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My thoughts on the election now that it’s finally over…

November 9, 2012, 12:35 AM

First of all, aren’t you glad it’s just over with now?  Our election cycles run for far too long, especially when you consider that the New Hampshire primary was on January 10 this year, which meant that candidates started running well before that.  The 2012 election cycle started up right after dust settled from the 2010 midterm elections.  That’s far too long, in my opinion.  Considering that this year, Mitt Romney became the presumptive nominee in May, I think we could safely adjust the schedule a bit.  Basically, imagine the primaries in the summer.  Have New Hampshire in May.  Then have nominees by September.  Skip the conventions, because all they are is a coronation for the nominee that is known months ahead of time, and then vote in November.  The goal in this compressed schedule is to give the American public some peace and quiet in between elections.

Now as far as the contest itself goes, I think this was the biggest dog and pony show that I’ve ever seen.  The moment that I laid eyes on the Republicans’ field of candidates, I knew that President Obama was getting a second term.  Realize that the Republican Party didn’t want to “put out the good silverware” for a race against a popular incumbent president.  I’m sure that’s really why the likes of Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, etc. didn’t run.  The party didn’t want to dirty up its better names on a race against an incumbent.  Then once the crazies that did run on the Republican side actually opened their mouths, I really knew that they had no chance.  Thus I felt confident for just about the whole season that the end result of the contest was settled.  Basically, barring a major scandal or a major blunder on the Democratic side, President Obama was in, bottom line, end of story.  Thus my view that the whole campaign was basically a dog and pony show.  I was pretty sure that the Republicans knew that they had no chance in 2012, but they still had to put on a good show and run someone to at least make it look like they were interested to keep their faithful engaged.

Funny how this affected me.  In 2004 and 2008, I followed the campaigns pretty closely.  I read the news articles about the races.  I watched the debates.  I did everything I was supposed to do.  This time, considering the clowns on the GOP side, I didn’t care.  I didn’t watch the debates, and was pretty disengaged from the whole process aside from listening to Randi Rhodes as I have for the last five years.  And I even found myself turning off her show a few times when I got bored of hearing about the presidential race.  By September, I was done.  I found Mitt Romney to be a pretty repulsive person, and his comments just served to annoy me.  President Obama just bored me.  And all one could get on the news was coverage of the presidential race.  Gag me with a presidential dollar coin.  I really didn’t care about it.  Just get me to November and get it over with.  Plus since I live in Maryland, which is generally considered a “safe blue state”, I knew how my state would go come election time.  Thus I kind of tuned out.

Now this isn’t to say that I wasn’t concerned about other things.  The top of the ticket didn’t concern me.  But further down the ticket is where progressives stood to gain.  Those were the races that I was more interested in.  My state was again pretty much a foregone conclusion.  I knew that Ben Cardin would win reelection, despite the number of Daniel Bongino and Rob Sobhani signs all over the place.  Seriously, I saw no Cardin signs anywhere.  Likewise, I knew that my congressman, Chris Van Hollen, was going back.  And I saw no Van Hollen signs anywhere, either.  But then again, I live in the narrow part of the 8th District.  The way Maryland is currently gerrymandered, I’m in the 8th District, but Northgate Shopping Center less than a mile away from me is in Roscoe Bartlett‘s 6th District, and then the pool, 3.7 miles from my house per Google Maps, is in John Sarbanes3rd District.  So it’s not like there’s a nice chunk of Van Hollen country near me.  Then the referenda that we had interested me, specifically Question 6 (same-sex marriage) and Question B (MoCo police union).  I already went over my views about these two matters, so I won’t rehash them here, but I am pleased that Question 6 passed, and disappointed that Question B also passed.

And no, I didn’t win that circuit court judgeship that I wrote myself in for.  Darn.

I think a few of my Facebook and Twitter posts after I got back from the pool on election night said a lot about how I viewed this election.

From Facebook:

When the news calls your state with only 1% of precincts reporting, it's the ultimate statement that your state really was never in play. I'm looking at you, Mississippi.

George Allen does not win back his old Senate seat. Hopefully that's the last time we ever see or hear from him.

CNN projected that President Obama has been reelected. Mitt Romney may now move to the Caymans to go live with his money.

From the Twitter:

Just switched to CNN. Nice glasses, Wolf. #election2012 #wolfblitzer

Am I the only one confident of the prez's reelection for months? I was watching this more as a dog and pony show than serious. #election2012

 @MalnurturedSnay Translated: I'm turning the television off now. #election2012 #itisover

This is what my television looks like now. The election has been called. I'm done. #election2012 #showsover http://twitpic.com/bb01rv

Then after the election, I was glad to be proven right.  A number of coworkers, friends, and relatives expressed to me prior to the election that they supported President Obama, they were nervous about his prospects for reelection.  I responded that Mitt Romney had no chance in hell of ever winning the election.  Turns out that I was right all along.  It also felt great to be told by a few of these folks after the results came in that I was right.  I was actually telling people to turn off the television because it was just noise.  Sure, news people have to eat, too, but that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to watch it.  Truth be told, my television looked a lot like it did in this picture for most of the election cycle (and yes, that is a Super Nintendo down there).

And then otherwise, a few pet peeves.  First, I am tired of hearing that a given election is the most important election of our lives.  If I recall, the last three or four have all been described that way, and they can’t all be the most important election in a lifetime.  Once you’ve said that at least two of them fit that description, then another question should get asked: were you lying to me then when you spoke of that election’s being the most important ever, or are you lying to me now about the earth-shattering importance of this election?

The second one is people who describe everything related to an election as “historic”.  This is an historic moment.  This will go down in history.  Such an historic election.  You get the idea.  Doesn’t make you special.  Everything is historical as soon as it’s done.  The visit to the bathroom that I made just before I started writing this entry was historic from the moment that I left the bathroom.  Same with the dinner that I had before that.  Please, folks, come up with a better term.  We overuse the term “historic” when we really mean something more along the lines of “good”, “special”, or “noteworthy”.

So there you have it, I suppose.  I will enjoy the lack of election campaign noise for a while – at least until next week or so when people on both sides start running for 2016 to replace President Obama, who will be constitutionally barred from running again for reelection.

Postscript: Oh, and Chief Justice Roberts, please don't f--- up the oath this time.