Stuart Carlson cartoon

So vote already!

Let's get on to the real battle — in the courts

It would be nice to say that the presidential campaign was an uplifting and forthright discussion of the important issues facing the US. It would be nice, but it would be a lie.

While Act I ends with the casting of ballots, Act II — the counting of the ballots — will begin almost immediately. Indeed, the television networks won't even wait for the polls to close before they begin "projecting" the outcome. It seems almost certain that Act III will be in the courts.

three stooges
Campaign of the two stooges.

What a disgusting exercise in democracy this has been! Both candidates have been out prancing and pandering, trying to suck up to the remaining three undecided voters. They have alternated between trying to out-macho the other one ("I'll keep you safer") and trying to out-sensitive the other one ("I feel your pain" — although neither would utter those words). Charges, countercharges, accusations, innuendo, exaggeration, lies, damned lies, and statistics fly through the air. In the end the candidates come off looking like the Two Stooges.

three stooges
Voters are the ones being abused.

I suppose there must be some empirical evidence that all this stuff works, but for the life of me I can't imagine who's convinced by Kerry donning field garb and shooting a duck. Or by Bush shucking his suit coat and rolling up his shirt sleeves like "regular folk." But then I was the one who supposed there must have been some empircal evidence for invading Iraq. What do I know?

This whole exercise could be quite entertaining if it weren't so serious. Sort of like professional wrestling, except that at the end of the bout the combattants don't just go to the locker room and shower. One of the combattants gets free rent for four years and unequaled power as commander in chief.

I'll watch the election night returns with bated breath and a tumbler of Maker's Mark.