Archive for November, 2008

Barack Obama Elementary School

Ludlum Elementary School in Hempstead, NY might be the first to rename itself for Barack Obama. The students developed a grassroots consensus, brought it to the school board and the board, in another national first, said “Hey, why not?”, and just did it.  The school is in an almost entirely African American and Latino community. It’s the sort of place where nowadays a little kid crying because he doesn’t want the doctor to give him a shot or something is now being told, “Hush up! Do you think Barack Obama would cry about a thing like that?” and so forth. I spend a workday or so a week in Hempstead and just this past week I had to stop myself from telling two twenty-something young men, “Barack Obama wants you to pull your pants up over your underwear.” I didn’t say it, because I actually didn’t know the two guys and it wasn’t exactly my business, but you can bet they hear it from their Moms.


Needing an Intervention

I have to swear off Transition Watching.  The election is over. The good guy won. As perilous as our situation is, we had to wait for eight years to get a really smart president  and a few more weeks won’t kill us. Probably. I guess. In any case, obsessing over every rumor that leaks out about the upcoming Obama administration is not a productive use of time. Unless you’re cable news. Then it definitely works for you. It only works because there are millions of us who are so starved for good governance that we’ll tune in and absorb every unsubstantiated tidbit they’ll throw at us – as in Hillary either will or will not be Secretary of State.

Of course there’s also the other sideshow that’s going on – the Republican rending of garments and gnashing of teeth – well that’s just mandatory fun. There have been approximately 432 articles written in the past week by Republicans describing the various ways in which the GOP is screwed. I think my favorite article today was The Center-Right Nation Exits Stage Left, by Tod Lindberg, a fully credentialed conservative. 

We are now two elections into something big. This month’s drubbing is just the latest sign that the country’s political center of gravity is shifting from center-right to center-left. Republicans who fail to grasp this could be lost in the wilderness for years.

From your keyboard to God’s ears, Mr. Lindberg. I’m taking nothing for granted, but you have to get your gloat on when you can and there might never be a better time. 

Still, there has to be a  little time for life. For blogging, for housework, for friends, for getting work done during office hours. Not necessarily in that order. I know for sure that I’m not the only one in this fix, though. I bet that a significant portion of the population needs to kick this habit. I can do it.  I know I can.  It’s a matter of keeping things in perspective. There’s more to life than politics.

By the way,  it’s less than two months ’til the Obama trading cards hit the stores!

OK, this is beginning to look good

Seeing that John McCain has conceded and all, and Obama has been projected to win 338 electoral votes as of this moment it might be safe to exhale. McCain gave one of the most best and most gracious concession speeches ever. If he’d run that way tonight might have turned out differently. Thank you for that, Senator. And  to Sarah Palin – Suck it Sarah.  If we never hear that really annoying voice inciting hate again it’ll be too soon.

And another  Suck it to the guy that Mr. Yenta encountered in a deli this morning. The guy was talking to someone in there about the election and said, very audibly, “In the end, everyone will pull the white lever.” 
“White lever? What the fuck is the white lever?”, Mr. Yenta inquired.  

“Yeah, the white lever!” the guy explained, in a mildly threatening manner. 

So to that guy all the knuckle draggers who think like him – Suck it!

And a big Thank You to Barack Obama and the legions of people who accomplished this thing. And well wishes for dealing with the incredible set of problems that the Bush administration has left behind.

Oh, almost forgot – a huge Suck it to each and every PUMA that’s still prowling around.

OMFG – It’s Election Day

Like most Democrats, I’m terrified by all the good news. I haven’t posted in ages because every time I get online I just get obsessed with hitting Refresh on  to see what’s changed in the last 15 minutes.  The polls and the omens continue to be apallingly good.  Obama has maintained his lead, The Redskins lost and  the majority of Dixville Notch’s votes have gone to a Democrat for the first time in 40 years.  Now it’s just a matter of getting through the day  without any type of coronary incident.

I don’t say that lightly. We spent much of Election Night in ’04 in the ER with my mother. It wasn’t a cardiac thing. It was a mini-stroke that happened when it became clear that Bush was probably going to be returned to office. It started a downhill slide into dementia that ended with her death a year and a half later.  I wish she was alive and well enough to get through this one. I wish she’d made it to the 2006 midterms, at least.  They’d have made her feel a little better about things.

It’s probably at least 12 hours until we know anything. I’m going to work and then to vote (no early voting in NY) and try to get through this day.  I’m going to try to keep in mind that no matter what happens this election has been historical in a good way. We’ve proved that candidates other than white males can compete now.  Neither race nor gender will be an insurmountable barrier to the presidency any longer and that’s a huge step forward.  And if that’s not enough, we’ve proved that Democrats can be organized and unified.  Barack Obama has already made history in two ways and the election is just beginning. Not bad, really.  It’ll be good for our children and grandchildren but not enough consolation if Sarah Palin ends the day a heartbeat away from the presidency. At least I know that I, for one, am going to have a hell of a time holding onto any sense of historical perspective.

Now I’m going to work and then to vote (no early voting in NY) and try to get through this day. I wish Barack Obama, Joe Biden, us and the world luck.