This is a musing from November 2010 about the results from the midterm elections.
We all love Election Day.
It’s the only time we can ACTUALLY keep score. The only day politics is a sport. There’s a running tally and a final score with all the analysis you can handle. At the end of the day, conservatives are taking their victory lap just as liberals did two years prior.
Today, conservatives will dream of long dominance and fantasize about limited government unless you’re a gay man or pregnant woman; or spending cuts unless we’re going to war and giving a tax cut to the richest two percent of our population.
Whether you think the aforementioned paragraph was off base or not, we both can agree the next 24 months will be interesting indeed. There is still a Democratic president and Senate that will have to work with a Republican House that has to show and prove with its new Tea Party-backed members.
A lot of the tea party principles will face major tests in the first two months of the new session; raising the debt ceiling, an actual attempt to bring a repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act to floor to name a few. At that point – if we are still paying attention – we will know who is real and who is fake.
Nonetheless, I’m excited because I get a daily diet of politics. But I’m in a very thin minority of the country. The rest of the country is wondering why Bristol Palin is nearing the semifinals of Dancing with the Stars and patiently waiting for American Idol in January. If they’re not paying attention (and unemployed or underemployed as well), they’d probably wondered why Obama didn’t make all the bad things go away yet.
For them, this is not so much a game as it is another reality show. Yesterday, that person just noticed everything we’d been talking about for the last 18 months and decided to punish whomever was in charge. Then, he and she “voted Boccieri and Strickland off the island.”
Yes, conservatives are running wild chanting “We Won,” but there was never a “we” or a “them” to begin with. The problem with that fallacy is it’s only “we” vs. “them” until we become “them.” And we are all one catastrophic event away from being a “them.”
That’s the difference between politics and sports. There is a zero sum winner and a loser in sports. And us fans go about our lives afterward. In politics, we have this one day that we can get into the game. But there are no winners and losers, just consequences. And sadly, today is the day after and it’s not a game. This is real life.