Post 2008 Election Thoughts

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It felt good to vote for Obama Tuesday. My absentee ballot never arrived (which required some explanation at the elementary school where I voted at 7:30 in the AM- also requiring explanation was why they had me listed at two different polling places in their records, meaning my days of voting multiple times for Democrats have apparently ended) so, for the first time since 2000, I actually went to the polls.

We neither had punch cards nor electronic ballot; I actually drew a line from Obama's name to the office of President of the United States.

And it felt good.

This embarrasses me.

It embarrasses me because I don't want to claim any element of the "we shall overcome" vibe that accompanied Obama's election. I'm a white guy and have never faced racial discrimination; I don't deserve any portion of the reflected glory in having an African-American elected President. I'm a good lefty, albeit not as sleeve wearing as was I two decades ago. It's funny, one of the reasons I became an educator was because I like the sharing of ideas, but despite all the prattle about lefty leaning college professors, every pressure at my job goes to minimizing the chances that anything which slides from my mouth offends anyone. It's the nature of living on the margins of corporate America, a slip up and I have no health insurance, if I bruise too many feelings I can't pay my mortgage.

Sure, if you're going to be a professor, it's good to profess something, but one does what one needs to do.

But as a kid, in the heart of the Reagan 80s in rural Ohio, I grew very accustomed to being a minority of one on a whole host of progressive issues, both racial and otherwise. Affirmative action, economic inequality, gender equity, the rights of the accused, gay and lesbian discrimination, the job of the media to tell truth to power -- If I stood alone once, I stood alone a thousand times, in high school, in undergraduate school, even in law school in the early 90s (in '87 16 year old Jividen gave a speech to the Lions Club in Marion, Ohio on the sociological importance of the 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's breaking the color barrier - my thesis was that 4 decades after Robinson, 3 after Brown v. Bd of Ed, two after I Have a Dream, and one after the Commodores recorded "Brickhouse" the economic metrics suggested that blacks in the US seemed to be sliding further away from the top of the mountain and I wondered why that was -- you have never seen a dude lose an audience more quickly than 16 year old Jividen in his blue suit telling a rural Ohio Lions club that he could not wait to vote for the first black President of the United States some day) I was just battered down by a mass of flag waving at every turn. Lee Greenwood always trumped whatever statistic I might have at my disposal.

But this victory isn't mine. The only thing I've had to overcome is a largely crummy education and my inclination to eat every carbohydrate in a 36 mile radius. To whatever extent Tuesday was a ratification of progressive principles, I'm pleased. The Republicans have wasted no time in ladeling on some demagoguery; 'member back, like a minute and a half ago when Obama was a crazy, radical pinko? Socialist, communist - evil redistributor of wealth Barack Obama?

360 electoral votes later - now Newt Gingrich says "no one campaigning as a general liberal has been elected since 1964." Now Brent Bozell says "Barack Obama won as a conservative." And now Newsweek's Evan Meachem called the US "still a center-right country."

Hard to have every Republican in full throat call Obama a socialist on Monday and then say the country is conservative on Wednesday.

I'm a bigger fan of the right wing noise machine than that. They're very good at campaining. I'd rather think they were successfully able to paint Obama as a liberal. That's what McCain thinks. Marc Salter said their internal polling was that 60% of voters identified Obama as a liberal.

And he got 360 electoral votes.

More than that - the world clearly, I mean, clearly, reacted with one approving voice about the results Tuesday. Europe. Asia. Africa (note to Governor Palin, that's the continent Africa as opposed to the country Africa. Or the Toto song.) Not since the aftermath of 9-11 has the global community looked upon the United States with such favor. Turns out Bush wasn't lying. He was a uniter and not a divider.

Just because everyone believes something but you doesn't make them right, my brother Republicans.

But at some point, when does it become incumbent upon you to explain why the rest of the world has lined up on one side while you remain on the other?

Just the thought that what anyone else has to say should matter, of course, inflames a certain subset of conservatives. They hate the UN. They hate Anthony Kennedy, a conservative Supreme Court justice, who talked about the way the world has rejected the death penalty in an opinion and faced the wrath of the America-only crowd for daring to notice there's a world beyond our shining seas (Kennedy's a swing vote on this court - if it were 30 years ago, he would have found himself buried on the ass end with Rehnquist on a lot of 7-2 decisions.)

