Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir,
so that every mouth can be fed.
Poor me, the Israelite…
Intriguing piece from Timothy Egan, in the NYTimes:
…[W]ith barely two weeks to go until the midterm federal election, the most underrepresented people in the country could be the kingmakers for control of the Senate. Let us pause for the cynical voice of an Indian friend who thinks that elections don’t matter: “Democrats, Republicans, they’re all white to me,” he says.
Still, the fact that all the money and manipulations of the Koch brothers could be undone by a handful of native voters living in some of the poorest and most remote parts of the land is a tribute to our teetering democracy. More time has been wasted defending the name of the Washington Professional Football Team than has ever been spent discussing tribal sovereignty or how the modern diet is killing too many natives. Yet now, important-sounding people have been forced to learn a phrase in Yup’ik, or find Shannon County, S.D., on a map…
Thus we find ourselves in Alaska and South Dakota, where the native vote could be the only thing that stands in the way of a Republican-controlled Senate. Alaska voters, though quirky and contrarian no matter what the race, seem poised to give the Republican Dan Sullivan the seat now held by the Democrat Mark Begich. Except typically, the polls are more misleading in the Last Frontier than a fish finder’s sonar in a bathtub.
Only about 250,000 people are expected to vote there. Of those, almost one in five has some Alaska Native or Indian blood — the highest percentage of any state. Begich has been feverishly working native villages in advance of the state’s two weeks of early voting. If the race is a nail-biter, look for late returns from, say, Kotzebue, an Inupiat town on a gravel spit 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle, to decide the winner.
In South Dakota, Native Americans are the largest single minority group, and they tend to vote Democratic. In a three-way race, heavy turnout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation might be enough to prevent the fading Republican front-runner, Mike Rounds, from picking up the seat. Tribal elections are the same day, as is a ballot measure to change the name of Shannon County, which is more than 90 percent Indian, to Oglala Lakota County. In 2012, the tribes of North Dakota provided the winning margin for the Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, who won her Senate seat by just over 4,000 votes.
“The candidate who learns best how to ask Indians for their votes could be the winner,” Indian Country Today, the national tribal paper, reported this week in a story on South Dakota…
What’s on the agenda for another day?