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Columns

October 30, 2010

A 'conversation' with a couple of Democrats

We are talking today with two 30-ish Democrats named Bobby and Bobbi who voted for Barack Obama in 2008. They will not be voting Tuesday.

I know this because I just made them up.

Me: “So, you two ... sitting out the off-year elections, are you?”

Bobby: “Hey, Sam, nice suit.”

Bobbi: “Yeah, It really brings out the color of your eyes.”

Me: “Do you really think so? I wasn’t sure this morning whether this necktie didn’t just throw off the whole ensemble.”

Bobbi: “Oh, no.  Standing out here on a street corner while people walk by, you can see that no one is looking at your tie and tsk-tsking. That’s always a good indication that you have made a quality fashion choice.”

Me: “Well, that’s wonderful to hear, Bobbi, but why aren’t you voting in the election Tuesday?”

Bobby: “There’s an election on Tuesday?”

Bobbi: “No, I’m certain we would have heard about it. Hmmm ... wait a minute, I’m not sure, but I thought I might have heard something about an election on “The Daily Show” the other night.”

Me: “I assure you, there is an election Tuesday.”

Bobby: “Gee, I’m glad you told us. Who’s Obama running against this year?”

Bobbi: “Is it that old guy again?”

Me: “Sigh ... No, Obama’s not on the ballot this year. Presidents are elected every four years.”

(Bobby and Bobbi both look upward and count on their fingers.)

Bobby: “Soooo, why do you say there is an election on Tuesday?”

Me: “Well, for one thing, all the seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs every two years. If you live in the 24th Congressional District, you’ll vote for Michael Arcuri or Richard Hanna. If you live in the 20th Congressional District, you’ll vote for Scott Murphy or Chris Gibson.”

Bobby: “So, which district do we live in.”

Me: “Really, Bobby? You don’t even know which district you live in or who your representative is? You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Bobbi: “Actually, Sam, you’re the one who should be ashamed of himself. You’re the one who made us up, remember?”

Me: “Oh, yes ... Sorry about that.”

Bobbi: “I think the poor, old fellow is losing it, (pointing to her head) you know, upstairs?”

Bobby: “Yup, he’s definitely lost an inch or two off his fastball, that’s for sure.”

Me: “Now, wait a minute. I’m not through. Here in New York, we’ve also got a governor’s race between Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino ...”

Bobby: “Paladino, he’s the nut job who forwarded all those pornographic and racist e-mails to his friends, right?”

Me: “Well, yes.”

Bobbi: (beaming at Bobby) “You knew that? I’m so proud of you.”

Me: “There are also two Senate races involving Democrats Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.”

Bobbi: “Are they going to win?”

Me: “Yes. Quite easily, according to all the polls.”

Bobby: “Well, good, then. We don’t have to vote.”

Me: “Yes, you do. Other polls say that there is going to be an electoral tsunami that will throw the Democrats out of power in the House and maybe even the Senate.”

Bobbi: “Well, that’s just too bad, but I’m still not going to vote.”

Me: “And, why not?”

Bobbi: “Well, because Obama didn’t do everything he said he was going to do. There are a lot of people out of work, and he hasn’t gotten rid of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’ and there was no public option in the health care bill.”

Bobby: “Yeah, and the last time I went to Starbucks, they put too much milk in my latte.”

(Bobbi and I both stare in wonder at Bobby for a moment.)

Me: “Bobbi, do you think if the Republicans take over Congress that any of those things you mentioned will be addressed the way you want?”

Bobbi: “Probably not, but we need to send the Democratic Party a message.”

Bobby: “Yeah, a message, just like we did when we voted for Ralph Nader instead of Al Gore in the 2000 election. We showed ’em.”

Me: “Yes, you showed ’em all right. You got George W. Bush elected, which got us into a war in Iraq that cost more than 4,000 American lives, and you got us a conservative Supreme Court that we’re going to be saddled with for years to come, and you got us the awful economic situation Obama has been dealing with for two years.”

Bobbi: “Gee, look at that, a truckload of windows just crashed, spilling it all out into the street. Who are those older people on their hands and knees?”

Me: “They’re Tea Party Republicans, crawling on broken glass to get to the voting booths.”

Bobbi: “Wow! They really want to vote that much?”

Me: “Yes, but there are more of you than there are of them. Have you two changed your minds about voting in the election on Tuesday?”

Bobby: “There’s an election on Tuesday?”

Sam Pollak is the editor of The Daily Star. He can be reached at spollak@thedailystar.com or at (607) 432-1000, ext. 208.

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