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Monday, November 03, 2008
Election Day Eve
Four years ago I spent Election Night buzzing around various events arranged by the state's political factions. I remember walking into the Marriott on Naito to discover a long line of Republicans trying to squeeze into a celebration in the basement. Sometime later, across the river, things were taking a sad turn in the Convention Center. I was standing in a large banquet hall with a few hundred Democrats when it became obvious that Kerry had lost his bid for the presidency. The organizers decided to drop a batch of victory balloons on the lingering crowd anyway. Depression quickly turned to anger as the everyone in the room, kids and elderly pensioners alike, started jumping on them. It was an ugly scene and one that, honestly, still haunts me. Especially after all that followed in American politics.
I think it's safe to say that if anyone is going to take out their frustrations on inanimate objects tomorrow night it'll be members of the state GOP. Knock on wood. I was convinced that Kerry had the election in the bag right around this time in 2004. There was simply no way that America could be naive enough to elect a Republican into the Oval Office for another four years.
Even if Obama wins in a landslide I can't help but be pestered by the nagging feeling that somewhere, right now, a group of key Republican strategists are all twiddling their fingers and doing their best Mr. Burns impressions. The economy is in the tank and the federal budget has been raided by Wall Street. War profiteers, oil bandits and various other forces o' darkness have made a killing in the past eight years. Now it's time to go back into hibernation like that mountain-sized demon at the end of Fantasia, count up the profits and kill a decade or three before they can safely pull a full-scale con on the electorate all over again. Let the new guy clean up this mess.
Still, if he wins, I'm sure the mud-slinging starts Wednesday at dawn. A colleague in DC who works in public relations for various right-wing factions tells me an Obama victory will be great for business. It'll energize the GOP but I wonder if they'll break out the same witch hunt tactics they unleashed on Bill Clinton. Is a scandal on the level of Whitewater or a stained dress enough to fire up Republicans after the full-scale, nightmarish bungles of the Bush administration? Oh, wait. What am I saying? These are the people who scream "terrorist" when they see a politician who once spent a small amount of time with a guy like Bill Ayers.
In less than 24 hours this will all be over (please, no repeats of 2000). God help whichever candidate wins tomorrow night. They'll be accepting one of the greatest "crap gigs" in the history of all mankind.