Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | November 2, 2010

What’s Your Voting Day Story? UPDATED

As the hours tick down until the returns start coming in, I’m having some thoughts.

One:  my exurban, southern California polling place was hopping this morning.  I voted quite early, but there were quite a few people there.  Biggest turn-out I’ve seen since the 2004 election.

I managed to mismark my ballot the first time, but had no trouble getting it replaced and starting afresh.  We voted on paper here, although my precinct has voted electronically before.  My marking error occurred when I was voting on the retention of judges: I marked one judge “Yes,” then half-marked a “No” for the same judge, by mistake.  The very sympathetic poll workers, glancing carefully at the error I was pointing to, agreed among themselves that they didn’t know if the machine would reject my ballot for the half-mark.  So they destroyed that one and gave me a new one.

A sheriff’s deputy showed up at the polling station while I was there, and was speaking genially as I left to the poll-watcher standing outside.  He clearly wasn’t there to vote.  I’ve never seen that before.

I am seeing, today, a predictable but noteworthy loss of “message” from the usual suspects in the left-wing punditry.  I can’t tell if they think they’re saying the most powerful things they could say – making their best case – or if they’re just lapsing into a fidgety, impotent annoyance.  Poor Paul Krugman thunders that the “moralists” who hate debt want to, like, make everybody stop borrowing money, which apparently is an obvious mark of insanity in his world.  It seems like a really lame point at this moment.

Michael Kinsley, as Hot Air regulars have seen, makes the case that America is not – is NOT – the greatest country ever.  Um, whatever.  The point of making that case on Election Day 2010 would be…?

Back at the Grey Lady, Roger Cohen says Obama should be more like Lula da Silva of Brazil.  Cohen attends Upper East Side parties, and at the most recent one, people were saying that what we need is a Michael Bloomberg type, a manager, not a loner.  “Well-heeled Obama supporters” is what these folks were.  They don’t seem to have gotten any brighter in the last two years.  But thanks for sharing, Roger.

David Corn, yesterday, came not to bury or praise (Jon) Stewart for the Rally for Irony on the Mall.  “Politics in America,” says Corn, “is a long war.  On an [sic] Election Day, 2010, it will get longer.”  OK, sure.

Arianna Huffington, bless her heart, wrote about the rally (obligatory, I guess, since she had sponsored buses to take people to it).  Her summation:  “I came away from the rally feeling, as Stewart put it, ‘strangely, calmly good’…”

I do think Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown has outdone them all with these words evocative of some really meditative cud-chewing:

“My father used to tell me about Aristides the Just, the Athenian politician that was exiled because they got tired of hearing ‘Aristides the Just,’ ” Brown told reporters after casting his ballot. “You gotta remember name recognition is good, but name repetition and the repetition of ads can be very debilitating, and I think that’s a lesson I learned a long time ago.”

There’s a constituency somewhere that this would appeal to.  I doubt it’s on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where I hear they’re looking for some more muscular, fiscally responsible moonbeamism these days.

I take it that David Brooks, muddling around somewhere in the political center, does not think the muscular, fiscally responsible moonbeamism will be found in a Republican Congressional majority.  It’s kind of hard to say; Brooks seems as deflated by the approaching tsunami as any out-of-the-closet left-wing Democrat.  Modesty is what he’s on the hunt for, in the GOP candidates who celebrate in the coming days.  I’m thinking we tried that with McCain in 2008.

Pundits.  What can you do.  They don’t seem to get it.  Millions of Americans are voting today as if their lives depend on it. This isn’t an experiment.  It isn’t a drill.  This is a real emergency.  People are worried, and for good reason, about their own economic prospects, but they are worried even more about America’s future as an organized guarantor of individual liberties.  I think the people are much wiser than the pundits on this autumn day:  the people are well aware that one vote won’t magically change everything.  P.J. O’Rourke has called today’s election a “restraining order” from the people on HopenChange, and he’s right.  The people don’t even all agree on what needs to be done – and that’s OK, for now.  For now, we just have to stop the bleeding.

UPDATE:  Wow.  I just drove by my polling place on an errand.  Overflowing parking lot, voters going in and out, cars on the move, people talking in the parking lot — perpetual motion machine.  It wasn’t even like this in 2008.  I passed it twice just before 2:00 PM.

J.E. Dyer blogs at Hot Air’s Green Room and Commentary’s “contentions.” She writes a weekly column for Patheos.


  1. I got back an hour or so ago from a day of volunteer work at the polls in a nearby (heavily Repub) district where help was needed. The turnout was huge for a non presidential year. This is the first time I’ve been involved in the work within the polling place. Very interesting. I wasn’t even aware of the job of “striker” until someone suggested it to me when I asked how I could help. It turns out that (in PA at least) each party can have a representative in the polling place who has real time access to the names of the voters as they vote. The striker crosses each one of his party’s registered voters off his master list as the person actually votes and passes the list on periodically so that other volunteers can target reminder calls to those voters who have not yet appeared.

    Turnout in my own (also heavily Repub) district was also very high when I got there to vote at about 7:15.

