By James Buckley
I’ve always thought this month-long and longer voting procedure we’ve boxed ourselves into over the past decades must end, that we need to return to a one-day or at the most two-day (weekend?) voting schedule.
What we are doing now — besides offering many opportunities to steal, cheat, and debase an election — is idiotic and dangerous. Why give people with larceny in their hearts a full month or longer to skew the effort of a free and fair election?
I’d go for the purple-thumb approach. (For those who don’t remember, the first Iraq election after the ouster of Saddam Hussein featured voters dunking their thumbs into a vat of purple dye after voting so that they couldn’t vote again.)
There is also the likelihood of throwing away one’s vote if one’s candidate drops out unexpectedly during a long voting period such as we have now, as happened when Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the presidential race just five days before the California primary, thereby negating all votes already cast for him. This happens often, as various office seekers run out of money or courage and drop out just days or weeks before the official Election Day.
When we had real elections (the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November), there would be the occasional death of a candidate, but beyond that, one’s vote counted for the person one voted for.
Let’s get back to that.
And now, as the end of this upcoming Tuesday’s midterm election season draws near, let’s examine where we are.
First of all, I try — I really do — to listen to the other side. But, but, but, I simply can’t continue to hang on to anything being sputtered by the shrieking and weirdly inane talking heads on MSNBC. Two minutes of such dribble has me spinning into a vortex of misinformation, idiotic observations and miscalculations. I do believe that you’d need to have an IQ in the 80s or less to be a regular MSNBC viewer, but hey, stupid people need an outlet too.
CNN has — it really has — gotten better as the new regime cleans house, but it has hung on to too many of the losers it’s had for so many years. Curiously though, when their panels sit around to discuss why, say, “white suburban women” seemed to have gravitated toward the Republican Party, the subject of the educational dry well that public-school students have fallen into, along with the sexualization of elementary schoolchildren, never seems to come up. Panelists usually cite “economics” as the driving force in that turnabout, but as I see it, education and indoctrination are equally important.
Fox News has got it mostly right, though even on that cable channel, way too much credence is given to inflation and not enough to the depredations of the education industry.
But back to the election.
We’re where I have predicted we would be. I continue to believe Republicans will end up holding a 54-46 edge in the U.S. Senate because: Mr. Laxalt takes out Ms. Cortez Masto in Nevada; Mr. Walker ousts Mr. Warnock in Georgia; Sen. Johnson will hold his seat in Wisconsin; Mr. Budd ekes out a victory in North Carolina; Dr. Oz wins over Mr. Fetterwoman; Mr. Masters beats Sen. Kelly in Arizona, and J.D. Vance wins in Ohio.
I did predict that Democratic incumbent Ms. Hassan would squeak by General Bolduc, a Republican, in New Hampshire, but now I’m not so sure, as he could come out on top. I also wrote that Ms. Smiley had a “fighting chance to overtake” Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, in the state of Washington, and that’s looking pretty good too. Both Connecticut and Oregon could also surprise us come Wednesday morning.
If any semblance of this prediction holds, Republicans will come out of the 2022 election season with at least a 53/47 majority in the Senate and if the toss-up goes against Sen. Murray in Washington, a 54/46 split. If Mr. Bolduc wins in New Hampshire, a 55/45 split is a real possibility.
If all the polls turn out wrong and things do go badly for Republicans, Democrats could hang on to a 50/50 Senate, and I’ll be putting on my bib for a meal of Crow stew.
As a betting man, I’m going with the momentum play, which favors Republicans.
As a former president often remarks, we’ll see what happens.
I also predicted a 20- to 24-seat pickup in the House, but my guess is that the number of House seats that flip from Democrat to Republican could go as high as 35 to 40. Whatever happens in each individual race, Speaker-in-Waiting Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, will have a comfortable majority.
Oh, and don’t forget to vote for a Republican near you. If you are inclined to vote Democrat and want this slow-moving national catastrophe to continue, please reconsider. Or barring that, stay home just this once.
James Buckley is a longtime Montecito resident. He welcomes questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers are invited to visit jimb.substack.com, where Jim’s Journals are on file. He also invites people to subscribe to Jim’s Journal.