November 7th, 2006


Democratic process

So many times I have woken up like this on the first Tuesday in November: excited, nervous, with reason to be hopeful that this is the election that will work out the way I want it to. Occasionally (like last year), I have been rewarded, but more often not, more often I have wound up crushed and bereft, shellshocked in front of the television. 2000, of course, and 2004 perhaps even more so, but I also remember 1994 as being particularly demoralizing, especially in comparision to the pure glee of 1992.

This year has been no different: vascillating polls, mixed evidence, no idea what will happen when results start coming in. About the only thing I care about that's certain is that the Governator will be re-elected (which is annoying, but not as hair-tearingly frustrating as it would have been a year ago -- miracle of miracles, he actually learned from the special election debacle and seems to have returned to his original coalition-building ways; I'm still not going to vote for him, but as long as Democrats win the other statewide races, and they probably will, I can live with it). Everything else still seems to be up in the air. Not individual races, of course, I know a lot of those are likely settled, but the over all trend. Can the Democrats take back the House? Or (hope of all hopes) the Senate? Will the good propositions pass and the bad ones fail? Will this be the year that we finally get rid of my obnoxious and childish county supervisor? Only time, now, will tell.

So I am doing my very very best to sweep expectations aside today. And I have promised myself not to camp out in front of the computer, refreshing Salon and Slate and SFGate and CNN for early returns and exit polling data. It's too late to do anything other than cast my vote and drop off T's absentee ballot, so I need to make every effort not to stress, and not to take the results of this election too much too heart. The world kept turning after Gore and Kerry lost; the sun will still rise tomorrow if Nancy Pelosi is not the Speaker of the House-elect.

But damn, how I want it.

Okay. Vote early, vote often. And if you want to geek out over results, or just some old fashioned distraction, ping me. This is not the night for anyone to sit isolated at home, stomach in knots as the CNN ticker crawls by. We're all in this together. That's what democracy is all about, after all.

Updated, post-election booth: So, I got an early start and voted before work. I was the third person to cast my ballot (fourth, if you count T's drop-off). Now I have my "I Voted!" sticker. I love this sticker. It's everything that's good about democracy on a little piece of paper.

San Francisco is shrouded in fog this morning. I hope that's just the weather and not a metaphor.