But I've always thought it a good rhetorical device - explain to me why the rest of the western world has fewer homicides than we do, explain to me why the rest of the western world treats health care as a public good and not a business where insurance companies rake in profits while people can't afford prescription drugs, explain to me why the rest of the western world has stopped executing people - or has more permissive drug laws - or so much smaller prison populations - or vibrant left wing political parties - or actually believes in evolution and has for over a hundred freaking years?

It doesn't make them right. But tell me why, on so many issues, the world speaks with one voice - and its a far more liberal voice than has carried the day in the US? The world woke up Wednesday morning and celebrated the election of Barack Obama - those of you who voted for John McCain woke up on an island.

It doesn't make you wrong. But you probably need to explain.

And being on the side of the overwhelming majority is weird for me. To whatever extent it's true. Again, I go into the Obama administration without illusion, which is another reason for my embarrassment. I am not wrapped up in the "a change is gonna come" moment. This is a better result than if it had gone the other way. Better for me, and I believe better for most Americans. But I'm expecting Clinton's 3rd term, not the New Millennium Great Society. I'm expecting a shoring up of capitalism, which, as it does every couple of decades, is cracking hard at the seams. After September 11, the conservative version of American exceptionalism held sway with the majority of the country - "lets wave our flags now and give up some civil liberties and go bomb the fuck out of people because we need to be dominant" and now we see the liberal version "all those words in the Declaration of Independence have finally come true, we have finally overcome, we are leading the way and showing the world our tolerance and freedom and equality and being a beacon of all light." Everyone's got a version of Bill Pullman's speech from Independence Day that chokes them up and everyone's got a version that makes them queasy.

Neither version speaks to me, and it embarrasses me a little that liberals run to mythmaking as rapidly as do conservatives. Conservatives dream of an America where we all stand together and chant U-S-A; liberals dream of an America where we all stand together and sing "Imagine."

But they're both dreams. The United States is an empire, a wholly corporately controlled empire. My hope is that the machine gets a little friendlier, a little more fair, spreads a little more wealth, provides a little more justice and tranquility. I'd like to be able to pay for my groceries and marry my boyfriend.

Granted, that second part's unlikely to happen, 'cause I'm as gay as I am black, which is not at all, so when the day comes (and it will conservatives, it will) when we have gay marriage, and an out of the closet gay President, probably I'll feel good about casting those ballots too, but I'll also have to refrain from any of the credit.

You Shall Overcome. I'll argue on your behalf, vote for you every time I get the chance, and not take any ownership in your eventual victory. Just like Tuesday.

I'm glad Obama won. It felt good to cast the vote. It felt good to have been right, consistently so, for the last year (no fair bringing up my college football picks). It felt good to see the happy people. It felt good to see Jesse Jackson, for whom I cast my first vote two decades ago, weep unabashedly as he stood in the Chicago crowd. It felt good to see a Democratic President from above the Mason-Dixon line, which hasn't happened since they killed Kennedy 45 years ago. It felt good to see a young guy, only 6 years older than I am, bring some almost GenX-y flavor to the White House. It felt good to see a guy who, while not sharing my specific cultural sensibility, has almost certainly listened to my music, watched my shows, read my books, cried during my movies - all the things that don't matter at all in any adult type way - and embarrass me to whatever extent I suddenly care about them - they made me feel good.

And I liked voting for the black guy.

That's the wrong note in a postracial society, but there you go.

'Member when Rush Limbaugh worked for ESPN for a half second and got fired for saying that some writers were rooting for Donovan McNabb because he was black?

I really don't like Rush Limbaugh. Hypocrite pill-junkie Rush Limbaugh.

But I thought he was almost right (not right on McNabb being overrated, that part was nuts)

And I thought that was a good thing.

I've tended to root for the black guys. Give me a white boxer and a black boxer - probably I've cheered for the black guy. The first movie I ever saw was Rocky when I was 5. I cheered for Apollo Creed. He was the Count of Monte Fisto, after all. An inner city basketball team vs. a suburban team - I'm for the black guys. My 1980s were Patrick Ewing, Prince, and Public Enemy. Ain't none of my heroes appear on no stamp.

It's not a new phenomenon. I grew up reading about Thurgood Marshall. And Marcus Garvey. And WEB Dubois. I admired Jack Johnson. And Harriet Tubman. My favorite movie was Do the Right Thing,

and when Mookie threw the trash can through Sal's window, I cheered my white ass off.

I'm not entirely sure where it comes from, defiance and swaggwer being appealing to me, I guess - my disinclination to side with power, my dislike of oppression, or I'm just essentially shallow and look to be contrarian, feeling empowered from lining up in opposition to my all white conservative teen surroundings.

