I want to get this to you before Sandy sizzles the northeast grid. I expect that from sometime Tuesday evening until Who-Knows, we'll be living on tree bark and rainwater run-off.
I'm confident that President Obama will, if by a hair, win re-election. I know there are no guarantees; I expect the electoral firewall* will hold. I also know that his maddening habit of backing himself against the ropes in order to be able to act with otherwise atypical ferocity (e.g., in the health care debate, last December's economic rolling over the House, the Denver debate) could betray him. Again, save another pre-vote setback, I see a win.
I want briefly to address those ex-patriate voices here (and many more at other venues) who tell us incessantly that a vote for re-election is a vote for immorality.
They suggest that those of us who would actually live here
. with the consequences of a stark rollback of women's and LGBT rights,
. with a depraved reversal of our slow economic justice gains,
. with the resurgence of neo-Conservative foreign and tax policies,
. with the calcification of the federal courts throughout the young adulthoods of our children and grandchildren...
these voices demand we find it ethically sound not simply to live with but to help guarantee the re-institutionalization of these reactionary and unjust conditions.
I'll fast say that, as a former ex-patriate (China) and as one who believes in and works for freedom of thought and speech, this is not for me an issue about who has the right to say or write what s/he likes.
This is a matter of who, ethically, gets to tell those here and intending to be here and intending to vote for the president about our allegedly wanting morality.
. I have respect for (even in serious disagreement) say, Jill Stein/Green Party voters who are content to live with the consequences of a Republican Party win.
. I haven't a jot of respect for American expats who, from remarkably safe distances, have been for over a year now lobing incendiary screeds at those in favor of the president's re-election.
I read this morning one such diatribe -- not even the intellectually lazy ex-pat's own piece but one quoted-in-full from another -- scoring those of us who would vote for Mr. Obama. In addition to the arguments against re-electing the president, the poster pulled from his threadbare pocket of non-ideas the very tired and at-best specious idea that a Republican administration's evil would cause a voter-uprising, an ethical American revolution, on and on.
I heard this a-historical, self-serving, solipsistic nonsense in 1980. The Reagan win, far from resulting in an outrage-inspired ethical political and economic revolution, helped buy us over a generation of regressive, vicious, selfish policies here and overseas. I heard it again in 2000; I needn't remind you where that led.
Again, while I diverge from those who will vote here for Ms. Stein (or, as a protest, not vote), I can in some measure respect the move. I cannot summon a shred for holier-than, incessant rants from those who will never ever have to live with the results of their decision-cum-harangues.
And no, I don't buy for a ridiculous hands-across-the-waters second the foolishness that says everything that occurs here "affects us all, the world-over".... Sell that silly song on a play-date after an arduous day at pre-school.
I am voting for President Obama. My vote is not an ethical game, not fantastical, not that of an overseas, to-hell-with-the-consequences dabbler. My son cannot afford it to be.
While hardly a guarantee and just one model, 538 is a rather unique one. Mr. Silver's model runs the state and national poll numbers up to 40,000 times each day for a variety of reasons. The November 6 forecast as of late Sunday night gives President Obama a 74.6% chance of winning re-election. If the election were held today, Mr. Silver says, Mr. Obama's chances would be 80.1%. The president's November 6th chances have increased steadily for over a week. No guarantees but a good shot.