December 06, 2006
Picture this: it's November 7th — the day of the midterm elections has finally rolled around. Those of us who've opposed the current regime for the last six years are feeling a bit gun shy.
I wait to vote until after work, and it's dark and rainy — a gloom seems to have settled over the whole day. I vote in an historic one-room schoolhouse: George Washington and Abe Lincoln stare down from their places of honor above the old oak frame of what was once the slate blackboard. We still have the old-fashioned voting machines that remind me of the control panel of the Wizard of Oz — "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"
It's a little slice of American Pie and it feels just right when you go in to exercise your right to vote. So, I cast my vote (straight Democratic ticket) and was off to a party in the estate area of Southampton to eat a buffet dinner and watch the early results in a home theater.
It was so early in the evening, a mere 1% of the vote had been counted in most races, so our host hits the mute button and decided to play an interesting game. She instructed everyone, in the order in which we were seated around the room, to tell the assembly what the political climate was in which we were raised and what our politics are now.
Some were guarded and shy about the whole thing, and brusquely threw out a few carefully worded sentences. Others took this as the opportunity to present a twisting and winding oration that sometimes made sense, and other times took a flight of fancy. The drama in the room was palpable. What energized me was the fact that whether Republican or Democrat, Right or Left, Red or Blue, Conservative or Liberal, everyone believed the government was broken and in need of change.
Tired from a long day (and full from the repast) I was one of the first to leave, deciding that in the morning I'd hear the outcome and, in my rested state, I'd deal with the facts. I still had bad memories from 2000 and 2004, you see. I waited up into the wee hours on those Election Days past, only to add devastation to my lack of sleep. Lo and behold, that didn't happen this time.
My Webster's dictionary defines the word "thump" thusly: to strike or beat heavily. On Wednesday President Bush uncharacteristically used the language quite skillfully to describe what went down the day before. The voice of the people demanding change was the sound produced by the 'thumping' given to his Party and their policies. The word "eject" also comes to mind, which means: to expel, as from a place or a position — as in the hasty departure of warlord Donald Rumsfeld.
Only a week before, Bush told the press that his main man Rummie would be staying on no matter what. Was he lying, or is this behavior an explicit demonstration of the disarray the current Administration is in? I suppose one leads to the other. The political confection was sweetened by three different treats that day, the removal of Rumsfeld being but one. The biggest delight is, of course, the Democrats winning a majority in both the House and the Senate. This pretty much assures the remaining two years of Bush's tenure will be drastically curbed. Does the phrase "lame duck" come to mind?
The President's nominee as a replacement Secretary of Defense is his close pal Robert Gates, a former Director of the CIA — that organization which assured us all of the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. He's going to face some pretty stiff scrutiny. In fact, the Dance of Death & Destruction Bush and cronies have been hosting in the Middle East may soon be winding down.
The third delicacy cooked up in The Yankee Stew is truly irresistible: Nancy Pelosi will be the Speaker of the House. Let's all savor the next two years. Except for the Right Wingers who'll be eating crow.