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Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Hoping for a Decisive Win

I'm not really rooting for McCain or Obama; I think either of them is equally capable of presiding over some awful developments in federal policy. As I've said before, it's true that McCain sounds more likely to bomb Iran, but by the same token, he will be under less pressure to prove what a tough guy he is, and also, he is probably more likely to grasp whether something really would be infeasible from a purely military point of view. I.e. I think Obama wouldn't want to bomb Iran because of the dead babies, whereas McCain might think, "Nah, we're too bogged down right now. Putin would have an even freer hand if we opened up another front in the Middle East."

So, since I am not going to get all worked up hoping for one or the other, what I will say is that I hope one of them wins decisively. At this point, of course, that means I hope Obama really wins. (But if there is a late October surprise, the polls could swing in a matter of days.)

What would be absolutely terrible is if the election is razor-thin, and then Republicans bring a bunch of lawsuits claiming voter fraud, or that Obama isn't a US citizen, etc. I realize that some hardcore libertarians would say, "No, that will be great! Maybe the American sheeple will wake up and realize they don't pick their leaders."

But it could also mean that the people "get used to" the fact that sometimes elections need to be postponed indefinitely, blah blah blah. E.g. what if Bush tries to stay in office for another 6 months until the courts can figure out who the next president is? I realize that sounds inconceivable right now, but what exactly would happen if he did it? Remember, in the scenario I've painted, 40% of the country is going to be dead certain that Obama won, while another 40% will be dead certain McCain is the true president. So long as Bush prattles off how the review process will be fair blah blah, I think most people will sit and home and b*tch about how screwed up the country is, rather than start rioting. Keep in mind that Obama himself could go on national TV, urging his supporters to be patient and let democracy play out.

Like I said, even I don't really think the above is plausible, but then again, if you had described all of the Paulson BS 6 months ago--especially the part about the American public vocally opposing it 9-to-1 or more--I would have laughed at you.

16 comments:

  1. "I think Obama wouldn't want to bomb Iran because of the dead babies, whereas McCain might think, "Nah, we're too bogged down right now. Putin would have an even freer hand if we opened up another front in the Middle East.""

    I don't understand why that's a point in McCain's favor. If we're going to have wars with all their disastrous social effects, throwing US troops into an unwinnable meatgrinder is better (as in not-as-bad) for liberty, as every body bag is one less pair of jackboots on the home front.

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  2. Jor,

    I'm assuming starting a war with Iran is bad. If you think it's actually good for liberty, then you're right, my analysis is nonsensical.

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  3. I am in the same boat that I really do not care whether its Obama or McCain, and I also agree I would rather see an Obama landslide than a close race followed by a year of debate and argument about the result.

    -David Carlson

    David Carlson Politics

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  4. I am looking forward to an orderly election tomorrow which will eliminate the need for a violent bloodbath" -- Kodos


    _The Simpsons_, THOH VII, "Citizen Kang"

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  5. Mr. Murphy,

    I think it would be bad for liberty. I just don't understand why holding back from it for strategic reasons (i.e. not wanting to overstretch the military*) is more commendable than holding back from it for moral reasons (i.e. not wanting to kill babies).

    *Who in his right mind cares?? US military personnel being someone else's problem for a period of time, and god willing, dying in large numbers, are the only GOOD things about US imperialism

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  6. I don't care if Obama wins by a slim margin, although I'd prefer a landside. I can't be indifferent to whether its Obama or McCain, because I don't want Nazis to win.

    Republicans may not, in a technical sense, be Fascists, but the Fascists are certainly on the side of Repulviscans.

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  7. Woody,

    My point is, if Obama wins by a thin margin, then he might not get sworn in in January. See?

    And I don't like fascists either, but communism isn't so hot. I'm sure you're familiar with the remarks made to Joe the Plumber. That is communism. As the academic Glenn Beck said, "To say Obama is a Marxist is not a distortion, it's a definition."

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  8. I guess I don't get it. Who cares if Obama gets sworn in in January or not? Bush is extraordinarily unpopular. He's not going to stay in office forever. Having him involved in this sort of abuse of power would only help give abuse of power a bad name, and maybe get people thinking about the constitution and limits on presidential power a little bit.

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  9. It's no longer intellectual, it's a personal decision for me, you can say I've chosen my poison. I'd rather live under a well-intentioned socialist than under a vicious and racist group of fascists.

    I'm willing to duke it out on the streets if need be, and I have much to lose. I'm not going to stick my head in the sand because I'm afraid of civil war. Let that asshole try to stage a coup.

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  10. Having him involved in this sort of abuse of power would only help give abuse of power a bad name...

    That is the silver lining in the thundercloud, but we're still getting soaked. Domestic spying, torture camps around the world, a $700 billion+ last-minute robbery, partial nationalization of the financial sector etc. etc. should have given abuse of power a bad name too, but I think on net liberty got the crap kicked out of it during the Bush years.

    And so what I'm saying is, if the election is razor thin, maybe one more aspect of Bush's "legacy" will be Americans getting used to a president not relinquishing his office if there is a "constitutional emergency."

    Woody, I'm not saying you should prefer a McCain win to that, I'm saying that that would be really bad.

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  11. I hear you, Bob.

    I'm just putting it out there that I'm willing to throw down in the street over this one if the repubicans try to take power like Hitler did in 1933. I won't stand for it, and I'm not willing to bow to their threats... because that's what it all is anyhow, isn't it? Take my guns "from my cold dead hands," because if irony is any indication, it will be the Republicans that try to disarm us, and racism will be their banner.

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  12. And so what I'm saying is, if the election is razor thin, maybe one more aspect of Bush's "legacy" will be Americans getting used to a president not relinquishing his office if there is a "constitutional emergency."

    Bob, perhaps you can clarify - if a coup has already happened, then how does the election matter?

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