Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Three Vignettes

Three tiny observations in the wake of last night's historic event:

My father is 70 years old and a hardcore conservative. He served in the Navy for twenty years and was wounded twice in Viet Nam. His health is an ongoing concern and he receives regular treatment at the Veterans Administration Medical Center here in Central Florida. I accompany him on those visits.

Over the entrance to the main doctor's office wing of the VA, there is a large portrait of the President of the United States. On our last trip, the picture was the smiling face of George W. Bush. The picture faces an outside window and over the past eight years or so, it has become sun-bleached and aged. In a little over two months, there will be a brand new portrait in its place and my Dad, the hardcore conservative, will pass under it every time he goes to see his VA doctor.

He will not appreciate it. It will not warm his heart. But the world will change all the same.


I like to get the newspaper but I recently cancelled my subscription. Delivery issues. For example, they weren't delivering the papers I paid for. Those kind of issues.

But there are days when I need the paper. So on Sundays (for the sales and New York Times crossword puzzle and massive NFL coverage), Fridays (for the movie reviews) and Wednesdays (for mid-week news and grocery store ads). I walk up to the corner gas station and buy the paper. It's cheaper than the full week delivery was.

Today at 8AM, I went to get my Wednesday paper and the gas station didn't have any. Sold out. So I went a little further to the Shell station up the road and they had exactly one left. Which I bought.

A little later today, I went to the grocery store and all the newspapers were sold out there, too. The girl at the service desk said that first thing this morning, people were buying them four and five at a time. The net is nice, but when it comes to the big changes, people still like a record of events that they can hold in their hands.


I don't usually indulge in schadenfreude, but today, I couldn't resist. I tuned in to the Rush Limbaugh show for a brief time. There's only so much of that claptrap I can stand, even when I'm enjoying a good gloat.

For those of you who are curious, the neocon talking points about the historic political bitch-slapping they received last night include the following: it happened because they weren't conservative enough, it's no time to play nice, and -- remarkably -- this is actually a good thing for "real" conservatives."

That last one is a marvel of twisted logic. According to the Bloviating One, "real" conservatives haven't had a single national candidate to support since 1994 and the Gingrich revolt in the middle of Bill Clinton's first term. Think about that. He just threw Bob Dole under the bus (no shock). And he also just threw one George W. Bush along with him. Not to mention any number of Republican Senators and Representatives.

"This result last night was a good thing, my friends," he said (I'm paraphrasing), "because for the first time in over a decade, we're back on the playing field." And they may well be. But as last night's results indicate, the players, the shape of the field, and the rules of the game have all changed.

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