My typing may be a bit off today as my dog bit me last night. It was partially my fault because he snapped at me as I was taking off his leash and I smacked him in the nose. He was faster than I was and bit my hand. Bassett hounds are supposed to be mellow but I got the one exception.
I voted a week ago by absentee so that is done. California has a bunch of state propositions and I voted no on all of them except 32, which would constrain union fund raising, but it will probably lose. I was disappointed to see NRO come out against it because of some footling concern about something. I have been disappointed by NRO several times this year, first when they fired John Derbyshire. His writing is funny and wise at the same time. You probably all know the story of the dispute, in which I believe that Derb was completely correct.
We also have this small matter of a presidential election today.
I voted for Romney. I consider myself to be a libertarian but think those voting for Johnson on the basis of “no difference between Romney and Obama” to be fools choosing the perfect over the good.I can’t improve upon Randy Barnett. Since his article may be behind the pay wall, I will quote a bit.
To the extent that a third party is successful, it will drain votes from the coalition party to which it is closest and help elect the coalition party that is further removed from its interests. The Libertarian Party’s effort will, if effective, attract more libertarian voters away from the candidate who is marginally less hostile to liberty, and help hand the election to the candidate who is more hostile to liberty.
Barnett also points out the libertarian roots of the Tea Party. I took my left wing daughter and her left wing husband to dinner last weekend to celebrate her birthday. She is a wonderful person but, at age 32, has never been out of academia. She speaks four languages and has lived abroad where she might have picked up some common sense economics but hasn’t. We talked about the principles of libertarian political action. She didn’t want to talk about politics and told me she is more comfortable with her brother and sister who are also Obama voters. All three of them seem to have a conviction that all Republicans are Bible thumping low brows. This is silly because they have known me since they were born. I think a lot of lefties think this way by reflex, not thought.
My oldest son thinks he is libertarian (or anarchist, as he sometimes says) but he is a lawyer and thinks he is brilliant. He is quite successful so maybe he is. Gay marriage is a big thing for him. My only objection to gay marriage is a concern that the gays will attempt to impose their beliefs on churches and compel by lawsuit the performance of such ceremonies, no matter the beliefs of the congregation. He dismisses this concern as baseless. Social policy is the most common basis of voting for many Democrats who seem to be blissfully unaware of economics.
I am convinced that Romney will win in a near or real landslide, except for those moments of doubt when I fear he will lose. HL Mencken said, “No one ever lost money underestimating the taste of the American public.” I have also read that quote substituting “intelligence” for “taste.” I am tired of all the polls and predictions. I did like Peggy Noonan’s column yesterday. She seems to feel the way I do, aside from polls and prognostications from experts.
Something old is roaring back. One of the Romney campaign’s surrogates, who appeared at a rally with him the other night, spoke of the intensity and joy of the crowd “I worked the rope line, people wouldn’t let go of my hand.” It startled him. A former political figure who’s been in Ohio told me this morning something is moving with evangelicals, other church-going Protestants and religious Catholics. He said what’s happening with them is quiet, unreported and spreading: They really want Romney now, they’ll go out and vote, the election has taken on a new importance to them.
I feel this way, too. There has been the sense that the polls are wrong all year. The “October surprise” was Hurricane Sandy and it helped Obama briefly but the misery in New York is draining away any enthusiasm. It leaves us with the polls tied but there is a feeling I have that this is not the story.
Is it possible this whole thing is playing out before our eyes and we’re not really noticing because we’re too busy looking at data on paper instead of what’s in front of us? Maybe that’s the real distortion of the polls this year: They left us discounting the world around us.
That’s the way I feel and I will know for sure tomorrow.