It is that time again, Ladies and Non-Ladies. Not since the 2006 Congressional Elections have I been compelled to crawl (red-eyed and ill-smelling) from my coffin before noon to cast a vote, then monitor the newsfeeds. But I've got a pot of coffee on and some whiskey to spike it with, so I give you...
Dr. Wife's Live 2008 Election Night Extravaganza!
3:12 PM: This blog's usual Commandant and I just returned from our local polling place. It only took us 25 minutes to find it, as it actually seemed to be attempting to obscure itself from the eyes of prying voters.
Despite what I'd been promised by the AP Newswire, there were no lines at all, really. A few helpful old women aided us in casting our ballots on those wretched machines. I spent at least 30-45 seconds attempting to glare it into submission before actually voting. It wasn't Diebold, but that doesn't mean much as far as I can tell. I haven't taken my mediation yet today, so the lack of a paper trail is still worrying me.
3:29 PM: BBC News has constructed an extremely useful article concerning both the changing political landscape of the United States and also the Electoral College. They are also listing early (very, very early) predictions from various sources as to which way those Electors will vote. Those predictions are as follows:
CQ POLITICS: Obama 311/ McCain 157
REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Obama 291/ McCain 132
POLLSTER.COM: Obama 311/ McCain 142
NEW YORK TIMES: Obama 291/ McCain 163
Granted, these predictions are coming early enough so as to be almost useless, but it's been a bleak 8 years, so I'll take my comfort wherever I can get it. Onward!
5:15 PM: Some exit polls have just been released, and DrudgeReport is calling 7 new seats in Congress for democrats, bringing them up to 58. This is a simple majority, of course, but still 2 seats short of the three-fifths majority required to invoke cloture.
6:15 PM: MSNBC is reporting fairly sweeping voting machine malfunction in Virginia and Pennsylvania--both swing states, of course. HOWEVER, DrudgeReport is reporting a 15 point lead for Obama in PA regardless, although, as always, they site no sources. Sigh.
7:35 PM: RESULTS ARE ROLLING IN! CNN has called Kentucky for McCain and Vermont for Obama, making the score thus far:
OBAMA 3 / McCAIN 8
The 8 o'clock hour is a big one, with polls closing in: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, so everyone take a sedative, and hunker down for the wait...
8:00 PM: Curse you CNN! They are calling South Carolina for McCain, despite the fact that a) Obama is winning 55% to 45%, and, b) only 1% of precincts are reporting. How the crap does that work?
Still haven't heard anything about California's Proposition 8 success or failure, but polls in CA don't close until 11PM Eastern Standard.
8:05 PM: Results are pouring in from the states in which polls closed at 7PM and 7:30PM. Obama is projected to take New Jersey, Illinois, and Connecticut, whilst McCain takes South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, bringing our Electoral College votes to:
OBAMA 77 / McCAIN 34
It takes 270 to win.
8:19 PM: MSNBC is calling Pennsylvania for Obama, bringing the total to:
OBAMA 103 / McCAIN 34
8:37 PM: The American south's results are pouring in. McCain predictably takes Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. New score:
OBAMA 103 / McCAIN 49
9:24 PM Damn near everyone (including FOX news TV) is calling Ohio for Obama, with 91% of precincts reporting in! Hot holy damn! The last man to win the Presidency without taking Ohio was, of course, JFK in 1960.
OBAMA 123/ McCAIN 49
9:55 PM Dr. Wife is too drunk right now to post, so it is I your regular narrator back at the wheel. The BBC (Aunty Beeb) is saying the count sits at...
OBAMA 200/ McCAIN 130
It is looking more and more like a Regan-Style blowout that some have cautiously predicted for Sen. Obama. Of course its still an open game. Anything can happen. Fortunately the Wild Turkey supply is holding out.
More than anything its nice to see voter turnout of epic magnitude. An estimated 130 Million voters will cast their ballots in this election. Holy shit. Really. Something like 85% of the eligible and registered voters in this nation. That is an amazing thing in and of itself. So many people giving a shit about the direction of their nation, of their government, and their own damn lives. Electoral college or not, people care, at least for tonight.
10:11 PM ...and?
OBAMA 207/ McCAIN 135
I do hope that of all the pre-mature coverage I hope The Onion is the least accurate.
HOLY SHIT, BATMAN! PM
McCain is giving a concession speech as I (an inebriated Dr. Wife) type this. It's actually quite heartfelt and I'm a little teary (but being drunk helps).
Well, that's it, I suppose. I wish I could think of some profound statement to end what was an exciting but exhausting night. All that I can say is this: we wake up tomorrow to a new country. Optimism is in short supply, but I can feel a glimmer of it deep within my crusty black soul.
+Not Dr. Wife+
This is a hell of a thing really. The cries of "Boo" and other less appealing things from the McCain crowd was a bit disheartening. It was however nice to see and hear John McCain sounding more like he did before the end of his 2000 run for the Republican nomination. He transformed himself into a candidate that every Republican could vote for, and in doing so became someone only half the country could vote for. In the end, it did not even give him that. A career of speaking his mind, no matter how unpopular his opinion or how crazy his view and the integrity that came with it was traded away for votes from the Moral Majority and support from Big Business.
I hope the coming four years will see McCain go back to his old sometimes incomprehensible but authentic ways. I also hope to see in Obama a President that offers hope and change for the better to the American people. Not just "Hope (tm)" and "Change (tm)" the branded campaign slogans, not just the marketed commodities but actual advancement for the nation in a positive direction.
This is still a very paranoid house, that will never change, but it's nice to look to the future and see the possibility of leaving a little of our hard-bitten cynicism at the door.
+ + +
A regular post of links and weirdness will be in the post tomorrow most likely. Now that the political season is over its time to crawl back into the bunker, furiously clean my guns, and run at the sight of unmarked black UN helicopters.
It was nice to do another joint effort with the wife. With any luck Dr. Wife will be able to stretch her writing muscles again and join in on this station in the future. Maybe with her promised article on the West Memphis Three, or maybe some other well-researched paranoid delusion.