Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Down to the Wire

I just returned home twenty minutes ago from voting. The polling place is at the Dikeman Firehouse in Goshen, New York which is less than a mile from where I now sit. I was in and out in about five minutes. Fortunately I do not live in an Obama-leaning swing state controlled by a Republican governor. Those poor people have to  wait on line for as much as eight hours or more. I'm sure that's just a coincidence though.

There was a woman standing in front of me with a couple of small children. They went into the voting booth with her. Civics for tots. I was very impressed. She had jet-black hair and was very pretty. I fell in love with her on the spot. I fall in love too easily, especially on Election Day.

I won't tell you for whom I voted. That's between me and the ballot box. Aw, hell, who am I kidding? You know damned well who I voted for. I'm not fooling anybody. 

We probably won't know the official results until early tomorrow morning, possibly even for several weeks. It is clear that the Republicans are doing everything humanly possible to steal this election - just as they did in 2000, just as they did in 2004. They didn't make an attempt to do so four years ago because, let's face it, they were running against a black guy. Beating him would be a cinch. Lesson learned. They can no longer count upon the ingrained  racism of so many Americans to do their will. 

The numbers are on President Obama's side but, contrary to accepted mythology, numbers do indeed lie. If the right wing thugs who long ago hijacked the "party of Lincoln" are able to pull this off (AGAIN) then you might as well kiss this place goodbye.  

It is now 1:12 PM EST. the polls here in New York close in less than eight hours. Living in a reliable "blue state" (Thank you, New York City) I don't feel much of an urge to go into the street to "get out the vote". If I were living in Ohio or Florida it would be a different story. God bless the people - whatever their political persuasion may be - for enduring those long and tedious lines. My hat is tipped. My glass is raised. Cheers!

An article appeared on AlterNet this morning by a person named Alex Pareene that called for the  abolition of the electoral college, This is an idea that's long overdue. If Obama wins this thing via the electoral college (but not the popular vote) you can bet next year's crop that the GOP might very well rethink this one (just as I became a convert to the idea in 2000 when George W. Bush won the same way). Wouldn't it be a grand thing if in 2016 we could ignore Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire? Talk about a perfect world.

The swing states are run by incompetent thugs and assholes. This is certainly no way to run what is supposed to be the greatest country in the world. Forget the twenty-first century, I'd be perfectly content to step into the twentieth. Seriously.


To those who wait on the long lines in Florida's sweltering heat or Ohio's biting cold, remember you're making history. Hang in there. I almost envy you....almost.

Tomorrow is the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Eleanor Roosevelt. For several months I have been planning on writing a piece in tribute to her on that occasion, but I'm afraid it needs to be placed on the back burner for a week or so. Tomorrow I imagine I'll be writing either one of two pieces: 

1. A tribute to the wisdom my fellow countrymen and woman....or

2. A blind, raging tirade at what silly twits they are.

We shall see. Keep your fingers crossed and your hands folded.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net 

SUGGESTED READING:

Here's a link to the Alex Pareene article mentioned above:

Let's Kill the Electoral College

Health food for thought.

AFTERTHOUGHT, 3:13 PM:

The GOP talking point today is that Election Day will prove that the polling process was inherently flawed. They say this with absolute confidence. I have a sick feeling  that they know the fix is in. Why would they say something as idiotic as that if they didn't have absolute confidence that they will be able to pull if off? Tomorrow they'll be saying, "See? We told you so!" Most of the country will swallow the bullshit without so much as a chaser. I plan on getting very intoxicated this evening.

BREAKING NEWS, 1:03 AM:

Mitt Romney just conceded one minute ago. Barack Obama has won reelection. Thank goodness that's over.

11 Comments:

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

Tom,

I voted here in Florida about an hour ago. It took ten minutes, but I had previously read and digested the twelve long (really long) constitutional amendments put on the ballot by our gerrymandered Legislature. Here in Florida, citizens can also put proposed Constitutional Amendments on the ballot but they must gather petitions signed by about 600,000 voters. There were no citizen-proposed Amendments on the ballot. Amendments require 60% affirmative votes to pass.

