You may already be aware that the Colorado senate race it is one of the most hotly contested in the country, with a Republican now running a few points ahead for a currently Democratic seat. But while the race may be interesting for outside observers, it’s becoming a major headache for those living with it.
Take the TV advertising, for example. The general rule used to be keep competing products/campaigns separated by time, space, or other advertising, depending on the medium. But for this senate campaign, that rule has gone out the window. When there’s a commercial break, the viewers get a Bennet ad, a Buck ad, another Bennet ad, and another Buck ad. Back to back, uninterrupted by anything else. It’s become a real turnoff because the ads are repetitive and besides, who really believes campaign ads? (Please, that was only a rhetorical question.)
Incumbent Bill Bennet (D), former superintendent of Denver Public Schools, was picked to replace Ken Salazar, now Secretary of the Interior. He may be one of the most junior senators on the Hill, but he looks like a longtime insider with Obama ties. He’s being slammed for having put the DPS pension fund into a serious financial hole. “Reckless,” some say. Certainly not good, considering most school districts are on very tight budgets anyway.
Bennet’s opponent, Ken Buck (R), is a tea party heartthrob, a pro-lifer who disapproves of abortion even in cases of rape or incest. He believes life begins at conception and therefore considers most forms of birth control unacceptable. Since the primaries, in an effort to appeal to moderate and liberal voters, he’s been trying to moderate his stance on these issues. However, “a card laid is a card played,” in politics as well as in cards.
Sadly, in Colorado and elsewhere, a single vote probably won’t matter much this year. The Dems are going to lose seats, likely lots of seats, and the GOP will be dancing in the streets. There will be some new faces, but the partisan games and gridlock will continue. The daily speechifying and posturing for the media will go on. And an angry, frustrated electorate will remain angry and frustrated because, still, nothing worthwhile is getting done. It doesn’t really matter who is in power anymore because the system is broken, and it’s not in the interests of those we send to Washington to fix it.