The Republican Revolution 2010

I am prepared for election day.

This November 2 is set to be one of the most historic days in all of modern politics and I am ready. I have grown my hair out to my shoulders, looked into Grateful Dead tickets, and took a job waiting tables at a Tex-Mex joint. I’m going to live in a dorm room with a guy named Wrighteous, drink malt liquor out of 40 oz. bottles (hey, it’s cheap!), and argue about whether “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” was the first evidence that the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a band full of sell-outs.

If that all seems a little off the charts for a married father of two with a mortgage, I can only offer this explanation: that’s what I did last time we saw such history in the making.

Oh, I’ll admit it. I’m a cynical bastard. I’ve grown numb, paranoid, and angry over the past two years. Unlike most of the real or manufactured anger in America today, I’ve simply–and quickly–given up. I got caught up in a wash of hope that one man could change a system. I’ve since discovered that the man who gave me hope is either unwilling or unable to work with his own party to achieve reasonable goals. And hence, my short run as an apoplectic true believer has come to an end. I am now able to take a fairly rational/cynical/bored look at our system of governance and accept that we–the people who rose up to elect a man who made us believe–aren’t much different from the head-stomping, witchcrafting, you-betcha-ing folks who are taking their turn to rise up and say, “We will not tolerate this…this year! We will fight this system…until such time that major oil and corporate interests stop funding our efforts!” (And you Tea Partiers don’t get yourself all in a tizzy…we neo-hippies and happy-go-lucky-fascists were probably duped in the same way two years ago at this time, so I don’t think I’m better’nyou).

Indeed, today will be what the 1994 Republican Revolution looked like, if, say, Stanley Kubrick were around to direct the remake. Most of the numbers people and pundits are calling for a Republican rout in the House that will do away with the two years of Democrats using their supermajority to do…well, I’m sure they did something that’s going to change my life, right? Right? In any case, watch television tonight if you want to see:

  • Democrats looking for any opportunity to take any thunder away from Republicans. This will likely take the form of the Dems saying, “Oh, this could’ve been much worse. We’re just happy we didn’t end up with herpes.”
  • Republicans constructing something that sounds a lot like “Contract for America” and declaring victory over the neo-fascist regime that has done…well, nothing really dangerous yet, but you gotta watch those non-Amercuns who have staged a coup on our country…and somebody stomp that lesbian’s head for me, willya?
  • Breathless number-crunching and analysis by the political reporters, comedians, and whatever Glen Beck is, none of whom will tell you that if things actually got better in their country, their jobs would immediately become irrelevant.
  • People smarter than I am have suggested that it’s wrong to look at political elections as part of a cyclical machine that eventually cycles through it’s Jimmy Carters, George Bushes, and Bill Clintons. These are people who spend their day in masturbatory glee, staring at copies of Roll Call, and just being happy there will be some new faces (because there are only so many times you can write the words “Nancy Pelosi” without wanting to chop off your own netherparts). Maybe I’m looking at it with a cynical, simple head, but it’s become clear to me that getting all engorged over elections is as much a distraction as watching American Idol. It’s like watching it rain in Missouri. It’s like dating in college. Just give it another season, another minute, another semester, and it will all come back around to something that you like. There is a reason our planet, our solar system, and our universe look like giant spheres and elipses. Everything circles back around eventually. If you’re a political numerologist, my suggestion would be to spend the rest of your time focusing on one number, because the one that looks like a circle is all you need to tell you the importance of today’s elections.

    Yeah, I’m cranky. I have to leave my house for the sole purpose of voting against two people. This week, my country–the one that was once looking for huddled massess– refused to let my friend cross the border for a vacation. The man I supported for President two years ago has squandered the best opportunity my generation will see to change the U.S. for the better. All of this makes me look back at the me who two years ago on election day was sitting in a hotel bar in Costa Rica with some like-minded folks. We drank tequila and toasted a new America. We woke up with hangovers and naively assumed we were going home to a better place.

