Killing Time

November 07, 2006 by susan

by susan lenfestey

I don't know about you, but the waiting is killing me. E-mails are coming in with predictions, all of them mixed, as I suspect the results will be. Some good people going down, some wackos going to Congress, some great victories ahead.

The going call seems to be that we're going to get enough to control the House; not enough to take the Senate. Local races for Governor and Secretary of State, too close to call. A grey day here in MN, but warm, no excuse to stay home for weather. High turnout good for Democrats, or so the old wisdom used to go. That changed when states like Ohio started providing too few voting machines, forcing people in (only) Democratic districts to stand in line for 8-10 hours.

Election day used to be much more fun and exhilerating. No one paid much attention to the polls, the count would come in slowly and (we believed) fairly, and the stakes never felt so high. Okay, maybe with Kennedy against Nixon. And Mondale v. Reagan. Okay, maybe all of them, but we didn't have the sort of culture of animosity we have today.

I confess, (it's in vogue) I am part of that culture of animosity. I feel it not only towards George Bush and Dick Cheney, but towards anyone who has a single good word to say about either one. I breathe scorching animosity towards all things evangelical, with a trickle down of hot breath saved for most things religious.

I swear, I used to be more open and forgiving, but I've been driven to this by -- my husband! That's it. Taking another page from pastor Ted's playbook here. Haggard's wife, we're told, is partially to blame for his meth and massage habits. Says an evangelical pastor, " It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either."

Okay, Jim may not be responsible for my intolerance, but he's not helping it either because he's not always bitchily available. He's working on it. Haggard's wife, on the other hand, with five kids to tend and Haggard's tendency to hole up in Denver hotels while trolling gay bars to bring sinners to Jesus, has no excuse. Bitch.
Yes, I'm rambling. Nervous. Should take up knitting. Praying. Novenas. Right.

My ex-sis-in-law Meg recently had to spend time with her new husband's old college friends. All but Meg and husband, Republican. All but Meg and husband, Christian. Devout. Evangelicaholic. As one of the women went on line to "attend" her Sunday church service back in Texas, she asked Meg what church she attends, and gasped when Meg said none. Meg writes, "Then she recounted the lecture she gave her 19 year old daughter because she caught her in bed with a woman, assuring her daughter that the Bible forbids 'butch' relationships. When I told her my only son was gay, she flinched and said she would pray for him, so that he might change his choice to be gay. And I had to be pleasant."

As a member of the culture of animosity, I say to Meg, "NO, you do NOT!" We Democrats have been trying too hard to be pleasant. Time's up. I think she should have said, (okay, pleasantly) "Fuck you, you ignoramus. I'll pray that you be given a brain before you die, so you can choose to be informed." Something like that. Then again, Meg was pleasant to my brother for a long time too.

Okay, here in Minnesota it's likely that we're going to have a woman just like that, who prays rather than thinks, represent our 6th District in Congress. And it's making me just --- a---- little----bit----tense.

So I'll go take a hot bath, drink tea and other tonics, and head to St. Paul to celebrate Amy Klobuchar's victory, and let the other chips fall where they may. We may not get all the change we want in this round, but the tide's turning. Isn't it?

Posted in

Comments

Anonymous (not verified) | November 7, 2006 - 6:53pm

Well....at least you are willing to admint that you are intolerant.

I thought that an appreciation of diversity was a virture you held over us knuckle-draggers???

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Soolen (not verified) | November 8, 2006 - 12:48pm

Dear Anon,

Intolerance is like any other chronic disease that rears up in times of stress. Think of it like psoriasis of the psyche, or irritable brain syndrome. And I was very stressed out when I wrote that. And sort of having fun giving vent to my spleen.

I'm actually sympathetic to those who find their intolerance flaring up when stressed or afraid (ergo,my own recent episode). It's hard and scary to raise kids in today's sleazy sex and violence crazed culture, and I understand why so many people turn to the seeming safety of religions that offer strict rules and all the answers, whatever the denomination. And I think Democrats like me need to tread more lightly on the people who find comfort in their faith, so I'm sorry for that aspect of yesterday's screed. (See, when fear subsides, I'm quite tolerant again.)

On the other hand, no administration in recent memory has used that stress and fear, nay, fed it steroids, than the Bushers -- whether fear of a coming Sodom and Gomorrha or a coming terrorist attack. And, like I said, that fear breeds intolerance, which is why you knuckle-draggers still win in that department.

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max (not verified) | November 8, 2006 - 6:33pm

Intolerance of intolerance is not intolerance. In the true mathmatical sence, it is a double negative. It is tolerance and open mindedness that leads to intolerance of intolerance, whether that intolerance be religous or atheistic. Would Anon "knuckle drager" from above ask why Americans were intolerant of segragation, or nazi death camps? Should the Catholic Church bean even more"tolerant" of the pedaphiles in their ranks? Should we have been more tolerant of their tolerance? Tolerance of injustice, mr knuckle dragger, is a moral problem.

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gtnbfghn (not verified) | June 6, 2007 - 4:07pm

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