Random Thoughtery, 11/5/08
Some various thoughts I’m having about the election. Don’t worry, I’ll move on to other things soon. But, hey, I just had another slice of Schadenfreude Pie and now I’ve got a hell of a sugar buzz going.
* First, could someone call North Carolina for Obama, already? 100% of the vote is in. He won it. Let’s nail this electoral vote thing down.
* If I could pick who the big losers are today, aside from people who actually lost a race, I would pick Joe Lieberman and the Lady de Rothschild. The LdR thing makes me feel especially snarky, but I feel just a little sad for Lieberman, who is now going to have to drag his hangdog ass back into a Senate whose leadership doesn’t actually need him anymore to keep itself in charge, and which will undoubtedly feel it’s time to settle up accounts for him for campaigning against Obama. One makes one’s choices.
* I find it deeply amusing that the same conservative who were perfectly fine with Bush running everything from the hard right are now falling over themselves to suggest that Obama needs to lead from the center, not from the left. While I personally would prefer Obama leading from the center, this sort of hypocritical yamming engages my bitch, please reflex. The one thing that genuinely annoys me about the professional conservative spew class here in the US is not that it’s conservative but that it’s the equivalent of the sports fan who is perfectly fine with a crooked umpire as long as the umpire is crooked toward their side.
* I know people are excited about Virginia turning blue for president, but personally, I was more impressed with Indiana going blue. Maybe it’s a proximity thing.
* I’ve had a couple of people write me and ask me if I had any thoughts about the fact the US elected a black man to the presidency. I do, but aside from saying I’m very proud we did, I can’t speak too much to it — or more accurately, won’t. I was obviously aware of Obama’s race, but it wasn’t close to being a factor for my vote, and I think it would be insincere for me now to push it into the forefront of my personal consideration. But more than that, look, you know what, I’m white, and the Obama victory doesn’t have the visceral weight in my psyche that it has for blacks in this country, and I don’t want to pretend it does. I stand outside that particular victory, and I am content to let others have it, because it is theirs. I have enough victories through Obama at the moment that I don’t have to have them all.
* A note on the Schadenfreude Pie: One of the reasons I love this pie I have invented is that it is perfect for what it’s supposed to be, which is something rich and dark and bitter that you better not have too much of. Last night and this morning, each time I took a slice of it, I took ever-so-slightly more than I should have, and now both times it’s sat in my stomach, threatening reflux. It’s a moral lesson, really: Like this particular pie, too much gloating invites payback. It’s nice to have a physical lesson to go with the existential one.
* Re: Proposition 8 and the other anti-same-sex marriages initiatives on the ballots, which passed in their respective states: I am disappointed, of course. I had hoped voters, particularly in California, would have had better moral sense. But as I mentioned to someone else earlier today, the struggle against bigotry is long and difficult, and the fact of the matter is we’re in the middle of this particular struggle, and it will take years to see it through, as has every struggle against bigotry here in the US. I’m willing to invest the time.
That said, I do wonder if the people who voted for Proposition 8 in particular have thought the implications of what they’ve just done. If, as I expect, the consequence of Proposition 8 is that 18,000 marriages are destroyed, they’ve just handed those who want equal marriage rights under the law an extraordinarily potent symbol, and a concrete goal: namely, the restitution of those marriages. The fight for those marriages starts today.
In the meantime, there are the words of a certain wise man which apply here to those who voted for these propositions, and they are, “Forgive them, Father; for they know not what they do.” Perhaps they will, in time.