It might even be racist. It wouldn't be an unfair criticism. I've considered it.

I'm uncertain. But what I am certain of is this.

I was glad to vote for Obama. It felt good. Damn good.

And it was nice to win one.

Repost - OctoberNovember 2008 Election Blogs

Glenn Greenwald, as I've mentioned in this space, has a blog which is better than mine. If you're here for the sports, you should stay, but if you're here for the politics, probably, you need to go here first.

One of the reasons for this is his tolerance level for wading through conservative outrageousness is higher than mine - almost incomprehensively, there is a current Republican talking point that it's the Democratic Party which is devoted to - well, let me just quote Rush Limbaugh:

The US Constitution has been abrogated and is being tossed overboard section by section by the Democrat Party and the American left.

If you want one sentence, after the last 8 years of defending the actions of the Bush Administration, that really defines how thoroughly unprincipled these guys are - that would be it. Their words have no connection to any type of meaning; they are for whom the word demagogue was created.

Oh - and you can also see one of the Sarah Palin clips too. It's the one where she can't name a newspaper she reads. I'm looking forward to the one (which apparently exists, true story) where the only Supreme Court decision she's familiar with is Roe v. Wade. Or maybe where she talks about how the US Americans struggle with geography because of the education in the Iraq, such as.

I may be confusing her with someone else there. Can't imagine why it would matter.

John McCain called us "my fellow prisoners" today.

Bet whatever's left in your 401K on Obama.

Joe the Plumber isn't a licensed plumber.

Which is awesome, of course, but unsurprising.

I don't know when it began, perhaps with John Wayne's avoiding military service during WWII and then devoting his public life to portraying American muscularity and, like Sarah Palin, condemning those on the left as un-American (apparently, there are certain states that aren't part of the real America, I'm eagerly awaiting further instruction from the Palin camp) Wayne was on the side of blacklisting Hollywood writers in the 50s, on the side of "pulling the trigger" on antiwar protesters during Vietnam, and said about Native Americans, "I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."

37 year old movie star liberal Henry Fonda enlisted. John Wayne dodged the draft.

Ronald Reagan has been deified as the conservative Christian leader who returned good old fashioned family values to Washington DC, despite his disinterest in actually attending church and consultation with astrologers when making policy decisions.

The battle over same sex marriage has been at the center of the culture war since 1996 when the House passed the Defense of Marriage Act. The cornerstone argument the right offered was that gay marriage undermines traditional marriage. Bob Barr, now reinvented as a libertarian running for President, was a co-sponsor of the bill and said "the flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundations of out society: the family unit."

So much for keeping government out of our lives.

Bob Barr was married 3 times as of 1996, I don't know if he's picked up a divorce or two since then. Bob Dole (divorce), Newt Gingrich (dumped wife in the hospital) Phil Gramm (probably whined during his divorce) and Rush Limbaugh (looking to catch up to Larry King in his number of marriages) were also in the chorus trumpeting traditional marriage. Limbaugh, of course, has added an evisceration of antiwar activists (he avoided Vietnam with the medical diagnosis of anal cysts) and drug users (ahem) to his record in the past decade. If there's an anti-gay but actually gay politician (Mark Foley, Larry Craig) he's a Republican. The architects of the buildup of the largest military in human history, the people committing American soldiers to kill and die, Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, both avoided military service. George Bush spent Vietnam blowing off his national guard service in Alabama - thirty years later, somehow decorated veteran John Kerry became the candidate whose war wounds were derided as superficial at the Republican convention.

Republicans have built a brand on the constant slurring of opposition. Liberalism = treason. Even mainstream corporate democrats get slapped with the red menace brush. Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists" is the latest in the scorched earth policy at the heart of their intellectually bankrupt politics.

Republicans bellow about the free market for decades, insinuating that those who put forth regulatory plans are Stalinists - until public consensus turns on Wall St, then somehow it's the Democrats who have been opposed to government oversight on corporate America. Republicans scream about a Chicago college professor's activities 40 years ago as evidence that Obama actively works with terrorists (the automated phone calls say exactly that - in a country with a history of racial violence as prounced as ours, in a country where abject fear of terrorism is as fevered of ours - the McCain battle plan has been to run hard down the stretch conflating Obama with terrorists, using the word "terrorist" to describe Obama's "friends", the Obama=Osama=Hussein conflation has been referenced by people sharing the campaign stage with the VP nominee - the "Obama is a secret sleeper agent" types of paranoid fantasies are effectively given cover by the Rovian/Atwater like campaign tactics of the Republicans, and they are not increasing their possibility of winning the election, as they will not win this election - but they are absolutely, unequivocally, ratcheting up the possibility that the punchline to every single "what would happen if a black man was about to become President" reference made during my lifetime has been - that someone, some unhinged member of, say, the type of secessionist group like the Alaska Independence Party who Sarah Palin pals around with, might come true and someone might take a shot at Obama. The underlying threat of violence toward a Presidential candidate would be unprecedented...except that it occurred when Bill Clinton was President on right wing talk radio too. You remember, back when Hillary Clinton was an example of a feminazi. You remember, before the Republicans started claiming it was the Democrats, the media, and Tina Fey who were the real sexists.)

