothetical Sarah Palin candidacy, Perry is still on top.  But guess what? 

No, not chicken butt (sorry, my three-year-old was answering my question). Well, come to think of it, chicken butt is appropriate because neither it nor any presidential polling numbers matter at all right now.  Not when you are still a college football season away from the first caucuses and primaries.

It isn't that the presidential race doesn't matter at all, and the PPP poll has some interesting findings, not necessarily good ones if you are a Perry fan.  Among independents, Perry's favorable/unfavorable numbers are hideous - 29% favorable, 53% unfavorable.  The Texas gub also loses among independents in a head-to-head with Obama 49-43%.  I don't necessarily believe that last figure - honestly, about the only person Obama could beat head-to-head in an election today would be Gaddafi, or Qaddafi, or my favorite spelling, KaDaffy.
Obviously, the race for the White House is the center of the universe for the hard core politicos, even if that's because some of them are simply trying to gravy train their way into a job with whomever comes out on top.  But -  and this is "Breaking News" if you only watch the proud work of the plastic surgeons on Fox News or the never-ending "Something Else That's Bush's Fault" updates on MSNBC - the hard cores are not very numerous.  They may be loud, but like hockey fans south of Canada, there just aren't that many of them.  The people who actually decide elections, us independents, have more pressing things to think about 16 months ahead of the final vote.

First, college football season starts this week (on the 'scale of 10' importance meter, a 9).  Let's be honest; how would you rather spend your time?  Would it be watching  yet another "debate" where there are so many "candidates" that everyone has time for one good point - and that's if someone can shut the Newt Doggy Dogg the heck up?  Or would you rather be home on a Saturday morning, hot dogs, wings, pizza, and nachos on the way and ESPN's College Gameday setting the table for 12 hours of games?  Don't give me that crap about Michelle Obama and her "healthier menu"; you and I know darn well what the President and First Lady really like to eat.

Secondly, my Atlanta Braves are in a pennant race (importance meter, 9.5).  This wasn't supposed to happen this year, but the starting pitching has somehow held together despite Jair Jurrjens pitching better than he actually is, Tommy Hanson pitching hurt, and Derek Lowe breathing air.  Not only that, but Dan Uggla has also been the best player in baseball since the fourth of July, Brian McCann is being Brian McCann, newly acquired Michael Bourn may be the best lead-off man and center fielder in the National League, and Chipper Jones is duck-taped  and super-glued together for the stretch run.  No one has the guts to predict this, but the Braves actually have a shot at taking out the Phillies, whose bats aren't as good as they should be and whose bullpen has more holes than a Ben Bernanke speech.

Another reason some of us aren't paying attention to presidential politics: CM Punk.  My goodness, what that man has done to reinvigorate what had become a somewhat moribund WWE.  There are also three WWE shows on this week (importance meter, 47).  Listening to Punk and some of the other wrestlers when they are given carte blanche at the mic is infinitely more entertaining and, honestly, informative than listening to 90 percent of the babble on the cable news channels.

Finally, and less flippantly, presidential politics don't matter right now because many of us are too worried about taking care of our families.  Some independents have decent jobs.  Some collect part-time work for a living.  Some have been out of work for a long time.  Regardless of whether we are working or not, we worry about the future, about buying food and clothes for our kids, paying for our houses, paying down the debts we ran up during the good times (because some jack-bootie economists told us that running up debt was a good thing for the economy - some of the jokers are still saying that).  While the Republican candidates are busy blaming Obama for everything and Obama is busy still blaming George W. Bush, most folks would be happy if everyone in Washington showed some discipline for a change, shut up, got out of the way, and let the economy come back.

I will care about the presidential race eventually - I love the game of politics too much not too.  But if I don't freak out with my conservative friends about yet another boring Obama speech or if I don't have aneurysms with my liberal friends over the next half-dozen times they tell me Mrs. Bachmann is crazier than a typical four-hour period at Savannah City Hall, it doesn't mean I have completely tuned out.  It probably means I am too busy sharing in the excitement of my newly-potty trained three-year-old who wants to go to the bathroom yet again, and too busy working like hell to make sure that remains her bathroom for a very long time.

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