Thursday, November 09, 2006

Politico

You can take the girl out of D.C., but you can't take D.C. out of the girl.

On Tuesday, as the polls started closing on the East Coast, I launched my own personal "Election Watch" , which consisted of doing the circuit of CNN, WashPost, Crooks & Liars and Talking Points Memo. I thought that having left D.C., I would be less into it - how wrong I was. Eventually, I left work because I was driving myself nuts AND not getting any work done. After puttering around my apartment, I ended up .... doing the circuit again and chatting with DTG and LB2 re: the Webb-Allen Senate race vote count as it was updated.

Maybe this is how gamblers feel - the raised pulse, the slightly sweaty palms, the attempts to work off some nervous energy. Upon closer examination, the other big reason that I thought I had left it behind is that politics flat-out broke my heart. No, no it's more than that: have you ever been infatuated with someone and then it passes, and with time you begin to wonder how you ever thought that person was even remotely compatible? How the warmth you felt towards them turns into distaste, tempered with an edge of "what the hell was I thinking?"

For me, it's not simply a matter of which political party is in power. It's the erosion of the separation of church & state. It's the dismantling of habeas corpus. It's the careful and calculated unraveling of checks and balances. It's the disenfranchisement and intimidation of voters. These assumptions I've had about my country, what I thought was bedrock and dependable - gone or heavily damaged.

Now, with regime change, I'm taking another look. The saying goes once bitten, twice shy. That's how I feel: tentatively hopeful. Please do a better job. Please return some of the things we've lost. I'm rediscovering myself as a political animal after years of hardening my heart. I'm hesitant. I'm joyful.

4 comments:

roonie said...

So many people are telling me not to get my hopes up yet, but you know, they are up. If they weren't up, I wouldn't give a crap about what happened with Congress, I wouldn't have stayed up late hoping for a Webb-Allen determination...why can't we hope yet? We ought to be able to, we Dems. It's a good time to be hopeful - it's the beginning! A fresh start!

terence said...

nice post

wt said...

I completely identify with the gambler mentality of politics. The stakes are even higher though.

Chai said...

i am just *so* excited! i remember when kerry lost, i literally cried. i remember hating newt so much.

my parents and i just sat in front of the television all night cursing va voters who voted for the macaca. i've never seen my parents so politically active before. it's quite exciting how the donkeys really rally my parents' hearts.