Election Day 2009

It’s the first Tuesday in November, so that can only mean one thing: time to vote. But for the vast majority of the US electorate there is nothing to vote on today. NY, NJ and VA have some important elections and Maine has a gay marriage issue to vote on, but outside of that what does election day mean when there is no President or even a mid-term to go to the polls on?

Today’s election results will provide America with a barometer of where we all stand after just one year into Barack Obama’s Presidency and the Democratic takeover of the Congress. Some call it a referendum on the President. Others call it a measure of the GOP’s power. It’s kinda like taking the PSATs–the results will tell us how best to prepare for 2010.

2010 will probably be one of the ugliest election years in American history. The Tea-Baggers will be losing their minds all year. Democrats will be running scared if they don’t get healthcare reform signed into law, and even if they do they’ll have a lot of problems if a bill passes that doesn’t make the Liberal/Progressive base happy. Rush Limbaugh will flap his gums for months about Obama and Socialism (will it morph into Communism by that time?). Glen Beck will lie about anything he can. Keith Olbermann will get nastier and angrier. Michael Steel will spout stupidity and insanity. Joe LIEberman will flip-flop on everything. And the gang over at Air America radio will rake in the ratings. But what about the voters?

That’s why today is the most important off-year election ever. By the time all the results are in tonight we will know how the country feels about Barack Obama much more accurately than the public opinion polls show. Have the Conservative lies and smears sunk in and caused the reform-minded voters on this country to lean towards the right? Or have they backfired and made voters turn to the left in disgust?

If VA, NY’s 23rd district, and NJ all vote Republican today does that mean the Democrats are in trouble next year? Yes AND No. Somebody once said “the numbers don’t lie” and that’s just as true for election returns. But while those numbers don’t lie, they can be deceiving. From a Democratic perspective, no matter what happens today will be good news for Democrats. If they get beaned in NY/NJ/VA then they will get confirmation that their agenda is off track and it will be a warning sign that they have some hardcore explaining and campaigning to do to their base in 2010.

However, if the Democrats do well today (and here’s also hoping everyone in Maine voted “no” on repealing gay marriage), then we will all know that the Conservative dirty work of 2009 has no traction, and we can expect to pound them into oblivion in 2010.

So I will personally be kicking back tonight and watching the news for all the returns–for clarity of vision in 2010. Because in this case, as Joey LaMotta (Joe Pesci) said in Raging Bull, “If you win you win, if you lose you still win.”

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