It Would Serve Them Right

It would serve them right.

Republicans, who have done everything in their power to tilt this and recent elections by denying people access to the polls based on fraudulent claims of voter fraud, richly deserve to lose this one. (Admittedly, in forty years I have voted for a Republican only once, when the Democrat was under indictment.) I suspect that on Tuesday President Obama will win a popular majority nationwide as well as in the Electoral College. But there’s a more than slim chance that the President will lose the popular vote but win in the Electoral College. And after the national disgrace of the 2000 election – and the ongoing disgrace of Republican voter suppression efforts – it would serve them right.

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Two fears of a pseudo-Republican

Watching the two national conventions, I’ve tried as a thought experiment to imagine what it’s like to be a Republican. Not a snarling right-wing Limbaugh type, but a moderate, libertarian conservative who believes in small government and dignity for all – the kind of Republican that once defined the GOP. Like some of my Republican friends, many of whom voted for Obama in 2008. And in so doing, I find myself confronted by two doomsday fears.

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Welcome home

All politics aside - or most of it, anyhow - President Obama’s decision to stop the deportation of young undocumented immigrants was long overdue. It was a cruel policy that diminished all Americans. And hopefully this move is the beginning of a long-term trend toward a sane immigration policy. By “sane” I mean one that judiciously bars the door to some, opens it at least part-way to many, and offers a pathway to citizenship that Americans can be proud of and makes us a stronger as well as a better country. Yes, stronger.

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A Civil War Journey

I recently returned from a four-day road-trip (with my nephew Noah and his parents, traveling separately) to some of the Civil War battlefields. It’s a pilgrimage I’ve made more than once over the years, a way of embracing both nature and history. (Those blood-drenched meadows look terrific in the spring.) Done right, it can almost feel like time-travel.

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Obama in Tucson

Watching President Obama’s speech at the University of Arizona Wednesday night, I couldn’t help wondering how it will be remembered a year, or a decade, from now. I sensed in it a defining moment of his presidency. I am not for a minute forgetting the plight of Congresswoman Giffords or the other victims of the Tucson tragedy. Surely they deserve our thoughts and our care. But, like it or not, this was a national event, not a local one, and it will have national repercussions beyond the death and destruction in a shopping mall.

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