Looking back at the election (before it happens)

My deadline here at the RN&R sometimes works against me. This week is a prime example. Gotta have the column into the home office before the drama of Election Day is resolved. So I shall approach this week’s Babylon in truly ambivalent fashion, with notes appropriate to the victory of each presidential candidate.

IF McCAIN WINS—Urk. You’re kiddin’ me? Grampy pulled it out? How depressing. Boring, too. I am SO over the Republicans winning elections because of their dogged willingness to fall back on their No. 1 tried and true default tactic, which is, of course, fear. (And finally, on Monday night before the election, they plastered the tube with Reverend Wright ads!) That’s exactly what McCain did—pounded that fear factor like a monkey in a lab cage who just discovered that the yellow lever means another shot of cocaine. In the end, it’s not his fault, really. He’s just using political tactics that have been effectively used in this country since 1794. Folks might complain about them, but they’ve always responded to them, so it doesn’t look like they’ll go away anytime soon. But boy, it sure would be nice if we would just rip off the French and set time limits for our national campaigns, whether it be two or four or six months or whatever.

I will say this about McCain. I think he’ll be an improvement on Dubya. Granted, that’s not saying much. Let’s face it, the bar Mr. Bush has set over the last eight years is now at a height easily cleared by any seven-legged jumping spider. And I’ll surely hope the old codger enjoys good health over the next four years. Because this President Palin concept … I mean … come on. Yes, she does have a certain charm. She might even have a political future of some sort. She’d probably be a threat for the next available Alaskan Senate seat, for example. But for now, she’s just so damn GREEN. (I’m talkin’ old school green here, not environmental).

IF OBAMA WINS—Well, waddyaknow. We elected a half-black man to be our next president. All politics aside, I am moved greatly. I mean, it’s pretty big. Fifty years ago, National Guard troops had to be called in to escort and protect the black kids trying to attend various southern high schools. And now, a child born of that era, Barack Obama, is the new president of our country. I don’t know how far we’ve come, exactly, down Racial Harmony Road, but goddamn, it would appear we’re getting SOMEWHERE.

And I’ll admit it. Obama might well turn out to be a disappointment. You never know. But I also think the man has a chance to be a brilliant president, much more so than McCain. I say give him a shot. Let’s give the keys to the car to the really bright, young, charismatic guy and see what he can do. What’s the worst that can happen? Bullshit war undertaken for reasons of total bogosity? Economy teetering on the brink of doomsday depression? In fact, why the hell didn’t Obama win this thing by 70-30?