It's not even 3:00 pm here in Oregon. But I need to write about today's midterm elections now, before I'm mentally unable to make sense.
After all, soon the polls will start closing in the east. Super-political-commentator Nate Silver will start live blogging on FiveThirtyEight in a few minutes. I'll do my best to resist, yet won't be able to stop obsessively watching online and on TV for early signs of what is to come.
I'm planning to start my late afternoon/evening in a caffeinated state. This is normal for me. However, I may need to jolt my brain into a 2-3 cup energized optimism before the big wave of election returns hit.
For a while I'll probably be able to imagine that the Democrats are going to do just fine, notwithstanding the dreary prognostications. Since I don't want to look like a idiot tomorrow, when the likely news of a Dem disaster is evident, I figure its better to keep my blogging mouth shut when I'm in the brief throes of this election isn't going to be so bad for progressives like me.
I also don't want to write any posts later tonight, when I'll have shifted from the coffee pot to a wine bottle.
Usually I only drink a single glass of red wine. However, it doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the inebriation wind is blowing for Dems this day: toward as much as necessary to blunt the pain of some distressing defeats.
Sure, maybe the election won't be as bad as expected. If the registered voter turnout is just a few points higher than the pundits are predicting, "D" losses could be limited to the normal mid-term result -- a marked, but not huge, rejection of politicians belonging to the president's party.
I'm aware, though, of how my psyche is engaging in some illogical thinking. In 2008 I perused the predictions of FiveThirtyEight several times a day, lapping up what turned out to be highly accurate forecasts of the election results, both presidential and other.
Currently Nate Silver says the Republicans will likely gain 53-54 seats in the House, which is quite a bit more than a normal mid-term. But instead of accepting that FiveThirtyEight is probably right, I've been seizing on a possible scenario Silver set forth where the Dems manage to hold the House.
(Naturally I did my best to ignore his mirror-image post, where the Republicans do much better than expected.)
The bottom line, though, is that when all is said, done, and reported tonight, my state of mind -- in whatever consciousness-altered form it is resting in -- will be largely determined by how Oregon results turn out.
If John Kitzhaber becomes governor, and Chris Dudley is sent back to his wealth management job, I'll be pretty happy no matter how the election goes nationally. If Kurt Schrader is re-elected as our congresshuman, even better.
And if Jason Freilinger beats out Patti Milne for Marion County commissioner, I'll be super pleased.
After all, even if the rest of the country tilts toward the crazy Republican side of the political spectrum, we Oregonians can create our own island of sanity and spend the next few years sitting under a pleasant palm tree of progressiveism.
I can only wish... if not, a bottle of pinot noir awaits.