It's 3:27 on a Monday morning and I can't sleep. I tried for an hour and just kept staring at the ceiling. Which isn't that new. But I talked to Carrie, then I watched a great movie*, I listened to some speeches, and I'm still up, thinking about the fact that tomorrow there isn't going to be a Bush administration when I go to sleep again.
I never really cared about politics until the 2000 recount. I mean, I guess I cared about politics, but only in a past tense, with history on my side. Which is a fantastic advantage when you think about it. But I guess the politics of history will always be as fought over as the politics of the present, so it's not like they're completely different. Anyway, I never really thought about it in high school. I followed the Lewinsky thing, but I couldn't have found Bosnia on a map if you gave me an atlas. I held a firm belief of disinterest and distrust in all things pertaining to the government, thanks largely due to interest in conspiracy theories and bullshit counterculture movements from previous generations.
But that recount. It was such absurdity from the start. Kathrine Harris and butterfly ballots... I remember the news room at school and everyone laughing about how ridiculous it was. It was almost funny how out of hand things had gotten, and I still think that the main reason the press was so easy on Bush at first because they were just standing there slack-jawed trying to figure out if he was for real or not. Politics was fun again, and not like that cheapass intern scandal or "I didn't inhale", this was like some good old-fashioned craziness. Obviously, they were give several key opportunities to make things worse. and worse. and worse.
Eight years later, and I've tried to keep as up to speed on politics as I can. I read all sorts of useless blathering; will leave C-span on and actually listen to it. I listen to shitty podcasts until I think I've got at least two opinions on the matter at hand. But I've always had something to be completely entertained by. I mean, if you break it down, there was at least one noteworthy scandal for every three months of the Bush White House. I mean, say what you will about the guy, but he's given us plenty to talk about. I'm worried that with the Obama administration I'll be so overwhelmed with uneasy complacency that I'll be reduced to attending town hall meetings and complaining aggressively about the damn music in the kids' cars these days.
So tomorrow we get a new president. I know it's supposed to be the biggest occasion of the decade, that we're electing a black president and he's going to save us all and blah blah blah...
and I can truly appreciate all of that. But what it boils down to for me mostly is that for now, for right now, we're going to have this current administration gone. For me, that's enough of a celebration for me.
And it's not like I don't have hope for Obama. I want to root for this guy with everything I got. But right now he's still got a relatively clean slate with me. I like his prior voting record okay enough, and I think he's got the right approach to a lot of our problems, but until he's sworn in, I can't form any sort of opinion. Just gotta hope for the best and be thankful that this clown isn't representing my country anymore.
To be truthful, I'd be enjoying this repose even if McCain had won and I don't think I'm alone. Of course I'm happy that Obama won. But for the time being at least, let me relish in that. I look forward to being able to raise my standard of governmental expectations in coming weeks, but right now I just want to close the door. Take a deep breath or two. And just be glad that we finally got that out of the way.
Thank the patron saint of second chances, and let's walk into this thing with fresh eyes, everybody.
*Let the Right One In. I've been meaning to get around to it forever, and am now kicking myself for not watching it sooner.