Wednesday, November 05, 2008

With hope, good morning.


In the end, it fell easily into our laps like leaves falling off a changing tree.

Of course, I can say it all seemed so easy because I wasn’t out there in a swing state knocking on doors and telling people to get their asses to the polls. I appreciate that Obama’s campaign was probably one of the most difficult political accomplishments since Henry VIII basically overnight changed everyone in England from Catholic to Church of Hot New Wives. But once the returns began to roll in, it became quickly apparent that this was not 2000, nor 2004. There were too many of us, and we could not be denied.

So what’s the difference? Why so comparatively easy this time?

How about this: the difference was the guy.

As much as I love Al Gore, and still have hot sex dreams about him wherein he shows me a PowerPoint presentation about all the different ways he’d like to raise my core temperature, and as much as we all now of course realize that he would’ve made a kick-ass president, Al didn’t inspire voters to stand in line for 8 hours at the polls. Oh no, not American voters. Yes, we want policies that we can believe in, but we also want to be on our couches by 6 p.m. with a beer in our hand.

And Kerry – well…Christ. Who wasn’t holding their nose on that one? The guy would have made a serviceable president, and it goes without saying that he was about 25 gazillion times more capable than the alternative, but still. You’d think the guy could’ve managed to go one day in his campaign without acting like an asshole. And his wife! She made Cindy McCain look like Mother fucking Theresa.

Last night, one of pundits said something that made me realize that part of the reason I ended up loving Obama was that he was ice cold, baby. Nothing phased him. McCain would lie to his face, and he would smile and raise his hand to the moderator to refute. And as much as people praised his gift of elevated oratory, Obama’s victory was a victory of logic over emotional appeal, of Spock over Kirk, as we all collectively realized that the fat, bald, old warrior playboy so wasn’t capable of saving us anymore.

So the Obama campaign got it right. They let Obama be Obama, and trust that we would eventually all come along for the ride. They didn’t goad him into phony expressions of emotion like Hillary’s fakey laughter and Gore’s exaggerated eye-rolling. The McCampaign can not claim the same kind of foresight, as they sought desperately to reinvent their candidates at least once a week. After experiencing one of the biggest “OH SHIT” moments in the history of presidential races, the McCain camp sought at first to hide Palin from a skeptical press, and, when that didn’t work, and after numerous calls from within their own party to “free Sarah Palin,” they finally unleashed her onto a mostly receptive public. However, that public soon discovered that, contrary to how she had been described to us by the toady scribes on the right, Palin was not curious, not intelligent, not witty, and did not possess a talent for campaigning.

What she could do, was honk out pre-fab lines in a voice that would embarrass the average cartoon character, wink, and look good in expensive clothes. She was nothing less than an base insult to serious female public servants everywhere. In short order, most Americans went from expecting to be delighted & charmed by this new breed of VP pick, to wondering why she would apparently eat a big hot steaming bowl of ignorance for breakfast each and every morning. Believe me, nothing about this campaign gives me greater pleasure than the thought of her packing up her suitcase full of ambition and disappearing into the Alaskan wilderness for the next four years, and hopefully forever. And if she’s ever lost in that wilderness, I sorely hope that the wildlife of her home state shows the same compassion and mercy to her that she has shown to them.

And of course, I have to give big ups to BushCo. Without the complete pillaging of the American economy, it would’ve been difficult for this flawed nation of ours to imagine electing the black dude with the scary name.

Last night, when it became apparent that the imminent closing of the polls on the West Coast would bring a momentous announcement from the networks, I quietly pulled a bottle of Mo√ęt from the liquor cabinet and slid it into the freezer to chill. I am, as I have said before, a big believer in the rule of not mentioning a no-hitter to a pitcher, but I thought that if Spooney and my friends didn’t notice me, then the gods of jinx would spare me from their wrath. The champagne had barely chilled at all when I popped the cork on the final word of McCain’s quite gracious concession speech, but no one seemed to care. After all the times I have lamented, over the past eight years, our dismal tendency to repeat and repeat and repeat the same sad mistakes of governance, with the same pitiable and often deadly results, I suddenly felt the weight of inevitability lift from my shoulders. Yes, I thought, as I cast my glad eyes upon the faces of my beyond joyous friends, history will repeat itself. Except when you show courage, and then it can be writ anew.

29 comments:

Spooney said...

