Sunday, November 2, 2008

Election Week Dreaming

We have never had an election in American history the pulse of which has been taken so frequently by so many. It’s like having a one-year-long pre-race coverage for the Kentucky Derby. Every slurp of water, whinny, training trot, cool down, and every bag of oats has been covered ad nauseum . The coverage has in fact worked to reduce the meaning of the vote Election Day to the most boring horse race in history. As Jay Leno put it on Friday: “Oh great. On Sunday we set the clocks back and get one more hour of this election."

It is hard to imagine that there really was a time when Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln felt it would undignified to campaign for himself and so relied almost entirely upon surrogates speaking for him.

Gallup has been doing a daily tracking poll. All the major networks have commissioned polls and CNN does a “poll of polls.” The bottom line is that Republican candidate John McCain has led in none of them. Thus, if the polls are accurate, and there are so many of them it would be an incredible anomaly if they were not, the election for President it all but over.

It doesn’t leave much for a conservative to cheer about. You find yourself going back over the “if only”s the way you do when a marriage has gone bad or when, for example, the Titanic went down. “If only the ship had been traveling more slowly.” “If only the men in the crow’s nest had seen the iceberg sooner.” “If only the radioman on the California hadn’t gone to bed early.”

So now the “if only”s go like this for me:

If only we hadn’t had an incumbent Republican President who spoke English as if it were a second language.

If only Jeb had run for President instead.

If only the economy hadn’t tanked thirty days before Election Day.

If only W hadn’t waited so long to fire Rummy.

If only Hillary had won the Democratic nomination—she was so unpleasant even McCain could have could beat her.

If only everybody in the media weren’t rooting for Barak Obama.

If only Dick Cheney didn’t remind so many people of Darth Vader.

If only Sarah Palin had turned out to be a little less perky and a lot more intelligent.

If only the John McCain we met in the primaries had appeared during the general election.

If only McCain had won the nomination in Y2K instead of now.

If only Carl Rove had gone missing in a flight over the North Pole.

If only someone had actually done a real investigation of ACORN.

If only the SEC had actually regulated the securities business as it was supposed to.

If only Arizona had the population of New York.

If only John McCain were part Kenyan.

But reality being what it is, conservatives will be forced to suffer through the endless recriminations of Tuesday night and Wednesday. Fortunately, I’m going to be too busy to watch all that on the Morning After. My termite guy is coming to find out if my house is about to fall in.

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