There was much gloating to be done, and at the level of blood sport -- the same level on which bloodthirsty, cutthroat Republicans have acted every single day for four consecutive years. This was going to be sweet, I thought, too delicious for words, and would soothe a long-dry palate, removing the foul GOP aftertaste that always dogged the vintage of each new year.
A quick search found a live stream from Romney Campaign Headquarters. And here, at 11:30 p.m. Eastern, America had dodged a lethal bullet. The joyous cork was popped, the glass filled, and the sip made, watching poleaxed GOP supporters online -- and just that fast, the sizzling effervescence slipped from that golden moment and champagne stream, and every bubble popped. The joy was instantly fizzled and flattened, set stone flat.
It turns out I am not much of a gloater.
It's probably a byproduct of having a far left mind-and-heart-set, a missing gene in Progressives and Social Democrats, no doubt -- one normally embedded in endless chains, but only in Republicans.
There was still relief from the now-obsolete threat of invasion by Romneybots. I have my beefs with Obama, but at least he's not Romney. We would not now be taken over by 19/26ths of Dubya's advisors, just for starters, and no nightmare cabinets of certifiable psychos would keep emerging. There was still plenty of joy in Mudville.
But, I had gone shopping, looking for Republicans to demonstrate some sense of awareness and shame for what they have put this poor country through for the last four years, and I was not finding that. I wanted to see expressions of them realizing, for the first time, the extent to which every average, everyday Republican had been manipulated and played for fools and tools by the back-room billionaires and their blaring, trumpeting-propaganda media machines...
Instead, I was seeing only human tragedies, in shock, as at the scene of an accident, where there are no insightful moments sported by spectators, and no comedies crossing faces. In a crowd standing around a raised stage, a close-up: A young woman's eyes filled almost to overflowing. In another, a young man, seated, held his head in his hands, slowly turning it right, then left.
There were lots of thousand-yard stares among the American everybodies there -- all dolled up for the big night in suits and gowns, awaiting The Cinderella Prom that would never come.
As climaxes go in American historical novels, this was a surprise reversal, a trick ending for these readers, completely anti-climactic. Crushing, not climactic -- not at all.
Pity started to build, then I realized they would not receive that if offered. Besides, pity would have been too generous, even now. No, it was more empathy, plain and simple: They looked a lot like we had looked, when the right-wing, activist Supreme Court suspended democracy and installed its own candidate in 2000.
* * * * *
It was a telling time, Mitt taking his private jets between appearances, pinging from airport to airport, then going by limo to some point outside the next town, in order to board the campaign bus, drive a few miles into town, and be seen emerging from his just-like-us ride, all that long way, with his people, coming in on the bus.
Appearances can be deceiving. This time they were not. Lie after lie, every step of the way. And now, Mitt's supporters are starting to see it, too -- catching sight of it, some of them, for the very first time.
So, for all you 57,208,649 supporters, at last count, a word to the wise: Your pain will not be forgotten, because it cannot be. But, if it helps any, the searing intensity of it starts to fade after the first 7 or 8 years. It's been 12 years since Dubya was forced on us. The pain never goes into remission.
* * * * *
It was a constant ghost-town feeling: President Clinton, the previous standard bearer of the Democratic Party in the Oval Office, always stumping for President Obama -- at the national convention, interviews, appearances...
But, the previous flag-bearer for the GOP in the White House, President George "Dubya" Bush, was nowhere to be seen. Not even so much as a report sent or smuggled in by secret messenger from a bunker in an unnamed location. Nothing.
I wonder if rank and file Republicans took notice and, if they did, what they made of that. From what I can see, Dubya was packed away in mothballs and isolated, having more baggage than a suitcase factory, or O'Hare airport during the winter holidays.
No wonder: It's an 8-year-long record of terror, failure, fear, moral bankruptcy, financial incompetency, and overall malfeasance. Or maybe it was just the war crimes that kept him undercover.
If Republicans never questioned his absence before, they should now. It may not be part of your make-up to think for yourself -- instead, only taking orders from the hierarchy that gives you a sense of comfort and structure. Dubya's absence is part of why your team lost. Think about that.
* * * * *
We dodged a bullet. There was an invasion of Romneybots, thwarted. We turned back the red tide... All the euphemisms of loss are dribbling around today, making the rounds from pundit to pundit. A friend had the perfect take on things. "Well, good news, the Mayans were wrong. Thank Kukulcan!"
* * * * *
This morning, 16 million popular votes, and 93 electoral ones, had not been mysteriously switcheroo'd overnight into the Romney pile. It appears that despite many appearances -- no names, Florida and Wisconsin -- this Democracy is not yet fully-chloroformed or out cold on the slab, back at the lab.
* * * * *
One of the brightest moments last night came from what turned out to be a hoaxed story: Dubya being confused by voting instructions and on-screen information, accidentally voting for Obama and trying to get the situation reversed. All the best hoaxes contain 100% Grade-A Truth and Believability as main ingredients.
* * * * *
Wisps of the evening, passing through, in and around the sprinklings and waves of news:
- An estimated one million commercials aired in 9 battleground states, the AP said
- Mitt told reporters he'd written only an acceptance speech
- GOP Senate candidate Mourdock (aka Mr. Pregnancy-from-rape-is-something-God-intended) was defeated, saying he was attacked for his principles -- a clear indication that psychos do not know they are psychotic and should keep taking their medicines.