When I say gerrymandered I mean really gerrymandered. There are about 500,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in Florida. But Republicans have a two to one veto-proof majority in both houses of the Legislature. Give the Republicans credit for being whiz kids on gerrymandering.

The one Proposed Amendment that wins the prize as the most misleading is labeled “Religious Freedom.” Now who could be against that? After all it is part of our Federal Constitution (Amendment 1 of the Bill of Rights for those who aren’t sure about that). Anyway the fine print in the proposed “Religious Freedom” Amendment to the Florida Constitution allows taxpayer funds to go to religious institutions for enhancement of their religious efforts. Can anyone say Scientology or other pseudo religions?

It is funny that the prohibition of taxpayer funding of religious institutions that so many people now support originated in the so-called popular Blaine Amendments aimed at preventing state funding of Catholic schools in the mid to late 1800’s.

Many Newspaper Editorial Boards have recommended that voters say NO on all twelve proposed Constitutional Amendments.

We also have merit retention votes every six years on Judges and Justices. The Florida Supreme Court previously miffed the Legislature by removing some misleading proposed Amendments. The Republican Party of Florida has made their retention a political battle.

Only in Flori-duh.

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous John said...

I'm heading to Hamptonburg to vote. How do you spell Jill Stein - she is probably not even on the ballot - but I love her idea for a 'green new deal'. Of course it will be Obama by design. Now we can only hope that enough tycoons join Bloomberg in making him address climate change. Heaven help all of us as these tar-sands idiots keep digging deeper. Good luck fellow humans.

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom Degan: "Fortunately I do not live in an Obama-leaning swing state controlled by a Republican governor. Those poor people have to wait on line for as much as eight hours or more.

I do, and the small little precinct where I've been casting my ballot for the past twenty-two years, it never took more than ten minutes. Today, in the middle of the day, I stood in line for exactly one hour.

Coincidence?

Probably not.

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Ohio and had the option to vote early, which I did. I hope that my selections win, but I'm glad there will be an end to the phone calls and tv ads.

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But Republicans have a two to one veto-proof majority in both houses of the Legislature"

It couldnt be because today's democrat is too liberal could it?

 
At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Hopey McChange said...

Tom,

Wear your "Hope And Change" Tshirt like me tonight for good luck!

Yes We Can! Yes We Can!

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Hopey McChange: "Wear your 'Hope And Change' Tshirt like me..."

The only thing you'll be changing, before the night is through, is your diaper.

 
At 1:24 AM, Blogger Ronni said...

I am relieved. Hopefully, progress will ensue.

 
At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

Anon asked at 5:39 PM on Nov 6 about the 2:1 veto-proof majority in the Florida Legislature despite a plurality of about 500,000 Democrats state-wide: "It couldnt (sic) be because today's democrat is too liberal could it?"

Liberal/Conservative has hardly anything to do with it. Perhaps you do not understand gerrymandering.

A typical Florida state House seat receives about 85,000 actual votes. The redistricting really "protected" minority/majority districts by packing them full of minorities (Democrats). That left about two thirds of the House seats each with a ten to fifteen thousand majority of Republicans compared to Democrats despite that plurality of about 500,000 Democrats in the state.

Perhaps a smaller example would help you understand gerrymandering. In my County there are about the same number of Republicans as Democrats. Four County Commission seats are elected by Districts of about 150,000 voters each. One District with a large number of minorities has a plurality of 40,000 Democrats, making a Democrat a sure winner in that District. The other three Districts each have about a 13,000 plurality of Republicans. Guess who wins in those three Districts.



 
At 5:40 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

The Morning After....

Crisis averted. Now maybe we all can get a good night's sleep for a change. I could sure use one.

 
At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA! Thanks for the mention and the compliment. My children really enjoyed helping me vote---not sure if it was because they understood what they were doing or the promise of McDonald's if they behaved. While our political views differ, I do enjoy your blog so, thank you.

 

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