Election Day

Election Day is here!

Yeah, you bet I’m excited.

I had my doubts, friends, that the day would ever come. The campaign seemed to go on and on like a mad cross between the Simpson trial and Groundhog Day. The closer we got to November 2nd the slower time seemed to go, until the hands on the clock were actually moving backward as if Ralph Nader was holding them there by sheer force of conviction that yes, he could still win this race.

I’m not one for making predictions — at least, not ones that pan out. But in this case I’ll make an exception since I’ve got a 50/50 shot at it. The popular vote will essentiall be a tie, but Bush will win the electoral vote by claiming both Florida and Ohio.

To be honest, I’m not that concerned about who wins the presidency. It looks as though the balance in the House will remain about the same and the Republicans will pick up two seats in the Senate, so even if Senator Kerry becomes President Kerry, nothing is going to get rubber stamped into law. And as others have observed, there is something to be said for letting the other party’s guy be the punching bag for a few years. If Kerry were to do well, it would be good for the country. If he were to make a mess of it, it would only cement him as a single-term president and damage the left’s hold on power.

What little concern I do have over the presidency comes from the fact that the Supreme Court may have several vacancies during the next four years, and the impact of SCOTUS nominations will be felt across the land long after the 44th president is gone. I think Bush would be more likely to select justices who interpret the Constitution strictly, whereas Kerry might favor activists and make his choice based on one or two issue litmus test. Kerry is not a man of political conviction, and that would not serve him well when the special interests started coming out of the woodwork to clamor for or against a potential Supreme Court nominee.

My primary concern, as I wrote at Damn Foreigner, is that faith in the American system remains firm. It takes a lot of character to be so close to becoming the most powerful man in the world and yet take the high ground when you lose by a hair. Despite the way Nixon’s presidency went to hell when he finally was elected, Tricky Dick certainly put the nation before himself in choosing not to dispute his razor thin 1960 loss to John F. Kennedy.

So even above my hope that President Bush wins reelection today is my fervent prayer that whoever loses does so with grace and puts the country before themselves by telling the lawyers to lay off.

Wishful thinking, I know.

One of the most interesting election scenarios would be a 269-269 tie in the electoral college. In that instance, the Senate would pick the vice-president and the House would, via state delegations, select the president. So we could end up with Bush and Edwards in office. It’s also theoretically possible that John Edwards could end up as both President AND Vice-President at the same time.

Anyway you slice it, it’s going to be an interesting day. I’ve got a staging rehearsal for Turandot at OCPAC later on. Thank God for opera! I’ll be doing something productive rather than self-immolating in front of the television.

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