Last night, President Obama showed America that he will be the only person on the ballot who truly can be considered the Commander-In-Chief. Everyone who watched the debate must acknowledge the fact that the requirements of global leadership are outside of the wheelhouse of each and every candidate except Barack Obama. Unfortunately, neither Mitt Romney, his special interest backers, nor the scores of willfullly ignorant supporters willing to vote against their own interests will be deterred by such clear evidence and will work as hard as they can to put in place an administration bound and determined to move this country backward. Now is not the time to celebrate, now is the time to close this campaign out stong.
Over the final two weeks of this long campaign season, supporters of President Obama must pursue aggressive efforts to create a voter turnout that approaches or surpasses the record participation of 2008. I believe that early voting is foundational to that effort but it cannot stop there. If the democratic base shows up, President Obama will have another four years to move America forward. If the base does not turn out in sufficient numbers or is discouraged from voting by republican voter suppression and intimidation efforts, Mitt Romney will have license to take the nation in a dangerously backward direction.
The Maddow Blog recently posted a revealing analysis of the latest NBC/WSJ poll that shows the race tied among "Likely Voters". The results also show that the President actually leads Romney by five points among "Registered Voters". Thus, the more registered voters show up at the polls, particularly in the swing states, the better the President's chances of re-election.
The President's lead among registered voters is part of the reason why the republican party has been engaged in blatant and aggressive efforts at voter suppression across the country. These efforts have paid off handsomely as election observers report declines in democratic voter registration among democrats in the swing states relative to 2008. Further, republicans are training their poll watchers to engage in voter intimidation efforts on election day. Republicans will be attempting to demand that voters provide identification even in instances where it is not required by state law and even when it is against the law to do so. Much of these efforts will be concentrated in precincts where the vast majority of voters are black and Latino. There are things that Obama supporters can do right now to blunt the impact of the modern Jim Crow electoral tactics put forth by republicans and that work must start immediately.
First, all of the President's supporters must take full advantage of early and absentee voting opportunities THIS WEEK. Don't wait for the weekend before Election Day. By getting the act of voting done this week, we free up our time to help drive maximum voter turnout on Election Day, we minimize the strain on what are sure to be limited Election Day resources, we avoid republican poll watchers and minimize their efforts to gum up and slow down voting, we identify any problems in registrations, polling locations and in other areas well in enough time to fix them by November 6th and we free up what might be the precious time necessary to actually participate in get-out-the-vote efforts on Election Day.
On November 6th, we must send armies of volunteers into the precincts to bring voters to the polls. Car pools, poll watching, refreshment delivery and legal support are all needed on Election Day. By the end of the day, Captains in every swing state precinct should be able to affirm that 100% of the eligible voters in their neighborhoods made it to the polls and voted. Those who vote early in solidly blue states and solidly red states can then spend their day helping out in neighboring swing states. Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and Minnesota democrats should be volunteering in Wisconsin and Iowa. Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and Pennsylvania democrats should be converging on Ohio. Similar efforts should be taking place with respect to Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada.
If democrats do this, then a center-left constitutional law scholar will be picking the next two or three SCOTUS justices instead of a sock puppet doing so at the direction of James Dobson, Brent Bozell and Ralph Reed. If democrats do this, then tax policy will be lead by someone who has already proposed a balanced approach to deficit reduction instead of someone who Grover Norquist says will do what they want him to do. If democrats do this, then a global leader who has executed a diplomacy-led foreign policy will be in the White House instead of a rube who can't even engage our allies in a constructive manner and who believes that Russia is our biggest rival on the world stage. In short, this election is one for democrats to win or lose and the results of a loss are dire.
Go vote NOW.