Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Broad Spectrum Democracy

A few election day random thoughts from around the blogosphere:

(L)ots of reports of voting problems, often with lots of exclamation points, by people who don't seem to be able distinguish between serious voter intimidation, general incompetence, and the to be expected occasional malfunctioning machine or whatever. (Atrios)

My general observation of these and related matters is that an election has to be close if it's to be stolen. This one won't be a landslide, but it's not going to be all that close either.

"Conservative commentators had a lot of fun mocking Barack Obama’s use of the phrase, 'the fierce urgency of now.'

"Noting that it had originated with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Senator Obama made it a cornerstone of his early campaign speeches.

"Conservatives kicked the phrase around like a soccer ball. 'The fierce urgency of now,' they would say, giggling. What does it mean?

"Well, if your house is on fire and your family is still inside, that’s an example of the fierce urgency of now." (Bob Herbert in the New York Times)

And if, as Herbert notes further down in the column, nearly 40 percent of the nation's wealth is in the hands of the top one percent of income earners, and that same one percent also holds the nation's political machinery in its "iron grip," the house is indeed on fire. Today's the day we put that fire out.

On MSNBC just now, Sarah Palin took a few questions from reporters clustered outside her Wasilla, Alaska, polling place. Unbelievably, she refused to tell them whom she voted for. Here's what she said: "I am also exercising my right to privacy, and I don't have to tell anybody who I vote for, nobody does, and that's really cool about America also." Verbatim. (Joan Walsh at Salon.com) (Thanks to This Modern World for that "They'll do it every time" item.)

Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

And finally, from Glenn Greenwald, also at Salon.com:

"My Predictions"

"Popular vote: Obama - 51.6%; McCain - 47.1%; Nader/Barr/others: 1.3%
Electoral votes: Obama - 321-217 (Kerry states + CO, NM, IA, VA, NC, OH)

"I believe my presidential predictions are on the conservative side -- meaning that I think it's more likely that I'm under-estimating the margin of Obama's popular and electoral victory than over-estimating them. There are numerous variables -- higher Democratic enthusiasm, Obama's superior ground operations, large influxes of first-time and African-American voters -- that are too unknown for me to factor in, but all of which militate in favor of an even larger Obama victory than my predictions suggest."

And me? How do I think it will turn out? I, uh, agree with Glenn there.

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