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A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

My internet modem went out last Thursday, which is why I haven't posted anything for four days - but I did get pretty damn good at playing Minesweeper.  I tell you what.   The Internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity - like electricity, indoor plumbing, and microwave ovens.  Hell, these days with all the magazines disappearing, you can't even . . . oh, never mind.

Several calls to tech support later, I now have a new modem and am thankfully connected to the world again - just in time for the election. The polls are still too close for comfort, so your Head Trucker is keeping his fingers crossed until the official results are in. Here's Nate Silver's final chart from yesterday:

Looks good for our side, but - it ain't over till it's over. There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and lip, you know?

And if you live in one of The Four states where marriage is on the ballot, remember:

Honk to Joe.My.God. for the above images.

I'll post the election results when I get them, and maybe some other tidbits during the day. Ya know, it seems so strange that four years have gone by, whoosh, just like that. Seems like we just went through this whole election thing not very long ago. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed since then. My grandmother told me that the years go by quicker and quicker, the older you get. She was right.

Update #1: Nathan Rich, in an article about undecided voters, notes the striking contrast in spirit between this election and the last one:
I spoke to a different type of voter four years ago, when, two weeks before the 2008 election, energized by Barack Obama’s campaign, I joined several friends in Norfolk, Virginia, which is home to the largest naval base in the world. It was an ecstatic, optimistic time, and the Obama campaign offices were like college dorms—dozens, even hundreds of young volunteers passed through, not only canvassing but making phone calls, entering data, and determining strategy, subsisting on cold pizza and cold coffee. Upon arrival we were sent to some of the city’s poorest inner-city neighborhoods, composed almost entirely of black voters. We visited ramshackle, single family homes and vast concrete-and-brick housing projects; many of the people on our list had never voted before.

There were challenges, to be certain—because we were white, many people we met were convinced that we were spies for John McCain’s campaign, even though our arms were filled with brochures showing Obama’s face. Some well-meaning people, mostly older women, advised us to leave a neighborhood for our own safety. One group of teenagers drew me an intricate map of the route I’d have to follow in order not to stumble into the middle of a gang war. But over the course of a week we visited more than a thousand homes, speaking with hundreds of voters and, witnessing their enthusiasm, we became convinced that Obama would carry the state.

When I returned to Virginia to canvass last week, my friends and I went to Norfolk, excited to go back to the same neighborhoods we had visited in 2008. But the moment we entered the president’s local campaign office, we discovered how much had changed. We were informed by a campaign staffer that our services were not wanted. In fact there would be no canvassing for Obama during the week at all—and not only in Norfolk but in all of Virginia. Instead, all volunteers were asked to make phone calls to Obama’s most enthusiastic local supporters. The goal was to sign them up to canvass in the campaign’s final four days, beginning the Saturday before the election. We explained that we had not travelled considerable distances to Virginia only to make phone calls, which we could have done from our own living rooms. But the campaign would not budge. “I’m sorry,” said the young woman who greeted us in the Norfolk office, with a theatrical shrug. “I just work here.”

Here was the difference between 2012 and 2008. While the offices look the same—the young people making phone calls, the enervated chatter, the boxes of doughnuts—the underlying structure had been transformed. “I just work here.” This time around, the people in charge are not volunteers, but employees. Since 2010, when the Supreme Court overturned restrictions on private donations by corporations, the Obama campaign, flush with money, has increased its paid staff gigantically; there were three times as many employees in the Hampton Roads office as four years earlier. In 2008 the approach was politics from the ground up, by social network. This time, it was Obama, Inc., with strategy fixed at the highest level, by the campaign’s central headquarters in Chicago.

Update #2:   One more "yes we can" and a shout-out to the gays from the President's last campaign speech. Try to imagine what the gays would get mentioned for under the other party's regime.

Update #3: 14 Races for Gay and Trans People to Watch Today.

Update #4: From Andy Borowitz, "The Republicans' Closing Argument":
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—With only one day until the election, the Republican Party today released its official closing argument to the American people.

In its entirety, the argument read as follows: “We’re strongly opposed to FEMA and health care, but basically O.K. with rape.”

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said that the Party’s message of “zero tolerance toward disaster relief combined with a more easygoing attitude about rape” would lead the Party to victory on Election Day.

“Our argument couldn’t be simpler: when God wants to create a hurricane or make a woman pregnant, big government should get out of the way,” he said.

The Party chairman said that the closing argument was part of its “expand the map” strategy: “We’re contesting every state, from Pennsylvania to Colorado to Iowa, where we believe there are voters who are in sync with our more advanced view of hurricanes and rape.”

Mr. Priebus also had this message for the American voter: “Your vote is important. We’ve spent billions trying to buy it.”

See also: "Romney Airdrops Two Billion in Small Bills over Ohio."

Update #5: Poll closings today, via Joe.My.God.:

Update #6: Via Andrew Sullivan, what this election all boils down to:
This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life. Yielding to partial and temporary departures from necessity, this is the leading object of the government for whose existence we contend.--Abraham Lincoln, Special Message to the People of the United States, July 4, 1861.

Update #7: Again via Sullivan, Nate Silver's projections as of 10 a.m. this morning.  Please God he is right.


Tim said...

Welcome back!

Russ Manley said...

Thanks Tim, but the new modem is doing strange things - I hope I can stay "back."

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