Not since the Salahis has a more embarrassing guest been permitted on the White House grounds. Due to this egregious lapse of security I was able to fist bump with the president tonight.
I am anxiously awaiting more results from Wisconsin. In the early going, Scott Walker has a sizeable lead, but the exit polls and the heavy turnout suggest a close race and a long night. Still it makes me nervous to see Walker with a 20% lead with 17% of the vote counted. I am assuming that all of this is from very heavily Republican areas.
I am going to try to hang in there until the bitter end. And hoping for good news.
Let's see what the night has in store.
Update: Wow, how quickly that bubble was burst. I guess my fears about the 20% lead were warranted. MSNBC has already called it for Walker and with 22% of the vote in Walker is ahead by a margin of 61-38%. This is incredibly disappointing.
I guess we need to see if we will pick up one state senate seat to see if we can gain a majority and thwart further damage being done by Walker and co.
Further Update: Jesus Christ, what an absolutely unmitigated disaster from the looks of things. I wish I had a better feel for where the vote was coming from, but it seems safe to say that with 50% of the vote counted that this does not appear likely to be remotely close. I am curious how the polling could have been so off.
Well the gap has closed a bit -- I am just hoping for a modicum of respectability here -- with the spread down to 11% with 79% of the vote counted. This is just a brutal, brutal loss.
On the plus side, the Celtics have taken a 3-2 lead over the Heat and will be heading back to Boston for a potentially deciding game. Yes, I'm grasping at straws here.
Further Update and Post Mortem: Okay, so the final results were not nearly as bad as things looked when I headed off to bed. Obviously there were significant Democratic strongholds still to report, leaving us the with a final margin of 6 - 7 points. Not great, but not a landslide, which really would have shaken me pretty deeply. In the end, the polls of last week proved to be pretty damn accurate and well within their margin of error. I find that strangely reassuring, because a double digit Walker win would have thrown all of that in doubt.
And it looks like we may actually pick up the Senate seat that returns a majority to the Democrats -- it's a small, but possibly significant consolation prize.
So what do we make of this in the end? Here are my initial thoughts:
1. A greatly expanded electorate does not always work for us -- I tend to think that it does, but this is a reminder that there is no great tide of progressive voters sitting on their hands and not voting that we can magically woo to the polls and begin a new day. Yes, certain groups, particularly minorities and young people are often underrepresented in elections to our detriment, but expanding the electorate writ large tends to replicate the results of earlier elections;
2. Getting outspent 7 to 1 is a bitch. The flow of limitless plutocrat money into elections is going to have serious implications in state and local races. I do not think that it will have much impact in the presidential race as I think that once you get past a certain level of spending there is a law of diminishing returns -- at least as long as you can return fire. But in smaller races, I think this kind of massive money on one side is extraordinarily worrisome;
3. Public employee unions are going to have to make a better case as to why their interests are more in line with the public than the interests of these right wing plutocrats. The Republicans have been amazingly effective in painting the preposterous picture that a teacher making $60,000 a year with a pension and decent medical coverage is an aristocrat, while people like the Koch brothers are simply job creators;
4. Recall elections might be different than ordinary elections. One can imagine a certain reticence among portions of the electorate to institutionalize this kind of mid-term disruption to the ordinary course of politics. Especially in a state like Wisconsin that has a kind of conservative personality -- not in an ideological sense, but in a general world view sense; and
5. We cannot afford a minute of complacency regarding this fall's election. The other side is going to go full bore after this thing with all of the resources and ferocity they've got -- we have to do the same.