Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You think I'm nuts, Gregory?

Like a fox, Mr. President.

The sun shone brightly this morning on Missouri, both literally and figuratively. The first warmth in more than a week. Democrats ruling the House. And the Senate. When have you seen a recount change anything?

Hope lives. I smiled. I drank my coffee. I kissed my husband. I smoked a cigarette, that, after last night is still only taxed here at 17 percent. It wasn’t about sin tax, after all; it was about Missouri's state pols squandering targeted tax dollars.

Ahh, the world is good.

Then I woke up. It takes me awhile to really wake up. This is still the same government. We just switched a very few characters around. The same tactics still rule. Campaign rhetoric is hard truth, perhaps manipulated truth, but not aberration. Just like alcohol doesn’t make anyone say or do anything they don’t think or feel when sober, just express it harder and louder. Mel Gibson, stand up.

I took a good, pragmatic look at GW’s press conference.

Rumsfeld fired.

This is a blog, not a White House press conference. The truth, Mr. President, is in the impression you leave, not just the words.

Gonna work together to solve common problems, like in Texas. Sure, that worked well. I’ll post that in a few days. Or you can just read Molly Ivin’s Bushwhacked.

Despite, or precipitating, his jab at Karl Rove, who is winning in his reading contest with GW because, “I obviously was working harder at the campaign than he was,” GW spun a good story.

Go back a few posts here. Consider the Reps, as a party, worked harder at losing.

Consider how the election may have gone if GW had ousted Rumsfeld after the Sunday meeting with Robert Gates. On that alone, the Dems still most likely would have taken the House. But the Senate, well, most likely another story.

And what was that with the neocons, who engineered this whole mess, turning like rabid dogs on GW a couple days before the election? If you thought them sincere when they said they bought an alleged promise from Vanity Fair not to leak the article contents before the election, then I have some ocean front property in St. Louis for you, cheap.

The pundits opine Bush seemed subdued, almost chastened. Okay, so he went farther in that press conference without the goofy grin than I’d seen him go. But what was with the self-satisfied grin and wink to someone (Perhaps David Gregory? A staffer?) at stage right just after the speech and GW’s passable answer to the first press question. No matter what that meant, it’s a secretive communication, a private joke. A grin and a wink are not the actions of someone subdued and chastened.

By the time Dems take their lead (or leads), less than two years will remain until the presidential election. Plenty of time to screw things up further, a nanosecond to make things right in this mess. The Dems will start out in armpit deep floodwater.

It’s fine to be hopeful, joyous. Hell, go get drunk. No matter how you voted, we sent a message that we’re not catatonic sheep anymore. And it was the best chance we had to stop the blood leaking.

However, we need look below surface level for the next two years. With a very wary eye. The Reps may not be the best at looking at the big picture when they govern, but they’re very good at it when it’s their own interests at stake. And their face, GW, outdid himself as an aw-shucks, self-deprecating cowboy this morning. What's more endearing than admitting getting "a thumpin'. " He even makes me like him, and I’m the cranky old cynic, yellow dog Democrat without a real job anymore.

I’m betting, just as the neocons started planning this war the minute Bush Senior’s war was over, they have had a plan for holding on to the next presidency long before these midterms. I have a feeling it included blaming the next two years on parties not themselves.

Right now, I'm going to revel awhile in the fact that I'm not living in a red state anymore. Can you say McCaskill? Stem-cell referendum? Minimum wage hike?

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