Friday, April 27, 2007

They were from Missouri---and they showed me

Washington, D.C. – Unless you are prepared to lose a lot of money on real estate, the lottery, football bets, or elections, don’t ever go with the Coastmaster on a hunch. My political myopia has been exposed for the psychotic madness that it is. As a ballot box prognosticator, I have been revealed as naked and bereft. As a seer of elections, I have been humbled. Everything came up Democrat and there’s nowhere for this hack to run.
But I’m not done yet. I’m wounded, I’m cursed. This past Tuesday has taught everyone to ignore everything about politics that the Coastmaster utters. Yes, folks, my pride and mind, not to mention my job, are reeling like a mad clown on a calliope, as I sit in the fading ashes of what were the GOP hopes off in the 2006 elections.
I’m still not done yet. Stray confetti blows over from Senator-elect Jim Webb's celebration party, and as Speaker Pelosi heads back to the Hill after having lunch with President Bush, and Majority Leader Reid heads down there today for a coffee klatch and some gibble-gabble, I ponder the ruins, howling at the moon as the ole political saying comes back to batter my shrinking ego and haunted mind: They were from Missouri -- and they showed me.
What a Tuesday it was. If you were a Democrat, then you are laughing madly, dancing a jig, your fingers itching to control the levers of power, flushed with excitement after 12 years in the wilderness. You’re ready to change the world and while you're at it, change the locks on your new offices. If you're a Republican, you’re going through your desk drawers, stocking up on leftover paperclips and pens, and trying to blow up your computer hard drive. Boxes of files will soon be outside all the House and Senate committee rooms and even now, the thunder of movers echoes down the halls of the Capitol. Give Speaker Pelosi the best suite – because she’s no longer knocking on the door, she’s inside and picking out curtains.
If you're in the executive branch you better think about legal advice because the big bad days have arrived. You are out of power and it it’s about as nice as getting whacked on the funny bone by a big gavel rapping to order a Democrat Congress.
First off, it’s hats off to the Democrats. I certainly wouldn’t have believed last year, last summer, (or even last week, I say sadly as Mr. Out-of-Touch Master) that they’d win. Perhaps it’s the echo chamber that is Washington – us zombies think victory lies in the districts are so sophisticatedly gerrymandered, that the Republican incumbents could count on local good works, that a torrent of cash at the end could save them. I’m hardly the first person to say it (though unlike most pundits, I have worked in Congress and the Executive Branch and thus should know dang better) that I thought the GOP would, for God’s sake, hang on.
I’ll fill in more later after I crawl out from my hiding place. But for now, just a few thoughts -- this election will be a windfall for Democrat lobbyists and firms that have been sucking wind for a decade. Lawyers, too, will get on the gravy train, because there will be investigations like you've never even believed. The whole executive branch will be tied up answering requests from new chairmen like John Dingell, and Henry Waxman, and Charles Rangel, and John Conyers. Vengeance time, baby. That's the way life and politics can work, and don't expect anything less than dynamite. I’ve heard the “hands across the aisle,” “working together,” “common ground,” “bipartisan spirit” mantra so many times I think I’ll put it on my tombstone when I pass away in into that great political hack cemetery in the sky. St. Peter will meet me at the gate and I’ll simply say, “Cream or sugar, sir?”
For now, there is a huge wind blowing, and the symbolism here is as solid as the reality of the majorities in Congress. Who would have thought? I sure didn’t – and now it’s back to ole Mizzou for me.


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