The Pre-Post Mortem
As I write this, the election is not yet decided. But it doesn't look good for Romney, and it's over for the Senate. But even if Romney does pull out a squeaker, what follows still holds true.
Tonight's mystery is, there were constituencies which should have flocked to Romney after years of legal and extra-legal assaults. "Catholics and coal," I said earlier.
Yet they didn't.
Why didn't they?
Was it the largess of the last four years? Perhaps. If so, they'll perhaps be hurt the most when one of two things happen. Either the gravy train will stop (was that Ryan's threat to them?), or Obama will simply put them out of business. The Catholic church as an independent entity in this country is already an endangered species thanks to ObamaCare's mandates. And we know exactly what Obama intends to (finish) doing to the coal industry. So why didn't they turn the Industrial Midwest and the Great Lakes red tonight? I'm afraid they were bought off. I very much fear their bitterness when the gravy train does stop, as it must. Their reaction will be angry and unpredictable.
And that's where I misread this electorate. It used to be a pretty sure thing in a democracy that, when the guy you supported screwed you, you would go with the other guy. Because in the end, that's the only way to keep politicians somewhat honest. But when the Fed can conjure up trillions, when Congress can ease things along with continuing resolutions, when the White House has unprecedented power to punish its enemies and reward its friends...
...how, in these circumstances, do we keep the bastards honest?
We had a chance -- not a great chance, but a real one -- to stanch the bleeding. We failed to do so.
I fear that means we're a country in deep denial of just what kind of a hole we're in, and how much deeper we'll be in it after another four years of spending-by-autopilot.
We can blame the candidate, sure. Romney didn't fully capitalize on his first-debate win, and apparently the Chris Christie/Barack Obama lovefest turned a lot of votes back to the president, too. But overall, Romney ran almost as competent a challenger's campaign as I've seen.
We can blame the press, sure. Benghazi alone would have sunk most presidents -- most Republican presidents -- in weeks if not days. The coverup by the Complicit Media was shameful in the extreme. But we've faced down the MSM before, and won.
So, no, I don't think we can just blame Romney and I don't think we can just blame the press. Even combined, those two aren't enough to explain what happened today.
There is something deeply wrong with our country. We've been living on borrowed time -- and trillions of borrowed dollars -- for a decade already. We seem to think that we can keep on doing so. That more than anything else is "the new normal."
Thomas Jefferson famously said of the slavery issue, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." I tremble for my country when I think that the God of Compound Interest is a far more jealous God than Jahweh, Allah, and Zuul all wrapped up into a single, bloody package.
Maybe that truth -- the truth -- doesn't sell in a country that's been suffering for four years now, and with no real end in sight.
This election should have been something like a walkover for the challenger. But no. Our economic destiny is already written in stone, with four trillion in new debt run up by Bush and the GOP, and another six trillion by Obama and the Democrats. Our only hope is rapid and wrenching reform. The alternative is hyperinflation, Cloward-Piven, and all the rest of the Zimbabwe-like horror.
And that means Mitt Romney didn't fail us. That means people like me -- people like you -- failed our country. We had years to make the case, and we didn't. We worked our bottoms off, but it wasn't enough.
So we must redouble our efforts.
If Obama wins tonight, as seems likely, he has no mandate. He ran on a platform of "Mitt Romney is teh sux." I'm not sure how that translates into a governing platform, and neither is anyone else. If Romney pulls this out, he'll have a hostile Senate for at least the first half of his term.
Either way, we're looking at deadlock.
It's our job, yours and mine, to pick that lock. Do not tire, do not flag, do not quit.
If Romney wins, he will need us to constantly push him in the direction of sanity. If Obama wins, we will need to fight him at every turn.
I'm not quitting. Don't you quit now, either.