Republicans purge voter rolls, take apart habeas corpus, condone torture, promote the unitary theory of the executive branch - and then claim that it's ACORN which is threatening the fabric of democracy.

They blame registration of poor and black voters for undermining democracy. They blame minority home owners for the subprime mortgage crisis.

And when John McCain looks to find a construct - someone to slither into the role of "guy who isn't a millionaire who would be better off under McCain's tax policy than Obama's" - it's just natural that he finds Joe the Non-Plumber. The "just average American" who turns out to be a notorious conservative talk radio caller. The guy who, it turns out, would get a tax cut under Obama's plan, given his income. The guy without a plumbing license.

Joe the Plumber.

A faulty construct in the first place - even the fictional Joe the Plumber - the guy whose business profit would have to be above a quarter million dollars a year in order to get even a minimal tax increase - that guy is hardly reflective of the mass of Americans. I'll trade my paycheck for Joe the imaginary Plumber's quarter million dollars - thanks. I'll trade the next few years of paychecks for Joe the imaginary Plumber's quarter million dollars - and somehow I think I'll find it in my budget to pay the few hundred bucks in extra tax.

Even the Joe the Plumber they tried to create is a lie.

Republicans have lived under this fake populism for decades, giving out bags of cash to the uberwealthy for decades while calling their opponents elitists. It's really Bill O'Reilly, with his millions of dollars in hush money going to make a sexual harrassment suit go away, who somehow speaks for regular Americans.

Unions have virtually disappeared and the distance between rich and working class has grown exponentially - but they've convinced generations that it's the unions who outlived their purpose, who don't reflect the needs of the worker. Go into any non-union corporation and you'll see someone without health insurance talking about how unions are greedy.

John McCain scoffs at the health care systems in England and Canada while the US has the highest level of infant mortality in the western world and 47 million uninsured.

Talk about economic inequality? That means you're engaging in class warfare.

Racism? No longer a problem. It's those affirmative action programs that are the real injustice.

The marginalized - gays, blacks, immigrants - they are the ones exercising their power - it's the Christians, in the United States of all places - it's the white Christian men - who are silenced.

They've had 8 years of almost complete and unchecked control over the entire mechanism of the federal government - by any metric - 8 years of unmitigated, disastrous failure - and Mitt Romney stands at the Republican Convention and says we need a change from a liberal Washington to a conservative one.

Joe the Plumber.

The perfect symbol for the Republican Party.

Because actual plumbers - they've endorsed Obama.

There were 100,000 people who came to hear Obama in St Louis today.

This election is over.

You want to bet Obama today?

He's going at 1:7. In a two person race, the Black guy's a 1:7 favorite.

Don't listen to Drudge. I mean, unless he's willing to take your action.

Election's over.

Oh - and people who blow up abortion clinics aren't terrorists. Bill Ayers, who turned himself in a quarter century ago and who was named Chicagoan of the year a decade ago - he's a terrorist. But shoot a gynecologist in the head - nah, we'll leave the labeling alone.

Helluva campaign these guys ran. Filled with good ideas.

In my previous post, I have a video clip from the Palin/, McCain/Palin interview with Brian Williams. In watching the bulk of that interview now, seeing how McCain, the Republican nominee for President, weirdly sits there, almost disassociating from the conversation between Williams and Palin - it struck me what it most reminded me of.

Remember the Barbara Walters sit down with Mike Tyson and Robin Givens 20 years ago? Tyson, the baddest man on the planet, all zonked out on anti-everything while Givens talked about how he liked to slap her around?