"Believe me, nothing about this campaign gives me greater pleasure than the thought of her packing up her suitcase full of ambition and disappearing into the Alaskan wilderness for the next four years, and hopefully forever. And if she’s ever lost in that wilderness, I sorely hope that the wildlife of her home state shows the same compassion and mercy to her that she has shown to them."

Amen to that, baby!
Nice post

Frank Sirmarco said...

This is why I don't attempt political posts - true eloquence escapes me.

Not you, though.

Perfect.

SFNative said...

Another great piece. I want to start a weekly commentary show with you and SJ.

All I need is to get her to move to Indiana and get you to move back here.

I'm begging.

On my frickin' knees.

Bubs said...

Great post! I agree with you about Gore and especially Kerry--the man was a stiff (he looks like Herman Munster was my youngest daughter's astute snap judgment, and in that moment I knew he wouldn't be president). Kerry especially made it clear that you can't elect a president because you're all AGAINST something. As much as we were already infuriated by Bush in 2004, it turned out that all that anti-Bush anger wasn't enough. As McCain found out, you can't win a campaign by stoking anger against your opponent--you have to stand for something yourself.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Spooney: I thought you would like that one.

Frank: Ah, the elusive Sirmarco! Thank you, I am pleased you are pleased.

SFN: Sure, when hell freezes over and becomes a frozen tundra upon which Alaskan sportsmen run wild in snarling packs as they are relentlessly hunted from the air. With automatic weapons.

Bubs: I rewrote an old joke for Kerry: John Kerry walks into a bar, and the bartender says "Hey, why the long face?"

SFNative said...

V:

Cool! See you Thursday.

SkylersDad said...

I do hope that the country can show some patience now, and that people will not expect the 8 years of ravaging can be turned around in a week or two.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

"As much as I love Al Gore, and still have hot sex dreams about him wherein he shows me a PowerPoint presentation about all the different ways he’d like to raise my core temperature"

...but does he know anything about guitar amps?

I didn't think so.

Point: Spooney

Flannery Alden said...

Awesome post. I'm right there with you Vikki...especially the hot Al Gore dreams.

SJ said...

Do you know what got me? Jesse Jackson, man, seeing him out there crying in the crowd. Made me sob like a baby. You know it's life changing when Jesse fucking Jackson gets to you.

Grant Miller said...

I totally agree - it all came down to the candidate. That's why I hoped and hoped and hoped Obama would win over his primary opponents. Not that I disliked any of them, I just felt they lacked the ability to inspire - and turn that into votes.

And personally, McCain's campaign sometimes reminded me of Kerry's. An inability to stay on point going up against someone as cool as Obama - he never had a chance.

Dad E said...

Your words are beautiful.

Twas an emotional night for me. Once, tears flowed. The night was special here in Chicago. There were more people in Grant Park that in all of of Alaska.

McCain made a very gracious speech and I thought, "where has this McCain been throughout the campaign"? Until he thought he needed to praise Palin that is.

Some thoughtful Republicans expressed a need to sit down and see how they meet the needs of the country better. If they do, how could they possibly think Palin has a future somewhere where there are lots of people with different skin tones.

Then there was Jesse Jackson in the crowd waving his little American flag and it hit me again how the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans and that Jesse may have to find a new line of work.

The long campaign is over. The task before us and our new President will be challenging and I expect the changes necessary will produce hardships. But if can stay united in our purpose to restore our vision of American, we will succeed. E pluribus unum, baby, e pluribus unum.

GETkristiLOVE said...

You always did prefer Spock to Kirk.

Other than that, I'm with Frank. I can't even comment eloquently on powerful political posts (whoa, Albert Brooks voice), much less write them.

kirby said...

I am keeping what you said about political unicorns in mind, but for now, I'm pretty damn happy.

SJ said...

also, I don't think any of us would have wept had the nominee been Hillary Clinton. I don't even care if she is a woman. She doesn't instill this kinda stuff.

mary catherine said...

first off is dad e your actual dad? cuz i might be in love with his loving, thoughtful comment to his BRILLIANT daughter's post :) and also when a father and daughter are on the same page politically...instant tears.

second: vikki. vikki! this post was beautiful. and the best part of all of this--no--ONE of the MANY best parts of all of this--is to watch/see/feel the terrible weight of cynicism being veeeeeeery carefully removed from all our shoulders. we're all--"really??! maybe i'll put it back on, right? no? REALLY???" so gorgeous, v. thank you!. i am a disciple.

and i agree with both you and dad e that the mccain speech was gracious and pointed up how terrifying his supporters are.

and i agree with sj that a hillary win would have been very different.

and i agree with you about the al gore sex dreams. power-point know-how combined with a green/eco-savvy sensibility is a winning combo :) see you this weekend!!!!

