Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Nice Marmot: Groundhog Day to determine political futures in Kentucky

Note: This post originally appeared on Insider Louisville.

As superstitions go, Groundhog Day is harmless as long as the “ceremony” of the day is kept in perspective. It is just a chance for people who have been punished by severe winter weather to get out of their homes, look around and find the promise of spring.

The promise is out there, waiting. And one doesn’t need to rely on the predictions of some overgrown squirrel in Pennsylvania to find it. Besides, I am reading the National Climatic Data Center claims of Punxsutawney Phil’s accuracy to only be around 39% – better than your local meteorologist to be sure, but not much to brag about.

No matter what that silly marmot sees, there will always be six more weeks of winter.

Mathematics and science prevail on this day.

In Kentucky, a land where we like to shun mathematics and science do things differently, a new policy should be adopted and hence a new tradition formed: I propose we hire a groundhog to determine the outcome of statewide elections, thereby eliminating campaigning, fundraising, political signs, fatuous debates, misleading commercials and actual voting from the equation.

It makes it easier on us all.

The idea is as simple as it is preposterous. Set up a few props and pictures of the candidates, coax the animal out if its hole and wait for him to make a decision.

This practice has worked in the past, and is running much better than the 39% clip on the weather.

You see, I have my own personal, albeit less glamorous groundhog. His name is Maximillion and he has a face like Abe Vigoda. He has breath that would bruise fruit and he has a strong attraction to pork rinds covered with hot sauce. But he has, without fail, picked the winner of the last three statewide elections about which I have asked.

This morning, Max picked candidate Bobbie Holsclaw, Jefferson County Clerk, to win the Republican nomination for Kentucky Governor in May and has picked faux-Democrat Steve Beshear to win the whole shebang in November.

If he is wrong, Kentucky will endure six additional weeks of increased unemployment claims.

So call your legislators immediately, and urge them to install this measure as soon as possible.

Because, in the end, they are as my dad says: “Six of one, half dozen of the other.”

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