On The Threshold Of Electoral Fury, Two Scenarios Emerge

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It seems the bards of our media age are all singing in perfect harmony before the eve of the Election of 2008.  And indeed, this is a storied hour.  The longest so-called “cycle” since the horrifically long Senate fiasco of the Late Roman Republic in 72 BC is now drawing to a close.  It was an epic tale, periodically even prompting my own internet-spewed two cents worth, which has paraded and stomped its way across every form of human communication for seemingly countless months.  And the gods alone know what our country will look like in the next 24 hours.

As alluded to, the screaming chorus of our informed media has reached a near-universal common pitch in their election swan song.  And, quite frankly, it sounds like they’re proclaiming the second coming of a completely neutral and non-religious though nevertheless messianic figure guaranteed not to offend anyone (sorry, death threats again).

Here, let me just give you an example:

rolling_stone_obama

REALLY?  I MEAN, REALLY?

In all fairness, that’s from the end of the primaries, but it’s a sentiment that pretty much spread when the journalist set got over their Hillary-despair.  If you don’t pull a check from Rupert Murdoch, you pretty much want this guy to either win the election AND/OR father your love children.  I was going to make an Anderson Cooper joke here, but my blind Tuvan manservant said it might be offensive.

So far as analysis of the situation goes, their celebration seems by every measure to be inevitably appropriate.  Virtually every poll, old and new, shows Obama in a runaway.  Except when they don’t.  It looks like the key result of the economic crisis (and corresponding cooling of charm vis-a-vis folksy frontier governors) has taken it’s toll on the electorate, prompting an unbreachable acceleration of Obama’s movement toward the White House.  The most modest of polling data shows Obama within (if not AT) 270 electoral vote.  That’s like a blackjack score where you win the world.  Just thirty days ago I predicted here that McCain’s long sought-after unification of the GOP “base” under the Palin banner would seal Obama’s fate.  That’s what I get for making predictions more than thirty days out.  Though in my defense… Nationalizing all the banks?  Man, who would have seen THAT coming?

So, that should be it, really.  Since the integrity of the American media is unassailable and beyond reproach, especially on cable, we may as well talk about how blue the map is going to look tomorrow night.  I could make the rest of this article about what I think an “Obama America” will look like.  After all, never once in ALL of history has the vaunted 4th Estate mislead or misrepresented the will of the American people in ANY capacity, has it?

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COME ON, YOU HAD TO SEE THAT COMING.

Shit.

Well, okay.  We can explore the other possibility.  I’m almost hesitant to say it honestly, since it runs counter to the truth that everyone’s talking boxes have been going on about.  Nevertheless, I’ll venture toward this possibility:

BARACK OBAMA MIGHT LOSE

I know.  Breathtaking.

But for the purposes at looking to the other side of this apparent electoral blowout, let us explore a contrary possibility.  We’ll play a little game called “if history holds”.

See, because if history holds, McCain will start the evening with a surprise bang as the independents of New Hampshire re-assert their love for the old man.  This will have all the talking heads in a tizzy about the possible implications, thus ASSURING that everyone in the country is aware by lunchtime or just past that the first indicator state went red.  If history further holds, the incoming barrage from the East Coast isn’t going to do Obama any favors, either.  The whole country will learn WHY Virginia has gone red every election since 1964.  And a subtle combination of xenophobic white turn-out in north Florida and a weaker-than-expected showing for Obama among Hispanics is about all it would take at this point to lose everyone’s favorite electoral fuck-up state.  Obama’s likely built up huge margins to win New York and Pennsylvania, but the first signs of real trouble will come when the results start moving westward.

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ABOVE: SOMEONE IN FLORIDA WHO MAY NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA

See if history holds, middle America will still be suffering under a lingering fear of that Hussein in his name and the color of his skin.  It’s not that everyone is racist, but enough are to make a statistical difference.  In unfortunate concentrations, that’s the sort of force that could swing a lynch-pin state.  Michigan is probably going blue, but Ohio might be in trouble.  It’s difficult to gauge how well his primary showing there will translate to a national race.  By the time it gets much further West, it’d be no surprise that he loses Colorado, even if he does manage to flip New Mexico, Iowa, AND Nevada from red to blue.  At this point, even an unqualified showing on the West Coast wouldn’t really help.  If history holds.

What are some signs that this might happen?  Well, as many are fond of pointing out, Obama’s campaign IS history making.  It’s altered the electoral map, it’s altered American’s perception of itself AND the world’s perception of America.  It’s brought out more enthusiasm and is expected to bring out more VOTERS than any election in… well, ever I think.

For all those reasons, I think it would be foolish not to assume this candidacy has altered the nature of our polling practices.  Never more has communication of facts on the ground been joined by the incessant humming of a billion other forms of media communication.  For every story you get in a mass mailer about Obama being a secret Muslim or McCain collaborating with his NVA captors in Nam, you get another 24-hour media blitz about the latest “gaffe” to make all the people who still wear monocles pop them out in shock.

Did anyone ever stop to think that polling data might be gloriously FUCKED because of all this?  There’s already the emerging story about most of these polls not including people who are only using cell phones (which is everyone I know, I think).  Common sense says that might lead to an even GREATER Obama lead, but I’ll be damned if I’m taking that for gospel.  Mix in the unexpected factor of people who’ve said to a pollster YES I’m gonna vote for Obama because it seems like the “in” thing to do, and you have a glorious recipe for misinformation.

There’s also the perpetual Democratic reliance on “the young people coming out in DROVES this time, I SWEAR IT” that perplexes me to no end.  College age kids have two underlying and fundamental traits, folks.  They love to talk shit, and they hate DOING shit.  Obama may have every Facebook page on campus buzzing, but believing that’s going to lead to massive voter turnout from the campuses of the United States is a stretch I’m not willing to make until I see it happen.

joecollege

VOTING TUESDAY, OR PLAYING HALO?  I’LL GIVE YOU THREE-TO-ONE ODDS.

So let me put this in the most succinct way I can manage.  For McCain to come out on top tomorrow, he has to defeat the numbers.  For Obama to do so, he has to defeat HISTORY.

The good news for Obama, in this scenario, is that he already has experience doing that.

So what’s my final call on the election, after all these months and on the eve of the great event?  I honestly see one of two things happening.  Either it’s the Obama blow-out everyone is expecting, or it’s going to be a LONG-assed night tomorrow.  Fortunately, I have a bottle of whiskey and a television in my bedroom.

My only other word on the matter will come afterward, when I break character, get personal, and tell everyone who I voted for.

Out for now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle

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