I have to admit, I didn’t think it would belike this.
I didn’t think it would bethis good.
In 2004, I knew it would be hard, though I thought it was obvious. And in 2006 I just figured it would be yet another disappointment, because I was still shell-shocked by how little had changed on the national political scene, becuase the same assholes were still on TV every day telling me the unpopular president was popular and the incompetent Republicans were competent and because it had been a hard damn six years. Then after 2006, when it became clear the moronic pussy brigade was still in charge no matter what letter it had after its name, I think I just got disgusted and pissed off, and my pessimistic front took over. And then of course the primaries.
All during the primaries, once it became violently clear we were either gonna nominate a black dude or a chick to run this gauntlet for us, I kept thinking, “This isn’t going to be good.” No matter how proud I was of my party and my country for putting forth those choices for us, I kept thinking, “This is going to be nasty and small, and mean, and wrong, and in the end that’ll win, because what have the last seven years taught us, except that nasty and small and mean and wrongalways win because people are basically dicks.”
Losing in 2004 was bad, but in lots of ways this was gonna be worse, because I kept seeing so many people full of so much hope and joy that it fuckinghurt, they were so wide awake and in love with the whole world. I think it was in Denver that I thought, “This doesn’t work, it’s gonna be like a goddamn grease-fire burn, it may heal but there will always be that dark shiny scar, the blackened place where all that love used to be.” Because Denver was that good:
That the crash would be that bad.
I didn’t think it would be likethis.
And the joy is starting to take over, random people are starting to smile at each other when they recognize the Obama buttons on each other’s coats in the grocery store, plans are being made for agreat big citywide party and I know not totempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing but comeon, the trees in the park are perfect gold and the sun is shining and maybe, just maybe, we can start to believe.
That if nothing else, if nothing nothing nothing else, we can put paid to this once and for all:
We’ll always have a national dark side. But some signal needs to be sent, at least for a while, that this sort of filth, his character assassination and appeals to race hatred is not an effective life raft for desperate opportunists looking to save themselves by degrading this country. A McCain defeat would go some way to accomplishing that.
In a lot of ways I still can’t believe it isn’t working.It isn’t working, how crazy is that? Maybe it’s not nasty and mean and smallenough; I was driving to run some errands last week and overheard George Wallace ads being replayed on NPR, the same “law and order” argumentsconservative bloggers are making today, and I thought, “McCain’s been so much more subtle than that.” Less racist than George Wallace, there’s an accomplishment to hang on your wall. Still, he’s been nasty and mean and small, and maybe it would have worked, but something else is going on here.
You can’t put it all down to the economy. And you can’t give all the credit to the elite pundits finally getting pissed off that McCain isn’t their pal anymore, though that’s a lot of it, that the mystique of McCain is over. The numbers are what turned this, the polls that people who would otherwise like to dictate the narrative were forced to take into account; the hundreds of thousands of people who were standing up and saying, “Fuck it, enough of this.” Making it so that it wasn’t close enough to make stuff up. Shaming where shame was called for. Standing in line, for eight or ten or twelve hours, to say, “No more.”
And if it seems like we’re already celebrating a victory that has yet to be won, maybe it’s because that’s the victory, the repudiation of what Bush and Rove wrought in our country, the decimation of the idea that being nasty and small and mean and racist is enough, enough to get you close, enough to get you by, enough to make it past us this time. That’s the something that is happening right now.