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Election Day Musings

First this, from The Onion:

Despite the very real threat of electing the 112th Congress, millions of courageous Americans lined up at their polling places today and put their right to vote above the awful possibility of sending a politician to represent them in Washington. “I was afraid the moment I showed up to vote, and now that I’ve cast my ballot, I’m even more terrified,” said Kentucky resident Mary Buchanan, who ran to her car and drove home immediately after exercising her constitutional right.

It has been two years one year since we last lined up at the Deer Park Municipal Building, and the day after Barack Obama won the 2008 election, we wrote that “the temptation will be to hold on to [the images of Obama’s speech in Grant Park] forever, to pine for them the first time President Obama faces backlash from within his own party or makes a mistake or missteps politically or says something that gets him in hot water. That’s going to happen.”

And indeed it has. Two years ago we would not have predicted the gains Republicans will make in both the House and Senate tonight. The exact numbers remain to be seen, but what’s certain is that most Obama supporters who were jubilant two years ago will awake tomorrow chastened or, at the very least, subdued. Based on the exit polls, many of these folks have probably been waking up feeling this way for some time.

Curtis Sittenfeld asks, “Am I the last person in America who still adores President Obama?” We still count ourselves in Sittenfeld’s camp. This is not to say we aren’t disappointed by some of what Obama has (or has not) accomplished in the past twenty months. Perhaps our expectations were unrealistic for anyone dealing with a political body as arcane, prickly and in thrall to antiquated convention as the Senate; with a 24-hour news cycle that thrives on conflict, ratings, outrage and disproportion; and with a governing culture that is awash in cash, increasingly from anonymous sources thanks to the recent Citizens United ruling.

These observations will probably strike some as standard liberal laments. All we’re saying is simply, Tell us again who would want this job in the first place?

On the local front, while we supported Ted Strickland for Governor, we are extremely dismayed that he has slashed the number of school calamity days from five to three, with speculation that could continue to drop. Calamity days (also known as “snow days”) are a serious political issue in the Vore household. What raising taxes are to Tea Partiers, cutting calamity days are to Voreblog.

Hendrik Hertzberg does the best job of putting our Election Day sentiments into words. “I can’t say that today’s trudge was an occasion for transcendent ecstasy,” says Hertzberg. “It’s not like November 4, 2008, the memory of which made today all the bleaker.” Transcendent ecstasy, no. Civic duty, yes. But at least we did not cross any violent Rand Paul supporters.

You know what cheers us up? This guy.

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7 thoughts on “Election Day Musings

  1. I continue to be amazed that even though we only live 2 streets away from each other, in the teeny tiny city of Deer Park, we still vote at two different places. I’m definitely not complaining though, seeing as how it only took me 10 minutes to vote. I AM complaining that it’s 11pm and my political junkie husband is making me stay up with him to flip through all the news channels…at least the mood is positive in our house…

  2. A couple of years back I wondered “Could there ever be a more batshit crazy senator than Jim Bunning?”.

    Then along came Rand Paul.

  3. Same seat!

    I should’ve known some pernicous act was afoot when I arrived at my polling place and received, instead of an iPhone, a Rand Paul Snuggie.

    Huh?

  4. Voreblog,

    I would like to take you to task for your first sentence in this post. You state, “It has been two years since we last lined up at the Deer Park Municipal Building…”

    I don’t know how to tell you this but elections happen every year, sometimes more than once. So often Americans ignore non-Congressional or Presidential elections. Which is funny because it is the local elections that have the real impact on your every day life. I would encourage you and all Voreblog readers to pay attention to the election schedule and vote in each election instead of just the super sexy national ones.

    Thank you.

  5. Oh snap! Called out on the carpet!

    I (Ben) wrote last night’s post, but upon consulting with Erin, she told me we did in fact vote last year. (This was our day after post.)

    Forgive our poor memory and any appearance of a lapse in our civic duties.

    The post has now been amended.

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