A New Decider

“Back in 2000 a Republican friend warned me that if I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we’d lose millions of jobs, and our military would be totally overstretched. You know what? I did vote for Gore, he did win, and I”ll be damned if all those things didn’t come true!” — James Carville

It should be a slam-dunk for Obama if all we’ve witnessed “til now is any indication of how people will vote this November.

What heartens me most is the huge number of African Americans who for the first time in many years feel a sense of hope. I’ve marveled at the many news segments featuring black Americans talking about how excited they are about the Obama campaign. And I’m sure many others who have felt disenfranchised in the past will be showing up at the polls this year.

I can’t imagine one thing that could derail an Obama presidency at this point, short of an “October Surprise” Iran invasion to scare voters in McCain’s direction because, of course, only a former POW wearing a flag pin can successfully manage another phony war and keep us safe.

Actually, I can imagine two other things, and their names are Chad and Diebold. “Chads,” of course, are those little hanging pieces of paper punched from ballots that became a symbol of the 2000 election debacle; Diebold is the primary supplier of electronic voting machines that may have figured more than we”ll ever know in Bush’s 2004 re-election. (Diebold changed its name recently to Premier Election Solutions, a strategic move, probably, not unlike that of Philip Morris changing its name to Altria in the wake of the tobacco scandal.) Diebold’s former CEO, Walden O”Dell, told Bush in a 2003 letter that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”Indeed, the possibility of election fraud, which seems to have likely been “the decider” in the last two elections, still looms large.

Senator Obama does not have a perfect rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). Though he scored 100% in 2006, that dropped to 67% in 2007 after he missed four votes due to the campaign. Still, his lifetime LCV rating is 86%. McCain”s, by comparison, is 24% lifetime and zero for 2007, on account of his missing all 15 critical environmental votes last year, according to LCV. It seems clear who will be a bigger friend to the environment if elected.

Probably the most important kind of environmental activism one could undertake in the time remaining before November 4 would be to follow the advice of Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, writing in the July 3, 2008 Columbus Free Press: (1) Encourage and help people to register to vote; (2) become a poll worker, where you can potentially head off any number of efforts to inhibit voters; and (3) as a poll worker, stick around after the polls close and be a vote count observer. Be sure to bring your cell phone and camera.


Like most E readers, I’m sure, I’m incredibly excited about the prospects of a President Obama taking office on January 20, 2009—also the day George W. Bush leaves office, a fact alone that should make it a national day of remembrance.