Friday, May 11, 2012

POTUS Call At The Gate

In perhaps a microcosm of November's key races, a bar conversation this afternoon raised differences.

Bar note: I recommend First Printer in Harvard Square - beautiful bar, small draft and large bottle section of fine brews and a big list of good to better wines, all at student-pleasing prices; plus, the day bartender is one funny guy.

We are all middle-aged white guys within a few years of each other. Two are suburban and I am by far the pinkest of the bunch.

One sincerely, almost sweetly, advanced that Mitt Romney was the likely next President. We other two guffawed unkindly. One said that of course it will be close. I don't believe that and recited the disdain wingers have for Romney, as well as the numerous stupid legislative and policy moves the GOP has made to alienate so many voting groups — women, blacks, Latinos, immigrants, the poor and on and on. I said that following their drubbing in November, even the party of delusion will have to reevaluate their deceit and abuse.

Among the three of us, there was most but not all of the spectrum of older men. One spoke of Mitt's momentum, which is the message of cable news. One acknowledged the bizarre fantasy world of the electorate. Another, the abject news hound/political junkie, measured the vital signs and symptoms of the issues and campaigns.

Those come with a range of sources. One does largely cable TV. One eats the NYT whole. Another does three daily papers, a dozen news sites, many blogs, and cable political show left and right.

I suspect the cable-only guy is more like the American voter norm than the other two.

Yes, yes, many events can overtake the candidates, both Obama/Romney and Warren/Brown before November. The economy may thrive or languish. Some dreadful international tragedy may color all. The Republican House, as hard as it may be to write, might act even more viciously and inanely than they have been doing. Although evasion and deceit seem his nature, Romney might stop lying and play debates and campaigns straight. Yadda yadda.

The point of the second-drink conversation today was that three long-term friends had extraordinary different projections on the big elections coming up. Smarts and levels of information aside, none of us is a doctrinaire buffoon. We're thinking and extrapolating. We draw very different conclusions, each based on disparate data sets and opinion baskets.

Come six months, we'll see. We won't forget. More drinks will rise to the same lips.

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