Lest I get kicked out of the blogging guild, I am required to write about the election. Were I a “real” journalist, I would not only have been required to write about the election constantly, I would also never have been published unless my writing supported Obama. Luckily, I am not part of either club.
Before I delve into the unpleasantness that I associate with this election, I wanted to urge all 6 of my readers to vote tomorrow. Heather and I are worried about long lines in Arlington so we are going to jog over to our polling place around 5:45 AM. About 3 out of 4 residents are registered in our town of 204,000 (up 14% from 2004). That is impressive considering the number under the age of 18, those who aren’t citizens, etc.
Herein lies one of the bright spots of this election: good potential for tremendous turnout. I’m willing to bet we see the highest turnout since 1968 tomorrow. A lot of that credit does to Obama due not only to the record-breaking and possibly shady fundraising machine, but also the dedication and organization of his staff.
Like millions of other Americans, I watched Barack Obama give his now famous speech at the Democratic Convention in Boston in 2004 and thought to myself “This guy is good, definitely a rising star and presidential material.” I never thought it would happen this fast. I had him down for 2012 or 2016 (post Hilary like everyone else). When he penned The Audacity of Hope, I read it and started drinking his Kool-Aid. Once he declared his candidacy, the reality of national office and campaigning quickly set in and my cynicism returned. Barack was talented, but not so different from everyone else (warning, long article that may increase cynicism). My feelings were hurt and I was mad at myself for believing, even if it was only for a few months. Politicians don’t get me excited. That is normally reserved for food, wine, chocolate, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Many months later, I just want it to end so we get some answers as to how either candidate will actually govern. No more campaigning, please. I implore all deities, if you be merciful, spare us anymore until late in 2011at the earliest. I was a big McCain guy in 2000. Admittedly, I also didn’t pay nearly as much attention back then. At the time, I was under the lash of Accenture and also trying to meet girls. I don’t know if McCain is just different, older, or under the influence of the RNC, but I have been very disappointed in his campaign from the time he secured the nomination. I didn’t see the Palin selection coming. Here is a taste of a recent post from Ross Douthat at The Atlantic (he gets paid for this and it shows):
Allowing that this was a hard time for a Republican to run for President, and allowing that Barack Obama might well have won the White House no matter what McCain did, it’s still the case that this has been a lousy, lousy conservative campaign for the Presidency.
My choice should have been easy at this point. It would be if not for a couple of very scary things that don’t have too much to do with Barack.
- Alignment in the House, Senate and Whitehouse. Not just majorities in Congress, but big ones and possibly a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate. The last two times this happened (FDR, LBJ), we got an explosion of entitlements and other government fun. Maybe that won’t happen this time, but I will lose some sleep. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid scare me-A LOT.
- Judicial appointments – I don’t care if you are liberal or conservative when it comes to these, both for the SCOTUS and any of the lower courts. I want the smartest men and women to get these nominations and I want them to be judges, not unelected oligarchies for life. Do not set policy from the bench. Admittedly, the constructionists tend to lean right and the Democrats did an unprecdented job of blocking Bush’s nominations the last few years. I thought the Republicans were tough on Clinton back in the day, but the Democrats have outdone them by a margin of about 2 to 1.
So I went from thinking I had, for a change, a choice between two strong candidates to despairing that I was once again measuring my choice as the lesser of two evils. Evil is not the right word though. Given that I am not cynical, I actually believe everything is going to be just fine no matter who is elected. At this point, on the eve of the election, I even think I know who I am choosing tomorrow. I am still in disbelief that it has come to this.
More imporantly, though, Go Steelers!! Steeler nation refuses to be defeated by the NFC East for the 3rd time this season. Tomorrow, I will proudly fly both of these banners: