Tuesday, November 02, 2004

can't we all just...

People showed up to vote without incident at poll 61 here this morning. No paramilitary groups made an appearance. I sat with a very nice old couple formerly from New Jersey, whose shared recollection went back to days when the democrats would bus voters from Jersey City to Hoboken, and from Hoboken to Jersey City, to make sure everyone voted as early and often as possible. Today those towns are, they said, Republican.

In my county and in others around the state, people holding Bush signs seemed to have perfect makeup and be peroxide blondes. No men among them. Good information says they were making $50 an hour. Meanwhile, black voters received calls telling them (a) their poll had suddenly relocated to some distant location, (b) if anyone in their family were ever charged with a crime, the whole family was ineligible to vote, (c) the democrats vote on Wednesday, and (d) they could vote by telephone.

Judging from the black voters I met yesterday, no one was about to be fooled.

What do republican voters of rural West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Alabama have in common with the befuddled adulterous former mayor of New York? Gawdfearin? (A friend reports finding Christian Coalition literature at the check-in desk of the poll she monitored today.)

One reason Mr. Bush maintains his peculiar base is, he brings politics down to its level.

Mr. Kerry on the other hand tried to raise it up. In this smallish, hurricane-challenged county, a young Harvard operative was brought in two months ago. He built a committed organization that was all over this election. The people at headquarters -- some of them from out of state -- injected an organizing energy the local dems haven't seen in donkey's years. Every poll was watched, every voter was called, and when a neighboring county reported light turnout, these folks hit the phones and called hundreds of registered democrats there from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m., urging them to get to the polls.

Part of the mystery of strongly divided elections is understanding how anyone can vote for the other guy. Part of the reality check USians will face is, how realistic is the rhetoric of healing and union that new-waveian solutions spout with such facility?


Blogger Jon Husband said...

It's just shy of 11 pm your time, Tom, and there's no call yet on Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and such .... but I am very sad for you and your country and all of us tonight ... still.

11/02/2004 10:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

NPR just called Florida for the halfpint brother of its governor.

11/03/2004 12:04 AM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

It's the next mroning, and I wish it weren't so.

Duck often, and remember to stay close to the ground.

11/03/2004 10:20 AM  

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