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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Republican Party is not dead

By Shannon K. Johnson

November 10, 2008 | Everything seemed to be against the Republican Party this year. The economic collapse right before the election, the price of oil and the untouchable satirically referred Messianic Obama.

On the opposing ticket you had the geriatric political insider who seems to embody political corruption. It certainly did not help that his vice-presidential running mate was easily parodied and resembled his nurse.

That maybe the best part of this loss -- conservative bloggers and pundits no longer have to pretend to like McCain.

A country that just elected a super majority in both chambers of congress, and a landslide electoral victory ironically still had one of the most liberal states in the union pass Proposition 8, an amendment to the California constitution that prohibits gay unions, a policy that hints to very core of Republican ideology.

If the true opinion of the populace was so opposed to the Republican base then why did we see so much of a swing in favor of the Democratic ticket?

First, voters in California and across the U.S. continue to elect representatives and candidates who support an opposite of their idea so this election voters may have started to vote in favor of their current economic straits instead of the abstract ideas that Republicans can offer.

The economy may not be a byproduct of the elected body but it did have the misfortune of correlating with it making them responsible in the eyes of the voter.

It certainly hasn't helped that the banner chosen by the other party was "change" when the current system appears a disaster.

So perhaps the warrants of Obama were magnified by the failure of the standing legislature. Not an unprecedented phenomena, most political scientists expect to see a cycle every eight to twelve years.

A theory nicknamed "throw the rascals out." The people elect a new party with the momentum of change and hope and carving out the corruption found inside the beltway of Washington, DC.

So after the election the new majority settles into becoming the corrupt standing body. When the vocal minority it is easy to blame the standing majority for the failures of the current system, but when you have the power you have to run against things that you may not be able to control but still play a roll in how people vote.

Every time a new group comes into power they vow to really clean house and never become corrupt like the terrible incumbents were. This time the members of the Republican Party may have placated the ones across the aisle, or had to many scandals begin to come to light but it is pretty true that they became drunk with power and began to be a symbol that the incumbency had.

Dissatisfaction and economic uncertainty pushed the middle of our country to the party that would be more willing to support them. Instead of the Republican Party that encourages personal responsibility and the government stand off.

Which makes change seem pretty appealing.

Essentially, Obama became a vessel for change speaking in the abstract and appearing to be a political outsider that momentum carried him to the White House.

But now the Democratic Party is settling into its power and the country is waiting to see the change. Always reliable though the party in power will start to be associated with whatever mistakes may have been under or beyond their control and the Republicans will cycle back into power. For two centuries our bipartisan system has tugged power back and forth, and that is not going to stop now.


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