Living in the Battleground

Did you know Joe the Plumber is running for Congress? He is, and guess what? He’s running in my district.

You remember Joe, aka Samuel Wurzelbacher. He had his 15 or 16 minutes of fame during the last presidential contest in 2008 when he questioned Obama about his tax policy. Back then, like now, Obama was talking about his plan to raise taxes on those making more than $250K a year. Joe didn’t like that. Obama’s opponents, Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin, made “Joe the Plumber” an example of the hard-working Americans Obama wanted to exploit with his tax plan.

Joe has since written a book and gone on to become a conservative activist and is now, like I said, running for Congress in my district. He’s running against Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Democratic incumbent, who is serving her 14th term in the House.

Now, I haven’t been following politics much since our move to Ohio a year ago, but one thing I find interesting is that living in this state, and in our previous state of Iowa, we have been afforded a glimpse into the political machinery of our two-party system. Both states are considered battlegrounds. In Iowa, we had the privilege of caucusing in 2008. That was a memorable and exciting experience. That state is still hotly contested. Media outlets in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, are raking in a lot of money from political ads.

Today, as I drove north from Toledo to Ann Arbor, I saw a billboard that read: “Obama supports Gay Marriage & AbortioGOP billboardn. Do you? Vote Republican” That was the second time in three days I’d seen that billboard. Well, I happen to agree with civil rights and a woman’s right to choose, so I’m not going to vote Republican. But, I liked how it laid out the GOP platform so straightforwardly. It’s so black and white. And so short-sighted.

There is a lot of money being spent in Ohio trying to sway voters to either side. It’s been apparent to me that the Republicans have more money because I’m seeing more ads. During the Olympic coverage on NBC about 3/4 of the ads I saw during the broadcasts I watched were political ads. The Republican ads blasting Obama and trying to unseat Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown were far more numerous than ads against Republican candidates. It was clear to me that the Democrats are being outspent.

All those emails I’m getting from the Obama campaign telling me so were not lying. Democrats are losing the money race. Just like in Wisconsin a few months ago. There, outside Republican money from wealthy donors like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, fueled the effort to defeat the campaign to recall Gov. Scott Walker. I have had faith that money could not buy an election. But when Walker retained his seat, I was disheartened. Apparently if voters hear a message often enough, even if the facts are muddled, they will believe the message to be true.

And all that money now — including $10 million from Adelson — is going toward ads, like the billboards I saw around town.

When we lived in San Francisco, we saw a few very interesting political upheavals, including the recall of Gov. Gray Davis that put Arnold “The Terminator” Schwarzenegger in the governor’s seat. It was the first successful recall of a California elected official. And it opened up a whole new can of worms for that state. We watched California’s state government take a free fall from dysfunctional to non-functional, and then we packed up and moved to Iowa.

And now, living in the battleground of Ohio, I feel like my vote really counts. My  neighbor, unmoved by neither Obama nor Romney, disclosed she might not vote in this election. I can’t think of a worse outcome than that. And think of all that money wasted!

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6 Comments

  1. michael burns

     /  August 21, 2012

    Glad you are back at it Shosh.

    Reply
  2. F.

     /  August 22, 2012

    It’s a catch-22

    Reply
  3. Please keep letting us know about the race in Ohio. I like to think that quiet, clear-thinking voters who care about others will come out of the woodwork on Election Day and vote for President Obama, a decent, smart human being who cares — and can speak in complete sentences.

    Reply
    • I will Sheila. I am hopeful people will weigh the real differences as vote for Obama as well. Now with all this new Akin ordeal, maybe more women will see that the GOP does not have women’s interests at heart.

      Reply
  4. Jan Sutton

     /  September 2, 2012

    I don’t have children or grandchildren to worry about, so, like your neighbor, I’m considering not voting this fall. Except I probablly will ’cause I really like R&R. As for Obama — he is losing the $ run ’cause his supporters are waivering. It was wonderful voting for the first black President, but it’s not been so wonderful watching him sit back and refuse to get involved, either domestically or internationally. The onlly thing that seems to put any fire into him is campaigning for his own re-election. P.S. The unions were not without funds for the Wisconsin fight and progressive supporters like George Soros are still limping by on their last few billion dollars. P.P.S. I am a woman. Always have been.

    Reply
  1. Obama and Civil Liberties « Stories from the Heartland

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