Monday, November 1, 2010

Of Tornadoes and Tea Parties

A tornado is a force of nature. It is mindless, destructive and unstoppable. You can't prevent it. You can't reason with it. All you can do is pick up the pieces afterwards. Political movements are like that sometimes.

After the jump, how I'm trying to come to terms with that fact.

With tornadoes, while I am saddened by the damage they cause, I don't get irritated or angry at the tornado itself. I don't try to understand why they behave as they do. They just are. I certainly don't try to argue with them. That's the big difference between tornadoes and tea parties. I *do* argue with tea parties. Either in person or on the Internet or in my head. My big lesson-learned this election campaign is that it's foolish to do so. Political movements can be like forces of nature. They blow through. They do their damage. You can't argue with them. You can't stop them. Your energy is best spent picking up the pieces afterward. And there will be a lot of pieces to pick up this time.

My new philosophy was tested this week by an email I received from the Stefani Carter campaign. Unless you've been on the Moon for the last couple months, you know that Carter's campaign against Carol Kent for Texas House District 102 has turned into one of the nastiest local elections I can remember. Carter must figure her supporters have been with those people on the Moon, as she sent an email this week with this opening paragraph:

"Wow, the final days of the campaign are here! My Democratic opponent has run a 100% negative campaign to try to hide her liberal, out-of-touch voting record. We have run a positive, issues-based campaign."

You don't have to be a political junkie to recognize Carter's claim of running a "positive, issues-based campaign" as a bald-faced lie. Anyone with a television set has been bombarded with negative, personal attack ads Carter (and Kent) has been running non-stop. Carter's claim in her email is so over the top that saying so is like saying tornadoes are bad. Asking how Carter lives with herself is as fruitless as trying to reason with a tornado. Just get ready to pick up the pieces.

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