Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Down to the wire for this election

I had this great idea to wait until late last week to acquire an Arizona voter registration form, wait until the last day (today) to mail it, and then wait until 5pm to leave the house to go drop it off at the post office. Oh yeah, I also had the great idea to run there instead of drive.

Sounds foolproof, doesn't it? Well, here's what almost got in between me and my civic duty.

First, Magdalena was awake. You may recall all the conditions that have to be met in order for me to be able to go running, and her being awake is not acceptable if I want to leave her at home. Which I did, because Miriam really wanted to be the one to come with me in the jogging stroller. So I took them both outside to see if I could fit them in the single jogging stroller side by side. It kind of worked, but also kind of didn't because I wouldn't be able to strap them in.

I had thought that Magdalena was still to small to fit in our double bike trailer/jogging stroller, but I took a closer look and decided to at least try. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking - time was running out if I wanted to get to the post office in time to mail my registration form.

I enlisted Jeremy's help to get Magdalena situated in the double jogger. It took some - well, a lot of - work, but we finally got her strapped in well enough that it didn't look too terribly uncomfortable. Miriam was good to go and so we were off! It was just about 5 o'clock, and the last mailbox pickup was at 5.15. I knew I'd have to run pretty briskly with no unscheduled stops to get to the post office in time.

About two minutes down the road, Miriam asked for a drink. I love how she thinks I have a magical stash of drinks and snacks with me wherever we go. When I told her I didn't have one, she asked if we could turn around, go home, and get one. The answer was no.

Then Magdalena started crying. I checked on her (while still running) and she looked OK, just angry for some reason. So I kept running. Civic duty vs. maternal instinct, and civic duty won, this time. I told Miriam to hold Magdalena's hand and eventually she stopped crying, but not before I got a few "bad mom" looks from other joggers, walkers, and bikers passing by.

Finally, we got close enough to the post office that I could see the big blue mailbox. I made sure I didn't see any mail trucks pulling away even as my pace slowed down since the drop box is up a medium-sized hill. I slogged my way up the hill as fast as I could and dropped the pale beige form in the box.

At last, my voter registration form was safely in the mail, to be postmarked October 6th. The rest of the run was very uneventful, and I think I went a bit slower to compensate for sprinting the first half.

Now that I've gone through all that trouble to register, I guess I just have to decide who I'm going to vote for. At the moment, I'm thinking of writing in Tina Fey. What do you think?


Liz Johnson said...

Does it make you feel disenfranchised at all to know that your state will most likely go to a certain candidate? Like your vote doesn't "count?" Because I'm really loving being in a "swing state" where every other commercial is a campaign ad for one candidate or the other. And they keep coming to visit my state and everything. For some reason, after 2 general elections in Utah, this one feels a LOT cooler. :)

And I've thought about writing in Stephen Colbert.

Bridget said...

Gee, I can't imagine which candidate you are referring to...

Actually, that's why it's taken me so long to get registered in Arizona - I was holding on to my Oregon registration for as long as possible since my vote actually "counts" there.

Britney said...

I loved voting in Ohio in '04. I was even happy to wait in line for two hours to cast my ballot, because of the contagious political buzz in our state.

This time around, I'll be casting my ballot via mail, first, because I have kids, and, second, because I lack enthusiasm for the candidates. Call me crazy, but I'd almost rather write Bush in for a third term...

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Disenfranchised means having your right to vote denied, or by choosing not to vote you disenfranchise yourself. Your vote always counts. Voting is about exercising your right to choose your representatives, not about being right (i.e. voting for the winning candidate). It would be a sad day if no one showed up to vote; it would be even sadder if no one had the guts to run for office!

Susanne said...

I hear ya on deciding for whom to vote! I am thinking of going for a third-party candidate or writing in Ron Paul. :-)

Kristen said...

