Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dancing in the streets

There is a huge rain storm in New York today, one of those biblical deluges that occasionally make their ways up from the tropics. The streets are flooded, the subways are filling up, and if you looked up with you mouth open you’d drown. And there are people dancing in the streets.

It is such a change from two years ago. There is hope in New York City. There is elation in the cafes. There is giggling in the corridors.

There are way overblown expectations.

I wake up this morning and we’ve got a 33 vote majority in the house, and it looks like we’ve taken the senate too. I haven’t felt so good about being wrong in a long time! The republicans are praying that they can hold onto half the Senate so Cheney can be the tie-breaking vote. But with Sanders and Lieberman caucusing with the democrats and it looks like Webb has won Virginia, we win!

Unless they actually get Lieberman to jump parties. I guarantee Cheney is calling him every twenty minutes offering him women, drugs, barrels of oil, promising to shoot anyone Lieberman wants him to, if he’ll jump parties and actually admit that he’s a republican (we know it already, but we pretend otherwise). They are probably trying it with Robert Byrd as well. It worked with Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

But not in the house! Thirty-three! The pathetic conservative mouthpieces over at Fox Network News have been spinning this as not really a democratic win. They’re false democrats. All these new congress people are “new democrats.” They’re pro gun, some of them are even pro life. “Who” they say cryptically “will they follow: their liberal party leaders or the president?”

Well, I guess they’ve got to spin it some way. They’re not really democrats must be the best thing they came up with. But not 33 of them. It won’t mean a thing. Nancy Pelosi my congresswoman (!!!) is going to be speaker of the house. I can’t wait to hear the sergeant of arms call out “Madame Speaker, the President of the United States!”

At Vox Pop this morning all the talk was about politics as usual, but there was an unusual amount of glee involved and something that sounded vaguely like hope. Of course, they were a bit down that none of the Green Party candidates won—Vox Pop endorsed the greens. So I guess it was a glass half full morning in the new beatnik café.

My mother told me she woke up in the middle of the night full of panic and fear about the election results. Two years ago I wrote about the feeling of shock and awe that gripped New York after Bush’s reelection victory. Today my mother felt that feeling, along with (presumably) most of the south and everybody in the West Wing. She told me she voted the 2nd Amendment slate right down the line, which I presume meant no democrats. Gripped with fear, she had visions of Nancy Pelosi coming into town and personally taking away her handgun, chaining the door to the church, and then taxing her right out of the double-wide. Kind of how I felt two years ago, but in reverse.

We are victims of our own fears. I guess the terrorists did win after all.

But today is my day to gloat! It’s my turn to feel good again. We won! “A Thumping” President Bush called it. I guess that sums it up. We came, we saw, we kicked some ass! We are the champions! More wine and dancing girls for my men!

And oh! The day just gets better. Donald Rumsfeld almost immediately saw the writing on the wall and took off for his new career on the lecture circuit. He fell on his sword like a republican Frankie Pentangeli. Apparently, Bush had this Gates guy all lined up. It came after long and frank talks with the president (filling in for Robert Duval). Two years ago I walked into the adjunct room and, like everywhere else in town there was dismay. Today I walked in and the first words out of Craig’s mouth (smiling a pixie smile) were “did you hear about Rumsfeld?” He could barely contain himself.

Here’s something almost frightening in a blissful sort of way. Over on the Colbert Report Seven C is crowing about how every politician he profiled, incumbents and challengers, won their races. Apparently, a few political reporters have noticed too, and really don’t know what to make of it. That’s almost as good as Ned Lamont’s Jimmy Stewart commercial.

So it’s a bright new day in America. Now let’s see what happens in two years.


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