I’m tired. Are you tired? Yeah, I thought so.
There’s a lot going on right now, you know what I mean? Life just feels more complicated these days, from the personal to the global, and an election is just about the last thing I want to pay attention to, because my mind is packed with about a million other concerns.
But here’s the thing: If we don’t shake it off and pay some damn attention to what’s going on and gear ourselves up for the next few months, we will end up with a vapid, selfish bully of a dilettante for president, backed by a flood of knee-jerk, know-nothing, do-nothings in Congress. And so I must rant. We all must rant. Constant vigilance, folks. Constant vigilance.
It is sad, but seems clear to me that with somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion being poured into this election, Barack Obama is going to be outspent. The Koch brothers and Karl Rove have opened up the maw of their bank accounts and unleashed an obscene amount of money to convince the American people (and by that I mean the people in swing states like Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Iowa where Rove’s spending 65 million tax-exempt dollars) of things that never happened.
People in hot spots are already being strafed daily with ads created by shadowy “independent” organizations, and we’re all being pummeled with a constant low level barrage of TV, radio and internet noise that I suspect most people are trying desperately to tune out.
I see two missions this election. Get the truth out there the way we did in 2008, with a social media ground game that harnesses the free airwaves (or relatively free) on Facebook, on Twitter, on blogs, by email, on Tumblr– on freaking Pinterest if we have to. And we need to get everyone out to vote. Because when everyone votes, sanity does prevail, I truly believe that. But if we’re all too tired, if we turn our attention away, then one fine November day we will turn around to discover that our world is changed by people who don’t even know what they are voting for.
Okay, you really want to know what got me started on a rant today? This little comment from Mitt Romney last weekend:
Speaking in Commerce, Mich., about his Michigan roots, Mr. Romney said: “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
Know why it pisses me off? I’ll tell you why, because this is racism, pure and simple. The whole stupid birther flapdoodle is a thinly disguised way of saying, ” Hey, look at the brown guy– he’s not American. Look at me and the other white guy on my ticket. We’re American.” Yes, it’s been going on for all four years of Obama’s presidency. Yes, it’s veiled in “joking” remarks. And yes, it is pissing me off.
Democrats are going to be accused of “playing the race card,” but you know what? This is called “playing the truth card.” Deal with it.
Did Mitt Romney say “Hey, Vote for me, I’m white?” No, but what’s worse is that he probably didn’t even for a second think that what he was saying highlighted an unconscious racism that is just part of his everyday vernacular. Romney does a heckuva lot of this “open mouth, insert foot stuff.” And a heckuva a lot of it reveals that he is not at all conscious of how overprivileged, how selfish, how mean- spirited and rude he is.
Salon has a running master list of his gaffes, and it’s really quite striking how many of his verbal missteps betray a graceless lack of empathy for the person in front of him, how many of them reveal a rich guy, who doesn’t have the faintest idea of what life without obscene amounts of money might look like.
But if all of this depresses you, at least take comfort in the knowledge that God is on our side. I mean, the Good Lord must be, because S/He has sent a hurricane to interrupt the Republican convention for TWO presidential elections in a row. If Tropical-Storm-Soon-to-be-Hurricane Isaac is not a clear sign, I don’t know what is. God does not want to deal with everyone live-blogging Jeb Bush, and I heartily concur.
The convention resumes on Tuesday with lots of stuff that will probably make me apoplectic with fury. Mercifully, the networks are not indulging in the spectacle for more than a few hours tops, so you’ll have to watch for highlights via livestream. Check back with me this time tomorrow to see if my head has exploded yet by the time Ann Romney takes the stage… Here’s the official schedule for the condensed convention.
If you’re a betting fool, or just feeling depressed and paranoid, know that whatever the polls may say, the magical machinations of Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com now calculate that Obama has a 69.3% chance of winning this election.
People, expect the numbers to fluctuate, expect the GOP to get a bounce, expect there to be handwringing and paranoia ahead, but know that the only thing that counts in the end is getting out there to vote.
Plan to vote early, and plan to get everyone you know to vote. I’m looking at you folks in the swing states especially. If you’re not already registered, register to vote now!
The deadlines to register for each state are here, and I’m going to warn you now, many states have a deadline to register of 30 days before the election. That means your registration must be postmarked October 8, but the alert among you will note that that is also Columbus Day. So some states have moved the deadline BACK to October 6. Check your local registration deadline carefully!
“Must I explain everything to you humans?