It's always difficult to determine the lesser of two evils. That's mostly a figure of speech, I would probably replace the word 'evils' with 'doofuses.' I don't get your comment about Oregon voter registration. This is a very blue state, full of Prius-driving hippies. My vote would go to Dennis Miller or Bill O'Reilly. They'd make a nice ticket, I think. In that order.

Bridget said...

You know, I got to thinking about it today and if bumper stickers and yard signs are any indication, there is actually quite a bit of support for Obama here. Also Ron Paul, though, so maybe it doesn't mean anything after all.

Kristen, if I recall correctly, wasn't Oregon one of the too-close-to-call states back in 2004? Maybe not. But initially I held on to my Oregon status even while I was living in Utah. Perhaps in that light, my comment makes more sense.

Bridget said...

Check it out - I do recall correctly: Oregon's margin of victory for Kerry was less than 5%.

Mom, thanks for the civics lesson.

Kristen said...

Interesting. I understand that outside of Multnomah County opinions are more evenly distributed. I'm not a pure Republican, but around here it seems if you don't worship every word carefully crafted from Barack's pretty lips, your opinions best keep a low profile. It's an unfortunate climate for one who tries to seek truth amidst the propaganda. From both sides. I better stop now before I lose friends.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Multnomah County is the liberal queen of Oregon, but our part of Washington County is not far behind. There is more balance in the rest of Oregon but not enough to turn the state red.

Aimee said...

As a "non-conservative" voice, I am fairly appalled to see the comment about "writing Bush in for a third term." Are you serious? I don't think either candidate is necessarily qualified to lead this country out of the mess the Bush administration has managed, but then again I think we would be hard pressed to find ANYONE who could manage that. Let the facts speak for themselves.
*Our country's debt is: $10,192,349,873,942.82 as of today, and growing. (That is ten TRILLION).
*4,180 lives lost in Iraq
*30,634 wounded
*$343 million is how much the Iraq war is costing the tax payers/DAY
*Unemployment Rate of 6.1%
*The "Mortgage Crisis" that happened due to lack of regulation.
*$700 billion buyout
*Tax cuts to the upper echelon (Richest 10%)
*Growing poverty, shrinking middle class
*Oh, and as an American living abroad the Bush administration has been horrible for foreign policy.
Honestly, the list goes on and on, but I am sure that will bore many. Bush sure managed a bang-up job. Burying our heads in the sand and hoping "this too shall pass" is not the answer, but at least with this election we are taking steps in the right direction.

Aimee said...

One more thing: Bush will probably go down as one of the three worst, if not THE worst president in US history. What a legacy!

Kristen said...

Most big issues like this can't be nailed down to one single cause, but the mortgage crisis stemmed from over-regulation, not a lack of. Mark to market reporting and federal regulations requiring banks to loan $ to non-qualified buyers. Just FYI.

Aimee said...

I don't think the government required 100% loans with no credit checks.

Aimee said...

Nor did I say it was a single cause. :)

dave said...

I think Suzanne is right that everyone ought to vote for the additional reason that popular vote totals get noticed/reported as a means for determining how much of a mandate the winner has to make his/her promised changes.

I think that aimee, in her state of appallment, was in such a rush to post DailyKos/MoveOn talking points that she failed to actually "[l]et the facts speak for themselves." Subjective interpretations of several events about which reasonable minds disagree don't really constitute "facts" in the first place.

I think that the primary reason to vote against Obama is that McCain is far more likely to appoint judges for whom our collective votes matter more than their desires to enact individual policy preferences into law. I want issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc. decided by voters and their representatives instead of tiny panels of unelected, and generally unremovable, judges. This is particularly important at the Supreme Court level, where the next President will likely be able to appoint 3 justices who in turn will have a tremendous effect on the state of our law for the remainder of our lives.

Finally, I think I'm the only guy who reads (most of) this blog. But I'm glad I do. The posts I find relevant to me are invariably well-written, insightful and thought-provoking. So thanks and please keep it up Bridget.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Dave is right that the prospect of our next pres appointing several SC judges is of paramount importance to the future direction of our country. Think long-term when you cast your ballot next month.

