The Post Wherein I Explain Myself

More than one friend, both blogger and non-political observers, have warned me that my credibility will be dirt should I hold to the delusion that McCain can pull this election out. My response has been to say, “Shut up and vote. It’s over when it’s over.”

In 2006, I’ll admit it: I didn’t want to see the writing on the wall. The Congressional races were going to be bloodbaths. Republicans were going to lose big. It was obvious and I didn’t want to see it.

John Hawkins, who has been scary-good at predicting these things tells me I’m smoking the hopeful, delusional dope once again. But I’m not. Not this time. This time, I see this and I know the election outcome does not look good for McCain. I read this and I know the Obama strategy is working. I watch the Republican elites bail and I know that they believe it’s over. I note that press is actively working (with a few fair exceptions) to get Obama elected with even the LA Times withholding reporting that might make Obama look bad.

So I see all this and I see that McCain is still within reach and I refuse to be part of the chorus of malcontents adding a nail to the coffin–when there’s no one filling it. As I said earlier today, I believe that there are good reasons people might lie to pollsters about who they are voting for in this election. And then there is the whole lying with statistics thing.

Most of all though, I refuse, REFUSE, to give momentum to a candidate who will promote failed ideologies. In this charged, biased environment, I am not sure what and who to believe and I read this stuff all the time. I’m not sure how much the hype has created this outcome or if the outcome is even created. How do polls swing 8 points in a day when the external environment has barely changed? How do polls that were so extreme a week ago, tighten so dramatically? Why should I believe a word from the media driven polls when they have such a vested interest in the outcome? And I remember it being “over” in 2000 and 2004, too. Hawkins says the internals of the polls and the states swinging were much different. Maybe. Like I said: I’ll admit it. It looks really bad.

It is not, however, impossible. And it is not over.

So this time, I’m not ignoring reality, I’m hoping that reality will change. I’m hoping that volunteers in swing states can change hearts and minds. I’m hoping the McCain campaign will work hard and get a message out that I hope will inspire voters to change their apathetic ways and get out and vote.

Barack Obama, his supporters and the media have given his ascendancy an air of inevitability. You know, everyone wants to be on the side of a winner–especially those not ideologically driven. So, when America was losing the war, it was unpopular. When the war looks won, suddenly everyone supports it. Well, the same thing happens in elections and Obama and the press knows it. There will be grandiose journalistic self-examination after Obama wins. Before then, there’s a job to do and that’s to promote a winner and be on the side of the trendy and new.

I won’t participate in a self-fulfilling prophecy. I just won’t. Those like Peggy Noonan who have aired their concerns could wait ten days to give their constructive criticism, but one suspects their are personal considerations to attend to. Goodness knows that no matter the outcome of this election, the Republicans need to take a long, hard look at their tent. It’s a big tent, but it needs some cleaning up.

That can wait. For the next seven days, I write like we’re winning. I see reality clearly. It’s a long shot. Very long. And still, a McCain win is possible. As long as a win is possible, there will be no hedging or quibbling or criticizing or throwing in the towel. Well, not from me, anyway.

Cross-posted at

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