Have you already seen the video of a Barrett supporter slapping him for conceding to Walker in Wisconsin before even half the votes were counted? No? Here’s the video:
I don’t agree with the slap. I think that gal crossed a big line there, even though she asked permission first. Mayor Barrett though, quite reasonably, that she was joking, because nobody with any sense or maturity would slap a politician in that way, especially after he’s suffered what was a painful and, presumably, unexpected defeat.
Although I don’t agree with the slap, I do agree with the sentiment. It drives me crazy when a politician concedes when he sees which way the wind is blowing. We know from last night that the exit polls didn’t reflect the votes (either because people lied, or because absentee ballots skewed things, or because the pollsters erred). This means that statistics are useful predictors, but they’re certainly not entirely accurate. There comes a point, of course, at which it is impossible for the losing candidate to catch up, even if every single subsequent vote goes in his favor (unless the voting is in Chicago or some other county in which dead people hang onto their civil rights). I was not under the impression, however, that Barrett had reached that point of no-return.
Don’t get me wrong here: I’m delighted Barrett lost and Walker won. I just hate the early concession.
This is a very visceral thing for me. I cast my first vote back in 1980. Because of time zone issues, by the time I cast my vote, it was symbolic: Jimmy Carter had already conceded based upon preliminary returns from other states in different time zones. In retrospect, I’m delighted that he lost and that he slunk away into the night (or, at least, he slunk away temporarily before emerging later, more malevolent and antisemitic than ever). What did not delight me, though, was to have my very first presidential vote become manifestly meaningless before I’d even cast it. Had Carter stuck it out a few hours longer, I might had least have thought that I was casting a vote that might make a difference.
In both 1980 and 2012, the correct man slunk away, and the right man won. But I understand those supporters who feel that their chosen candidate is a weeny and a wuss for walking away before the last possible vote has been counted.