Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Don't Panic

Back when Don and I were off to Russia to get Laney and the whole thing never stopped seeming tenuous and every 15 minutes something happened that made it seem like the whole thing was bound to go completely tits up and we'd end up Laney-less, we took to quoting Douglas Adams and reminding each other often, "Don't panic." It's such good advice! If that desperate, worried look crossed my face, Don would look me right in the eye and say "You got your towel?" And I always remembered that I did have my metaphorical towel. Plus there were Russian Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters on the really bad days.

After last night's shellacking, I'm remembering that. And not panicking. I'm remembering that even though it sucked balls that the bad guys picked up 60 seats, there were also some pretty great things that happened. I'm particularly pleased that Sharron Angle's despicable, racist campaign didn't work. Not by a long shot. Lexington, Kentucky elected an openly gay mayor. We held onto the senate where crackpot tea party legislation will go to die. And I also know a certain Kenyan Muslim Anti-Colonialist Pinko Commie Hitler who has a veto pen. And, y'all, come on! It's going to be kind of fun watching John Boehner's legislative acrobats. He has to find a way to keep the tea party (who keeps on telling us they don't belong to any political party) happy. I'm sure they'll hold him to the same lofty standards they held Nancy Pelosi.

Speaking of whom, that one does hurt. She was an awesome speaker. The last two years we lefties complained about how little was getting done, how frustrated we were with the progress. And then, a week before the mid-terms we started talking about how legislatively successful the last two years have been. And they were. We got a lot of shit done, and it was shit that was worthwhile if it wasn't politically expedient. It was some motherfucking governing. Nancy Pelosi did good work and I am grateful for her. And I got no regrets about the guy I helped put in the White House.

So, here's what you do: Hug your loved ones, cry into your bourbon (beer, wine, whatever your poison is) and then suck it up, grab your towel, and know your enemy. And most importantly, recognize that it is impossible to understand the historical context of a moment you're living in.

The 24 hour news cycle + the internet is like Halloween candy. I keep grabbing it, even though I know that too much is bad for me. I think post Jon Stewart's rally and two years into the most legislatively successful presidency in my lifetime, I'm going to make a concerted effort to stay involved, but not panic. And not think end times every time something on the Internet freaks me out.