Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The beat goes on

Back in Maine after nearly two weeks out of state, including a few days in Washington, DC starting right after the elections.

Nothing was noticeably different in DC - tourists still photographed the White House, tour buses lined up on 14th St. - except that the weather was like Maine: cold and wet and windy, then cold and dry and windy. Just ornery. There was no revolution evident. At Logan we saw Ed Markey (US Representative for MA's 7th District, just elected to his 18th term). He shook our hands and got on the noon shuttle. Shortly thereafter Scott Brown, our junior Senator, hurried up, perhaps late; he boarded our flight at 1 pm and napped quietly a few rows ahead of us. Neither were particularly bothered by their constituents. Riders on the shuttle are usually pretty blase about stars. Or was it because Markey is off to the lamest of lame-duck sessions, and Brown is just lame? I read later that Markey is likely to challenge Brown in 2012, so perhaps it was just as well that they weren't on the same flight. "Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened" may well describe the next two years.

Now that I'm back in Maine, I imagine the ducks are lining up differently here as well, considering the Republicans won the governorship and both houses of the legislature, but again there's little evidence of turbulence. There's talk of healthcare being attacked (need to pay the piper for all that out-of state campaign cash!), and environmental groups are worried about new depradations in a state whose governor-elect says climate change is a hoax, but if strong tea is being brewed, it's still in the pot. I do think (or rather, hope and pray) that the party now in power will find it just as difficult to accomplish their agendas as the Democrats did. In Maine, I'm encouraged by the strong passage of the Land for Maine's Future bond, and the retention of our two Democrats in the US House. In New England I'm encouraged by the strong showing of Democrats in general. In the rest of the country, let's hope for gridlock.

The New Christy Minstrels were on our flight back from DC on Sunday, on their way to a concert in Brownfield, ME that night. We could have been comforted if they had broken out in the old Sonny and Cher song The Beat Goes On, with its contradictory lyrics of change and stasis from 1967. Like Maine and New England in 2010.

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