Cross-posted at Blogging For Michigan.
As I sit here in frigid Michigan this morning, I’m contemplating the state of our state. And pondering if we are, perhaps, a bellwether for the rest of the country, particularly in terms of Democrats and our political future.
It’s a mixed bag in Michigan, to be sure. As I blogged about last week, there’s been some better news of late. GM has started battery production for its new line of eclectric and hybrid cars. The Detroit Auto Show is featuring a plethora of new electric vehicles in its “Electric Avenue. This morning we learn that Ford has earned Car of the Year with its Fusion Hybrid (as well as Truck of the Year with the Transit Connect, a 22/25 mpg vehicle). The Obama administration has awarded Michigan vehicle manufactureres $187 million in grants to boost fuel efficiency. Detroit was even named as one of the Top Five Cities to find a “Green” job, being called “the poster child for green jobs“.
On the other hand, our economy is in a complete shambles. The Democrats are hosting a certified Clown ShowTM when it comes to the upcoming governor’s race of 2010. Even Bart Stupak, author of the Coathanger HCR Amendment, is considering a run for governor. One of the main contenders on from the Valley of the GOPosaurs, Pete Hoekstra, is racing to place his mug in front of any media camera that will have him to talk about how our president is failing Americans with regard to national security.
So what we have is state poised for greatness, thanks in large part to the foreward thinking and planning by our progressive Democratic governor, Jennifer Granholm. But those improvements are going to be largely overshadowed by the poor economy and the perplexing ability of Republicans to frame every single debate and conversation in their own terms, putting Democrats on the defensive. As is happening in our state Congress, they obstruct and fight every progressive attempt to make things better then point their Fingers of BlameTM right back at Democrats who, through their own lame own-foot-shooting seem to be their own worst enemies much of the time. For all her many great efforts, efforts to diversify Michigan’s economy and put us in a good position with regard to green energy and a new energy economy, she is term-limited and will likely never get the credit she is due for the great service she has done for our state.
Will Democrats be able to turn the Meme of the Day around in 2010 and fight back effectively to win these battles or will Republicans dominate the message wars and, despite their obstructionist behavior and lack of vision or political leadership, use the poor economy to whip the Dems and gain political advantage?
My take is, if you want to see what will happen on the broad national stage, watch what happens in Michigan. While Sarah Palin likes to cast Alaska as a microcosm of the country as a whole, Michigan is far more representative of the USA. We have rural and urban areas and everything in between. We have a manufacturing base, farming and a strong service sector. We have a racially, economically and politically diverse population. All of these things lead me to believe that how politics play out here in our state in the coming year will very likely be an early warning sign as to how things will go nationally.
I’m just sayin’…