Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Monday, November 3, 2008

Random Pre-Election Thoughts

-I'm more sanguine than I've been in a few weeks about the election. I don't think McCain will be blown out, and I'm not entirely convinced anymore that he'll lose. Call it 60-40 for Obama at this point. I also think we'll keep the losses in the House and Senate to a minimum.

-The "Bradley Effect" seems to be a myth. There were excellent articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times on this recently, explaining that what was called "The Bradley Effect" was in actuality, a combination of an agressive new campaign by Deukmajian coupled with complacency among pollsters. Historically, there have been races in which black candidates significantly underperformed their polls, and other races in which they overperformed. Barack Obama himself is a perfect example of this. In his primary death march against Hillary, he overperformed in some races and underperformed in others. This would seem to indicate that the variances we automatically chalk up to race are probably far more complex. Something to remember, no matter what tomorrows results are.

-Good news for Palin and Obama fans. Obviously, by tomorrow night, one side or the other will be disappointed. But here's the good news. If nothing else, John McCain has helped to redefine our ideas about who is or isn't too old to run for the presidency. This means that both Governor Palin and Senator Obama have a long time to retool. Obama could serve the rest of his term in the senate, run for governor of Illinois in 2010, be elected to the office twice, run as his party's vice-presidential nominee in 2020, serve 8 years as vice-president, run for the presidency in 2028, and STILL be younger than John McCain. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin could finish out this term and a second one as Alaska's governor, run for the senate against whoever holds Ted Stevens' seat in 2014, serve two terms in the senate, run for the vice-presidency in 2028, serve in that office for 8 years, and still be the same age as John McCain if she ran for the presidency in 2036. All that is just to remind you...John McCain is REALLY REALLY OLD.

-Keep an eye on Norm Coleman and John Sununu. I have a feeling that they will be pretty good bellweathers in determining how the night will shake out for Republicans in legislative races.

-It's sad to say, but I think we'll see riots whether Obama wins or loses. If he loses, people will be furious, let-down, and convinced that only massive fraud can explain it. If he wins, well...

-As for McCain, keep an eye on New Hampshire results. McCain has long had a special relationship with that state, and if he really is down by 10 as the polls would seem to indicate, it's over. If he ends up unexpectedly close, then it might be a sign that the polls have been skewing in the wrong direction, as they did in 2004.

-Finally, no matter who wins, the new president will need a lot of help from day 1. He's inheriting a financial mess, a deeply divided and suspicious country, and the toughest job in the world. Remember to pray for him as often as possible.