You Had Your Chance

From The Poor Man Institute:

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.


10 thoughts on “You Had Your Chance

  1. I would rather sit in a cigar bar smoking a stogie w/the forefathers’ corpses than EVER drink a beer w/the current regime and the pretenders to the throne: McCant/Pales-in-comparison.
    As usual A, STELLAR post! You rock!

  2. …the nice thing about a having a healthy dose of pessimism is that one can enjoy the pleasant surprise when things turn out OK without having to suffer the punishing lows when they pan out just about the way you expected. I’ve long been a fan of bone-deep pessimism as a survival strategy…

  3. After watching and listening to the Dylan UTube segment above this and remembering the utter depression of that era, caused largely by Nixon and the Vietnam war, this really resonated with me. Sure, the economy is headed south for who knows how long, and the McCain campaign seems to be locked into a KKK phase, and the Iraq fiasco seems unstoppable, plus the Afghanistan adventure is doomed to fail, but, and it is a really big but: this horrible nightmare may finally end in only 3 1/2 months. I’m not sure I remember how to feel proud of our government now. I know there was a time when being an American seemed to be the best thing that could happen to anyone. I still can’t stop believing that our voters will commit mass insanity all over again next month.

  4. Changes come slower to some places than others. The Republic of SE Texas is still red,red,red. Still there is some blue and it is spreading, or at least becoming less shy. I honestly don’t know what it takes if after 8 years, they still can’t tolerate “liberal” as a step in the right direction. Vexing.

  5. At long last, has a lesson been learned? Is McCain the dying gasp of desperate conservatives? Although I think the pendulum may have swung, it’s still a pendulum and the rotting corpse of conservatism will be re-animated in another form in the future. This is the chance to show what real progressive politics can accomplish; if it’s blown, Zombie Reagan will again walk the earth.

  6. Jack, I wish it worked that way for me. I’m very careful to keep my hopes low, but I’m the very definition of a cynic–a disillusioned idealist. I have such strong feelings about where the country is headed that even when I expect the worst, when it happens, it still hurts.
    Please, all the gods that may or may not be, not this time. Please, don’t put me through 2004 to the 15th power. Because that’s what it would be like. And I just don’t think I could do that again.

  7. it’s looking like obama will win. i hope.
    i was ten years old when dylan made this recording. to me it was an astonishingly hopeful time. i saw people around me standing up and making things happen.
    remembering that hope brings tears of longing to be living in that country again.

  8. elspeth,
    only morons dumb enough to vote for george W.orst bush…twice would want to drink a beer with that fool. they somehow easily forgot that he couldn’t drink anymore because he fucks up so bad…sober.

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