Thursday, November 1, 2012

Not the Darkest Time Stream

Nate Silver at the NY Times thinks the chances are three out of four that Obama wins the election. Karl Rove thinks Romney should already be moving in to the Oval Office. Somewhere in between those predictions lies my view of the truth: a close race tilting Obama's way. Romney can't win without Ohio and the polls don't look good for him there. Math doesn't favor Mitt -- that makes me cautiously optimistic.

However, let's for a moment realize that even with Silver's predictions there is a significant statistical chance that in some universe Romney will be the next president of the United States. In the infinite sea of the multiverse, assuming like Community, that such a thing exists, a large portion of future time streams will feature a Romney administration.

Would those be the Darkest Timelines?

The optimist in me says probably not. Romney is an American politician who has swum his way upwards in the mainstream of Republican politics. I think that is one of his biggest advantages and his biggest flaws. He is the face of the corporatist, opportunistic strain of modern politics. I think the man has no soul but I don't think he is utterly evil.

I say that to explain why I'm going to vote for Obama.

I am, even at this late date, for Obama. I believe in what he is trying to do: incremental positive change to the American system. I have never believed that a radical making radical changes would solve our problems. Revolutions are messy, civil wars are man-made disasters and the imposition of change on people not ready to embrace it rarely works. What works is solving specific problems and moving onto other problems.

I do not, in other words, blame Obama for the hyper-partisanship of the past four years. I think he is the best hope of overcoming it. What Romney wants to do in his four years is quite clear, a third term of George W. Bush. His five point plan is identical to Bush and McCain for that matter. All that promises is another four to eight years of the same fights this country fought last decade and the decade before that. Obama has already changed the conversation. He has brought health care to millions, long-delayed reform to Wall Street and justice to Osama Bin Laden. Obama has brought change.

Let's give him another four years if for no other reason that at the end of his administration will have two or three or four fewer ancient problems to deal with.

That's the time stream I want to live in.
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