The following column is predicated on the supposition that there are some damned depressed Democrats slumping over their muffins this morning--this morning being Nov. 3. I can't know that for sure. No matter how many days it may take me to complete the last paragraph of this opinion, I can say with certainty that I'm composing this paragraph--the first--on the morning of Oct. 24. The election is still nine days off.
But if what so many of the perpetual motion mouths in the media have been saying all summer indeed comes true, we are now looking at the noxious spectre of two years of Republican control of the House of Representatives. There will be more of the cheesy John Boehner in our noses than we might imagine our delicate sensibilities can abide. Along with everything else our president has to deal with, he now faces the horror of a Congress even more infested with diseased brains and blighted souls than it has been to date.
If on this rainy and gray morning (Oct. 24) were I forced to say how bad the results will be, I would predict it won't be as devastating as earlier polling suggested. Aside from an innate flaw in pollsters' methods--the one that leaves out everyone with only a cell phone--I have a theory that for the 23 months following any national election, the political heat is generated primarily by those who most intensely hate the people who won. In other words, the news is made by the very poorest of the poor losers. Those without an ax to grind usually shut up and go about their lives until shortly before the next election. The others, the raving losers, spend the intervening period thinking of little else but how to depose the winners.
Never has this been more true than during this administration's first stage. The tea-bagger rabble was coagulating into a nasty scab three weeks into Barack Obama's presidency. Some were shrieking "impeach" before the ink was dry on the inauguration address. In 20 months, they have let not a day go by without demonstrating what stupid racist assholes they are.
Fortunately, there is always a general awakening a few weeks before the next election, at which time the more reasonable citizens--those who refuse to let politics become a full-time delirium--stand up on their hindquarters and survey the situation. This explains why we have seen races across the country tighten up as election day drew nigh. The real silent majority--by which I mean the sane folks who haven't spent the last two years pissing blood over everything from Obama's citizenship to his true religion--pulled their heads out of their ordinary habits and took a look around. Thus, we may never hear the name "Christine O'Donnell" again. She is just too dumb to survive even in a tea-bagger setting.
Hopefully, the same will have proven true for all the other frauds, fringies and fools vomited up from the sour gut of right-wing ideology this campaign season. Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Carl Paladino. Hopefully, Meg Whitman blew $150,000,000-plus out her fanny only to prove all the riches in the world can't make an unappealing person appealing. Hopefully, all the secret money Karl Rove and the Cosa Nostra of Commerce collected from their masters in the Overseas Billionaires Club was a wasted effort, and hopefully, both houses of Congress are still in Democratic hands.
Yet on this day (Oct. 24), I am not hopeful. Even if my theory of hate-driven/late redemption politics is true, Democrats could not improve economic conditions fast enough to calm frightened voters. The GOP will not get the Senate--too many repulsive creeps running for even the mooshy independents. But we are likely looking at two years of lunacy out of the House. If you thought Michele Bachmann was a dunce before, just wait until she's surrounded by her intellectual equals.
So there is no better time or reason to remind my brothers and sisters in the liberal lane exactly where we stand, here in the flagging days of 2010. I know it seems bleak, a future where morons and criminals seem once again to have breached the wall of democracy. But perspective demands we remember that two years does not a future make. And considering that the presidency and the Senate are still in good hands must make the bitter pill of Boehner easier to swallow.
And of course, there is always the broader picture. We could start in the agorae of ancient Greece to illustrate how far good humans have come in fulfilling the liberal dream. But for ease of handling, let us restrict this scene to America and frame it from 1947 to today, Nov. 3, 2010. That particular 63 years is my lifetime, and a quick review of what the progressive spirit has accomplished in such a relatively short span should give a measure of encouragement to those depressed and deflated Democrats out there.
It will come in two parts, this dose of encouragement, for two reasons: one being that there are too many things for liberals to feel good about to cram into one column. The second being: I'm leaving town for a few days, starting tomorrow (Nov. 4). Gonna go spend some time with a kid with whom I haven't spent enough time lately. But the days I'm with her have to come from somewhere, and in this instance, they will be borrowed from Boise Weekly. I am writing both parts of "Perspective" at once and handing them over to my editor together. Even by next week (Nov. 10), the author of these words (first paragraph composed on Oct. 24; last paragraph ... I'll tell you when I get there) will not know how the election turned out.