Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Politics of Superstorm Sandy
There has never been a time in the history of this country when a presidential election was disrupted, interrupted, postponed or canceled. The power to make any changes to "the times, places and manners" of elections rests with Congress but only as they relate to Senators and Congressmen (Section 4 of Article I) and "the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States" (Section 1 of Article II).
But then again, we have a Chief Executive who has little if any regard for the Constitution and has made a habit of circumventing it at his whim.
We've conducted presidential elections through some extremely dire and challenging times in the history of the Republic, particularly through the most destructive of man made disasters: war. The Civil War didn't affect them. The unrest of the Vietnam and Civil Rights Movement era didn't disrupt them either.
Gore v. Bush was the last time we had a so-called and mostly contrived constitutional crisis over a presidential election. There was a lot of hootin' and hollerin' but it all ended up as it should have.
From a strictly partisan political perspective, I think this present circumstance actually favors Democrats because they hold an advantage in terms of early voting. 0bama started to lose momentum about a month ago. He was and still is very much in danger of losing the job at which he has failed miserably.
0bama and his minions are known for shamelessly exploiting personal hardships and collective tragedy for political gain. As former 0bama chief of staff Rahm "The Godfather" Emanuel once famously said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
If anything, the disruption and uncertainty caused by Sandy favors the president. It has disrupted the campaign and become a welcome opportunity to change the subject and provide the 0bama with a last ditch opportunity to demagogue the issue and do something he has repeatedly failed to do over the last four years: appear competent
It is my uneducated opinion that the disruption that Sandy is causing may well "disenfranchise" the electorate affected by it but in a local, rather than national, scale. Not enough to disrupt the presidential election in any way. Though it is unfortunate for those affected, our current system of government does not make electoral provisions for "acts of God."