Four years ago I was euphoric. Today I’m just relieved.
The week before the election my friend Dick emailed from Cape Cod: "Voted early today. If 51 percent vote as I did, Obama will be reelected, Brown will be fired, and I can smoke a joint before committing suicide!"
Other than "sports hates" (Yankees; Amherst; Lakers; Knicks) I didn’t think of myself as a hater. Turns out I hate haters.
Andy Borowitz, now blogging for New Yorker magazine, wrote dozens of wonderful pieces during this endless campaign. Two of my favorites were the one where Chinese workers endorsed Romney, calling him a superb job creator, and the one a couple of days after the election which outlined the new Republican "big tent" strategy: "We’re going to welcome people who believe in different things than we do, like math and science. The Republican Party is even considering trying to appeal to women."
What’s with Florida? Voting shouldn’t be that hard and the state should be ashamed of itself. In his victory speech, the President mentioned the long lines in FL and, in an aside, said "We’ve got to fix that." Some people laughed, but I don’t think Obama meant it to be funny. They’d better fix it; Florida officials look like a bunch of clowns.
Exit polls generally do not interest me, but one did. Asked who was responsible for the current economic mess, people fingered George W. by a wide margin over Obama, and then said they voted for Obama. I underestimated, at least on this issue, the intelligence and memory of the American voter.
What’s with the anguish about debt and deficits? Where were
Republicans on this issue when Bush (who took over from Clinton after successive years of budget surplus) was running up the debt with his tax cuts and two wars, one useless and the other ultimately futile.
Shouldn’t they have started worrying about debt a decade ago?
I thought the media was premature in predicting the demise of the Republican Party as a force in national elections because, after all, a Republican won in two of the last four elections. But wait, it was actually two of the last six. But was it? Bush didn’t actually win in 2000; Gore won the popular vote and the electoral vote as well, until Florida officials and courts (here we go again with Florida) and a right wing U.S. Supreme Court took it away from him. Had Gore rightfully been given the White House in 2000, odds are he would have, as the incumbent, won reelection in 2004, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to say the Dems would have won six straight times.
Perhaps it’s true that the Republican Party as currently structured cannot win a national election. I’m torn: On the one hand, it would be good to see the nutjobs purged from national political influence.
On the other, I’d like to see Republicans lose every time, so let the extreme right continue to shoot itself in the foot.
One real benefit of this election is that, since the economy will improve during the next four years, Romney won’t be able to claim credit for the improvement.
I attended a political science forum on "Partisanship, the Presidency and Policy" at Williams the week before the election. In the Q & A session, a visiting history professor said that there were no new jobs because people had no money. Demand wouldn’t rise because people had no money to buy stuff, thus few jobs would be added. The reason the middle class had no money was because the upper class had too much of the pie. Also unions, especially in the private sector, used to command higher wages but had pretty much been wiped out.
Clear and simple. Maybe I can audit his class next semester; I like the way he thinks.
Wonderful to see Karl Rove raise $300 million in a Super PAC and then blow it all backing Mitt. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Wonderful to learn that rape isn’t "legitimate" after all.
Finally, to the owner of the Williams News Room: Sorry, Dan. Next time, OK? Dan requested "no more political columns;" he prefers sports, or essays telling Williams how to run their college, or my poking fun at local institutions. Please understand that I just had to get this one out of my system.