That was the beginning of the end for Tyson - it's the end of the end for McCain; not to make a joke about a guy who lived in a North Vietnamese box for 5 1/2 years, but he looks like he's ready to cut a hostage tape. John McCain's imprisoned by his own campaign. The preying on the stupidest, least common denominator Republican fears of the other, the ridiculous red smearing of Obama's plan to end the Bush tax cuts - the robocalls - McCain's a grown up, he doesn't get a pass for his complicity in the ugliness - but you get the sense that if he could go back to Brownsville and raise pigeons with Cus D'Amato, he'd do that in a heartbeat.

Given the size of Obama's ears - dude oughta be glad he and McCain don't have any more town hall meetings.

Tomorrow morning (as my absentee ballot never arrived) I'll be going to my local polling place to cast my Presidential vote for Barack Obama.

If you've read me in one of a handful of locations over the past year, you know I've been steadfast in the belief that Obama's going to win this election. As we're 24 hours from the first polls closing, my view is that I'm certain now, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this will be so.

This will mean that, for the first time in my life, I will have voted for the winning candidate in a Presidential election.

I take this far less personally than not having my San Francisco Giants ever win a World Series (we've never won, and never will win. I'm cursed like Charlie Brown) when one casts the votes that have mysteriously appeared on my ballot, you get what you pay for.


Primary: Jesse Jackson

General: Michael Dukakis

I watched Ben Affleck on SNL this weekend (I like Affleck, for no apparent reason) and he and I shared a childhood apparently, right down to canvassing for Jimmy Carter. Now, I'm 38, I was 10 years old in November of 1980 - isn't Affleck like 32 - someone needs to hop on this.

Anyway, being 38, I first was eligible to vote 20 years ago - I'm one of the few Americans to have been able to vote for President when he was 17, given an election quirk permitting underage primary voters provided they'd turn 18 before the general election. That was me, and I proudly cast my first vote, as a 17 year old white kid in rural Ohio, for Jesse Jackson.

I volunteered for the Duke as a Young Democrat during my freshman year of undergraduate school. I was fresh faced and apple cheeked and other almost entirely untrue cliches, but I did think we might win that election. We did not. This is why no one refers to him as Duke 41.


Primary: Jerry Brown

General: Jerry Brown (write in! I write in candidates! I'm that guy!)

I worked for Governor Brown in the summer before I started law school; somewhere within the dustbin of history there's our victory in the Michigan primary. Remember Brown and Clinton going head up on Phil Donahue's old show! It was glorious - all those ideas flyin' around like that! The soul of the Democratic Party at stake - would we turn right, adopt the accomodationist strategies of the DLC and embrace the same level of corporate status as our Republican oppressors???

Yeah, we would.


General: Ralph Nader

Clinton ran unopposed, so there wasn't a primary - '96 always seemed clear; at no point did it ever make sense that Bob Dole wins that election; this one's felt the same way since it was clear who the opponents would be; I spent months very calmly expressing to those who are maybe a little more emotionally invested in the Dems than am I that there's really no circumstance where, in 2008, a guy like John McCain beats a guy like Barack Obama.

Vegas now has it at 1:10, by the way. Election's over.

Ralph Nader's an American hero. If you missed the post 2000 debate on for how much of that result he was to blame, he was treated shamefully by some on the left. It's okay not to vote for him; to say he shouldn't run, that a candidate to the left of the nominee of the Democrats, which are a modern center/right party when considering the range of western options, doesn't have the right to inject those ideas into the debate, just makes me wince. Another American hero, Studs Terkel, died over the weekend. Unlike the Republicans, who fight against the minimum wage and then claim to be for "regular Joes" when they claim that repealing the Bush tax cuts on people earning a quarter million dollars a year is communism (and that's exactly the argument they're making, exactly) Terkel actually did spent an entire lifetime arguing for working class Americans. You can absolutely say "I make a quarter million dollars a year, I don't want to pay more taxes, even though I support all of the spending for the Iraq War, 'cause fuck everyone but me" and you can even say "I'm working class, but I'll vote against my own economic interests and vote for the Republicans" but if you're in my tax bracket and you think the Republican Party is better for your pocketbook - then you are ill informed or a goddamned fool.


Primary: Bill Bradley

General: Pat Buchanan (kidding)

'Member when Bill Bradley was the lefty hope to win the nomination? Michael Jordan (he who once explained his lack of political stands by saying "Republicans buy shoes too") even endorsed him. I was in California in '96, but lived in my current home, West Palm Beach, Florida, for the election of 2000. You remember Palm Beach County in 2000. This was the only election I ever voted with other people; I went with my parents - and hand to god (I mean, I'm a lefty, a real secular progressive, anti-American and I do not share your values and whatnot, so I snicker when I say that, but you get the sentiment) as we left the polling place in the general election, my mother said "I think...I think I just voted for Pat Buchanan."