    So, yeah, I’m angry. I’m angry that so little has changed. I’m angry that one the of the few things I hold dear–my hope–was used as currency. I’m angry that the past two years have been so badly mishandled that some (more) very, very horrible people are going to be elected on the votes of people for whom I have the least of respect. I’m just angry. And, yet, I take some hope in the fact that I have a chance to go back to my shoulder-length hair, my job at El Chico, and my spot on the lawn to see Jerry play one more time. Because, its just 1994, man. Somebody pick me up a forty of OE.

    That is, I take some hope in the fact that it all doesn’t matter. The only things that change are the faces and the head-stomped people. And my haircut.

    A word of advice to anyone who believes the vote today is going to make any difference: please recall what it was like back when Bill Clinton was President and Newt Gingrich’s crowd took over Congress. Recall the revolution. Recall the lasting historical significance of it. It falls under the heading of a word you might know if you spend a lot of time going nowhere in traffic: gridlock.

    Meet the new boss, friends. You might recognize him.

    Brad Willis

    Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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    21 Responses

    1. Vicki says:

      Yeah, me too. Actually I was NOT going to vote at all this go. I thougt over for a while and decided there are a few people around me who’s vote I surely need to cancel out. I’m voting for spite. Is there an exit poll category for that?

    2. Grumpy says:

      “The man I supported for President two years ago has squandered the best opportunity my generation will see to change the U.S. for the better”

      As much as i disagree with his policies in general, even I hoped I could be proven wrong and that it would be a “post racial, post partisan” world where PROBLEMS might really be addressed. Instead, you are right, its more of the same – pander to the special interests, and the PEOPLE be damned.

      More aware of politics than ever before in my life, my only hope is that the anger of the people, the town halls, the tea parties, even the disenchantment form the liberal side that not enough was done channels into elected officials listening to the people, instead oof trying to dictate down to the peons.

      The system is broken – from taxes, elections favoring incumbents, voting against or for the least of two evils, etc. Occasionally a majority comes along and move the needle one way or the other, then it swings back as you said, back in the circle.

      I’m not ready to give up, and expect the same results as we saw after 1994 when Republicans betrayed their principles, spending like drunken sailors and growing govt. Stay on them, demand accountability, and vote them out when they dont deliver.

      Signed, Mr Naivete’

    3. Matt V says:

      The one thing that came out of Clinton & Newt was welfare reform. Which generally was successful.

      I don’t expect anything out of the election this year other than gridlock. Which may not be a terrible thing.

    4. Easycure says:

      You seem to make a comparison that the Tea Partiers are in the process of being duped by the GOP similar to many who were duped by Obama two years ago. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

      The Tea Partiers are almost as distrustful of the GOP establishment ast hey are the Democrats. Did you notice how the GOP has been backing the primary loser Murkowski in Alaska instead of Joe Miller? Have you noticed how the GOP has not helped COD in Delaware at all?

      The GOP led Congress is going to be tasked with some very specific things: repealing some (or all) of Obamacare, passing sensible immigration reform that will not include blanket amnesty, cutting taxes, and cutting government spending and control. If they do not do these things, there will be a dedicated conservative/libertarian movement toward a third party.

      You may be cynical, but I for one am hopeful…more so than I ever was under GWB. Many of these new incoming politicians are going to be fantastic public servants, and much better for the country than the entrenched elitists like McCain, Frank, Pelosi, Reid and even Boehner.

    5. otis says:

      Easy– I don’t think I wrote the Tea Party folks were getting duped by the GOP in particular. I think the Tea Party folks are being manipulated (just as 2008 Democrats) by agenda groups that are outside the party establishment.

    6. Redx says:

      I am disenchanted with politics, too…

      I don’t want to make excuses for the President or the democratic congress, but I think when they get elected and sent to D.C. they have no idea how difficult/impossible it is to work within that system and actually change anything. Having said that, I do believe the one thing the President could have done was honor his campaign promises to close Gitmo and get out of the wars. The commander-in-chief CAN order that stuff done and if he had then maybe the democrat’s voter base wouldn’t be so apothetic this election cycle.

    7. Dugglebogey says:

      Personally, I’m rooting for Prop 18.

