It's shortly after 11 p.m. and the way things are developing it looks as though Ohio is the new Florida. Well, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks so, at least. Between checking Michael Moore's website for updates of possible voter disenfranchisement in Ohio and Anna Marie Cox's protestations at Wonkette that the person feeding her overly optimistic exit poll data from the Buckeye State may have been Karl Rove, that's what I initially want to believe.
The fact remains that over 120 million registered voters made it to the polls today, and Ohioans are still waiting in line at some precincts to have their say. That's not exactly the revolt I was hoping for when one considers that both the popular vote and electoral count are, to quote Dan Rather, "thinner than turnip soup." The call to action was heeded, and for everyone who understands the danger another four years of Bush/Cheney poses to the world, there's one who thinks he's the proverbial shit.
I got a kick out of watching The Dukes of Hazzard as a kid. But in the real world it seems Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane always prevail.
An aside: Rather is on top of his game this evening with the kooky metaphors. "This race", he said at one point this evening, "is hotter than a Times Square Rolex." During a Presidential election year Rather is much more entertaining and than Gilmore Girls.
Anyhoo, FOX News has already chalked up Ohio to Bush, with NBC following suit shortly after. If Kerry wants to win he needs to run the table on the swing states currently in play at this writing, including Ohio. If Bush wins Ohio and Kerry runs the table in the other states, the tiebreaker goes to the House of Representatives.
And we know what party has the majority there.
Speaking of candidates who believe they are mandated by God to win political races: Alan Keyes got a million votes as the sacrificial lamb to Barack Obama. In his concession speech Keyes was quoting so much scripture that I thought he should've just started at Genesis. So it was essentially a concession speech where he conceded nothing. But that's expected for a man who felt that God would grant him a victory today. What a silly Negro.
We interloping sinners instead voted for Obama, who made history as the fifth African American to serve in the Senate and only the third elected. Illinoisans across the state can pat themselves on the back: in the past twelve years we've elected two of those three.
Obama's star can only go up from here. His reputation as an orator grew this evening with his victory speech. The centerpiece was a story about a 104-year-old woman who voted for him via absentee ballot. And he had the crowd hanging on his every word. I wonder how he will mesh with the Republican-controlled Senate to draft legislation. Contrary to his talking points, Obama's election is not going to be a "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington"- style story. His campaigning in other states for other Democrats is an indicator that he's eyeing a greater prize.
Melissa Bean unseated the porcine Phil Crane in the 8th Congressional district. Crane looked like he'd rather be anywhere except at the Sports Bar he rented out for his victory party when he conceded. He was all phlegmy and cranky, smacking various microphones while snapping, "Do I talk into this one?" I half-expected him to talk about these new "internets" his grandkids have been talking about.
Bean's victory is notable, as well. She unseated a 35-year incumbent Congressman who got so lazy and insulated in his position that he lost touch with his constituency. Between Phil Crane and the House of Lords-like maneuver by the outgoing Bill Lipinski to have his son take his place on the ballot (note: if you live in the 3rd Congressional District like I did I want to hear from anyone who wrote in Krista Grimm so that I know I wasn't alone) I have two convincing cases for term limits for congressional term limits.
Picking up my take-out from Punky's this evening I almost jumped down the throat of a de la Salle high school student who wanted Bush to win because "KerrywantstotakethetroopsoutofIraqandthen-Osamawouldattackagainandbesides-Bushdidlikeanokayjobhisfirstyearandshould-getanotherchancetomakethingsrightyouknow."
I thought about recited her yesterday's post word-for-word then relented, realizing it would fall on dumb ears. I promise not to eat at Punky's again. Or until I run out of food in house. Whichever comes sooner.
I wanted to write about this yesterday but couldn't find the words: Sunday while channel surfing I came across one of those evangelical programs that I avert my eyes from like a vampire when they pop up on screen. This one, the Coral Ridge Hour, was pushing hard for its viewers to get out and vote as it was their "responsibility handed to them by God to vote."
This really cheesed me. I know I learned US History in a public school so I only got the winner's perspective branded into my memory, but one of the reasons the revolution was fought was so that man could have the right to choose its leaders and practice whatever religion he chose, or to not practice religion.
A hot button issue for me is the separation of church and state. With CBS cautiously marking Ohio as a Bush victory right now (1 a.m. Chicago time) this gives Christian conservatives rhetorical ammunition to go with the literal bullets they stockpile in militias across the west that that separation should be blurred.
I don't read the same Bible they do, apparently. They can bend Scripture to flesh out their arguments. It's this twisting of rhetoric that has helped them curry influence within the GOP. So can I. And I found a nice little quote from Jesus Christ that, taken literally, is a concrete argument for the separation of church and state:
"Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's; render unto God what is God's."
Simpy put, Jesus was saying of the tax collector that while he walks the earth he must obey and respect the rules of man. Or the government he lives under. But if you choose a Christian life you must sacrifice your soul to God.
Nowhere there does it say that you must foist your beliefs on me or anyone else who finds it offensive.
Personally, my belief is that if religious lobbys want to have such a say in government, we should blur the line completely and tax them beyond belief. Watch them call for that separation where it hurts them most if that happens.
Besides Dan Rather's eupehmisms, the other enjoyable moment of the news shows this evening was hearing Tom Brokaw on NBC say, "Vote or Die."
'Course if the projections hold and Bush is (re-)elected- don't wanna insult anyone here- that means we'll be staying the course in Iraq and the saying can be paraphrased to "Vote and die!"
Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the veal.