The Last Hurrah: Closing Thoughts On Election Day

We’re at the end of the line and as much I’d like to jump in with a prediction, I think anything the pundits are guessing right now is more indicative of their own voting preference than actual data. At least of 1 PM CST as I write this, I haven’t seen any exit polls indicating a trend, nor do networks on either end of the partisan spectrum (Fox & CNN) seem to be jumping in. So it’s still about flipping a coin.

Spencer Tracy, playing an old-style Irish pol from Boston starred in the greatest political movie ever made, one that foresaw the coming battle within the Democratic Party.

I’m in kind of a reflective, relieved mode right now and between voting early in Wisconsin and working from home, I’m away from  the hustle and bustle of Election Day (although if I get one more solicitation call, the phone’s about to get ripped off the wall). I think the national stress level is on overload right now and everyone could use some relief.

When you come to the end of the line, it’s time for any campaign to look back on what it did well, and what needs to improve the next time around and be we activists, writers, or just rank-and-file voters, that applies in all cases.

I’m no different and in looking back on my efforts to contribute here at CV, I think there were time I went overboard in my attacks on political liberals. This isn’t a full-scale mea culpa, so don’t get the wrong idea. I do believe there is a clear divide in the Democratic Party, between financially comfortable liberals– who are often overly self-righteous and of whom I would take back nothing– and rank-and-file Democrats who are basically normal people doing their jobs, whom I too frequently lumped in with the former group.

Such is the cost of responding to your anger rather than building a case in a good way, because I remain convinced that the honest Democrats in urban areas, often heavily Catholic, are being taken for a joyride by their financially comfortable brethren who control the party’s purse strings. In the future, I hope I’m disciplined enough to keep the focus on making that case to people of goodwill and giving less attention to the insufferable, the snobbish and the self-righteous, of which I became too familiar with in the past and allowed to push my buttons.

Whomever wins tonight, there isn’t room for a lot of sniping back and forth when this election is over. The man who wins the presidency will be the chief executive in a toxic political culture. The man who wins will have to deal with a divided Congress and find a way to reduce a $16 trillion deficit. The man who wins will have to figure out to deal with a hostile China that both owns large portions of our debt, while undercutting us economically and exporting weapons abroad.

Tonight is The Last Hurrah, to borrow the title of the Spencer Tracy movie, the best political film ever made, for the presidential campaign. Thanks to the good folks in the pro-life movement including everyone here at Catholic Vote, for their best efforts. Tomorrow, a new day arrives.

Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of



  • Robert Morin

    I suggest holding a Vespers Service somewhere before the dust settles.

  • Happy and Gay

    A few more hours and all you Republicans (spare me the silly talk about the Democratic Party above) will start devouring each other even before the tears dry up. You won’t need any help from any visiting rag-tag ad hoc conglomerated rainbow alliance anymore — although I hope, trust, and rest assured you CV folks will unite behind Rick Santorum. I really do so toodle-loo!

    • Joe M

      Devouring each other after a loss is something liberals do. This year, it was happening before the election was even held!

    • halberst seems not to represent the real Catholic voter, at least according to Fox News Polling. They show Obama winning among Catholics by a small margin, but on this site, you’d think Catholics would vote for Romney by a landslide.

  • Paul

    Well, it’s big of you to apologize without actually apologizing, or saying you would try to do better, or admitting that this website intentionally inflames hostility in order to create the toxic political environment.

    What was the point of your post?

    • Joe M

      It’s not surprising to me that you admit to missing the point but responded to a straw man argument anyway.

      • paul

        I think I got the point of the post perfectly. To blame other people for the toxic political environment and to shrug off your own involvement in it.

        • Joe M

          “What was the point of your post?” -Paul



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