Don't worry - this isn't so much kidding as it is just stupid idle talk from jackasses. When Republicans decide to steal an election they just turn up the negative ads until the polls are close, then rig the voting machines. They don't stoop to this kind of crap.
I am less freaked out by this election than others. I really really really want Obama to win. I am not at all passionate about making McCain lose. I disagree with him about the war but either candidate will inherit a largely set course on that so I consider the downside potential to be pretty limited (as is the upside) on that issue.
I keep reminding myself to compare McCain to Bush, and then I feel largely better about the outside possibility of a McCain presidency. I know McCain's voting record has been lockstep in recent years but what kills me about Bush is not his legislative record but his wanton war-starting and abuse of the balance of powers. I have a tolerable level of confidence that McCain would not run around actively setting fire to things as Bush has. I could be wrong, but there is a bipartisan compartment of my heart that is still open to having a decent president from the other side of the aisle and in my lifetime, anyway, McCain comes closest to promising that.
Naturally, I would really like to see the Obamas in the White House, especially since the Democrats will control Congress. Split control is, in a way, the worst of all arrangements. And when faced with the transformative promise of an Obama presidency, McCain's relative tolerability seems beside the point.
I get PBS from Vermont so I've watched some of the conventions, something I've never done in the past. Sometimes I have felt like you guys must be on your own planet, it's so different from here. It's entertaining, though... when it's not outright scary.
Right now I have the Republican convention on TV. Thus far I've seen two men of colour and two women speak -- they do this demographics-polka on purpose, right? Surely people of colour and women aren't this party's strongest constituency?
They are chanting "DRILL BABY DRILL" en masse right now. These people are giving me the willies.
Just to let y'all know, despite Mike Huckabee's statements, my government has never told me what doctor to see, what school to go to, or what kind of car to drive. (?) Lest you all shake in terror of those scary socialist "European ideas" he's warning about.
I got freaked out about the last two elections. After 04 I was so demoralized that I can't muster up the energy to be freak out by another one.
IMO, America is choosing between one of the greatest possible presidents in history, and someone who at least isn't Bush. If the former happens, I'll be overjoyed, and if the latter happens, at least it's not Bush. And Obama will still have another chance or two.
Back in the Reagan years, or perhaps earlier, Republicans got into the habit of "running against Washington", i.e. the Congress, which used to be some 60% Democratic. (This was because conservative Southern Democrats stayed in the party. Reagan's people like Lee Atwater made it a project to convert them all to Republicans, and largely succeeded.) Even when Congress had houses run by the G.O.P. the tactic continued to work. At this point, they're just unable to stop doing something (because it does motivate voters -- who may not actually know which party runs either house).
So, yes, even when the Republicans run Washington, they can "run against Washington". Neat trick that.