Gail Collins writes: “Americans are also in a very low state about the presidential elections. Once again we’ve hit that magic moment when both sides are sure they’re going to lose.” Well, the first sentence may be true, but I see no evidence whatsoever of gloom and doom on the Democratic side. I suppose the terminally neurotic will always be on edge, but are real Democrats sweating that they are on the verge of an historic defeat? The folks in my neighborhood with the Obama signs seem pretty cheery these days.
Yes, the over-the-top vendetta to get Joe the Plumber might suggest some mild level of concern from Obama supporters, but I hardly think that’s evidence that they expect to lose. The Joe-phobes are merely trying to discredit the notion that ordinary people can see through political cant — and to dissuade future upstarts from making fools of snooty Democrats. No, Democrats and their PR department, otherwise known as the MSM, are mainly trying to think up ways to fill the dead time after 7pm EST when they expect to declare victory on Election Night.
But here’s the rub: the Democrats do need to keep the troops motivated and get all those new voters to the polls. A sense of impending defeat is essential — otherwise all those college kids might stay home. In an election where turnout really will decide some swing states, aggravated, exaggerated angst is essential. And you can always count on the Gray Lady to provide the motivation and the talking points for the Democrats.