Kongo spreads out the latest campaign literature from today’s mail and tries to explain the issues in the upcoming election to the rest of the troop. Actually, Kongo has already voted. He went the first day early voting opened because he wasn’t sure if he was going to be in town on election day and it turns out he will be on an airplane next Tuesday heading toward Washington, DC. He’s a clever little monkey.
We’re in a blue state here in California and it’s been a long, long time since it could ever be considered a swing state (Kongo is referring to voting … not other types of swinging). Like the very red states Kongo flies over regularly there aren’t that many campaign commercials here. Occasionally we hear the president approving the message on one of his ads but Kongo can’t recall the last time he actually saw a Romney commercial. We don’t get robo calls in our district. The commercials in between the TV programming Kongo watches at dinner are mostly still all about the “Hov-around” or laundry detergents or that obnoxious male catheter pitch. That’s a good thing but sometimes Kongo wonders if he’s not missing some of the excitement.
Now Kongo is a political junkie. He has been this way since he stayed up late to watch the televised returns of the Kennedy-Nixon election in 1960 and has been at it ever since. He loves the debates, the analysis, reading the polls, deconstructing the arguments, and watching the returns from the first primary to the final word from the talking heads on election night. He was a Youth For McCarthy campaign chairman, Contra Costa County in 1968. He did a fellowship with a U.S. senator on Capitol Hill in the mid-90s. Kongo really likes this stuff.
But this monkey will be glad when this election is in the rear view mirror. He will not miss the dozens of unsolicited emails each day from Michelle, David, Barack, Joe, and all Kongo’s other new best friends urging him for one last donation to put them over the top. Kongo has been putting them over the top for over a year now. Enough! He won’t miss the naive bumper sticker posts from ‘friends’ on Facebook. He won’t miss the phone calls from blocked numbers on behalf of this or that senatorial or congressional PAC.
Kongo wonders what Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnel will talk about next week when there are no more breaking news about what someone on the other side said three years ago. He will, however, miss the Al Sharpton commercials on MSNBC (Kongo loves the “it’s about yo’ momma”) and marvels that there can actually be undecided voters out there anywhere at this point. I mean, come on.
Kongo is truly bothered by those who have the opportunity to vote but decide they have other things more important to do. Like what’s more important than voting on November 6? Kongo spent 33 years in uniform supporting this flawed democracy we call home but it only works right when everyone takes part. Recent moves in some states to make it harder to vote or to blatantly try to suppress some voters is so wrong. And Kongo is pleased to see the nearly universal court decisions that strike down these attempts to counter “voter fraud.”
Kongo will avoid dabbling in any social issues. Frankly, both sides are dominated by too many bumper sticker philosophers, professional inciters, and the kings and queens of one liners to adequately address these highly complex issues. In this monkey’s humble opinion there is way too much vitriol among people who love our country. We should be reasonable and respect each other. Like that’s going to happen.
In any event, regardless of our deeply divided political opinions, Kongo does hope that all the gentle readers will exercise their rights and vote for the candidates of their choice on Election Day. Every vote does count, even in solid red or blue states. Remember that less than a thousand votes and a bunch of hanging chads in Florida brought President Bush to office. You figure out whether that was good for the country or not.
Now for Kongo’s predictions: Obama wins with at least 297 electoral votes. The following swing state logic applies:
- Ohio goes to Obama: Auto workers in the Buckeye State will not soon forget the Romney editorial in the WSJ that advocated letting Detroit go “bankrupt.” Even if the eventual Obama plan turned out to be similar, the “let them go bankrupt” tag will do him in.
- Pennsylvania goes to Obama: Not sure why the Keystone State was ever considered a toss-up. Philadelphia and its suburbs will vote with the unions.
- Virginia goes to Obama: Northern Virginia is the key. Romney/Ryan have been spending time in Virginia Beach, which is like singing to the choir for them. Northern Virginia with its high population of women voters and workers tied to the government in one way or another will come in for the Democrats.
- Wisconsin goes to Obama: Despite being the home of Paul Ryan, the Cheeseheads have gone democratic for the last four elections and the recent recall efforts surrounding the governor’s cuts to state employee unions is going to hurt the Republicans.
- Nevada and Colorado: Both go to Obama because of a high Latino turnout. Nevada will go blue simply to spite Sharon Angle. Kongo even thinks Arizona (despite Sherriff Arpaio and Governor Brewer) could fall in the Blue Camp before election night is over.
Even though he’ll be watching returns from a hotel room in a Virginia suburb of DC, Kongo is going to have more fun next Tuesday evening than, well, a barrel of monkeys.
Have fun. Travel safe. Hopefully we can all be friends again on November 7.