Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just Tryin' to Help

We’ll sexually molest you
Choose your health care
Regulate food on your plate
Yes, we would dare.

Pick your light bulbs
Regulate your toilet
All for your protection
Don’t you know it?

Why, you say,
Are you such a wrecking crew?
Why, we’re the government.
We’re here to help you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Day After

It’s dark along Wildcat Creek this morning. Why am I up at 5:30 when I didn’t get to bed until 1:30 a.m. following the Republican election night party at the Clarion Inn in Fayetteville, Arkansas? Easy to answer: my mind is swirling with all the events of the past 24 hours. And the past year.

Like others in the Tea Party around the country, there are a lot of things to be happy about regarding yesterday’s election. And some disappointments. Locally, people for whom the Cutest Community Organizer to Whom I Am Married and I actively campaigned -- Justin Harris and Charlie Collins --won seats in the Arkansas legislature. But Jim Keet, for whom we actively worked for governor, lost big-time to incumbent Mike Beebe. But in context, yesterday was exceptional for Republicans in Arkansas, long a one-party state: new U.S. Senator, several new House members and major gains in the legislature. This morning, the critical office of secretary of state remains too close to call, as are those of lieutenant governor and land commissioner. Political blogger Jason Tolbert thinks they’ll all go Republican.

Across the nation, it was a Republican night. But a lot of people didn’t vote for Republicans, mind you, they voted against Democrats. That needs to change: some of us are working to make the Republican Party more worthy of receiving votes.

Creek of Consciousness

This was the first election in which most or all of the people I voted for were people that I had personally met…Indeed, one of the great things about our political activism of the past eighteen months has been all the great people we have come to know…Meanwhile, Dan Wolschon, my friend since junior high days, and I were texting each other yesterday from our respective places as poll watchers – he in Michigan, me in Arkansas. He became a Tea Party activist earlier this year…Today, the term “We the People” has a stronger meaning...This year’s campaigns and activism got me out of the cocoon of Northwest Arkansas and its cities. Sometimes those of us who live here in Walmart-Tyson-J.B. Hunt-land are unaware of the charms of the rest of this state. There are some delightful people around the state and Hot Springs in the spring is beautiful!...I’m hooked – political trips to Little Rock have made me a fan of What-a-Burger in Russellville...Last night, when it looked like Charlie Collins was going to win his legislative seat by 90 votes, he turned to the Cutest Community Organizer to Whom I Am Married and said: “You’re probably the one who got me those votes.”…Why am I writing this -- I’ve only had four hours sleep. How write can I sentence that sense makes? -- Zzzzzzzz.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Autumn Election

The late-day sun comes streaking across Wildcat Creek much earlier now as the days become shorter. It’s warm in the Ozarks, but the cold weather is coming. A sure sign yesterday was all of the wasps trying to find a way into the house – they know it will soon get cold. Lots of firewood stacked on the porch, waiting for the chill. Winterized the pump house today. The cold is coming…

The Cutest Community Organizer to whom I am married is full of energy, humor and songs tonight. “You’re glad the campaign is over, aren’t you?” I say. She doesn’t respond, but I know it’s true. Barbra has been a one-woman campaign machine this year: going door-to-door campaigning for Justin Harris and Charlie Collins for state representative and Jim Keet for governor. Last week she called a campaign office so she could get a rebuttal for an opponent’s sleazy attack ad. Then she called a local talk show to personally make the rebuttal because the candidate who was attacked couldn’t or wouldn’t put up a defense. And she’s been spending spare hours at Republican headquarters making phone calls. Saturday I drove her around our rural precinct as she handed out cards for Keet and for John Boozman for U. S. Senator and Steve Womack for Congress. It’s been a long year: it began for me last November when Randy Alexander asked me to manage his campaign for U. S. Senate. No way I could do that, given my day job, but I ended up as a part-time communications guy for him. Then came fall and Barbra and I worked in various campaigns – Barbra more than me as her day job is only part-time.

Now we’re on the precipice. Tuesday will tell. The Big Election. We’re working as poll watchers in Fayetteville: Barbra in the morning, me in the afternoon. I look over the list of poll watchers in our county and see that about half of them are Tea Party members. The Tea Party is what got us involved in politics, just like so many others around the country. It’s hard to say what will happen Tuesday: the news media predict a Republican blowout but given their loss of credibility one wonders if they’re just saying that to make conservatives stay home. It’s sad when you no longer can believe what you see or hear. But it doesn’t matter: we’re not as dumb as they think we are.

Some say Tuesday will be like the Republican victory of 1994. I don’t think so. I’m hoping it will be more like 1980. I remember election night that year, when Ronald Reagan blew the doors off the elite’s conventional wisdom.

It was amazing. It was thrilling.

Please, Lord, do it again.

However, assuming victories for conservatives Tuesday, our work will just begin. We got into this mess because so many of us were asleep.

No more.

The day after Election Day we go to work…