Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An early election night nationally, but not in Montana (I hope)

Well, I'm writing this around 8 PM Mountain time Tuesday night. The Montana Headlines decision desk called the race for President Obama around 7 PM Mountain when Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania had all been projected early for the President and when North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida had not been projected for Romney.

No need to wait for Ohio or any of the other true swing state returns if Romney is performing that poorly. The pro-Romney (or anti-Obama) election day wave that some right-leaning pundits predicted clearly didn't materialize, which means that there is no hope for him to win the Presidency. Sometimes I hate being right.

Likewise, when the Senate races in Missouri, Massachusetts, and Indiana were called early, that meant that the Democrats' lock on the Senate was more than secure, no matter what happens in the other races still in play.

Since we live in imperial America where the President (regardless of party) and the army of bureaucrats he appoints hold more power than the executive branch was ever meant to wield, and since the U.S. Senate holds most of the remainder of the balance of power, we are looking at a long and perhaps permanent dry spell for conservatives here in America. The 2010 mid-terms were a false dawn -- as repeatedly as national Democrats kept pushing the self-destruct button during the last four years, tonight should have been a sweeping win for Republicans, and would have been as recently as a decade ago.

The fact that much of this was self-inflicted on the part of Republican Senate candidates who are politically brain dead and on the part of a Republican Party whose brightest stars couldn't (or wouldn't) negotiate the craziness of the Presidential primary season doesn't make it any easier to take. Ultimately, however, I think both things were irrelevant, since tactical victories in a rear-guard action are still part of a retreat -- part of a war that is being lost.

As I stated in Monday's post, America has simply changed too much -- philosophically and demographically -- for even a modestly conservative candidate to win the Presidency, and perhaps for conservative Republicans to win a majority in the U.S. Senate. Tonight's results are bearing that observation out in spades.

I have a very early Wednesday morning, so for the first time in my life, I made the decision to turn the TV off and not hold out until the bitter end to see what silver linings are behind the looming electoral clouds. To mix metaphors, whatever scraps are left on the floor for Republicans, they won't be nourishing enough to wait up for.

Here in Montana, our key races will take a long time to call, and even as deeply interested in them as I am, I just don't have the stamina tonight.

In keeping with the closing of Monday's post, after turning off the tube, I went to my music room to noodle around for awhile on a guitar I just got back from the shop where I was getting its neck and bridge adjusted. This particular instrument is only about 10 years old and was a cheap one I bought to have something to play until I could afford something better, but it was just never set up properly. It now actually sounds and plays acceptably nicely. I may leave it out at the ranch so I have something to play when I am there, especially on the cold winter nights that lie ahead of us. I also spent some time playing the beginner's model mandolin I just bought recently so I could expand my musical horizons a bit. As I said, there are thankfully more important things than politics...

I hope to wake up to read good news about the returns in Montana's statewide races, although Republican underperformance across the rest of the country is worrisome, since we aren't as different from the rest of America as are, say, South Dakota or Wyoming. I'm feeling a little heartburn, even though no votes have been counted as of this writing.

No comments: