Sunday, November 12, 2006

What hath we wrought?

There’s always a bit of political postpartum in the days and weeks after a big election. The people have spoken, albeit along gerrymandered lines, and now the nation must sit down and parse whatever the hell it was that the people said.

All too quickly, reality sets in. That which, only the other day, looked like a brave new world reveals itself to be more of the same old crap.

To the victors belong the spoils. Only the spoils don’t go directly to the victors. They go to central committees, where tin-eared party bosses divide and distribute them along lines that strengthen their own power bases.

Idealists, losers and swing voters are left to contemplate what might have been if the election had gone the other way.

What might have been, of course, is that the bosses on the other side would have been doing the dividing, distributing and power base building. But that reality is lost upon idealists and party loyalists who really believed.

Meanwhile swing voters, stung to witness the winning party bosses taking care of their own people first, are stunned at the new reality they helped bring about.

All this in gray, dismal November. November, birthplace of seasonal affective disorder. The days are shorter. Lame duckery saturates the political soul. The scoundrels on the way out pack up like light-fingered hotel guests grabbing everything they can get away with – soap, shampoo, sewing kits, towels, ashtrays, last minute legislation and appointment approvals – everything.

January can’t get here quickly enough. The pale sunlight will be getting a little stronger every day, and the newly-elected scoundrels, having raised their right hands and taken the oath of office, will be able to get to work on the business of selling influence, corrupting themselves and fleecing the rest of us in the process.

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