Election Day Eve

Monday, November 6th, 2006, 10:37 am

OK, boys and girls, just one day left until Election Day. And you are going to vote, right? Of course you are. You’re intelligent, sensitive, courageous, sexy (oh, don’t be coy, you know you are). Of course you’re voting tomorrow. You vote every election day. You, as the noted philosopher Terry Bollea said, are a Real American.

If you don’t vote, shame on you. Shame on you, because there are billions of people living under the yoke of oppressive governments or warlords or tyrants who can’t vote. Who would give anything to vote. Who, when they make their voices heard in an attempt to gain control over their lives, end up in a camp or gulag or a ditch. Vote. With the rights bestowed to us in the Constitution come responsibilities. Voting is the most important of them. A democracy without voters is…well, I don’t know what it is. I guess it looks a bit like our messed-up government.

And so it is very, very important that you vote in this election. Our government IS messed up. And, as I’ve said before, it’s time for us to muck out the stalls. There are too many people in Washington unworthy of serving in Congress. And, yes, I know that particular bar is set very, very low. But when you look at what has happened in this country over the last six years, it’s up to us, the voters, to save the day. And that’s what we’re tasked with on Tuesday.

Whether George W. Bush is the worst President of all time is a question I will leave to the historians. Although, if someone DID ask me that question, I would say, “Isn’t it obvious by now?”. Whether the 109th Congress is The Worst Congress Ever is, again, a question that deserves considerable study. Again, I would say that it is the Worst, and even if it ain’t, it’s been bad enough that we need to break out the brooms and sweep these morons out of the Capitol and down to K Street, where they probably feel more at home anyway.

On Saturday I went to the Kiwanis Club’s pancake breakfast, which they hold every Election Day. The candidates come by to be seen and gladhand and pass out flyers. I go for the pancakes and sausage, personally, but it’s always interesting to see politicians in the flesh. Well, in person. One can’t always be sure that the candidate in front of you is human or an animatronic robot.

The two candidates for the House that I have to choose from were there. Jason Altmire, Democrat, walked around the tables shaking hands and apologizing for his voice, which was just about shot. Melissa Hart, the Republican incumbent, showed up a few minutes after we sat down in a tour bus packed with flacks and supporters. I though that was pretty tacky, the candidate showing up with a small army of people, none of whom sat down to eat pancakes. Hart came around to us (she didn’t offer to shake my hand though, in all fairness, I didn’t offer mine to be shook). She made some statement about how she was there because she wanted people to hear what she was about after all the stuff that was out there about her that wasn’t true. Or something nonsensical like that.

As Hart walked around she was followed by a lemony chap in a starched blue dress shirt, some manner of handler or manager or flack making sure nothing untoward happened toward the candidate. Like a guy storming up to her demanding to know why she voted to ban online poker. No, I didn’t do that. Should I have? There were lots of little kids around, watching some loon verbally assaulting an elected member of Congress might sour them on democracy for life. Nah, I chickened out. I’ll retaliate tomorrow by voting for Altmire.

And I encourage everyone in the Fourth District of Pennsylvania to vote for Jason Altmire. Hart voted for the Port Security Bill, which the UIGEA was tacked on to, but I can’t properly pillory her for that because it’s the way the UIGEA was attached that was low and slimy and she didn’t do that. Though, according to Wikipedia, Hart is quite chummy with Bill Frist. Hart voted for the Military Commissions Bill (also, and more accurately, known as the “Torture Bill”) and she also voted for the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (better known as the Warrantless Wiretapping Act).

In other words, Hart thinks it’s OK for the President to listen to Americans’ conversations without a warrant, for those citizens to be arrested without charge, to be held indefinitely without charge or right to counsel, and to be tortured while they’re incarcerated. She’s also against online poker. She needs to go. Vote for Jason Altmire.

On thing that disturbed me–at no point during the breakfast did Hart and Altmire acknowledge the other. At one point they were walking down the same aisle, shaking hands, and I got out my camera to take a picture of the candidates standing together. Hart reversed course and walked the other way. And at one point they were standing two feet apart, backs to each other, and they didn’t speak to each other. I found it somewhat disturbing that our political process is so poisoning that two candidates can’t even be bothered to exchange insincere “Good mornings!” to each other. The race has been testy at times, but no claims of AntiChristy tendencies in either campaign. I should’ve asked if they could hug so I could take a picture. On second thought, nah, I don’t want to see that.

Rick Santorum is a disgrace and has no business acting in the name of Pennsylvania and it’s people. Santorum’s latest ad accuses Bob Casey of funnelling $6.5 billion of state money to organizations that support terrorism. Uh…huh. Santorum of course doesn’t say WHO these evil organizations are or exactly how they support terrorism or how exactly Casey managed to get the money to them, but truth and honesty has never been high on Santorum’s list of priorities.

I mean, if this story were TRUE, wouldn’t it be Santorum’s duty to report this to the FBI? Wouldn’t this be, like, a really huge story? Of course it would be. And of course it isn’t a big story, because it isn’t true. It’s desperate nonsense. If you’re reading this and you live in Pennsylvania, please, PLEASE, vote for Bob Casey.

