Monday, November 06, 2006

Election eve

Why, I just asked C., aren't we getting any phone calls tonight? Yesterday and last week we got messages: please vote. And please, don't just vote: vote our way. Little hanging notices to vote greeted us at our door. We got postcards in the mail. Vote! Vote! Please vote!

But tonight, it's all silence. I guess they think they've done enough.

Mid-term elections are only rarely interesting. This is one of the interesting times. Missouri is considered a must-win for Democrats, if the Senate is to go blue. (Heck, the senate race even has its own Wikipedia entry.) We've also got a stem-cell amendment and a minimum wage proposition up for decision. It should all be interesting. (Or not. It all depends, doesn't it?)

The last time I found myself especially interested in a mid-term election was the 1998 Senate race in Wisconsin. Russ Feingold, the incumbant, had, with John McCain, sponsored a campaign finance reform measure. To uphold the principle behind that call for reform, Feingold refused unregulated soft money contributions to his campaign. It was widely reported that this refusal could cost him his seat.

But huge, and I mean HUGE, local efforts in Milwaukee (and, I suspect, Madison, where the voter turnout was also high) made it impossible to overlook the race. It was a rhetorical tour de force. Persuasion by saturation. I remember feeling almost giddy as I walked to the Public Library on North Avenue in the bracing November cold and joined a long line of voters. I felt like I was part of something. And I still feel proud every time I hear Russ Feingold's name mentioned in the news. (And may I just mention the wonder of voting in Wisconsin, where registration is possible on election day at the polling location.)

So let's hope I have cause to feel some pride in Missouri after tomorrow's election.

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