Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Keep yapping dumbass.
Maybe you'll blab your PIN number along with everything else.
Tonight was really something, for all the reasons that every blogger in the Universe is probably even now writing about, but whoever calls it tragedy and commences to rending their garments in sorrow is either a GOP hireling – a dismal, pay-for-dismay troll-op – or so doesn’t understand politics that he misses the point.
We should be dancing, because this was a miracle of no mean heft and scope.
This was democracy doing what democracy does when the stubby, webbed-toes of theocrats and neocons are not allowed to stomp on the scale.
Jean Schmidt ran George Bush’s playbook, page-by-page, against a honorable veteran because she knows the only way cowards like Bush get elected is by slandering good men.
She ran it in the Heart of the Heart of Bush Country (OK, yes, I borrowed this line from the title of a story by William Gass, but I swear it’s for a good cause, and I promise I’ll have it back in the morning all gassed up and sparkly), enfolded in the collective, cadaverous bosom of the myopic fucktards that couldn’t see past the end of their sloped brows during the last election.
And she ran it while positively slathered in fluffy, green GOP lucre.
She reran Bush/Cheney ’04 in one of the places where it shoulda been a mortal lock and the Earth – a patient but never a discerning diner – opened up beneath her and came thiiiis close to swallowed her whole.
So quit’cher, bitchin’ kids, and tip a glass to Future Ohio Senator Paul Hackett.
This, I do believe, was the bellwether.
This, I do believe, is where we saw the tide break and twenty years from now, to “Schmidt” an election may well have joined other such illustrious eponymous-ish exclamations and rejoinders as “Fred Merkle's Boner”, “Thomas Crapper”, “Seamus Dogfucked” and “Emil Shitabunny”.
It will take as its meaning, “To squeak by, barely sliming your way across the finish line, and leaving a foot-deep shit trail that everyone in your party who wants to follow you up the greasy electoral pole will have to shinny through. To make even a Republican automaton, Imperially-conditioned to the cellular level, want to vomit when pulling the lever...and anyone who isn’t strapped into an electronic Dobson Shock and Awe Collar flee the party. To have to publicly defile the dead and debase the living to eke out a win even though you’re already so deep in the Steppes of Outer Dumbfuckilvania that it positively glows InfraRed. All while simultaneously showing yourself to be unmedicatably batshit insane."
Twenty year from now, a Cool Lady Liberal will say: “Man I can’t believe so-and-so Dogfucked that one into the Crapper?!”
To which the Cool Guy Liberal will reply: “I know. If she’d Schmidted that any harder, it would’ve reached escape velocity. It has given me quite the Boner!”
And then they go get all hot and slick and carnal, like we Liberals are wont to do, and afterwards, each relaxing in a blissful, post-coital repose, each coyly palmtop/WiFi, naughty-blogging their own perspective on the hot carnality of it all (as we Liberals are wont to do), Cool Lady Liberal will chuckle and opine, “If they let that creepy, old Rove fella watch teevee in Leavenworth, I’ll bet he just Shitabunny.”
Seriously, it’s that big; if it had been a few more votes -- an outright victory -- it would have completely displaced, “I would never have believed that he could’ve Keyes-ed that fucker so badly.”, but as it was, this was GOP Terrified Alert Level Red Important because Hackett started with nothing.
In a “safe” district.
If you define “nothing” solely as cash, and “safe” as the GOP can run yet another pecksniffing, acid-belching, Sopapilla-skulled Christopath with deep pockets right up the middle against token, bold-as-a-tower-of-dinner-napkins opposition.
He started with nothing. Nothing.
This was a virtually uncontested seat, deep in fastness of a cultural Mordor so written-off by the DLC that they could not be distracted from the important business of fashioning festive origami penis hats at the fancy, invitation-only “Masturbating to the Director’s Cut of “’The War Room’” party long enough to pay it any serious mind.
Hackett started with nothing...except a clear, honest voice, a vivid story and a wretched opponent. And with little more than lefty blogger lemonade-stand and paper-drive money he came within pull-my-finger distance of winning.
If you don’t understand politics, a commentator over on Atrios put it very well: This is as if Jerry Falwell had come within a handful of votes of winning a congressional seat from San Francisco.
The goal – the 100,000 vote Big Picture off of which we must never take our eyes -- is taking back the country, and this was a small battle on the leading edge of that coming storm. This was...the first ironclad showing up in the middle of a wooden navy. Yes, it’s rickety and looks funny and if you ram it hard enough it can be sunk, but its mere existence is the harbinger of things to come.
This was a win, pure simple.
A win for netroots, progressive bloggers, wielding a tremendous, new weapon with sure and steady hands. A win for bare-knuckle Democrats. A win for fighters. A win for punching back, punching hard, and never apologizing for calling a liar a liar to his face.
How do I know?
First, well, read a little history and you'll know too. The motion and direction of all contests, all battles, all movements...changes. And when momentum shifts it does not announce itself with "Surrender Dorothy" skywriting, or even a business card and a hearty handshake. That Leonidas, for example, lost the battle of Thermopylae is irrelevent. That he held the Hot Gates as long as he did with a few thousand warriors led by 300 Spartans against Xerxes' Persian Army in the hundreds of thousands...that is the pivot on which history turned.
And second...‘cause Henry II told me so.
This from “The Lion in Winter” from 1968.
You haven’t seen it? Jee-sus! Peter O'Toole? Katharine Hepburn? A Pre-Fava Bean Anthony Hopkins? Little Timmy Dalton? Well shit on a shogun, Captain, go rent the damned thing.
And yes, there will be a quiz.
...(humming) ...was no sound at all
But the clock upon the wall
Then the door something-something
And my daddy stepped inside
And he kissed my mama's face
And he brushed her tears away
The night Chicago died
Na-na na, na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na
The night Chicago died
Brother what a night the people saw
Brother what a fight the peep...(humming ends)
Well...I see you’re back.
And you’ve watched it, right?
So of course you’ll remember this bit of absolutely coldblooded, clear-eyed political wisdom via Peter O'Toole's "Henry II".
Philip: "What is so satisfactory?"
Henry: "Winning is. I did just win -- surely you noticed."
Philip: "You haven't won a damn thing."
Henry: "Hmmph. I found out the way your mind works and the kind of man you are. I know your plans and expectations. You've burbled every bit of strategy you've got! I know exactly what you will do and exactly what you won't, and I've told you exactly nothing. To these aged eyes boy, that's what winning looks like!"
See? I don’t care what my students told you; I don’t assignment homework whimsically.
There’s always a reason for it.
Of course, in their case, the reason is I just love to see them cry.