Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday, Constitutions, Write In's, and etc.

Good morning ! Another week, which beats Hell out of the alternative. In the words of "Sergeant Apone" in Aliens (1986) "every meal's a banquet, every paycheck a fortune. . ." (The handy-dandy movie-quote page for Aliens is really spiffy, btw).

Today is the anniversary, in 1905, of Russian Emperor Nicholas II’s October Manifesto, which promised Russia its first constitution, and established the State Duma. Although commentators like to say that neither the Manifesto or the eventual constitution (23 April 1906) amounted to much, it was a vast improvement over the then-existing autocracy, and the freest government Russia ever had until the 1990’s. Had it not been for World War I, no doubt this experiment would have developed further. (Oh, Franz Ferdinand, why couldn’t you have just dodged that bullet ? Oh Tsar Nicholas, why didn’t you Just Say No to mobilization ?).

Okay, turning away from cosmic universe history questions, and on to our own. The political news continues to look up, a little bit. The Houston Chronicle reports this morning that Republican Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, the write-in candidate for Tom DeLay’s old seat in the House of Representatives – is actually in the game, and running a dead heat with Nick Lampson, the Donkey Party’s candidate. Polling indicates that Ms. Sekula-Gibbs would defeat Lampson handily if this were a normal election, and the Republicans not in the desperate position of resorting to a write-in candidate after the courts refused to let the party replace DeLay on the ballot.

I know very little about Ms. Sekula-Gibbs, and I have not followed her campaign, but the fact that this is not a long shot -- that she’s making a credible effort in a write-in campaign, tells you: (1) that she’s a good candidate; (2) and, that Texas Congressional District 22 is very Republican. Still, winning a campaign with a write-in is complicated, and Ms. Sekula-Gibbs, alas, is not named Smith. Good luck to her though. Here’s hoping that S-H-E-L-L-E-Y S-E-K-U-L-A G-I-B-B-S manages to pull it off, and stick a big thumb in the eye of all the great and good who have abetted the effort to disenfranchise the Republican voters of District 22.

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