A while ago a particularly persistent idiot challenged me to a wager on the presidential race. He backed Kerry, and offered a chance to crow on his web site if Bush won if I offered him the same opportunity here at Wizbang. I declined it for two reasons. First, the stakes were grossly disproportionate — his site is pretty pathetic; it would have been like wagering my brand-new Bentley against his clapped-out ’73 Plymouth. Second, the right to post on Wizbang is not mine to grant, so I couldn’t have taken the wager had I even been so inclined.
But, as the old joke goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and that idiot’s challenge gave me an idea for doing my small part to heal the rift this campaign has cloven between us Americans.
The election is over, and Bush has won. It is time for all of us to Move On, to show the world that we are, indeed, Americans Coming Together behind our duly elected leader. And in that spirit, I’m extending my hand to those who supported Senator Kerry and opposed President Bush. And I’m doing it in my own style.
I’ve browsed the weblogs of some some of the more partisan (but, hopefully, still reasonable) liberals, and culled three of their biggest concerns about a Bush second term — the return of the draft, the tanking of the economy, and the security of the American people. With that in mind, I’m proposing the following wager. I will wager with you on the likelihood of each of those happening by the end of the year 2005.
But like I said, I’m looking to extend the olive branch, to help Bush’s critics support the President. I am willing to bet that at least two of the above will occur. (Details in the extended section). I’m challenging liberals to bet that their worst fears will not occur.
I’m willing to discuss stakes, as well. Cash contributions to favorite charities? Sure. (Within limits — I’m on a budget here.) Bragging rights on each other’s blogs? Fine. (With Kevin’s permission, of course.) Posting of humiliating photos or degrading confessions? You got it. Something else? Toss it out there. I’m eager to talk it out.
I want to make it abundantly clear that I desperately want to lose these bets. I don’t want there to be a draft, the economy to tank, or there to be a major terrorist attack. But I want to give Bush opponents a reason to support his success.
If you’re interested in taking me up on this bet, say so in the comments section. (And yes, I’m calling out you and you folks. I figure you guys owe me, and I’m calling in the marker.) We can work out the details in e-mail or IMs. But act quickly — this offer closes Sunday night, and I’ll post the details of any and all wagers shortly thereafter. And this challenge is only intended to American bloggers who have consistently been critical of President Bush. I intend no disprespect to bloggers from outside the United States, but this is about healing our own wounds.
For the terms of this bet, “the economy tanking” shall be defined as three months or more of unemployment being over 6%, “the draft coming back” shall be defined as a bill to reinstate the Selective Service System introduced and backed by Republicans and supported by a White House official, and “a major terrorist attack” shall be defined as a single incident or roughly coinciding incidents that kill at least 200 Americans within the borders of the United States, or a series of two or more related incidents that kill at least 200 Americans within one week. These are my opening positions; they are open for negotiations.