"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cautiously Optimistic 

My Lovely Bride and I had some mildly snippy words this morning, owing to her thinking that I am being ridiculously sunny in my belief that John Kerry is going to beat the Naked Emperor like a gong. I love her dearly, but she is a bit of a "glass half empty" sort (personally, I just figured that the glass was too damned big).

In that light, I was struck by this post over at Hullabaloo, which draws heavily on the yeoman work done by Alan Abramowitz and Ruy Teixeira at Donkey Rising. The gist is this: In the week before the 2000 election - an election in which Al Gore won the popular vote, if you'll recall, and actually almost won the electoral vote - 39 of 43 polls picked George W. Bush to win the popular vote by an average of 3.6%. And that was before an army of new voters (who do not show up in pollsters' "likely voter" profiles, because they did not vote in the previous election) were registered by Democratic and progressive activists. And that was without the "benefit" (to use the term loosely) of an emerging scandal like al Qa Qaa.

Like. A. Gong.

But - forget all that. Assume it's neck-and-neck. Assume this election is still anyone's to win (or lose), and behave accordingly. Donate money, donate time, and above all, vote - and take a friend with you when you do.

Why all this apparent despair in the face of near-certain victory? Four reasons:
1. I may be wrong about all this, and the election may actually be terribly close.

2. It's not enough for Kerry to merely win, he has to win convincingly enough to forestall the sort of legal shenanigans for which Karl Rove is so very, justly famous.

3. It's not enough for Kerry to win, and win convincingly; he needs a genuine mandate. We need to send the message, once and for all, that the sort of larcenous, fanatical, utterly incompetent "leadership" we've seen from the Empty Flight Suit will never again be tolerated in this great country.

4. Don't forget the Senate (within Democratic reach), the House (probably out of reach this election, but it's never too early to start laying the groundwork for '06), and all your local elections. The Republicans sold their party to the lowest bidders, who happen to be thugs, thieves, and nutbars from the American Taliban. Make sure the decent, principled Republicans realize that their party's only hope is to eradicate the BushCo plague, root and branch. We're happy to engage them in a debate about policy, but we will not allow them to infect our national politics with the Rovian flu.

Vote. Just vote. Vote early and often. Do not get discouraged by the polls, but do not get complacent. Make the bastards pay.




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