It's been a busy month of extensive travel, and numerous tidbits of thought toss like flotsam in my mind.
But something floated by today that needs to be mentioned, since it crystallizes many of those random thoughts - and provides what seems to be a combination of some unexpected welcome news with a jolt of concern.
Over the past many weeks, we've been puzzling over a cavalcade of dodgy "polls" based on internal numbers that seem to make no sense at all. If you want my $0.02 (U.S.) worth on the reasoning behind these "polls," whether the dodginess is intentional or merely fortuitous for the pollsters, I'd finger three pieces of reasoning behind them - one silly, the other two more pragmatic.
1) There really are a lot of bizarre people out there who take the axiom "If you can envision it, it will happen!" literally rather than figuratively. (Hey, remember "Envision world peace" with the cuddly USSR back in the 1980s? And "Envision alternative energy" these days?) Silly, but such things are junk food for vacant souls.
2) More pragmatically, all this serves nicely as an agitprop disinformation campaign to try to depress our side and suppress turn-out - in other words, psychological warfare to try to produce voluntary self-disenfranchisement.
3) The more disturbing aspect, though, is one that has been on my mind a lot lately, and which was bumped way up on the worry-list today (see below). If nothing else, all those dodgy polls are preparing the ground for a reaction of "The election must be a fraud! President McCain is an illegitimate holder of that office!" Our adversaries stumbled onto this one due to the bizarre unfolding of electoral events back in 2000 - it was inadvertent (and demonstrably wrong), but they found that they liked it because it was useful. It gave them an excuse to try to gum up the works at every turn. And recall that they tried to roll it out again in 2004, regarding Ohio.
Well, today, there was a strange surprise lurking in my spam box.
I can't risk auto-deleting identified spam; I let it be directed to a holding pen on the main server, and I check in there a few times a day for anything legitimate. It's very rare for a real message to end up in there, but sometimes a professional newsletter will end up in there for committing some unknown offense - so it's good to keep an eye on it.
During one of the checks earlier today, I found several copies of the same spam message, entitled "Stolen America" and urging me to see the film or get the DVD, or something like that (I deleted them all - if anyone also got this and feels like posting it in the comments, feel free....). The top of the message had a testimonial of some sort like, "This documentary will do for voter fraud what 'An Inconvenient Truth' did for global warming." Below that was some verbiage along the lines of, "There is increasing evidence that all our elections are now being manipulated and stolen." Naturally it cited 2000 and 2004, and indicated that it's about to happen this year - and YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS FILM.
Well.... this is odd. If the irresistible Him that is Him is poised to sweep to an epic and overwhelming victory.... why on earth is this film being released NOW with frantic warnings? This seems like a white flag and a call to retreat into an insurgency of condemning the impending McCain presidency as "illegitimate" (here we go again).
I'd say that for the immediate tactical future, if this is an insight into the state of things among our adversaries, this is good news.
However, seeing this raises some disturbing thoughts. Are our adversaries now hardening their overall view into one that any election they lose must be fraudulent? This may be a convenient and comfortable fiction for the purposes of their "leaders" (and for the wounded psyches of the minions), but one has to wonder how deeply this is going to continue to tear into the fundamental fabric of the Republic. Things have gotten so strained that, as the indispensable Mark Steyn has noted, we are basically sliding into a sort of "cold civil war" for the time being.
This was already on my mind this past Sunday, during the long (nearly 10-hour) flight from Vienna to Washington. Dividing my time between working and snoozing, I kept hearing in my mind the famous quote from Abraham Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Are we heading down a path to such a pass that the differences can only be resolved as they were back then?
Well.... perhaps there is a more felicitous outcome ahead of us. Check back in over the weekend for that.