Madly, And Badly, Spinning

Sometimes I wish politicians would just shut up during the days immediately after elections have been held.  They should let the country digest the results and enjoy a few days of peace and quiet after the appalling orgy of political spending and political ads that makes the days just before the election a disgusting spectacle.

Unfortunately, politicians don’t take this advice.  They can’t help themselves.  They just have to issue a press release, send out an e-mail, or appear before the cameras to advance the “messaging” and “spin” that the party bosses have decided must be the post-election party line.

So it has been with this election.  Yesterday and today I have heard a number of Democrats — including Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and outgoing Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, among others — voice the view that this election, in which the Democrats were pulverized in the House, the Senate, and statehouses across the country, was not a rejection of the policies of the Obama Administration and its allies.  Instead, they say it was just the apparently random thrashings of an angry electorate that was frustrated because the change the President and Democrats have begun is not moving fast enough.

Do these politicians really think about the absurdity of this spin before they propound it?  In this case, it is grossly insulting that they apparently believe such ludicrous spin could be swallowed by a gullible populace.  At bottom, their theory is that voters impatient with the slow pace of President Obama’s agenda went to the voting booth — and then voted for Republican after Republican who not only did not promise to speed up the President’s agenda, but instead promised to resist and repeal it.  Does that scenario seem remotely plausible to anyone other than the spinmeisters at national Democratic Party headquarters?

This kind of over-the-top “messaging” just reflects contempt for the intelligence of the American voter.  I think it is one of the reasons why so many Americans voted to throw the bums out only two days ago.

Goodbye To Sparky

I was sorry to read of the death of Sparky Anderson, the long-time Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers manager.  I never rooted for the Reds or the Tigers — I have always been and will always be a Cleveland Indians fan — but it was obvious to anyone who was paying attention that Sparky Anderson was a good manager and a good person.

Anderson managed The Big Red Machine during its glory days in the 1970s, and he was fabulously successful.  The team won four pennants and back-to-back World Series crowns in 1975 and 1976.  During those years the Reds had one of the greatest lineups in baseball history, and Anderson handled them — well, like a well-oiled machine.  Although the Reds had incredibly talented players like Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez, the team seemed free of the personality conflicts and antics that characterized other talented teams of the era, like the Yankees and the Oakland Athletics.  I think Sparky Anderson had a lot to do with that.    Anderson then left the Reds and went on to manage the Detroit Tigers, whom he led to another World Series title in 1984.

Anderson had white hair throughout his managerial career, so he seemed like an ageless figure during his decades in the big leagues.  I was surprised, and saddened, to read that he was only 76 at his death.  He will be missed by baseball fans everywhere.

A Well-Funded Library

I’m happy to report that the levy for the Columbus Metropolitan Library passed on Tuesday, and by a wide margin.  This is good news for those of us who are big fans of the library and believe it makes a vital contribution to our communities.

It’s gratifying to know that, even in this time of tightened belts, Columbus area voters recognized the value of our library system and voted to support it with their tax dollars.