It's mathematically impossible for John McCain to win.
Were the great Tim Russert still with us, he would call the election for Obama at 7pm Eastern time. No, I'm not talking about November 4th -- I mean tonight.
Here we are in the present -- an electric casserole of breaking news ("Obama wears flag pin!"), Internet warfare ("lol McCain is teh oldz!"), and screaming gas bags who are terrified of women ("We'll do it LIVE!"). The MSM is trying to convince us that we're in for a twelve-round brawl. That McCain's going to give Obama a run for his $500M. That's all well and good, and I'm sure it'll make for some riveting television -- if you're the type of person who still watches Harlem Globetrotters games on the edge of your seat, convinced the Washington Generals will pull this one out.
But the truth is, it's not going to be close. Not even a little bit.
Imagine yourself in a high school history class a century from now. Imagine the teacher beginning the section on the elections of 2008 by setting the scene: "America's economy was in flames, we were fighting two wars with no end in sight, and global warming was accelerating at an alarming rate. The most despised president in 150 years was nearing the end of his two corruption-ridden terms, and had heartily endorsed his successor, John McCain -- who, despite a few ideological differences, planned on keeping the status quo intact. Running against him was a lightning-in-a-bottle candidate named Barack Obama. A candidate who had nearly six times the money to spend, drew crowds of 70,000, and who received support from a surprising number of disenfranchised Republicans -- even some of the Evangelicals who swept Bush to power. Obama was the story. He captured the imagination of young Americans and the world. Now, by a show of hands -- who thinks McCain won that election?" (A particularly easy question, since they're sitting in Barack Obama High).
Whatever you think about McCain -- whether you love him or hate him -- you can't deny that he's a victim of horrible timing. Everywhere you look, there are tidal forces -- geopolitical, economic, and social forces -- trending in Obama's favor. McCain is running on a war record in a country aching for peace. He's running on an admitted lack of economic knowledge in a country aching for economic reform. Healthcare, foreign policy, energy -- in each case his sales pitch is twenty years behind the curve, much like the declining party for which he has the unfortunate honor of being standard bearer. Worst of all, his base doesn't even like him. Sure, they might pull that lever, but they'll be holding their noses with the other hand. If Obama's base is "fired up and ready to go," McCain's base is more like "reheated and I'll get around to it."
All McCain's base are belong to us.
Call it whatever you want: arrogance, a jinx -- but let's be honest with ourselves -- this thing is over. I know, I know. "A lot can happen between now and November." I know that we Democrats are used to scurrying around like we're on Meerkat Manor, with a sky full of Neocon hawks overhead. I know that we've perfected the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But can't you feel it in the smog-kissed air? Feel that this year is different? This year, we've got a candidate who refuses to cower in the face of the old Rove/Atwater/Dobson line of attack. A candidate who understands that you can't change the world unless you win, and that you don't have to sell your soul to do it. And despite some bruises, we've got a Democratic Party on its way toward unprecedented unity and energy.
I don't care if footage of Obama snorting coke off Scarlett Johansson's boobs surfaces in late October. All it will do is bolster his standing with white males. I don't care if McCain is introduced by a resurrected Jesus Christ at the convention. All it will do is piss off Joe Lieberman. McCain won't just be defeated, he'll be crushed. And not just Bob Dole crushed, but crushed in a way that redefines the political map for the next 25 years.
He'll be crushed so decidedly, that bartenders will coin a new drink called "The McCrush" -- vodka and Orange Crush over crushed ice, served in a hollow flip-flop with a sprig of pandering. The networks will switch over to infomercials at 10pm on Election Night, because they'll have nothing left to cover after Obama's victory speech. Webster's will add the word "McCained" to its thesaurus entry for "crushed." Gamers will start taunting each other with new words like "Obampwnd!" and "McNoob!." Somewhere, out there in the everlasting ether of death, Barry Goldwater will feel better about himself.
Jinx or no jinx, I'm not going to be a Meerkat Democrat -- not this year. This year, I'm celebrating the Fourth with some burgers, some fireworks, and a nice, cool McCrush.
This year I'm the friggin' hawk.
Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Pardon My President: Ready-to-Mail Apologies for Eight Years of George W. Bush