More Change? Already? No, Thanks

Krist Novoselic's column on music and politics runs every Tuesday on Reverb. Check back on Friday when he writes about what he's been listening to.
In 2008, the political atmosphere was about change. Voters wanted something new and the Obama For America campaign promised a political transformation. The election results signaled a realignment towards Democratic Party policies. That was a mere two years ago. Follow the current polling with subsequent reportage and it's apparently time for another political reworking with the data showing people running back to the GOP.

Didn't voters in 2008 choose a government centered approach to fixing the economy? Shouldn't that play itself out before we do a 180? In 2010 the notion of change hangs in the air like some kind of stagnant odor. It's a shallow sentiment, cheap words that prop the illusion that things are going to get better in Washington DC. I mean, people want this supposed change but they still vote for one of the entrenched parties in Washington DC?

This reminds me of being a 16-year-old living in Yugoslavia. There were only two television channels available--both controlled by the state. Now don't get me wrong, my adolescent mind thought the broadcast of the unedited version of Last Tango in Paris was great, but there were nights when the choice was between two bad programs. That meant it was time to pick up a book or listen to my new Bijelo Dugme cassette. And it's this dynamic that has the political prognosticators pondering how many people will tune out the November election.

Will change again drive turnout? Or will the change voters of 2008 stick with President Obama and vote for candidates of his Democratic Party?

Our last change election was only two years ago. Is it really time to switch course again? Follow the polling with subsequent reportage, and it's apparently time for another political reworking, with data showing people running back to the GOP. Didn't voters in 2008 choose a government-centered approach to fixing the economy? Shouldn't that play itself out before we do a 180?

A Congress controlled by the GOP will work hard to derail the Obama agenda. Just like the last six years of the Clinton presidency, get ready for independent investigations and wedge-issue legislation. And Republicans are hardly the small-government libertarians they'd like you to believe they are. Look at their record in power from 1994 to 2008, and you'll find a party that loves to spend. On the bright side, if we end up bringing back the '90s, at least we can still catch a Soundgarden show!

I am an independent voter--one of those citizens who can swing an election to one party or another. I guess it boils down to picking the person /candidate over the party. If you recall, last August I wrote that I voted for independent Schalk Leonard for U.S. Senate. For the U.S. House, I chose independent Norma Jean Stevens. In other words, I said "phooey" to the dominant Republican and Democratic parties. And here's why I did--candidates choose to associate with the major parties because they can access party funds. And theses monies come from selling access to the halls of power in D.C. My vote was a gesture against big-money beltway politics.

Yes, I made protest votes for candidates unlikely to make the runoff. The choice was easy, because the election rules give me two votes in each race. I get another vote in the general, and since there are only two candidates to choose from, my mind is made up. In Washington's 3rd district, I'm voting for Denny Heck: not because he's a Democrat, but because I like his track record in both the public and private sector. He founded TVW--our state's version of C-Span. I appreciate the opportunity to watch public hearings about issues that are important to me. This achievement tells me that Heck is serious about transparency and access to government. Most politicians talk about creating jobs. Heck has done this by being one of the founders of Real Networks. He apparently understands technology and its potential--especially economic.

For me this race is a done deal. I voted in the primary for candidates who could have changed the political culture in D.C., but they didn't win. I get to choose between only two candidates now, so instead of going back to '90s-style wrecking-ball politics, my vote is about staying the course. No need for the consultants to woo, persuade, or court me. I don't need to see any direct mail, nasty TV ads, campaign spam, or canvassers at my home. For me, it's only a matter of filing out the ballot.

I can tune out the horserace.

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