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May 18, 2005

V is for (Empty) Victory

Yesterday, the spousal unit put in work for the city as an exit pollster for the LA Times. As her day wore on, she had no idea which way the race was going. This morning, we have normality. Or so it would seem.

The notable experience she brought from her outpost in South LA was twofold. Firstly, most people don't like to talk about whom they vote for. If you ever had suspicions about there being a silent majority, they are hereby confirmed. Maybe 1 out of 8 or 1 out of 12 people were speaking to her at all.

Secondly, paperwork associated with voting is a huge headache. She collected a good number of survey sheets but a significant percentage of them were spoiled and had to be disregarded.

I get the feeling this kind of stuff is rather commonplace. It only goes to assure me that it is our confidence in the democratic process rather than the mechanics of the process itself which delivers us from evil. And considering that only 30% of us showed up at the polls yesterday, it's a slim margin of confidence after all. But what's done is done, and for better or worse, we have proven once again that we can have an orderly transition of power. Way to go.

As for Villaraigosa himself, I'm with the 70% who didn't feel it was necessary to say anything. I'm glad some people will get a kick out of him, being Hispanic and all. But I'm of the notion that he won't be as chauvinist about it as people make out. He clearly had the energy and the spirit during the campaign, but I found him to be a bit too opportunistic. Let's see if he can bring as much good news as he chronicled Hahn's bad.

Villaraigosa is a winner without a mandate. Nobody elected him to do anything special. We all know we need to raise taxes and get more (not just a couple hundred but 7-10 thousand) cops on the street to make the community policing initiative truly work. We all know he's lacking the the testicular fortitude to do so as was Hahn. He's talked a good game about transportation, but the Gov snaked him with a billion and a half of extra state revenues. V is not going to turn around the declining state of our health care provision either.

Villaraigosa is mayor. So let us continue to expect nothing and we won't be disappointed. Oh yeah, and keep an ear open for ethnic humor.

Posted by mbowen at May 18, 2005 07:50 AM

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