Thursday, November 6, 2008

Perhaps more naive than most, I did expect to see an African-American president elected in my lifetime. I still expect to see a woman, and I hope that she is Michelle Obama.

What I did not expect to see in my lifetime: A U.S. president whose election brought tears of joy and relief, not only to me, but to people across the world. I did not expect to see the election of a U.S. president who would restore dignity to the office he held. I did not expect to see the election of a president whom I consider brilliant in the ways that matter to me. I did not expect a president whom I consider sane. I did not expect my first choice of Democratic candidate to ever, ever win. And I did not expect that there would, in my lifetime, be any rational basis for hope for the future of this country.

The night that Bush "won" his second term, the only constructive action that I could think of was to make a CD of the "I Have A Dream" speech; MLK's speech against the war in Vietnam, which, arguably, led to his death; snippets from iconic figures ranging from Bobby Kennedy to Muhammad Ali; The Five Stairsteps' "Ooh Child," as well as every cover of the song (even the one by Cyndi Lauper); Rasputina's covers of "I Wish You Were Here" and "Hallelujah"; and every recording I could find of my beloved yoga teacher Michele Baker's Siva chants. I put the cd in the car and listened to it for six months straight. I figured I could at least dream.

Thank you, Barack Hussein Obama.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sporadic Live Blogging of the 2008 Presidential Election

I am not an alcoholic. One and a half glasses of wine, and I'm spinning. That said, I'll keep this up until I start spinning. (You think I'm going through this "unmedicated"? I attended my first Obama rally in May 2007!)

6:13 CST: Predictions have consistently suggested that if Obama could hold a loss in Indiana to below 5 points, we'd have an extremely positive early indicator. But we cannot truly trust Indiana until Gary is counted. Gary is not counted and Obama is holding within five points.

I'm disturbed by reports of widespread voting machine malfunction in Virginia and Pennsylvania, strong Obama leads (in reality). If McCain squeaks out in either of those states, we must hit the streets. Office Depot is still open for the purchase of sticks, posterboard, and markers, just so you know. But once it closes, remember that you can still take to the streets, as I will, with your body only.

6:25 CST: At the moment, Obama is down in Virginia.

6:33 CST: Obama appears to have lost Virginia.

6:37 CST: Obama is no longer holding within five points in Indiana.

7:07 CST: I just tragically overcooked my edamame (my version of popcorn) with the bevy of states that came in at 7:00. Let me tell you, I'll be the naysayer until the end. The huge margin in Georgia for McCain and the current results in Virginia still rankle my soul. But, hey, Obama's got Pennsylvania. I'm from Florida and am thus quite skeptical about an Obama win there. We'll cross our fingers. Speaking of fingers, my edamame looks like them after about 5 hours of swimming in the ocean.

7:26 CST: Florida, you have been shameful in your electoral process for the past 160 years! Shame on you, Florida! Yes, folks, Florida has created yet another extremely confusing ballot in which absentee voters had to form an ARROW pointing to their candidate! Circles around the candidate, checks beside the candidate, and other clear indications of preference simply do not count. Florida is also comparing signatures. Ya'll: my mother registered to vote when she was 21. She has lived in the same place since then and now she is 72 YEARS OLD. Right, compare signatures. My mama had to vote by absentee ballot because she cannot stand long enough to wait in line. In addition, she put off her cataract surgery until Wednesday so that she "can see Obama win with both [her] eyes." I'm so disgusted with Florida over its continued electoral shenanigans. Florida, you are dead to me. Even if Obama wins Florida, Florida you are STILL dead to me.

7:58 CST: According to Nate Silver, if Obama came in with less than a 5% win in NH, we'd definitely have to worry about a Bradley Effect. Obama won big, so we don't. I never believed that, anyway.

8:25 CST: Obama has won Ohio! Thank every deity. Florida continues to wallow around in its own...well, we'll see. By the way, my criticism of Florida, my home state for 31 years, pales in comparison to what my criticism of Obama will be if he wins with a Democratic congress and does not put his foot to the floor. He's going to be accused of being a "socialist" no matter what he does, so he may as well be a socialist instead of the moderate conservative many of his policies suggest. Yeah, and I'm still under the one-and-a-half glass of wine limit. Just wait until later.

8:31 CST: New Mexico has gone to Obama.

8:50 CST: With victory in New Mexico, Barack Obama has won the election. He now has 200 electoral votes. California has 55, and Florida is breaking blue. Even with just California, Hawaii, and Oregon, he'd still win. But Colorado will be called soon. If I don't get back to ya'll tonight, be well. I promised I'd do an unassisted handstand in the middle of the room if this came to pass. I may enter the new era with a broken neck, but at least I'll have a fighting chance of getting health insurance in that eventuality. I have called my mother in Florida to assure her that no matter how her rogue state may have attempted to betray her, the die is cast. She said she'd believe it when she heard it on the news. Fair enough, Mama. Fair enough.

Just in Case Amorphous Funk is Your Source for Election Results: