The meaning of the 2010 elections

Sitting in McDonalds this morning two days after the election I overheard this conversation:

Dude 1: Hey, who got in as governor?

Dude 2: Corbett

Dude 1: How did Dahlkemper do? (incumbant Rep. from PA’s 3rd district)

Dude 2: She lost.

Dude 1: Who got in?

Dude 2: Mike Kelly

Dude 1: Who’s he?

Dude 2: He owes car dealerships down in Butler

Dude 1: (With his thumb up) Good, we need change. Things ain’t going to get better until everything changes.

Dude 1 didn’t know much about who was running or what had happened but his spirits were lifted by knowing that change had taken place. I am guessing that Dude 1 did not vote but I wonder how many voters felt the same way: incumbant bad; challenger good. Who cares about policies, positions on social issues, or personal integrity? No need to know. 

The effect of the election was to make gridlock probable. Only those issues which have broad ideological support could clear the obstacle course that will soon be Washington DC. Repeal healthcare reform? Doubt it. The Senate won’t go for it and Obama would veto it. Social issues? Doubt it, few people are paying attention right now. Jobs, taxes and debt will be the main issues, as they should be, until people at McDonalds no longer want to throw the bums out.