      P.S. I LOVE the abbreviation COD that Easycure used. I cannot think of a more appropriate term.

    8. Dugglebogey says:

      Oops, I guess that’s Prop 19. I wish I could say I got it wrong because I was stoned.

    9. Poker Shrink says:

      Third Party voting. I’ll say it until I can no longer speak. If everyone terminally unhappy with the same old crap would go to the polls and vote for a third party candidate things would begin to change.

      Ronald Reagan got 58.8% of the vote in 1984 (the last landslide election) but that equates to 41% of the registered voters and 30% of those eligible to vote.

      If you really want things to change, you gotta vote and you must never again vote for a republican or a democrat.

    10. Julius_Goat says:

      Otis: I have my disappointments with some of Mr. Obama’s policies and some of his tactics — but I don’t think my hopes were as high as you seem to write that yours were. I’m actually encouraged that one person can’t ride into town and change it all; that’s the way our democracy should be. We had a guy who thought he could do that last time. In my opinion, that didn’t work out so well.

      On the other hand, lost in all the angry loud noises and obfuscation and perpetuation of blatant ignorance and outright lies is the fact that quite a bit did get done. Not even close to everything, but quite a bit.

      This op-ed by Ezra Klein makes some decent points about this Congress and what it actually did accomplish, and how it is now paying the price for what was good governance but bad politics.

      Or, for something more tongue-in-cheek, here’s What The Fuck Has Obama Done So Far:

      In any event, I agree with whoever predicted gridlock. For those who are encouraged by this GOP surge: I hope you all are correct. I see absolutely no evidence that this crowd is going to do anything serious about deficits or spending, nor do I think they have any intention of doing so. I say this because that was the result of their last stint in power, and they haven’t changed their ideas one bit. If anything, they’ve doubled down.

    11. Dr. Chako says:

      After reading this post I did the only logical thing I could think of. I voted. For the first time ever. So, thanks!


    12. Wolfshead says:

      Actually there were some good ideas i9n the last GOP revolution, balanced budget, term limits, etc. My question is, when they finally did get complete power what happened? All those things went out the window in favor of deregulation and efforts to someghow perpetuate a Republican dynasty.

      Yea, I’m disappointed too, things haven’t gone as well as I hoped but I figure it is still only two years, It took a lot more time to F* up the country and it’s always harder to rebuild than destroy. Basically i agree with what i read on a candidate’s sign today. “Do we want to turn over the keys so soon to the people who drove us in to this ditch?” As soon as I saw that the man had my vote.

      I wasn’t al that enamored of voting but I abhore, politically, not personally, Pat Toomey and his policy of feed the rich and so made sure I went out today just to vote against him. Any other person on the ballot was either helped or hindered because of my desire to just say no to him.

    13. Random101 says:

      Mmmmm… I miss good ole federal grid lock. One party control is a bad thing.

    14. StB says:

      You seem to be getting a lot of mileage out of a “head stomp” that wasn’t a head stomp. There have been harder head stomps in professional wrestling that what happened at the Rand Paul event.

    15. teamscott says:

      My main purpose viting these days is to vote on the small things that make a difference. Things like local referendums. So what did you think of our two “Rainy-Day” referendums?

      I can’t understand why we are even voting to increase SC’s rainy day fund, and increase the priority of repaying into it at this time. It’s almost as if they don’t realize that the rainy days they are talking about are upon us. There’s a flood, and they are wondering if now would be a good time to start putting more into our savings account.

      And worse, I think they passed.

    16. G-Rob says:

      I only care about frolf, rock music and my family and friends.

      And Kentucky sports.

      And baseball.


      This is all.

      Fuck politics. Double fuck the people who think it’s interesting.

    17. Dugglebogey says:

      Seriously, STB is defending a guy who put his foot on a defenseless woman’s head and pushed it to the ground by saying “it wasn’t that bad.”

      I guess the rule of thumb was a good idea too?

    18. bayne says:

      Why was Tim Lincecum picture at top of post?

    19. KenP says:

      And that the look of day one.
      I am Brad Willis for W… (oops) I meant PokerStars!

      Decent camera presence. You should get a media job.