SEEING MORE SIGNS
What’s wrong with the media? Here it is election day, and they still have us on that roller coaster. I guess it’s good for ratings.
Today on Morning Joe the conversation switched back and forth between a post-mortem on the McCain campaign and a rah-rah, McCain’s-closing-the-gap discussion. Even Joe Scarborough himself was in full schizophrenia as he flip-flopped more than any Democrat he could ever imagine. Actually, it was fun to watch.
There was one tell-tale sign that aired when Barack Obama appeared to vote at his Hyde Park precinct with Michelle and his winning daughters at his side. He was the picture of confidence as he took probably too much time showing his daughters what he was doing and seemingly thoroughly enjoying the moment. His broad smile said it all. He felt his chances were good. Moments later Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign came on and had nothing positive to say and was definitely not telegraphing any good vibes. She proclaimed that she had been poring over poll data for two weeks and hadn’t seen anything as depressing as the previous 30 minutes on Morning Joe. She chided Scarborough for proclaiming Obama the victor – which he certainly had not – and made a whiny appeal for the media to “let the people vote.” The contrast between the confident Obama and the beleaguered Ms. Wallace was stark. One showed the confidence of a winner, the other the defeatist whine of a loser.
With all due respect to those of you who are still pulling for John McCain and Sarah Palin, I enjoyed the segment greatly and gleefully. I realize that it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but it gave me hope. Then there was that little matter of that 527 group pounding away every hour on the hour on MSNBC and CNN with their hateful Jeremiah Wright ad. These people have no shame whatsoever. They are the basest creatures that litter our political landscape. Here we are greeted with the news that Barack Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, the woman who raised him, had passed away one night before her grandson’s possible victory, and then exposed to a race-baiting ad designed to turn the election in the last minute.
Now, I will admit that my reaction to that ad may surprise many of my friends on the left. While it showed an incredible lack of good taste and civility and only adds to a divisiveness that the Republicans have harbored in our nation for years, I think it was a good thing. It served to remind me of the other thing that motivates me to vote for Barack Obama. I am sick and tired of that kind of politics, and their airing of dirty laundry and dirty tricks a la Karl Rove and George W. Bush only serves to remind those of us who support Barack Obama to get out there to the polls today. So, thank you, GOP Trust, or whatever your name is. I think you have helped US with our turnout.
I wrote the other day about the lack of McCain/Palin signs around my area this election season. I still think it is a good sign. However, yesterday I ran into an Obama precinct captain from Kingwood, a major Republican suburb down the road between me and Houston. We chatted as we took the commuter bus into Houston and he told me that signs were very encouraging for Democrats in Harris County (Houston) where they believe they have a strong chance to regain control of the county government after 16 years of Republican scandal and corruption. He also said that Barack Obama and other statewide Democrats had banked some major voting numbers in Houston and Dallas during early voting. Although I felt that, in and of itself, probably wouldn’t be enough to deny John McCain and other Republicans their usual blowout here in Texas, I was glad to hear it.
I told him what I had observed about the dearth of yard signs for McCain/Palin in my heavily Republican area of East Montgomery County. He told me a story that I found to be funny. Seems the McCain campaign didn’t get their yard signs to their Texas supporters, even in Kingwood, until Sunday, two days before the election. I guess they took their Texan constituency for granted. To me that’s hilarious. It shows me another sign of a campaign that is so poorly run, that it belies its candidate’s ability to run the complex government of the United States of America. As Mrs. Jack and I drove out of our community this morning on the way to vote, I noticed that there was, indeed, one – count it, one – McCain/Palin sign on a yard. Unfortunately, the other house, the one with the Obama signs I wrote about day before yesterday, had been burglarized. All of their signs had been stolen between yesterday afternoon’s daylight hours and this morning’s daylight hours. I smiled, because I knew it was too late for the perpetrator to have his way. Those signs have been there for weeks for all to see. The joke’s on you, buddy!
Now turning to the subject of turnout. A very nice woman from the Montgomery County Democratic Party interrupted my blog writing the other day when she called to urge me and Mrs. Jack to get out and vote early. I explained to her that we were both retired and had chosen to wait until election day so we would have something to do other than sit here and wring our hands watching TV pundits all day long. She warned me that the lines may be long on Tuesday if we waited. I assured her that no matter how long the lines might be, we would show up and wait it out to vote for Barack Obama and the other Democrats on the ballot. We chatted about a minute or two more, me telling her about my blog and asking her to tell her friends, and she expressing her interest and happiness that someone in Montgomery County was writing a blog from the Democratic side of things.
Doing as I promised we would, Mrs. Jack and I dutifully made our way to the polls this morning around 10:00 a.m. – the time we always go to the polls. In watching early-morning newscasts, I was concerned that perhaps the lines would be a little longer than I anticipated. Joe Scarborough had posited that, despite the McCain campaign’s piss-poor get-out-the-vote operation, that evangelicals would flood out in massive numbers to stop the evil Barack Obama from attaining the presidency. As we drove up to our precinct, the office of the local school district bus barn, it was clear that my concerns were unnecessary and Morning Joe had it completely wrong. This is the land of the evangelicals up here. It seems we have a Pentecostal or Baptist church at every crossroad in our area and a great deal in between. The Wal-Mart is always full of “church ladies” with their swept-up hair styles and modest, long skirts. The fundamentalist churches define our area of the ex-urbs. Yet, the parking lot was nearly empty, and Mrs. Jack and I walked right in, signed in, and stepped up to a couple of empty voting machines and cast our ballots.
Poor performance at the polls and lack of enough enthusiasm to display a yard sign indicates a decline in Republican power here in Texas. Amazing! There were another couple of interesting things about Texas that came up on Morning Joe today. An expert on state-to-state voter turnout reported that Texas ranked in the bottom five of states with the poorest turnout among registered voters nationwide. The number was an astounding 53%, if I remember correctly. In addition to that factoid, Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s resident poll-reader, said that if the Republicans didn’t make a successful outreach to Hispanic voters in the next four years, that Texas would be a battleground state instead of a reliably Republican stronghold. From Chuck’s lips to God’s ears!
Could it be that we in Texas are on the verge of escaping the tyranny that we are suffering under Republican rule? Could it be that we will begin to stop allowing the pro-big-business/pro-insurance Republican Party to stack our state’s Supreme Court to the point that it overturned 83% of all civil jury verdicts and sided with big business or insurance 87% of the time in votes of 9 – 0? I know the nation needs a change, but we in Texas need it just as much, and I pray that it is on the way. The big money Republicans have run roughshod over our state for too long, and I’ll take any signs of change that I can find.
Anyway, if you see this before you get a chance to go vote, get on out there! I doubt there are any of us political junkies who read and write political blogs that are in that category, but I say it just in case. We may be only a few hours away from the greatest political victory of our lifetimes. KEEP HOPE ALIVE & FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!