Commentary: I, and those of my ilk, have spent the past several months devoting millions of words to what will happen on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Which is understandable. Some of us have been counting off the days since the 2016 election like a prisoner scratching marks on the wall of his cell. That has led to a desperate tone to much of the commentary as we try to get the disinterested masses to care — if not as much as we do, then at least enough to vote.
But I’m not sure what can be said now that would be in the least bit different. And, reports from the Secretary of State’s Office would suggest that many of you reading this have already voted.
And so, I turn my attention instead to what happens on Wednesday, Nov. 7. I suspect the results at the county, state and federal levels will be very different.
At the county level, better days are ahead. After meeting all six candidates running for the three County Commission seats, I’m confident that the county will be in good hands no matter who wins. While these are all partisan races, the county campaigns have been much more respectful and issues-based.
Polls suggest a return to one-party rule at the state level, after eight years of a Republican governor and Democratic Legislature. That would certainly end the unyielding gridlock and vindictive vetoes of bills that had passed unanimously.
But one-party rule concerns me, even when I tend to agree with that party. A new Democratic governor, combined with a Democratic Legislature and with the added sweetener of an estimated $1.2 billion in “new money” could be a recipe for budget-busting excess.
Fortunately, the Senate Finance Committee has always served as a check to excessive spending. If Michelle Lujan Grisham wins, she will come into office with a very specific road map for how she intends to govern the state. If she sticks to that, we should be fine.
The real problems Nov. 7 will be at the national level – not surprising given that, as I write this, police are interrogating the guy who sent pipe bombs in the mail to everyone on Donald Trump’s enemies list. Horrible as that is, and tragic as it could have been, it almost seems like an appropriate ending to this campaign.
The race for New Mexico’s Second Congressional District has been an example of what has been happening in the national races. The two fairly new candidates have been defined in relentlessly negative ads paid for by national political action committees, drowning out any attempts by the candidates to introduce themselves on their own terms.
We’re told Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is a foot soldier for Nancy Pelosi who wants to raise taxes, end oil production in New Mexico and take over health care. Republican Yvette Herrell is painted as an untrustworthy opportunist working the system to line her own pockets with shady deals. Those messages have been repeated so often that they have almost become the narrative of the campaign.
If the polls are right again, we will get a Democratic House and Republican Senate; bringing us two solid years of campaigning instead of governing as I, and those of my ilk, devote millions of words to what will happen Nov. 3, 2020. It’s just 739 scratch marks away.
Walter Rubel is editorial page editor of the Sun-News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @WalterRubel on Twitter.