Not that I’m a big Casey fan. Or a big fan of the Democratic Party. Tomorrow when I vote it won’t take me long–I’m voting straight Democrat. But if there was a lever that had an “R” with a slash through it, I’d pull it. I’m not voting Democrat–I’m voting anti-Republican. Because they’ve been in control the last six years, and their record is a unique blend of incompetence, stupidity, and arrogance. They’ve done incalculable harm to our nation. They NEED TO GO, people. If we don’t hold them responsible NOW, after how badly they’ve botched everything they’ve touched, what is the point of our democracy?

And if you think I’m just your typical ranting left-wing liberal pinko commie tree-hugging hippy, then I invite you to read blogs written by a few card-carrying conservatives and get their take on the madness that has seized our government. If you don’t already read John Cole, Greg Djerejian and Andrew Sullivan then I invite you to dig in before you head to the polls.

This is important, people. Vote tomorrow. Give the Republicans who failed us and the nation the boot. And don’t let your involvement end after you pull that lever, punch that chad, poke that screen. If the Democrats win they don’t get carte blanche. We have to keep them honest too. While I don’t go into the whole “V for Vendetta” ethos that “people shouldn’t be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people”, representatives should be fully cognizant that, if they screw up, and screw up royally, they’re gonna get fired. By us. The voters. Because we don’t play that way. Right? Right.

Vote.

UPDATE: Amy Calistri points out in the comments that Melissa Hart co-sponsored the House bill attacking online gaming. Dammit, I didn’t know that. I even did some digging on that and didn’t dig enough. Had I know that I WOULD’VE gone up to her during the breakfast and said What the Fuck? Though I would’ve couched it in more diplomatic terms.

See, this is what happens when the electorate is not properly informed. I mean, I knew I was voting against Hart, but I didn’t fully understand all the reasons why I shouldn’t want her re-elected. And Hart’s Pittsburgh office is literally 200 yards from my apartment. Did I picket, did I protest? Did I get arrested and undergo a cavity search? I did not. My bad.

And if you live in Texas, consider voting for Scott Jameson for the United States Senate.

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10 Responses to “Election Day Eve”

  1. Ranika Morales Says:

    Hi Gene, I am a college student and political science major. I wanted to know how you came about choosing a political “side,” so to speak. Did you “inherit” your philosophies from parents and build upon them? What is your political background? How did you decide what party to ally with? How do you think a person who is undecided, (a political dummy, if you will) should go about choosing their party affiliation? I am currently in this position myself. I am taking a class on American political parties but have found that my professors operate in such a fashion that assumes that one is already politically informed. An email with a response from you would be most useful and appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Ranika Morales

  2. Daddy Says:

    Ranika,

    Thanks for the comment. Vote Democrat tomorrow.

    Please send photo.

    Your truly,

  3. Mean Gene Says:

    I vote like Daddy votes.

    Not my Daddy. Daddy. See above. He speaks, I obey.

    Seriously though (well, not that seriously) I try to make an informed decision. I learn about the issues (as many as I can), weigh how important they are, find out what the candidates/parties have to say about them, and then I flip a coin. Or pick the candidate I think will do the best job. I’m not wedded to either party. Who’s gonna do the best job?

  4. CJ Says:

    Come on, Gene… your “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” short-sightedness has you forgetting all about Jimmy Carter. Now THAT was a bad president.

  5. Amy C Says:

    Hey MG,
    Melissa Hart was a co-sponsor of HR 4777, which was Goodlatte’s Internet Gaming Prohibition bill. So she’s an anti-online gamer. Move her outta there.

  6. Scott Jameson Says:

    I am the Libertarian Party Candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas. I would be happy to sponsor and/or introduce legislation to completely legalize Internet-based gambling. Please vote for me tomrrow and I will be proactive on this issue.

  7. Ken Says:

    Hi Gene,

    Thanks for the vote post. We as a poker community need to show our voice.

    In fact, I just emailed the following to Cardplayer support (hope someone reads it and does something)…

    Dear Cardplayer,

    I just wanted to write and comment on your (Cardplayer) website and
    priorities….

    Today is November 7th — ELECTION DAY!!! and you shamelessy have nothing about voting. How can we
    poker players, as a community, be taken seriously by members of congress and senate if the leading poker magazine doesn’t feel that it is even worthy of a mention on election day!!!

    Shame on you cardplayer!!!!

  8. Drizztdj Says:

    Democrats for me, except for Governor.

    I like Pawlenty. Hatch is too extreme for my taste.

  9. Amy C Says:

    Hey MG,
    We’re even. Thanks for pointing out Jemeson as I live in Texas.

    And Ken, I too thought it was odd that CP provided absolutely no election content until 38 minutes ago – and what they have up is fairly lame. [Warning: Shamelss pimp job/link to follow]Pokernews was specifically looking for articles before the election to help inform voters. http://www.pokernews.com/news/2006/11/online-gambling-bill-sponsors-vulnerable.htm

    Good luck out there today voters.

  10. kathie Says:

    Hey Gene, you’re cracking me up. Down with Santorum and Out with Missy Hart–if my votes counts for anything. God I hope they go. Your post is awesome. How about that picture of Ted posing with his big muscles???

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