I’m not sure how this will play out, but after watching how the American people panned Palin’s debate performance, I’ve found myself with a strange sense of optimism. Maybe we’re not that dumb after all, or maybe, in the alternative, the economy is so shitty that we’ll actually elect a semi-competent/not completely sociopathic politician. Yeah, I know, that’s the kind of optimism that usually precedes some soul-crushing disappointment that leaves me pondering suicide or emigration to Canada (more or less the same thing). But this time (I tell myself) it’ll be different.
I don’t think it’s just the shitty economy. I think the shitty economy has, for the most part, reminded people that what politicians do actually matters to real people in the real world, as opposed to “real” people in Chris Matthews’ world of self-loathing foppery, but I don’t think it’s just the shitty economy contributing to the overall sense of fail shrouding Republicans at present. I think to attribute this sense of EWW EWW GET IT OFF GET IT OUT GET IT AWAY MOMMY AIEEEEE everyone’s feeling towards the GOP to the economy is to pretend a shit ton of people haven’t done a shit ton of work over the past eight years, and most particularly over the past six, convincing America that stuff is done screwed up but good and let’s quit pretending these pocket pussies know how to fix it.
Eight years, they had. Eight years, bookended by wars and national tragedies and approval ratings of which George Washington could not boast. Two Supreme Court justices, both alike in loathesomeness, a Congress that bent over backwards and kissed its own ass for anything and everything the administration said it needed, I mean, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson are sitting around in the afterlife going, “Dude, could you just imagine what we could have done with this sitch?” and John Adams, puffing on a cigar, is going, “Dude, I KNOW. Where was this deference to a brother’s every whim when I could have used it?” They had everything. They had everything they told people they would need in order to run the world right. They had everything, and they pissed it away.
That people aren’t terribly inclined to let them continue this I’m not surprised by. I am surprised at how fast the tide turned, in the past month or so, at how loud the roar of the approaching wave is in my ears. I’m a deliberate pessimist, it’s a strategy: Plan for all the shit you know could go wrong, because there’s EVER SO MUCH UNPLANNABLE SHIT waiting to explode in your face, so carry a damn flashlight and charge your cellphone already. Then when things come up lovely, it’s a nice surprise, plus you have a flashlight and a fully charged phone. My deliberate pessimism aside, I can’t help but smell the stinking desperation of the seething wingnut hordes and see the gorgeous blue flooding all over the electoral maps and think, “It’s all coming undone for them now.”
And they’ve got no one to blame but themselves.