Just like that, election season 2024 is underway. As someone who’s had a passing interest in politics his entire life – and whose paycheck depends in large part on the elected “leaders” of the government not making the entire creaking edifice dysfunctional – I look on the entire spectacle with disgust and disdain. The thought of spending the next 24 months listening to these contemptible assholes stroking their own egos and stoking up the lowest common denominator among their respective bases just leaves me wanting to eat a cyanide sandwich and wash it down with an ice cold glass of bleach.
Maybe that’s slightly exaggerated. Maybe. It probably depends on the day when you ask me about it.
It’s like the classic car crash scenario… no matter how much I want to look away from the burning hot mess, I won’t. The shitshow in which we find ourselves caught has to be seen to be believed – or disbelieved – whichever happens to be your preference.
If they ever come up with a relatively non-invasive way to fry the little part of the brain that gives a shit about politics and leaves the rest undiminished, you can sure as shit find me in line on opening day.
Last night I put my money on effectively seeing “no change” in the power dynamic in Washington. I called for a Clinton win, Democratic Senate, and maintaining a Republican-led House. It was a conventional prediction based on conventional, if basic, analysis of the news over the few days prior to the election. It was conventional and I was absolutely wrong in reading this most unconventional of elections. In light of the banner headlines on every news site I’ve seen today, I feel like I needed to call myself out.
The Washington Post, not a Republican mouthpiece or cheerleader for conservative ideas, confessed sheepishly that “Republicans have achieved the almost-unachievable: Near-absolute victory.” As an occasional member of the Republican Party (yes, I’ve left and come back more often than I care to think about), it’s the kind of story that makes me happy on this day after. It also fills me with a special kind of dread, because elections have consequences… and the major consequence of this election is that Republicans are going to have to get their act together and figure out how to govern again, versus just being obstructionist douchecanoes.
Mario Cuomo, the one time Governor of New York, said “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.” I can’t speak for the quality of the poetry we’ve seen in 2016, but I hope that our prose somehow manages to move the bubble on our state of political dysfunction in this country. Yesterday we saw the resurrection of a political party that was all but written off as dead due to shifting demographics. If we don’t mangle the job too badly, maybe, just maybe, the election of 2016 can be something more than a last gasp of an angry electorate.
My four-month odyssey to move from one end of the building to another seems to be complete this week. I say seems, of course, because every advance on this front has been beaten back up till this point. Now, finally, with all my workly possessions moved into my new digs, taking marching orders from my new boss, and only occasional questions from the old, I dare to hope this could be the real deal. I forgot what it was like not to be continually surrounded by procedural dysfunction. I haven’t wanted to beat anyone to death with their own arms for at least three days… and that might just be a personal best.