And we're good Irish and all, but, you know, it stops at the water's edge.

I didn't waste my vote like she did - I voted for Ralph Nader. And we know how that turned out.


Primary: Dennis Kucinich

General: John Kerry

If you listen to the American mainstream media, you might be of the belief that the Democrats are a liberal political party. This is error. The late Paul Wellstone used to refer to himself as part of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party - that's where Kucinich resides and he's the Democratic candidate who got my vote whose views are most similar to mine. That was an easy vote to cast - the Kerry vote was really difficult; helped by my going completely absentee in 2004. There was a letter to we lefties published in the Nation signed by people smarter than I - people like Barbara Ehrenreich and Howard Zinn and Peter Irons and Noam Chomsky - saying they were going to vote for Kerry, despite his being a corporate Democrat, and that we should also. The argument was that a principled vote for Nader, for example, wasn't worth the damage that a 2nd Bush term could do. That while the differences between the two political parties aren't as wide as presented by mainstream media, both being wholly owned by big bidness, that the economic and environmental harm of four more years of Bush would be a hole from which we might never emerge.

But what do they know?


Primary: Dennis Kucinich

General: Barack Obama

I like Obama.

You know all those bullshit, counterproductive character discussions cable news has now about politicians - the "who would you like to have a beer with" spins through the news cycle that led to guys like Chris Matthews saying - "the only people who don't really like Bush are the real whack jobs?"

The Republicans owned the media coverage of the elections in both 2000-2004, they were able to frame both races as essentially "Bush is a reg'lar guy - not some elitist Poindexter."

That was part of 2008 too - but it was only Hillary Clinton who was able to get traction from the dumbass pundit class by pinning the elite label to Obama. There's a term used in political science, "aping the oppressor" to describe how previously colonized people govern once they get power - it's often times using the same dehumanizingly brutal techniques to which they were subjected. When Hillary Clinton started chugging beer and talking about how elite economists didn't understand popular wisdom about drilling for oil, my years of distaste for Clintonian politics came to a head. Much of her campaign was predicated on perpetuating the type of anti-intellectualism that the Republicans trot out there when they want votes. There's nothing inherently stupid about conservatism; I disagree with that basic way of looking at thr world - but Alexander Hamilton wasn't stupid. But the Republicans pander to the lowest common denominator - it gave us Bush 43 and it's given us Sarah Palin, about whom even the conservative pundit class has effectively deemed her brain too intellectually uncluttered to be President. To see Democrats adopt that posture, that what we want from a President is that he's just like everyone else, the Joe Sixpacks and Hockey Moms, was disheartening.

Granted, from Obama's a terrorist, to Obama's a socialist, to Obama's a Muslin terrorist socialist - the Republicans demonstrated ably that, as far as the Democrats might go, they'll always go further. I'm uncertain if I can recall a time when the Republican Party seemed to replicate the Know-Nothings of the 19th century more than they do right now. Obama's gonna wipe McCain out tomorrow night. Wipe him clean off the map. I'm unsure what that means, probably a fairly competent conservative presidency, one that largely spends most of its time bailing water. But if I were a Republican, I'd be really unsure about what comes next.

But as mentioned, I like Obama; I like Mrs. Obama. He seems like a bright, curious, competent guy. I don't like his health care plan (the Obama the McCain folks want voters to see is the guy I really like - I mean, except for the terrorist part -- the guy who wants to give us health care like Canada or England, yeah, I'll take that - the guy who wants to redistribute the wealth - yeah, I'll take that too) and as a chuch/state absolutist I'm thoroughly disinterested in what seems to be his willingness to continue faith based initiatives - but I'm good with the whole Obama thing.

Not that it matters - I'm voting for him the same reason I voted for Kerry - because we can't afford 4 more years of those guys. It's why none of the old plays - the red baiting, the fear mongering - the Jesus stuff - none of that got any traction this time. When people are broke, they don't have time for the bullshit. I spent 230 bucks at the grocery store yesterday; I make 41 grand a year and live alone with a cat; I'm a full time college professor and need to get a second job - why in the world would I want to keep the Republicans in office?

But I do like the Obamas. He gets my vote tomorrow. It won't feel like the Giants winning the World Series, and I'm too old to revel in the "finally, things will change" sweep of the moment - but it will be nice. I have a midterm to give, then I'll come home and watch the returns and wish President elect Obama well.

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