How an umbrella can win the election.

A two dollar umbrella.

Or a few of those ratty old scarves.

Or a twelve pack of water or a dozen granola bars or maybe even your guitar.

Oh… oh… that ratty lawn chair that you haven’t used in ten years.

Y’know… the one that acted as a “sofa” in your college apartment.

These odd objects could be the difference between just “victory” and a mandate… between fifty-nine seats and a filibuster-proof majority… between winning and, what do the kids call it these days?

Drinking their milkshake?


There WILL BE lines on election day.

Long lines.

Some of those lines will be inevitable… some will be due to historic turnout… and SOME will be due to the design of those still hoping they can exhaust the will of change.

And despite the fact that everyone has been warned, people are bound to get frustrated and tired and cold and hungry and bored out of their fucking minds to the point that they will think, “What’s one more vote?”

And that’s where we come in.

As a last act of giving (by you who have no doubt already given so very much), go out and buy a half-dozen of those two dollar umbrellas, walk to your local polling place and offer them to those who are out there standing in the rain. Ask them, when THEY are done… to pass the umbrella on.

Or rummage through that drawer in the basement with the forgotten winter hats and gloves and (after running them through the washer and the dryer) offer them, at the local college, to some students who didn’t QUITE think the whole process through.

Coffee for the weary. A snack for the hungry.

Maybe its your guitar and a willingness to “take requests” and muddle through your best effort at “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Stones that will be the difference between “I’ll gut out this last hour” and “I– I can’t do this any longer.”

If the lines are long enough (putting you far enough away from the polling place) an Obama pin (or Merkeley or Franken or Tinklenberg) and a smile will push home the message, but EVEN WITHOUT THOSE THINGS the general principle is… the more people stay in those lines… the better shot we got to… what’s the guy owns The Orange™ been saying?

Obliterate the fucking spirits of those who are fighting to deny change?

Just an umbrella.

That’s all it takes.


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  1. …before the voting.

  2. …I’m sure the weather will be fine!  Don’t bother luggin’ an umbrella or gloves or other crap along.  It’s such a hassle.

    Oh, and don’t bother goin’ to the bathroom before leavin’ to vote.  You’ll be back in a jiffy.  Drink plenty of coffee before you leave though, so you’ll be wide awake to think about socialism on your way to the polls.

    • RiaD on October 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    for thinking ahead!

    these are wonderful ideas, simply excellent!

    we’ll go early, carrying a box of your suggested goodies & the guitar….

    & return later bringing snacks & coffee for the poll workers!

    You are the BEST!!

    • Edger on October 29, 2008 at 4:08 pm

  3. it’s vote by mail. GOTV means getting people to mail or go to designated drop off spots and hand your ballot to poll workers. I used to like the excitement of driving to the drop off point but Now I am voting by actual mail. Someone said that in mail in states when GOTV you can carry stamps. A good idea it makes those who are not used to mailing have no excuse and helps the elderly or really young to get a move on it.  

    • Temmoku on October 29, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    and our polling place is small.

    He’s putting folding chairs in the trunk for older voters!

  4. Those are very cool ideas, such that would make the wait seem more “comfortable” to many that, undoubtedly, will find themselves in long lines.

    Illinois has early voting and I went today to vote — two counties involved, Cook and Will.  The Cook County line was quite long.  Tomorrow is the last day for Illinoisians to vote early.

    Here’s some info. on Early Voting and Absentee Ballot Voting (note, you will have to check out the restrictions of your particular state, if listed):

    Early Voting-etc

    NOTE TO ALL:  When you go to vote, make a point of asking:  MAY I PLEASE HAVE A PAPER BALLOT?  (Often, there may be a Diebold (or whatever) machine, as well as paper ballots — choose the paper ballots ALWAYS!

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