Wednesday, November 03, 2004

For what seems like the first time in my life, I've been accused of being too optimistic.

But Kerry could still pull it through. Bush has a margin of about 140,000 votes in Ohio - but there are still about 250,000 absentee and provisional ballots uncounted. And due to massive unjustified voter challenges (here and elsewhere on atrios), I feel safe in assuming that the provisional ballots will lean heavily Democratic. Will they lean Democratic heavily enough? Well, that's the question, isn't it. But I'm not giving up hope for Kerry yet. And if he does win... damn, that might be the deathblow of the electoral college, and I'd call that nothing but good news. For the second time in a row the electoral college would have picked the candidate who lost the popular vote, and this time Kerry lost the popular vote by an even greater margin than Bush did in 2000. Now that both sides have been hurt by it, maybe there will be serious attempts to get rid of the electoral college.

However, even though Kerry still has a chance, I'm not optimistic about the direction of our country in general. And it's not just the obvious fact that judging by the popular vote, most of the country prefers one of the most incompetent presidents ever to an actual American hero. I don't know why, but judging how dozens of votes went across the country, there is something seriously wrong.

Randy Kuhl won the House seat for New York's 29th district because when his opponent Samantha Barend showed that he threatened to shoot his ex-wife, it was seen as dirty politics and created a backlash against her.

In Kentucky, incumbent Jim Bunning won re-election, despite the fact that he is suffering from some sort of dementia.

Lisa Murkowski got her Senate seat in Alaska in 2002 because the governor appointed her - Governor Frank Murkowski. Her father. And yesterday, she got to keep that seat.

Of course, there are amendments forbidding gay marriage and civil unions passed in a dozen or so states.

And then there's all the stuff I've talked about before - studies proving that Bush supporters are less well-informed than Kerry supporters and that Fox viewers are less well-informed than people who get their news from NPR or PBS, and stories showing that I can't believe character is an issue at all and that some of Bush's followers show cult-like devotion.

If Kerry does win Ohio, then he will face a House and Senate both controlled by a Republican Party (by an even larger margin than before) which will be absolutely enraged by Kerry winning in only the electoral college (even though that's how Bush won in 2000). If Kerry had won in a landslide the genuine conservatives in the Republican Party might have waked up and taken it back from the theocrats and Big Business shills, but now they'll all stay united. He would also have inherited a war on terror in which we just gave our enemy a huge recruitment boost, a seperate War on Iraq which is - dare I say it - a quagmire, and the largest budget deficit in history. There's no doubt in my mind that Kerry would be better for the country than Bush, but in the face of all those obstacles, would he be good enough?

And if Kerry doesn't win Ohio, then all those trends will mushroom. With the addition of between one and three more Antonin Scalias. I'm sorry to be optimistic about the country's future at the start of this post and do a 180 by the end, but I have to wonder, what will this country look like by the time I'm 30? What could possibly reverse or even just halt all these patterns?

1 comment:

A. Azuri said...

Damn it all. Kerry has conceded. The United States is crumbling in its ignorance. I'm wearing black today.