Dear Big Daddy,
Will you miss Dubya as much as Jon Stewart will? Or will the nonsensicality within our own state give you enough to fulminate about?
– Sesquipedalian in Spreckles
Ah, the backside of January. That time of year when we realize how much we really do like smoking, drinking and gorging, that yoga actually just makes us angry, and that we’re actually kind of relieved our mother-in-law isn’t holding up her end of that whole “getting along” deal either.
All in all, maybe not the best time of year. The holiday hangover has worn off enough to actually think about those who left us in the previous year, without the Vaseline lens of drink and good friends. The weather usually takes a turn from bad to worse—and here in Sacramento, our Punxsutawney allergy season can poke up its sniffly head long before the morning frost is gone. And of course there’s that dawning realization once again that we’re still the same deeply flawed, dissatisfied ingrate we always were.
But maybe this year will be different, and I don’t just mean that Indian Summer-like sunshine we’ve been having. It’s almost like the universe has been reordered, the stars arranged in new constellations (my favorite is the mythical “Parra the lobbyist”), and I’m some handsome dimwit.
How do I mean? If you bleed Democratic blue in California, you’re used to thinking of yourself as an island of rationality in that deep sea of yokelism that was the rest of the nation (or “the East Bay,” as some like to call it). But no longer, my friend. The country—well, a few key percentage points of it in pretty non-representative states—has just elected a black liberal intellectual who speaks in complete sentences. Charlie Brown kicked the field goal, Sisyphus got a forklift, and “Yes we can” has morphed into “Weird, we actually did.”
Meanwhile, it’s now we who are a GOP bastion. We’re one of only 21 states currently with a Republican governor—joining the likes of Texas, Idaho and Mississippi (from whom we seemed to have borrowed our education-funding strategy). Republicans may be a minority in our voting booths and in both our houses, but you wouldn’t know it from the wedgie they’ve put on all state business.
But back to my farewell to our president. Here was a guy who said he was going to run the country like a corporation—and it took until the last few months of his administration to see what he really meant by that. He managed to lose a worldwide popularity contest with a homicidal fundamentalist terrorist—and got us kicked out of the cocktail party with him.
Aw hell, it’s just too easy. Even Republicans can’t stand Bush anymore. He defied most of the principles conservatives were supposed to stand for. He stood for limited government and fiscal responsibility like I stood for celibacy and sobriety (and believe me, I’m the one you would have wanted to have a beer with).
Sort of like Nixon or the Black Death, he might get funnier with age. I won’t say time heals all wounds but a little distance will do wonders when it comes to turning tears into giggles. In the meantime, Jon Stewart will have to work for a living like the rest of us, poor guy.
So am I gonna miss me some George W. Bush? Maybe a little bit during weeks when our in-state shenanigans fail to capture the imagination of even my indiscriminate pen. But as a Democrat, I’m gonna miss feeling superior a whole lot more.