Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Monday, November 01, 2004

Although it is not usually remembered that way, 1968 was a spectacularly close race: Nixon polled 31,770,237 votes, 43.4% (301 Electoral votes); Humphrey pulled in 31,270,5331 for 42.7% (191 Electoral votes); and Wallace tallied 9,906,141, 13.5 % (46 Electoral votes). On this map Humphrey is red, Wallace is green and Nixon is blue-- there are some states that look different tonight (notably Texas and New Jersey) but the map hasn't really changed all that much, and it is possible that the cultural issues that presently divide us haven't changed much, either.

What they say about Humphrey is that he ran out of time. I hope that Kerry had enough time. As bad as Nixon was-- and I want to be clear about this, he was plenty bad-- he was Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt all rolled into one compared to Bush. Bush's father looks statesmanlike compared to his son, and the senior Bush was as lightweight a President as the Union had seen since-- I don't know, James A. Garfield, maybe? Franklin Pierce?

The list of truly bad presidents is a short one. I guess we've been lucky, although it is also true that a lot of the 19th century guys with the big sideburns and whatnot had the advantage of serving during a time when the real action was in Congress. Harding. Hoover. Nixon. None of these guys are in a league with Bush, who is so bad, in so many ways, that it is difficult to know where to begin the catalogue. I suppose I am grateful that he hasn't suspended the election-- I've worried about the idea that he might for nearly four years now.

It'll be all about turnout, I hope. If we are blessed, it will not be about counting, but I am not optimistic, and I'm mighty glad A. is helping to keep it honest in the Sunshine State.

LCA has asked to accompany me to the polls tomorrow morning. I'll let her pull the lever-- you can't start participating too early, I reckon.

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