Mr Benson,Now, I want to be clear about this: I like Guy and Ed a great deal. I despise Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol, and the other inside-the-beltway sluggos with a passion. My basic rule-of-thumb: if one can and does receive a regular invitations to beltway cocktail parties, that person receives my undying enmity and inattention.
We have e-mailed before and I want you to know that I [still] hold your writing, opinion, and analysis in high regard. However, I want to let you know that you have broken me of one habit: listening to you and Ed discuss polling and the election on his noontime show. Too Eeyore-ish for my blood.
As I write this, I am poised, dripping wet with gasoline (at $4.12 per gallon), a lit match, a rusty Gillette Blue Blade, and a loaded Pietta 1858 .44 New Army Remington replica ready to launch myself into oblivion. (Important note: I am prone to hyperbole; no call to the suicide watch line is necessary!)
Since you were not on scene until a year into the second Reagan landslide, I would appreciate giving you what little anecdotal historical perspective I may have. In those days, we old codgers we were trapped in a drab gray existence in 1977-1980 where only the alphabet media outlets and the deadwood pulp propaganda were the carrier of the 1984 message: Carter is good; Reagan is a wigged-out cowboy from California.
In those days, the good and decent people chafed under Carter's economic missteps and his incredible bungling when it came to handling Iran, the Shah, the Ayotollah, and the embassy hostage crisis. For three solid years we carried this burr under our saddle, cringing at this boob's incompetence. The only interconnection we all had was a constant and pulsing hatred for this man.
We had no concept of where Reagan was in the polls; we only saw the one debate -- I remember rising to my feet and pumping my fist when Reagan uttered the immortal, "Well, there you again" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi9y5-Vo61w) -- and we mostly took this white hot anger into the polling booth with us.
I voted at approximately 1715 PST in California but my anger did not abate when I came home at 1730 and found that Carter had capitulated minutes before. I wanted the night to drag out for this dreadful little man; I wanted to savor state after state falling before his eyes. I wanted him absolutely humiliated.
As much anger as I had in those days, I have that tenfold now for Obama -- and, in my mind it is justified. Frankly, I think Obama is not only dangerously incompetent but also that he is seriously intent on fundamentally changing this nation and changing its relation with other nations in the world and therefore making the world less safe.
Anyway, Guy, I know this has nothing to do with the "reality of the polls" but to tie these ramblings back to my original point: the bedwetting mantra (not necessarily yours nor Ed's) is damaging my spirit and I think I should return to 1980 where we did not have this surfeit of "helpful" punditry like Noonan, Kristol, and all of the other so-called beltway apparatchiks.
Just kinda hoping for a reason to fight on, I suppose; probably better that I spend my time working for the campaign anyway and turn off this surfeit of media effluvia.
Thanks for letting me rant and kindest regards,
The War Planner
..I thought not.
UPDATE: As I was scouring the internet for some fragments of data, I came across the following highlights of Reagan's debate with Carter. for your viewing pleasure; please note how many items are relevant today AND how this might be good material for Mitt Romney to review before October 3rd.
Woo among you would love to see Romney eviscerate this View-Visiting Sumbitch in all three debates?