Saturday, November 08, 2008

So I think my favorite thing about this election season was just how little I cared. I'm not saying that 'cause I'm necessarily proud of this fact, but at the same time I'm not necessarily ashamed either. It's just a fact. Everyone was running around talking about how this was the "most important election of our time." Yeah, until we have the next "most important election of our time" in 2012. Most important? Yeah, circlejerk.

I think back to 2004 and I was feeling it. Not in the masturbatory sense, but, hey wait, that's pretty much what it was -- masturbation. I was all into politics and blogging my guts out and stoked to vote and shit, and it ended up very unsatisfying. And not just 'cause my guy didn't win, because Kerry was never "my guy." He just wasn't "the other guy" and the fact that just about every choice in politics seems to come down to picking the lesser of two evils is one of the primary things pissing me off so much and keeping me completely demotivated from getting involved.

Maybe it's just cause I'm so jaded that Obama couldn't ever really excite me like he did a lot of people. Oh, I'll certainly admit he's gonna be something different in the White House in so many ways. The problem I had with everyone is that they would not get off the notion that seemingly just electing Obama would guarantee that everything would get better. As I just said, yeah, there is a ton of promise there. But once the euphoria dies down, people might realize, shit, there's a metric assload of stuff to get done. Even if the Obama crowd would get a little ahead of themselves sometimes, Obama himself is a realist, and he showed that in yesterday's press conference. Well, he'd better be realistic, but if he's being upfront about it that's a good sign.

And how 'bout that Democratic congress? I'm both amazed that people thought it was a lock for them to further swing the pendulum in their direction and that it actually happened. I mean, the only ones with a shittier approval rating than Bush was Congress. I know everyone will make excuses that they were hampered by an obstinate Republican president, but fuck that. The Democrats accomplished pretty much nothing because they are spineless. My favorite description of our two main parties, courtesy of Lewis Black, is still the most succinct: "The Democrats are a party of no ideas and the Republicans are a party of bad ideas."

Also, guess what? Democratic president, democratic congress... Hmmm, back to de facto single party rule, are we? Okay, the judiciary has swung to the right in recent years, but the other two branches are solidly D now. On principle if nothing else I just don't like the idea that there could be very little real debate going on and it's nothing but a bunch of rubber-stamping going on. But, who knows, this might be a time when it will be a good thing, 'cause I think it's pretty clear that we need quick action on a lot of things. Always hard to balance due haste and getting shit done.

Either way, I really don't think it will be anywhere near as bad as the six years of Team Bush and a Republican majority in Congress, but you know what? If shit sucks four or eight years from now, everyone will just blame the Democrats and kick them all out and usher in a new era of Republican rule. This is just how it works; this cycle always repeats itself.

As mentioned above, along with the fact that there's a "been here, done this" feel to things, the fact that all of these politicians are douchebags is terribly uninspiring. Is Obama different? I really don't know. This guy showed up on the scene four years ago, and at the time it was illegal to mention his name without including the phrase "rising star" in the same sentence. One of the biggest planks in his platform was, of course, the fact that he did not vote to authorize the Iraq war like many of his competitors. Fantastic, since he was not even able to do that. I don't know if he publicly stated an opinion or not at the time, but it's irrelevant 'cause you never really know what someone will do unless they're actually in the situation under discussion. Period. At least with Obama's competitors I knew they were full of shit but at least I knew the brand they were peddling; I still dunno if we really know this Obama guy. Now the guy's gonna be president.

It's entirely possible that this guy just showed up at the right time and said all the right things to tap into prevailing sentiments at the time. Now, I'm not saying that this was necessarily the case -- I simply don't know. I just can't help but at least question it, though. Especially when, well, have you heard about politicians before?

Once more, though, despite all the above -- cautiously optimistic. Just because I don't know one way or the other of course doesn't mean he isn't the real deal, although you'll forgive me if I'm not rhetorically fellating him on the level of many out there. I honestly didn't think we were at a point where the existing racism in our country would allow us to elect a black president. Half black. Anyway, I was dead wrong on that one. And the new powers that be would have to try very, very hard to fuck things up like has been done the past eight years. For the time being there is a lot of potential for us to improve our standing in the world and get shit done here at home, and it's just an oh-so-simple matter of whether or not we can actually realize that potential.

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