Aimee said...

I completely agree about the judges being the most important aspect of this election. Dave, I was just trying to bring about some other viewpoints. Just because the facts are the talking points of a campaign doesn't make them non-facts. I don't think you can disagree with how many soldiers have died in Iraq or how much it costs on a daily basis or the unemployment rate. Perhaps you could disagree with why the mortgage crisis, inflation, the recession and the expanding gap between the rich and the poor are happening, or disagree on how to deal with it. However, I think its unfair to imply that I must not have a reasonable mind because I don't agree with the conservative viewpoint. While I certainly would not claim to be an expert in these areas I am married to an economist, so I do understand and read a lot about what is happening. What surprised me was that someone would rather vote Bush in for a third term, although I don't know why it should [surprise me] as a large portion of the American population thinks his administration is still doing a great job, I happen to disagree.
Bridget, I think its highly respectable that you went to such trouble to get your voter registration in, so that you can perform your civic duty, as I think all Americans should do!

Bridget said...

Dave, I promise you're not the only man who reads this blog. They just don't comment much.

Foreign Policy has an interesting article about Bush's legacy. Unfortunately, it's for subscribers only, but there's the teaser paragraph:

"He may be the most unpopular president in modern times: a reckless, unilateralist cowboy. But history will be kinder to George W. Bush than contemporary caricatures. After eight years, he leaves behind much more than a defeated dictator in Iraq. Closer ties to India, a pragmatic relationship with China, and the pressure he applied to Iran will pay dividends for years to come."

I'm sure this article will be ripped to shreds by some of America's most intelligent people in the FP letters to the editor next month, as all the articles always are. But I still think it's interesting.

Bridget said...

And by the way, Britney, where are you? I don't want to speak for you, but I kind of think she was just trying to demonstrate the overwhelming urge some are feeling to just throw one's hands up in the air and give up as far as this election goes - obviously, Bush can't serve another term so her comment was perhaps slightly tongue-in-cheek. Maybe.

Aimee said...

I am sure it was slightly tongue-in-cheek. I did ask if she was serious, though. Interesting teaser to the article, I will have to try and locate it. I am sure we will still be around when he is considered a historical figure, so time will tell.

dave said...

Aimee, re-read my second paragraph more closely (to be fair, I should have inserted two additional commas). I nowhere suggested you're lacking a reasonable mind because you don't agree with a conservative viewpoint.

Britney said...

Apparently I’ve missed a lot in the past few days.

The comment I made about Bush that's been causing a stir was not meant to be taken seriously. Of course, no president can serve a third term. Like Bridget thought, I am feeling some frustration, because I remember being more settled in my decision to vote for Bush four years ago than I do today in this election.

Sorry for not making myself more clear in the original comment. And perhaps, with the wide variety of opinions out there, I shouldn’t have even joked about such a thing in the first place.

I agree with Suzanne and Dave. Our vote always counts, no matter what state we live in, and does make a difference in the long-run when we take into account the appointment of Supreme Court judges who do so much to determine the future direction of our country.

Britney said...

Now I'm worried that I'll be misunderstood again. :)

When I said in the last post, "I remember being more settled in my decision to vote for Bush four years ago than I do today in this election", I mean today in this election for THESE candidates. NOT for Bush.

Let me be perfectly clear: I will NOT be writing Bush in for a third term. :)

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Though the loudest voices are saying Bush is certainly the worst president in history, time will certainly soften that title as long-term positive effects of this presidency will be more apparent down the road. I'm not expressing a pro-administration opinion here (so please be calm), but am only pointing out what historians have observed typically happens. It's nearly impossible to be objective when we're caught up in the emotion of the moment, which right now is a very messy moment. Down the road unpopular policies and decisions are sometimes declared to have been shrewd after all.

Ben said...

My only advice would be: vote your conscience. Don't fall for this lesser of two evils stuff. The only way you throw your vote away is if you vote for someone you don't really agree with.


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