It's like the butterfly effect, but with fish! A guppy shortage in Florida is having an effect on a special Senate race in Massachusetts, according to columnist Gail Collins, still determined to ignore the nationwide anti-Democratic surge.
Back in November, Collins reacted with dismissive sarcasm to the Democrats losing governors' seats in Virginia and New Jersey:
Although there is no way to deny that New Jersey and Virginia were terrible, horrible, disastrous, cataclysmic blows to Obama's prestige....The defeat of Gov. Jon Corzine made it clear that the young and minority voters who turned out for Obama will not necessarily show up at the polls in order to re-elect an uncharismatic former Wall Street big shot who failed to deliver on his most important campaign promises while serving as the public face of a state party that specializes in getting indicted.
In her Saturday column, "Lend Me Your Ears," Collins unconvincingly claimed a Coakley loss would not be a repudiation of Obama's leadership, and flailed around for an explanation for Coakley's struggles before blaming the voters "bad mood," "awful" weather, and, only half-facetiously...the national guppy shortage.
It's pretty clear that no matter what happens, the voters are sending a message that they are in a bad mood. You cannot fail to notice that people are ticked off. The economy feels awful. The weather feels awful. Did you know that the cold snap in Florida hit the people who breed tropical fish so hard that there is a national guppy shortage? Things are bad, bad, bad.
If Coakley loses, the inevitable conclusion will be that the message was a repudiation of Obama. My own theory is that the national angst is causing people to ignore the issues and just react to candidates' personalities.
If forced to choose a Senate candidate to be stranded with on a desert island, most voters would probably pick Brown over Coakley. Possibly even if the question was who they wanted to sit next to on a short bus ride.
But didn't we get over the idea of voting for the person you'd most like to have a beer with after George W. Bush?