Barbara's big wet blanket

November 09, 2006 by barbara

by barbara

Listen! Can you hear it? Democrats are still celebrating, far and wide and hard. Hearts are light. Joy abounds! And with good reason.

We scored some amazing victories on Tuesday. We threw the rascals out. Well, a fair number of them. Enough to tilt the balance of government, nationally and locally. Woo hoo!

I've been reading articles and receiving e-mails from people who are immensely happy. It's a blue-themed celebration for sure. But as the wild rumpus continues, I find myself strangely detached from all of it.

So now I must confess my closely-held secret. My name is Barbara and I'm not happy.

For the past two mornings, I've awakened early, filled with the familiar dread that six interminable years of Bush and Company has programmed into me in spite of my best efforts to resist. I can't seem to kick it. What dreadful thing will I find when I log into the online press today? Have they found a way to steal back this election? What are they plotting now? Where is Karl Rove? When will the giant bird that splatted my car a few days ago fly over and dump all over the American people?

I am emboldened to make my confession on the heels of a conversation yesterday with one of my most relentlessly optimistic activist friends. We were gushing about the election, playing "can you top this?" with anecdote after anecdote about Dem gains. It was schadenfreude time in spades. We chattered, we laughed. We commented on the humongous happiness all around us.

Then there was a long pause. And my friend said, very quietly, "I'm not really happy. I can't seem to get there." Well. The two-way confessional sprang open for business. We shared our truth about post-election blues of a different sort. Intellectual delight does not necessarily a happy heart make.

What's the deal with people like my friend and me? Curmudgeons? Weenies? Depressives? No, no and no.

The deal is six years of being conditioned to unrelenting deceit (a polite synonym for bald-faced lies), dirty tricks, manipulation, greed, corruption, mismanagement, incompetence and failure. Of seeing our country decline into an untrustworthy bully-nation. Of being ashamed of this administration. Of being everlastingly fearful about what bone-headed thing would come next. And it hasn't been a one-a-day travesty plan. Oh, no. Many times, the assaults on justice, liberty and the English language came in clusters.

Get over it, I hear you say.

I will. So, too, my friend. But for some of us at least, it doesn't come easily. And at risk of smothering all of it with my big wet blanket, we need to remember that while a 1% margin is still a Win for us, it is by no means a national mandate. We're being given the chance to show our stuff. To demonstrate that we can at least begin the arduous task of righting (lefting?) this nation, restoring faith in us, and doing the right things. We have just two years to make inroads on the whole-scale devastation inflicted by this administration, globally and nationally.

Some days, I wonder if there should be a national 12-step program to recover from Bush et al. Okay, maybe six steps. We're busy people and there is so much work to do.

Meanwhile, to the winners, I say, "Hot damn and hallelujah!" See? I can do this!

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