  2. It seems that all that frenzied activity that you’ve twice passed at ye olde local polling place consisted of Californians who found Brown appealing enough to get them up and out and vote him back into office.
    Seems that they backed the Boxer as well.

  3. In my locale it was rather low-key as no one would even admit to being crazy enough to consider voting for Paladino.

  4. Upper East Side, Fuster?

    • Brooklyn

  5. Reid and Barney ducked the wave,
    Brown and Boxer bucked the tide,
    Shumer managed his seat to save,
    Cuomo will sit in his daddy’s seat,
    Cause Palladino’s mien was not so neat,
    But Barry’s program’s greased the slide,
    Permitting quite a Tea Party feat.

    • As ‘lil Abner used to say, that wuz wunnerful!

      Our dear hostess is indeed an optimist. JED: If you are the last Californian to leave who is not on the gov payroll and not illegal, please remember to turn off the lights, Mam.

      • Nay!

        Let’s rage against the Dyering out of the light.

        • Rage, rage, against the dying of the light,
          Benignly neglect California’s self imposed plight,
          Let congress refuse to affect a bail outing,
          And all will be well after a passel of shouting,
          And weeping and gnashing and pitiful pouting.
          When jobless Left Coasters turn to the right,
          After Governor Moonbeam ends up in a bight.

          • A bight’s more befitting than to leave in a huff,
            Crying poverty and indignity all as a bluff,
            Running with the FOXes and dragging bundles
            Of bucks, free shoes and skivvies.
            How much is enough?

  6. And, your masterful comments on humility just posted at “Commentary” are….masterful.

    Masterful, because to be a conservative patriot, you must acknowldege the smallness and fragility of human kind and the vulnerable nature of our hard won freedom and prosperity.

  7. We had, somewhat surprisingly – but gratifyingly – Harry Wilson posters plastered all over the Upper East Side. Pathetically, of course he lost. One wanders what keeps one in New York.

    Speaking of New York, what the _____ happened over in Cali, OC? Yuck. The margin seems to indicate that the place is quite hopeless. And yet the reckoning is coming. Bankruptcy beckons and it is hard to imagine the R’s, howsoever foolish they may be bailing you guys out.

    Anyway, lots of luck. We’ll all need it.

  8. My area supplied possibly one of the few encouraging signs for Alex Sink, so that gives you a flavor or what that’s like. Col. West won north of me, and even Wasserman Schultz had a more spirited race than usual

  9. miguel c — welcome, and great moniker! Sorry about the one-time delay in your post. The “approval” process is only required the first time. Don’t fail to comment often.

    cavalier — yeah, Palipornia. I have a post percolating on that, but it’s important to get it right and not just rant. Key fact: the margins are more than 90% attributable to fewer than five counties. The top 3 heavy-numbers counties for the Democrats are LA, Alameda, and San Francisco. In other words, LA and the Bay area. The vote-by-county map is just like it’s been for the last 30-odd years.

    The Dems don’t have a majority across demographics or the whole territory of the state or all lifestyles, by any means. Their majority is about 99% high-urban. Literally. There are a few pockets of rural stoners on welfare living cheek-by-jowl with affluent lefties who’ve retired early to their weekend places, but the vote in those areas is less than 1% of the state total. The Dem majority is all about the two urban megalopoles. And I mean ALL. Even Sacramento’s vote saw Whitman and Fiorina doing much better than in LA or SF. (In San Francisco County, Brown was beating Whitman by 74% to 17% at last count.)

    Whereas in the five exurban counties around LA, Whitman and Fiorina won. Won all five. This is the part of California that’s the most like the rest of the country. (It’s the part where I live. I include San Diego in this grouping; San Diego is a major city in its own right, but it has much more of the feel of the sprawling exurban area north of it than of the dense, culture-of-its-own urbanness of LA.) Anyway, more on that later.

    • miguel c is our old friend narciso, not a newbie.

  10. I still vote in the North Bronx. Since the ONLY candidate who made ANY contact was my State Assemblyman, I had one more reason (YOU FORGOT TO ASK ME for my vote) to protest vote most of the Democrats so they would notice my protest.

    156,561 total votes in The Bronx. Population is 1.4 million. One would not have known there was an election that included both U.S. Senators and a governor.

    It was fun watching a few incumbent House members get so miffed that they actually had to campaign. Ackerman even had to say Jerusalem is not a settlement after his J Street fundraiser was noted in the press. McCarthy (NY4) freaked that she might have to spend time raising money if she has another strog contest in 2012.

    The sad part was the very low turnout in NYC. Anthony Weiner (NY9) boasts how he won with 58.5% of the vote, hoping no one notices only 80,334 total votes were cast.

    Will anyone ever ask the other 200- 300,000 registered voters why they did not vote? (hard to know how many immigrants are not eligible in any given CD in NYC)

    As I review the vote totals for all the statewide contests, I think Harry Wilson deserves a recount.
    Especially since the reported totals are not yet the official totals, as we have just noticed in NY1.

    At least there is a pulse in the suburbs!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: