Cornhusker State

Rivalry Reanimated Final Thoughts

Hey folks, thank you for following my last series, focusing on some of the more famous rivalries that stopped being played in the 1980′s and 90′s.

I’ll be giving a quick recap of each series and put together some things I found interesting about the project.

Miami-Notre Dame

Series Record at time of cancellation (1990): Notre Dame led 15-7-1
Series Record of Reanimated Rivalry (1991-2016): Notre Dame leads 14-12
Combined All-Time Record: Notre Dame leads 29-19-1
Longest Miami win streak: 6 (1999-2005)
Longest Notre Dame win streak: 7 (2010-2016)

Notre Dame started out with such a big lead because they played Miami for a decade before the Hurricanes actually got good in the 80′s. Since The U’s first national title, the series has been very even. Miami actually leads since 1983, but just by a few games. In the Reanimated series, both schools enjoyed periods of alternating success. Currently ND is dominating the rivalry, having won the last seven games against their the Canes.

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The Keystone XL pipeline’s proposed route is a diagonal line, starting in the Alberta tar sands in Canada and running down through Nebraska. The project has been tied up for years in a polarizing argument about energy, jobs and the environment — and has run into trouble in the Cornhusker State.

Pipeline opponents challenged the legality of the proposed route through Nebraska, and the state’s Supreme Court could rule as early as this Friday. President Obama, who has final approval of the pipeline because it would cross the U.S.-Canada border, has been waiting on the Nebraska ruling before issuing his decision.

And as loud as the Keystone debate has been in Washington, D.C., and in the courts, Jenni Harrington says it’s talked about in hushed tones in Nebraska’s blustery York County, about an hour from the capital, Lincoln.

On Nebraska’s Farmland, Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Is Personal

Photo credit: Melissa Block/NPR
Map credits: TransCanada/Stephanie d'Otreppe and Alyson Hurt/NPR

I voted for Nader.  And I’m so, so, sorry.

Skip this if you’re just here for books, but ….  I have a confession to make.  

I voted for Nader.  And I’m so, so, sorry.  

It was the year 2000, which means I was 28.  I was left-wing, obviously, and idealistic, as I’d like to hope I still am. I voted in Nebraska at the time, and I was what was known as a Nader trader.  I matched myself with a voter in a swing state — I think it was Wisconsin — who wanted to vote Green but felt she needed to vote strategically.  I cast her Green vote, and she cast my mine in Democrat Blue.  I hoped that the Greens might pick up enough national support to get national funding, and a stronger future voice in national politics.  

My Green vote in Nebraska, I reasoned, wouldn’t cost Gore the state — and I was right about that.  Nebraska, county by county, looked like this.  

The results in Nebraska were 62 percent for Bush, 33 percent for Gore, and 3.5 percent for Nader.  We green voters were never going to cost the Democrats an electoral college vote in the Cornhusker state, and we didn’t.  

I felt pretty good about that vote, when I cast it.  

But then the results started to roll in.  You guys know what happened in 2000, right?  The final outcome was one of the closest presidential elections in the nation’s history.  Bush took 47.9 percent of the popular vote.  Gore took 48.4, winning the popular vote by a narrow margin.  But the electoral college race — the one that counts —  came down to Florida.  It was initially called for Bush in the media, but the outcome was so close that votes had to be recounted by hand in what became a highly politicized process.    Eventually the Supreme Court stepped in, and, in another highly politicized process, handed the election to Bush.  

Here’s where I start speculating.  Here’s why I’m sorry.  

The Greens took 2.7 percent of the vote, nationally.  What if — oh, what if — some of those votes had gone to Gore?  It would have taken less than half of them to push Gore over the 50 percent mark in the popular vote.  

Would the recount have gone better if Gore had had such a clear national lead? There was some feeling at the time that Gore was being a sore loser — surely those extra Green votes would have changed that.  Maybe the media wouldn’t have called Florida prematurely.  Maybe the Supreme Court would have tempered its arrogance in the face of that public support.

I don’t know.  Maybe.  

And thus I’m sorry.  I’m sorry we cut Pell Grants for poor students.  I’m sorry we turned corporations loose on the environment.  I’m sorry we let New Orleans drown.  I’m sorry we cut taxes and made the deficit explode.  I’m sorry about all the damn standardized tests students began to have to take.  I’m sorry about the assault on reproductive health care and the cuts to Veterans health care.  

I’m sorry we tortured people and I’m sorry we opened Gitmo.  I’m sorry we pulled us out of the Kyoto Protocol and shot our best chance at tackling global warming while it was still in its starting gate.  I’m sorry we pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missle Treaty and radicalized US/Russian relations.  I’m sorry we pulled out of the International Criminal Court and undercut the UN.  And of course, I’m sorry about two damn wars.  

Gore wasn’t perfect, but, can you imagine him doing any (say) three of those things?  

Elections matter.  

The Democrats don’t own my vote.  When I was in Nebraska I worked hard to re-elect  my independent state senator, the hero Ernie Chambers.  I sometimes vote NDP or Green here in Canada, where we genuinely have more than two options.   But you know what, in the American presidential elections, there are only two possible winners.  

Pick one of them.

Don’t pick Trump.  

Don’t do what I did, guys.  Because I am so, so sorry.