- A prediction tweeted: "I am confident in saying that President Obama is going to carry the state of Florida tonight," from Florida-and SCOTUS-burned 2000 Democratic candidate, Al Gore.
- An indication of Romney's strength over McCain's, 4 years ago, via a tweet from Chuck Todd: "It took Barack Obama exactly 12 minutes to win a second term this year," he said, noting the 11 p.m. call in 2008 and the 11:12 p.m. call this year.
- And, another stray philosopher in the fray: "It is traditional at this time for the defeated party to examine its defeat and come up with all the wrong reasons for it," tweeted Roger Simon.
* * * * *
Some assorted sticky-note reminders from last night, for emails to send later:
Dear Mr. President: Congratulations on your re-election. I urge you to gather your party together and tell them they need to link arms and provide a united front against the next 4 years of Republican blockades. The GOP succeeds ONLY because they unite in lockstep while we scatter off into the four winds.
Dear Democrats and Concerned Voters: President Obama told us to hold his feet to the fire when he got elected 4 years ago, and make him act as we wanted, knowing full well he would need a clear majority of us at his back for support, and to demonstrate the will of the People to all, Republicans included. We didn't do that. We need to, we have to, we should. We must.
Dear Blue Dogs: You want to be Republicans, change your party affiliation. If you want to remain a Democrat, start acting like one, and fast. Immediately. Right away. Now!
Dear Democrats, P.S.: Stop electing Blue Dogs. They are diluting our strengths, and we need to stop deluding ourselves they are worth our time. Beat the bushes and put up candidates with Democratic and Progressive ideals. Enough of these horse-excrement candidates, already!
Dear Fellow Americans: Let's fix this crazy quilt, patchwork voting system we have in this country. If candidates can cough up $6 billion for attack ads, campaigns can start peeling off 10 or 20% of their war chests for helping upgrade the system. Suggestion: Vote by mail. Secure. Paper trail. Easily recountable, unlike hackable, unsecure, questionable, electronic voting machines. With vote-by-mail, no one fights crowds, crazed polling places, or the whims of politicians regarding operating hours, locations, rules -- and nobody has to wait for hours in the cold or rain, wrapped around a building three times. Unless you really enjoy that stuff, let's change.
* * * * *
It will be good to move on to something else. Politics has its intrigues and interests, but it's wearing. It keeps coming down to the same thing, over and over. See, there's two ways to change someone's mind and affect behavior: reason or force. (Reward? Sure -- that's under "reason.")
Anyway: Republicans are not going to listen to reason. They are not interested in logic, facts, and reason. They are not reachable in that way. We will never discover the perfect, magical sequence that will suddenly help them see the light and the error of their ways. Trying is a waste of time.
Republicans are only interested in their team -- always the team, the hierarchy. They enjoy being cogs, finding a niche pointed out for them, and doing as they're told. Why else would the GOP's rank and file consistently vote against their own best interests? Why would they support such treacherous, traitorous activity from their own? Why vote for a party that has never yet had one of their members do a single thing for the regular, everyday American?
So, there you go: Republicans will not listen to reason, and Democrats, Independents, and others, refuse to use any form of force. It all boils down to this: You can't reason with them, and we won't force them. You enjoy commenting on perpetual stalemates, hey -- knock yourself out. (And, trust me -- sooner or later, you will.)
* * * * *
What's next for me? Great question. Maybe high-speed NASCAR shuffleboard or jet-pack badminton. Abrams tank yarn-bombing, maybe -- something really off the wall. I know -- maybe bagpipe skydiving! Imagine: You're plunging toward Earth at 160 miles an hour, trying to work over an impossible, air-filled bladder, trying to force it to drone, moan, and squawk its guts out through vibrating double reeds, with the ground coming up fast, no time left on the clock...
Yeah, it is, now that you mention it. Sort of like politics. But, without the hard landing, with any luck.
Help yourself to this accordion file of notes, if you like:
What else can you get for $6 billion? http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/11/05/164338789/what-else-could-6-billion-buy
More Koch-ing around: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/05/173636/11-million-donation-tied-to-koch.html
Why isn't Husted in DOJ custody or in jail yet? http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/11/05/1141691/the-serious-flaw-with-ohios-plan-to-count-provisional-ballots/
Tip of the iceberg on lack of voting security: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/2012/1106/US-judge-allows-Ohio-voting-software-alleged-to-be-vulnerable-to-fraud
Fox struggles with truth, as always: http://www.npr.org/2012/11/07/164576251/media-circus-fox-struggles-with-obamas-win
Karl Rove (Bush's turd blossom) objects to a logic call: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/11/07/164586847/video-an-awkward-moment-as-karl-rove-objects-to-foxs-ohio-call
2012 election takeaways: http://www.policymic.com/articles/18757/who-won-the-popular-vote-9-takeaways-from-election-day-2012
And, from the crumpled, crinkled stuff at the bottom of the file:
Romney the note-smuggler: http://whowhatwhy.com/2012/10/06/did-romney-cheat-during-debate-by-smuggling-in-notes/
And, despite my applause for the BBC, here is the worst moment of the 2012 election season, bar none -- how celebrities will vote. (BBC: WTF? I mean, who really cares?)