This might also be a bit ambitious for an initial foray, but I’m faced with an upcoming six days that are sure to be equal parts frustrating, enlightening, mystifying and educational.

My wife and I grew up in Nebraska and have landed in Arizona, where we’ve lived for ten of the last 16 years. We both fall squarely into the liberal democrat camp, making us minorities in either state. My wife’s parents have arrived to spend the next six days with us and our kids. My father-in-law is a Republican, most of the time, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why he would be. I think he’s more of a “social values” Republican, of the church-going variety. He sure shouldn’t be, based on financial issues, and he also spent quite a chunk of his life in a union. He knows I’m one of them durned liberals, and we’ll dance around the topics from time to time when we are together, until we just agree to disagree.

With the election coming up so soon, I think the topics will be sure to come up more frequently, and for this weekend, I’m going to try to engage the discussions, rather than avoid them. I have no idea how many days it can go on, or if my wife will issue a cease-and-desist order before it’s over, but we’ll see how it goes.

This afternoon we chatted about Scott Kleeb’s chances in western Nebraska’s third congressional district race and about criminal prosecutions of Enron executives. The likelihood of a nationwide “Throw all the bums out” sentiment on election day and the issue of term limits in the U.S. Senate and House also came up. I’m still not sure how the recent Republican meltdowns and scandals may have affected his thinking, but I feel like he is representative of the type of Republican who would turn against the party based on their recent activities.

Or maybe I’m naively and hopelessly optimistic. I’ve been accused of that before. I may be, but I just don’t see much mileage in the alternative.