Marsupial said...

Vikki -- I can't believe you waited until (nearly) 8pm to chill the booze. I popped the first cork as soon as MSNBC called Ohio!

Some Guy said...

I have been waiting a long time to read your victory post. It was worth it. You remain the best political writer on the internet, bar none.

Cheer34 said...

Thank you for writing what I can't...you speak for me

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Brillaint. This post was so good it gave me chills.

Phil said...

Forgive me for repeating everyone else, but this is a wonderful post.

I thought the same of Obama's coolness as he was waving to the crowd with Biden. Biden was grinning from ear to ear, but Obama had no smile.

jessica said...

I can't even think of a better compliment than what has already been commented on, here. I am sharing your URL with a friend, who (hopefully) will share with another friend, and another, and...

Great. GREAT. GREAT!

vikkitikkitavi said...

SkyDad: For sure the Republicans will try to pressure the media into buying into unrealistic expectations. But the fact that Democrats did not get us into this de-reg nightmare should count for something, theoretically. When the fuck are we going to learn that de-regulation always results in disaster???

Randy: Did you forget about the 1987 amplifier crisis? Al Gore was instrumental in brokering the historic digital v. analog test treaty.

Flan: That picture of him kissing Tipper at the 2000 Democratic Convention totally gets me worked up.

SJ: I know, I know, I was all "Oh, Jesse Jackson." But you know that he was thinking that it shoulda been him.

Grant: Well, I think he actually did have a chance. But he would've had to develop some domestic policies that weren't, you know, fucking horrible. I mean, taxing people's health benefits? Are you fucking kidding me?

DadE: Thanks, Dad, but I guess you didn't hear that Todd Palin is part "Eskimo," and that the Palins have to deal with racial prejudice back home in Alaska all the time because of that. Yes, she actually said that. It's hard to imagine a person who has risen so high in government can be so completely un-self-aware.

GKL: Logic is hawt.

Kirby: Well remembered! I may not seem like it, but I am keeping it in mind too.

SJ: I think Hillary's a decent enough public servant, but can she inspire anything, besides a few hundred PUMAs to act like complete fucking idiots?

MaryCat: Yes, DadE is my real dad, and also my sister GetKristiLove's real dad. See the first and second links in my blog role for their blogs. And now you know where I get it from. I am looking forward to see you again, soon!

Marsupial: Did you learn NOTHING from the last two presidential elections????

SomeGuy: Well, you know, your blog remains a true source of humor and pleasure in my day, so that actually means a lot to me. Thank you.

Cheer34: Really? Wow. Thank you, baby.

Dr.MVM: Thank you, and it just occurred to me that Chill Monkeys might be a good band name.

Phil: Thanks, and yeah, I think you caught his version of the "oh shit" look.

Jessica: Thank you, new reader, yes, feel free to expand my readership, if you can. One day I plan to rule the world through my blog.

Admittedly, it's not a very good plan.

dguzman said...

Vik--at the risk of repeating what others have already said--I've been waiting for your take, and I wasn't disappointed. Pure bloggy gold, baby.

Isn't it amazing how this man can make it happen? I don't know if we've ever seen a politician with this much charisma, and I'm counting Bill Clinton in there. And this guy's got the personal governor on Little Barack that will keep him from Clinton's moral failings.

This guy--he's special. He's one-of-a-kind. I can't remember ever being this proud to be an American, even after the Olympic team beat the Russians.

SFNative said...

"Did you forget about the 1987 amplifier crisis? Al Gore was instrumental"

LOL

"Instrumental"

I get it. That's a good one.

Zoe said...

Love you Cuz - It was amazing sharing this historic moment with you!

Thanks for the Thai Food and the Moet. TOPS!

jcat said...

Well said. Cheers. Jcat

Red said...

Two Democrats from above the Mason-Dixon line were elected. I feel more like I belong here than I ever have before.

Grant Miller said...

Just out of curiousity, will blogging be more difficult with President Obama in office? I'm thinking it will, but that's me.